Print Story global road map -- reality check
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By the mariner (Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:21:07 AM EST) (all tags)
so a bunch of scientists/environmentalists got together and made a map of where new road ought and ought not to be built in the coming decades. check it out:

http://www.global-roadmap.org/

thanks, bros.

who do they think needs recommendations about how and where to build roads? who do they think will focus their efforts on conservation of whatever animal habitats these beatniks want to preserve?



here's a wake up call for western environmentalists: fifty years from now, africa is going to look a lot like the united states. brazil is going to look a lot like the united states. india, thailand, malaysia, you name it -- they're going to look a lot less forested, a lot more agriculturally developed, and a lot more evenly populated by people living in conditions westerners would recognize as suburban.

meanwhile, we have people saying no more fossil fuels, less roads, dense urban housing -- in other words, a much lower standard of living than has existed in the west since around the 1950s. you know what these places have a lot of? fossil fuels. you know what you need to ship things and maintain a reasonable economy? roads and rail. you know what you don't need? jungles.

yeah, so after all the currently developed countries cut down all the trees on their densely forested claims and lived the high life for however many centuries, everyone else should work on building tightly integrated agrarian economies in harmony with nature -- because, guys, we really need those trees.

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global road map -- reality check | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Yep. by gmd (3.00 / 4) #1 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 02:51:23 PM EST
 The whole green/environmentalist worldview will be used by the NWO to keep those uppity 3rd world countries in their place.

and when it comes to roads, why not just let the market decide?


--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
And punish the US. by wumpus (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:13:14 PM EST
Don't forget punishing the US. Looking at those maps, I can only assume that the rule is "only build roads in the red parts". Hint: the red part of the US is basically tundra that is being abandoned. Not only that, it is rapidly running out of water as it is (East Texas/Oklahoma/East Nebraska are all depending on non-replenishing "fossil water" wells).

I can't remember the book, but it had a reasonable explanation of ecology and ended with a suggestion that everyone "should live like Greek farmers". Of course, there was no suggestion as to how to live like a Greek farmer for non-Mediterranean climates, I assume that such people merely starve to death. It also assumed a fully-functional internet, without ever questioning how the local blacksmith is supposed to bang out ICs and hard drives. It takes a rather narrow vision to understand exactly why you can't simply confine elephants to narrow "elephant zones" and then turn around and assume that technology will exist after you destroy its ecology. I'm pretty sure I owned the book, but I have yet to find it again.



[ Parent ]
harsh by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #3 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:29:58 PM EST
"keep those uppity 3rd world countries in their place."

you really have a negative view of environmentalists, don't you?

i don't think of third world countries as "uppity". I think of them as consisting of people. I think many of them (DRC, for example) have extremely troubled political and economic cultures (many of which were made substantially worse by the ancestors of modern Europeans). I think many of them have amazingly functional and successful political and economic cultures (Brazil, Indonesia).

But I also think that there is serious potential for long-term hurt to humans in general from widespread deforestation, and I think there's value to the preservation of species like the elephant - and I think that just as I can't always see the big picture through my short-term self interests, the same is also probably true of the people in the third world, because they're human, just like I am.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Scratch an environmentalist by gmd (4.00 / 2) #4 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:50:18 PM EST
 And you will usually find an authoritarian statist.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by gmd (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:04:50 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by gmd



[ Parent ]
persuasian works better than force. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 10:12:56 AM EST
i'm a fan of persuasion. i also think that environmental concerns are real and they're something we should all take seriously.

does that make me an authoritarian?

my sense of many of those who are anti-environmentalist is that they were brought up despising communists and, as a result, anyone who criticizes the status quo must automatically be a communist.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
counterpoint: by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:52:50 PM EST
many anti-environmentalists were brought up to be environmentalists. when they see "their team" talking doom about global warming, but at the same time opposing all viable options for dealing with it and making proposals that anyone who's travelled outside of the western world knows are absurd pipe dreams, they start feeling pretty stupid for believing captain plant is our hero and that the object of our endeavors should be cutting pollution down to zero.

[ Parent ]
*laugh* by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:38:31 PM EST
occasionally i get stopped by activists outside columbia who want me to sign an anti-fracking petition.

i'm pretty reluctant to do this. NY wants to shut down the aging nuclear reactor on the Hudson (which i'm in favor of doing - NYC is not evacuable on a short time frame), and if we do that, where's the energy going to come from?

Wind. Except that kills birds.

Dams. Except that floods valleys and disrupts the lifecycle of the river.

Honestly? Assuming we have a reliable source for the water used in fracking, it's about the best option we've got right now.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
given your presentation of alternatives by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #34 Sat Sep 06, 2014 at 04:32:42 AM EST
isn't nuclear power one of the better sources of energy?

