Why do we reward the creation of excess?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Drifterwood, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Drifterwood

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    Is this really human nature? because frankly it is only going to go one way.

    Is it time to realise that working for sustainability is what we should really value, without labeling this some sort of pinko commie propaganda?
     
  2. dandelion

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    welllllll. Cheap oil. Thats what i say. When something is that cheap people do not value it.

    Im sure i heard a statistic that at the start of the 1900s 10% of the working population in the uk was digging coal. Quite a turn around from conditions then to conditions now. At that time things got recycled. Nowadays manufacturers have a vested interest in built in obsolescence. There are things we could do about that. Mandatory extended manufacturers guarantees, for example. People have just about mnagaed to build cars which will last 10 years without faling apart from rust. So what happens? Along come a lot of governments with schemes to pay people to scrap cars which have made it to this age. Thats not 'human nature'. Its manipulating the market.
     
  3. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

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    my friend mandatory exended guarantees is manipulating the market. that will also raise the cost of goods.
     
  4. sargon20

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    Mankind is really no different than a cancer cell that just consumes and consumes until the host is dead dead dead. This uncontrolled experiment in mankinds rule of the planet has but one inevitable conclusion. Extinction.
     
  5. HazelGod

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  6. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

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    this quite counter to the usual health care for all pleas, etc. overpopulation is what is going to kill us
     
  7. sargon20

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    You can call it overpopulation. You can call it greed. You can call it excess. You can call it whatever you want. The bottom line is there isn't enough planet for mankind and capitalism.

    “Maybe this world is another planet's Hell.” - Aldous Huxley


    .
     
  8. Bbucko

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    Among many, the creation of excess is synonymous with "success". I, of course, am not materialistic enough to agree.
     
  9. noirman

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    Somehow over the past fifty years (at least) the idea of capitalism has morphed into this current state that cannot be sustained. It's just a matter of what will die out first -- our environment or financial structure.
     
  10. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    The notion of an entitlement or ambition to achieve Big*Better*More seems a central and eternal element of the human experience. Nature has to play a part, but with what we know now, is a flimsy excuse for continuing to heedlessly roll through our existence when all evidence, and some history, points to such behavior contributing to breakdowns in civil behavior and security, in the broadest sense.

    But, how to satisfy what feels good (indivdual/clan wealth and comfort, the "I have") and make it consistent with the idea of sustainability and global community, which demands less "I" and more "us"? further, is there a way to make such changes meaningful if we have already reached certain economic and climatic tipping points?


    Overpopulation and development are issues, however, even with a smaller population, overconsumption and neglecting to protect resources for future generations would still be an issue. Not stating we are a headlong into oblivion species, but almost.
     
  11. dandelion

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    Only marginally. If the law says you get a free guarantee for 1 year manufacturers make goods which last for 1 year and 1 day. It is interesting to compare different european countries, some of which have longer guarantee periods. Economies of scale mean it is sometimes cheaper to supply countries with a 1 year guarantee period with goods designed to survive in a 3 year guarantee country because it is cheaper to give us the better quality ones than start up a separate production line making shoddy ones.

    Yes this is manipulating the market. That is the idea. Dont you want to cut pollution, work less hours, have a world still in one piece to hand on?

    I'm an optimist. I think we will make it with just a bit of mass starvation and warfare killing 99.9% of the population. Since this is quite a US centred board, the interesting question for the US will be whether it survives as a fortress taking on the whole of the rest of the world or implodes as a country when its population all become survivalists.(the ones who dont kill each other on the way, that is)
     
    #11 dandelion, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  12. maxcok

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    Tragically, it is. Left to their own devices and baser natures, humans are greedy, gluttonous creatures. Our corporate sponsored, instant gratification, consumerist culture has only magnified it. We live for the moment; we've forgotten how to learn from the past and plan for the future. We've forgotten how to be stewards of our own riches. Though the warnings are right in front of us in the archaeological/anthropological record and in the dire predictions of our best science, we ignore them and turn our attention elsewhere. Rather, those with political and economic power ignore them - exploiting and manipulating the people, the planet and all its resources for short term profit. Out of greed. Plain and simple.

    The people, mostly sheeple, are powerless to fight this monster. Most don't even believe it is a monster, and they won't - not as long as they can continue overindulging themselves and being entertained into a stupor, entertained to death. Most are complicit in their own demise, in our demise. They've been lulled by the media and corporate advertising into thinking they're 'doing their part', that their reusable grocery bags, compact flourescents, and my-shit-don't-stink-flex-fuel yuppiemobiles will solve the problem. Give me a fukn break. You may as well piss in the dirty ocean. Meanwhile industry runs amuck polluting the air and the water, destroying mountains and forests, extinguishing entire species, feeding the sheeple brain-numbing frankenfoods - all with the blessing and support of governments, governments of the sheeple, by the sheeple.

