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Old 03-13-2012, 08:04 AM
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Default A lost Pandora on Manhattan

Once Manhattan was a land of beauty and ecological harmony. It consisted of many different ecological zones and had a rich and varied fauna and flora. Here also lived the Lenape people who was a part of the web of the ecological interdependencies that formed this island.

Today the soil of Manhattan is covered by concrete and steel. The hills are levelled, the springs and pond is gone and most of the animals. Where peaceful indigenous villages stood, now sterile towers rise to the sky.

In an interesting research project the old landscape has been restored, digitally and we can get a glimpse of a lost world. May this project also can serve as a warning, not to cover our whole world in steel.

This video tells about the Manhatta project. It also gives a hope that one day parts of Manhattan will be liberated and some of the trees, forests and animals will come back:

Eric Sanderson pictures New York -- before the City | Video on TED.com

Last edited by redpaintednavi; 03-13-2012 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:04 AM
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Sadly, we can connect all cities and towns to once being big forests, full of forest life. It's nice watching this video. It's neat seeing how New York once looked.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:17 PM
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Interesting choice of words to call the transformation of the forests and ponds and creeks of the Manhattan peninsula and the eradication of the local population in favour of a big ugly city the "Manhattan Project" - This fites really well to what is normally called the "Manhattan Project" - its what this culture does - destroy living things with violence

Manhattan is especially crazy as they did not even bother to build their roads around hills and ponds as they did in many old European cities - which is why the city centers are often having weird roads curving and twisting - but they forced that stupid square-grid structure onto the land that demanded the landscape to be levelled.

And yes - this is true in some way or another for all cities, even the smaller ones and also for all suburbias. This is why some people say it is civilization that is destroying the planet because the word civilization comes from civis which refers to people living in cities. And it is exactly that - the rise of cities with their need to import stuff because they cannot grow their own food or have enough trees or mines within the city to keep going - what is so harmful and violent and out of balance. Cities denuded and levelled their landbase and now demand from the rest of the landscape and the people living on that landscape to still feed and clothe the people living in that city - if needed at gunpoint (as our minister of war recently said - "we are in Afghanistan" (what he meant was the he sent troops to Afghanistan) to defend our "right for access to markets and resources". So in other words if those people living outside the cities "sit on something" that the civilized want, they are removed. Just like Hometree sits on Unobtainium so does almost all "resources" that people living in civilized nations (nations that basically overall behave like a city) consume are coming from a landbase that was taken with violence and against resistance from indigenous people. In the case of the USA, even the very space people now live was taken from indigenous people, certainly the rivers and springs for the water, the mountains for the coal and the forests for the wood...
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:16 AM
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There's nothing implicitly wrong as long as population is kept in check -a city can hold people far more efficiently than the dozens of times as much area of suburbs that would be needed. People just need to stop over-reproducing, and need to look to new methods of supporting a population, such as hydroponics/vertical farms instead of fields or cutting down rainforest.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
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a city can hold people far more efficiently than the dozens of times as much area of suburbs that would be needed.
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
And yes - this is true in some way or another for all cities, even the smaller ones and also for all suburbias.
Suburbs ARE cities.

And do you know how much land is needed to support on person living in a city? Not for the bare little area of his shelter, but to provide food, energy, clothing, construction materials, mineral resources, water,... The ecological footprint of cities is immense and what I said above was that the major problem with that is that the city utterly depends on the transport of these things into the city - what leaves the city is mostly waste. What if those who sit on these "resources" do not want to give them to the city because they prefer the forest to be a forest and not some truckloads of 2x4's or IKEA furniture for the city? And what if they cannot be convinced with money? Do you think the government of the cities would then just leave it alone and not have furniture? No, they will force these people off the land by any means possible from economic to physical pressure. And then they are called selfish because they did not want to give their forest to the people in the cities who "need" the wood. Just an example. The Avatar story - people sit on something those who depend on the exploitation of this "resource" think they "need" - so first bribe them, give them education and food - if they still dont comply give them an ultimatum and then the force comes in. Destroy their ability to live on the land and they will leave. And then - which was not in the movie but some people expressed that - they might be called selfish because they are causing the ones depending on the resources to suffer and maybe die just because they did not want to give them these resources. This is so ****ed up.
Urban and vertical farming is a joke - it is fun and educating and might provide part of the vegetables for the city which is nice - but the bulk will have to come from the land. You cannot grow enough corn or wheat in the city to feed the people living there. Not even starting to talk about wood, mineral resources, energy resources. If you can show me a single city - it can be as small as 20000 people which is in Germany the limit a town can apply for city status - that can do that truely, I will reconsider, but I am confident that there is none.
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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!"

Last edited by auroraglacialis; 05-09-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:53 PM
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Guys, let's not make a silly debate about this.

Humans can't just drop everything and live like indigenous peoples. We need cities, and there are things that cities, industry, and infrastructure allow that aren't inherently bad, like science and space exploration.

The problem is that there are so many humans that we can't all live that way, and a lot of people in modern countries have been fooled into thinking that there's nothing wrong with their lifestyle, and that they can just keep consuming things without having an effect on anything except for the empty space on the shelves at Wal-Mart.

No matter how many new developments there are that may stretch our natural resources farther, there needs to be less people, and cities in delicate ecosystems or highly biodiverse (or formerly highly biodiverse) need to go.

It's a tall order, but I can't see any way out of our problems without significantly scaling back our population(s) and making cities much, much more dense (i.e. drawing suburbs into cities and removing/recycling older buildings).
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:24 PM
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Yes of course - suburbs are sort of the worst case. But I think personally that living in a city creates some very deep disconnect to the natural world. Your experience is that food comes from the store and water from the tap and energy from the wall socket and if you learn of hear about where it really comes from you can choose what to do with the information and most people choose to ignore it because they can. I met people who complained that they do not want to drink milk that came from a cow because that is gross and they would rather have the one from the store that was made in a factory. Ignorance is bliss for some. Others know that their meat comes from a factory farm and still - unless they actually visit such a place they seem not to really change their consumption significantly. IMO a much more direct experience in respect of where all the stuff comes from that we use is very important - it has to scream you in the face. But of course we would not want that and have our good moods ruined all the time.

But my main point was that a city may only be a certain size physically but the impact it has is much larger - no matter how condensed the city is. New York uses an area the size of a small country to grow its food, so if you count all areas that provide New York with all it needs to continue to the city size of New York, that city is incredibly large. To exclude that area because they "only" provide food and such is like excluding the suburbs by saying that they only house the people who work in the city.
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"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 05-14-2013, 08:43 AM
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That's easy to say living comfortably. Perhaps some people can't afford to buy overly expensive meat. That's overpopulation in action again.

There are stupid people in every category re. the milk comment - there are people who refer to 'organic' without realising that by definition, all food is, for example on the other side.

Remember that if people didn't live in New York, but its population lived in caves instead, they'd need far, far, far more than a small country and would end up cutting down rainforest to have food. Ecnonomies of scale are one of the most baisc principles in business - it's easier to produce food for a dense population with a lower environmental impact than for a million subsistence farmers with little to no knowledge or equipment.

That's Africa's problem - if they had widespread access to modern methods and equipment (as well as contraception), there'd be no food shortage. Giving out boxes of food does nothing for them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
People just need to stop over-reproducing
Tell that to Africa.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:39 AM
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Tell that to Africa.
Read the whole thread bro.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
Read the whole thread bro.
It's like you don't even know me
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 AM
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Maybe I don't, been gone so long
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