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Thread: Should We Be Comcerned About The Oceans?

  1. #1
    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
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    Should We Be Comcerned About The Oceans?

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/826...ss-extinctions

    It seems we're heading toward doomsday faster than anyone ever predicted - what will we have with our chips?

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    According to what my dad heard when he was a kid/teenager (he's 54), by now we should have run out of gasoline, the ozone layer should be nonexistent, and the world should be overcrowded to the point where we can hardly move without bumping in to someone else. And this is just what I can remember.

    I don't worry about these things for two reasons. One, I find them hard to believe, and two, there's nothing I can do about it. This isn't to say I litter and do what I can to hurt the environment. I recycle and what-not, but beyond that near-insignificant contribution, I can't do a thing if all the ocean's life is going to go extinct. I also don't worry about the weather or a possible armageddon. In short, I live be the philosophy of only worrying about what I can control.

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Beware of doomsday predictions made by scientists seeking research funds.

    I'll believe the hype when those scientists stop flying by Boeing 747 to their chauffered limousines.

    They may even be correct, but it would be nice to see a peer-reviewed study rather than a report co-authored by interested parties released to MSN media.

    Things like this are just grist to conspiracists' loony theories that science & political forces are making it all up.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Which scientist get limousines? Often they have to pay their own way to conferences if they can't get funding for the trip.

    As to the ozone layer, the international ban on CFCs reversed the depletion, so that seems to argue that we can in fact do things to reverse the course of environmental destruction. And frankly, the Earth is already over populated. Fish stocks are way down and none of it is sustainable long term.

    No need for doomsday projections, things are bad enough as is with the collapse of fishing industries globally.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    Which scientist get limousines? Often they have to pay their own way to conferences if they can't get funding for the trip.
    In general, you're quite right, but I get to see how much money floats around in the climate change arena due to some close links to a couple of scientists that speak at conferences.

    Climate science has built itself an enormous ivory tower to rival the IMF and World Bank, and many of 'em think the best way to get more sponduliks is to play Chicken Little.

    Which is a damned shame, because the core message is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    As to the ozone layer, the international ban on CFCs reversed the depletion, so that seems to argue that we can in fact do things to reverse the course of environmental destruction. And frankly, the Earth is already over populated. Fish stocks are way down and none of it is sustainable long term.
    As usual, spot on all round. (And here under the ozone hole, we're thankful about that!)

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    No need for doomsday projections, things are bad enough as is with the collapse of fishing industries globally.
    Not to mention the growing food crisis overall, which [lack of] fishing will exacerbate.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    It's been on the BBC's website as well - so it's not just MSN.

    I'm more minded to point the finger at the media. Scientists, if they're doing their job properly, rarely make such inflammatory statements without qualification - simply because it is so hard to actually know something as an absolute fact. I think that a large part of it is the media spinning the story in the most sensational manner it can (as it is wont to do) in order to maximise sales/viewing figures.

    That said, while I suspect the media of massaging the scientists' statements, nonetheless I think there is a problem here. As has been pointed out, our species has now grown to such an extent that our planet can no longer support us. And eventually nature is going to bite back at us for this.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
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    Long before the rise of the dinosaur as the dominant species, and all life was still at the unicellular stage, there was a global ice age which may have spelt the end of any life at all, but it was actually because of this that life evolved into multicellular organisms.

    Fast forward to the end of the dinosaurs when, due to the rocks that were hurled up into the stratosphere from the asteroid that struck Earth, and re-entered the atmosphere as an explosive worldwide meteor shower, setting fire to forests and all large lifeforms (leaving only very small dinosaurs in the form of birds and lizards - which early versions hatched their eggs in the sand - and the water dwellers like crocodiles) so came the rise of the land mammal, which includes us.

    The last Great Iceage saw the extinction of the largest of the mammals like mammoths and diprotodons - and in fact all life went through a bottleneck, and we lost our bigger brothers in the Neanderthals, and on down the line, like the moa of New Zealand (6 metres tall!). How much was due to opportunistic hunting and less obtainable food for these creatures is probably about even - but many of our own species would also have been wiped out.

    If we fail to do anything now, our species will probably survive, with current technology allowing certain plants to thrive like Frankenstein soy, canola and palm oils etc and all manner of processing available for unprepossessing plants long enough for the oceans to regenerate with entirely new species.

    We may well be the last mammal - forget cattle animals because 100 lbs of grain = 1 lb of beef.

    Of course, all we need really do is come up with a way to re oxygenate the ocean - anyone want to take the million dollar prize?

  8. #8
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    I think it depends whether you're worried about human beings or the planet.

    If we go, the planet will do fine without us, just as it has done fine without pterodactyls.

