Schmidt Wrote: April 22nd is Earth Day, and I thought it would be a good time to stimulate some thinking about the future of our planet. I see disturbing trends on climate change, population growth, and dwindling supplies of natural resources, particularly water. Couple that with economic inequality amongst the population in certain geographic areas of the world, and we are ripe for conflicts and war. In many parts of the world, we have reached the tipping point or passed the tipping point in what environmentalists call "sustainable development".In Gaza, for example, we are already passed the tipping point as the underlying aquifer has largely been depleted by large withdrawals "upstream" by Israelis, which has resulted in the natural flow of underground water to reverse itself, thereby contaminating the aquifer by the flow of salt water from the sea inwards. Palestinians living in Gaza now have little natural water left and have to rely on imported bottled water to drink. That's just one example, but throughout the world, as the effects of climate change have resulted in droughts and larger demands on natural aquifers, wells are drying up and people are migrating to urban centers. That's what has happened in Syria, but the urban centers likewise cannot provide the needed employment or resources to support the influx of people and that leads to civil unrest.Add to that the migration from wars and conflicts, many of them driven by religious ideology, and we can see that the entire Middle East is a powder keg that we are seeing exploding before our eyes right now. Some can blame western imperialism for upsetting the balance in the area, and that is true to the extent that we (America and European countries like Germany), along with the Russians and Chinese, are the world's biggest suppliers of arms and weapons to both sides in the conflicts. And of course we have an enormous thirst for their oil. So yes by our very presence we have contributed to the problem. But even without our presence and arms deals, we cannot dismiss the underlying religious and tribal tensions and lack of opportunities for young people that are a major factor in the civil unrest. Basically in many of the regions, perhaps driven by the short term prosperity of oil wealth, the population growth has exceeded the ability of the land to support the people. In other words...unsustainable development.In this somewhat controversial Newsweek article from last year,Newsweek, October 28, 2014: Even a Pandemic Wouldn’t Create a 'Sustainable' Population, Study Saysthe author writes: "Environmental scientists generally agree that the growth rate of the world’s human population and its current rate of consumption are unsustainable." There are currently 7 billion people on the earth today, and at current trends, the population is expected to be about 11 billion by the year 2100. At that level, and depending on how the population is distributed (e.g. how much mass migration into Europe can be tolerated), the world will have increasing conflicts and wars. The authors point out that reducing fertility rates to a level below 2.00 would take generations to bring the population growth under control. Even with a worldwide pandemic event or war that killed off 2 billion people, the population would still continue to grow to about 8.5 billion by 2100. And by some estimates, the planet cannot support the current 7 billion, let alone the 8.5 billion or 11 billion.I see little energy to control population growth by government imposed means like they do in China, but I do credit Europe for bringing their fertility rates below 2.0. I guess in a way that makes more room for the migration of peoples from Africa and the Middle East where their fertility rates in many cases exceed 5.0.Okay chime in on any aspect of this as you like. Happy Earth Day.
Schmidt Wrote: Okay chime in on any aspect of this as you like. Happy Earth Day.
Schmidt Wrote: President Obama was in the Florida Everglades today addressing C****** C****** and G**** W**** those words that Florida elected officials are not allowed to mention because it isn't happening in Florida. So I suppose when the southern part of Florida eventually is under water by sea level rise, it will be attributed to "God's work". Or they can look back in history and blame Obama.And being good socialists, the rest of America taxpayers will bail them out...pun intended.