Doesn't affect local environment and local wild life. (There is a storage problem granted).
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
IMO, nuclear is the long term solution by lm (2.00 / 0) #35 Sat Sep 06, 2014 at 10:13:55 AM EST
Research into fusion is where the money should be being allocated.

And, even short of fusion, there are some great designs for smaller, safer fission plants than the older Davis-Besse sized plants.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
absolutely. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #36 Sat Sep 06, 2014 at 06:08:00 PM EST
i really don't like the nuclear power plant right up the hudson from NYC because NYC is inevacuable, but nuclear is in general the best available solution at this time.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
different kinds by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:39:09 PM EST
> opposing all viable options for dealing with it and making proposals that anyone who's travelled outside of the western world knows are absurd pipe dreams,

Sure, but those anti-environmentalists aren't ranting about scratching an environmentalist and finding a statist. :)
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
"viable options" by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 05:59:16 PM EST
Always amount to continuing fossil fuel based civilization, with its required unending economic and population growth.

Since we believe we dictate reality to the planet, we're not going to give that up willingly nor are we abandoning social hierarchies, so what we're going to get is the 1% living a happy "green" lifestyle while the rest of us fight to live off the garbage heap remainders of fossil fuel civilization where water, fuel and food are all going to be scarce.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
we do dictate reality on this planet. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:22:26 PM EST
what planet are you on? how can you look around and think humanity isn't calling the shots?

we need to get serious about engineering our way out of the environmental problems facing humanity, because they're not going to be solved by collective action. fossil fuels will continue to account for about a third of protein in human beings for a long time. they'll continue to light our roads and homes. the question is: how do we keep the environmental effects under control?

[ Parent ]
by dictating reality to the planet by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:39:19 PM EST
I mean the idea that the planet will provide us with what we want because we want it. An extension of economic religion in which demand creates supply.

I agree on engineering solutions, for certain values of engineering solutions. Because we're not doing enough fast enough, I think we'll end up with something like the world I proposed. Although outside of an effectively free energy technology (fusion energy) I don't think there's a way for us to sustain our current population through the end of the century anyway.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Of one thing you can be sure.. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 01:39:01 AM EST
 Free energy will never be "free".



--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
the scarcity issues you're talking about by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:10:18 AM EST
are essentially the result of not trying hard enough. aquifers are drying up because we aren't making a serious effort to refill them. there's no shortage of freshwater in the united states, which is what all the hand-wringing is about (obviously, no one cares about libya, where maybe there is a real problem in the long run). fossil fuels seem scarce because we're not exploring and we're holding back in various ways -- not to mention, failing to develop real alternatives that would ease pressure on natural resources, e.g. nuclear power.

food scarcity is not now and will not likely be any time soon a result of natural limitations. it's the result of incompetent administration and corruption.

[ Parent ]
You sure about that freshwater? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:22:53 AM EST
Much of the available freshwater in the US is tied up in a treaty with Canada and can't be sent to drier areas of the US.


[ Parent ]
what, you mean the great lakes? by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:35:04 AM EST
the hand-wringing i refer to is about the oglala aquifer in the northern plains stretching to texas and new mexico. it's being depleted, yet it seems rivers that run over it do so unmolested. the core whine is that it is not being replenished as fast as it's being drained. but the rate of replenishment is a variable open to engineering.

[ Parent ]
in other words, the limitations are not from by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:40:37 AM EST
the total amount of fresh water available via rivers and rains. the limitation comes from the absorption rate of the aquifers and more specifically the availability of surface waters in areas where the rock is most permeable and "recharge" occurs most readily.

[ Parent ]
FYI by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:31:52 AM EST
In global terms, you are part of the 1%.

But yes, the next century is going to see a lot of poor people having a very bad time of it while the wealthy will likely manage to subsist and even thrive in walled gardens.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Which is why by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 12:05:28 PM EST
I just don't understand why the poor keep having babies.

[ Parent ]
you should have a kid and find out. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #39 Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 04:21:24 PM EST
very few people reach the end of their life and say "the most rewarding thing in my life was the comfortable living conditions i managed provide myself through diligence and good decision making" or "if i could do it all over, the only thing i would change about my rise to fame, power, and glory is ditch the kids so i could be even more famous, powerful, and glorious."

on the other hand, such talk often involves reference to children and grandchildren. people who say "gee, if they're so unable to provide a decent life for their children, why do they even have them" fundamentally fail to understand basic aspects of human experience, crucially including the nature of having children and the experience of poverty.

