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Can we save the planet?
By FairytaleGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:50 AM

With the relatively recent "save the planet" and "green" initiatives, I'm wondering if most people feel that we can actually save the planet?

Do people generally think that Earth was made to last forever? Even if we stopped all pollution and harmful acts right now, would it be enough?


Do you care? Or are you green minded for the sake of future generations?

Discuss!!

41 Replies to Can we save the planet?

re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 04, 2010 05:51 PM
Image hotlink - 'http://i55.tinypic.com/vhez48.png'

Humans have only been around since the holocene epoch - that little blip right on the end there.

The earth has been around long before us, and will be around long after we leave. After all, it survived a giant meteor slamming into it and breaking off a freaking part of the planet (that which is now the moon). More recently, it survived a meteor with a six-mile diameter smashing into the Gulf of Mexico. Killed off all the dinosaurs, but the planet turned out all right. Not to even touch on earthly disruptions like volcanoes - such as Krakatoa, which painted the skys red the world over, screwed with weather systems, and cooled the planet for years afterwards.

We're arrogant to think we can best Mother Nature at her own game. We'll die out when it's our time, Earth will keep on spinning without us, and life will go on.

"Global warming no wait global cooling no wait climate change" is not one of my pet causes. I don't give two craps. I will recycle if there's a recycling bin in front of me, otherwise, I'm much more interested in colonizing Mars.
re: Can we save the planet?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:43 PM
dear god, *skies
re: Can we save the planet?
By rosalinde
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 02:18 AM
The planet will be fine after the virus that's called Human Being has been wiped off. In fact, I think Earth will heave a sigh of relief and make a solemn resolution never EVER to allow a monkey to grow a brain that's too big for its own good.

Also, it's not a matter of 'Can the planet survive us?'. It's a matter of 'Can we survive the planet?' We are the stupid species that decides to build multi-million cities on the most dangerous places we can possibly find.

We'll no doubt continue to destroy a lot (because we are a destructive species), but we are puny, insignificant little critters in the over-all story of this planet and the universe. However, every attempt at making it a little better is a good one.
re: Can we save the planet?
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 03:13 AM
Everything has a beginning and an end.

I adhere to the belief that the earth is getting old. It had a beginning however long ago, and it will have an end. Because everything does.

Regarding whether or not I care, I see it as inevitable. It's like asking whether I care that I'll die one day. There's nothing I can do about the fact that I will, but I'm not going to work to make it happen sooner. I believe that we have a duty to look after our world, but I don't think this earth will last forever.
re: Can we save the planet?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 08:12 AM
After a few more billion years the sun will die and will go through several changes in the process. Of course this will affect the earth, which will eventually also die along with the sun. However, the more pressing concern for human beings is to stabilize earth's present conditions, insofar as possible, so that we can continue to thrive and evolve as a species for a long time.

Since we are a lot more adaptable than the dinosaurs, some of us should be able to continue on through additional ice ages, erupting volcanos and even small asteroid hits. We have begun to realize, though, that our own proliferation is causing changes to the planet in addition to the the natural cycles we can expect. In addition to our massive burning of fossil fuels, there are just, too, darned many of us! Whether we are causing global warming or global cooling or another phenomenon entirely, I'm sure we are causing something. We've seen, in miniature, what happens when an animal or plant overruns an area. Now we are doing it to the entire earth. Since we have in large part eliminated (or at least postponed) nature's balancing mechanisms of starvation and disease, and are hopefully also getting rid of war, we must replace those mechanisms by limiting and even reducing our numbers voluntarily.

Although the age of human beings must come to an end eventually, it would be nice if we had the time to evolve into something else rather than causing a premature catastrophe leaving the cockroach as the dominant species.
re: Can we save the planet?
By dust2dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 08:22 AM
Everyone acts as though the earth will self-destruct and blow up into a million billion pieces if we don't stop pollution and global warming. Now, I'm all for saving nature and animals; I'm a very outdoorsy person. But even if all this pollution gets out of hand and we change the planet into something new, I think nature will adapt. New species will replace the ones we lose to extiction. Life will find a way. Isn't that what history has taught us? So the real question here is "Can we save the planet from changing?" And I think the answer is no. The planet will change with or without our doing.
re: Can we save the planet?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 02:02 PM
To be honest, I think its a bit ridiculous to say "oh, we'll eventually be wiped out and the earth will be fine." As far as global warming and pollution go, I agree with everyone else. Its not too hard for there to be another ice age, wiping many species out, resetting things. However, plastic and other waste is what concerns me. Humans have been around for about 200,000 years. Our hominoid ancestors lived about a million years each. We still have about 800,000 years left if we follow suit. Imagine how much permanent damage could be done in that time.

I'm exceptionally green. I am vegetarian, eat local, use cloth grocery bags, turn all lights off except the room I'm in, use cloth pads, buy used, buy all recycled and natural personal care items, use unpaper towels, drive a car with good gas mileage, the list goes on. I don't do it out of guilt or some naive assumption that I singlehandedly am saving the planet. I do it because its healthier, cheaper, fits with my morals. Its not about "saving" anything, its about saying no to a society of selfish consumers and trying to make sure we procure a good, healthy future for coming generations.
re: Can we save the planet?
By Trout
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 03:14 PM
I think it depends entirely on who you ask.

