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Apr. 12th, 2004 | 01:00 am

I came across a reference to a book called Ecological Integrity. I took advantage of amazon.com's feature to read some of the introduction to the book.

I found the analogy the author drew between us and the denizens of easter island chilling.

Later I was driving away from playing games from my carnivore friends and was feeling depressed at my sense of utter powerlessness at trying to avert our species collision course with catastrophe.

Though this did spark a realization about why I'm so obsessive-compulsive about veganism. Since I feel like humanity is largely doomed without significant change in our use of the ecosystem and I feel powerless to do anything, it would make sense for me to obsessively grasp at anything that has a chance of making a difference.

Given problems like over-population, aquifer depletion, fresh water pollution, desertification, soil depletion/erosion, and dwindling energy reserves I keep feeling like life as we americans currently know it could disintegrate in as little as a couple of years from now.

Of course most people just think I'm crazy. (Though I do feel like I'm better informed about various environmental indicators than most.)

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Comments {4}

[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Apr. 12th, 2004 03:42 am (UTC)

the analogy the author drew between us and the denizens of easter island

oh how many times i've done this. :sigh:

also between california's agriculture & the agriculture of ancient mesopotamia (which, y'know, didn't used to be a desert).

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from: irilyth
date: Apr. 12th, 2004 07:49 am (UTC)

I think one of the problems is that people have been crying wolf about these issues for at least a while, and probably forever. Every generation says "ok, yeah, those guys had it wrong, but now the end is really nigh!" And eventually, the doomsayers will be right, in the same way that if I call you up every morning and say "I bet you'll die today!" I'll eventually be right, but it's not obvious to those of us who aren't doomsayers why this wolf is any more real than the last N y'all (or y'all's predecessors) were crying about. Maybe it is, but after years (decades? centuries?) of crying, it's hard to take it seriously.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Apr. 29th, 2004 01:12 am (UTC)

Though each time someone points out that we'll eventually run into resource limitations we do seem to be getting closer.

Malthus claimed that it would happen sometime distant to him. Though I think we passed his predicted date. As time progressed others also predicted the end would come, but each time the distance until the proposed collapse is less far in the future.

At this point we can start pointing to real limitations, such as desertifcation from farming in marginal crop land, aquifer depletion, soil erosion, or oil/gas depletion. Not to mention limits in how well the environment can absorb our pollutants. It would seem since there are a wide variety of limitations we seem to be rapidly approaching claiming that we will have to find some solution seems increasingly safe.

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Apr. 12th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC)

I worry about stuff like that as well. But worry doesn't accomplish anything by itself. And while the personal is political, that doesn't mean that the only political things you can do are personal things. There's volunteering, outreach, mobilization, and even donation. (I know you know that; sometimes I write this just to remind myself.)

All we can do is try our best.

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