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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:35 am 
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bradhurley wrote:
jim stone wrote:
I think nature sucks, personally.


So much for the biophilia hypothesis. :)


It just killed off or maimed most everybody I loved.
But it's fine with me that you love nature,
as long as you don't go all mushy on me.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:36 am 
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I didn't know that about Bush Sr.

So it might be accurate to say that the present Bush administration's policies are doing a disservice to the Republican environmental legacy by allowing the party to be stereotyped as anti-environmental, which isn't historically correct.

This appears to be an issue that gets addressed according to the beliefs and agenda of individual presidents, irrespective or party, and there is no clear trend that would give either party a legitimate claim on the issue.

Best wishes,
Jerry


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:44 am 
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jim stone wrote:
bradhurley wrote:
Bush Sr. was actually pretty good when it came to environmental policy. Most of the voluntary greenhouse gas reduction programs in the Clinton Administration's climate action plan were actually created during the Bush administration, such as Energy Star. Bush Sr.'s administration also supported strengthening the Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer, which Bush Jr. is currently trying to weaken.


Thanks so much; you've made my day.


Don't get too carried away, Jim. Bush Sr. obviously wasn't too hot at educating his son. :D

Well, maybe you disagree. But if Bush Sr's stance was just a matter of political expediency that backfired, I don't see that he has anything to take credit for.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:46 am 
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jim stone wrote:
Bush Sr. ran as an environmentalist president,
and strengthened the Clean Air and Water Act,
for which he earned the undying contempt
and ridicule of environmentalists.


He also got shortchanged by the media on his environmental record. I went to a few of Bush Sr.'s climate change speeches when I worked as a journalist, and I sat right next to the environmental reporters from the NY Times and the Boston Globe. I was amazed when I read their newspaper stories the next day: it was as if we'd listened to different speeches. Both of those reporters had a knee-jerk negative opinion of Bush, and most of their articles were devoted to presenting environmentalists' reactions to the speeches rather than the substance of the speeches themselves. I was always skeptical of the presumed "liberal bias" of the media, but that experience made me think twice. The NY Times thought twice too, as they later reassigned that particular reporter to cover the IRS, and he resigned.

To be fair, Bush Sr. got pushed politically into a lot of the environmental policies he proposed; I don't know if he would have proposed them on his own volition. But he wasn't an environmental villain, and certainly not the ideologue his son is. And speaking of ideologues, this quote from Tom Robbins comes to mind:

"The ultimate end of any ideology is totalitarianism. Today, the religious right and the academic left seem to be in some kind of competition to brutalize the gene pool. As agents of homogenization, both sides are committed to institutionalized mediocrity. They want to re-create the world in their image, and re-create society to fit the contours of their fears."

He said that in 1993, in an interview with the New York Times.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:47 am 
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Jimmy Carter cared more about left-wing principles than
anybody I can remember. He was a feminist, he made
human rights a centerpiece of his administration,
and so on. For this he earned the vocal hatred of
liberals, who denounced him at every turn.
His human rights program was a sham and
sheer deception, he cared nothing for women,
and on and on. Nobody hated Carter worse
than the people to whom he tried to give
what they wanted. When Carter lost the election to Reagan there were
howls of outrage from these people who had
blasted Carter for years.

The moral is clear: if the left hates politicians
who try to give them what they want, if nothing
is good enough for them, politicians will
move to the right. It's silly to pay attention
to people who will hate you no matter
what you do. Best


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:50 am 
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jim stone wrote:
bradhurley wrote:
jim stone wrote:
I think nature sucks, personally.


So much for the biophilia hypothesis. :)


It just killed off or maimed most everybody I loved.
But it's fine with me that you love nature,
as long as you don't go all mushy on me.


Ah, not to worry :) I'm no believer in a benign "mother nature." I guess part of what I love about nature is its "otherness," its total lack of humanity and compassion. Nature doesn't care about us, it's just there. Humans couldn't have invented nature if they tried.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:55 am 
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bradhurley wrote:
jim stone wrote:
bradhurley wrote:
jim stone wrote:
I think nature sucks, personally.


So much for the biophilia hypothesis. :)


It just killed off or maimed most everybody I loved.
But it's fine with me that you love nature,
as long as you don't go all mushy on me.


Ah, not to worry :) I'm no believer in a benign "mother nature." I guess part of what I love about nature is its "otherness," its total lack of humanity and compassion. Nature doesn't care about us, it's just there. Humans couldn't have invented nature if they tried.


