coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:yes i've seen the crappy email that says "if you don't send this email on to all the people you know with an emil address then the last tree in brazil will be cut down tomorrow and it'll be all your fault!".

this is the real story, and its just as saddening and shocking as the chain mail.

if the people who are supposed to be protecting the rainforest at the base level care so little for its wellbeing, what real chance does it have of ever surviving the human plague?

deforestation is at a ten year high and at the current rate the amazonian rainforest will be gone within 100 years.
yet some of the world leaders still seem to be treating the problem of deforestation and even climate change in general as tantamount to being a non-issue.

frown


cole. x

general deforestation information.


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:The world will be fine. Soon we'll have cut down all the trees. Everything will dry up and everyone will have major asthma. Then the oxygen will start to run out. And we'll all die. And the planet will shake itself off, run itself a nice long Ice Age and relax for a bit, maybe with a good book (not The Good Book, that would be silly, not to mention paradoxical) and get on with life. The human virus will be a long-forgotten scraped knee in it's planetary childhood.

Cole, it's shocking and horrible, but in a world that celebrates greed, is it surprising when people are corrupted by it?

devil


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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thegreatnoname


member
Location: under your bed

Total posts: 58
Posted:thats horrible....

Isn't sanity a one trick pony? Rational thought is all you get but when you are crazy the sky is the limit.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:exactly mags - your vision, though seemingly a pessimistic, defeatist view of the future, is the only one that seems plausible given the current way of things.

however, on the up side (kind of) i believe it is very possible that the human race may well survive an ice age, at least on some level.

if we do, i guess the question is, will it change the way we live permanently or will our greed prevail always...?


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:Got to agree with Mags on this one. The realist in me feels that greed will outweight environmentalism, although the optimist would hope otherwise. And anyway, if recent studies are to be believed, the loss of the rainforests will be only one of the many serious and permanent problems to hit the fan once we hit the point of no return on the climate change issue.

In the meantime, I hereby pledge to recycle more. And I raise a glass to my Living Planet DVD set as a sad tribute to things soon lost. beerchug

Oh btw Mags, how will the world enjoy its good book, once all the trees have been cleared? biggrin


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Hubert_Cumberdale
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

Hubert_Cumberdale

[psylocibin fingerbobe].
Location: London, United Kingdom

Total posts: 479
Posted:The problem has accelerated now because the governing Brazillian politicians are directly involved with Soya farming businesses, which are responsible for cutting down their forests.


soapbox

I wish the G8 would start taking the Carbon emmision more seriously too. There is currently a proposal before the G8 to recognise the problem and spend more money to tackle global warming, but it's been watered down into meaningless toothless crap again.


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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1785
Posted:Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. Cree Indian saying

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Icer
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

Icer

just a shadow of my former self...
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Total posts: 205
Posted:sadly im a pessimist at heart when it comes to this particular issue. nature and the environment has been a passion of mine since i was a wee youngster (it was what got me thru my first degree). we need to move away from greed and self interest as prime motivating factors, but is this a realistic proposition? many ppl would say it isnt. i thin one of the major problems is that ppl often fail to look past there own lifetimes, if ppl were to take a much longer view of the situation then perhaps the number of exploitative and extractive practises that are becoming more and more prevalent in todays globilised society would decrease.
its a nice thought, but is it realistic?


It took a while, but once their numbers dropped from 50 down to 8, the other dwarves started to suspect Hungry.

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I vote that people will always remain greedy. But we will probably evolve and change our genetic stock thru an ice age, and if we survive, and change sufficiently, perhaps we will become sufficiently unhuman and unparasitic to not go thru another round of this....

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:One might question if what we're doing now is inevitable. The argument might go something like: all social systems will eventually be unequal. This is because a completely utopic society will always be vulnerable to people who are more aggressive or selfish. That person will then spread its beliefs throughout the society until there is a balance between the pacifists (doves) and the aggressors (hawks). When you throw money and technology in the mix, then you'd probably end up with problems like ours.

Or to put in another way, there's always going to be some b*****d who'll come along and balls it all up for the rest of us.

Say Kyrian's right, and we evolve towards a more peaceful, altruistic society. There will always be room for further evolution towards a more aggressive, selfish society again.

I think the only exception I know of to this are very, very small communities where it impractical to have constant fights and bickering over resources.

I'm not pushing this as fact, but it makes sense to me and I'd love to hear what people make of it.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Star, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to steal that phrase, print off a dozen copies of it, and run around sticking them up at school.

