Global doom and gloom.

esoxlucius

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You are correct. That photo was taken at a time before anybody knew any better about deforestation, and those guys were just supporting their families. My bad.

But you could go into the rainforests of the world right now and still be able to take such pictures...and nowadays we know exactly what effect mass deforestation will have on the planet if it continues.

And they only do it because of the global demand for the wood and the valuable agricultural space the fallen trees free up to feed the growing masses.

It's us, the modern day parasites that should be called out, not those guys in the photo. They were just pioneers in doing something they couldn't possibly have understood at the time.
 
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skjl47

Potamotrygon
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existence of this society that allows the naysayers the freedom, the comfort and the time to pursue their radical views and push them upon others. These complainers did not exist in previous times, because nobody would have fed, clothed and supported them; if they had to do so for themselves, they'd be too busy working and would have no time to come up with new things about which to complain. But now they can afford the leisure of whining full-time,
Hello; So very true and well said. I was still a teenager back in the 1960's when the early social welfare stuff started. Was it called the Great Society? I had already been working some. I guess I was lucky in that I never had to take unemployment or other forms of a state or federal check. I do get a pension as a retired teacher and a small social security check, so I am in a sense on the dole. Maybe I earned it and deserve to have others help pay in my old age???

A couple of observations out of many possible. From time to time students in my public school classes would be just putting in time making no attempt to work on an education. I have talked to some and one theme showed up a few times. The student would start showing up and when I asked about it they would tell me if they missed more school their "check" would be cut off. I get the intention of the judge but it did no good for my classes to have unruly students who did not want to be there.

The next thing is mostly a question. I see on TV lots of folks engaged in expressing themselves for what may be days or even weeks at a time it seems. Back when I worked I could not get the time or afford to do that sort of thing. I wonder if sometimes they go without in order to be dedicated to their cause? I could do such things now as I have a lot of free time. I have not so far.
 

Ulu

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If we condemn our ancestors for their "mistakes" we condemn ourselves.
Literally. Any other path, and other people would inhabit the earth.
We wouldn't exist.

Would you wish your ancestors hadn't survived? (In most cases, they barely did.)

Folks sometimes bemoan the slaughter of "magnificent herds of bison" for the amusement of hunters, as if this was the only outcome: Dead animals + Happy hunters.
But , Bison + farms = chaos.

We farmed the prairies and millions of humans prospered. But the Bison wouldn't have allowed that.
 

jjohnwm

Dovii
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I think the difference here is that the "mistakes" made by our ancestors were made as a result of ignorance. Nobody back then thought of the bison or the old-growth forest or any of the other natural bounties that were over-harvested to the point of near-extinction as being anything other than limitless. You could shoot or cut down or otherwise waste as much as you wanted; they would never run out. The world was infinite, as were all its resources.

Today we understand very well the limits of the earth and how much damage uncontrolled exploitation of it will cause. Some "enlightened" countries place controls on over-exploitation, but many do not and so the fragile biosphere continues to suffer. As esoxlucius esoxlucius points out, you can still see it happening today in places like Amazonia; the workmen cutting those trees know little more than their North American counterparts knew a century ago. Tneir overlords and bosses know, but they just don't care. The greed driving this destruction continues unabated and the biosphere races towards the tipping point from which there is no return.

Human nature is what it is; of course I would not wish my ancestors had not survived, being human and thus essentially selfish. So what? What I as an individual (or, for that matter, humanity as a species) may "desire" is not right or wrong... it simply is. We have a typical life span of 6 or 7 decades; our nature prevents us from fretting too much about the long-term effects of our actions. We want instant (in our lifetime) gratification; everybody gets to live a long healthy life, have a nice house, lots of kids, and the time and money to enjoy life and never mind the future. Now, today, the degradation of the environment has hastened to the point where the deleterious effects of our actions are visible within a single human lifetime...and there is still only a portion of the population that pays any more than lip service to caring about the future.

Maybe that's the natural order of things. Life develops, flourishes, evolves towards intelligence, overpopulates, overexploits, subdues/tames/poisons the world enough for nature to hit the Reset button...and it all starts again. Not bad, nor good, just the way things are? The global equivalent of Old Tank Syndrome; wear out the environment through neglect and laziness, and then wail "I don't know what happened!"
 
