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 On the green movement 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Post On the green movement
By the green movement I mean the tree-huggers, not green politics.

It often feels to me like the underlying spirit of the green movement is that they are doing natures bidding. That there is a personification of nature, that 'mother nature' is treated as a meta being. We love 'it', industrialism is hurting 'it'.

This personification of nature is interesting. It's like we humans always have to find some greater purpose to devote ourselves to, and that this always gets personified. It used to be god or the king or whatnot, now - for the green movement - it is 'mother nature'. She is feeding and sheltering us and deserves our worship, love and protection.

Protecting god/king/country/britney spears/nature gives us a sense of purpose in life, moral high ground and self importance.

But nature is something else.

Nature is something that doesn't care if the panda is in the mix or not. It doesn't care if we are in the mix or not. It doesn't care if the planet is slapped to oblivion tomorrow by a comet or not.

This is not because 'mother nature' is cruel. It's because she doesn't exist. There isn't an awe inspiring consciousness in there that can care. Nature isn't immoral. It's amoral. Nature can't care. We are the ones who care.

And it's ok for us to care but it helps to understand the context, and we should be honest about our reasons. If we don't understand the context we will be confused a lot, be focusing on the wrong things and fail.

If you think 'mother nature' exists, introducing man made species is an abomination(you can almost see her cringe). Indeed every change is a violation, and so you will spend a lot of your time angry and confused.

There are many legitimate reasons for us to want to care. Like lowering the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will make the future more pleasant for us and our children. The reason is that we are invested in the climate and the sea levels being the way they are. If they change now it will cost us financially and politically. It's easier for us to try to lower CO2 levels than to start redrawing maps.

The reason we want to save the Pandas is because they are cute an cuddly.

It's not like there will be a day of reckoning where some greater power will be taking inventory and say 'Hey, hang on. There is a Panda missing.'

We are the ones who care. Let's be honest about it.

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Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:31 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
Loved it I read the entire paper, I agreed and disagreed with parts. The pandas aren’t just being saved for being cute and cuddly; it’s also because they disserve to exist as much as we do (although some spices should be extinct, Japanese hornets any one?).

I do admit the earth will survive with or with out humans, so we should be trying to save our selves as well. The one good thing about this fear of global warming is smart energy technology.


Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:09 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Post Re: On the green movement
Teslaboypunk wrote:
The pandas aren’t just being saved for being cute and cuddly; it’s also because they disserve to exist as much as we do (although some spices should be extinct, Japanese hornets any one?).

I think I understand how you mean but:

To say that something deserves to exist doesn't really mean anything.

...or rather it means that the animal has been granted the supernatural quality of deservedness.


Teslaboypunk wrote:
I do admit the earth will survive with or with out humans,

Yeah. We're one of the flesh/cellulose machines in the current mix. Occupying time-space slots on this spheric rock hurling through the void.


Teslaboypunk wrote:
...so we should be trying to save our selves as well. The one good thing about this fear of global warming is smart energy technology.

I agree.

My reason for why I think we should try to save ourselves is that the idea of being comfortable feels better to me than being uncomfortable or dead.


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Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:41 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
I am sorry if I sounded mean, I was just saying what I was thinking.


Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:12 am
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Post Re: On the green movement
Teslaboypunk wrote:
I am sorry if I sounded mean, I was just saying what I was thinking.

I'm sorry if what I wrote came out looking harsh. I didn't think you were being mean, I just tried to say something in as few words as possible. I understood what you were saying: If given a choice; keep the pandas and fuck the wasps.

I was in a mind-hacker/philosopher mode and reacted to the word 'deserve'. It's just one of those words.

The notion of deservedness is interesting because it implies the supernatural.

-Don't kill that panda
-Why?
-Because it deserves to live

Is different from

-Don't kill that panda
-Why?
-Because I don´t want you to

In that the first implies some greater knowledge that I have that the other person doesn't. The definition of which ultimately lies in the hands of the people who claim dominion of this greater knowledge; The popes, ulema and deepak chopras of the world.

From a mind hacker perspective these words are useful. With many people it's easier to get them to do what I want by using 'It deserves to live' than 'I don't want you to'.

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Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:40 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
Personally I favour biodiversity and think we need to be really, really careful about introducting "man made" species, as you put it (we need to be careful about introducing anything radically different into a new environment -- look at how much our ancestors screwed up with some of the introduced species). But this is, as you say, for rather more practical and selfish reasons than "nature is good and we need to protect her!". We are, fundamentally, dependent on other living things, and the abiotic factors of our environment that they influence, and their interactions are far too complicated for us to predict and control.

Invasion of "nature" (I hate that term; why is a beaver dam natural and a human house unnatural, exactly?) is of course necessary and fundamental to modern societies -- we'd starve if we halted agriculture, and it certainly wouldn't be pleasant to live in a world without antibiotics or hormone supplements for those who need them -- but we do need to try to be responsible about it. That said, this whole "nature is good, technology is bad" mindset is really irritating, and (I've recently found) surprisingly common. I know one woman who doesn't like cosmetics because of "the hormones they put in them", and another similarly refuses to let her daughter play soccer because "in my day you'd skin your arm and it would heal up fine, but now with all the hormones they put in the soil to make the grass grow..." (huh?).

