Priorities and the Environment

23


Discussion by: Spraguelle

There is a larger question I have regarding the mission of this site – that is; what exactly can we do in our communities to affect change, in peaceful and reasonable ways?

(perhaps a series of questions, that may be an ontology-knowledge-base- of our greater "reason-based" mission) 

what are our priorities? It seems to me that there is no greater priority than the climate change issue. Consider the government policy that seems to be headed straight towards the very abyss -to which we have been warned of, by 3,500 world reknowned scientists, the college of physicians for most global nations, trade zones, and leading journalists, famous for their integrity, and scientific-based, and rigourous academic standards -like —-http://www.monbiot.com/2013/06/21/pistols-at-dawn/

and

Noam Chomsky and the rest of the journalists at Zmag and Znet. Contrary to the mainstream media definition of left/right modalities, as a Zmag supporter and reader - I support free enterprise, democracy, though it is clear we require a "responsible capitalism" like Ray Anderson's(RIP), company Interface, that is the benchmark.

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet

zmag has existed for many years and is source of scientific and reason-based analysis and journalism, please consider donating to them,as they are really suffering from a lack of public funding right now.

I have investigated the climate issue for 20years, as an activist for the three Rs, and unfortunately the jury has come back with disturbing facts. Though it is easy to argue against the science -http://www.skepticalscience.com/paterson-on-climate.html

the truth is that we have real issues, and if we are lucky enough to avoid the consequences for a few more decades, it will probably "dramatically increase" the effects of pollution in general, because people actually believe these "idealogical" and non-scientific arguments.

The fact remains that poltical movements, actions and the general "existenz" of the world, a whole lotta conflict and strife, if you look at the world-at-large, are directly impacted and interconnected with environmental issues. The main point of "climate science" is to attempt to avoid suffering, conflict, eco-systems breakdown, and ultimatley human death. It is a just, coherent and scientific effort, focused on "preventive solutions" that will save humanity a huge amount of "costs", in money and life.

Can there really be a costing, assigned to human life? isn't this what we free thinkers hold so sacred?

There are no citations here, as I believe most of these issues are reaching that sense-level, of the almost, "a priori", we know this is real, what are going to do about it. Regardless, my position is open, and will provide citations as is required. There are links, and there is lots of info out there, in the end we must all "do the science".

I am reviewing this site, and trying to find the threads, which define the atheists position -mostly in the form of the Sartian postulate – that paraphrased, "if a single person does something, then it isn't consquential, yet it is this pattern of Bad Faith, which creates the repetitive Meta-function that gives us the great garbage patches in the ONE OCEAN"

350,org is doing a good job at showing how we are all invested in the carbon economy, and how we must all change, and DIVEST, if we can change this carbon-machine, and save our planet.

hopeful, spraguelle

23 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Mirror:

      Why would I want to sacrifice my personal life and convenience to save the planet?

      Why would you need to???

      There are a whole load of alternative technologies which are not carbon polluting! The technology has been largely proven. It is the will to get on with it and penny-pinching stupidity, which is the main problem.

  1. what are our priorities? It seems to me that there is no greater priority than the climate change issue.

    are you asking or telling?

    I suspect you are confusing importance with priority. climate change is important on a global scale, but then again a visitor to this site who lives in a strictly religious country and as such can’t even come out as an atheist for fear of being beaten to death by an angry mob has other priorities.

    climate change, as with all of the worlds ills, can only be tackled if more people are capable of casting off ingrained belieifs and gaining a basic level of scientific understanding in order to make reasoned decisoins in life. if the basic objective of this site was to send a message that atheists demand change on climate issues, I for one would swiftly lose interest and no doubt stop calling myself an atheist for fear that it allys me to a single political cause.

    humans are capable of doing incredible things thanks to science and the freedom within it, and at the same time horrible things when someone decides to steer science in one direction. There are plenty of sites dedicated to improving the environment, and plenty of ways it can be improved that will, no doubt, arrive completely under the radar for most people.

    the benefits to the environment that can be related to this site are fairly evident, freedom from religion means freedom from an assumption that nature takes care of us. it also frees us from the belief that humans are commanded to reproduce geometrically, that in itself would make a drastic change to some of the worse predictions of climate change. sharing scientific discoveries promotes creativity, science discovers, creative minds find ways to turn that discovery into something positive.

