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View Diary: Irresistible Forces, Immovable Objects: Sustainability, Growth, and Craving (31 comments)

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  •  A comment I made in this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Lum Forest


     "Evolution via natural selection has brought us to where we are - our ancestors were successful and bequeathed us the genetic potential to be successful.

    After having called the market "fundamentally insane" I want to acknowledge that I may well be referring to the natural process that has brought us to our present predicament. Wolves would kill and eat the last black-footed ferret without a qualm about causing their extinction. The difference, I suppose, is that we have the capacity to develop a land ethic.

    The market may well be the result of these basic drives writ large due to the tremendous technological tools at our disposal to continue maximizing our reproductive potential until nothing is left."

    It could be said that our "craving" has been bequeathed to us by succeeding so well in the forge of natural selection. And, perhaps, this "craving" is what has driven us, and all species, to maximize reproductive success.

    It is a tall order to act in "opposition" to such powerful natural forces. Growth is natural, voluntarily limiting growth is not. And natural forces - starvation, predation and disease - have always acted as counterbalances to the natural "craving" for unlimited growth. But their activities are harsh and cruel. It may be naive to seek for warm and gentle methods to limit our unsustainable growth.

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:43:49 PM PST

    •  Elephants provide a very loose analogy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      veritas curat

      Aside from humans, they disturb the environment more than any other animal, leveling forests in an almost human way.

      In African game parks, many artificial watering holes are maintained for easy tourist viewing of the wildlife and to increase wildlife populations generally. But it is not an entirely positive-sum scenario. Adult elephants have no natural predators, and the primary limiting factor on their population is water. So if more water is supplied in the dry seasons, the elephant population never dies back. That means that elephants eat more and disrupt more, leaving less for antelopes to eat. Antelope populations in South Africa's Kruger National Park dropped so much that they rethought their water hole strategy, and have cut them back so more elephants die - and more antelope live.

      Warfare, and violence generally, may well be one of our adaptations to fluctuating resource availability.

      There's a million ways to laugh; everyone's a path.

      by Tom Lum Forest on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:38:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Elephants, however, have not shown evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Lum Forest

        that they are concerned about their effect upon antelope populations.

        It is possible that mindfulness may be a more potent force than warfare and violence - or starvation, predation and/or disease.

        muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

        by veritas curat on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:33:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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