Mod+ 258. JOHN MICHAEL GREER ON OUR MYTH OF PROGRESS

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    This is spot on! Take an ultra-green family living in a remote place with a camp fire, and using a stream for washing, and multiply that up a few billion times!
    Again that is spot on. Many of them must realise some of the lies, and lies by implication. Whenever you see an image of the steam coming out of a power station, lit so that the steam looks polluting, you know that someone decided reality needed sexing up (a technical phrase best understood in the UK) a bit.

    Why wouldn't they insist that their conferences use as little resource as possible - minimal food, no alcohol, and no heating or air conditioning? Hold them in slums to make all delegates more aware of the issues involved?

    David
     
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  2. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    The green movement is not uniform.
    There are very powerful green lobbies which are not really green at all in the true sense.
    They are funded and run by elite capitalists for purposes which have nothing to do with the environment.

    Most ordinary people who are concerned for the Earth are not genocidal misanthropes or jet-setting capitalist elites.

    The whole environmental discussion has been hijacked by all kinds of special interests.

    In spite of all the rhetoric there is a real issue of the impact of our current form of industrial civilisation on the biosphere.
    Like it or not humanity will have to deal with that, sooner or later.
    A rational humanity would deal with it sooner; but it seems to me as a species we are not yet fully rational.
    We have a rational capacity (most of us), which tends to be subordinated to other more base capacities and drives.

    The capitalist free market system, which dominates today, tends to subjugate reason in service to greed & power.
    The corporate ethos, business model and hierarchical management & control structure actively selects for sociopathy.
    This makes the corporations the most powerful and dangerous organisations in the world today.
     
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  3. mybell

    mybell New

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
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  4. mybell

    mybell New

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  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    The point is that that sort of rhetoric seems to open the field up to green extremists, who only seem to want to make things uncomfortable and expensive for everyone else - and I mean everyone, including the very poor in the Third World, who are supposed to make do with renewable electricity.

    In many ways we have been dealing with green issues for years - the smog's of years gone by in the UK are gone. Our rivers have been extensively cleaned up too, etc. The problem comes with intolerant Greens who insist that all sorts of changes need to be made, and then ignore the consequences. Read Mybell's links - where are all the Greens bemoaning that idiocy?

    David
     
  6. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    Plenty of rational people who care about the biosphere regard the kind of thing Mybell posted as crazy.

    There are extremists on every side of these issues.
    How about the reactionary capitalists who want there to be no environmental standards at all; or health & safety standards; etc.

    There is a reactive irrationality in some of the anti-green and anti-environmental opinions expressed.
    A sweeping generalist tarring and feathering of anyone who expresses any concern about the environment or the biosphere as extremist genocidal misantropes. I think that kind of thing plays right in to the pseudo debates fostered by the corporate media cartel.
     
  7. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    David, I understand your passion and feel no personal enmity towards you. I accept that many ordinary environmentalists are sincere (if deluded in the matter of CO2). I also accept that there are some big corporate types, perhaps particularly in the world of finance, who only care about money and power. However, the latter are matched by some of the big names in the environmental movement who are amazingly dishonest and misanthropic, and, moreover, have been startlingly open about it. A good summary of such candid statements (all a matter of public record) can be found here:

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    Just a few samples:

    "The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself
    ."
    - Club of Rome

    "We need to get some broad based support,
    to capture the public's imagination...
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
    make simplified, dramatic statements
    and make little mention of any doubts...
    Each of us has to decide what the right balance
    is between being effective and being honest.
    "
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    lead author of many IPCC reports

    "We've got to ride this global warming issue.
    Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
    we will be doing the right thing in terms of
    economic and environmental policy.
    "
    - Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    "No matter if the science of global warming is all phony...
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world
    ."
    - Christine Stewart,
    former Canadian Minister of the Environment

    The data doesn't matter. We're not basing our recommendations
    on the data. We're basing them on the climate models
    .”
    - Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

    "I believe it is appropriate to have an 'over-representation' of the facts
    on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience
    ."
    - Al Gore,
    Climate Change activist

    "The only way to get our society to truly change is to
    frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe
    ."
    - emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

    "Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything and
    it is unaware of its own limits. These facts must be faced squarely.
    Sacrilegious though this may sound, democracy is no longer well
    suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature
    of many of today’s problems do not always allow elected
    representatives to make competent decisions at the right time.
    "
    - Club of Rome,
    The First Global Revolution

    "If we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of
    saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
    an ecologically sound society under socialism.
    I don't think it is possible under capitalism
    "
    - Judi Bari,
    principal organiser of Earth First!

