Thanks @grey, I appreciate you saying that.
Fair enough, I’m just speaking from a conservation biology and regulatory perspective, not human impact in general and how it might be characterized. Native Americans are Homo sapiens with a little denisovan, and Europeans with a little Neanderthal. I suppose I could be persuaded to agree that early moderns were invasives from the perspective of Neanderthals in Europe
Point taken, but I don’t think it’s just nuance when people describe humans in negative, sometimes moralistic or fatalistic terms- language like Starthief observed, as a virus, and mother nature should rid herself of us.
To give an example, people often bang on about how the main problem with humans is overpopulation leading to ecological impact and no one wants to talk about this great truth apart from climate change. People even say malaria and emerging diseases are a corrective to human overpopulation and sometimes the implication is that South Asians are overpopulated and can’t they just stop. But is the problem really overpopulation per se or poor resource management and carbon output historically by Western nations now impacting countries not historically responsible.
Truth is Mother Nature has no agency, it doesn’t correct things for moral reasons. Things just happen.
Moral reasoning about natural selection can also be very dangerous, leads to ideas like the disabled or intersex being “defective.”
Sapiens makes the point that the change from hunter gather to agriculture caused a massive increase in population. To me most interesting point was that quality of life decreased substantially. With the advent of agriculture we were working longer hours, ate a less healthy diet, and created new diseases!
Hunter gather groups were smaller and needed many square miles to forage. Now we now pack almost a million people into 50 square miles!
Interesting study that show that overpopulation might not be the problem, but the lifestyle of the most wealthy people https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/mb-extreme-carbon-inequality-021215-en.pdf?cid=aff_affwd_donate_id78888&awc=5991_1560581412_1985f11b033caf114b37fbebbfd75e10
I myself try to change my lifestyle to reduce my footprint on the enviroment (not eating meat, drinking tap water, traveling on foot where possible, not flying etc.) but I think there is a lot of pressure put on people to change their lifestyle where the change should be made on corporate/goverment level because for example in Poland AFAIK more drinkable water is being used by coal minig sector than by all the households.
Yes, people think about revolution. We read a lot and learn skills to aid the struggle. Solidarity!
My personal topic is the Spanish civil war and how thousands of American communists, including the musician/composer Conlon Nancarrow joined an international brigade to fight fascism. Sadly fascism won that struggle.
To buttress the study:
I totally agree that if people are arguing for “natural” eugenics as a “solution”, that requires calling out.
I don’t see that implied here yet.
I’m not saying language doesn’t matter. It does. I’m also not saying we can’t dicuss what we mean or go deep, but tone matters too.
Lines is a remarkable community with regards to discussion. People will clarify their thoughts for you if you’re not sure what is meant; but being snippy or swearing at someone in a written forum comes in with a lot of heat. It puts people in a defensive mode that rarely improves the direction.
Occasionally in charged subjects, I am upset by what I read. When I feel like I need to be on blast, I usually step away for a bit – I’ve done that in the democracy thread on multiple occasions.
Please address problematic concerns (we all should), but lines is largely successful because people here are willing to moderate themselves and one another to our community standards. I can only speak to past and present, but there is little evidence to show participants here tend to argue in bad faith.
It’s a fascinating period riddled with interesting personalities and stories.
I agree wholeheartedly. Study finds humans more dangerous than nuclear radiation
i don’t know how much i have to add in this thread but i think large scale, complex problems/systems is hard to systematically understand and act on, especially on an individual level.
however, if we think about how people work and commute today, can we truly say we like the solution? cities are crowded with cars instead of people, and the average commute time is dictated more by the number of traffic lights than the actual distance. if people would commute with bike or public transport, less traffic lights would be needed, and likely the commute times could be lowered on average…
using other forms of transportation than cars also enables productivity during commute and travel, which also would contribute to quality of life and health.
why align society by rules that aren’t humanistic in essence? if we define what we want, society can be aligned to these goals instead of production of random goods and entertainment of low quality.
All this talk about overpopulation is just the same old Malthusian nonsense propagated by the western upper and upper middle classes since forever because it suits their agenda. "We must let poor people starve because that’s how nature intended it” is the message. It’s gross and it is wrong. Overpopulation is not the problem and never will be. Our mode of production, consumption and distribution, that is the problem. This problem can be fixed if action is taken.