Me, a person sitting in a comfortable chair on a computer with the internet, with clothes on my back and food in my fridge, would say "I care greatly about the planet and want to take initiative to reduce my carbon footprint and save the trees and the endangered species!"

However, ask a person in a third world nation about the impacts of human life on the planet and they would tell you they care more about cutting down a tree to provide heat for their children so they can survive the night.

I feel like saving the planet is entirely a western concept. Yes, humans are cutting down forests and burning up oil and killing off species, but this problem really can't be fully addressed until we solve the problem of poverty, hunger, and population control. Until we find a way for every human on earth to have access to food, water, and shelter, we won't be able to make a whole-hearted effort to improve natural conditions on this planet.
re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 03:28 PM
Trout, its interesting you bring that up. If we all lived like that, off the land, we wouldn't have the issue of saving the planet because we wouldn't be damaging the planet. As it is, if I remember correctly from anthropology, the natural carrying capacity of the earth is about 1 billion people. We clearly have exceeded that, by over 6 times.

So, perhaps the reason we westerners are on a crusade is because we are the ones using up so many resources. A tribal village in south america is not making much impact, while western companies who clear the south american rainforest for grazing land for cows to produce even more beef are making a HUGE impact. We just don't know how to live simply.
re: Can we save the planet?
By OkinawaDancing
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 04:23 PM
Keep in mind also. The argument that we use too many resources is not because we are cutting down trees for warmth or whatnot it is because we are cutting down trees in huge numbers for things that can be reproduced by recycling. Trees, for example, are used to make paper. Paper can be recycled into making more paper but is often thrown away making a demand for more paper thus cutting down more trees faster than they can grow. If more people recycled and the old paper was reused by the paper making plants we would not be going directly to trees for more paper.

Now trees are like natures air filter. They thrive off the bad and they reproduce the good. The more you cut down in mass the less air gets filtered. Obviously this creates a predicament.
re: Can we save the planet?
By CaffeinePremium member
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 06:57 PM
I saw an interesting documentary* the other day about the oceans, the impact that humanity is having on them (directly, as a cause of overfishing and shipping, as well as indirectly, with pollution and climate change). It was pretty stark. The image of the drowned turtle caught in a cast-off net is one that will haunt me for a while.

I believe we ARE having a negative effect on the environment thanks to heavy industrialisation and overconsumption, and that it's somewhat arrogant to think that what we're doing to the planet won't matter because there'll be another ice age or the sun will explode.

We are killing off so many species here and now, and driving others to the bring of extinction through our (collective) practices. But I also believe it's not too late. If people care more about the world outside their doorstep; if politicians stop thinking about the easy, crowd-pleasing vote and DO something; if we all try a little harder to be conscious of our consunption, we might start to make a change for the better, which will be a far greater legacy to leave our children's children than a wasteland. But it won't be in our lifetimes.



* For those interested, the doco was David Attenborough's "Horizons: The death of the Oceans?"
re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By aerial
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 06:13 AM
Kekoa wrote:

the natural carrying capacity of the earth is about 1 billion people. We clearly have exceeded that, by over 6 times.q]

Maybe we can save the earth by not breeding as much! I know quite a few folks that should not be breeding anyways as they are a strain on the earth as well as a strain on society!
re: Can we save the planet?
By slice
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:21 AM
Save the planet? From what? The planet is in no danger from us, this I assure you. It will outlive humans by billions of years (at least until the sun dies in about 5ish billion years I believe).

Now, will we be able to maintain the planet such that we as humans can survive and continue our standard of living? Probably not. But in my cynicism I believe that nuclear warfare will make Earth uninhabitable for humans before our pollution and excess will.
re: Can we save the planet?
By FairytaleGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:30 AM
^ I actually agree with you there.

Nuclear war will wipe us all out.

Personally I do nothing to reduce my carbon footprint, I recycle, thats about it. But to be honest, as i sit in my house looking out at snow, which Ive never seen the like of in my life, I think global warming is a scary and imminent issue that should be tackled.

Day after tomorrow just keeps flashing into my head..
re: Can we save the planet?
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:35 AM
When people talk about global warming and how we need to stop burning things and stop using cars and stop flying otherwise we're all either going to drown or be fried to a crisp, I can't help but wonder about trees. We might fly around a lot more than we used to, but there are also less trees than there used to be. Instead of making people feel like social lepers for forgetting to bring their hemp bag and charging them 5p at the checkout for a carrier bag, why not plant more trees? Replenish the rainforests?

I watched a programme recently about all these mad scientists looking at ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere by getting it absorbed into new types of plastics or injecting it into sandstone in Utah. Orrrr, how about we plant more trees? I wonder if I'm just being a total moron or if this solution is so simple that people just overlook it. Or perhaps it's too simple to be practical, because mad scientists needs jobs.

