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 Post subject: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:31 pm 
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Is the aim of the environmental movement to maintain a steady temperature for the Earth forever, and freeze the ecosystem as it is ?
Doesn't this mean turning the Earth into a climate-controlled farm, and therefore the end of any wilderness ?
What happens when this comes up against large scale climate effects like the Milankovich cycles ? Should they be stopped ?
I'm not a denialist, and I value the environmental movement, but I seldom see questions like this addressed. I want to see what Joe Public thinks about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:15 am 
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What I see as the goal to shoot for is man and nature finding that illusive concept of a eco-system when neither is endangered and both benefit.
It doesn't have to be man vs nature in some contest or fight to the finish.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:01 pm 
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But that means, essentially, artificially freezing the ecosystem as it is, and perhaps renovating it so that it looks like it did just before the industrial revolution - and not allowing anything to endanger humanity. How is this to be achieved without exerting total control ? I don't see that it can.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:24 pm 
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I do not see it as an "either or" position. The industrial activities can be undertaken with other activities without risk of extinction by those activities as long as there are sufficient restrictions and monitoring.

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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:31 pm 
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OK, the idea is to keep industry at a certain level. But you would agree that this means, in essence, total control of the Earth for human benefit, and hence the end of wildness ?
But does this mean stasis for evolution on Earth too ? No radical new species because there is no radical new environment ?


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:47 pm 
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No, there are wilderness areas set aside for limited human use now. There should be no problem in maintaining them in that fashion.

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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Ah, that bit there - maintaining a wilderness. I don't think it's just pedantry to claim that if it's maintained then it's not wilderness. It seems more like a blind spot in the way people think and talk about this.
I think that until fairly recently you could claim that there are still wild places on Earth, uncontrolled by humans. Now the aim is to climate control the whole biosphere via CO2 control. I don't see how this can be avoided, as long as we affect the atmosphere our actions are distributed globally. Nor do I think that, as long as it is in our power, we would allow any natural warming or cooling to break human defined bounds. We're due for an ice age sooner or later, and can we say that we will simply let it happen without trying some geoengineering ?
That's why I think we've seen the last of wilderness on Earth unless it is taken out of our control by something we can't handle like a major catastrophe.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:48 am 
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Glumbo wrote:
But that means, essentially, artificially freezing the ecosystem as it is, and perhaps renovating it so that it looks like it did just before the industrial revolution - and not allowing anything to endanger humanity. How is this to be achieved without exerting total control ? I don't see that it can.


That's a very interesting point Glumbo, I'd be interested to see some more experienced members for the forums views on this :problem:


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:31 am 
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Glumbo wrote:
Ah, that bit there - maintaining a wilderness. I don't think it's just pedantry to claim that if it's maintained then it's not wilderness.


It seems the semantics may be getting in the way here. You are proposing to have to maintain the planet at a certain level of technology which is different from setting aside areas to remain wilderness and maintain that designation in what way?

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It seems more like a blind spot in the way people think and talk about this.
I think that until fairly recently you could claim that there are still wild places on Earth, uncontrolled by humans. Now the aim is to climate control the whole biosphere via CO2 control.


Not really. The only controls proposed are the human emissions of carbon.

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I don't see how this can be avoided, as long as we affect the atmosphere our actions are distributed globally.


Our presence globally affects all ecosystems in some fashion.

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Nor do I think that, as long as it is in our power, we would allow any natural warming or cooling to break human defined bounds. We're due for an ice age sooner or later, and can we say that we will simply let it happen without trying some geoengineering ?


Possibly. Or we may be due for a super volcano eruption. Ir we may have a large space body impact coming. Or even a natural pandemic. All of which would change the face of the planet in one way or another.

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That's why I think we've seen the last of wilderness on Earth unless it is taken out of our control by something we can't handle like a major catastrophe.


Possibly, but you have already claimed there is no wilderness left because of the CO2 control, so the point should be moot.

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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:14 pm 
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" Our presence globally affects all ecosystems in some fashion. "

That there. CO2 level affects the very bottom of the food chain - trees, plants, plankton - and hence everything on up, plus it affects the geology too.
Before the industrial revolution large areas of the globe would be free of soot and man-made CO2, but those days have gone and you can look through the IPCC website at all the global effects of our civilisation.
Given that ice ages naturally occur every 100,000 years, sustainable civilisation isn't really sustainable unless our descendants take it upon themselves to stop the Earth wobbling on it's axis or something equally drastic. The biosphere as it is, which is so conducive to human life, is due to be wiped out naturally in the future despite any conservation efforts. Which doesn't make it unreasonable to fight to maintain things as they are, because few people really want to see catastrophe, but I think sooner or later we will have to admit that we don't really want true wilderness we want a domesticated planet.

Or maybe there is no 'we'.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:54 am 
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There isn't any real wilderness left completely unaffected by humans. Human actions of overpopulation with depletion and pollution far beyond the natural systems' ability to regenerate or absorb. So far beyond for so long that the ice age will not be on time, unless we blow Yellowstone soon.
Humans have become a stronger force than even orbital and spin fluctuations.

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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:45 pm 
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Well, yes - altering the spin of the Earth would seem to be the only way to stop an ice age. However by then humanity could be unrecognisable and also capable of living nicely on Earth during an ice age. The current environment is only held to be sacrosanct because it is so good for us, and I certainly don't like the thought of it getting any warmer - I live a few inches above sea level for a start - but it is naturally doomed unless we gain total control over the Earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Thanks for the input from folk I appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:35 am 
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Glumbo wrote:
Is the aim of the environmental movement to maintain a steady temperature for the Earth forever, and freeze the ecosystem as it is ?
Doesn't this mean turning the Earth into a climate-controlled farm, and therefore the end of any wilderness ?
What happens when this comes up against large scale climate effects like the Milankovich cycles ? Should they be stopped ?
I'm not a denialist, and I value the environmental movement, but I seldom see questions like this addressed. I want to see what Joe Public thinks about this.

Interesting questions. I think we have evolved to the point that we can't help be the managers of the earth. However by restraint we can lower our impact. Wilderness to me means less active human management, a place where other species can go through their cycles without necessarily being turned into commodities, a place we can wander through without being bombarded by houses and streets. I think wilderness makes us healthier in body and mind but I guess that's a bias. And of course just on a social survival level it provides so many wonderful services.

As for the Milankovich cycles, yeah I would like to mitigate the extreme cold side. Let's put it this way, we have already survived that and we have over 10,000 years to even start worrying about it. On the other side we have never survived in temperatures as high as those projected and we are headed there in decades. Where do you think the concern should be?

I'm for living in a simpler more sustainable manner. I think that requires a considerable drop in population and eventually abandoning the cities and adopting a more village style life, with a technology appropriate to that life. Although I have a general picture it is above my pay grade to offer all the details. I think once there is a critical mass of folks agreed upon a general direction then I think the details can be worked out. Do I expect that to happen? Nope. But I can always hope. :-

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 Post subject: Re: Earth as farm ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:59 am 
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I understand that clearly. However, we can't deny the fact that population are increasing while resources are decreasing. If most people were not aware, how can we survive for the next 10,000 or 20,000 years?


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