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Old 01-17-2020, 09:59 AM
 
481 posts, read 849,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
First, define "greed". Humans are by their very nature motivated by self-interest, but that motivation resulted in an economic system that has created untold prosperity and continues to do so.

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”



This is a meaningless question. There is nothing we can do to "ensure the world lasts" any amount of time. Just as the Greeks and Romans could have no idea what the world would be like 2000 years later (and that, of course, included the Dark Ages - hundreds of pears of lost progress); we can't have any idea of what the world will be like 200 years from now, let alone 2000 or 50,000.



Define "safer". Physically safer? Sure. Safer from economic downturns with a massive car payment? Probably not.



And people in Hell want ice water. What's your point?

Global poverty is declining. Hunger, disease, lack of good water, lack of educational opportunities, all of that is going down. People are getting more. But all of these moans about the world ending never suggests that we should cast billions backwards... it's always that I should give up what I have. Those who are making all of these bleating arguments about "saving the world" don't know or care about anything of the sort... they're just opportunists looking to fill their own pockets at my expense. Raise my taxes, so they can have a secure government union job or monthly stipend, FOR THE PLANET!

Screw that.
Couldn't have said it better! Scare tactics and phony "scarcity" arguments from biased "science" that fulfills an agenda. Meanwhile the "wealthy" nations get cleaner and cleaner as will the developing nations unless they are forced into an economic system whose primary mantra is to "save the environment" (but kills any possible economy that WOULD make it possible to build cleaner systems).

 
Old 01-17-2020, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Haiku
6,434 posts, read 3,210,812 times
Reputation: 9151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgorilla View Post
I think this is a good question. Human nature is greedy for knowledge, intellect, and social interaction. In this case, greed is not a bad thing.
I would argue that it is a bad thing because it is our thirst for knowledge that got us into this situation to begin with. The industrial revolution was made possible by advances in science but the industrial revolution has left us with global warming and huge amounts of pollution from all the mining and manufacturing that took place since then.

We gain knowledge but unfortunately we don't have the ability to use it responsibly. We are like kids in a candy store without parental supervision to make sure the kid doesn't gorge on candy. We have no controls on our actions.

Personally I think that new technologies all need to be reviewed before approval for use. The review must show that the technology will have a positive effect on the world, and for this purpose "the world" includes all species, not just humans. We cannot keep creating technologies that benefit humans but have a huge detrimental effect on the environment and on other species.

It is ironic that I take this position as I was a research scientist for many years and worked in the high tech industry. But my experience was that science was motivated by the thrill of discovery but never a thought given about the impact.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 10:19 AM
 
12,562 posts, read 7,495,050 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
First, define "greed". Humans are by their very nature motivated by self-interest, but that motivation resulted in an economic system that has created untold prosperity and continues to do so.

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”



This is a meaningless question. There is nothing we can do to "ensure the world lasts" any amount of time. Just as the Greeks and Romans could have no idea what the world would be like 2000 years later (and that, of course, included the Dark Ages - hundreds of pears of lost progress); we can't have any idea of what the world will be like 200 years from now, let alone 2000 or 50,000.



Define "safer". Physically safer? Sure. Safer from economic downturns with a massive car payment? Probably not.



And people in Hell want ice water. What's your point?

Global poverty is declining. Hunger, disease, lack of good water, lack of educational opportunities, all of that is going down. People are getting more. But all of these moans about the world ending never suggests that we should cast billions backwards... it's always that I should give up what I have. Those who are making all of these bleating arguments about "saving the world" don't know or care about anything of the sort... they're just opportunists looking to fill their own pockets at my expense. Raise my taxes, so they can have a secure government union job or monthly stipend, FOR THE PLANET!

Screw that.
Each person can do their best to ensure they are having as little negative impact as possible. For some, it may not matter as the world will likely be livable for thousands of years regardless of what all us individuals do now. Are we obligated to feel a need to save a planet?

And yes, I mean physically safer. In the hypothetical wealthy (and long lasting) society I’m talking about — the car payment and economic downturns aren’t an issue.

As people “get more” - wouldn’t they simply offset efforts by individuals attempting to delay the earth’s demise. Wouldn’t keeping those people unindustrialized best combat global warming?

