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RememberSchiff

Naturalist-Environmentalist divide

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I skipped school to attend the first Earth Day in Philly. In author's essay, I identify with her father, well except his politics.  Some organic food for thought.

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/my-dads-conservative-naturalist-im-environmental-hypocrite

If things had gone differently since the first Earth Day in 1970, the fight against climate change easily could have been led by ranchers and fishermen. These leaders may have been Boy Scouts like my dad was; they may not have had fancy degrees but probably could identify almost any leaf or animal species at first sight. They may have led a movement to protect biodiversity for self-interest and not necessarily for social good. But does the intention really matter if it increases the number of people who act and vote for environmental protections?

We need to reconcile across the naturalist-environmentalist divide in order to bridge political differences that will hasten the transition to a sustainable world. To do this, we must recognize the hypocrisy of the environmental movement to date. We might then embrace the connection to nature and rootedness that many "non-environmentalists" have. The result will be a new, more inclusive movement of people who will act against climate change.

My $0.02,

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I could insert my comment about Bird Study becoming an elective MB and the rise of climate change denial, but that would be too much on topic.

Speaking of which, the murder of crows, fed up with last week's cold spell, have left Pitt's campus. No more twigs dropping on one's head as one crosses the Cathedral lawn at dusk.

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My older college son and I have had many arguments other "energy saver appliances" that use more kilowatts,  Tesla should focus more on batteries (Powerwall 2) and less on cars, product packages, rebuilding homes in flood-prone areas, replaceable batteries, product recycling, component standardization, simple vs elegant design,...

Global warming: On my bucket list was a journey to the North Pole but I think there is only one safe $$$ walking route left.

And there is our biggest argument,  he believes global warning is the #1 environmental problem, oh and Dad should shoot the new coyote in our neighborhood.

Dad disagrees. All problems are results of explosive population growth as Paul Ehrlich predicted back in 50's/60's. The US population has doubled and the world population tripled in my lifetime.

Another $0.02

P.S. Coyote is just being a coyote.

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Not gonna judge those who move into the nuisance - people just being people.

But, all those folks who stopped harvesting deer basically rolled out the welcome mat for coyote reintroducing themselves in Western PA. (SM says a lot of his buddies are generating conspiracy theories that this was the game commission's doing.)

A Saudi acquaintance got invited to a local ghost coyote hunt. I wished him luck, and explained that the beasts were as likely to be tracking him - for no other reason than sheer curiosity - as the other way around. Conversation then turned to if, on the chance he had one in his sights, he still needed to say his 'b 'ism Allah as he  pulled the trigger (a requirement if game meat is intended for halal cooking).

Edited by qwazse
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We seem to have a surplus of deer and turkey  in New England where the top predator may be a car bumper but the coyotes are coming back.

2 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

This could be an excellent discussion for Sustainability MB which unfortunately is a bit of a snoozer.

How large a human population can the world's environment and economy sustain?

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7 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

We seem to have a surplus of deer and turkey  in New England where the top predator may be a car bumper but the coyotes are coming back.

How large a human population can the world's environment and economy sustain?

If you have a spare hour, this is pretty fascinating*...

https://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/

If memory serves, we need people to keep getting educated, this raises living standards, which lowers infant mortality, but that makes parents have less babies, so it looks like the population will top out at some point. 

* If you like anecdotes and stats.

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

P.S. Coyote is just being a coyote.

 

We have several park units along a river in our area, the coyotes seem to really like the environment.  Little coyote condos abound.  I see them occasionally wandering about just out being coyotes.  You can sometimes hear them howl (yapping??) in the woods.  

These are not the thin western coyotes, these guys seem to be the large cat fed ones.  I see the "missing" Fluffy posters and sadly realize that the cat out and about who is missing, likely not coming back.  Several of our guys have written about coyotes for Mammal study MB.

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3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

My older college son and I have had many arguments other "energy saver appliances" that use more kilowatts,  Tesla should focus more on batteries (Powerwall 2) and less on cars, product packages, rebuilding homes in flood-prone areas, replaceable batteries, product recycling, component standardization, simple vs elegant design,...

Global warming: On my bucket list was a journey to the North Pole but I think there is only one safe $$$ walking route left.

And there is our biggest argument,  he believes global warning is the #1 environmental problem, oh and Dad should shoot the new coyote in our neighborhood.