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Ulu

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. . . PG&E equipment was implicated in several fires in 2017 and 2018. They filed for bankruptcy protection last year. They are responsible for 9 wildfires of 10 acres or larger in 2019 and many other fires in 2017 and 2018 for 1500 fires in the last six years . . .
Based on what I've discovered about power systems recently I might not be surprised it were worse.

So When is the Earth not the Ground? When PG&E supplies an "Earth" wire. At the substation the "neutral" wire is grounded to the Earth. Most houses have a ground rod in the earth as well. But if you are far from the substation, the long wires lose some electricity. That means the hot wire has less voltage than right at the station. It means the neutral wire will have a different voltage in relation to Earth. At the station it was the same, but then there's these long wires you see....

So at my house there is a difference of about 3v from the "neutral" wire to the local dirt.

But that's peanuts. I had a pump and 3 heaters in my brackish 90g system. I don't think the salt helps. The potential of the water was almost 47v above neutral and nearly 50v above the local earth. And it's on a steel stand. The fish all lost their heaters last night. I'm switching over to hot air heating or remote hot water heat. After 45+ years I'm finally going to quit putting heaters in the water.

But I'm only dealing with a 3v variance from ground. I understand this is minimal, and many folks face far higher stray voltages. While it needs to be low (a balanced system) it's only ever zero on paper. Here's the thing. This is often worse because of unbalanced loading of the grid. If PG&E doesn't maintain it to the best standards (gak...) some customers could have dangerous leakages. This is a particular issue around pools and tanks!

PG&E has been telling folks to add ground rods to reduce the problem, but this is just a placebo and possibly a dangerous idea. It can make a difference on houses with other common electrical issues. On some houses it causes a dangerous voltage to be present on panels, conduits, etc RELATIVE to the NEUTRAL wire. (Not to the earth in general.)

The thing is, the neutral or "dead" wire of 120v systems isn't supposed to shock you. But if you have a potential voltage from neutral to ground, the wire that shouldn't be "hot" can shock you if you are grounded well. This can also be the case on most 120v houses if all the things on one hot leg are drawing more than the things on the other hot leg. The worse this gets, the higher the neutral potential voltage is to the ground. . . .The classic unbalanced system.
 
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esoxlucius

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It never ceases to amaze me that, without doubt, we are the most intelligent lifeforms that have ever inhabited this planet. And yet in the same breath you can describe us as being completely stupid too.

I think jjohnwm jjohnwm 's point about us only being here extremely short term, 80 years or so if you're lucky, is a very good point. We're only interested in living for the here and now and making what goes on within that short time frame as enjoyable for us as possible, irrespective of the consequences of doing so. Why worry about something that's not even going to effect us? Most people look on our dire future situation as just plain baseless scaremongering, but the masses of information available to us regarding this subject are proving everyday that this information is rapidly becoming hard fact.

We talk about the proverbial s**t properly hitting the fan in maybe many thousands of years yet, when things are in an irreversible situation which we simply won't be able to remedy, no matter what we decide to do. When that tipping point is reached, then the global downward spiral will be measured in decades, not hundreds or thousands of years.

But true to form, and I think I can speak for all of us here, a representative of the human race if you like..............."we're not worried, because we'll be long dead!!!"

I'm a big fan of The Simpsons. Maybe when things do get ridiculously bad we'll have world leaders all looking at one another in dismay and maybe uttering Homers famous phrase......"it wasn't me, it was like that when I got here". Lol.
 

jjohnwm

Dovii
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The implication here is that ours are made from malice. I doubt that's more than 50% correct.
I'm about 90% certain that's at least 75% correct about 80% of the time. :)

I didn't mean to imply that these bad choices are made from malice, i.e. there is no actual conscious intent to do "harm"...whatever that may be defined as. Rather, most of these choices are the result of a willful neglect of the facts, a conscious decision to live in denial of the results that will inevitably follow...and this, in turn, stems from our inherent short-sightedness.

