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Economic Growth vs. Environmental Protection

Portland is blessed to be nestled between the coast and Mt. Hood National Forest, surrounded by fertile farmland, and is more hospitable for a healthy human presence than most places on the Earth. As droves of hopeful immigrants arrive, the economy is stretched and the forests are at risk. With an earnest sense of awe about Portland as is, I wonder what the future will hold for this area. People who otherwise seem interesting get Starbucks coffee instead of supporting a local cafe across the street. People drive past Parr Lumber to Home Depot when there is a sale. Will there not always be a sale?
The motivation for this article is simple: the web of life or biological diversity of planet Earth is unraveling because of us; with our consumer fervor, we made incredulous "progress" toward irreversible destruction of every last niche and the irrevocable extinction of all complex organisms. This isn't a garrulous essay that supposes overestimation from tree-hugging liberals, instead of exercising cautious and thorough analysis when presented with such a thesis.

Interdisciplinary scientists have warned about the escalating extinction rate for a few generations now; the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, so the concept of special protection for the species that are drastically impacted by "economic growth" must have been stifled by industrial lobbyists for years prior. We're experiencing the stages of grief on the societal level because of the fast transmission of information provided by the same technology which has entranced us to persist in the pursuit of instantaneous access to synthetic power. Can technology really solve every problem that we are causing with it? Without reverting to primitive skills, technology is the only hope; that is exemplary, indefatigable irony. Gadgetry is worthless if there isn't rainfall, food, peace to enjoy the simple miracle of life, and equanimity between all people who are "created equal?"

Mass delusion never prevails; truth prevails. A higher level of thinking is required for the reconciliation of preceding paradoxes. The documentary www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com evinces to the sociological overgrowth that is our potential liberation from profit driven systems of competitive inefficiency and the dissatisfaction felt with knowing that a diversity of product brands replaces the diversity of species. In reality, the diversity of product brands is largely an illusion; hundreds of brands are subsidiary corporations within the overarching control of multinational logistics and financing firms.

The level of technological advancement isn't problematic. Rather, the misapplication of technology and the misappropriation of resources to continue business as usual because that is what corporations are legally obligated to do. Returns to investors trumps the return of salmon to thousands of miles of rivers and lakes above the impasse of upper Columbia/Snake River Basin dams. In less industrialized nations there are children digging through our exported technological waste, poisoned by metals which are recyclable. Instead, miners in Africa labor in mines to extract more ore of rare metals and mass-murder awaits anyone who tries to unionize.

It's nice to go to our religious services and wonder if the fantastical things claimed are really true. Are the claims true? It's all we can do to act as if those stories are true and this material world is the grand charade. Could brutality and heinous crimes even happen when our faith is perfectly aligned to a divine spark? We can now observe galaxies colliding. Evidence of mass-extinctions says something about the Universal affliction and liberation from insufferable embodiments, right? Reflecting upon the American presidential political spectacle, what else are we actually doing but asking for the decimation of all humanity by insufferably banal increments?

The options we have are perhaps limited by physics. A popular physicist once claimed that, given all possible data of one instant, with the precise location and motion of the material Universe he can prophesy every future event unerringly. So then, what can we change? Viewing this mysterious Universe though participatory apparatuses, comprised of particulate which is indistinct from any other material thing or being to be found, the persistence of an emphatic sense for retaining an enjoyable embodiment is as Universal as the sense of hunger, cold and hot, the emotional spectrum and fear. Life and death come and go in its time, while the Universal laws entomb matter in the loneliness of gravity.

When is the next opportunity for something dramatically different? How soon can liberation arise and surmount the paradigm of domination? Where is the final battle? Let's work for this region to sustain a niche for human ecology however other things go.

homepage: homepage: http://www.steadystate.org/


A long time ago? 11.Sep.2012 06:23

Mike Novack

"The options we have are perhaps limited by physics. A popular physicist once claimed that, given all possible data of one instant, with the precise location and motion of the material Universe he can prophesy every future event unerringly."

Yes, cannot do better at prediction than physics. But you should note that the view expressed is NOT currently held nor am I referring just to "quantuum" physics. Even rather simple systems in classical physics can be "chaotic" which limits the sort of predictions that can be made about the state of the system inot the future.

By "chaotic" I do not mean anything fancy. A system is "chaotic" if an arbitrarily small "error" in knowledge of the current state could result in an arbitrarily large difference between states long enough in the future.That means no matter how well one knows the current state impossible to put bounds on the possible discrency between future states. In simplest terms, if a small "error" now does not mean a small "error" later we cannot make exact predictions.