irene schoemakers

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Why should we save the planet?

A major part of the world is very much concerned with the environment. 'We should take better care of the planet so future generations can enjoy it too.' But those future generations have not been born yet. And that does not seem to bother us. Hence the question is: why is it so important to make sure that there are many more generations to come after us? Or can we just 'skip' to the last few generations now? If we keep messing up the planet, that might be reality.

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    Dec 16 2011: The Planet is definitely not what needs saving. If we continue down the path we're on, then we will eventually burn through resources and die. The planet will still be here. That being said, humans do have an inclination towards self preservation. All living things do. I think the problem is we're just messing with the balance of nature. We are the only living beings that as a whole can disrupt the entire planet's natural cycles. The only choice we have is literally going green. I think we need to try and live more WITH the environment, not on it. For how intelligent we are, we can be really stupid. I would like to know what other life form is disrupting the balance of nature on all 7 continents.
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      Dec 16 2011: Stephen Hawking recently said we really need to colonize some other celestial bodies, OR ELSE!
      "Green" is the zeitgeist and I need a definition. I think I'll post it as a question!
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    Dec 15 2011: Save the planet? Our planet does not need us to save nor we have capacity to do so. Our beautiful planet knows how to take care of herself and survive without us - in fact, better without us, as it did last 5 billion years or so. We are missing the whole point! It is not the planet we must worry - what we must worry is to keep ideal environment for us to survive. So, put the focus back to where it belongs to. As long as we act sensibly, and if future generation will continue the same, mother nature will allow us to stay here.
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    Dec 15 2011: We have already altered the planet biosphere by our actions and way of living and producing and this since we invented the agriculture. There is no turning back for the species that have been lost, for the ecosystems that have been changed due to our actions. Hence we cannot save the planet yet we should tend to keep it liveable for the future generation because we need to believe in a future for the human race. I believe that without a future our societies will crash. Nevertheless the question is very interesting should we try to save a liveable planet for the future generation or just say that's enough we have already mess around quite badly let's put an end to this. May be that we are the last few generations to enjoy human life on this planet and this knowledge that the actual conditions on earth are just a short windows of time that will soon (depend on many factors) pass is very important.
    To answer the question more directly I think that we should make effort to minimize our impact on the planet and try to make it liveable for next human generations because we enjoy life on earth now and I find it natural to give this potential for life and enjoyment to the future generations.
  • Dec 15 2011: I think the phrase save the planet is extremely arrogant and self centered. But, we should attempt to maintain the only biosphere we can live on. It is perhaps better for the planet if we allow it to shake us off like a nasty infection, but I think we are capable of being better than that. Why should we try? Because I like to think humanity is capable of doing what is good for reasons other than a payoff for ourselves or our genetic material. But, I could be kidding myself.
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    Dec 15 2011: Self-preservation is a very strong instinct, present in all life forms, including humans. Tolstoy, late in life when he was ascetic and religious in his own mysterious way, opposed all forms of sex, for everyone. Someone asked him, if we followed his advice, wouldn't the human race die out? Tolstoy looked at the questioner and replied something like, "Yes ... what of it?" Most of us probably don't hold Tolstoy's nihilistic attitude, and that may be the reason to "save the planet": to save ourselves.

    If you think "cosmically" - the reallllly long view - you'd probably conclude that there's no good reason to worry about the planet, since its ultimate end is fixed and is not pleasant. So the only context where environmental values and human values really count is in the short view, and that has to guide us. In the short view we're emotionally attached to our own species as well as to the world as we know it. It's our environment, and deep down we don't want to lose it.

    Unfortunately, we're just clever enough to have invented a lot of powerful stuff, but not wise enough to know how to manage what we've invented (or ourselves), so our future as a species is very iffy. We're the first species to have materially damaged the biosphere, and I consider the chance fairly good that we'll wipe ourselves out, perhaps through overpopulation and pandemic. If so, Gaia would probably say, Good riddance, and an ecologically healthier biosphere would reconstitute itself for the couple of billions of years she might have left as a living planet.
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    Dec 16 2011: QUOTE: "Why should we save the planet?"

    Where else would we keep all our stuff?
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      Dec 16 2011: theoretically, the rich people could build a rocket to take a capsule into space for safekeeping.
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      Dec 16 2011: Thank you for injecting that, Thomas. Nothing like an involuntary smile in the midst of solving the problems of the universe.
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        Dec 17 2011: QUOTE: "Thank you for injecting that, Thomas."

