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side discussion about environment

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2184477.ece

I read that food is the worst environmental danger...the long transports, the packaging etc. soon after came the holidays.

Experiece in my little immediate universe conforms that people do not care about the environment if it means even some slight discomfort...recycling, lowering their electricity/energy consumption, walking more, changing their habits even minimally...and the younger generation (age now around 30) is the worst I am afraid, trying to iron any objections to their lifestyle with the argument how busy they are, they have no time to spare to even indirectly support the needed changes. They also make clear that they have the money to pay for their comfort. How terribly short-sighted! In my present position I had to make some such decisions involving energy consumption and you wouldn't believe the resistence to it even if the profit would go directly to the population concerned! It could start a revolution, a mutiny. I didn't back on my decisions but I was really taken aback by the reactions. It is a kind of narcissistic wall that is almost impossible to penetrate. Speaking about evil, here it manifests in a fashionable form.

Think in order to instil some changes the governments need to act and bring about some laws otherwise no one will start. In this case I think it needs to be inforced by an authority from above. Turning only to the grass roots doesn't seem to help. Neither education only (even if necessary as a long time investment) doesn't cut to the chase. It would need to hit the immediate family, a child poisoned to death on spot for a mother to react and if we reach that level it is definitely too late to do something. And this urgency is not in the design of the problem; it is not a heart failure w espeak about right now, it is a cancer, working slowly. It's scary to say the least.

Science doesn't make humanity invulnerable, on contrary many times it contributes to growth of the environmental risks. It is a tricky balance concidering the overpopulation of the globe. We are like termites.

ziki
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Choisya
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Re: (Political)) Side discussion about environment

[ Edited ]
A lot more is being done in Europe Ziki. People have to be made to care through their pockets. Over here we are being taxed or fined for pollution, not recycling, flying too much, having 4-wheel drive cars etc etc. which I know will not sit well with Americans but it is within the much more socialistically (oooooh!) minded European experience. (Danielle in France might usefully comment on this.) Here is some information about a German initiative brought about by a campaign to leave packaging from things you bought at your supermarket:-

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_n1_v26/ai_15382445

All the middle class people I know are making strenuous efforts to recycle absolutely everything, have changed to smaller cars, are thinking about taking holidays in England etc. etc. Not a day goes by when there isn't a news item or documentary on the effects of global warming - to see the polar bears, for instance, without sufficient ice on which to walk and hunt is heartbreaking:smileysad: They are saying that they will be extinct in a few more years which means that my grandchildren will never see one outside of a zoo - tears came to my eyes as I wrote that:smileysad: During WWII the British people lived on rations, could not travel, wore second hand clothes, composted all waste, and, apart from the bombing, had good, healthy lives. Nutritionists say that our diet was much healthier then than now and the people from that generation are living to great old age. If we can do such things to win a war (can wars ever be won???) then we can do it to save this beautiful planet IMO. So there!





ziki wrote:
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2184477.ece

I read that food is the worst environmental danger...the long transports, the packaging etc. soon after came the holidays.

Experiece in my little immediate universe conforms that people do not care about the environment if it means even some slight discomfort...recycling, lowering their electricity/energy consumption, walking more, changing their habits even minimally...and the younger generation (age now around 30) is the worst I am afraid, trying to iron any objections to their lifestyle with the argument how busy they are, they have no time to spare to even indirectly support the needed changes. They also make clear that they have the money to pay for their comfort. How terribly short-sighted! In my present position I had to make some such decisions involving energy consumption and you wouldn't believe the resistence to it even if the profit would go directly to the population concerned! It could start a revolution, a mutiny. I didn't back on my decisions but I was really taken aback by the reactions. It is a kind of narcissistic wall that is almost impossible to penetrate. Speaking about evil, here it manifests in a fashionable form.

Think in order to instil some changes the governments need to act and bring about some laws otherwise no one will start. In this case I think it needs to be inforced by an authority from above. Turning only to the grass roots doesn't seem to help. Neither education only (even if necessary as a long time investment) doesn't cut to the chase. It would need to hit the immediate family, a child poisoned to death on spot for a mother to react and if we reach that level it is definitely too late to do something. And this urgency is not in the design of the problem; it is not a heart failure w espeak about right now, it is a cancer, working slowly. It's scary to say the least.

Science doesn't make humanity invulnerable, on contrary many times it contributes to growth of the environmental risks. It is a tricky balance concidering the overpopulation of the globe. We are like termites.

ziki

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-25-200709:44 AM

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Choisya
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Re: (Political)) Side discussion about environment

[ Edited ]
(This message was moved by Choisya from the main Moby Dick thread.)


LOL. It isn't just heightening the nation's consciousness which is needed Ziki, it is legislation and Europe is taking the lead in this. We already have lots of new laws about pollution, recycling, fuel consumption etc etc but I suspect that this sort of government intervention will never be tolerated over there because it seems too much like the dreaded S word:smileyhappy: The latest over here is a tax on four-wheel drive cars whose owners now have to pay a lot more to park within the London boundaries (where public transport provision is better) - and it will probably spread to other metropolitan areas. Soon holiday air travel - which Tony Blair has just been criticised for - will be more heavily taxed. And so on.




ziki wrote:

Choisya wrote:. Until 'Chindia' gets up to speed of course......Heighho:smileysad::smileysad:



Gosh; I do not even dare to think the thought!
I started a separate thread where we can rant&rave about this.

