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What SharkBait says is true philosophically and even morally. However, if that's not enough for you, practical we have no way of surviving without our environment being pretty damn close to what it is now. At best, the technology we have now could save most of those in the "First World" because of the wealth it contains...most everyone else is completely fucked if we don't do preserve and protect it....more protect than preserve. Zoos preserve animals but when they go extinct in the wild, seeing the last of a species locked up in a cage is a pretty sad sight.
We should preserve our environment not because it's moral, but because common sense. We can't survive if the environment is close to being irreversibly destroyed or changed. If we lose lots of greens, then oxygen may be scarce. If we waste water, then we'll have far less fresh water to live on, whether to take in our body or grow crops with. The entire world is due to interactions - plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, allowing it to grow and become food for animals, who survive by taking in the oxygen and breathing carbon dioxide, and many of those animals help sustain the survival of other species, directly or indirectly.
A predator kills its prey and after eating of its prey, walks away. This in turn allows scavengers to eat the prey. We benefit greatly, and if an ecosystem is destroyed, it will harm us in the long run.
tl;dr: preserving our environment keeps us and living things alive.
A good question would be, WHY SHOULDN'T WE? Nature has provided us with everything we need. Air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat. Why shouldn't we give back and preserve the nature / environment? Isn't that beneficial to us too? Also, it is not so hard, is it? Just make sure you turn your tap completely, so there will be no leaks and to segregate our trash correctly. No sweat!
I entered this phrase in google and came up with pretty good site discussions : why should we preserve our environment
It seems like manufacturing, doesn't it? But in fact, livestock shouldn't be "manufactured." It's supposed to have been raised. It was very well put in a podcast I was listening to earlier today (paraphrase): the misery the animals go through in factory farms becomes misery for us down the road. Just because we don't see, hear, smell, feel the torturous life they're put through, doesn't mean we don't suffer from it ourselves in the form of inferior and only weakly nutritive meat, eggs, and dairy. Even if you don't want to take "you are what you eat" that far, it's sad that what should be the most nutrient-rich foods filled with pre-formed vitamins, organic minerals, etc., are so poorly taken care of (tiny, filthy factory pens), at best they end up becoming the equivalent of a watered-down bar drink and at worst they can be outright dangerous.Quote:
I think the biggest threat to food supplies globally is unethical business practices, honestly.
Interesting point about the phytoplankton! I already preferred the idea of building upward like you said rather than building on the ocean after seeing a documentary on it a while ago, but even just somewhat limiting our oxygen supply is a scary thought.
Anyway, I don't think the public is as much to blame for most of this stuff as government/business failure to act. Governments should be working to find the most beneficial long-term solutions for everybody, but instead they're all corrupt and bought out by those who want to make a quick buck.
Last edited by kannazuki; February 03, 2015 at 09:19 PM.
True. Businesses are the ones dumping chemicals and gunk in drinking water without caring, and they're causing so much damage as result. things like fracking aren't helpin either.
If someone clearly lined up where actual short-term big business interests consistently go against (any-term) ordinary citizen (and to a lesser extent, small businesses') interests not only with the environment but on nearly every issue, like in a series of easily-digestible (but well-supported with references) infographics, the realities displayed there would be stark and illuminating. There are probably enough books out there to fill a library and enough documentaries to have a single-topic film festival about it, but most of it only preaches to the choir. :/
There needs to be far harsher regulations on businesses like these because they affect lives and livelihood. How many people have been poisoned or affected by contaminated waters caused by big businesses? How many ecosystems have been destroyed or close to destruction because of all the gunk and oil spillage and whatnot? Sadly it's all about money, and it's enough for most to overlook the consequences, which the big businesses don't really face much of.
If we dropped GDP (which treats ALL spending as equivalent instead of differentiating between costs and benefits) and started using something like the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), things might improve. This would factor in the costs that unethical large businesses offload onto the public with all the damaging crap they pull but never pay for.
(this site also lists 2 minor disadvantages and a conclusion that both GDP and GPI should be used concurrently by policy makers)Quote:
Wouldn't the highly subjective aspects of GPI render it basically meaningless though? GDP by no means provide a perfect view of all aspects of what would be considered well being but it does its job at measuring economic performance on a macro point of view. I'm no economist but I'd argue that complementing GDP makes sense but it should be done with numbers not as subjective as the ones suggested by GPI. I guess the issue is that GDP or GPI provide easy to read single numbers while in reality what you need is many different numbers and indexes which have to be understood in context to get a proper assessment of how people are actually doing. And of course, such a thing would not work well on a political level (its easier for a politician to throw a single number than 50 when doing politics).
I mean, with GPI you'd basically be adding a bunch of subjective values into a single number. How do you get meaning out of that? Being subjective, you can't really be "wrong" or "right" about the value of certain things considered in it in a meaningful manner. You could set standards to make certain values less subjective but in adding them together you'd be loosing the meaning you are trying to give to subjective numbers. They'd work better and perhaps even be meaningful if you simply kept them separate. But then again, a bunch of numbers instead of a single pretty one....
Last edited by kkck; February 04, 2015 at 05:13 PM.
Yes, parts of GPI are somewhat subjective, but so is GDP, in less obvious ways. The guy who invented GDP knew that it could be used as a smokescreen to cover up national problems, and since it isn't their primary concern how the masses are doing, that's exactly what policy makers tend to use it to do today. I think it makes more sense to combine various indicators on the citizenry's overall health and happiness (which environmental health is inextricably tied up in) than it does to take amorphous spending numbers and treat them as if they represent the "health" of a nation.
What's included is molded and fine-tuned to fit whatever only economists think is best. GPI (or other multi-dimensional indicators) can take a multidisciplinary approach, with every kind of social scientist, medical/mental health professionals, geologists, meteorologists, zoologists, etc., etc. weighing in on true benefits and losses from shifts in a nation's economy. Whatever measures haven't already been standardized (or have been standardized in only flippant and 2-dimensional ways by economists, such as with the "Guns To Caviar index" or the "Big Mac Index") easily can be. Either way, GDP wouldn't go away anyway.