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Author Topic: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman  (Read 13791 times)

taoshum

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"Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« on: June 10, 2011, 12:06:10 AM »
Tom Friedman's OP-ED in the NYT's

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08friedman.html?_r=1

assume for the moment, it's true and immediate...?

What does it mean for the RV Community?
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AndyinLexington

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 10:11:32 AM »
Why would we assume that this is true?  There are no facts given to back up any of the author's claims.  It seems to be a classic "create a crisis" technique of trying to sway public opinion.  The only statements that are supportable in the article are his hypotheticals in the beginning.  If you use more trees than you plant, you will run out . . . duh.  That doesn't mean that we (humans) are doing that though. 
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FrankNSharon

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 10:52:33 AM »
No facts? :)

City runs out of water, China industrial revolution, we ARE cutting more trees than we are planting, population growth, oil production falling further and further behind consumption, fewer jobs, there are many more that he does not mention.

The energy issue alone is a major point of concern for the pentagon, which has written numerous reports evaluating national defense issues around the next decade or so of worsening oil shortage.

All over the world, and the US (Texas, AZ, CA, etc..) draughts are approaching decades in length and getting worse.

The times they are a changing, our arrogance at believing we could consume whatever we want is catching up with us.

bigpemby

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 10:56:25 AM »
I would not assume any of it is true.  Consider the source(the author in this case).  If it were true, what would be the solution?  Tons of new regulations and rules which would necessarily cause the prices of most everything to go up.  In case you can't tell, I am not a fan of the author.  I do think we need to take care of our resources but I also believe there are plenty of resources to go around.  We are not actually running out of anything. 
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Wendy

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 11:23:56 AM »
I do think we need to take care of our resources but I also believe there are plenty of resources to go around.  We are not actually running out of anything.

? Oil ? Rain forest ? Open space ? We're running out of all of those. Maybe not quickly enough to hurt us but certainly enough to affect future generations. As Robert A. Heinlein said in the 60s, "The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."
 
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Molaker

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 11:50:07 AM »
Some folks responses make me think of ostriches.
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bigpemby

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 12:10:19 PM »
I am assuming your ostrich comment was made towards my comment.  Let me clarify.   I do not mean we are literally not ever going to run out of anything no matter what we do.  I am just tired of over reaching regulations.  I am tired of hearing about running out of oil when we continue to find more all the time when we are allowed to look for it. Not to mention new techniques that allow us to get more of it in new ways.  Also not to mention innovation that will allow us to be more efficient.   I do not support chopping down every tree or putting an oil rig in every possible place.  I also do not support more regulation meant to save us from ourselves that ends up hurting us more in different ways.   Personal responsibility is the only way things will ever work long term.  No regulation can change the heart of a man.  To sum it all up....  My head is not in the sand.  I think we should take care of what we have been blessed with.  Unfortunately this usually means some more government regulations to tell us what to do because we are too stupid to do it ourselves.  Some of us may very well be too stupid, but I can assure you we can figure it out much better than "government can" in most cases.  The OP linked to an article by Tom Friedman...   I can assure you he would love to tell you how to run every portion of your life.  No thanks, Mr. Friedman.
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Luca1369

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 01:10:32 PM »
God has given us a universe.
It's really an expensive toy with no instructions.
We're gonna break it sooner or later.
Kevin Maurer
Steve
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BobNSam

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 02:05:19 PM »
My very cynical viewpoint...Just think things through.
A closed system (Earth's ecology) cannot support continued population growth, continued growth in the expenditure of resources, and our continuing ability to ignore these facts. Even if science finds a way to convert dirt into everything we need and we continue to convert dirt into people, at some point your neighbor is going to start looking at you as a source of dirt.
I do not believe increased regulation, laws, legislation, etc. is going to solve anything.
The only true long term solutions are increase the size of the pot; expand into the solar system to provide more resources and energy. Also provided is more space for more people.
An other option is to reduce consumption by mandate which is self limiting as long as population increases. The only real accomplishment is maybe appease the populace by being seen to "Do Something".
In the final option, nature will be the ultimate arbiter. Nature/Mother Earth has provided a self-regulating mechanism which is neither kind nor gentle if it comes in to play.
I am a staunch supporter of space exploration and improving future chances for our children.
 
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Luca1369

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 02:09:44 PM »
I do not believe increased regulation, laws, legislation, etc. is going to solve anything.

An other option is to reduce consumption by mandate which is self limiting as long as population increases.
 

Hmmm...you're not a politician are you? ;D
Steve
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BobNSam

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 02:22:30 PM »
Hmmm...you're not a politician are you? ;D
Wash your mouth out... >:(
I trust politicians to...
Wait a minute, I don't trust politicians to... anything. ;)
 
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AndyinLexington

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 08:33:39 AM »
I believe that the best indication of what someone really believes is their actions.  People say a lot of different stuff for a lot of reasons, but when you look at someone's decisions, you get a much clearer picture of what they really believe. When the pundits/politicians/special interest groups who say we're running out of oil, the end is near, we have a crisis, etc. all adjust their own lifestyle to reduce their own "impact" then I'll pay more attention to what they are saying. 