    I’d rather not narrow the scope of this site as I think it does a greater service to the issue of climate change by remaining issue-agnostic.

    there will always be people who reject climate science, by positioning ourselves as climate change activists we can never reach them, as rationalists however, we can.

    • In reply to #2 by SaganTheCat:

      what are our priorities? It seems to me that there is no greater priority than the climate change issue.

      are you asking or telling?

      I suspect you are confusing importance with priority. climate change is important on a global scale, but then again a visitor to this site who lives in a strictly rel…You make some very good points. The fundamental issue when we consider atheism, in my analysis, is more an issue of human rights in general. Those same persons who frame, as if they “even come out as an atheist for fear of being beaten to death by an angry mob” -the point here is that in these countries, abuse human right in general- to posit that, “atheism” is the primary reason why these people might be beaten to death is a very narrow analysis -they might be beaten to death for, politics, sexuality and a myriad of other reasons – totalitarianism can even retrograde an execute because your not an atheist (Soviet Union 1950s) My position is that my freedom should not be predicated on a fear-based “agreement”, that is mutual “bad faith”, as a means to entrench totalitarianism -however, you point is well-taken and my empathy is that much increased by your exposition…

      “freedom from religion means freedom from an assumption that nature takes care of us. it also frees us from the belief that humans are commanded to reproduce geometrically, that in itself would make a drastic change to some of the worse predictions of climate change. sharing scientific discoveries promotes creativity, science discovers, creative minds find ways to turn that discovery into something positive.” I couldn’t agree with you more. My point is just that, because we are reaching a sort of “critical mass”, “atheism” may be a moot point if there is no civilization in which to process it. I am not advocating that our mission here is primarily environmentalist – it just seemed that we could use some discussion time on it.

      if indeed the members/user here define themselves as reason and science-based persons, then it follows that they would be rightly informed regarding the “actual” science and how serious this issue is…

      If you are making a case that “Atheism” is more important than the environmental issue, just from a survivalist perspective, my thinking is that you’re wrong. As a scientist (studying) I find enough “gods” and beauty in the natural and empirical science of which we are all equal participants (existentially), however, as a scientist, i can’t ignore the massive garbage patches and expanding dead zones in the One Ocean…

      My goal here would be to baseline our common scientific understanding of the environmental issues. The are interconnected to religion, in that way, you intimated, the arrogance of our species, the negation of existential priority, basic natural health (of eco-systems) by a belief that there is some “after-life”…”so what the “bleep” we don’t care because we will be in heaven with, “whoever”

      Partly my goal is that I am interested in the level of awareness that exists on this site and in the atheist community – for environmental issues.

      I see a synthesis of inter-related themes with ‘environmental irresponsibility and religious fundamentalism’, as both together “squashing dissent” and acquiring consent and conformity; ultimately because of greed, insanity and laziness.

      Finally, your point regarding focus is again well-received. Perhaps this is not the proper forum for discussions concerning the environment.

      Regards,

      Spraguelle

      • In reply to #3 by Spraguelle:

        Perhaps this is not the proper forum for discussions concerning the environment.

        The link might be the extent to which religion and unreason might (or might not) be skewing the debate on global warming, which surely involves genuinely scientific (ie reason and evidence based) debates around extent, significance, ecological and economic impacts, etc, apart from political or religious agendas.

        I’m no expert in the field, but from the little I’ve heard it does seem to be emotive, on both sides, but at least some of the ‘deniers’ seem to talk in ways reminiscent of Young Earth Creationists and the ‘Evolution deniers’. After all, making yourself believe impossible things about nature in other ways surely gives scope for more self delusion.

        On the other hand, there should not be uncritical acceptance of the global warming lobby – though the critiques should be science / evidence based, rather than just ‘not wanting to know an ‘inconvenient truth’. Whether or not it is action on global warming might harm our economy in the short or even medium term has no rational ie causal linkage to whether such actions would slow or reverse warming. Of course, the balance of short and long term, industrial production vs crop success etc will be political and moral decisions, but they should be scientifically informed and honest.

