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  #16  
Old 10-12-2010, 03:46 AM
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Exactly... that's the problem with politics. The parties are all too similar and to different, depending on the issue, when in both cases I often disagree with all of the mainstream ones.
The left wingers have some points and some things I think 'WTF are they on about'. Same for the right wingers. The only people who DON'T in that I am completely opposed are authoritarians (and even then, that is usually mixed with another political stance which I may agree with part of).

I think that even James Cameron bringing these to people's attention is a good thing though... Before all of this, I'd only heard of them vaguely and had no idea what was actually happening, same as what's going on in Brazil at the moment. While I may not be there so can't get directly involved, now I know I will try and do what I can.
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2010, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa
you may think you're outside the the spectrum of politics, but you're not. Nobody is, I'm not, JC's not. However, based on what I've observed, you lean waaaaaay, waaaaaay to the left. On just about everything.
I think to simplify politics to one dimension between left and right is a gross oversimplification. That is what I meant by perceiving myself not within that spectrum. If you have maybe two or three dimensions, the picture is more clear. The one dimensional system knows only left, middle and right. The common ground is the current political system at least. So they all agree on a representative democracy, on state authority and control, on a mass society, on technology as a solution for the problems we and the planet face and so on. They believe that voting the appropriate party, using the appropriate technology, improving buerocracy will help. They think that tweaking the current course of politics into one or another direction will change it enough to allow it to continue. I dont believe this. Consequently I do not really like to vote for any party. For example, I believe in a true democracy, not the thing the politicians made out or it. In a way it is like this - someone who believes in a monarchy and a kingdom (which is definitely not my view, it is just an example easier to understand) - is he left? right? Or outside of the onedimensional spectrum of left-right, maybe on the bottom right corner of a two-dimensional model?

Quote:
Whereas myself and JC, seem to take less extreme views on some things, and perhaps more extreme left OR right views on other things.
A lot of people think similarly, but they don't talk much, so you never hear about them. Its always the extreme left and extreme right doing battle with the rest of us just kind of sitting here.
Well - about JC - I do not clearly understand how he can take up different views on very similar things (large scale environmentally destructive projects, endangering forests, rivers and threatening the livelihood of native people).
Anyways - I get that the "silent majority" sits smack in the middle - they just want things to go on as they do, believe in steering a little will avoide the icebergs approaching. The problem I have with "just kind of sitting here" is, that this is exactly this attitude that got us here, facing that iceberg. It is of course also the easiest way, and the one taken by people who just have not thought of global politics at all (this is not targeted at you personally, but to many people who just dont care and simply vote "the middle" out of beeing lazy). All I can say is that if nothing much changes, we will hit that iceberg. "just sitting there" will not help. If the NA'Vi would have been "just sitting there" at the tree of souls, the RDA would have bombed them and started mining Pandora excessively. Sometimes, you have to take a side and cant say "maybe". Do you take the side of Nature and the Planet or of hydrocarbon mining for cheap fuel? The middle ground would be to have both, but that is impossible - they are mutually exclusive. All you can do is to promise to "just do a little bit of devastation" or to "clean up after destroying" - but that is not really helping. To be blunt - imagine the trees there to be human beeings. That is a stretch, but take it for a moment. What do you think would they think - that it is a big progress to cut down a few less than originally planned (but still take down hundreds of thousands)? That it is all right if they are allowed to settle in the newly created landscape after the destruction? Don't you think it would not be the same again for a long long time?
That is my standpoint. I am freaking emotionally attached to Nature and Ecology. And honestly I also see it as offensive if people from "the middle" make fun of my concerns, of my attachments, of me literally crying for a tree that is cut down, basically of calling my standpoint something "extreme".

