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Old December 11 2012, 12:41 AM   #16
Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

From the article, I feel that the scientist is not so much assailing capitalism; he is assailing the thinking that occurs in a capitalist society.

An example from American history. In the decades prior to the Civil War, the Southern aristocracy was getting rich from cotton. They believed that more cotton fields would bring in more profits for them. Their solution? "Offshore" their farm lands to the Midwest, and plant the newly opened fields with cotton. Now you are making more money, and the Midwest plants crops that will be later sold to the South after harvesting.

Then the Civil War comes. The South secedes. The Midwest joins the Union. So, the crops that fed the South are no longer being sent to them, and, in within two years, the South is starving.

This is what I think the scientist is referring to in his analysis, where our thinking is based on short term gains, and we don't create long term plans.

However, I don't think it is exclusive to capitalistic societies. I think it is because this is how we behave as a species.

On Easter Island, the natives devasted their ecosystem as they were erecting massive stone heads to honor their ancestors. Combined with climate change (nothing happens from one cause), their civilization collapsed. The inhabitants weren't capitalists. They were driven by ambition and ancestral reverence to create the next largest statue, and they weren't considering what might happen to their children and grandchildren. We are the same way.

For me, personally, what will bring about the collapse of our civilization will be a combination of factors - environmental, economical, political, religious, et cetera - and, like before, our descendants will build a new civilization on the ruins of the past. We are a cyclical species.

Like others said, we are incapable of screwing up our planet to the point where it is destroyed. We go extinct, the planet keeps on chugging along.
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