This is not to say that there are not some people who are truly evil. These folks, to quote Alfred the butler from The Dark Knight, simply "want to watch the world burn". One of the problems of overpopulation...aside from the obvious ones like pollution, lack of food, etc...is that when you get enough people (and we already have way more than enough...) you reach a point where any perversion, any antisocial tendencies, any sadistic impulses that can possibly be imagined...will actually be displayed by some number of individuals. In our enlightened age the science of medicine allows most people to survive into old age; we are taught that everyone deserves a second chance, and that the individual has no right to make choices regarding right-vs-wrong, self-defence, or anything else that might conceivably impact society.

In an earlier, more innocent age, the worst bad apples...the incorrigible psychos... were quickly weeded out by their peers before they could do too much harm. Today, if you have a problem, you are told to run away from it and to call the police. When seconds count...they are just minutes away. The bad apples today aren't weeded out; they are just rounded up, treated to some TLC paid for by your tax dollars, and then added back into the societal pie to add some spice, because every apple is sacred, don'tcha know, and deserves a second chance.

In a population of hundreds of millions, it's easy to imagine that there are at least a few upstanding citizens who would start a major fire or blow up a building just for kicks. These are the folks who have already progressed from pushing all the buttons on the elevator, up through peeing in a drinking-water reservoir and sabotaging traffic lights...and are now ready for the big-time. A forest fire makes the news, and it's easy to start. If there were only one homicidal lunatic in the U.S. who is capable of doing so...and its laughably naive to think that there's only one...think of the devastation that could ensue.
 

skjl47

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Hello; To the question of human intentions being __________________. (insert stupid, evil, uninformed, short term thinking or whatever suits.) Let me add another category. To me most folks have a lifestyle they are use to which is also reinforced often by TV ads.
An example or two are central AC and riding lawnmowers. I know from some personal interactions about both of these. I have a home with central AC (Heat pump) and mow about 3/4 acres of grass. In the warm weather I keep the screened and doors windows open maybe 99% of the time. I do run the AC on some hot humid nights. My brother and my neighbors think I am odd in this. My neighbors house is never open to the outside air. It stays closed all the time and I think it is the same for my brother.
I grew up without AC for a house or a car for that matter. I now have both. There is some justification for AC in a car due to aerodynamic drag from open windows and I can hear my music better with the windows closed. I have seen some reports that open windows create enough drag to make AC use with windows up in a car a pretty good trade off. The wind noise has become the secondary reason for my using AC in a car. Even on cool enough days I do close up the windows sometimes on a long drive so I can hear my music better. I do have windows open on mild days for short or low speed trips. Do I need AC in a car? No I do not as proven by the many years I drove without it. I think I was 33 years old when I got my first AC vehicle. Now I will not consider a vehicle without it.

I push mow my yard and have all my life so far. I will concede to figuring out my push mower may not save much in the way of fuel burned. It takes me a lot longer to mow by pushing than it would with a rider. So more minutes pushing may be close to fewer minutes riding. I like the way a push mown yard looks compared to a rider and have been told this by neighbors. I also need the exercise. My neighbor has a much smaller yard than mine by at least half but he recently bought a zero turn rider for well over three grand. I replaced a push mower this summer for $300. My neighbor is still in his 20's and could push his lawn quickly where as I am 73 and have to do my yard in three sessions or more.
All my neighbors relatives use riders and the adds on TV show folks on riders. I am guessing it is a lifestyle they have become use to. Not a decision made from malice but perhaps just something they are use to and consider normal behavior. Maybe the same for AC in a house. People do not think of using central air or any number of things as having an environmental impact. They just do what has become the norm or perhaps is driven by TV ads.

A forest fire makes the news, and it's easy to start.
Hello; Let me throw in the Gatlinburg TN burn from a few years ago. Turns out the fire that burned parts of Gatlinburg and killed a number of people and animals was set by some teenagers. The teens started the fire inside the Smoky Mt. national park about nine miles away during a severe drought. High winds drove the fire over to Gatlinburg. It has been hard to get information about those teens. Their identity is protected. The state of TN has apparently punted the case over to the Feds and did not prosecute the teens is what I have heard. I do not know what the Feds have done at all so far. May be those teens are already let loose or may be they still face consequences. It is just not knowledge I have right now.
I do not know why they set the fires during one of the driest times I have ever seen around here. There had already been other fires and the word was out so I doubt they can claim ignorance. Fires were already banned in the park. Having been a public school teacher and having seen evil individuals, I can not rule out pure malice.
 

jjohnwm

Dovii
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Mar 29, 2019
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Based on what I've discovered about power systems recently I might not be surprised it were worse.