[ Parent ]
Meh by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #40 Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 04:39:47 PM EST
There are a lot of "basic aspects of human experience" which lead to non-ideal outcomes.

Anyway, while I doubt your suggestion was to be taken literally, I feel obligated to say that having a kid in order to learn about some fundamental aspect of the human journey is a bad reason to make a person.

[ Parent ]
sounds like you know a lot about it. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #41 Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 05:41:24 PM EST
actually, yes, the suggestion was to be taken literally. here's a reformulated version of my suggestion: don't talk as though you have it figured out if you haven't had a kid.

as an example of what talking as though you have it figured out might look like: "gee, why do people with non-ideal life situations in countries where ideal conditions are not likely forthcoming continue to have children?" -- as though the answer is "well, they're just stupid that way."

[ Parent ]
In the long run we are all dead. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Oct 14, 2014 at 04:09:21 PM EST
And there is some question as to whether we even have free will, so 'choosing' to procreate may not even be a factor, post-hoc rationalisation being our brain's way of explaining our instinctive behaviours.

 

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
yes by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #38 Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 02:32:54 PM EST
"Global .01%" is probably a better descriptor.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
'the big picture' by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:04:10 PM EST
the big picture in the third world is malaria. people there see the big picture very well.

[ Parent ]
i expect by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 10:11:08 AM EST
people there see the big picture about as well as people anywhere - which is to say, intermittently, with a focus on their own biases and needs.

that's what it means to be human, and i see no reason why people in the third world should be automatically better about this sort of thing than anyone else.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
exactly. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:20:57 PM EST
they'll probably be as bad or worse than developed countries are/were/have been, so someone better get some better ideas about global warming than "stop using fossil fuels, everybody!"

[ Parent ]
nuclear would overall be better by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:41:08 PM EST
as would wider adoption of solar panels on buildings (with the ability to feed excess power into the grid, as is mandated in California).

Most of the issues with deforestation can be resolved by improving the standard of living in the developing world - the west started to care about deforestation only after a certain level of material culture developed. The best way to save the rain forest (which we really, really need to do) is to improve the economic life of the people neighboring it.

Of course, that's way easier said than done.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
if we really, really need rainforests, by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 04:08:36 PM EST
we should be figuring out how to make them in our own territory.

[ Parent ]
this mostly can't be done. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:48:29 PM EST
but the destruction of the rainforests will have bad effects not just on carbon concentration but also on water flow and storm system flow.

most of the bad effects will be felt in the countries where the rain forests currently are, of course. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about them.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
more! by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 06:43:09 PM EST
if it can't be done, it's because the land and resources are not available, not because there's literally no way it can be done.

many kinds of forests or wetlands would make reasonable replacements for the rainforests that will be hacked to the ground and replaced with parking lots in the coming decades. indeed, we may need more strategically placed wetlands here in the US to address our aquifer issues.

environmentalism invites everyone to believe that everything that's out there now is irreplaceable, so we should all be together in making sure nothing happens to it. the reality is quite a lot of what we have now is going to be gone pretty soon and we better figure out and start making reasonable replacements -- which do exist.

[ Parent ]
replacement rainforests by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 07:42:43 PM EST
> many kinds of forests or wetlands would make reasonable replacements for the rainforests that will be hacked to the ground

how do you propose to generate the rain necessary to create and sustain them?

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
you need water, not rain. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #30 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 08:07:04 PM EST
this is the kind of narrow thinking that drives the mindless conservation posture of current debate about the environment.

[ Parent ]
not entirely true by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:32:46 PM EST
in that groundwater doesn't have the same effects on trees and in particular doesn't have the same effect on wildlife.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Rain and space by lm (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 05:49:35 AM EST
Rain is one problem for recreating rain forests. Scarcity of land suitable for such forests is probably a larger problem.

Where in the world is there space to add tens of millions of acres of forest every year?


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
you're thinking of something that is exactly like by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #33 Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 09:31:48 AM EST
a rainforest. we don't need anything exactly like a rainforest. in the environmentalist notion, if it doesn't have the right kinds of tree frogs, it's not a rainforest. if it doesn't have the right kind of moss, it's not a rainforest.

but that shit is irrelevant. rainforests have an effect on precipitation and cloud formation and they have an effect on carbon dioxide turnover. anything that achieves those effects is a reasonable replacement.

[ Parent ]
Africa by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:53:22 PM EST
Africa is going to look a lot like the united states.

In fifty years, much of Africa will look like the Sahara.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Or Antarctica by gmd (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:30:49 PM EST
To put the rightwing view forward.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
-- there is no contradiction -- by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:45:25 PM EST


[ Parent ]
global road map -- reality check | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback