True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Discussions of the nature and definition of old growth and primary forests.

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#1)  True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Sat May 18, 2013 6:43 am

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/true_nature_revising_ideas_on_what_is_pristine_and_wild/2649/

New research shows that humans have been transforming the earth and its ecosystems for millenniums — far longer than previously believed. These findings call into question our notions about what is unspoiled nature and what should be preserved.
by fred pearce

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#2)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Rand » Sat May 18, 2013 11:12 pm

Interesting perspective.  Kinda reminds me of the stance of the people trying to establish the Florida Torreya in the Southern Appalachians.

http://www.torreyaguardians.org/learnings.html

It seems to prefer wet areas.  I wonder how good a replacement for hemlocks it might prove to be?

As an asside I stumble across the native Torreya in California and promptly jabbed my hand when I unwisely grabbed one of the soft looking 'fronds'.  Prickly varmints.
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#3)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Sun May 19, 2013 6:11 am

That article about Florida Torreya says, "Nonetheless, from a "deep-time" (Pleistocene and earlier) perspective, it is reasonable to hypothesize that for millions of years Torreya taxifolia lived mostly in the southern Appalachians — and that it migrated into a well documented "glacial refugium" when Ice-Age conditions forced it (and other temperate species) far to the south."

I suppose that shows that current distributions of flora and fauna are only a hint of what was.... and what will be... not to mention species from other parts of the world, as they spread. It will be a very different world a few centuries from now with or without global warming. I'm less concerned about how the natural world reorganizes itself than whether or not we pave over more acres. I have a new 18 acre desert covered with solar panels behind my house and nobody in this entire state seems to notice how stupid that is- including all levels of government and all the enviro groups. Oh, and the media don't care either.
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#4)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby dbhguru » Sun May 19, 2013 8:16 am

Joe,

    I don't think most Americans have problem with solar panels or wind mills around the countryside. Why? Well, they don't have problems with the endless clutter of strip malls or the strangling congestion of urban living, witness what we see in all directions, with not only no end in sight, but the cancer continues to grow. Nor do most Americans care about the quality of forests or even have an idea of what that might mean. The problem that the environmental organizations have is a problem partly of their own making. They've fought coal, oil, and natural gas tooth and nail - with good reason. They've fought nuclear - with good reason. They have advocated for the removal of dams to regain wild rivers. So, what are they willing to advocate for? They're caught. Yes, it is a matter of scale, but the various groups who are uneasy about big solar and wind haven't figured out how to deal with the money and influence that co-opt these sources of power, concentrating them in the hands of corporations.

    If we acknowledge that a mix of oil, coal, natural gas, geothermal, wind, solar, biomass, and even nuclear may be the only near term solution to the energy problem, along with lots of conservation efforts, that still doesn't prevent exploitation. And I have absolutely no doubt that as the development of any one of these sources moves forward, regardless of the scale, it won't be smooth or fair. I don't believe that it ever has been. The one thing we can be sure of is that we are headed for massive over-population in this country, and as that happens, the environment will take an ever greater hit.

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#5)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Sun May 19, 2013 2:09 pm

Bob, well as I keep saying, I wouldn't mind the solar "farm" half as much if only they repaired the soil and planted grass and had sheep on there or whatever--- a live piece of the Earth, not a %$#@* desert. As you say, a mix of all types of energy makes sense- but they all need to be done to the best possible standards. Most of the forestry people in Mass. now understand that biomass for electric power is highly inefficient but for thermal or CHP it may be fine. Solar can be on roofs or at least plant grass under them if covering acreage. Nuclear is scary but man, it produces a great deal of energy- yet it was never cheap as the early proponents said it would be- "cheap enough to not meter". I don't see a place for wind in the northeast, other than in commercial/industrial zones or mabye out to sea- certainly not on the hill tops or anywhere near homes. Conservation of energy is certainly the best solution. We must built mass transportation for a start and insulate all structures. And people must buy smaller cars and trucks. I never can understand the desire of the redneck crowd to have a huge pickup truck unless they really need it- or the rich with their fancy, large cars- maybe the big vehicles should have a very large tax added, then use that money for conservation.
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#6)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby dbhguru » Sun May 19, 2013 9:10 pm

Joe,

  No disagreement with any thing you've said. It is just that most people are so disconnected from the natural world that it isn't important to them to mitigate the effects of solar farms or wind farms.

Bob
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#7)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Mon May 20, 2013 7:15 am

dbhguru wrote:Joe,

  No disagreement with any thing you've said. It is just that most people are so disconnected from the natural world that it isn't important to them to mitigate the effects of solar farms or wind farms.

Bob


Bob, yes, the "common man" is too stupid to comprehend this- but that's what we pay state officials for and we pay them 6 figure incomes to protect our interests, but instead, they protect the interests of big corporations. And, we certainly should be expecting more from the enviro groups- they had NO trouble fighting like maniacs to stop biomass in this state. There are valid enviro issues, it's not just NIMBYism. Turning land into desert certainly is one of them- and doing that on an acquifer is another.

as for wind, just look at these web sites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6quIrIjEbg
http://www.iberkshires.com/story/43241/ ... Noise.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive ... z2KiW5MIeD
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound
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#8)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Mon May 20, 2013 7:37 am

Bob, how would you react if that beautiful property next to your home, instead being protected, was clearcut, then pillaged for gravel, then they remove all the remaining top soil, then they bring in a dozen giant bulldozers and excavators to flatten the terrain, then they bring in hundreds of truck loads of gravel and packed it into the ground, then they installed 20,000 solar panels. All within a spitting distance of your back porch. You probably wouldn't be happy. Then you'd write letters to the editor and tell lots of people. Of course all the NTS folks would be deeply upset about it, but you'd hear from the rest of the public and media and enviro groups and top state officials that it's a good thing- helping to stop global warming and that you mustn't become a NIMBY. You're not a hot tempered guy like me and Mike Leonard, you're mild mannered gentleman, but I bet even you would blow a fuse or 2.
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#9)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby dbhguru » Mon May 20, 2013 8:36 am

Joe,

   You are absolutely right. And you have every right to be furious about what happened in Orange.  Thinking more generally, I guess that what I'm saying is that, for me, there is an almost hopeless element in all this. People are excepting of environmental degradation even when they recognize it as such if it serves short term, corporate financial interests. We're seeing this on a huge scale in North Dakota that is exploiting its lignite and coal deposits. Western North Dakota is being changed (read that degraded) in ways that will have lasting effects. There are groups out there resisting the wholesale degradation, but they have little impact because the financial stakes are so huge.

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#10)  Re: True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild

Postby Joe » Mon May 20, 2013 9:55 am

well, that's why I've been saying for years- think how much better life was for Native Americans before the pale faces showed up- they didn't spend half their day worrying about their car not passing inspection, their hard drive crashing, the bad state of our health care system, nuclear war, polution of all sorts, idiots building solar and wind "farms" next door, ever increasing taxes, lyme disease, the hours it takes to fill out tax forms, layers and layers of burreacracies, religeous crazies, brain damage from bad TV, etc.

I know life wasn't easy for them- they had to hustle for food, but they knew how to find and grow food, creating a shelter was a jiffy job, no doubt they had occaisional battles with neighbors, but the neighbors were a long way away by today's standards- they didn't know much about the world as we do, but who cares? Somehow, the human race has concluded that we must always be increasing our scope of knowledge and power, perhaps that's the "original sin".
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