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Re: magic formula/land use
In rereading this it sounded a little offensive. It is not intended. I
would like to try to understand your (Georg) point of view. I am not sure
how your different ideas connect together, so I'd appreciate some more
discussion. I get the feeling that either a basic premiss or word use
difference is underneath this.
> >*Taking other species into account, how much of the Earth's total land
> > can humans ethically alter from a natural state?
> there is no such thing as a 'natural state'
> my opinion: natural and unnatural are mental concepts, nature doesn't know
> these, All life on this planet is coming from nature and ruled by nature's
Georg, I have some trouble with this. It sounds like a word game (If that
is all you mean then most of what I am about to write may be irrelevant).
What's wrong with mental concepts? Is it not a meaningful distinction, at
least to us, if not Nature? Are you saying that to Nature there is no
qualitative difference between a virgin forest, an area of desert inhabited
by hunter gatherers, a Permaculture food forest, a field of mono crop
agriculture, a suburban subdivision and a metropolis city block? This is
hard for me to grasp.
I can look at it two ways.
One (perhaps your point), humans are a part of the natural systems of the
Earth and are subject to the laws of Nature, therefore everything humans do
is "natural". While I can see this point, I find it not useful (simply
requiring a different set of words, like harmful/helpful etc.), or
incongruous with my current ideas (I am not willing to say that there are
no environmental problems). Yes, other creatures alter or have impact on
Nature, but it is a matter of scale and consciousness that makes the
difference. While I agree that at some point natural forces will bring
about balance, I don't think it is ethical for us to go about our business
and wait for that to happen.
Two, humans have side stepped the natural laws (or perhaps more accurately,
postponed the effects of them) by things like tapping into fossil fuels,
creating synthetic substances and transporting materials over large
distances. In this sense everything we do to avoid the natural
consequences is "unnatural". By doing so, we harm the environment in
inexcusable acts of selfishness and arrogance. Again it is the scale of
the impact and the consciousness of the actions that makes the difference.
> 'everything gardens' is one
> of bill's key statements, evry tree 'alters the natural state' by improving
> the soil, every animyl poos and thus 'alters...' - what is natural as
> opposed to 'unnatural' - is it 'unnatural' to control animals? but many
> ants do exactly that. is it unnatural to export plant species into
> different ecosystems? but birds, winds and sae-currents do axactly that,
> that is exactly the way daisies and dandelions came to europe and
> biscuitroot to the americas. is it unnatural to pave the land and destroy
> habitats? but many volcanoes do exactly that. so please, what is unnatural?
Is this meant to say that current human activities are acceptable and that
there is no need to try to do anything about "environmental problems"? Or
are you suggesting that we use different words to describe the situation?
Or some other point I am missing completely.
> >*Are there just too many people now, and if so how do we ethically
> > reduce our numbers? And what do we do in the meantime?
> we will reduce it by our very own laws of balance, just
> like foxes and rabbits keep their dynamic balance, or aerobic and anaerobic
> bacteria in a given substrate
If this is the only way, we are in for some pretty tough times ahead. (In
this case "we" refers to the entire planet system.) Although I agree this
would eventually happen, I see it as ethically inexcusable, given that we
humans are aware of the needless damage and harm we humans are causing.
> - the only way to do this 'ethically'
> (=without putting loads of leople to quite painful and possibly slow death
> prior to the end of their biological lifespan) i can perceive of is by
> collective enlightenment - in which case humans could simply stop
> regenerating themselves for the most part - numbers could be down to a
> fraction within two generations. while i certainly would love this
> opportunity i would rather count on more physical means of re-balancing
I don't know that we need to do it as a collective thing. Every bit helps,
and some form of collective effort would probably be beneficial, if
possible. What physical means are you referring to? The "laws of balance"
you mentioned above? If so, I'm sure you can count on them, but do we
really want to wait until that happens? The "side stepping" I mentioned
had allowed the scale of the problems to grow to a scale quite unlike most
other cases of other species over population and its related environmental
> a viable question along the line of the stated questions would be for me:
> * how much land may i dominate and still feel good about it (=be in harmony
> with my inherent godliness/ethics) ?
If whatever humans do is natural (=okay), then how much land would cause
you not feel good about it? Can you dominate any amount of land and be in
harmony with your ethics? I find it hard to