        Urging such debate is perhaps the role of RDF, rather than the details of the debate itself

  2. ***YAWN**** I’m an Atheist and a global warming denier…. nothing you can say will change my mind on either topic!!

    You sound like you are on a crusade…. I’m all for looking after the planet, don’t get me wrong, but I’m happy contributing the way I do (quietly). I don’t need to be an “activist on mission!”

  3. my sense is that you have not done your research with respect to so-called “climate science”, the latest spin doctor term…

    In the future my discussions and responses will be “cited’, mini-essays, in this way, if you post responses you will be held to the same standards

    currently there exist no standards for “casual user/members” on the RDF site…

    so all we can do is lead by example.

    I will be more thorough in the future, so as to avoid such flippant responses

    I have submitted two discussions, last week that haven’t been posted, that’s fine, they obviously won’t adhere to this standard because of their casual nature, and because they were previous to this response.

    If anyone at RDF is listening I would respectfully request that my submissions(unposted ones) be removed, and/or allow me to create “cited” versions of such.

    As far as if I am “telling or asking” this is a question of sincerity or bad faith…it is up to the membership at RDF to decide for themselves -your question is what is my true intention? again I defer to the members…”you suspect” confusion, or are you clearly representing such? Importance and priority are relatively close terms, so what your saying is that I have confused “1 with 1″

    Yes, I am advocating that we make the environment an “important” issue, or the issue a high priority…in the end we can only take the tautology of discourse in the spirit of which it is delivered, in that way we who choose “not to objectify mystery or the unknown”
    can entertain “spirit” hehehe

    In the end this is a website, and we are doing our best to communicate effectively, and accomplish those goals and the mission of this site. I am very interested in meeting with like-minded folks in my region. However, it doesn’t seem like this is the place to do that, my view, you don’t have to agree with me, and I don’t care if you do.

    I have done my best to try to encourage the mission of this website, but folks like you are just wasting my time. I will spend more time reading and less time writing.

    spraguelle

  4. OP: “…… It seems to me that there is no greater priority than the climate change issue.”

    The main driver behind Climate Change is global overpopulation, and I don’t believe that the symptoms can be affected much without addressing that underlying problem.

    The main driver behind overpopulation are the indoctrinated teachings of religions – and their self-serving, power-hungry goal of expanding their own population versus other faith groups – which diminish personal and social responsibility, undermine reason, deny science, and pervert politics, laws and education.

    The real priority for the future of life on our Pale Blue Dot is to quickly put into place political, economic and social structures that can survive a voluntary 50-75% reduction in population – before the accelerating climate changes do it to us much more nasty ways…. Mac.

  5. I am having second thoughts about peaceful resistance. The corporations are happy to kill people, bribe, destroy entire ecosystems, poison people… Does it make sense to put both hands behind your back to fight such evil people? In a century, corporations have pretty well destroyed all the ecosystems. Earth cannot possibly survive another century of that sort of abuse. We are fighting for the survival of our planet. We have to replace corporations with something concerned with self-survival and global sustainability.

    We don’t give a damn what you or anybody else on this planet thinks. We didn’t sink those ships for you. We did it for the whales.
    ~ Captain Paul Watson (born: 1950-12-02 age: 62)

    • In reply to #10 by Roedy:

      I am having second thoughts about peaceful resistance. The corporations are happy to kill people, bribe, destroy entire ecosystems, poison people… Does it make sense to put both hands behind your back to fight such evil people? In a century, corporations have pretty well destroyed all the ecosys…

      So what exactly are you proposing? Some sort of terrorist attacks on corporate targets? Because that is counter productive in the extreme. The history of people resisting corporate power is pretty clear that non-violent democratic change is much more effective than violence. In my experience people who talk about violence are (thankfully) almost all talk anyway. They find real political work — making phone calls, going to demonstrations, organizing people,… to be too frustrating and not exciting so they get off talking about violence but often don’t really do anything.

