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08 June 2010 @ 03:16 pm
Life in these Untidy States: Reasons NOT to Emigrate  
Okay, one reason, and one alone:

The United States of America consumes a disproportionate amount of the world's resources, and produces a disproportionate amount of its pollution. Even a massive socio-economic catastrophe isn't going to do more than moderate that, at least over the next half-century or so. this is an issue that I can't run away from, because the ripples affect the entire world, and not just economically.

I am an Earth Systems Scientist.

If I have any hope of having an effect on this globe-threatening situation, it's gotta be here.

I've got my lever, rusty as it may be, and I think I'm narrowing down my places to stand.

I feel: determineddetermined
Tombfyretombfyre on June 8th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Well hey, if you feel you can do something about it, then good for you. ^^ Much luck doing so!
Hafochafoc on June 8th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
I wish you the best of luck in it, and I hope you can do more good than I have. The liner has hit the iceberg. Here's your teacup. Help me bail. But remember, the rich guys are having a dance up on A Deck- don't dare spill any water on their nicely shined shoes!
ArchTeryxarchteryx on June 9th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
I hate to say it, but a good part of me could easily run away from this country. The reason? Health care, which is an issue that despite all the sturm und drang is really going nowhere. I want to live in a place where healthcare is a guaranteed right of citizenship. Nevermind the incredibly nasty culture we seemed to have built over the last 30 years.

And yet, I haven't gone anywhere, and the odds of my actually doing so are low. Why? For a simple reason: my friends. I do not want to leave them behind, and even if I moved to Canada, I would see them far, far less often then I do now.
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on June 9th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
When the producers of the world vanish from sight, all the resources in the world won't make a difference. As for pollution, what good is a pollution free world if other people make it unlivable still?
one in a billionsiege on June 9th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
When the industrial producers vanish from sight, all the individuals and teams who can still make things will be there. We'll have some gearing up to do along the way, but technology as we know it will not vanish just because the economy went to shit.

As for pollution in general, what makes you think the problems of environmental pollution and social pollution are unrelated? You can't just regulate the problem away; you have to set in place social controls which create healthier people along the way.
Starblade Enkai: Katiestarblade_enkai on June 9th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
I have good reason to believe that the industrial producers won't be the only kind of producers to vanish.

Existing technology will probably not vanish but it won't be growing at a fast enough pace to keep up with world ills nonetheless. For that we'd need intellectuals, ones that were true and honest to the cause of creating knowledge.

As for 'social controls', what kind are you talking about? I don't exactly support ones that infringe on our right to live, to choose how we live, and to support our lives with the values we create. Rather, protecting those things is precisely the kind of thing I do support.

I have a feeling though I'll be catching flak for being so libertarian really soon.
pseudo manitoupseudomanitou on June 9th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
I find most problems are not outpaced by technology -- but the SIZE of the problems do strain the limits of our technology, and that is due largely to overpopulation.

If we could infringe on one item/freedom/right of living -- namely, breeding/population control, this would eventually allow for less impact from other exercising the rest of their rights. Would that be acceptable?

...keep in mind, our rights only exist on paper and in our ideology. My right to live won't stop a bullet from killing me. No amount of human rights will guarantee protection from the desires of the public. Rights will only be around for so long as a social order can provide for everyone's needs.
Starblade Enkai: Dragonflystarblade_enkai on June 9th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
The only reason most problems are not outpaced by technology is that we keep inventing new technology. If we didn't do that then these problems most definitely would outpace technology.

If we could infringe on one item/freedom/right of living...

This is a bad idea. Allow a government to infringe on one right of living and it will want to infringe on another one, and one after that, until continuously and gradually there are none left.

...keep in mind, our rights only exist on paper and in our ideology.

If by this you mean they don't really exist, take a step back and ask yourself how we know ANYTHING we can't 'see or hear' really exists. How do we know a law of nature exists, for example? (I know how but I'm asking you to reflect on this.)
Starblade Enkai: Dragonflystarblade_enkai on June 9th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
> most problems are not outpaced by technology

Rather I meant to say, "most problems do not outpace technology".
pseudo manitoupseudomanitou on June 10th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
...oddly enough, I read that typo just as you meant to say it.
pseudo manitoupseudomanitou on June 10th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
New technology does tend to grow exponentially, but technology related to productivity cannot grow productivity at the same rate. Diminishing returns will eventually lead to overpopulation overtaking productivity, especially in a finite world.


The government of the US is not an entity in itself, the government of the US is the US people. If the public disobeys a law en masse, the government cannot enforce it. If the public desires a law en masse, then it will become law, even if it conflicts with the US Constitution (though, the kinks of that always get worked out in the end). So...
On further thought...
You would not have to approach the need for population control as you would a ban on a toxic substance, you would only need to encourage population control -- which, currently, our government does the opposite of. Create structures that encourage sterilization, withdrawal tax exemptions for children, teach safe sex in schools, etc.

"I know how but I'm asking you to reflect on this."

I can reflect on it, but I don't believe it relates to what I was discussing. Human rights -- are only a recognition of a desire by the majority of humanity to be treated fairly and be given equal opportunity. They are not a fact. They are subjected to the desires and opinions of the public at large. Example: many US states refuse to pass legislation protecting homosexuals from discrimination; this directly conflicts with the concept of human rights, yet the majority of the public allows it as the majority (used to) disapprove of homosexuality.

I predict -- the more and more population grows, the more 'flexible' the concept of human rights will become. We will be forced to logically justify the necessity of human rights, or else watch them fade in response to the fears of a public that worries about having enough to go around.
Your Obedient Serpent: tell it like it ISathelind on June 9th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
What do industrial producers have to do with the United States anymore?
Starblade Enkai: Dragonflystarblade_enkai on June 9th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
We still produce quite a bit of stuff here in America. Granted we are losing ground to a lot of foreign competition, but that's to be expected when we enact policies such as we do. If a country does both or either of two things - those being punishing success and/or rewarding failure - it will tend to be unable to compete when it comes to production.

By the way, when I say 'industrial production' I don't just mean factories and assembly lines and the like. I mean anything technological and any part of the production process. So long as we have intellectuals who aren't corrupt and actually praise technological innovation, and so long as we have enough people willing to defend one's right to innovate and to do so whatever one's reasons, those responsible for such innovations will continue their work.
Your Obedient Serpent: coyote durp durp durpathelind on June 10th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
You know, I've realized that I have no idea what you DO mean, or what you're trying to say.