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This topic contains 93 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by Manatee Manatee 3 years ago.

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  • #278578
    gramarye
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    No, nine times more expensive using net present value calculations … in other words, taking the best available science regarding future impacts into account. It is possible to account–scientifically and in actuarial terms–for the future costs in present-day calculations.

    You may argue that those future costs were dramatically understated, but they were not ignored. The EPA’s judgment was that the marginal benefit of saving 85-90% of the potentially affected marine life and saving 98% was not substantial enough to justify the inordinately higher costs.

    #278579
    rus
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    Manatee wrote >>
    I’m not suggesting a raise in taxes, or ballot initiative, nor do I enjoy your (rus’) curt tone. I’m just trying to do the best I can.

    Then you seek only private funding? Or do you wish to impose your ideas on the public via legislation, regulation and taxes?

    I really liked the ducks unlimited link posted previously. They obviously seek to remake nature in their image, but do so with their own money. One is free to join them or ignore them at one’s will.

    Also, since they’re a pro-hunting group, it’s rather easy to understand their motivation.

    #278580
    Manatee
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    I don’t wish to “impose my ideas” at all. This is a brainstorming session.

    When I did work at a non-profit, privately funded nature preserve, it always amazed me how many people were very, very angry and curt that I did. They were constantly reflecting their inner self-judgement on to me. Just enraged that I would have the gall to presume that I was doing anything worthwhile. It was a very chastening lesson in human nature, as well as a marker of just how afraid we are even to broach the very edge of this topic. It is literally so difficult for some of us to imagine that the underlying structure of our society has a huge blind spot when it comes to ecology, that our bodies and subconscious minds refuse to acknowledge it. When traumatized, or in danger, people’s minds have the capacity to do very strange things to subvert what is in front of them. People can suppress memories, they can split into different personalities, they can even experience amnesia. Or they can simply say, “This is all bullshit. Everyone knows you can just walk into a store, and buy stuff, and everything’s under control. That’s just the way it is”. Our entire way of life is a human construct, which has grown increasingly abstract and intellectualized, all the while ignoring physical reality. It’s hard to wake up and smell that coffee.

    Much of this work has traditionally been privately funded. But I do not understand why so many loathsome and nonsensical things are publicly funded, while the basic integral structure of biological life is put on the backburner. I am not free to “join at one’s will” the financial forgiveness being currently received by the banks, the car companies, or the Iraq War. I am expected to pay, though these very policies strip me of more and more of my fair due as a citizen with each passing day.

    I have a creeping suspicion that we willfully like ugliness, and think that anything beautiful is a luxury. The very fact that much of our land is now occupied with crumbling strip malls and never-ending asphalt corroborates this. It is as though once pavement has been laid down, a place ceases to exist as physical land. It has been erased, literally as well as in our imaginations. But pavement is not forever.

    And many hunting groups have very honorable motivations. Hunting groups and conservation groups have traditionally been on the same page. Some of the earliest conservationists, like Aldo Leopold, were hunters.

    But I won’t argue with you anymore, because at this point both of our energies are better spent elsewhere.

    #278581
    Manatee
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    gramarye wrote >>
    the marginal benefit of saving 85-90% of the potentially affected marine life and saving 98% was not substantial enough to justify the inordinately higher costs.

    I’m unclear here. Saving 85-90% AND 98%? Or do you mean the choice between the two?

    At any rate, this is subjective. What is the “cost” of one human life? Or of any life? How can such a figure even be determined? This is a fundamental failing in our way of seeing things. Everything, no matter how necessary, boils down to cost, which is a human construct outside of, and largely ignorant of, the actual physical economy of our planet.

    You frequently discuss your pro-life views. What would you say if I told you that I was pregnant, but that my “cost analyses”, projected into the future and with very sound science, dictated that this project was too expensive?

    #278582

    Tenzo
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    Not to get back on topic, but;

    Interesting article about the seven myths of green jobs
    http://pepei.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?ARTICLE_ID=364262&p=67 myths of green jobs

    Myth 1: Everyone understands what a “green job” is.
    Fact 1: No standard definition of a “green job” exists.

    Myth 2: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.
    Fact 2: Green jobs estimates in these oft-quoted studies include huge numbers of clerical,
    bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for
    consumption.

    Myth 3: Green jobs forecasts are reliable.
    Fact 3: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based on dubious assumptions.

    Myth 4: Green jobs promote employment growth.
    Fact 4: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described in the literature actually encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growth cannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations (UN). Government interference in the economy – such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests – will generate stagnation.

    Myth 5: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living.
    Fact 5: History shows that individual nations cannot produce everything its citizens need or desire. People and countries have talents that allow specialization in products and services that make them ever more efficient, lower-cost producers, thereby enriching all people.

