Question by heeltap: Why is it some people can’t wrap their mind around the idea that human activities affect the environment?
That human population expansion and demands for greater economic development and growth leads to habitat destruction, resource depletion, and species extinction is one of the widely accepted generalizations found in all text books on Ecology and the indisputable evidence supporting the generalization are just overwhelming whether or not you have any education in modern science. For example, many primitive indigenous cultures know how true the generalization is. TWH 06042007-6
Global cooling of the 70’s is still around because particulate pollution is still around. The reflection of certain frequencies of solar energy has helped to offset the absorption and retention of other frequencies of the solar spectrum and may have masked the problem of solar warming leading to adverse climate changes. Understanding the problem in terms of the energy(radiation/absorption/reflection/accumulation) distribution dynamics of the atmosphere is not easy to explain in a simple manner.
Mike all human beings have preconceptions incl you and me. Intuition might be a better name. But good science is supposed to weed out the preconceptions to get to the facts. I think that the preponderance of the evidence points to adverse climate changes are coming and that part of the contributory cause is human activites that do not properly consider the impact that those activities have on the way complex natural systems like the atmosphere work. Try harder to understand the problem and consider the consequences if humans don’t change their energy consumption, and the waste-and-pollution-generating patterns to preserve bio-diversity and healthy ecosystems.
baypoint post is very thoughtful and the way caring people worry. I am almost 56 and I have no children of my own but my siblings and friends do and I know they, like you and me, care about future generations.
I believe that acute, abrupt climate changes are coming because of the polluting economic activities of 6.5 billion humans. The changes that will come in the dynamics of the atmosphere and hydosphere will come so fast, too fast that many species will die out and this will cause entire eco-systems to disappear. Maybe, if the changes were to occur more gradually, then species and eco-systems could have the time to adapt and evolve. Nature has different, longer time frames than we humans like. Life forms and habitats adapt to changes in the environment. New living conditions on the planet should not be the results of unplanned, uncontrolled human progress because we have no real understanding of where evolutionary processes will take us and because there is no fallback. We could end up extinguishing ourselves by being ignorant and arrogant about the position and role of the human species in the scheme of things and the theme of evolving life on the planet and in the universe.
Maybe the coming climate changes will be on balance good for humans, but maybe on balance they could hurt us. Some species win:others will lose. Either way given the uncertainty we humans face and the current limits of our knowledge and understanding, we should act cautiously and err on the conservative side and do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment for the sake of future generations and the future of humankind. Like Pascal’s bet that it is better to believe in and behave as if there is a God and salvation in an afterlife is possible, humans should believe and act as if we can understand,control , and reduce the damage our economic activities have on the Earths atmosphere. To not do so would be foolish and contrary to the long term interests of humanity in an absolutely amazing evolving universe.
lilzoo , you are correct in saying we are part of nature and that given the fact that we are conscious and have a conscience, it is incumbent on us to be a good part of nature and act responsibly caring for each other and the rest of nature which we all depend upon in ways we do not yet fully understand or appreciate.
Mike, this is not a left vs right issue, it is a good science issue which requires we act on the side of caution until we correct the global problem through the practice of democratic political statemanship at home and cooperative diplomacy worldwide. Bringing up environmental problems in the context of politics as a left-vs-right-issue only triggers further waste of time when we humans may not have the time to waste. Scientists have given us their best efforts and our political leaders had better get cracking and put all partisan and ideological bickering aside or they will be removed from office next elections as the weather problems worsen. TWH 06112007-2
byderule, baypointmike, raji and oliveoyl163, I liked all of your answers and all made good points, but the winner is the answer that points to the ignorance about the facts of life about human beings living in a miraculous natural world . Technology will not save us from ourselves, a change in perspective and attitude might. I hope all agree with my pick for best A and join me in congratulating him for hiiting the nail’s head.,
Answer by Man
I don’t want to be rude but to put it simply they’re dumb.
The world and time is a huge system that some people will never fully understand.
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