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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Exactly... that's the problem with politics. [...] I often disagree with all of the mainstream ones. The left wingers have some points and some things I think 'WTF are they on about'. Same for the right wingers. The only people who DON'T in that I am completely opposed are authoritarians
That is what I said about the limitations of seeing politics as a one dimensional line. It is not. The extreme left and right people agree in many areas more to each other than with the center ones. At best it is a spiral - more likely a sphere... or even more likely you cant put them in any kind of cartesian system. (trade is a good example. nationalist right wing parties want to restrict global trade to protect their economy - left wing parties want to do the same to protect foreign economies. The center parties want to allow globalization)

Quote:
I think that even James Cameron bringing these to people's attention is a good thing though... Before all of this, I'd only heard of them vaguely and had no idea what was actually happening, same as what's going on in Brazil at the moment. While I may not be there so can't get directly involved, now I know I will try and do what I can.
That is true. Raising awareness is a good thing. Always. People have to start thinking. They should form an opinion instead of just taking in or let everything go by them. That is the principle of a democracy - the basics - democracy ONLY works if the "common people" who supposedly have the power are well informed and ready to make a decision for themselves - only then can they in some way contribute to the political decisions. If 90% of the people dont really care or know about a problem, the remaining 10% will decide - and the 90% will feel the effects much later. Living in a democracy harder than in a monarchy - if all people really have the power to make decisions, they all have to work a bit, take part a bit, educate themselves a bit. They have to take bits of the workload of the monarch to themselves.
Ideally, all people should be asked on all aspects of politics that affect them and ideally they should all be well informed and able to formulate their own reasonable opinion. That is utopian of course within the system we are in now, but that is no reason not to strive towards that.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2010, 05:04 PM
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I dont think you got a word I said. Your still part of the left. Environmentalism in all its forms has always been a liberal policy, different people to different degree's, but you're still to the left. Monarchy's are a right winged principal. There are people who want to return to those days, and reestablish state religions as a result. Everybody sits on the scale, even anarchists. Although, what you define as "anarchism", can vary.

And moderates sit here because we either don't have the time, or energy to argue with you radicals. We just sit here and take your abuse. We have the right telling us that gay's and Muslims are going to destroy us, your left telling us that guns and the environment are going to kill us. We try to make a rational decision, and get slapped down by BOTH sides for not agreeing 100% with their doctrine.

You are the same as the extreme right, even if you don't want to be. This is why I'm just going to start writing in Jon Stewart on presidential election ballots. He's the only outspoken moderate out there these days.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
I dont think you got a word I said. Your still part of the left. Environmentalism in all its forms has always been a liberal policy, different people to different degree's, but you're still to the left.
Ah - so because I am environmentalist, I am left? That's what I call oversimplification... Especially looking at some state parliaments in Germany that have a conservative government allied with the green party. Or in Bavaria, you have "right wing" christian conservatives standing up for a healthy landbase for their agriculture. Oh and in Stuttgart, dedicated followers of the christian conservatives placed themselves in line of the bulldozers about to shred trees for a new construction project.

Oh and then the soviet states of the East - they are left wing in your view, right? They wrecked havoc with the environment there.

And then:
Quote:
Monarchy's are a right winged principal. There are people who want to return to those days, and reestablish state religions as a result. Everybody sits on the scale, even anarchists.
So these people want to "return to those days of monarchy" in terms of government - reading some Karl Marx theories about the "original society" gives quite the impression that he wanted communism to be a return to a way people realted to each other in the past. Same for some Anarchists, who want a "return to a smallscale (band-) society" which is also found in native tribes.

I am not saying that most of my views dont fit into what you would call "the left", but honestly I think a onedimensional spectrum can not serve the variety of political and socioeconomic opinions well. Depending on what parameter you fixate (environment, family, social net, economics, authoritarianism, liberty, pacifism,...) people will end up at a different point on that line.

This goes as far as that nationalist jew haters start to form a self sufficient commune and practice a new age religion while trying to recreate feudalism. WTF? - Put that into your spectrum...

Quote:
And moderates sit here because we either don't have the time, or energy to argue with you radicals.
Well, I guess moderates try to find a middle way always, but if all the left wingers would dissapear, I doubt the moderates would hold to their values - they would shift towards the ones that are left over .

