- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A Luddite with a degree in space physics, Doc?

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 15, 1999 at 21:53:36:

In Reply to: Luddites. posted by Dr. Cruel on December 15, 1999 at 21:16:29:

: Technology is the only means of solving problems.

And where do you derive that laughable conclusion from, Doc?

Got any logical reasoning behind that; or you just citing technology as a Godlike panacea?

Hey! the labour relationship between bosses and workers is screwed up - let's solve it with technology...

Nope. non sequiter, Doc.

: Technology is the application of scientific theories to practical problems.

Oh, really? If that were the case, the pure sciences just wouldn't exist, Doc. And I wouldn't have a degree in Space Science; because the nature of space and time isn't exactly a practical problem.

Science is the result of questioning, not problems; technological advances are as often as not the result of serendipity as anything else. I can (of course) cite Kekule's dream, Schonbein's exploding labcoat and Mendel's beans. There was no particular need to invent the steam engine; it just happened.

(Besides which; for your statement to be true would require the theory of evolution to be true; and you've rejected evolution in another post...)

: It is literally the practical application of knowledge. Indeed; what you claim is a solution to the problems of irresponsible productivity, i.e. lessening production and consumption, is itself a "technofix", and (I presume) claims to be based on scientific evidence, similarly derived.

Not so; and obviously not so; it merely requires you to cut down on the activity that is endangering the environment. Are you really claiming that giving up smoking is a 'technofix'?

: In any case, you fail to address the point behind what Frenchy has said. What is clear from his point is that, although corporations are held morally and financially liable for mistakes that harm society and the environment, ecologists have a carte blanche in regards to similar errors.

I said quite clearly that I didn't agree with their conclusions in the first place; they were starting from faulty assumptions in the first place; but I'd like to see Frenchy produce some evidence of exactly who these environmentalists were; it really wouldn't surprise me to find out that they were lobbyists working for a company that produced MTBE.

Habeas corpus, Frenchy and Doc.

: In effect, environmentalists can force any sort of legislation forward, without fear of the consequences of their policies on the society at large.

If only it were so. In fact, environmentalists are frequently in the firing line - literally; if they annoy corporations and governments. Look at the deaths of Fernando Pereira, George Adamson, Dianne Fossey, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Hilda Murrell, Karen Silkwood and the like; all of them were killed by unaccountable organisations because their investigations and actions on behalf of the environment and the fauna threatened to expose corruption.

: Frankly, your callous and flippant answer to this issue leads me to believe that, far from being somewhat uninformed of the indirect consequences of what you advocate, you desire to blind yourself to the real, empirically demonstrated negative effects of ecologically-minded pseudoscience.

Hardly, Doc. The physical evidence says that the human species is screwing up the environmental balance at an unprecedented rate. I don't want to live on a planetary rubbish dump; which is why I oppose those such as yourself who would happily tarmac over the rainforests for 30 pieces of silver.

And if my tone to Frenchy sounds flippant, it's probably because I have repeateded my position and the basis thereof on numerous occasions in terms even he can understand; and he still doesn't even try to counter me on anything like a serious basis; merely takes refuge in sarcasm about something he really appears not to understand.

I have repeatedly told Frenchy that technological problems to social problems are two-edged swords; they generally create as many problems as they solve; pace antibiotics, GM, nuclear power, cars and the like; he maintains that somehow, this time, technology will make everything all right.

He's more like Bullwinkle than Einstein; "this time fer sure...!" - both you and he treat technology as a Holy Grail; a religion rather than a tool. Technology is a tool; and it is open to redesign and questioning each time; but it isn't the solution to all problems any more than a monkey wrench is useful as a screwdriver.

: This hardly sounds like the attitude of a confirmed scholar, or an expert on matters planetary.

Too bad.

: How do you propose to sanction those whose errors negatively affect industrial production needlessly, and thus, harm the economic activity on which so many people are dependant on? I'm curious.

Identify the major causes of pollution and move to combat them.

First on the list of targets is the Global Climate Coalition; even diehard carbon consumers like Ford are recognising them for what they are and stopping their support.

Within the current framework legislation is the best tool we have for greening society; but it cannot be perceived as something to be left to Big Brother; it must be something in the awareness of every individual that humanity can wreck the planet.

So legislate against the polluters, provide alternatives and educate people in the demonstrable reality of the global environment. And provide a level playing field in court in cases between whistleblowers and corporations; SLAPPs should be made a thing of the past. For good.


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