    "Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty,
    reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control
    ."
    - Professor Maurice King

    "The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the
    worst thing that could happen to the planet
    ."
    - Jeremy Rifkin,
    Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

    "My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
    about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
    and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
    returning throughout the world
    ."
    -Dave Foreman,
    co-founder of Earth First!

    "Human beings, as a species,
    have no more value than slugs
    ."
    - John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

    "Humans on the Earth behave in some ways like a
    pathogenic micro-organism, or like the cells of a tumo
    r."
    - Sir James Lovelock,
    Healing Gaia

    "The Earth has cancer
    and the cancer is Man
    ."
    - Club of Rome,
    Mankind at the Turning Point

    "I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.
    It played an important part in balancing ecosystems
    ."
    - John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

    "Childbearing should be a punishable crime against
    society, unless the parents hold a government license.
    All potential parents should be required to use
    contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing
    antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing
    ."
    - David Brower,
    first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

    "The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon
    the emergence of a new faith in the future.
    Armed with such a faith, we might find
    it possible to resanctify the earth.
    "
    - Al Gore,
    Earth in the Balance

    "Christianity is our foe. If animal rights is to succeed,
    we must destroy the Judeo-Christian Religious tradition
    ."
    - Peter Singer, founder of Animal Rights

    Fact is, there are cynical and frankly unsavoury people both supporting and opposing the Green Agenda. Many on both sides in their own way see themselves as holding the moral high ground. Supporters making the kinds of statements shown above display a pseudo-spiritual agenda (pseudo because I don't see how lying and misanthropy can be characterised as spiritual). On the other hand, everyone accepts that there are villains on the corporate side.

    I call a plague on both their houses, but of the two, I see the Green agenda as currently the more dangerous to both human well-being and spirituality, its vision of which is warped and profoundly pessimistic. I'd go so far as to say it's anti-spiritual, for all its bleating about the good of humanity and the lives of our grandchildren (which it would actually feel most happy to see never born). Many prominent green organisations are actually hand-in-glove with big business, employing it to further its own aims, with some individuals actually benefiting financially from it.

    The real driving force of the Green Movement is the already-failed agenda of Marxism, which also, in its own way, saw itself as having a grand humanist vision, but was likewise contaminated by powerful, ruthless, and self-interested individuals. Capitalism has its faults, but it pretends much less to be what it isn't.

    I think many of us yearn for a better political system, one that is truly in line with the spiritual destiny of humanity, but I'm one of those who sees the Green Movement with its present emphasis on CO2 as being an impostor, all the more dangerous because it's cynically playing on the sensibilities of many of its followers, whom it sees as useful idiots.
     
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  8. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well of course there are extremists on the other side, but that is not me, or I think Michael. I am naturally a fairly green sort of person, and many years ago I was in Greenpeace. I still am in CND, because they have stayed honest. Two wrongs don't make a right - you have to face it, most of the modern Green ideas are doing nothing to help the planet.

    Over stating a case, or pushing an idea too far eventually produces a backlash - goodness haven't the Green's head about the boy who cried wolf! The Trades Unions in the UK are a case in point. They used to be very powerful and started causing unnecessary trouble in the 1970's, and there was a backlash leaving them all but powerless - to the detriment of many workers. In the same way, I fear that the modern Green movement will open the way to hard capitalism and a total disregard for safety - much as you describe.

    I feel betrayed by the modern Green movement for all the reasons that I have described.

    David
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  9. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Me too, David. For quite a few years I made regular monthly contributions, until Climategate disillusioned me. I couldn't continue knowing that it was misusing my and other people's contributions to push exaggerations about CO2, meanwhile neglecting really worthy environmental aims.
     