I guess one thing is evident. During the past, there were always a lot of moderates with people of different more extreme positions pulling at them in different directions. In the end some compromise ruled. And in a way that is all right - I am not opposed to compromises. But there are times I hate compromises. when it comes to a continued existence on this planet for example. I dont see it as a compromise if humans are trying to destroy the planet a little slower. Thats no compromise. It is as foul as Greenpeace giving away protected forestland to build an oil pipeline in exchange for some other area - or the government in Stuttgart, that offers talks about a compromise in that construction project but continues to build and even states that they will not stop building. Some things, you just cant do "a little bit", and when it comes to a living Earth, there are only two options - you can destroy it (big time or a little less than big time) - or you can save it!

But if you want to see yourself as the hero that stands in the middle, unwaivering to the obviously nonsensical ramblings of "left" and "right" extremists, then so be it. Just saying that that position is about as radical as the others. A strict policy of "lets not change too much" can be extreme conservatism or it can be extreme resistant towards significant changes. Just because it is the current course in politics does not say anything on its extremeness...

LOL - I just have the image in my head of a donkey walking towards a gorge with two people pulling him to either side, another one pulling him back and a fourth one sitting on top traing to make him go forward. Poor donkey. I guess the best option would be to stop for a moment and look at the options and the evidence presented rather than beeing stubborn and move on.
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2010, 10:25 PM
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So you want compromises... For issues you don't really care about. But on YOUR issues, compromise is out. Right. Mix in some more fear tactics on our imminent destruction, and we have more "We're correct they're wrong from the left!" And of course the right never shuts up about it either. Fun times, fun times...

And if the left shut up, then we'd just have to weather the rights constant stream of abuse. Because they will never shut up. EVER. (Except when I turn off Fox news, then its quiet)

I don't want to hear your dogma. Anybody's dogma. I don't care. I don't want to hear "We're right they're wrong" I want to know whats happening, why, and how, so I can make my own rational decision, and not be attacked by everybody for either disagreeing with them or not being radical enough.
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2010, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
I don't want to hear your dogma. Anybody's dogma. I don't care. I don't want to hear "We're right they're wrong" I want to know whats happening, why, and how, so I can make my own rational decision, and not be attacked by everybody for either disagreeing with them or not being radical enough.
Fair enough. Make your own decisions. Everyone should. I dont want anyone to take my word on anything. I draw my conclusions from the evidence I get. From science and logic for most cases (when it comes to the facts about my "doomsaying" on ecological destruction) and from emotion in some others (when it comes to possible solutions and to the human/emotional side of it all).
So scientific conclusion is for example that the climate is changing and that it is caused by civilization. That is like >90% in favour of that "leftist" theory. Still the "moderates" are just now - some 30 years after there was a convincing amount of evidence for it - starting to even consider taking steps and at the pace they do in conferences like Copenhagen this is not going anywhere.
I am not accepting all leftist theories on faith, if that is what you think. I look into it, into the evidence, into anthropology, biology, chemistry, geology. I studied geosciences, chemistry and biology even some resource geology, which gave me a bit of a global perspective, I would say. And I drew my own conclusions from learning about history as a special interest, from personal experience with people not knowing anymore that one can eat food that comes from a fire or that milk comes from cows. There are no other conclusions I can come to as the ones I voice here, at least when it comes to the situation, the causes and the pressure to act. I am more open about the future, as this is obviously not yet written and cant be analyzed like the past can be. I more or less have some ideas and I can make an educated guess as to what will not help there. And what does not help at all is "business as usual" or "baby steps".