As for my own two pence:

The downward slide of this planet began when we achieved sentience. Before we began farming, nature had a variety of checks and balences to keep everything constant. Homo Sapiens was concerned with gathering enough food, surviving the winter, avoiding predators etc. But as soon as someone decided to farm rather than forage, we broke out of these restraints and our evolution accelerated exponentially. Of course, our basic instincts to help each other, and support your family (all the instincts that animals have) lasted for quite a while. Religion developed as something to ensure that we stayed good. Basically, if you're not nice, God (or whatever) will punish you. And God is omnipotent, so there's no getting out of it. But then Science came along and said "prove it" and suddenly that motivation to behave was gone.

So, having lost our faith in Religion, we proceeded to invent things like "Democracy" and "Capitalism" to give us a sense of communal identity. Of course, the founding tenet of Capitalism is that you should make money, and if it is by destroying your competitors, so much the better. This swiftly grows to encompass the worthy ideals of companies to day: "Screw the workers", "Screw the planet", "Screw any notion that there may be a tomorrow".

All the energy that we used to expend fighting for survival is now being used to fight among ourselves. The world will end, in about 100 years time (my prediction). I hope I'm not there to see it, but I'm deathly afraid that my children and grandchildren will be.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1785
Posted:Sethis, there is a really nice poster of it avaiable if you are interested
http://www.newint.org/shop/uk/emposter.htm


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Ooohh, thanks. I wouldn't want to put it up in school though, somone'd probably rip it down.

Maybe i'll get it for my room. Thanks again!


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:Sethis, I think a lot of what you say makes sense. Just two points: animals don't have instincts to help each other. Animals act selfishly, with humans being a possible exception. Even animals which are social and appear to act altruistically, are really acting selfishly.

And also, religion and democracy/capitalism aren't mutually exclusive. America is an easy example of a mostly religious country that is democratic and is probably the world's best example of capitalism.

Have you read Guns, Germs and Steel? An absolutely cracking book, that deals with some of the stuff you talk about. You might like it smile


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:America, a mostly religious country???????

eek


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:70% of Americans have no doubt that God exists. Only 2% don't believe in God.

Apparently, according to statistics recently quoted in a British paper. I am aware that believing in God doesn't necessarily make you religious but the American Religious Identification Survey of '01 found that only 14% of people adhered to no religion - so that would be the 2% of atheists/agnostics along with any other secularists/people who believe in God but don't stick to a particular religion. That's still 86% of Americans who are religious.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Yes, but consider:

Animals defending their young at the cost of their own lives?

(Have you read "The Selfish Altruist" btw?)

Yes, but if the religion is used to justify the politics of the country, then how can the religion be considered to still exist? And 86% of Americans religious, doesn't mean they're Christian. Plus I'd advocate that NT Christianity is actually incompatible with modern capitalism, despite the Protestant ethic being it's foundation.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Delete

ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:Okay, animals defending their young: kin selection. It is in the best interests of any animal to protect others which are closely related to it, because offspring will have half the same genes. Which is why social animals act altruistically, but are actually acting selfishly.

That books looks interesting. Might check it out. There was an article on this in New Scientist after the tsunami which seemed quite similar.

The religion point: religion being used to justify politics reflects upon the leaders not the general populace. The majority of those 86% (about 75 or so I think) were Christian in name. Whether they were actually Christian according to how you or I would define it is slightly semantic, although I think it's a good point smile


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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1785
Posted:Written by: ed209

Sethis, I think a lot of what you say makes sense. Just two points: animals don't have instincts to help each other.



YES they do!!

I have quail and chicken chicks at the moment and during the quails first few days they would often fall over and get stuck on their backs. The chickens would come over and pull the quail back up on to their feet.

This is just one of the many intances when I have seen animals helping each other


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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:.:does a little 2% dance:. wooyay go me

It's sickening what some people will do for money. The brazillian rainforest is one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, we hardly understand it at all. For all we know, the secrete to immortality is in there someplace, but we'll never find it if we destroy the delicate balance.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Sakura_Moon


Sakura_Moon

Hop's Kitten Jester.
Location: Wonderland igloo, Vic, Austral...

Total posts: 1803
Posted:People are so greedy and disgusting and gross and icky.
Myself included.
Thankyou Slipknot, for pointing this out in one of the best songs ever; People = S**T
Poor polar bears, poor animals, poor ozone layer, poor pathetic politicians not doing enough to fix it.


.:Pink Exocutioner:.

I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct...

Loving you from the deepest part of my loins.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Sure, I agree that protecting their young is a sensible and logical thing for animals to do, but this overlooks the fact that animals ALSO have emotions. An elephant who has had it's child stolen or killed will mope around, become listless and less social, and has been known to die simply by losing the will to live. This is the same with Dolphins and Whales (but I've never heard of any of them dying). Yes it might be in their best interests, but they also care deeply about their young on a purely emotional level.

And I am aware that the emotional connection might easily be nature's way of ensuring that the next generation has guardians while they're still young, but it doesn't invalidate the fact that animals do have emotions.