Even if things get cleaner - could we offset another billion or two industrialized people?
 
Old 01-17-2020, 10:31 AM
 
3,685 posts, read 2,502,477 times
Reputation: 2928
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
What if human nature is greedy at its core?

What if societies desire to have and consume more is ultimately stronger than our desire to ensure the world lasts 50,000 more years instead of 2,000 more years?

Could me and my family be safer in a 7 mpg 7,000 lb SUV? Why not?

There are billions of people out here that want what Americans have...
"What if a wealthy society decides to consume Earth more than save it?" I'm pretty sure the American wealth class is already doing that. An elite class built on resource exploitation has been stalling action on climate change so they can keep being absurdly wealthy. They don't care about the consequences, they assume their grandkids will be the ones on the right side of the walled cities.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 10:58 AM
 
Location: The Carolinas
2,145 posts, read 2,120,775 times
Reputation: 6537
I think it's almost inevitable that we're headed for a Malthusian collapse--be it war, pestilence, disease, rapid and unpredictable climate change, or all-of-the-above.

Someone above said we're (society) is/are like kids in a candy store with no adult supervision.

One need only look at the childish, pointlessly antagonistic behavior of our politicians much less the despots and dictators, to realize they only act in their own self interest.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 12:05 PM
 
4,258 posts, read 3,445,902 times
Reputation: 9103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
What about the 99% burning tires and throwing all of their garbage in rivers and building the dirtiest possible power sources and billowing pollutants out into the air? Oh, yeah, they get a pass because they're "developing nations" and it wouldn't be fair to get them to stop (let alone they'll laugh at you or arrest you if you show up and preach to them). Much safer to direct your ire towards the developed Western world... never mind that that world is the one developing technologies that reduce pollution and increase efficiency! It just feels so much better to preach to a bunch of self-loathing white-guilt liberals!
That's exactly my point. The 99% are indifferent and are accomplices of the 1% who are doing the large scale destruction. Their collective indifference will be more difficult to change than the elite's destruction.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 12:16 PM
 
4,258 posts, read 3,445,902 times
Reputation: 9103
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
Each person can do their best to ensure they are having as little negative impact as possible.
An average market in Asia uses more plastic bags in a day than my town in the US uses in a year. We are feeling all Earth-friendly by using paper straws while Asian fishing boats are losing tons of plastic nets in the oceans daily. We are overwhelmed by numbers.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 12:58 PM
 
3,685 posts, read 2,502,477 times
Reputation: 2928
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1insider View Post
An average market in Asia uses more plastic bags in a day than my town in the US uses in a year. We are feeling all Earth-friendly by using paper straws while Asian fishing boats are losing tons of plastic nets in the oceans daily. We are overwhelmed by numbers.
Well, that's why we keep trying to form international climate agreements that the US repeatedly trashes. Recycling is nice but we need change on the level of governmental action and international cooperation.

And while the US isn't as big as China, we produce twice as much carbon and plastic trash per capita and we're still pretty big.
 
Old 01-17-2020, 01:05 PM
 
12,562 posts, read 7,495,050 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Well, that's why we keep trying to form international climate agreements that the US repeatedly trashes. Recycling is nice but we need change on the level of governmental action and international cooperation.

And while the US isn't as big as China, we produce twice as much carbon and plastic trash per capita and we're still pretty big.
What happens when China’s standard of living matches what ours currently is?
 
Old 01-17-2020, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,630 posts, read 3,996,379 times
Reputation: 9690
All it would take are a few major crop failures and an epidemic or two, and the human population would plummet by billions.

The Earth is far bigger and more powerful than the human economy. Look at how vulnerable we are to changes in the weather. If we abuse the Earth too much, it will deal with us easily enough.

We are not harming the Earth, we are harming the stability of our own economy and society. Our economy is arranged around weather and climate patterns that we've been used to for some time. The economy we've built is changing those patterns. Some people try to pretend that won't have any consequences.

Agriculture is dependent on certain weather and climate patterns. That is how we feed ourselves. Imagine what happens when it changes for the worse? For the last 70 years we have taken for granted how much food the agriculural system produces, but it is more vulnerable than you think.

Last edited by redguard57; 01-17-2020 at 01:37 PM..
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