    Myth 6: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets.
    Fact 6: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers/markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

    Myth 7: Wishing for technological progress is sufficient.
    Fact 7: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today’s demands.

    (methodology is in the article)

    #278583
    Manatee
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    “Facts” 4 and 6 are hilarious. Just try telling these, once again, to banks, car companies, and even huge parts of the government itself. They sure as hell seem to think that economic growth (4) can be mandated by Congress, and (6) that government mandates can create demand.

    As for “Facts” 1, 2, 3, and the remainder of 4, we have said before that there are varying degrees of “greeness” when it comes to jobs. Green jobs can be everything from changing small things about standard business practices, all the way to running a non-profit nature preserve, sustainable farm, or monitoring stream health all day. And, again, many of these things are not going to be “productive” in the normal sense of the word, that is, productive in our abstract economy that considers itself independent of the physical economy of the planet. The analogy would be a savings account. More Americans are saving money right now, and it is bad for our economy in the short term. But consider that if they had done this in the first-place, instead of taking on high risk loans (and let’s throw those banks, corporations and the government in there while we’re at it; they could have taken fewer high risks as well), then they (and all of us) might be in a better position then we are now. But try going back in time and telling that to everyone who was cashing in on poorly-financed housing. They’d tell you you’re nuts, because you’d be FORESTALLING PRODUCTIVITY.

    The higher the financial risks taken by all of us, the higher the capital, the higher the “productivity”. That’s how capitalism works. But let me ask you this, does that make any logical sense? What, exactly, are we “producing”? And furthermore, why will the larger entities be forgiven their bad risks, to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars (furnished, at least in part, by us and our future), while we stagnate in foreclosure, unemployment, and ecological wastelands? No thanks.

    Why continue on this way, acting like things are a one-way street up, up, and up out of the ground, when in physical fact they are a cycle through it?

    I don’t call for more “green jobs” just because I want a job. I don’t expect that the payment would be standard, but it should be life-sustaining. I don’t call for it to recescutate our old, failing economy. I call for it to engender a new way of doing things, to remedy the fundamental errors we have made in constructing our culture, errors which are currently placing us in grave danger.

    The need for these jobs is three-fold: people need good work, that can be done well, It is satisfying to go to sleep each night, having worked diligently and contributed something sound. The earth needs stewards. If we are to demand much of the earth, we must be willing to work on its behalf as well. And a way must be found to make this relationship mutually beneficial.

    All of the raw materials for this are at hand. But we are so entrenched in our current way of ordering things, that we would rather die than have it wrested from us.

    #278584
    gramarye
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    Manatee wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    the marginal benefit of saving 85-90% of the potentially affected marine life and saving 98% was not substantial enough to justify the inordinately higher costs.

    I’m unclear here. Saving 85-90% AND 98%? Or do you mean the choice between the two?

    Yes, the choice between the two.

    The second option involved compelling all existing power plants to reconstruct their cooling systems into closed-cycle systems. The EPA requires new plants to have closed-cycle systems, because it’s a lot easier to build such a system from the start, with such a system being part of the initial plant design rather than a retrofit. Those systems save 98% of marine life above baseline estimates (which involve basically just sucking in water out of a waterway).

    The first option involved modifications to existing systems that were substantially less expensive and more customizable, allowing engineers for the power companies to propose different systems to the EPA designed to achieve substantially similar results (85%-90% reductions) at a substantially lower cost. The EPA determined that this was permissible; the environmental lobby attempted to play backseat driver and use the courts to compel the EPA to demand that power companies make those ninefold-higher outlays to upgrade preexisting plants to closed-cycle systems. They lost.

    At any rate, this is subjective. What is the “cost” of one human life? Or of any life? How can such a figure even be determined? This is a fundamental failing in our way of seeing things. Everything, no matter how necessary, boils down to cost, which is a human construct outside of, and largely ignorant of, the actual physical economy of our planet.
    You frequently discuss your pro-life views. What would you say if I told you that I was pregnant, but that my “cost analyses”, projected into the future and with very sound science, dictated that this project was too expensive?

    The difference between a human life and a fish or shellfish life is immeasurable. If those water intake systems were sucking in live children, they would not be regulated, they would be banned. The law rightly draws a sharp distinction between human and non-human life. (Pets, for example, are considered property, not additional family members, the sentiments of their owners notwithstanding.)

    As for the cost or value of that marine life, the critical issue was that both the 85%-90% system and the 98%-reduction system were sufficiently protective so that the adverse environmental impact did not actually threaten the sustainability of the species populations. In other words, you wouldn’t get a great deal more environmental protection from upgrading the systems further, but you would substantially increase the costs, which would then have to be passed on to consumers.