So do your own research - look out for evidence, sift through books on anthropology, resource management, chemistry, biology, ecosystem science, history, economics even. I read only a tiny tiny fraction of all that is available probably. Just really do so! Too many "moderates" are not doing so. They are moderate because they dont see a need in sifting through evidence and papers in research journals or books on science - of because they dont have the time and prefer to choose a role model they can listen to and follow - or by simply taking the middle between the ramblings from the right and the left and hope that that is a good point there as in bartering for a price on a marketplace in Egypt. I dont know you, I cant say this about you, but many moderates could not tell me solid evidence or a good line of deduction to support heir standpoint, but without such a stance, I cannot believe that they are making the right choices.

So let me ask you this to get to know you a bit better - what is your view of the development, of politics and civilization based on - how did you arrive at the standpoint, you are at now
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2010, 04:52 PM
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As far as global warming goes, this has been debated to death. I'd need to find it, but charting global climate change over the past few million years, we're currently approaching the peak temperature of our cycle, and it will go back down. None of us will be alive to see it of course, this is measured in thousands of years.



Not the exact chart I was looking for, but still. When you look at ALL the data rather than just the tiny snapshot of the past two decades, it suddenly looks normal. Now, you're the one who sounds just as crazy as the people saying the global temperature isn't changing.

Since neither side will agree on anything, its up to a third party to say "Hey, maybe your both right!" In this case, yes the temperature is changing, no we are not responsible.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:31 AM
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So we end up with a global warming debate?

You know that the current ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is >380ppm, right?
This gives us this:


For the upper graph, CO2 ppm, this is based on actual data. For the lower part, with the "?", this is projections - no one knows how high the change will be, but looking at the two graphs and their correlation, you can predict where it will go. Climate modelling also predicts and increase in at least 2 °C for the current ppm CO2 (and that is the low estimate for a concentration not rising anymore. James Lovelock, inventor of the CCD in your webcam and NASA scientist estimated 8°C which would turn most of the world into desert).
And one thing is pretty evident - the current oil and coal burning of millions and millions of tons of CO2 per day definitely contributes to the CO2 content of the atmosphere. It does not just happen to go from <300 during 1/2 a million years to 380 in 50 years coincidentially at the time people start to burn oil and coal massively.

Also note that the increase is far steeper (100 years in that graph is a straight line up) than ever before. Also note, that the mechanisms to alleviate the increase in the past (forests and ocean life for example) are also beeing hindered.

So no "maybe you are both right" does not cut it. The number of studies showing an anthropogenic climate change are vastly outnumbering the ones who show something else.

Besides - high CO2 is not only bad for the climate it is also bad for the ocean acidity and other factors of less obvious consequences. Most people in the general public dont even know how greenhouse gasses act and what the consequences really are

But the point is: How much hard evidence and conclusive deduction does it take to convince moderates to accept something. I think moderates are so tired of beeing told by "left and right wing" people what is the truth, that they simply shut down to any argument and rather do the easiest but most unsatisfying thing and simply take a stand that is between the opinions they are presented with without assigning different weight to them out of fear that this would make them less moderate. So if 90% of the studies show something and 10% show something else, you go on and say "Oh, lets make it 50%, that is in the middle. Do you see the illogic there? That is like 90 people saying one thing and 10 people saying another thing and by averaging this to 50 you give that 10 people about 10 times more credibility than the 90 people.

And yes, this is still on topic - Tar sands mining produces several times as much CO2 emmissions (and an article in current issue of Science describes CO2 as the major greenhouse gas) per liter of oil than conventional drilling and I still say the massive evidence on this, as well as the obvious destruction of nature in Canada are reason enough for someone like Cameron to know and stand up against such insanity.
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  #24  
Old 11-05-2010, 08:40 AM
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Oh - just was reminded of a more accurate (but still lacking a number of dimensions) chart of political positions: The Political Compass - it is a 2 dimensional chart - you can even take a test and check some famous peoples position for comparison. I'd be interested on where you stand on that. I am far at the "bottom" and quite a bit to the "left" on that one (looking from the "middle" of the chart, I am a bit beyond the Dalai Lama and Ghandi LOL). Sadly, some of the questions are having presumptions that made me choose a position that I dont like. For example one question asks if civilization requires strong authorities to continue existing. An answer of "yes" means to score authoritarian, while a "No" would score libertarian, but I had to say "yes" as I really believe that a industrialized mass society (civilization) does require authority - but the presumption behind the question is of course that everyone thinks such a society is the goal or the only way to live. So it presumes that of course I would want civilization. My true answer would be "yes, civilization as we define it and as it is set up requires authority, but I dont want authority, even if that means dismantling civilization as we know it now". Of course that answer is not included - so maybe they should put in a 3rd dimension and a 4th and...
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:24 PM
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60 year old charts don't mean much, here's a 10 year old one..