I agree with everything said after that point though, and definately with sparkey. The Ocean is another example of something that we are ruining and that we have only a basic understanding of. (Wait for Cod to become an endangered species...)


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Delete

ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:Sethis, I agree, and actually we're probably agreeing a lot here and just differ slightly as to the details. So I'm dropping this especially since we're getting off-topic, which was deforestation in the Amazon, which I think we all agree is bad smile

And I'm in total agreement with sparkey's point. There's something incredibly sad about destroying something before we can discover things about it. So much knowledge and beauty we may never find.

Also, a minute of silence to the poor cod. What will we batter and eat when the fridge is empty if not you?


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Facelessjoker
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

enthusiast
Location: Exeter, United Kingdom

Total posts: 249
Posted:I dont think humans will die out in the next 100 years but i do think the planet will be in a complete state. The atmosphere and the land. Theres an image I have of how the world will be and it comes from a gunslinger book by Stephen King. Basically the city is deserted except for hanging bodies in the street. The only living human beings are in 'klans', diseased and kill everyone but themselves. Nice.

I dont think farming was the starting point of the degredation of the planet. I mean, nowa days farmers make a living from it so they wont drain a field of all its nutrients then leave it bare, they rotate crops and granted this is only marginally better with the amout they have to produce. I think it was more resourceful than destructive. My main beef with it is the chemicals the use to try and fix what they take away.

Anyway as for the environment, I blame apathy. People dont SEE what happens to the crap they throw away. They cant see the consequences of all the plastic and other non degradable stuff they throw out because its a relativley a new concept.
People dont do anything about the rainforest because they dont have to live there and use its resourses. Everything they need is given to them on a plate, made by a machine.
There is no appreiciation for nature and what it gives us and talented hands and what they make (or used to make as the case frequently is).
People seem to be more concerned with energy and trying to replace fossil fuels. Only these ideas are ugly and get in the way. Its all ery well trying to light a lightbulb but what are we going to do when we cant breath?

oh one other thing, I agree with Mags, the world will fix itself. But my optomistic side says that only the hermits will be able to survive and will go on to create a new and better human kind that will be apprieciative of what they have. And hopefully all the factories etc will rust and be rendered useless so it cant happen again. smile
Im finished now. lol


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rowanlee


member
Location: west coast

Total posts: 99
Posted:I was recently working in the area hit by the tsunami, Khao Lak Thailand. I was astounded by the level of destruction that could occur from a force of nature.



The Thai belief is that that a water spirit that lives in that area had not been properly respected, and so "threw" the sea at them... Here is a story about why they believe that, and some of the things that happened after.



Sorry it is long, but relates both to the subject of deforestation, which is a huge problem in Thailand,and of value systems, or religion. A cautionary tale of sorts.



The coast near Khao Lak was in the past considered sacred, a land of lush resources, rich in food and water. Anything would grow there. Way, way back , as the story goes, Holy men travelling in a boat were caught in a storm, while carrying a large buddha statue to another place. They went in to shore to survive the storm. The boat damaged, they had to leave the buddha behind in the jungle until they could came back for it... The holy statue "chose" that spot to stay, because of its beauty and peacefulness. It was blessed.



It was a land of natural prosperity. When people wanted to build a house, or a farm, they made offerings to the spirits,and asked permission, creating sacred little houses for the spirits to live in, and "feeding" them on a regular basis. Some places, the spiritual leaders would inform the people, were not to be built on: permission denied. So they were untouched. All flowed along, in a fairly balanced fashion.



Then, the tourist industry in Thailand boomed. Money, Money Money, became the new religion, at least for some.The resorts moved in, and all they required: roads, stores, etc etc. Mangroves were cut and killed to create the clear white sand coast line tourists like, trees chopped for building materials and highways. Multinationals built huge resort hotels.



They "forgot" to ask permision of the spirits. Many places did not follow the custom of building a spirit house for the displaced spirits.

Hell, they "forgot" to ask the locals how they felt about all the changes even! It all just went ahead,incredibily fast, and the diverse jungles, and mangroves disappeared. Native people were displaced from traditional lands... we all know the basics of that story. It has happenned all over the world.



But things began to change in other ways too. The rains stopped coming in the usual pattern, and dry periods increased. Land that was once lush,became less so... people began to worry about going out fishing , because the weather patterns were unpredictable, and dangerous. Apparently, a Naga, water spirit, was upset with the lack of respect, and stirring below the sea.



People talked,but no one had the power courage or the knowledge to figure out what to do. Tourism was providing jobs, so people did not want to complain to loudly . It was a dilemma, so called modern capitalist values vs old traditional nature spirit values. Spiritual leaders talked to the community about the fact that the spirits of the land were upset, and stirring, cautionning to be respectful of nature.



