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  1. #1
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    Default Are We Responsible Caretakers of this Planet?

    Are We Responsible Caretakers of this Planet?

    I am inclined to think that each human generation must consider itself as the steward of the earth and therefore must make available to the succeeding generations an inheritance undiminished to that received.

    In this context what does "careful and responsible management" mean? I would say that there are two things that must be begun to make the whole process feasible. The first is that the public must be convinced that it is a responsible caretaker and not an owner and secondly the public must be provided with an acceptable standard whereby it can judge how each major issue affects the accomplishment of the overall task. This is an ongoing forever responsibility for every nation but for the purpose of discussion I am going to speak about it as localized to the US.

    Selfishness and greed are fundamental components of human nature as we squander ours and all succeeding generations’ inheritance. How does a nation convince its people to temper this nature when the payoff goes not to the generation presently in charge but to generations yet to come in the very distant future? Generations too far removed to be encompassed by the evolved biological impulse to care for ones kin.

    How is it possible to convince a man or woman to have the same concern for a generation five times removed as that man or woman has for their own progeny? I suspect it is not possible, but it does seem to me to be necessary to accomplish the task of stewardship.

    Would it be possible to convince the American people to reject completely the use of air-conditioning so that generations five times removed could survive? Is it possible to create in a person a rational response strong enough to overcome the evolved nature of greed and selfishness? I cannot imagine any rational motivation of sufficient strength to divert the natural instincts of an unsophisticated people for an extended time. Therefore, the motivation force must be emotionally based or the people must become more sophisticated quickly.

    Perhaps a compelling sense of stewardship must come through religion. Rationality appears to be insufficient for creating a compulsion to sacrifice immediate gratification for such remote ends.

    Are you a good steward of this planet?

  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Yes. My consumption of all things, is lower than the average person. I'm a raw foodist. So, less garbage associated with food wrappings etc. I use canvas grocery bags, and recycle. I also try to only purchase items that will last me the longest amount of time, from electronics to clothing. I dislike clutter very much. Simplicity is one of my principles.

    As a friend pointed out to me recently, "Tragedy of the Commons" is one of the greater issues concerning humanity.


    Everyone should watch this: The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

  4. #4
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    I agree completely with what you say. I think us humans need to take more responsibility in looking after the planet and the numerous other species that inhabit the planet alongside us. Sometimes I think humans have a serious superiority complex.. Well, that's probably true.

    I was recycling before it was cool to recycle, I'm so hardcore

    Seriously though, I think most people will 'do their bit' if only to look good amongst their peers, especially these days. That's still better than nothing though.

  5. #5
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I think the planet looks after us, not the other way around. In general. This doesn't mean I advocate pumping dioxins straight into the drinking supply or anything. But I does mean I don't recycle on principle (also because of laziness...OK mostly because of laziness).
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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    I think if you take from the planet and screw it up in the process then you should damn well make sure that you take care of it.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  7. #7
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    It is not our duty to protect the planet, the planet will do fine with or without us. We see it as our duty to protect our species.



    Do not fool yourself that we are caretakers of this world. Our planet does not only have the resources to sustain life. It has the resources to create it. Nature will always find its way, wether we are here or not. The only thing we need to concern us about, is to guide nature in order to sustain our own life. But wether we do that or we blow ourselves to hell. Nature will persevere. So don't pretend to protect the planet, while you really only try to protect yourself.


    Not saying that it's wrong to try and protect the integrity of the current balance on the planet, not at all. I just believe you have to look at it from a more personal perspective, the real reason we do that is for ourselves, not for our planet.


    So to answer the OP: I do what I believe is needed to protect our species way of life, while trying my hardest not to interfere with its future.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    It is not our duty to protect the planet, the planet will do fine with or without us. We see it as our duty to protect our species.

    Do not fool yourself that we are caretakers of this world. Our planet does not only have the resources to sustain life. It has the resources to create it. Nature will always find its way, wether we are here or not. The only thing we need to concern us about, is to guide nature in order to sustain our own life. But wether we do that or we blow ourselves to hell. Nature will persevere. So don't pretend to protect the planet, while you really only try to protect yourself.
    Whilst I do agree that we are not here as caretakers.. That again would assume we're superior to the other species I suppose, I think as the most intelligent and consciously-aware species on the planet we at least have a position of responsibility to clear up after our own mess and to not treat the planet like a giant skip.

    Personally speaking, I think the world would be a lot better off with less humans around. I do honestly believe that other species deserve as much of a chance of us to reach whatever potential to have and have as much right to do with the planet what they will, as we do. But then again, I don't think the human race is more important to the Earth than other species, regardless of fact that I'm a human as well.

    We don't own the planet, or run the planet, we share it with others. I do also agree that the planet has its own way of healing itself, should it require to, and that global warming and ice ages are natural rhythms of the planet's healing system. That said, we may not be responsible for global warming, but that is still not an excuse to treat the planet like our own personal rubbish dump.

  9. #9
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    "the earth does not belong to us-we belong to it" Chief Seattle
    Chief Seattle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    He knew this stuff long before nobel prize winning jackasses with a midlife crisis allofasudden had a moment of clearity.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Here's a favorite passage of mine:

    The epidermis of the skin is ecologically like a pond surface or a forest soil, not a shell so much as a delicate interpenetration. It reveals the self ennobled and extended rather than threatened as part of the landscape and the ecosystem, because the beauty and complexity of nature are continuous with ourselves. .... If nature is not a prison and earth a shoddy way-station, we must find the faith and force to affirm its metabolism as our own -- or rather, our own as part of it. To do so means nothing less than a shift in our whole frame of reference and our attitude toward life itself, a wider perception of the landscape as a creative, harmonious being where relationships of things are as real as the things. Without losing our sense of a great human destiny and without intellectual surrender, we must affirm that the world is a being, a part of our own body.

    From" Ecology And Man -- A Viewpoint,"
    an essay by Paul Shepard

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