Schmidt Wrote: Dutch -- As I understand it the problem of restoring the Everglades and addressing the problems of pollution by the sugar polluters is being jointly addressed by both the state and federal governments. It's nothing new that Obama doesn't know about or chooses not to address. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is a 35 years, $10.5 billion dollar project that has been underway since 2000, although progress has fallen short of their own timeline of goals.Regarding the Sugar industry pollution, as reported in the Sun Sentinal last year, Sugar industry accused of dodging Everglades clean-up costs:"A "Polluter Pays" amendment to the Florida Constitution that voters approved in 1996 was supposed to force the sugar industry to at least cover its share of cleaning up damage to the Everglades. But some say state leaders have failed to fully enforce the measure. That means "it shifts the burden of cleaning up the Everglades to taxpayers," said Dave Cullen, Sierra Club lobbyist. "Everybody else's [share] gets bigger."The taxpayers' share of the Everglades cleanup gets even bigger under Gov. Rick Scott's $880 million water pollution cleanup plan. Last year, state lawmakers agreed to keep charging Everglades restoration fees paid by sugar-cane growers and other farmers south of Lake Okeechobee at existing levels for 10 years longer than once planned. But lawmakers haven't been willing to increase those fees, even as the public cleanup costs increase."So I ask, is this something that Obama needs to interject his authority over? It seems that this is a state initiative, but your governor Rick Scott is letting the sugar growers off the hook. Florida voters reelected Rick Scott, and he is doing what Rick Scott does. Should the federal government take charge because he and his fellow Republicans in the State legislature are not holding the Sugar industry accountable for the rising costs of clean-up including not building a filtration plant. I guess I am pushing back on "it's all Obama's fault" again.
Schmidt Wrote: Dutch --- I guess I don't follow that logic. Yes our election process is deeply flawed, and it should be reformed by getting the money out of politics. But this is not something that can happen overnight. Remember we did have laws on the books, although imperfect, but it was the Supreme Court that gutted those laws, and our Republican controlled legislature will never lift a finger to fix the election process. It will take a Constitutional Amendment to override SCOTUS. Obama has been an advocate for election reform, but to think he has the power to change things is a bit of a stretch.
eternal flame Wrote: I wish somebody could figure out a way to SUE the Republicans who have stashed $$ Millions in Swiss Bank Accts -- & make them "bring back" our American Money to our own Homeland. It should be criminal to use Swiss Bank Accts to "avoid taxes" & to deprive our OWN Govt of critical funds we need for necessarymaintenance of waterways & infrastructure. Republicans have excelled at "criminal" activities across foreign borders for many decades. And you can plainly see how well they take care of our people (even injured soldiers), who have a "right" to aid & assistance from our government. The GOP has discovered their OWN method of "birth control" & population limitation -- they just start up another WAR to "kill" many young men in battle, & starve the civilians to death from lack of jobs & a Failing Economy -- (plus training our police to be brutal terrorists, like the Nazi Gestapo). There are many neo-Nazi's in the Republican Party.As the previous article suggests, we find on planet Earth, that with too much over-population, & the way our resources are being depleted, that life here, with any quality at all, will SOON be "unsustainable." In other words, we will be DOOMED. The only way to prolong Life with any quality at all, will be to cut down the population of planet Earth. Obviously, then, the solution would be to reduce the number of babies born. How could that be accomplished? By TWO methods that the Republicans HATE. (1) By using "birth control" so that women do not get pregnant. (ie: condoms, contraceptive devices, foams, the rhythm method,& "the pill" (which has been around since 1960). /// (2) By ending a pregnancy early --- surgically (ie) called an ABORTION. Naturally, the 2 best ways to save the planet from the horrors of "over-population" -- will be fought politically, legislatively, & with religious fervor --- by the pompous right-wing Republicans.It can be PROVED that the IRAQ WAR (2003) -- fabricated by BushCo & Halliburton Inc --- was a PNAC (GOP) Plan dreamed up 15 yrs earlier, These filthy crooked industrialists planned to scour the earth, looking for valuable resources, so that they could start a WAR & then "steal" all of the resources -- & become fabulously Wealthy. (True patriots would have at least SHARED some of the stolen OIL with We, the American People) -- but NO, -- not from the corrupt GOP Republicans. -- they are selfish & greedy to the Core. /// The part that REALLY gets to me, is that most all Republicans claim to be "so Christian" --- when they do the exact OPPOSITE of what Jesus Christ preached. // (a) Jesus was "anti-war" -- the Prince of Peace.// (b) Jesus taught that "sharing the wealth & taking care of the poor" is the most important thing that he will JUDGE You By. // Matthew 25: 31 - 45 // So, we can confidently conclude that on the Judgment Day, many pious & devout Republicans will need a huge emergency supply of "asbestos underwear." : )