Dad disagrees. All problems are results of explosive population growth as Paul Ehrlich predicted back in 50's/60's. The US population has doubled and the world population tripled in my lifetime.

Another $0.02

P.S. Coyote is just being a coyote.

 

I agree with your son about killing the coyote if you are east of the Mississippi. They are not natives of the eastern U.S. 

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43 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

This could be an excellent discussion for Sustainability MB which unfortunately is a bit of a snoozer.

IMHO, Sustainability MB takes the bad parts of the Environmental Science merit Badge and expands on them.........  I saw no reason to create it, should just have added a bit to Enviro Science.

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48 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

This could be an excellent discussion for Sustainability MB which unfortunately is a bit of a snoozer.

 

3 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

IMHO, Sustainability MB takes the bad parts of the Environmental Science merit Badge and expands on them.........  I saw no reason to create it, should just have added a bit to Enviro Science.

Don't worry...the new families coming into scouting will LOVE the Sustainability MB.  Really dovetails into so many agendas

Side note, under the Stuff section, they mention a DVD, wonder how many scouts will need to have a history lesson in what exactly a DVD is

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Great article!

I am about as conservative as they come on most issues. I certainly would fall into the category of naturalist. I am not much for labels, but that is one I could live with.

I find it amusing and sometimes annoying that my self-proclaimed liberal friends are constantly on my back about the environment. I am routinely on the lakes, rivers, trails and mountains they cherish but hardly ever visit. Many brag about going out once or twice a year to clean up this or that. I just nod, knowing that on almost every outing we are doing more to help they environment they they will in a year.

Some deride me as part of the problem because I am going out into nature and "wearing it down," by visiting it. Some of them are very much in to the pristine untouched wilderness concept. When they give me a hard time, I think back to my dad taking me out into the woods and showing me all kinds of wonderful things, teaching me not just how to use it, but to respect it and take care of it.

It is sad that respect for the environment (and so many other things) have become so politicized that there is an "us and them" mentality that pretty much negates that hope of cooperating on solving problems.

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The problem with the whole climate change question is that no one seems to know what the ideal environment would be. Are CO2 levels currently higher or lower than optimal? Nobody knows. All we know is that they are slightly higher than they used to be.

It may turn out to be that higher CO2 levels are a good thing. Future college students may be complaining about  declining CO2 levels.

Edited by David CO
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3 hours ago, David CO said:

The problem with the whole climate change question is that no one seems to know what the ideal environment would be. Are CO2 levels currently higher or lower than optimal? Nobody knows. All we know is that they are slightly higher than they used to be.

It may turn out to be that higher CO2 levels are a good thing. Future college students may be complaining about  declining CO2 levels.

I think it's generally accepted that the pre industrial revolution, so early 19th century, levels are the standard by which we should be measuring things as that is broadly what the levels were through most of human existence. Whether that is optimal is another question but it's certainly the level from which human interference started from.

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23 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

I think it's generally accepted that the pre industrial revolution, so early 19th century, levels are the standard by which we should be measuring things as that is broadly what the levels were through most of human existence. Whether that is optimal is another question but it's certainly the level from which human interference started from.

Fine, just so long as it is clearly understood that it is an arbitrary standard. There is no valid scientific reason to choose that as the starting point. 

CO2 levels have not been level through most of human existence. It has gone up and down. 

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5 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

We seem to have a surplus of deer and turkey  in New England where the top predator may be a car bumper but the coyotes are coming back.

I have hit both deer (two) and turkey (one) with my car, all in New Jersey.  The deer were about 26 and 5 years ago, and the turkey was about 25 years ago.  It was the animals' fault in all cases.  :)    (The most recent deer, who really hit me rather than the other way around, was very large and probably survived; the others kind of limped into the woods after being hit, but I suspect they did not get very far, unfortunately.)

A lot of people probably think of New Jersey as one big paved-over city, but there are a lot of areas where one may run into wildlife.  (Yes, I see what I did there.)  I do not believe there are coyote residing in NJ, or at least I have never seen or heard of one being here.  Or maybe they are just smarter about staying off the roads.

As for the article in question, I think this person should speak for herself.  If she wants to call herself a hypocrite that's fine, but she should not imply that other environmentalists are as well.  I consider myself an environmentalist, but I do not hit other people over the head with it.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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