  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Climategate stunned me! For those who don't know, this was the point when a large number of scientific emails were stolen/liberated from the Climate Research Unit in the UK, and stored at WikiLeaks. Up until then, I had just assumed that the global warming phenomenon was a real threat, but when I heard about this leak I knew something had to be wrong. WikiLeaks stores records of torturers in Iraq, bank fraudsters, etc. - why were these emails important enough to get the same treatment?

    It was quickly clear that these emails were released by a whistle blower inside the CRU. Given the contents of those emails (which the CRU accepted where genuine), some of which are pretty damning, the authorities promised an inquiry into the validity of the work going on at the CRU. The part of the inquiry into the science was lead by Lord Oxburgh, who basically airbrushed over all the problems, and didn't ask any of the critics for evidence. This was actually exposed by The Guardian - a normally pro-CAGW newspaper.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/sep/08/uea-emails-inquiry-science

    This is a horribly British way to cover up a scandal. You have an inquiry that somehow never examines the crucial evidence! The British establishment did the same after the Iraq war (but there is another, possibly more critical report now, which keeps being delayed). It also turned out that Lord Oxburgh had a large financial interest in the Green movement.

    As you dig deeper into the CAGW idiocy, it gradually becomes clear that the Green movement has conned the world into spending hundreds of billions of dollars for nothing! Most of the renewable energy installations are anything but. It is estimated - possibly optimistically - that they will only last about 25 years, and of course, they are intermittent. It is an absolutely sickening scandal.

    David
     
  11. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    Like most of you here I do not support the extremists and sociopaths on either side of this issue.
    As Michael writes "a plague on both their houses".

    Many of the sociopathic greens are mouth pieces of the globalist elites - funded by them.
    The hijacking of the green agenda by global elites seems to be entirely overlooked or ignored by some here.

    I do not argue for population reduction etc; and I think the climate debate is hollow and mistaken.
    The sun may be the real cause of most climate change on Earth.

    http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/108171


    The real issue is pollution and the poisoning of the biosphere.
    And that is anthropogenic; and must be address in the coming decades.

    I say 'must' in the absolute sense; this is not something we will have a choice about.
    It will not be a matter of opinion.
    The only matters of opinion will be how we are to deal with it.
    In the psychopathic manner expressed by globalists and green extremists...
    or in a rational and humane manner.
     
  12. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel Member

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    Michael, I've been staying out of this discussion, but following it with some curiosity because you were presenting a side of environmentalism -- a dark side -- I haven't much considered. So when I saw these quotes today -- some of them pretty damning -- I thought I'd follow up on one or two to see where they lead.

    The first quote that struck me was this:

    "If we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of
    saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
    an ecologically sound society under socialism.
    I don't think it is possible under capitalism"
    - Judi Bari,
    principal organiser of Earth First!

    So I looked up Judi Bari, and discovered, first of all, that she is NOT a founder of EarthFirst, though I'll bet anyone who reads that attribution would assume she was a charter member. (It was actually formed in 1979, and she joined in 1988.)

    Secondly, though she may well have spoken those words, if you go to this page:http://www.judibari.org/revolutionary-ecology.html

    you'll see that her views are infinitely more nuanced than that quote suggests. One of the main headings on the page is:

    "Biocentrism Contradicts Communism"

    And she says:

    "As you can probably tell, my background in revolutionary theory comes from Marxism, which I consider to be a brilliant critique of capitalism. But as to what should be implemented in capitalism's place, I don't think Marxism has shown us the answer. One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that communism, socialism, and all other left ideologies that I know of speak only about redistributing the spoils of raping the earth more evenly among classes of humans."

    Understandably, that planted a seed of suspicion in my mind as to the even-handedness of the rest of the quotes. So I went right to your source:

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    I gotta say, Michael, this site strikes me as WEIRD.

    As listed on the page where you got your quotes, here are some of the "true beliefs of the influential leaders who are using genuine concerns about the environment to promote an agenda of fear and control."