You don't need to manufacture plastics that absorb CO2 - trees do that naturally. Seems to me that we have always had a perfectly good system in place for saving the planet, we've just chosen to fart about with it.
re: Can we save the planet?
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:48 AM
^ The problem with that thinking is that we are so far behind that planting more trees doesn't do much for now. It takes many years for trees to grow and mature to the point of replacing what we've already destroyed. It is the most logical long term solution but it does little for the short term.

I wonder how many trees one person would have to plant to reduce their carbon footprint over an average lifetime?

kk~
re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:53 AM
I don't think it ever really has been about saving the planet. It's been about saving humanity from itself: trying to keep us from killing our children due to selfish arrogance that the resources we have are ours to use, the animals here are ours to kill, and that humanity deserves to do whatever it damn well pleases. The idea of moderation and forethought when it comes to our interaction with our environment may not make much of a difference to the Earth, but it will make one hell of a difference to the human race.
re: Can we save the planet?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 08:55 AM
Yeah, 77 million acres or rainforest are cut down each year. The rainforest used to cover 14% of the earth, now it covers 6%. It also happens to provide 40% of the worlds oxygen. Why is it being cleared? Grazing land for more cattle. You know, because cheap hamburgers are more important than breathing. Btw, all of the info I just relayed is from alicia silverstones book, she cites the studies.
re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:17 AM
^Dubious. Could have sworn the figures I've seen have been less than 30%. The majority of our oxygen comes from marine - not terrestrial - flora.

As everyone said, the planet doesn't need saving. But can we prevent a great ecological disaster of our own making? Yes. Will we? No. Why not? Because people won't quit having babies. Our population is already unsustainable so it's just a matter of time until we experience a correction. I don't know whether it'll be climate change, an ozone hole, nuclear war or a supervirus - but it's inevitable because we have too many damn people on this planet already.

ps - It really annoys me when people refer to WEATHER in a discussion about CLIMATE.
re: Can we save the planet?
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:27 AM
I second Panic here! He has basically said it all.

We will wipe out what we know to exist as the planet. Will it continue to exist? Who knows as I doubt mankind will.
re: Can we save the planet?
By amichelle523member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:55 PM
people won't quit having babies.


A book I read recently, I can't remember which one (though it may have been World War Z), said something to the tune of "we'll eventually drown ourselves in a sea of human flesh". Yeah, try and get that out of your head. It will be like Black Friday stampedes, but every day of our lives.
re: Can we save the planet?
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:06 AM
"Some day the sun will explode and eat us all and then it won't matter because we'll all be dead." That was what my one teacher taught me in high school. :D We were talking about all that crap that people think the world's going to come to an end in 2012 and all this other stuff about how the world's going to die...

Anyway. I do think there are some things that need to be changed. I don't think we can save the planet, but it's not a question if we're cutting down too many trees and creating too much pollution, etc.

I'm exceptionally green. I am vegetarian, eat local, use cloth grocery bags, turn all lights off except the room I'm in, use cloth pads, buy used, buy all recycled and natural personal care items, use unpaper towels, drive a car with good gas mileage, the list goes on. I don't do it out of guilt or some naive assumption that I singlehandedly am saving the planet. I do it because its healthier, cheaper, fits with my morals. Its not about "saving" anything, its about saying no to a society of selfish consumers and trying to make sure we procure a good, healthy future for coming generations.


That's like me. I do a lot of those things but it's not because I'm trying to save the planet. It's just healthier and cheaper.
re: Can we save the planet?
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Dec 08, 2010 01:13 PM
As everyone said, the planet doesn't need saving. But can we prevent a great ecological disaster of our own making? Yes. Will we? No. Why not? Because people won't quit having babies. Our population is already unsustainable so it's just a matter of time until we experience a correction. I don't know whether it'll be climate change, an ozone hole, nuclear war or a supervirus - but it's inevitable because we have too many damn people on this planet already.

I'm repeating this....because it bears repeating.

One time I had a dream where Ebola Zaire mutated and got everywhere...yeah. It was like the end of The Hot Zone, with the earth fighting back, how humans are the virus to the planet, etc.

It warms my heart to know that I'm not part of the out of control breeding problem. ;)
re: Can we save the planet? (karma: 1)
By Sumayah
On Wed Dec 08, 2010 02:38 PM
^ Then you probably hear the same argument I do, "that's really smart of you, but it's a shame you don't want kids, because it's the people like who should be having kids." But that's a debate in and of itself.

I started using cloth bags at the grocery store because they're bigger and I can make less trips to the car. That's laziness, not being green. I started buying local and buying organic because my grocery store pissed me off and I've become better educated about where my food comes from. If I can get local and support the local farmers, then sure. But otherwise, I don't stress over it too much. We act like we really have any control over the situation. Yes if everyone does their part then things will be better, but let's be real. Neither you nor I nor the world politicians have any control whatsoever as to the future of the this planet.

Besides, unless the Earth explodes the planet will still be around. The sun might not. If humanity outlasts the sun then we'll have to find and colonize new worlds anyway, so hopefully they'll learn from our past mistakes when civilizing a new planet. But the planet will still be there regardless. It will do what it needs to do with little heed to us.
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