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You lost the war...

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  You lost the war...

The Shiekh (Fearless Blue)

Monday, May 02, 2005 - 07:47 pm Click here to edit this post
Sorry Xeo, but I completely disagree with your claim Adaption is our speciality. Humans are pretty poor at adaption, and in many ways are getting worse at it (due to things like immunisation and medical intervention). What humans are good at however is adapting the environment to ameliorate their deficiencies, and it is these practices which so greatly amplify our impact on the environment.

We burn things to keep us warm and cool ourselves by burning more energy to power our airconditioners. This is not adaption.

Developed countries are in no position to demand what sort of environmental standards developing countries have to abide by. The developed countries polluted like crazy in building their wealth, developing countries are entitled to do the same, they are also entitled to reject subsidies from developed nations aimed at encouraging them to use more environmentally friendly practices. Kyoto being just a first step, would achieve little for the environment. High CO2 producing industries (such as energy intensive aluminium smelting) would merely move from industrialised countries to developing countries following the supply of cheaper (and more polluting) energy. Such a move would most likely increase global CO2 emissions, however it would have an economic spin off and allow developing nations to claw back a bit economically in relation to developed countries. Australia refused to sign Kyoto, which is unsurprising as coal comprises 10% of the country's exports.

Business has no incentive to use more sustainable practices or to reduce their impacts on the environment until environmental damage is included as a business cost. Capitalism dictates that corporate profit is best served by shifting as much of the costs of the production outside the corporation. Getting the community to fund the clean up of pollution produced by a corporation makes great business sense. The cleaning up of industry in regard to pollution has had little to do with technological advancement and innovation, it has instead been driven by the introduction of limits on pollutants and an increase in businesses being held accountable for the pollutants they produce.

Big Daddy, I don't believe its possible for the rest of the world to raise their standard of living to the same as our own. Our standard of living is supported (in part) by other people living under lesser conditions, for example our cheap clothing and footware is dependant upon others working under sweat shop conditions. Peoples from countries with little arable land, or with high population desities have to surfice by consuming little meat, they just don't have the acrage to spare for graising large numbers of animals. The world could not support its current population if everyone required the same environmental footprint as US citizens, the planet simply isn't big enough.

If we want to appreciably raise the standard of living for the rest of the world then our standard of living has to drop (or change to a more sustainable basis) or a lot of people have to start dying. If we don't want wars or eugenics then a pandemic seems the best option to lower the world population. Bird flu anyone?

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