But money talked louder, and the resorts continued to grow, taxing the water and land resources to the maximum, creating waste beyond the areas capicity to absorb... Imbalance.



Then, the tsunami. Devastation. I had spent much time in the area before that and found sections of it absolutely unrecognizable when I returned . Heartbreaking.



The damage was more severe in Khao Lak than in comparable areas like Burma because the mangroves had been removed. They would have acted as natural buffer zones, slowing the force of the wave...



I had desperate urges to plant things while there. Of course, it was low on the priority list, compared to shelter, sanitation, trauma and health issues, but it felt urgent. I dreamed of gardens. It was so desolate, compared to its usual state. The plants died

( remember that expression " to salt the earth" of your enemy for revenge- so nothing will grow?), and many trees got washed away.



Topsoil was washed away, or salted, and contaminated with all sorts of debris, chemical and otherwise. Compunded by the worst drought in 30 years. It really looked like a bombed desert.



It is actually becoming a desert. Unless we do something...



I have been reading that planting back the trees, and even more than they were, is actually urgent. Apparently, both the clearing of trees for roads and resorts, and now the tsunami, is aggravating the drought. The trees draw and hold the water, create cloud cover, and ultimately rain. They are an integral part of the weather cycles. Thats the simple explanation, I can forward a detailed article to anyone interested.



Okay, now the good part of the story. Sad that it had to get this bad to get peoples attention, like you say star; they had to eat the last fish to discover money can not sustain life.



But now some people are on it, proposed to the King a tree planting program through the schools, and trying to plant a diverse jungle range of trees too- monoculture has also damaged the region. It is based on a program started in the Uk, where people actually carry seeds with them,and plant wherever there is a place. The king apparently likes the idea, so we shall see...



There was so much death there, that people are now thinking about spirits in a very real and serious manner. Wells were all contaminated,and the resavoirs too,so people have been forced to reflect significantly on the importance of water as a resource, and how to protect it. Much rebuilding goes on, but now many are trying to ensure that it happens with proper respect for the environment, and the spirits of nature. They have seen what some consider the direct and disasterous consquences of not doing so...Rituals have been done to release the spirits of the dead, and appease the Naga, and the spirits of nature that have been distrubed.



Awareness has changed. People have learned from a rather horrific experience. There is an opportunity here, to do things differently, to recognize and correct mistakes. Can we take that opportunity? Do we know how? Can we support those who are making the effort?



It is still a battle, because the multinationals buying the sea front land and expanding the resorts are still not interested in a holistic perspective, and have a lot of power and influence. Many NGOs are trying to support the Thai locals in their holistic interests, but getting huge interference and resistance from the corrupt Thai government.



As far as people being ugly and greedy,by nature- yes some. And those have a lot of power.But, there is a different kind of power out there too. I was excited and inspired to meet and work with an amazing international volunteer community that had gathered to work their asses off, demonstrating compassion in action , under difficult circumstances. Humanity at its altruistic best. A true global community. Most I talked with felt it was no sacrifice- we were all enriched by the experience. There are a lot of people living with their hearts and minds fully engaged in their actions, no fear.



We shall see what manifests from that...



My point, in there somewhere, , is just to respect nature. Don't take it for granted. It is all connected, water, earth, air fire- and us a part of it all. Be aware of your choices, and do what you can. Give thanks every time you turn on your tap, go outside to plant a tree, and hug your friends...


wherever you go, there you are

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rowanlee


member
Location: west coast

Total posts: 99
Posted:One more thought, an irony.



One of the first things western NGOs did was rush out raising money to replace the fisher peoples boats and nets etc... So they could get back to work.I loved the idea when I first heard about it. Nice concrete action, can happen very fast, people liked the project for it directness and immediacey.



I mentionned it to a Thai environmentalist while there. He was appalled.



Unfortunately, if they had taken a bit more time and reflection they would have discovered that, like the cod on the easter coast of Canada, many of the fish stocks in the area are on the verge of extinction.



Sending people out back fishing ASAP is a very unfortunate short term aid. Soon, the fish will run out, and they will be unemployed, and hungry , with nice shiny new boats.



That is what I mean by an opportunity-after such a cataclysmic event there is a chance for radical posative change. Those people effected by the tsunami could learn a new skill set, something that is not a drain on resources... We could stop repeating mistakes. NGOs have been financially enabled to offer some impressive vocational redevelopment programs due to the massive amount of donations coming in from world wide. The money and the attention is there, can we use it well? Do we have the motivation and committment to do it ?



It will start first with education, and information. A slow process, when we all want to move fast. In this case, it will have to be motivated and initiated by the Thai people themselves if it is to work.


wherever you go, there you are

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