Well, it certainly has a lot of otherness.
If you're looking for total lack of compassion,
you've gone to the right place. And, in truth,
I think I understand why you find that
beautiful. As it's come much too close to
me for comfort, I mostly want to control it and,
if possible, transcend it. Also preserve it,
if I have the opportunity. But I have other
priorities, too. Best


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:59 am 
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elendil wrote:
Oh, I never said I don't care about such things, and I do have children. My question was, as a matter of theory, why should anyone care about such things? Is it just a matter of personal choice or preference? If so, why should anyone else care? Is it a moral imperative for one and all? If so, how does one know that?


If there is no ethical imperative to avoid harming others, what else is there to be ethical about?

Caj


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:08 pm 
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Yes, it's hard to see what's the difference in doing what
causes harm to future generations and doing
what causes harm to people alive today who live
far away.

If I may express my doubtless biased opinion
about Bush Sr. I think he was in some ways
a remarkably sincere fellow for a politician.
I think he did care about the environment
and this was part of his reason for running
on environmentalist concerns, among others.
It isn't as though politicians and Republicans
are men from Mars--many of us care about
nature and so on, why not him?
What I have trouble forgiving him for was
the extraordinarily inept campaign he ran
against his successor, who Bush
completely underestimated. Bush
ran like a man who didn't want to
win. Best


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:11 pm 
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Caj wrote:
elendil wrote:
Oh, I never said I don't care about such things, and I do have children. My question was, as a matter of theory, why should anyone care about such things? Is it just a matter of personal choice or preference? If so, why should anyone else care? Is it a moral imperative for one and all? If so, how does one know that?


If there is no ethical imperative to avoid harming others, what else is there to be ethical about?

Caj


I don't making a habit of guessing at what Elendil thinks, but I suppose what puzzles him here is that the future generations consist of beings who don't yet exist and he's puzzled about how you can harm something that doesn't exist. If he accepted a cosmology which embraced absolute space-time there'd be no problem—the future generations do exist (timelessly) somewhen else, but I think cosmologies like this are a few thousand years too modern to appeal to him. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:17 pm 
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Kindly note my earlier post on this, above,
and my arguments for absolute space-time. Best


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:25 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Kindly note my earlier post on this, above,
and my arguments for absolute space-time. Best


Sorry for the lapse in scholarship Jim. Now let me correct yours. The view Wombat failed to attribute to Jim Stone is the same view that Jim Stone failed to attribute to Minkowski and Einstein. :P

Scholarly propriety restored now I think. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:27 pm 
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Oh, God!

I admire the exceedingly clear and economical
way you expressed this issue.
I've been driven to accept absolute space-time. Best


Last edited by jim stone on Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:28 pm 
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Wombat wrote:
One last remark. On questions like overpopulation, do not look to traditional normative theories to talk sense about the current situation. Arguably, until the last 50 years, nobody could have anticipated the current crisis and it would be, IMO, foolhardy to think that traditional brands of moral theory contain the wisdom we'll need to solve this problem. 'Be good stewards' is no longer compatible with 'go forth and multiply' now that we have gone forth and exponentiated.

Well said!

What the world doesn't need is people who are just in this for the merry old ride who, through some form of disattachment to reality, think they can do anything they like to the world and it will somehow still miraculously survive. It doesn't take an experiment to know what will happen if we ignorantly abuse nature. We're still learning what we can do and what we cannot. And for those who refuse to comprehend, we create regulations to help enforce otherwise careless actions. What we can't control, we call an act of God. What we can control are the ignorant acts of human beings, like those old lead melting pots of Rome.


By studying earth's climates changes over the last 200,000 years, we're learning that when ocean currents warm--causing winds, storms, shorline erosion, and flooding--it also eventually causes vast percipitation in the form of snow in the northern regions. And, these large accumulations of snow will affect the climate too, almost to the point of what goes around comes around. And then, for some reason, when it has snowed enough and when another ice age has emerged, for some mysterious reason, that we are still studying, nature will cause the ice to recede once again, like the ebbs and flows of the rest of life.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:28 pm 
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missy wrote:
I remember when you "published" an article not just to see your name in print (although that's always great) but so that your fellow scientists could read the report, digest it, critique it, try to prove or disprove your hypothesis, and later publish their own report.


That's still the way it happens. Then again, my own field is not as politicized as others.

I feel for those poor scientists who produce politically popular or unpopular results, spending years of their life working below the poverty line and not getting a "real" job until their 30s, only to be accused for all their labors of producing "junk science'' by some corporate interest. And then on the other hand, they have to deal with activists who purposely blow their work out of proportion---or media outlets that blow just about every scientific discovery out of proportion naturally.

Quote:
Hypothesis / Experimentation / Data / Conclusion / Proving or DISPROVING of hypothesis. The Scientific Theory. Something sorely lacking in "science" today.


What you describe is properly called the scientific "method". A scientific "theory" is a quantitative model for predicting future observations.

And if this is lacking in science today, why the heck am I running all these simulations instead of going outside?

Caj

[Oh yeah, the snow.]


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