For example, when Al Gore gets rid of his cars, air conditioning, and other frills of his lifestyle that he says increase carbon footprint, then maybe I'll pay attention.  As long as he is riding around in an airconditioned limo, burning oil, expelling "green house" gasses, then to me that says he doesn't believe what he is saying the rest of us should do.  Lots of people love to tell the rest of us that it is "us" that are ruining the planet, but it's interesting to note that more often not, they are not changing their own lifestyle to try to make a difference.
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Molaker

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2011, 09:49:02 AM »
When the pundits/politicians/special interest groups who say we're running out of oil, the end is near, we have a crisis, etc. all adjust their own lifestyle to reduce their own "impact" then I'll pay more attention to what they are saying.
Which is why I believe some sort of regulations are required.  No doubt, most of us have the knowledge and ability to rein in our consumption, to economize on our own without having to be told to do so.  But, most of us don't.  I'm no better than the next guy (neither is Al Gore).  After all, I do drive an 8 MPG MH around with only 2 people in it.  Without regulation, we will all continue doing what we're doing, consuming what we are consuming.  George Carlin did a routine where he said the earth would eventually flick us off like fleas off a dog's back.  I more or less agree with him.  We can either place some controls on our ecological decadence or let big business and capitalism push us in the right direction - like Carnegie, Ford, GM, Getty, Sinclair, Exxon, BP (and the list goes on) has done.  Yes, it is a self regulating matter.  But, nature's way of regulating is not particularly nice.  Ask the many extinct species that used to enjoy this place.
 
The challenge should be in how to develop and apply useful and realistic regulation.  Not just to develop ways to compensate for our wasteful consumption.  But, I guess many think that's just too difficult.  Well, what the hell?  I won't be around much longer so why should I care?
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bucks2

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2011, 07:09:42 PM »
I think you've hit on the answer. We're doing the same things the dinosaurs did. They ate more plants and grass than the earth could provide. The resultant gas from eating so many vegetables caused the last ice age just like our internal combustion engines are doing now. Wait, are we creating global warming or global cooling? Seems like we flip flop from one to the other so often I get confused. Now I remember, it's "climate change", so whenever we don't hit exactly the same temperature, rainfall, tide predictions, snowpack, etc. as average, then we can point to that year(s) and PROVE that man caused it.

I chuckle when a record is broken and people point to it as proof that our climate is changing. Exactly what caused the old record that stood for so long? Why was 1932 the coldest, wetest, rainiest, etc? We're managing the ozone hole with data that's what, 40 years old on a planet that's had humans for 2,000? Until you can tell me why the ice age came about and why it went away, I'm not believing your new theories either.

OMG, the end is near. What will we do? Run in circles scream and shout while our leader Al Gore rides around in his chartered private jet preaching about carbon footprint. Would those new regulations you speak of keep our presidents from flying across the country to campaign for other members of his/her party? Or would they just apply to us little people? So many questions, I need answers.

KodiakRV

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 08:44:40 PM »
While we may have a food distribution problem, I don't think we have a population problem, per se.  If you run the math, the entire population of the world could fit within the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida.  Of course there wouldn't be much room for anything else.   :D

I was reading an article a week or two ago about how China's population will actually start decreasing in a few decades, given current trends and demographics.
Frank
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Bob Maxwell

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2011, 02:49:34 PM »
MANAGEMENT
Adiós. . .

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Bob Maxwell

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2011, 03:04:43 PM »
Management not doom is what's called for.

I just finished yesterday a rereading of Ton Clancy's "Rainbow 6." Two observations; 1. it's the best description of Seal Team 3 and that the units training and use of spec ops for Usama. 2. There are environmental jihadists as well as scientific, economical, political and religious literalists.
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camper9082

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2011, 03:34:06 PM »
First off I wish all these "we have to many people" would volunteer to lessen the population them selves. I heard it once said you could take all the four person family's in the world give them a track home and put them all in the state of Texas and the others in condos in New Mexico and your done and the rest of the world would be empty.  Think on that one for a while.  The world is not over populated, it's not getting warmer due to man and the sea's are not going to rise to the point of losing massive amount of land, where does such foolishness come from?
 

AndyinLexington

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2011, 04:03:18 PM »
First off I wish all these "we have to many people" would volunteer to lessen the population them selves. I heard it once said you could take all the four person family's in the world give them a track home and put them all in the state of Texas and the others in condos in New Mexico and your done and the rest of the world would be empty.  Think on that one for a while.  The world is not over populated, it's not getting warmer due to man and the sea's are not going to rise to the point of losing massive amount of land, where does such foolishness come from?

Agreed.  Most of the time, after the description of the crisis - the next thing you hear is that they've got a good idea how to deal with it by having a small group of "them" controlling what everyone else is allowed to do. 
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Orick

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2011, 06:11:27 PM »
Which is why I believe some sort of regulations are required.  No doubt, most of us have the knowledge and ability to rein in our consumption, to economize on our own without having to be told to do so.  But, most of us don't.  I'm no better than the next guy (neither is Al Gore).  After all, I do drive an 8 MPG MH around with only 2 people in it.  Without regulation, we will all continue doing what we're doing, consuming what we are consuming. 