    Their list includes such sinister examples as this:

    "By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the earth
    in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of
    responsibility to self to others and to the planet."
    - Global Alliance for Transforming Education

    Wow. Michael -- can you explain to me what might possibly be considered problematic in that? And that's really the whole quote. And lest anybody thinks I'm cherry-picking from limited options, here are some others:

    "What an incredible planet in the universe this will be
    when we will be one human family living in justice,
    peace, love and harmony with our divine Earth,
    with each other and with the heavens."- Robert Muller,
    UN Assistant Secretary General

    "Nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred;
    trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals."
    - Mikhail Gorbachev,
    Green Cross International


    "I pledge allegiance to the Earth and all its sacred parts.
    Its water, land and living things and all its human hearts."
    - Global Education Associates,
    The Earth Pledge


    "The earth is not dead matter. She is alive.
    Now begin to speak to the earth as you walk.
    You can speak out loud, or just talk to her in your mind.
    Send your love into her with your exhalation. Feel your
    heart touching upon the heart of the planet. Say to her
    whatever words come to you: Mother Earth, I love you.
    Mother Earth, I bless you. May you be healed. May all
    your creatures be happy. Peace to you, Mother Earth.
    On behalf of the human race, I ask forgiveness
    for having injured you. Forgive us, Mother Earth"
    - US Student Textbook,
    "Prayer to the Earth"

    So these are quotes that green-agenda.com finds so dangerous, and deems worthy of bringing to our attention on their home page. Personally, I find them inspiring.

    Now it's true that some of the other quotes on the page seem eminently worthy of being debated. And some, I admit, seem disrespectful of the human race, even self-loathing. (Though the Judi Bari example makes me wonder if those comments might have been taken out of context.)

    But for my money, any group that feels threatened by the quotes I've listed is protecting a very limited point of view.

    Once again:

    "By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the earth
    in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of
    responsibility to self to others and to the planet."

    That's promoting "an agenda of fear and control"? That's even mildly controversial?

    Michael, I'm not saying environmentalists are saints. But are you truly comfortable with a site like this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
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  13. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    Following Bruce Siegel's good example I have had a look at the source of some of the quotes Michael listed and I too have discovered that they are often quite different in their source contexts and meanings than in the impression they make as isolated quotes on the Green Agenda site.

    Here is a discussion page page from the wikipedia page dealing with the Club of Rome (notoriously missunderstood and demonised by extremists opposed to environmentalism of any kind, who believe any concern for the biosphere is a conspiracy for genocide and tyranny).
    This page clearly shows the selective and out of context nature of the very first quote about humanity being the enemy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Club_of_Rome

    In my view all intelligent people realise that human activity has reached a scale that makes it literally a geological force of change on the Earth.
    Our activity massively impacts the biosphere; and it is expanding almost exponentially.
    We have to deal with this reality; like it or not.

    There are extremists on all sides of the debate; as well as many wealthy and powerful people who see environmentalism as a threat to profits.
    The danger is that powerful and perhaps even evil interests will want to manage and control the processes of adjustment
    and determine the outcomes to their advantage.

    But the reality of extremism and evil intent in some humans does not do away with the real issues humanity faces as an emerging planetary species.
     
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  14. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I chose the site because it contains a lot of the quotes that have been used in AGW sceptics' arguments. I searched around for such a site, and that was the most comprehensive I found. I make no comment about the aims or motivations of the site: the key thing is that the quotes are a matter of public record, and would be such wherever they were gathered together.

    Based on your link, Judi Bari appears to be a Marxist of sorts: what she disagrees with is how Marxism has been traditionally applied rather than what she seems to think of as the purest manifestation of its underlying motivation:

    But even though socialism has so far failed to take ecology into account, I do not think it is beyond reform, as is capitalism. One of the principles of socialism is "production for use, not for profit." Therefore, the imbalance is not as built in under socialism as it is under capitalism, and I could envision a form of socialism that would not destroy the earth. But it would be unlike Marx's industrial model.