These semantic debates about what is human nature or animal nature is a total dead end. We are human beings, not animals, by definition, period. We can make conscious choices and steer our future.
my view is that no judgements should be formed unless you can observe it with ur physical senses.
That would pose a few problems even in the science world. There are many things which must be inferred. For example, the entire field of evolutionary biology can not be observed with our physical senses. Instead we form theories based on testable and confirmed hypothesis that infer relationships among and across organisms.
Homo sapiens is an invasive species
This is another concept that has changed over the years in the biology world. Invasive relative to what. Ideas of primary and secondary succession, and of competition for resources has historically been very anthropocentric. It’s also why we rarely hear the term ecosystem health in contemporary ecology research. I would say that Homo Sapiens are consuming resources with little forethought at an unsustainable rate at the expense of coexistence and environmental responsibility. But that doesn’t roll off the tongue very well
Edit: After rereading this thread in its entirety, I want to clarify my contributions are intentionally devoid of human centric concepts as they relate to any scientific definitions, theories, or ideas, even though global climate change and its solutions require more than science alone.
The more educated and aware people become the more they can see how their choices impact others. And their surroundings.
In my opinion, there are a lot of other problems indeed, but I disagree that overpopulation is not in any way related. From my point of view though, overpopulation is not only a cause, it is also a symptom. A symptom that we’ve overridden the capacity of the earth and not been able to listen to the natural “instincts” that most small scale populations had about the planet’s limitations, western civilization mostly forgot about that, we’re not as connected to our senses as we should be.
The problem is partly that we’ve constructed a paradigm where being rational has replaced feeling, and we destroyed most civilizations that organically regulated themselves through their beliefs, attitudes and limitations toward/in their environment. It served us well (mostly western civilization), indeed, because we got a lot of confort out of it, but in doing so we got confronted to the limits of our ecosystem in welcoming us and we failed to acknowledge them. The systematic problem in climate change, and capitalism, is our society’s reliance on the idea that we have unlimited resources (thus unlimited growth) while they are limited; in conjonction with the belief that we’re rational actors while we have an incapacity to envision long term consequences to our actions (both individually and as a society). Despite our self-assessed intelligence, we seem to be lacking in terms of imagination. We live in an era where some mothers have forgotten how to behave in front of their newborn children.
I’m of the opinion that many of our ways are not fit for the planet. What was the world’s population naturally “regulated” to ? I think I heard it was about 500’000 people, we’re well past that. Think of all the problems that first arose when we got past that ? Plague; because we’re not naturally made to survive in the density of a modern city. I heard that Paris would be autonomous for approx. 24hours if there were to be a transportation shortage. How did we get to 7 billion ? By overriding the system, being cooperative and creative through technology that’s mostly bound to disappear (fossil fuels). The main launchpad we relied on to make most of the progress we benefit from today is basically a short-term exploit that’s about to disappear, yet it seems that we’re unable to learn from that. What solutions do people envision ? More of the same. Most renewable energy systems rely on fossil fuels all the same to be built, and maintained. When thinking (hoping) of solutions to that anthropocentric problem, we, once more, place our hopes in technology and human science to save us, while the answer lies in sacrifice of many of the stuff that came to define the advancement of our species, because they are not in accordance with the boundaries of the world we live in.
Now, please tell me, how would we get the energy necessary to feed all of us without fossil fuels on which we rely on for about 97% of the production of anything, with our pesticides ridden soil, with our more and more lifeless oceans. And that’s not even speaking about the climatical conditions we’ll have to confront at the same time. How do we un-globalize the world which is now based on globalization for most of the goods we have ? How do we incentivize a single country to change if the others don’t follow ?
There are many many incertainties. I don’t advocate for a massive genocide or anything else, but I think it will happen naturally, whether by war (because of the race to the favorable resources and environment, mostly), whether by the climatic conditions, or by both. A collapse will happen, it may be sudden, it may be slow, it may be in suffering or not, but it will happen, because the system (of which we are apart of) is bound to regulate itself. In the mean time, we just have to work on being cooperative and creative in problem solving once again, but with the limits of the environment in mind, and to hopefully preserve as much as we can of ourselves and our history.
Wow that’s crazy, but makes total sense.
Those are really eye opening. That 11 year deadline sounds pretty grim. Makes me wonder what kind of protest would it take to make the changes that are needed. It might take 11 years for cases to get through court to stop fossil fuel industry and after that time you might not win.
