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Old December 26 2013, 12:07 PM   #109
Edit_XYZ
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Location: At star's end.
Re: Mars One - Unethical?

Spirit of Christmas Present wrote: View Post
*bangs head on keyboard* Argh! What an ingeniousely simple solution! Oh dear, I really need that vacation!
I think you'd have liked matrix He was an interesting poster, sometimes a bit controversial but always up to a good discussion. Very nice kid, though at times a bit hotheaded (but hey, so am I and I'm ancient).


So, returning to the point where we initially disagreed: destruction of the planet.
That was perhaps phrased a bit too general on my side. But can we agree that humans are doing a great deal of harm to the ecosystem?

I'm admittedly very partial because in my job I am confronted with these things every day: people in our (somewhat poor) neighbouring country heat with cheap brown coal which contains a horrible lot of sulphur. When you burn it, it forms sulphur dioxide which evaporates with the smoke. It then connects to the moisture in the air and you get sulphuric acid rain. In consequence our forrests die slowly but surely.
Apart from the reduced oxigen production and Carbondioxide uptake, there are other consequences: the forrests are like a sponge and store water. The groundwater level has fallen dramatically in my area over the last decades (while the water use has actually gotten less - we save wherever we can. Example: average German uses less than 10 gallons per day; average US citizen uses more than 30 gallons per day; industrial use not included in these figures).
When the forrests die, the soil doesn't get held in place by roots anymore: our mountains turn to deserts.
This makes the rain (and avalanches!) come down a good deal faster on the villages and towns. Floods come quicker and much higher than they used to.
The microclimate is affected as well since the forrests kept the wind off. We get worse storms than we used to.
And those are merely the consequences of using the wrong fuel for heating in my area (not even globally). And only the consequences for humans. The native flora and fauna is affected much worse than we are.
A, yes - acid rain destroying the forests - the environmental scare of the 1980s:
"Forests are beginning to die at a catastrophic rate. One year ago, West Germany estimated that 8% of its trees were in trouble. Now 34% are...that forests are in trouble is now indisputable. Experts told all Germany's conifers would be gone by 1990 and the Federal Ministry of the Interior predicted all forests would be gone by 2002"

Bunk. Acid rain (though a real phenomenon) at past and current levels, did not - and does not - kill forests. NOT EVEN CLOSE. It doesn't even damage them. Scientists eventually admitted that forests thrived in Germany, Scandinavia and North America during the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, despite acid rain.

The lengths - and attempted fraud - that acid rain alarmists in the EPA went to to prevent the result of the NAPAP study reaching Congress before crucial votes in the early 1990s is well documented:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=2503,7765551
Of course, this is far from the single example of such fraud from environmental alarmists.

The problem is that this is no isolated phenomenon. On a planet everything is connected. We are dealing with equations with zillions of unknown factors. This way we can hardly predict the consequences of what we are doing. But I think the example shows that the consequences can unexpectedly get terribly huge.

When I go out with school classes, we play a game: everyone gets a card with an animal or a plant. We use a ball of wool and everyone holds the thread and throws the ball to a person who has a plant or animal that interacts with their own one. After a few rounds you have a huge spiderweb Now we extinct one animal or plant. The kid with that card drops his threads. And the whole web breaks down.
I love that game because it visualizes the connections so well. A kid that once played it will always have an understanding for the connections in an ecosystem.
So - have no facts to base your alarmism on and, as such, you resort to a detail-free black box you label interconnectedness. Why? In order to pretend actions that have been shown to either have no effect or have minimal effect are, in fact, 'ruining the planet'?
Lol. Again, color me unimpressed.

Unsurprisingly, you're hugely underestimating the adaptability and robustness of the ecosystem. If it was as frail as you pretend, it would never have survived past extinction events - large and small.
The small percentage of species that went extinct in the 'Holocene extinction' (I gave the numbers and the percentages in a previous post on this very thread) again prove you wrong.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; December 26 2013 at 04:04 PM.
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