    [i.e. she seems to be in favour of another kind of Marxist model. I'm reminded of a comment someone once made (I forget who) to the effect that Communism was a good thing, but that s/he was waiting for it to actually happen: so far, it didn't appear to have. Personally, I don't think any human-defined "ism" will solve all our problems. The only thing that will is what naturally evolves: like Buckminster Fuller quipped, outcomes are at right angles to expectations. It's usually left to the historians, after the fact of great historical shifts, to come up with the retrospective explanations that may or may not be correct.]
    The profit motive, carried to extremes, as I believe it is in financial institutions, is deplorable. However, in due proportion, I think it's indispensable, and, moreover, completely natural. They don't necessarily apply it consciously, but all organisms act so as to profit from their endeavours. Redwood trees or Blue Whales with huge biomasses exploit their environments. There are numerous examples of species expanding out of control to the point that they threaten their continued existence: in some circumstances, there is a natural cyclicity between population expansion and contraction, and occasional natural extinctions.

    Non-human organisms have no thought for the environment; they do what comes naturally, even if in the end it might lead to their total destruction. It's true that human beings, by dint of their intellect, can make conscious choices, and I'm not against their doing that in respect of environmental issues: I do however insist that they ought to do so based on empirical evidence rather than political machination, and that the means they adopt should actually address real issues, as well as being effective and efficient. I don't believe this is the case with AGW, and that's not without precedent: the panic over DDT and CFCs being two examples that come to mind.

    What some of your quotes show is that, besides explicit socialism, there's a kind of underlying religious impulse involved, and the God being extolled is basically Gaia. Human beings aren't anything special. Now, even in biological terms, I think human beings are special. To an extent that no other organisms exhibit, they possess intelligence. They happen to look like they look, and in many respects display animal characteristics: plainly, they have what one might call a biological dimension to their existence. I believe evolution has occurred (although I take issue with neo-Darwinist explanations for it), and it just so happens that the most intelligent animal on the planet happens to look like we do, and to organise itself in the cultural ways we do.

    Maybe on some other planet, a markedly different species has also developed cultural characteristics. Whatever, human beings or any analogous organism anywhere in the universe are completely natural phenomena. They are part of a biosphere, sure, but on top of that is layered cultural evolution to an extent that has not been attained by other organisms. No one is denying that during this evolution, human beings have impacted other organisms and the environments in which they live, and I'm all for minimising the deleterious effects of these: but at the same time, I identify with, and celebrate, my own species. That doesn't mean I think we should be free to do whatever we want even if it despoils the environment: in the end, that would be self-defeating, because there's only so far one can go before degradative environmental changes affect the viability of our own species.

    I think human beings and any other analogous organisms there might be in the universe have the capacity to evolve in spiritual terms. I see this, in fact, as the purpose of universe: to provide a setting within which that can occur. Part of spirituality is compassion: and surely a portion of that should be directed towards other species which don't enjoy our intellectual capacities; however, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater by adopting what amounts to hatred for my own species. Some environmentalists do actually go so far (see some of the quotes) as to fondly wish for our extinction.

    Others want to demonise people who may be every bit as concerned and compassionate as they are, but don't happen to think the same things are true threats. They are often being led by the nose by cynical manipulators who aren't actually concerned whether the threat of AGW is truly catastrophic; and when not by those, by sincere believers that they've hoodwinked. Moreover, the way that the scientific establishment is set up works hand-in-glove with the political machinations of these manipulators, striking at the heart of the true spirit of scientific enquiry: which in principle should be provide the freedom to investigate hypotheses that run contrary to PC ones.

    I'm not one of those who thinks that ends justify means, especially when those means could be causing more harm than good, which I believe to be the case with AGW catastrophism. I'm against cultivating political influence in favour of a false cause, even if the intended aim is laudable. History is littered with the results of noble cause corruption, and cAGW is in my opinion even more dangerous than Lysenkoism, which after all only affected the USSR. Proselytisers have made it a global issue, and literally trillions of dollars have been spent in furtherance of what I believe to be something greatly exaggerated. That money could have been directed at truly worthwhile causes so as to benefit mankind and address real environmental issues.

