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View Diary: MUST-SEE: Bill Maher explains the power of language framing and how Democrats can use it (78 comments)

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  •  Quibble: (2+ / 0-)
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    elwior, Sharon Wraight

    We are not dying slowly of pollution.

    In geologic time terms, the death of the world (or at least the death of civilization and the extinction of thousands of its species) is happening in the proverbial blink of an eye.

    And of course, it's not just "pollution" that's killing us. We are actively destroying the ecological balance of the entire planet. "Planetocide", if you will.

    Right at this instant, we are in the stage of the blink in which the eye is firmly shut.

    "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

    by flitedocnm on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:10:20 PM PDT

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    •  If we push the planet past the tipping point... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flitedocnm

      ... will we really care how long it will take to complete the destruction?

      I don't think I'm being "Chicken Little" here, but I don't like the fact that, to paraphrase Ned Beatty's character in Network:

      "we have meddled with the primal forces of nature..."

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 02:27:27 PM PDT

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      •  We may already (0+ / 0-)

        be past the tipping point. But we are still actively pushing, and that may accelerate the pace of destruction and extinction so much that we will have no chance at all of meaningful adaptation. While I share your pessimism, and while civilization may be doomed regardless, it's likely homo sapiens will not go extinct. So, the future of the planet isn't necessarily a monolithic black hole. It may take many forms, and I don't think we are completely helpless in shaping how utterly dismal that future be.

        "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

        by flitedocnm on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:31:09 PM PDT

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    •  Earth is out of Ecological Balance? (0+ / 0-)

      I disagree.    The ecosystems will always find their new balance point - be it malaria mosquitos in Canada or Jellyfish all over the oceans.   Life finds a way.  As local ecosystems evolve so to will the species that inhabit them (not always in the sense of genetic evolution - in the sense that new invasive species can displace older species) If life can survive all of those mass extinctions, it can certainly survive the puny works of humanity.

      HOWEVER, the future of humanity is another thing. We - and our societies - are heavily dependent on the Earth as it is now.   The USA produces a tremendous amount of agricultural output due to the conditions (it's more than simply temperature).  If we alter the local climates in the USA we may ruin our ability to feed ourselves and make our population heavily dependent on foreign food supplies ( note: we buy produce from South America when it is out of season in the Northern Hemisphere ... if we weren't so spoiled we wouldn't need to buy that food.  If we destroy our 'bread basket' we may need to buy food from overseas.   The spread of tropical diseases (both human and non-human) could also ravage our society.

      The Earth's climate has been very kind to America - and if we alter that climate we will not be hurting the Earth (it's seen so many wild climate changes it "won't care" about another) - we will be hurting ourselves.  

      Protecting our climate is patriotic!

      -- illegitimi non carborundum

      by BadBoyScientist on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 10:18:15 AM PDT

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      •  Thanks for being more clear. It's what I was (0+ / 0-)

        trying to say -- not that the planet itself would cease to exist, but rather that the ecological balance necessary for life in all its forms to continue to exist in some semblance of what life has looked like for the past few thousand years, is very much at risk.

        "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

        by flitedocnm on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:34:31 AM PDT

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        •  Selfish/Patriotic Environmentalism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flitedocnm

          The Earth, the biosphere, even local ecosystems are far more robust against climate change than humans and our civilizations are.  

          Civilizations are quite fragile: Jared Diamond has written a book about so many civilizations collapsing due to 'degrading their environment'.  But 'degraded environment' is a loaded term- what it really means is changing the environment so the civilization can no longer sustain itself.  Note that almost all cases when civilizations collapsed due to environmental degradation - the people didn't die out (typically their numbers dropped or they just pulled up stakes and moved)... but the people became far less powerful.  

          The big [selfish] danger of climate change to us Americans, is not that all life on Earth will die (there's virtually zero chance of that), not even all humans will die (there's very little chance of that) - it is the United States of America will not survive it (that's likely, in fact!).  After America falls, the people remaining will be weakened and less able to defend against being controlled by others (remember the Native Americans?).  

          IOW: the danger is not the end of Americans rather the servitude of Americans to the emerging world powers.

          We need to publicize the reality that enlightened selfishness & patriotism dictates we fight climate change.  If we're willing to let our economy - and young men - suffer to defend the nation against other nations then we must be willing to sacrifice a little to defend America from environmental disaster - which can wreak more havoc upon us than anything foreign power.  

          OTOH: if we're not willing to defend ourselves against this HUGE threat then let's stop worrying about the little threats and defund the military, NSA & DHS... Maybe Americans are a selfless lot and want geopolitical power to shift - we've had our 5 decades of fame.  Time for someone else to shine - maybe Canada!

          -- illegitimi non carborundum

          by BadBoyScientist on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:55:06 PM PDT

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          •  Now there's a thought -- (0+ / 0-)

            Mini-Bush PM Stephen Harper as the Most Powerful Leader on Earth!!

            I like your take. Of course, unfortunately, the chances of such a major reordering of priorities achieving political or even popular resonance, no matter the framing -- at least until things get monumentally worse -- is about equal to Michele Bachmann suddenly becoming sane.

            "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

            by flitedocnm on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:27:44 PM PDT

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