Agreed.  I believe the world needs to change but I'm no better than you or Al either!  I think most folks who believe things need to change on a global level feel that what "they" do can't possibly make a difference... and they're right.  If it weren't for govt regulations we'd still be driving 9 mpg cars which were "unsafe at any speed"... and the air quality in California would have already solved that state's problems because no one could live there.

I sure hope those of us who believe we need to change are wrong.  If we are, we've only had to endure the "hardships" created by additional regulation.  But, if the other side is wrong.....

I happen to be a fan of the author.  His recent book "The World is Flat" addresses the impact of globalization and the internet.  Not a pretty picture for any population of people clinging to decades old paradigmns.

Rick
 
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Molaker

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2011, 07:21:18 PM »
Agreed.
LIB - I was beginning to think Wendy & I were the only ones believing governments (plural - not just ours) have a role to play in maintaining our planet's resources.
 
As for the discussion about there being room for the population, I don't disagree.  There is lots of room.  The problem comes in trying to maintain a reasonable & healthy life for all those folks.  As China and India (not to mention Africa, eventually and others as well) move ahead with their greater demand for all the things we take for granted, and if those feeling unthreatened now were still around, I would expect to hear a different response - some good, some bad, but probably few would still feel the same.  If we are lucky, new technologies will save our butts, but we could just as easily be grasshoppers fiddling the summer away.
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Wendy

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2011, 07:49:40 PM »
As for the discussion about there being room for the population, I don't disagree.  There is lots of room. 

The problem isn't the quantity of available space, it's the quality of the available space. There are lots of places where people can't live - Antarctica (too cold) and deserts (not enough water) come to mind. Take a look around the U.S. There's a lot of empty space but people don't live there because people either can't or don't want to. The quality space is filled up with more wanting their piece of the good pie. What is it they say in real estate - location, location, location.
 
Wendy
 
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catblaster

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2011, 08:40:41 PM »
Wendy, another reason for a fully functional motorhome...change location, change location, change location.
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Rancher Will

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2011, 11:58:38 PM »
Why would anyone take anything the NYT prints as fact?

I long ago (actually about 20 years ago) stopped getting the NYT in the mail for the reason that more often than not what I was reading was pure propaganda, speculation, distorted, unacurate or just "Politically Correct"..

In fact I have learned to put anything that I read into a thought process that goes someting like, "does this sound reasonable, does the writer have an agenda, if any figures, statements of facts are shown, what is their source, does the article answer Who, What, When, Where, How and Why"?

Very few pieces in the NYT match my requirements, and many were just plain wrong before I stopped reading the Times.

I use the same measure with any other media source also.

blueblood

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2011, 06:32:56 AM »
Management not doom is what's called for.

I just finished yesterday a rereading of Ton Clancy's "Rainbow 6." Two observations; 1. it's the best description of Seal Team 3 and that the units training and use of spec ops for Usama. 2. There are environmental jihadists as well as scientific, economical, political and religious literalists.

I just saw the guy who formed and named Seal team 6 and when asked why pick 6 he said to flummox the Russians. He said they knew the Russians were all ways carefully watching Seal 1 and 2 so they decided to skip to 6 to let them try and figure out where were 3,4,5.   ;D
Leo

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2011, 09:06:54 AM »
Why would anyone take anything the NYT prints as fact?

I long ago (actually about 20 years ago) stopped getting the NYT in the mail for the reason that more often than not what I was reading was pure propaganda, speculation, distorted, unacurate or just "Politically Correct"..
An awful lot like Fox "Noise".
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BobNSam

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2011, 09:22:53 AM »
An awful lot like Fox "Noise".
...and NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, NYT, USA Today, AP, ...
Effective filters required to be used for any and all media.
I follow the track provided by Rancher Will
"does this sound reasonable, does the writer have an agenda, if any figures, statements of facts are shown, what is their source, does the article answer Who, What, When, Where, How and Why"?

 
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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2011, 04:22:52 PM »
All of human existence in the last 1/2 and inch of our fingernail.

Let me explain, if you take your hands and spread them all they way out as far as they can reach.  Starting at the tip of your left hand the earth came into existence, stretching all the way across your body is the whole of time in earth's existence.  All of Earth's history that contains humans fits in the last 1/2 inch of your right fingernail.  We truely are that insignificant.

We are here now, we are going to go away and the earth will still be here when we are gone.  At the same time we have always been here and will always be here, on an atomic level at least.  The atoms that are you, used to be something else, and when they are done being you they will go be something else that is not only not you, but probably not what they were before they were you. 

Earth is just as full now as it was when it was formed and as it will be when we are gone.  Atomically that is.

Jeff
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Molaker

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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2011, 04:47:19 PM »
Earth is just as full now as it was when it was formed and as it will be when we are gone.  Atomically that is.
What about the stuff we threw off into outer space?  Just asking. ::)
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Re: "Earth is Full" by Tom Friedman
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2011, 05:13:00 PM »
What about the stuff we threw off into outer space?  Just asking. ::)

Made up for by all the meteorites that hit the atmosphere every day.
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