And let's not get into GM foods which, as we all know, cause cancer and weaken the bones. *eyeroll*


Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:20 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
clouded_perception wrote:
Personally I favour biodiversity and think we need to be really, really careful about introducting "man made" species, as you put it (we need to be careful about introducing anything radically different into a new environment -- look at how much our ancestors screwed up with some of the introduced species). But this is, as you say, for rather more practical and selfish reasons than "nature is good and we need to protect her!". We are, fundamentally, dependent on other living things, and the abiotic factors of our environment that they influence, and their interactions are far too complicated for us to predict and control.

I think large scale introductions of man made species of varying kinds into our echo system is probably inevitable. And that some of these new species will wipe out existing ones as an unwanted(and unexpected) side effect. Mistakes will be made - especially before we get a hang of how to go about it. We humans have hacked everything our technology has allowed so far. There is no reason to think biology will be different I think. It´s just that the concept of hacking life is new.

I think there will be a somewhat distinct 'before and after'. Like someone in their 40:is now can talk nostalgically about a world before personal computers – future generations will be nostalgic about a time when everything in nature was built by evolution.

There is fallacy among people who dabble in futurism - which is what I'm doing here - to say that everything new is good. Especially if one perceives oneself to belong to a privileged group in that future. I try to stay clear of traps like this. I don't know if this version of the future is good or bad - I just think it's inevitable.

In this version of the future there will be reactionaries who feel that 'the species we have are the ones we should be content with'. This would be their real valid argument, but the arguments most commonly given will be along the line of 'It will kill us all'. There will be a lot of learned people among them, old doctors who are freaked out because their world as they know it is being turned on it's head. Watch for them.

I do think 'We should be content with the species we have because we like it this way' is a valid and understandable objection. I think tinkering with nature like this is like yanking the carpet from underneath someones feet. It makes people loose their bearings and they have every reason to be upset. But the world moves on.

And to the next generation every weirdness is perfectly normal.


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Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:18 am
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Post Re: On the green movement
People tend to forget Nature doesn't give a damd if the prettiest or smartest of us dies or gets swallowed up. Neither do much of human society if you have any hint of what history was like. What's so appalling to me is that the idea that some how we can get into a kumbayah with Nature. when its in the Nature of life itself to be self-destructive.

the whole green movement is a large bite at you for just not try. Not aspire or fight. take what you got and go on. Its stupid.

Its not that I do not agree enviroment has become a serious issue, its the idea that a forest is better than the artificial enviroment we create for ourselves. 90 percent of us easy wouldn't survive 5 days in the wild, untooled and unasisted, especially the ones with lots of glasses.

My opporsition is solely towards the psychology of the green movement that since green is a soothing color, that nature is in any way welcoming to any species. we* (life) always fights a place in a world looking for a way to beat the three laws of thermodynamics.


Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:06 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
DanteA wrote:
People tend to forget Nature doesn't give a damd if the prettiest or smartest of us dies or gets swallowed up. Neither do much of human society if you have any hint of what history was like. What's so appalling to me is that the idea that some how we can get into a kumbayah with Nature. when its in the Nature of life itself to be self-destructive.

I agree. If nature was a person she would be a harsh mistress. To me it seems the green perception of what nature is stems from a mixture of religion, lack of natural history and a need to find a master. We want a context, so we like to see ourselves as defenders of something or other. I'm not saying we necessarily should exploit nature(as in “the animals are there for us to eat, wear and experiment on”), that's a separate discussion. Just that the personification of nature - as common as it is - is bizarre and totally useless. And we're not the only ones thinking so.


DanteA wrote:
the whole green movement is a large bite at you for just not try. Not aspire or fight. take what you got and go on. Its stupid.

Its not that I do not agree enviroment has become a serious issue, its the idea that a forest is better than the artificial enviroment we create for ourselves. 90 percent of us easy wouldn't survive 5 days in the wild, untooled and unasisted, especially the ones with lots of glasses.

Cityscapes are beautiful aren't they? It seems those who protest technology set the level for normality as everything invented before they were maybe 20 years old. So “living off the land” doesn't mean mining and refining ones own ore to make tools and making ones own clothes. It means using electricity, cars, guns and phones. It means wearing glasses, getting ones teeth fixed and going to the doctor when injured.

DanteA wrote:
My opporsition is solely towards the psychology of the green movement that since green is a soothing color, that nature is in any way welcoming to any species. we* (life) always fights a place in a world looking for a way to beat the three laws of thermodynamics.

...to maintain homeostasis.


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cu

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Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 am
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Post Re: On the green movement
Thank you, OP, for stating my opinion on this subject. I agree with you entirely; nature needs to stop being viewed as a being.


Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:18 pm
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Post Re: On the green movement
What are the cultural incentives then can we provide people to get them to stop viewing Nature as a being and not depress the fuck out them?

Because it sure isn't intellectual power that is holding us back.

The intellectuals that are on the side of the green movement, often only aknowledges evidence that are beneficial to their cause and ignoring evidence that donot. One can look up on Patrick Moore to see the complex issues surrounding enviromental movement and how they hide their anti-corporatism agenda under save the planet, followed by fucking peer reviewed science and scientific integrity in coming to their conclusions. But they do strike a cord in the disaffected public we have today.

The key would be for us to focus our efforts in getting the public to be scientifically proficient and showing them that it would improve their lives in a very real way.


Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:39 am
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