And another for the temperature:

What we see is that the temperature has not risen as it should. I guess this is because of all the other poisons pumped up in the sky that keep sunlight from coming down to earth? Welcome new ice age... >.>

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:31 PM
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I've done those political tests that map left/right and authoritarian/libertarian before. I place fairly evenly in the centre and fairly far towards libertarian, which is about right for how I'd class myself.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:31 AM
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Yeah, Fosus, thanks for the charts. I had to copy them and overlap them to correlate them both but if you do that you can also clearly see the connection between CO2 rise first and temperature rise later.
As you can see then, it takes a while for the temperature to rise. As the increase in CO2 recently is happening in the blink of an eye, it can be expected to have an influence only with some delay. Predictions are, that it will happen within this century. The effect has been buffered a bit by the release of sulfur compounds in the atmosphere causing more clouds and most of all the oceans have taken up much of the CO2 and temperature increase. But as the oceans turn more acidic due to this they not only become less favourite places to live for animals, they also reach a point at which they just cannot take up any more CO2. As they also warm up slowly, the world as a whole warms up. Think of a loop-circle fountain that is inside a room. As long as the water in the fountain is cold, it will cool down the room by its lower temperature and by evaporation (this is used in some hot regions as a air conditioning). But if that goes on for a long time, the water will warm up and the air becomes saturated in vapor and so the cooling effect of the fountain is gone. This is what is happening with the oceans and the atmosphere and that is part of why global warming is not instantaneous but takes some decades to take hold. The last time, so much CO2 was in the atmosphere, reptilians had a definite advantage over mammals, the optimum habitat for mammals was Antarctica and there were no ice caps. If we are heading towards that, as scientists like Prof James Lovelock predict, humans will either have to find ways to live in a desert or move to Antarctica. I hope he is wrong.

What are the chances for a next ice age? It is possible. Mainly one major mechanism could make it happen, that is a breakdown of the oceanic currents and a diversion of the gulf stream to Greenland instead of Europe. By that, northern regions could become colder, more ice and snow could form over Europe (as it is colder) and over Canada and Greenland (as they get more humidity) and the resulting albedo effect could cool down Earth. Personally, I dont believe that even this effect would be enough at this stage though, if CO2 emission is not stopped. Not diminished or reduced, but stopped completely. Give Earth the chance to deal with the CO2 that are now stored in the "buffers" and not reach a point at which they overflow...
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:11 PM
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Thanks for the political test Aurora, it was quite interesting to see where I stood within the 'spectrum'.

Although, I still maintain that we should only label ourselves as 'us' in terms of beliefs and not try to unnecesarily brand ourselves with a certain group's 'logo'. Believe only what you believe and let other people try and rationlise where you fall in their mind.

After all that... here's me.

Political Compass Printable Graph
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:45 AM
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Back on topic - tar sands mining.

Just found this:
Petroleum Play

Are you fracking serious? In times of dire need to move AWAY from oil as a resource that is KNOWN to cause immense damage, they teach kids how oil is good and a playful nice thing so they can grow up with the ideas in their heads that when they grow up they can be oil miners as well? And then add some phoney environmentalist points in it by not letting you build a pipeline through a forest while in reality they do this:
Great Bear Rainforest RAVE

Can you spell propaganda... sigh good grief...
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:06 PM
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*facedesk* *facedesk* *facedesk*
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