    The page I linked to is a convenient repository for quotes that reveal what some of the movers and shakers of the environmental movement are really thinking. Some may be less damning than others, but there are nonetheless some truly shocking statements, and the sentiments expressed IMO deserve wider currency. They should at least cause people to start analysing what's going on and cultivate a little healthy scepticism. Is it possible that there are undetected agendas at work and that they are being misinformed/misled?
     
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  15. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel Member

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    Michael said:
    But you haven't explained to me -- what's even slightly damning about this:

    "By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the earth
    in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of
    responsibility to self to others and to the planet."

    And when you've answered that, take another look at the quotes I listed in my last post. And then explain to me what's problematic with any of them.

    And to simply say that "there's a kind of underlying religious impulse involved, and the God being extolled is basically Gaia" seems a very weak argument indeed. None of them mentions Gaia. Nor do any of them so much as hint at what you refer to as a hatred of humanity.

    Michael, you have concerns about the hidden agenda of environmentalists. It seems to me the same sort of question should be asked about a group that finds sinister motives behind such innocuous statements as the ones I listed.

    You also offered this quote as an example of what's wrong with environmentalism:

    I have no idea who John Davis is, or of the context in which this was spoken. But I'm 100% comfortable with what he's saying.

    As I see it, in the course of evolution, something's always lost whenever something's gained. Just because we humans came along later than the slug, doesn't mean--when you look at the big picture--that we're better.

    In this thread on the myth of progress (one of my favorite subjects, by the way, and thanks, Alex for the great interview!) the point I'm making should seem right at home.

    The fact is, I would never presume to say that I have more value than a slug. What would that even mean? Value to whom?

    Through whose unbiased eyes can such a judgement be made -- a human's, another slug's, or a creature who feeds on slugs and who would see no value in me whatsoever?

    Clearly, the worth of a human or a slug depends entirely on who is doing the evaluating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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  16. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I don't think I quoted that, did I?

    I chose the quotes that illustrated my point. If you want to ignore those and say that some others are innocuous, therefore there's nothing to my argument, knock yourself out.

    And so your argument is that because some of them don't mention hatred of humanity, we can ignore those that do?

    Well, when you're doing the evaluating, you appear to come to the conclusion that you're no more worthy than a slug. Carry the argument to its logical conclusion and one wouldn't eat, because much of our food comprises organisms killed by our species: that applies even to vegans who are so cruel to plants (sometimes they even eat them alive). Heck, why don't we all just commit suicide by starvation and let the slugs get on with the business of guilt-free feeding?
     
  17. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel Member

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    Eating habits say nothing about relative worth. When a bird eats an insect, does it mean that the bird thinks itself superior to the insect? I doubt it! Well, it's the same for me when, for example, I eat a fish.

    Here's another way to look at it. I doubt that any of us on this forum would defend a person who claims that his own race is the best. For me, it's precisely the same when someone claims that his species is better than another.

    Are humans special? Absolutely. And so are giraffes and trees. Each life form is uniquely suited to providing Spirit one particular way to experience physical reality.

    And even assuming that one specific experience (or life form) really is better than the rest (which I doubt), how could you or I ever make a valid comparison unless we've experienced the others for ourselves?
     
  18. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What makes you sure we haven't, and moved on to more refined experiences, such as being human? Or that we form a continuum? Maybe some such is why we have a certain amount of compassion for other life forms. I hold no truck with the opinion that the highest form of consideration for one's fellow human beings consists in doing one's damnedest to make life worse for them, especially when the indications are that making life better for them benefits not only them, but other species they share the planet with.

    Say what one will, China, India and others are going to plough on regardless, whether or not extremist environmentalists want to engage in the suicide of their own societies and the strangulation of others'. It's going to happen, and IMO, the outcome will be improvements in the environment and the lives of many millions of people: birth rates will naturally decline, and people will naturally seek equitable balance with other species occupying this planet. Eradicating poverty and improving education is what we should be focussing on. Spend trillions on that rather than on combatting non-existent apocalyptic threats.
     
    LoneShaman and Trancestate like this.
  19. Alex

    Alex New

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    I agree.
     
    Don DeGracia likes this.
  20. Alex

    Alex New

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