RE: Saving The Planet

Billy Brown (
Thu, 13 May 1999 14:16:26 -0500

Brian D Williams wrote:
> Most of the land being cleared by peasants in Brazil is to raise
> cattle for export to american fast food chains. Gold fever has also
> taken it's toll.

So which is the problem - the fact that McDonald's will buy cheap beef, or the fact that the Brazilians are willing to clear-cut their rain forest to raise cattle? I'd say the latter.

> Mature maybe, old growth... no way. They log on so-called nature
> preserves all the time..

I know - one more example of how well socialist solutions work. :-)

But it only matters for a tiny fraction of the ecology. We've got lots of 30-60 year old timber, which is plenty old enough to form a habitat for virtually the entire ecosystem. It would be nice if we could also save that last 1% that needs an authentic old-growth forest, but that isn't in the same league as the major problems in other parts of the world.

> We have completely dominated our ecosystem, I don't see this as
> enviromentally sound. I agree on Brazil and Bangladesh..

Well, what exactly do you mean by "environmentally sound". Pollution levels are falling, conservation efforts are growing, and every reasonable effort is being made to avoid causing damage (along with a lot of unreasonable efforts). I don't see that it would make sense to do more. It makes more sense to devote our limited financial resources to developing advanced technology (which could free us from many of the tradeoffs we currently face) than to spend even more money trying to preserve a tiny fraction of the ecosphere that happens to be very vulnerable to perturbations.

> This is the best of the options you've stated, but the answer is to
> set a good example ourselves, something we've been reluctant to
> do....

Again, what exactly do you think we should be doing that we don't? We are already well past the point of diminishing returns where environmental spending is concerned.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I