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Modern Man

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    Posted: 05/16/2012 at 19:58
I listen to Against the Grain allot. There are two songs on there that are especially ... ironic - in a way to me. Modern Man and Unacceptable. See, I work in the timber industry as a forester. I basically design logging plans for a living. The other day I was driving down some bumpy logging road, blasting the stereo, singing along to modern man and suddenly reflected on what I was doing with my life. I dont consider myself of the pioneer mentality of our ancestors. And (possibly through years of brainwashing) I truly believe in conservation - that is that man can manage resources and the environment in ways that benefit everyone. But am I full of it? Is any and all pollution 'unacceptable'? Is it reasonable to believe that Modern Man may yet be able to redeem itself as a tender of earth (not a despoiler)?  
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Warstub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/16/2012 at 20:23
I heard that dinosaurs farted too much and all those toxic gases they released are actually what killed them off. Ironic? I think so; correct? Probably not!
 
If life is cyclic, in terms of renewal and replenishing, then i think there's no reason to believe that humans are solely to blame for much of the ecosystem issues that we face these days. Pollution is unavoidable - even in the natural world. But if we don't manage our own pollution for our own sake, then we (most likely) are going to be less able to deal with any phase of renewal that might sweep the earth in the near future, whether it be from our own making or a part of the natural cycle of planet-wide life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vampailleur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/16/2012 at 21:05
I guess It depends on the amount of timber you harvest. If we respect nature's regeneration capacity, I can't see any problem with that

We can't go back living in the stone age and timber, in a way, can be used as a carbon sink. 

I think the biggest problem, in the western world, is greenhouse gas generation. We need some kind of carbon tax to punish energy-intensive behavior (driving a hummer) and encourage energy reduction (smaller cars, better designed houses, train used for freight instead of trucks, etc.).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robo Pilgrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/17/2012 at 01:21
Originally posted by Warstub Warstub wrote:



I heard that dinosaurs farted too much and all those toxic gases they released are actually what killed them off. Ironic? I think so; correct?


You heard wrong. The methane from all the farting did indeed warm up the planet, but that's not what killed them. The original scientific paper never claimed it was why they went extinct and the journalist who added that part is a moron. Dinosaurs had been farting away for millions of years before they went extinct.

This does raise an important point that humans are not the only animals capable of affecting the temperature of the planet. We are, however, the only ones conscious of it and the only ones that can do something about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote susu.exp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/17/2012 at 01:36
Originally posted by Warstub Warstub wrote:

I heard that dinosaurs farted too much and all those toxic gases they released are actually what killed them off. Ironic? I think so; correct? Probably not!


It´s based on an estimate of methane production by Sauropods. There´s a lot of fishy stuff about that paper, like estimating the total number of Sauropods by taking an estimate from a locality famous for yielding a lot of Sauropods and then extrapolating it on the complete land area of the world. By a similar approach, Taking the population density of Mumbai and the current land area there´s 4.4 trillion humans around...
To make the numbers slightly more believable, there are a couple of fudge factors in the paper and still the number they come up with requires them to state that plant productivity must have been substantially higher than today during the mesozoic (and then earth could have contained that many Sauropods and no other ecological consumers - no fungi, no insects, no mammals, no...).

Originally posted by Warstub Warstub wrote:

If life is cyclic, in terms of renewal and replenishing, then i think there's no reason to believe that humans are solely to blame for much of the ecosystem issues that we face these days.


Life isn´t cyclic in that way and if we accept the numbers we are currently in the midst of a mass extinction that ranks up with the big 5 and we don´t have the impact of a 10km bolide to blame. If we look at the causes of extinction and rank them we end up with HIPPO, ranking them from the most important to the least important: Habitat destruction and fragmentation, Invasive species, Pollution, over-Population, Over-harvesting.
Habitat fragmentation and destruction is to a high degree produced by humans, by turning non-cultured land into cultured land. In the same way, Invasive species are more common due to direct exports by humans (rabbits in Australia one of the most famous cases) but also by accident through global travel. A species of bivalves split into two as the north Atlantic broke up dividing the ancestral stock. In modern days one was native to the shelf area of northern europe, the other in northern america. The larvae of both are planctonic. Tankers pump sea-water into their holds to maintain stability and release it when they take on cargo and such a tanker introduced the North American species to European waters in a Netherlands port - by now they have driven the European one to near extinction.

susu - "100,000 years ago, another great asteroid hit Earth, this time in Africa. That asteroid is named Homo sapiens."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote punkrockjustin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2012 at 12:57
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