Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,992

    Forget the whales -- save the Earth

    Yes, very insightful this article. Although I don't think the author realizes it. There is only so much energy that one can put to an issue, and all is going into global warming. I could support many environmental issues (I consider myself a nature lover and an animal conservationalist), but people are wasting their time and energy as something ambiguous as global warming.

    Forget the whales -- save the Earth
    Global climate change makes all other environmental issues irrelevant.
    By Hal Clifford, HAL CLIFFORD is executive editor of Orion magazine.
    April 21, 2007


    ENVIRONMENTALISM is dead.

    True, there are plenty of events Sunday marking the 38th anniversary of Earth Day. But most of the causes Americans associate with traditional environmentalism recycling, cleaning up a local waterway, protecting a piece of open space, saving an endangered species or even cleaning up the air well, they're pretty much irrelevant now.

    It's not that such green activism is ineffective (as two progressive activists, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, asserted in a provocative 2005 white paper, "The Death of Environmentalism"). My point is more basic. Environmentalism is dead because the vast majority of environmental causes simply don't matter any more. They don't matter in the way that holding a full house doesn't matter when the guy across the table is holding four aces.

    Traditional environmental concerns have been trumped by a single, overriding problem: global climate change. Henry David Thoreau asked, "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

    Environmentalists today face a similar question. Why fight for a local or even national cause when a global change could erase any victory? Preserving a beach ecosystem becomes meaningless if the coast is obliterated by a rising sea. Putting polar bears on the endangered species list is risible if the Arctic ice cap melts away to nothing each summer.

    If you are a dyed-in-the-wool environmental activist, that funny feeling you have is the ground shifting beneath your feet.

    When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes building two new dams in the Sierra, as he did in January, and argues that if California is going to have enough water, they are necessary to compensate for an expected reduction in the state's winter snowpack, how is a good green to respond?

    Once upon a time, there was no target so quick to be challenged by the Sierra Club & Co. as another dam and these dams certainly will be challenged. But Schwarzenegger is right; we should be doing what we can to prepare for climate change, and while I don't know if those dams are a good step, I do know that the governor's argument signals a new, brutal calculus for environmentalists.

    Already, old-school environmentalists Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand, who created the Whole Earth Catalog, have embraced nuclear power as a lesser evil than climate change. Are environmentalists entering an era of wrenching hand-wringing as they choose among evils?

    I hope not. Instead of triage, the right response is to accept the hard truth that the only thing that matters is controlling global warming and preventing catastrophic climate change and then to fight like never before to do that. The dedicated, single-focus activists who make up so much of the environmental movement may, in the future, still be able to save the redwoods, or the Mexican gray wolf, or the whales but only if we save ourselves first.

    It is ironic that what's killing old environmentalism so long derided by its critics as elitist, fringe and special interest is a problem that is, at last, both universal and personal for every human on the planet. Climate change makes moot past environmental issues precisely because it isn't about an obscure species or remote place. It's about us, and our fate. It is about the real possibility of the unraveling of modern civilization. When a cause becomes the central concern of a society, it ceases to be a cause. It becomes an organizing principle for an era and its people.

    Environmentalism may be dead, but we're all environmentalists now.
    Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. [Here are the tears of things; mortality touches the heart. - Virgil]

    "Well, I hope we're not too messianic / Or a trifle too satanic / We love to play the blues" ~ Jagger/Richards, from "Monkey Man"


    At twenty you have many desires which hide the truth, but beyond forty there are only real and fragile truths -your abilities and your failings. ~ T. S. Eliot



  2. #2
    oceanflower Guest
    Environmentalism is dead because the vast majority of environmental causes simply don't matter any more....

    Climate change makes moot past environmental issues precisely because it isn't about an obscure species or remote place. It's about us, and our fate. It is about the real possibility of the unraveling of modern civilization. When a cause becomes the central concern of a society, it ceases to be a cause. It becomes an organizing principle for an era and its people.
    How wonderful that we have given up on all other "causes" such endangered species, the Rain Forest, abused animals. Suddenly all humans should be worried about is "preventing catastrophic climate change. Put all our efforts in a theory called "Global Warming" and to hell with everything else. I don't get it. Sounds like a bunch of kids with a new toy...it's all they want to play with when they first get it 'cause they are bored with their old toys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wakefield, Airstrip One
    Posts
    1,847
    You two are forgetting the overwhelming scientific evidence for global warming, and it's potential to kill far many more people than the lack of whales in the sea or the extinction of one brand of lesser spotted snail...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    british Columbia , Canada.
    Posts
    1,700
    I think we can do both quiet nicely. We can personally stop using excessive fleurocarbons, we don't have to have aerosol everything. That is just a selfish luxury, the pump is fine. And we can all do something about making sure our vehichles are in the best shape for emissions possible. And we can actually try walking or using public transport instead of climbing into the car ever ten minutes because we forget yet something else on the list. And by taking buses you meet many wonderful people who you would never meet otherwise and you can see life through their eyes .It makes your world bigger.
    We can use our votes to give big industries who pollute with impunity a good scare and a hard time. They are not god and have no right to inflict such wanton damage upon the environment.
    Then we can turn our eyes to whatever other causes are out there, crackhouse babies and children that need love and care and protection, cleaning up our cities and such. We all say we have no time but I don't believe it. If every person cut out just two teli shows per day and used that time toward their cause , things would get done. I read an article once that said always give a project to the person that is the busiest and most careful with their minutes and it will get done. We live in a society where we run about like chickens instead of slowing down and actually making small plans for the week, living on some sort of actual disciplined schedule. We do too many extra curricular things that in the end don't amount to much more than a financial and transportational headache. We could just all slow down a bit and stick to real priorities and then air emissions from our vehicles and our causes would more naturally get their due attention.
    there is this family in our city and there are thirteen children in the blended family and both parents of course have to work.They all sit down and talk once a week I think and all schedules are made and each kid is responsible for this and that and watch over one another . It runs like clockwork, all the kids are doing well in school, the house is clean, money is saved from homecooking, the children are slender and healthy from all that walking and they all know about nutrition since they have to make healthy meals and money for junk is limited. It took work but they have stuff to show for it. And all the kids have their little pet thing they love to do. It is amazing what a little thought and planning and hard work can do for a person. And for those who are groaning, rolling their eyes, th rowing themselves down on the floor, hahahaha, think on this.
    These people don't live on credit. They sleep well at night, no financial worries. They work hard to get along and love one another, so they never lack for friends. They are healthy so none or little doctor bills. They are responsible, have no choice, so they are already earning money here and there and using it wisely. They are all answerable to one another and monitered by each other, so they have no opportunity to go and get into trouble. Sounds like a plan to me! They will most likely all contribute more than their fair share to society, which makes me smile anyway.
    "
    I have been formed a comely person;although I am but little, I am highly gifted;Into a dark leathern bag I was thrown, And on a boundless sea I was sent adrift. From seas and from mountians God brings wealth to the fortunate man."Taliesin

Similar Threads

  1. Earth Day 2009
    By Moon Shadow in forum Birthday, Holiday and Get Well Wishes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-23-2009, 03:59 AM
  2. I forget.....hmmm?
    By AAK in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-15-2008, 05:31 PM
  3. Save Darfur
    By incka in forum Crossfire: Political, philosophical and economic issues.
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 05-05-2007, 03:53 AM
  4. Happy Earth Day!
    By oceanflower in forum Birthday, Holiday and Get Well Wishes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-22-2007, 05:14 PM
  5. kill one to save three?
    By Rachel in forum In the News
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-25-2007, 07:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Privacy Policy