    Of course, that is the wise and sensible path, and the only path to survival. Sadly I don't see that happening until there is a worldwide catastrophe of such biblical proportion that it threatens our very survival as a species and forces us to start over from scratch. If we can. By then it will be too late, and that day is coming sooner rather than later. As for why, see comments above. Though we haven't yet begun to feel the effects, we have already passed the tipping point with global climate change. The best we could do at this point is bring the full weight of our science and technology to bear and try to mitigate the problem. In reality, we're doing virtually nothing. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room; they'd rather fight with one another and squabble over whatever crumbs fall from the table as the party winds to a desperate close. Humankind, for all its noble achievements, is a pestilence. Here.
     
    #12 maxcok, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  13. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    Good to look on the bright side of things. :09:
    I think the U.S. will go through some form of breakdown to then be reformed with a more workable model. In the current state, which is a bit disordered, there's an opening for changes to be worked through civilly, as a community, but I think the opportunity will pass by unused.

    In the global context, will be interesting to see what issues emerging (and remerging?) powers, such as China, will face and whether they are capable of taking the lead in those areas. My only fear is, last time China was a world power, they decided to completely withdraw from the world stage after a time, which does not inspire confidence.

    Very true, and I am in total agreement.
     
  14. dandelion

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    when I say 99.9% I don't mean evenly spread. Overcrowded countries which are unable to support their populations will naturally be hardest hit. We have a few famines and wars right now. I think there are some countries which remain underdeveloped, but the issue will be energy, no oil and surviving without enough fuel. Interesting to note that one of the casualties of the current UK cuts is the severn barrage (again). For those abroad this is a broad river estuary on the west coast of the UK which has a huge tidal range and people have been arguing about daming it to make power for decades. Simply put, it will not be built unless energy costs rise high enough, but by that point the economy may be in such disarray it will be even harder to find the money. If someone makes nuclear fusion work we may all live to fight another day (100 years later), but if not people will look back on us right now and ask how we could possibly have wasted all those riches and not built something worthwhile for the future. Houses designed for minimum energy usage to last 500 years? consumer goods with a design life of 50. When you are born, you get a phone. Thats it for life. Realistic? perhaps not. I think though there is scope from a 'grandfathers axe' approach. The handle has been replaced 10 times and the head twice, but its still grandfathers axe. Halving our consumerist running costs would not be difficult and not too painful. We are a long way from sustainable usage of anything. Which brings us back to the question of the best way to reduce the human population. Are we still planning on doing it by pestilence and war?

    The US, with the biggest army in the world and largely one huge underpopulated island may be able to defend itself. Bit of a problem keeping out all those starving mexicans perhaps. Though will the US military survive. It is stunningly inefficient costs wise. The collapse of its budget will cause a knock on national collapse of arms industries causing enormous population unrest. Will the US devolve to threatening middle east countries with its remaining nuclear weapons if they refuse to sell what is left of the oil to the US? Will the UK be using its desperately clung to nuclear missiles against the US in retaliation to defend Iran's oil for european use?
     
    #14 dandelion, Oct 20, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  15. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    The wars are possible, particularly in a peak oil scenario where those with the greatest military technology use force to steal resources. If we are going worst case, I think the combined effects of civil uprisings, increased drought, flooding, and the emergence of super bugs and tropical diseases in regions where there are no natural resistance, would all work to decimate the world population.

    However, in terms of merely changing the game, I am hoping for something more along the lines of a stern wake-up call, where the losses can be met with constructive and collective change. Rather than the chaos that would likely be the result of violent upheaval. A bit too optimistic? Perhaps. As my first post indicates, I am aware we have reached tipping points in terms of climate, include energy, and economy and that it will be bad. However, my belief is there exists a way to, in part, reorient culture to absorb the losses, remove the excess, and have those changes be enough to create some sort of balance.

    Regarding Mexico, as shown through the reverse migration witnessed in this economic downturn, I do not envision Mexicans attempting to cross into an America suffering through social or political upheaval. Most regions in Mexico, Central American, and South America operate without assistance from their own central government - that self-sufficiency, and lack of dependence on what many Americans feel are vital technologies, may given them an advantage. Dr. Alejandro Morales wrote a book titled, The Rag Doll Diaries, and it discusses a similar chain of events, disease and war in the U.S., which leaves Mexico in a better position due to the people retaining their native traditions. Removing the mystical portions of his narrative, I am inclined to agree with his vision for the future of Mexico.
     
  16. dandelion

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    The trouble with a stricken giant is he is liable to lash out in his death throes. So when the US needs that oil will some nutter come to the fore and decide to use what is left of its armed might - the relatively easy to use nukes.

    Logically the US ought to do reasonably well in the crash, because it is fundamentally in a well resourced self sufficient position. But it has become acustomed to much more than this. Very much more. I think the US has a lot of coal reserves? presumably someone will get digging? Much readjustment necessary. Prepare for fortress US. World trade dramatically scaled down.

    I am not convinced we are at a tipping point. We seem so far to be continuing business as usual with regard to the economy. So that is more of a continuing slide. As to the climate, there has been some debate about 'tipping points' with regard to whether there may be a sudden catastrophic change in climate, but none seems to have happened yet. Rather, we just keep pumping out the gas. Chief amongst the opponents of any change is the US.
     
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