So When is the Earth not the Ground? When PG&E supplies an "Earth" wire. At the substation the "neutral" wire is grounded to the Earth. Most houses have a ground rod in the earth as well. But if you are far from the substation, the long wires lose some electricity. That means the hot wire has less voltage than right at the station. It means the neutral wire will have a different voltage in relation to Earth. At the station it was the same, but then there's these long wires you see....

So at my house there is a difference of about 3v from the "neutral" wire to the local dirt.

But that's peanuts. I had a pump and 3 heaters in my brackish 90g system. I don't think the salt helps. The potential of the water was almost 47v above neutral and nearly 50v above the local earth. And it's on a steel stand. The fish all lost their heaters last night. I'm switching over to hot air heating or remote hot water heat. After 45+ years I'm finally going to quit putting heaters in the water.

But I'm only dealing with a 3v variance from ground. I understand this is minimal, and many folks face far higher stray voltages. While it needs to be low (a balanced system) it's only ever zero on paper. Here's the thing. This is often worse because of unbalanced loading of the grid. If PG&E doesn't maintain it to the best standards (gak...) some customers could have dangerous leakages. This is a particular issue around pools and tanks!

PG&E has been telling folks to add ground rods to reduce the problem, but this is just a placebo and possibly a dangerous idea. It can make a difference on houses with other common electrical issues. On some houses it causes a dangerous voltage to be present on panels, conduits, etc RELATIVE to the NEUTRAL wire. (Not to the earth in general.)

The thing is, the neutral or "dead" wire of 120v systems isn't supposed to shock you. But if you have a potential voltage from neutral to ground, the wire that shouldn't be "hot" can shock you if you are grounded well. This can also be the case on most 120v houses if all the things on one hot leg are drawing more than the things on the other hot leg. The worse this gets, the higher the neutral potential voltage is to the ground. . . .The classic unbalanced system.
A placebo is a "cure" that does nothing more than create a feeling of well-being or safety, without actually doing anything in reality. To refer to ground rods as such is...and I apologize in advance if this sounds harsh...patently ridiculous. A properly-grounded system, to include a ground to earth (ground rod) will prevent the vast majority of the most common electrical shock hazards in your home. If you have a panel or conduit or other structure or device in your home that is erroneously or accidentally livened up by a short or a stupid connection, the ground will do its job, the circuit breaker or fuse will pop, and you will say "Oooh! I'd better find out what happened and fix that!" In an ungrounded or poorly-grounded system, the live piece of metal lurks there waiting for you (grounded) to touch it at which point your body is transformed into an inefficient heating element. This sounds bad, smells worse and doesn't feel good at all.

In my rural location I have a couple of power poles on my property carrying the lines from the road up to my house. The pole next to the house, which carries a transformer and feeds directly to my household service, has a ground cable attached to a ground rod; if anything happens in my house or barn, the path to ground is quick and sure. If you have no ground, or are relying upon the ground provided by the power company at some remote location perhaps many miles away...you are less safe. To suggest that the ground rod makes your home service dangerous and should not be used is analogous to stating that driving down the highway with your eyes closed is dangerous, so cars should not be used. Yes, if you try hard enough, you can still screw up the wiring in your house badly enough that you can get hurt...but the ground makes that much more difficult to do.

The power company endeavours to keep balanced loads, but of course this ideal can never be achieved. The electrician who wired your house also tries to balance the loads within your domestic system, but the same caveat applies. The guy who watches a few internet DIY videos and then decides he doesn't need an electrician to make repairs or alterations...and who then manages to create fire hazards, shock hazards and generally unsafe systems...must look in the mirror to find the blame, rather than pointing the finger at the grounding system. Once he admits that he is the problem, he can hire a qualified individual to repair the job; this will leave him free to attend the next meeting of the Flat Earth Society, or perhaps attend an anti-vaccination protest.

If you want to be completely safe from dying in a car crash, don't ever get into a car...although a drunk driver can still ride up over the curb, across your lawn and through your front window. If you want to be completely safe from an electrical hazard, don't connect your home to an electrical grid...and, of course, hope that you don't get struck by lightning.
 
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