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Thread: Why should we preserve our environment?

  1. #16
    MangaHelper 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity SharkBait's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    We should preserve the environment because it is a moral obligation to support the survival and flourishing of sentient beings.

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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.


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    MH Senpai 神のごとし / Kami no Gotoshi / Godlike M3J's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

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  4. #19
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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

  5. #20
    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kannazuki's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crown Clown View Post
    Say, how'd you attempt to tackle the belief that us over fishing, over hunting is just the natural order of things? Humans in order to survive have stocked up on surpluses of food and other necessities. Some argue that it's very difficult to distinguish between over-consumption and necessary intake.
    Environmental issues are a lot more serious than most people seem willing to acknowledge, and I think talking about food supplies is probably the best way to get them to change their minds. Hardly anybody cares about global warming or the extinction of various animal species, but if you tell them about how it affects their food *right now* then they might sit up and listen. Long-term thinking and planning for the unexpected are both areas humans (as a group, not as individuals) are not great at, sadly. Show people how a problem affects them right now and then they start to care. Then you have the door open to talk about further sustainability-related issues.

    Quote Quote:
    Personally I do find this statement may hold some truth theoretically speaking, but given most cases, in today's world it holds little value: for example, factories manufacture huge volumes of livestock such as chicken or cows being reared for meat and such a method is apparently a prime example of overproduction. One does not need much further study to deduce that its an evident form of over-kill so to speak. But besides in such cases like the above do you guys have any other reasoning for why it is not natural for us to over-consume or at least, over-produce food products for ourselves?
    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 Originally Posted by kkck View Post
    My point is more along the lines of the current world production of food being enough for everyone. The issue in africa is a tad more complicated though. As far as I know, however limited, they have the issue that they can't grow much food and they cannot buy it because they are pretty poor. If they could buy food probably someone would sell it to them after all.
    Africa has plenty of food, contrary to the tired old narratives of Western media. It's a diverse continent incredibly rich in natural resources, with accordingly diverse and significant (and growing) global exports. I hate to generalize, but food distribution problems there usually have little to do with supply. They're largely logistical, and/or due to lack of infrastructure. Often the same nation that has a famine in one isolated rural region can have a food surplus in another because fresh foods from the latter location will spoil before they can be transported to the former. It is a problem though, when outside nations will pay a significant amount more for a food export than people can to buy it locally. Then there's commodity price speculation on food by investment bankers, driving up prices.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judith Mizell View Post
    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
    Aren't you concerned about coal emissions or oil spills that pollute the land, water, air, and our food, and lay the costs of all this damage on the public? How do you convince people not to drive cars when so many people look down on public transit, OR convince car companies to make electric cars while also convincing governments to invest in interconnected, intentionally-redundant nationwide electric grids to fuel those cars? Will oil companies stand for that? What about commercial aircraft and (especially) private jets? Can we convince rich people to go book a first class car in a bullet train instead of just hopping into their own planes? Will people happily give up the ability to buy the most common fruits at any time of year and go back to seasonal buying to reduce emissions?

    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.

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  7. #21
    MH Senpai 神のごとし / Kami no Gotoshi / Godlike M3J's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

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  8. #22
    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kannazuki's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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. :/

  9. #23
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

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  10. #24
    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kannazuki's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

    Quote Quote:
    Advantages of Using GPI
    1. GDP doesn’t take into account negative externalities of growth. Higher GDP may lead to a large rise in pollution, crime and congestion leaving people with lower economic welfare and lower levels of happiness. Therefore, GDP can be misleading as an account of economic welfare.
    2. By focusing on a wider measure of economic indicators, it encourages policy makers to think in broader terms of economic welfare and not just crude GDP statistics.
    3. GDP only measures output – not how it actually effects people’s living standards and how it is used in society.
    4. Encourages long term planning. i.e. sustainable growth rather than short term measures which increase GDP at expense of damaging environment.
    (this site also lists 2 minor disadvantages and a conclusion that both GDP and GPI should be used concurrently by policy makers)

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  12. #25
    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

  13. #26
    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kannazuki's Avatar
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    Re: Why should we preserve our environment?

    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.

    Quote Quote:
    The concept of GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a US Congress report in 1934.[4] In this report, Kuznets warned against its use as a measure of welfare (see below under limitations and criticisms). After the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, GDP became the main tool for measuring a country's economy.[5] At that time Gross National Product (GNP) was the preferred estimate, which differed from GDP in that it measured production by a country's citizens at home and abroad rather than its 'resident institutional units' (see OECD definition above). The switch to GDP was in the 1980s. The history of the concept of GDP should be distinguished from the history of changes in ways of estimating it. The value added by firms is relatively easy to calculate from their accounts, but the value added by the public sector, by financial industries, and by intangible asset creation is more complex. These activities are increasingly important in developed economies, and the international conventions governing their estimation and their inclusion or exclusion in GDP regularly change in an attempt to keep up with industrial advances. In the words of one academic economist "The actual number for GDP is therefore the product of a vast patchwork of statistics and a complicated set of processes carried out on the raw data to fit them to the conceptual framework."[6]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product


    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.

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