Yeah I get that totally…I should have made it clear that I was talking about forming judgements based on information from the internet and other widely publicised media. I feel one needs a particular type of discernment when gathering information in this present era.
“Communism doesn’t work because you have to pay competent and educated people more, and value them more than incompetent people, because people are motivated out of self-interest and expect that skill is rewarded. Otherwise you have the elevation of incompetent party apparatchiks.”
I don’t believe in state communism either but this type of language/argument seems like trying to wash the ugly off of capitalism, particularly if you are discussing things at large scale societal restructuring for social and ecological balance. To me this entire argument is based only around some of the worst aspects of capitalist thinking- you only value people by how you pay them, and people do what they do because of what it pays. Why go into healthcare? Certainly not because you want to help people, or because you have a strong sense of empathy, but because you get valued by society because of what it pays. Go into scientific research because it pays (let us pretend here for a moment that is true…), rather than because you enjoy research, or figuring out how things work, or are scientifically curious, or want to contribute to our understanding of the world. If people who do or produce things which are more valuable can be valued more under any form of capitalism then why are teachers or care workers paid unlivable wages when someone who creates the idea of starvation wages a millionaire?
Regarding the idea of competent and incompetent - competent at what? when? If I can fix broken pluming and you can’t at any given moment then I’m competent and you aren’t. If I need my computer fixed maybe you are competent and I am not. Using words like this are a slippery slope and seems like a dark final conclusion of how we treat so called “skilled” and “unskilled” labor. As far as some sort of societal competence I would argue that anyone given equal education and direct democratic access to a less hierarchical and coercive society is competent to participate in the shaping of their surroundings.
Also by creating worker controlled collectives you eliminate the problem of the owner/boss/CEO. I would argue rather than being concerned with what is the ethical limit to which someone should be allowed to derive value from those under them the question is how do you increase the quality of the life of the workers (decreased working hours/pressure, increased safety, better social conditions, training, so on…). Amazon needs to cut down on worker hours and so on, yes. Will they do it? No. Because Bezos will milk everyone for everything he can until it is no longer viable, at which point he will have been able to financially insulate himself from the consequences of his actions anyway (socially and environmentally). Would Amazon workers exploit themselves this way if they collectively owned and ran it? I find that highly doubtful.
This also offers a variety of potential ecological solutions as well. If it were not economically necessary to their survival how many people would do environmental harm to the extent that we do to their own surroundings? Do we frack or do mountaintop removal or large scale deforestation or monocrop farming because we find it enjoyable or in the interest of our own wellbeing? If we are going to speculate about societal and ecological change why not work towards something better than attempting to restructure a destructive and exploitative system to work for just a few more people than it currently does, rather than working to eliminate it?
I would love for you to explain this more, as I truly cannot grasp what you are saying. Scarcity is (often) an artificial, ahistorical concept, used to inflate prices and permit ruling classes to extract additional surplus value. When we’re talking about natural resources, it’s a bit more complicated, but we’ve never lived under a system where means of production (and extraction, and transmission) of raw materials are governed democratically at a global scale and we won’t as long as markets for essential raw materials exist. Dissolution of markets = preservation of our planet with the added benefit of equal access to resources across geographies.
I encourage you to research Cuba’s medical system. Doctors make ~2 times what a fieldworker makes. Despite that, they have 3 times the density of doctors that the United States has. This is a very complex issue we could have a whole thread on, but it’s worth noting that despite over 50 years of aggression and imperialism that Cuba has faced by the U.S., the degradation of Eastern bloc, and even more sanctions coming down the pipeline, Cuba still produces the largest amount of doctors that work internationally in humanitarian aid situations. citation
Maybe it isn’t that socialism doesn’t pay competent people more, it’s that it doesn’t essentialize jobs that are otherwise useless outside of market contexts (advertisement, marketing, CEOs [lol])
The workers who control the productive forces of the industry.
UBI simply raises the poverty floor by a little bit, it is not a rigorous, long-term solution. Not condoning everything in this, but it’s an engaging read that complicates UBI.
Amazon needs to not union bust. Daddy Amazon isn’t going to care for it’s workers, workers need to take the power back.
We should probably start another thread, this seems like a conversation separate from democracy, but also not fitting for Climate Collapse.
EDIT: tone policed myself, things got ugly for a second…