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Nov. 28th, 2004 | 05:13 pm

I've been playing online computer games, everqeust 2 and world of warcraft for the past couple of weeks as a way of escaping from my life and reality.

Whenever I start facing reality, I start getting depressed.

Unbearable sadness of others' pain might explain why.

I do tend to empathize well, though I do try to prevent myself just so I can survive.

I've stared too far into the nature of the ecological catastrophes that humanity has created, and if i let myself feel i end up crying for all of those species we are exterminating.

I sometimes feel for humanity, but mostly i've slid into feeling like we are all guilty for causing this extinction event and so it'll take something like a large scale die off before there's a hope that we might learn that we too have to cooperate with maintaining the ecosystem.

Though living with the belief that 2/3rds to 5/6ths of humanity will have to meet an untimely death to bring our population down to a point we can maintain without industrial agriculture is horrifying.

We could've listened in the 70s to the "Limits to Growth" when we could've done something about it, but now we've overshot our carrying capacity and we're going down, and we're taking a large swath of the web of life with us.

It's a small wonder why I keep trying to hide.

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Comments {4}

TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Nov. 28th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)
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I think we all have defense mechanisms to cope, the volume of human suffering has always been high, because every life is a struggle, and filled with emotion to reflect that.

We may be responsible for large amounts of extinctions (directly or indirectly) but if you'll look at the amount of species lost over the millenia due to natural events (eg. asteroids, calderas, etc), it's still a drop in the bucket. Those catastropic type events are still as likely as they were in the past.

Where are you getting your statistics for the sustainability of human life on this planet? and why do you think that industrial agriculture has to go away to be sustainable?

I disagree with the numbers. For food it's not a production problem, more of a distribution one. Personally I'm not interested in quantity of humnas, but rather quality of life for those. I'd be happier making sure that those on the planet live decent lives, as far to many don't: here Clean water, birth control and hygene would solve a great number of problems.

Birth rates are declining as people require less children. It's not like people in LA need to have 7 kids, half of whom will die early in age to support the farm.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 11th, 2004 08:44 pm (UTC)
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The numbers I picked are largely out of hat, the low value is close to what I think the human population was before the industrial revolution 800 million. The upper number 2 billion was an estimate I saw in a scientific american article on how an estimate of how many people the earth could support if everyone were to try and live like a current american (or at least eat like one).

Industrial agriculture as it is currently practiced requires a large input of fossil fuels (Eating Fossil Fuel), without that the crop yields that we are currently achieving are unlikely to be maintained. Not counting the the difficulty in transportation.

The basic argument that informs me came from The Limits to Growth. A process that is undergoing exponential growth in a closed environment will run into limiting factors. If you route around the first limit, there will always be others. For instance human population was limited by agricultural productivity and transportation, the discovery of fossil fuels helps us escape that limit and grow even faster. Though if we solve the limits to energy, we then still have limits to how much water is available per capita, or how much pollution the environment can absorb.

Another key point they made was that economies also undergo exponential growth and thus will always end up being rate limited.

In the current world the industrialized world needs to learn how to achieve zero-economic growth, while the non-industrial world needs to achieve zero-population growth. The United States being country with a high degree of inequality can almost be thought of a rich and poor nation in the same geographic area, so we need to control both forms of growth.

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Dilinger

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from: dilinger
date: Nov. 29th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
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I suppose this is a point of contention? When have we acted enough? At what point can Diane say she did enough? Does she have to tie herself to a tree in order to save the habitate of some animal near ext? Can she just write letters or collect names on a petition? Is it enough to just talk about how she feels

How about myself? Did I do enough to help get bush out of office? Did I do enough to make sure that diebold didn't get 52% of all the votes tabulated? Did I talk to enough people to get them to vote? Did I fund raise, did I march? I didn't do much but I did talk to several friends and family members. At least I live in a blue state. I fear that is the wrong attitude. What makes my attitude different from thier attitude?

It is strange how we keep comming back to these cycles. I want to say more but this is not the place.

How do we know when we have done enough. I know I have not done enough, but I have never been a crusader. I will root for them that do. I will hope for the best.

As far as fantasy, I picked up "the pawn of Prohecy" By david eddings. This is my 4th time reading the series. Very light and hit the spot. If you want to lose yourself for awhile, and you don't mind the esoteric use of words and a few mistakes, the story is simple and pulls me in. anywho.

The last part about the population issue and industrial argiculture. I think the point was how do we live without the need of industrial argriculture and that requires a depopulation. Forgive me if I am incorrect on that.

I just say, Cyber Punk here we come!

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migaz

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from: migaz
date: Dec. 2nd, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC)
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I don't know how to write this. I tried in so many different ways. All wrong. So here it goes. From the heart. I agree with your basic premise. Oil runs out, almost everything goes wild. In a few years everything will changed. Not what I expected. No loft live surrounded by cool designer objects for me and cool friends to talk about our hip trekkings in the far out and wild reaches of the world.

First I was afraid, I was petrified.

Does anything make sense? I thought to myself... I'm writing a thesis on how to organize better a construction site: surrealist thing. In a few years we'll kiss Concrete goodbye: both steel and cement eat too much energy. Also bye bye cities and big buildings (well maybe castles will be in high demand)

BUT then I realize maybe in the future it will not make sense but NOW it makes sense. And we live EXIST only in the PRESENT. Besides, maybe tomorrow someone makes fusion work in a cheap way and easy to mass produce. And so all our time spent feeling lousy will feel a bit stupid.

So I decided to live assuming I'm reasonably right in my scenario but that is more reason to appreciate life.

So I'll move to the country side soon to try and learn the skills I think I need. I'm also taking the opoprtunity to enjoy more now what I will miss tomorrow: I'm traveling like crazy as far as I can to see the more of my wish list. I'm more aware of the blessing of modern life enjoying to the fullest I can.

So, don't run way, accept and embrace. It turns out to be nothing more then the problem of life and death. As always.

I wish I could explain it better

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