      • In reply to #14 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #10 by Roedy:
        What are you proposing.

        I am still trying to sort this out. At this point I am still not prepared to slit an executive’s throat, even if I were extremely convinced such reticence would kill 10,000 people. I think though that actions designed to control corporations by destroying their profits are fair game, destruction of property, hacking computers and corrupting data, harassing in the courts. I feel no guilt about wishing that terrible fates befall our climate change denying prime minister, though I would not attack him personally even if I had the opportunity.

        I want to avoid finding myself in a world made unlivable by climate change, because we played boy scouts and let the corporations get away with every bit of skulduggery imaginable. We could pat our selves on the back for virtue, but we would have no planet.

        Corporations have convinced nearly everyone that protests must be ineffective, perfectly legal, perfectly polite, while corporations can murder at will, buy politicians, tell outrageous lies, and this is the proper way of things.

        Law makes sense where most parties comply. Corporations are essentially above the law. Ordinary people should not feel morally constrained by law when dealing with corporations. If corporations want to play dog eat dog when dealing with each others and citizens then everyone should play that way dealing with them, or corral them back under rule of law.

        I am not comfortable with what I have just said. I think I will home in eventually on something intermediate between what I have just said and conventional morality. But for now, I put that version up to attract a critique.

  6. another idea would be to found new science-based charities to donate to important causes like climate change. with regard to CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the most important work that needs to be done is design filters that catch and remove CO2 from the atmosphere, as if we designed efficient scrubs then we wouldn’t have to stop producing so much CO2, or we could at least reverse the damage done.

    people need to be converted to a belief system based on respect for evidence and a trust in the scientific method, and this is the goal of this website. faircloth wants to organize and act as a single voting block, but we’re having trouble getting off the ground because atheists refuse to define themselves as part of a group and prefer to consider themselves as a collection of individuals. to begin enacting real social change we would need to act like we were members of a religion, so that is where our biggest problem lies.

    • In reply to #12 by utopia:

      another idea would be to found new science-based charities to donate to important causes like climate change. with regard to CO2 levels in the atmosphere,

      Like this one:-
      http://www.aidforafrica.org/member-charities/solar-cookers-international/

      http://www.solarcookers.org/index.html In April of 2012, financial reverses necessitated the closure of all of the Solar Cookers International East Africa offices.

      the most important work that needs to be done is design filters that catch and remove CO2 from the atmosphere,

      Not really! – This is another “climate engineering” red-herring, devised by the carbon industry as a diversion to distract from the needed investment in low-carbon technologies, such as thorium nuclear, wave and tidal power, solar thermal and photo voltaic electrical generation, ground heat storage, geothermal, climate managed buildings with heat storage facilities, producing bio-diesel from engineered algae (rather than destroying carbon absorbing rain forest with oil palms) , wind power in suitable locations, and more efficient electrical and transport equipment which is not carbon dependent.

      as if we designed efficient scrubs then we wouldn’t have to stop producing so much CO2, or we could at least reverse the damage done.

      There is a considerable carbon foot-print in making chemical scrubbers.

      Catching CO2 from the atmosphere is a very low priority, with catching CO2 from industrial sources not even seriously implemented at present.

      The best way to reduce CO2 pollution is to leave the billions of tons of coal in the ground, stop burning mineral oil, dump the dangerous polluting short-termist gas-fracking which is undercutting energy prices from green production, – and get the proven alternative power generation systems into full production.
      (Have a look at the links @ 8)

      people need to be converted to a belief system based on respect for evidence and a trust in the scientific method,

      Indeed they do. They also need to jump on the lying vested interests and their sponsored politi-clowns, churning out disinformation and diverting resources away from key developments which will make a vastly greater impact on the problems.

  7. the post with the links is brilliant. the first link provides answers to many questions, and also provides great “material” and resources to educate the, indifferent, or ignorant – there is one small issue —-

    With respect – than you so much for posting this
    resource.

    thanks!

    Issue – The first set of links, and internet pages

    are not currently available, any chance we can get
    access to another mirror/server to provide these resources?

    the second set of resources were available
    at the time of this post.

