Nemo wrote:Many here have post secondary science educations and some of us were full time environmentalists. I also lived off grid making my own power for years. Most North Americans have no ability to live like that. The technology is not there yet without a huge decrease in lifestyle and consumption. At this point with globalization even if Europe and North America went totally green it would only lengthen the time to ecological breakdown by at best two decades. China alone is building a coal plant a day. Power structures have mobilized that deliberately prevent helping the earth. They\go so far as to actively undermine social justice and participatory democracy. Without which the problems are truly insurmountable.
It is a very American ideal that ignorant opinions are of equal value as knowledgeable ones. Just because it makes you feel good does not mean it is true.
Welcome back, Nemo
To respond to your second paragraph first, the problem with democracy has been noted before:
Winston Churchill wrote:The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
although he also said
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
Nemo wrote:Just because it makes you feel good does not mean it is true.
probably made you feel good as you said it but is true, which is an indication that
Kim wrote:Just because it makes you feel good does not mean it is false.
is also true.
As for your first paragraph, congratulations and thanks - and I do mean this - for your environmental work and your individual green lifestyle efforts.
However, the rest of what you say doesn't convince me. The bits I have bolded
are, I think, correct but they don't add up to an argument for doing nothing.
And the bit that i have made red suggests to me that your thinking is unnecessarily simplistic. "Ecological breakdown" is not a discrete worldwide cataclysm like the earth being hit by an asteroid, but a cascade of large and small losses and disasters spread over dozens, if not hundreds, of years, depending on how you define it. The extinctions of the Dodo and the Great Auk might be seen in retrospect as early events in the Anthropocene extinction, and it could be argued that "Ecological breakdown" is incomplete until species diversity, worldwide, is (say) 5% of what it is now. That will take more than decades (and there would be no-one alive to measure it).
And the fact that our ecological breakdown is (1) self-inflicted and (2) composed of tens of thousands of small losses means that (1) in principle we have the power to avert further losses and in some cases reverse losses, and (2) individuals and small groups have power to affect local outcomes - whether it is to reclaim wetlands or prevent a CSG well or feed cassowaries after a cyclone so the population survives until the rainforest regenerates (see http://qldreconstruction.org.au/case-studies/cassowaries-doing-well-post-yasi-but-care-continues
Finally, something I put in front of Huseng:
Kim wrote:My optimism is not naive. I don't believe everything is under control and a wave of the hand will fix all our problems.
My optimism is purely pragmatic:
I believe that if everyone does as much as they can we can ameliorate enough of the problems sufficiently that we can achieve a softer crash-landing - tens of thousands of deaths due to sea level rise, for instance, rather than tens of millions.
I believe that if we sit on our hands and do nothing, we are neglecting our duty of compassion towards other sentient beings alive now and in the future.
And I believe that anyone proclaiming doom-and-gloom scenarios as you, peterpan, Nemo and Thrasymachus are doing, is actively contributing to the outcome they are predicting, and adding to the suffering of themselves (if they live long enough) and others by doing so.
Do you have any moral justification for the consequences of your position?
If so, I would love to see it.
I would appreciate your response to this challenge, too, Nemo.