Friday, 18 December 2009

facebook conversation

As a responce to a facebook conversation I thought I would answer the questions I was asked. Since Facebook does not provide enough space, I thought I would answer them here.

Honestly, you two seem to have it in your heads that you are qualified to tell other people how to live.

and you seem to think you are so godly that no one can offer you any advice or suggest to you anything other than what you are doing. This is a typical attitude of somone brought up in "the machine" which promotes all to be individuals, expect rights but not accept any responsibility.
stop breathing in the air of your own smug and adress this question ..."What do you suggest?"" What would you have me do?"

Ok ... I'll step up to that plate ... I suggest you actually look at things, you know, you have the ability to stop listening to all the confusion created by who can yell loudest (belongs on an ICE Hockey ring, but not in reasonable discussions) and start reading and looking.

I don't just mean here on Facebook or "some website" I mean start doing research yourself using reputable data and verifiable sources.

I can't spoon feed you what you should do yourself but I can say that IF you have QUESTIONS go seek the answers, you may find that they are not what you have been told.

For instance I once worked for a company that goes by the nickname of GS in Tokyo. At that time I was reading about Australia and I was pissed off at what I was reading about "drought" and water supply in my home town.

I felt from the reports (having lived there the first 20 years of my life) that the issues were presented wrongly and that the facts were being distorted. After some research I decided I would quit my job and try to fight this in the only way which I thought made sence. Via the established system not via some protests.

My intention has been to get involved with the administration, legislation formation and planning
Understand that I enjoy being able to clean my asshole with toilet paper,

so do you just waste reems of it? Do you value it in any way ...
and that much as our grandparents had everything they needed, so did feudal Japan, medieval Europe,

a key element of things are missing between them and us.


I bet your grandfather would be annoyed at you leaving food on your plate, wasting stuff, throwing away what can be repaired.

I'm aware (more than most I'm sure) that stuff dies so that I can live.

I've grown and killed and my own food. I'm not afraid of it and I'm not some pathetic squealer who talks about the horrors of the meat industry while eating at Mackers. In this case this is my wife butchering a hare ... tasted pretty good too.

I guess that out here it would classify as "Organic meat".

So I respect what I eat and know what it means to be fed (it means something died for me to live).

Weather its a hare we shot on our property (for eating the food we grow) or a fish I've caught, its something living which I killed so that I can eat.

I don't expect many Americans (with a burger in their mouths) would be able to do this and will probably label me a freak or something.

But I counter that everyone who eats does this or pays someone else to do the dirty work. At least I am aware of what it all means, aware of what my choices mean and aware of the responsibility to respect what I depend on .. you know, we all depend on the environment.

you then say:

Shit, to be quite honest, I could tell you both stories that would turn your stomach about waste and pollution. But I know that because of that waste and pollution hundreds and thousands and millions of people can afford to eat and have a roof over their heads. If you can show me a different system, please do.

So I would ask you about your ethics ... and suggest that you've justified this to yourself based on swallowing a lie.

Once upon a time I used to have a job as an electronics technician, servicing 2 way radios, for the last 15 years that's been a no go as stuff is made by big factorys (assembled by robots) to take away the possiblity that I can even do this work.

The choices we make in how we do things today (eg make to throw away) have profound impacts on not only the environment but on people. Micro economic prospects disappear.

Of course, we all exploit our environment, every creature does. But we exploit it in a wanton way which is at a scale which defies comprehension (thus many don't).
But, people as a whole wanted more.... See More

Yes, people are fundamentally greedy. Our society is not driven by people anymore, its driven by systems. These systems (legal entities) have no ethics, they are just mechanisms or instruments we have created (assuming you know anything about law too). They give us exactly what they think we want, and have totally different rules of governance than you do over your kid. These machines run our lives and actually have no way of perceiving the environment, because they are not made of the stuff we are.

How do you punish a company? You can't. Thats another fundamental shift ... we are not governed or directed by people any longer, but by systems which have people in them. The systems constrain the people to do what the systems want (and if you don't they'll eject you and put in someone who will). The interesting thing is we made these systems.

People make metaphors on this (Skynet in the Terminator and the Matrix) but rarely do people grasp that these mechanisms are both real (in a legal sence) and yet not of our world. Before you dismiss this idea just think about the National Government of any Country and ask if anyone has any control over it.

Have you heard yourself say "politicans today just do what the polls suggest, they're not really interested".

I think you'll see what I mean.

You raise the point that:

Unfortunately, exploiting natural resources causes an environmental impact.

Yes, but are we doing things as best practice or not? I'm pretty sure not. Do you agree with exploiting little children just because you're more powerful than them? Or do you not do that because "that's illegal" ... well, what it if wasn't?

Think about how many people are employed by the natural resources sector. Then consider basic economics, and what would happen to the rest of the economy if you suddenly pulled out all those jobs because they're "dirty."

You are quoting black and white sorts of all or nothing nonsense ... think about things differently. Have you considered that people could be employed in "green jobs".

For instance, the State Government in Queensland wanted to build another dam to provide more water for farmers in the "drought" (where the water would come from to fill the dam in a drought is a question I won't go into here).

However another government agency did a review on that and found that:
  • unless the dam would be built just to give the farmers water for free, the cost of water provided this way would either be borne by the community or have to be sold to the farmers to cost recover. The Farmers would not accept the water at that cost: thus the dam was not economically sustainable in reality
  • farmers were wasting their water through poor practices such as this
    which just encourages evaporation losses
  • any jobs created by the dam construction would be short term thus not sustainable
  • all required water needs could be met using alternative methods of irrigation, thus there reallywas enough water for all needs and expansion
  • more jobs would be created in the irrigation industry than in the dam building which would be local and sustainable, benefiting the small towns

The real kicker on this project was that the State Department of Works review found that it would cost less to do the alternative than the Business as Usual solution.

I would encourage you to start thinking about this problem differently. You might notice that I have not once dipped into religious rhetoric about saving the planet or climate change or even said you have to have less ... I have only argued for doing things better and doing things which don't count out humans.

Have you seen this new term getting around "jobless recovery" .. yes, so as the economy "recovers" we don't generate jobs ... lovely.

Doing things better does not mean going back to the stone age. For instance, take a moment to read some ideas in this blog of mine, I discuss some practical ideas on how we could make better use of our power and water grids.

Try reading this post on this blog or even take a look at my masters thesis here, for more ideas on a theme called "Ecological Modernisation". Which does not seek to take us back to the caves, it seeks to advance us, move deeper into technology to seek answers to problems and encourage ethical use of resources.

With our global population going through the roof


and our habits of dumping things "over the fence" or taking it "away" are rapidly becoming impossible (cos someone is there already). Presently we're taking the approach of dumping it on the poor and the weak because we can.

But that's ethics again.

So ... I think I've answered your questions, and told you what I'm doing ... what are YOU going to do? Go on holding the coats of people who pollute to turn your stomach while they get rich and you get the blankets and beads in the short term?

The ball is in your court fella ...

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