    Bug report – I used both, IE, firfox, seamonkey and chrome to try
    to access, all same result, “object not found”
    -html-
    Object not found!
    The requested URL was not found on this server. The link on the referring page seems to be wrong or outdated. Please inform the author of that page about the error.

    If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.

    Error 404
    http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk
    Mon Jul 1 02:33:52 2013
    Apache/2.2.16 (Debian)

    -html- c’est finis

    (first set of links & resources)

    Introduction
    Thermodynamics of a dry atmosphere
    Moist atmospheric thermodynamics
    Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation
    Radiation in the Atmosphere
    Radiative transfer and radiative forcing
    Forcing, feedbacks and the climate response
    Changes in other climate variables Part 1
    Changes in other climate variables Part 2
    Abrupt climate change

    The rest is fourth year material. It may repeat the earlier stuff somewhat.
    The main meat of it is this 6-part lecture series. For some reason these PDFs
    make it very hard to leave the page, at least in my browser (Firefox), so I
    recommend opening one of these in its own tab first to see how easily you can,
    for example, change a number in the URL to go to the next one, or go to any
    other page at all, or search Google from a toolbar. It’s focused mainly on the
    oceans, as you can see from the titles:

    (Second set of links & resources)

    Air-sea interaction and circulation
    Wind-driven circulation
    Western boundary currents
    Vertical structure of wind-driven gyres
    Meridional overturning circulation
    Oceans and climate variability

    spraguelle

    • In reply to #16 by Spraguelle:

      the post with the links is brilliant. the first link provides answers to many questions, and also provides great “material” and resources to educate the, indifferent, or ignorant – there is one small issue —-

      With respect – than you so much for posting this
      resource.

      thanks!

      Issue – The first s…guess i will reply to the webmaster…keep you posted.argggggggg hehehe

    • In reply to #16 by Spraguelle:

      the post with the links is brilliant. the first link provides answers to many questions, and also provides great “material” and resources to educate the, indifferent, or ignorant – there is one small issue —-

      With respect – thank you so much for posting this resource.

      It seems you were unfortunate that that some RDnet posters did not see your discussion earlier. You will see from earlier discussions that we do take these issues seriously. (Sorry I was busy in other discussions when it was posted.)

      Jos Gibbons posted the physics links on the discussion – http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/642733-why-the-laws-of-physics-make-anthropogenic-climate-change-undeniable. He may turn up at some point in this discussion.

      Issue – The first set of links, and internet pages – are not currently available, any chance we can get access to another mirror/server to provide these resources?

      As you will see the old discussions are in the archives, but are not maintained. Sometimes when I find a clickable link does not find the page, I right click and select “copy link location” – and then paste the URL or part of a title or quote, into a search box on Firefox, Yahoo Search, or AVG Secure Search. While it is possible that the link is no longer available on the source site, this method sometimes finds it when clicking does not.

      You will see that most of my links and discussions, deal with biological issues and alternative energy supplies, which counter the silly old argument “Loss of coal will ruin the economy”, when the real issue is dumping the obsolete polluting industries and replacing them with clean modern ones. These articles are more readily readable by the public than the academic physics, and they deal with required actions rather than evidencing the need for action.

  8. thank you alanfordiscussion, yeah, gotchya. tried accessing the first set of resources via search engines, no such -except miscellaneous, which is an education, in itself— ironically i accessed this “paper” regarding correcting web-based science ontologies (specifically a resource with questionable physics terms -it’s totally based on using an algorithm to search google -or maybe other search egnines, well here it is —-http://people.cs.pitt.edu/~litman/60950374.pdf– and i might require it to sift through all the misc.. ) any time i can access resources from great sources (formatted lectures and programs) like oxford is so good!, submitted a bug report to webmaster—anyways, just for the record as I described ontology as a “knowledgebase’ that is wrong,–specifically, “Ontology” -is a specification of a conceptualization (2013-Tom Gruber -original 1992 -http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/kst/what-is-an-ontology.html)

    regards,

    spraguelle

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