    Our financial resources are finite and there are limits to what we can fairly ask cash-strapped consumers to bear in the interests of environmental protection. The whole point of cost-benefit analysis is that it focuses regulatory agencies (and through them, companies and individuals whose activities may adversely impact the environment) on low-hanging fruit: ameliorating the ills that cost least to ameliorate and have the greatest positive impact on the environment. It prevents the primordialist factions from imposing policies that would cost $1 billion to save one fish, and prevents gung-ho economic development factions from imposing policies that would allow the destruction of 1 billion fish to save or make $1. At some level, yes, this is making a judgment call about the “value” of intangible concepts, but more accurately, it’s making a judgment about how much public money is worth spending on their protection, or private money pressed into service by government regulation, which is functionally similar. We have to do this even with human lives because, while the value of human life may be theoretically infinite in the immaterial sense, our material resources are finite and need to be allocated in the most efficient way possible.

    #278585
    gramarye
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    Manatee wrote >>
    “Facts” 4 and 6 are hilarious. Just try telling these, once again, to banks, car companies, and even huge parts of the government itself. They sure as hell seem to think that economic growth (4) can be mandated by Congress, and (6) that government mandates can create demand.

    And what in the recent history of banks and car companies makes you think that we should accept their theories of growth?

    #278586

    michaelcoyote
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    Manatee wrote >>
    And many hunting groups have very honorable motivations. Hunting groups and conservation groups have traditionally been on the same page. Some of the earliest conservationists, like Aldo Leopold, were hunters.

    I so wish more people had grown up hunting or at least around hunters.. I grew up around hunters and tried my hand at it several times.. I think there’s something humbling about the practice.. I believe it forces people to pay attention to their environment and contemplate their place in the world.. at least for a little while…

    Hunters were some of the earliest organized conservationists.. Ducks Unlimited pioneered the idea of a conservation organization focusing on the preservation and conservation of wetlands, mainly because they were the first to notice the declining waterfowl populations.

    #278587
    enzo
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    Is there someone doing Green Weddings?

    #278588

    Tenzo
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    enzo wrote >>
    Is there someone doing Green Weddings?

    I’d love to post a picture of what came to mind when you mentioned this. :)

    My wife and I got married in a church built in 816 AD. in Florence. No flowers, white runner or stuff thrown. The natural beauty of the church was enough. That count for green?

    #278589

    misskitty
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    Tenzo wrote >>

    enzo wrote >>
    Is there someone doing Green Weddings?

    I’d love to post a picture of what came to mind when you mentioned this. :)
    My wife and I got married in a church built in 816 AD. in Florence. No flowers, white runner or stuff thrown. The natural beauty of the church was enough. That count for green?

    I think it does but I also think if you want to get technical most weddings have green elements to them right?
    Like renting stuff instead of buying it, Using local foods, etc.
    Would that be considered green?

    #278590
    enzo
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    I was thinking more along the lines of the clothing.

    #278591
    Bear
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    Tenzo wrote >>
    Fact 6: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers/markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

    And yet.

    #278592
    rus
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    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    Manatee wrote >>
    And many hunting groups have very honorable motivations. Hunting groups and conservation groups have traditionally been on the same page. Some of the earliest conservationists, like Aldo Leopold, were hunters.

    I so wish more people had grown up hunting or at least around hunters.. I grew up around hunters and tried my hand at it several times.. I think there’s something humbling about the practice.. I believe it forces people to pay attention to their environment and contemplate their place in the world.. at least for a little while…
    Hunters were some of the earliest organized conservationists.. Ducks Unlimited pioneered the idea of a conservation organization focusing on the preservation and conservation of wetlands, mainly because they were the first to notice the declining waterfowl populations.

    Perhaps this speaks to the human nature comments above, but my point with ducks unlimited being “understandable” is to motivation and methods.

    When I see hunters who are conservationists their motivation seems straight forward. They like hunting and want to continue hunting so they take actions to ensure they can, such as the preservation of waterfowl habitat.

    Similarly, environmentalists against industrial pollution are understandable.

    However, I tend to be suspicious of those who “dream of a better world”. Better how and by what measurement? Is “better” completely subjective? Is “better” even obtainable and how would one know when it has been? Not to drag too much politics in, but as an example consider those who dreamed of democracy in the middle east and how that turned out.

    So it’s not so much that a dream is necessarily bad; if the motivation is primarily emotional though then one could expect many people will not share that emotion at first glance. Objective goals and measurements might help gain supporters as well as defining progress.

    michaelcoyote: perhaps this should be in a different thread, but if one wanted to begin hunting today where would one start? Where would one hunt?

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