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    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
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    Good point - but it's the manner in which we go that worries me: there'll be cannabalism in the streets - no-one'll be safe!

    I mean personally I might be fine for a while because I don't weigh enough to put a dent in the carpet, and will probably be spared til last for toothpicks, but what about the ones who aren't so fortunate? They'll be first to go, and then the rest of us will have to live with the memory...

    Doesn't that bother anyone?

  10. #10
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MystyrMystyry View Post

    Doesn't that bother anyone?
    Not at all. I have been forging links with the cockroach population, and I fully expect to be kept by their ruling elite as a pampered and cherished curiosity.

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    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
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    Sounds reasonable - until they turn on you!

    Or you turn on them!

    Though I suppose given recent events with Weapons of Massive Destructing &c, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for our governments to hold Orwellian wars, and just tin the dead soldiers (like the Nazis did in WWII)

    Sergeant Hotpot or Peppered Corporal?

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
    It's been on the BBC's website as well - so it's not just MSN.

    I'm more minded to point the finger at the media. Scientists, if they're doing their job properly, rarely make such inflammatory statements without qualification - simply because it is so hard to actually know something as an absolute fact. I think that a large part of it is the media spinning the story in the most sensational manner it can (as it is wont to do) in order to maximise sales/viewing figures.

    That said, while I suspect the media of massaging the scientists' statements, nonetheless I think there is a problem here. As has been pointed out, our species has now grown to such an extent that our planet can no longer support us. And eventually nature is going to bite back at us for this.
    I can't put the blame on "the media" for this kind of stuff.

    It would be a terribly ignorant scientists that didn't realise press releases like that would become a major news focus. Climate has been the biggest single story of the past 20 years.

    If they did the actual science - you know, test, verify, peer review, publish in scientific publications - then this wouldn't happen.

    Not to mention that the media is no more independent than any other sector; they merely provide what their buyers want.

    Quote Originally Posted by MystyrMystyry View Post
    Good point - but it's the manner in which we go that worries me: there'll be cannabalism in the streets - no-one'll be safe!

    I mean personally I might be fine for a while because I don't weigh enough to put a dent in the carpet, and will probably be spared til last for toothpicks, but what about the ones who aren't so fortunate? They'll be first to go, and then the rest of us will have to live with the memory...

    Doesn't that bother anyone?
    No.

    I thought that was blindingly obvious. Whether Paris Hilton is wearing panties may be news, but the news that every human being is collectively and individually responsible for the fate of our species most assuredly is not.

    It is a clear example of SEP.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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  13. #13
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    I think it depends whether you're worried about human beings or the planet.

    If we go, the planet will do fine without us, just as it has done fine without pterodactyls.
    That's what I was about to post. The word "doomsday" is a sensationalist term. The only mass extinction that anyone ever talks about is the end of the dinosaurs, but in actuality there have been five "apocalyptic" events, including one in which about 96% of all marine species were terminated. Life always crawls back, it just takes a few million years or so to do it.

    So yeah, even if earth's HUMAN population takes a nose dive because of our actions, I doubt that we're important enough to affect life on earth in a permanent way - especially considering some of the theories of causes of previous mass extinctions, which are as bad if not much worse than what human beings are capable of today (I like the one that suggests that almost everything on earth was killed by massive acid rain storms).

    Quote Originally Posted by MystyrMystyry View Post
    Doesn't that bother anyone?
    It doesn't bother me either, because we're going to die anyway as individuals so the thought of everyone dying collectively isn't that bad. It doesn't affect me personally, whether my family and I die in car crashes or as the result of a nuclear war we'll be in the same state.

    As far as surviving a "doomsday" event for a little while, I guess that would suck. Something tells me we wouldn't survive for very long though, so that's something.
    Last edited by JuniperWoolf; 06-22-2011 at 09:40 PM.

  14. #14
    Excellent summary, Juniper.

    I guess I'm worried about the human endeavor continuing ... it's at least interesting and unique, isn't it? Wouldn't it be cool for it to continue for a couple thousand years? Long enough for humanoids to figure out how to populate other planets, find other energy sources, make it to another solar system ... ? There's a lot out there, and our ridiculously powerful brains should be capable of doing almost anything.
    As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame . . .


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  15. #15
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

    It is a clear example of SEP.

    I think that's an oversimplification. I'd say that in many cases it's not an example of SEP but more commonly an example of AIMPBIIHINGTGRTDAAIALNTW.

    ...which needs a little work before it's taken on universally as a catchphrase, but which is actually rather zippy shorthand for 'admittedly it's my problem but if I'm honest I'm not going to get round to doing anything about it, at least not this week.'
    Last edited by MarkBastable; 06-27-2011 at 03:22 AM.

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