        You're welcome. My pleasure.
  • Dec 16 2011: Believe it or not, we are a resilient parasite on "Mother Earth." Our population increase is jaw-dropping if you look at the rate from the last two centuries. The year 2011 has marked a 7billion watermark for population. Factor in our automobiles, factories, and nuclear power plants, then you ought to be able to fathom how much influence of Earth's well-being we actually have. Okay blowing up the planet is far beyond the limits of power as of today, but we are noticeably affecting the biosphere. That means that our existence is factually making the planet less hospitable for life, which includes us. We have the power to turn a bountiful Earth into a desolate wasteland---in time. However, we also have the power to limit and reverse the damages we are causing.
    There is a densely populated city in China that was once the pollution capital in the world. The smog rates were bordering a fatal toxic level. They began implementing cautionary measures and almost instantly became one of the greenest cities on Earth.
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    Dec 15 2011: Irene, I'm sure by "we" you mean the human race. And, I assume by "save" you mean to rescue from perishing.
    We had nothing to do with the creation of earth.
    We lack the power to even control ourselves and because of it we are impacting the earth in a negative way.
    We are meant to be caretakers, but we have become harmful parasites.
    Whether the creative force behind the Universe would let us destroy our planet is not knowable. Our best hope is to find a way to control our narcissism and then to fulfill our purpose as caretakers of this privileged planet.
    • W T

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      Dec 15 2011: Hi Edward,

      You state in your comment "Whether the creative force behind the Universe would let us destroy our planet is not knowable". I think it is knowable. If you'd like me to share the texts with you e-mail me. I was very much impressed when someone pointed out the verses to me.

      Thank you:)
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        Dec 15 2011: I have no idea how to email you.
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    Dec 15 2011: Save the planet? . We are no heroes. Save it from ourselves? My kids are young and their kids will be young And their will always be the young. And someone will always be loving them And that is why we must save it.
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    Dec 15 2011: With no disrespect intended; I wil not flatter myself by believing we are capable of saving or destroying this earth. We can not even save ourselves. I don't believe we will be able to destroy her, either. I do think I should respect this planet in the same way I respect my Mother for giving me life, because all life comes from this universe, and no less respect for any woman, as I respect all of creation. All I can do is remember who I am, what I am, where I came from, where I am going and treat all mysteries in between as though they are sacred.
    I understand what you are saying, though,, everyone is hollering "Save the planet!) If we look to take care of ourselves and each other first then I think the planet will be just fine. Should bad come to worst, the planet will survive just fine. We won't. She will get rid of us like a dog shaking the fleas off of its back, and whatever amount of people do survive that, I hope they are less selfish than we have been, I hope they love their children better than we have, and I hope they choose to respect life before profits, like we have not.
    --without six inches of topsoil and the fact that it receives rain....nothing would live on this planet
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    Dec 15 2011: No, i'm not suicidal at all. It's an honest critical question. I'm not saying we shouldn't save the planet but I mainly hear sentimental reasons to do so. Please come up with something more challenging. I'm not convinced yet:))
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    Dec 14 2011: Suicidal, much?!?

    There are undoubtedly a million different replies to this question, but I think mostly it's because the idea of nothingness or non-existence of the self, is too difficult for the mind to really comprehend.

    Plus, doesn't that seem like such a waste; it has been here for so long and we as a society have developed so much...that it seems silly to let it all go.

    Also, I think we have something to prove. Human's like to think we''re the most dominant animal on the planet; so if we had to face the realisation that we're actually the dumbest...I dont think we could handle that!
  • Dec 19 2011: The only reason I can think of saving the planet would be to not go extinct the slow painful way, instead we can all breath good air, drink good water and wait for the instant boom. Plus if you have kids I would think youd want them to be healthy.
  • Dec 16 2011: "Why should we save the planet?
    It is the only planet with chocolate.
  • Dec 16 2011: We should save the planet because life can be a feel good experience as soon as we start living right. Our generation can be the one that chooses to live right. Each of us knows what to do. We merely need to do what we know is right.
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    Dec 16 2011: We are programmed to live and it is that which keeps us concerned about our planet and its health for generations to come.
  • Dec 15 2011: You're right, modern man is wasteful, negligent and downright disgusting. However, the potential for greatness is not absent. In the past there was little concern for the impact humans were causing. However the point to which it has gotten us is a state of awareness. In recent years there have been efforts made to stop or at least regulate the impact we are having. Hence your question is one of these efforts.
    If you want a reason to save our home planet, one that doesn't include an Oedipal fetish for Mother Nature, I would suggest you acknowledge all of the incredible and awesome things that humanity has achieved since stick and stone living. Consider the automobile, iPad, Germ-X, Rome, 3-d cinema, the moon landing, and last but not least Jack Daniels. All of those things occurred in a very small time frame if you consider the potential of how long we could exist.