To heighten the consciousness of the population is a slow process, so far only undertaken by a few if they enter a therapy situation. Some can choose to get engaged politically on the base of their care (not just sheer power). It is an issue of leadership and example.

Majority of people are followers because it is the easiest thing to do that also enables them to stay safe by blaming others (=the evil game).

In this case you'll have to make people to follow. It is a task for generations but we might not have enough time left for that generational shift to happen, especially when the parents of today do not do their job= teach their kids by example...and they don't. Consumption is still the king. We need to reach some consensus on the top levels and it has to be implemented/respected by all the nations no matter how the national standard looks.

ziki

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-25-200709:42 AM

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Re: (Political)) Side discussion about environment



Choisya wrote: The latest over here is a tax on four-wheel drive cars whose owners now have to pay a lot more to park within the London boundaries (where public transport provision is better)





Right, why would one need a four-wheel drive on Pall Mall?
z.
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Re: side discussion about environment and possibly the conclusion- but Moby is never done!

[ Edited ]
We tend to talk about the whale's environmental impact or about a whale's place in an ecology. But I think Melville's main motive for writing Moby was to bring our attention to a phenonomenon that created legendary whales- what I think would be a unique result of the whaling industry, a worldwide industry that slaughtered whales to help cultivate societies, or help settle the American West in the U.S., for example. Some whales, like Moby Dick, made infamous through embellished tales of whalemen around the world, were whales that fought back ,and,as such, became something antagonistic to societies' goals. Collectively, whales became something antagonistic to the world, the focus of a worldwide monomania or perhaps something heroic.

So, we are in many ways, reaching the end or we are the end result of an industry that began centuries ago- the American west has been subdued like a whale. But as we continue to develop and become what I think to be more amalgamated, more unified as a world order, we may also discover that great white whale manifested and discovered many times over by 19th century whalemen whose watch was one moment longer than it should have been, that whale known as Moby Dick, still waits himself for the world to once again descry as Ahab did, "Death! Death to Moby Dick!" Legends live on. But legends are not necessarily truth and Moby Dick was but a whale...

Chad


PS--This may be long way of saying that 1800's authors usually wrote about the environemnet's impact on society, rather than put-together scientific environmental impact analyses- Something that could have been done years ago, but something they did not want to do, it may have been bull@!*% to them at that time. Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmmm...

Message Edited by chad on 02-14-200710:37 AM

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Re: side discussion about environment and possibly the conclusion- but Moby is never done!

I think they were not concerned with nature in the same way we are starting to be now. Nature was there to be conquered, used, exploited or it was romanticized. Perhaps when buffalo was gone it might have hit some people that resources are not endless. Dunno, I didn't study any historical facts, I'm just thinking free style.

ziki
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fanuzzir
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Re: side discussion about environment and possibly the conclusion- but Moby is never done!

the American west has been subdued like a whale


Chad's quote reminds me of a book we all should read some day: Facing West, by Ronald Drinnon, about the mythology of manifest destiny and conquest that led the United States across Indian nations and then across to Vietnam, the far east where MD takes place. It's very true that Melville intended this journey to be both biblical in its resonance with salvation and damnation and also political, concerned about what he considered the imperialistic, narcissistic urge of his nation to make war and expand. I'm not sure Melville would have recognized environmentalism as we know it today, but the living with nature ethos is very much part of his South Sea adventure Typee.
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locomotives

[ Edited ]
Moby turned into science fiction horror as, what I feel Melville tries to convey, we turn whales into machines that ride on rails. Some locomotives actually look like whales, blow steam, become streamlined, etc. But this was not even fiction. I feel Melville was a transcendentalist and as such, might have viewed environmentalism as something that should not be scientific. But I think there are environmental sciences these days.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 02-15-200709:54 AM

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whale nation

It must feel very different for an individual to be a citizien of a whale nation as compared to some tiny nation that gets bullied all the time.

zee
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fanuzzir
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Re: locomotives



chad wrote:
I feel Melville was a transcendentalist and as such, might have viewed environmentalism as something that should not be scientific. .

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 02-15-200709:54 AM






I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing of environmental policy can come from this, though there are passages of surpassing aesthetic beauty that show that Melville thinks of the oceans and its inhabitants as greater than any civilization. (This is the transcedentalist part--that we have a cathedral of wonders around and among us, not just above us). But there's the missing component of environmentalism here about the need to "save" it. Melville's conclusions always concern the human self, the need to reexamine the arrogant ego, the need for human connection. He's a humanist before he's an environmentalist. At least I think so. I think.
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transcendentalism

[ Edited ]
this one had to be deleted- don't know what happened.

Message Edited by chad on 02-16-200709:23 AM

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transcendentalism

I'm not sure where Moby is going at the moment, but I think many of the authors of the 1800's want man to make a connection with Nature- we mimic Nature because we are part of it, but, because we think, we can help it survive. That is, we can help make Nature last and we can help make us last. So, usually in often painstaking but creative ways I think, they bring interesting historical events, cultural phenonemenon and natural phenonemon to our attention.

I've always thought that man was a little out-of-sync with his surrounding world, so I like this time period in particular...

Chad
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Re: transcendentalism

Here's something to chew on: if you read Emerson's essay "Nature" closely, you'll find that the moment that inspires his rhapsody about the "transparent eyeball" of self indivisible with nature takes place on the law in front of his Harvard dorm room. Melville was actually one of the few who went out there and felt the wind in his hair.
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