China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing economy

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  • Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - 03:41pm

    #31
    switters

    switters

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

I think that the psychology – how people respond emotionally and process information – of peak oil, climate change and economic instability is paramount. 

Perhaps the greatest challenge of all is how to facilitate people’s progression through the 6 Stages of Awareness that they almost inevitably go through upon learning of these issues.

Even on this forum, which is attracting people who already have some interest and awareness of these issues, we see that denial, anger, bargaining, fear and depression are significant obstacles to be overcome.  This is crucial because acceptance must be reached before meaningful action can be started and sustained.

It is not enough, I believe, to simply inform people about these issues.  We must also find a way to help them move through those stages of awareness.  If we do not, so many will never get past denial.

On a collective level, our society has not even reached denial yet.  While many are aware of the threats posed by climate change on some level, and everyone has at least some understanding that we are in an economic crisis, few people know about peak oil and even fewer understand the depth and scope of the challenges posed by the Three Es when taken together.  In short, most people haven’t got the memo that human civilization is facing the equivalent of a life-threatening illness.

Once a larger percentage of people do get this message, history and our own experience tells us that they aren’t all going to snap to it and burst into action.  They’re going to go through the same process that almost all of us have gone through.  And the tricky thing is, that process can last a long time for some folks – and we simply don’t have that kind of time.

Deborah Rhode, a behavioral psychologist at Stanford, has done some interesting research on how people respond to massive threats like climate change and peak oil.  Not surprisingly, she found that people completely shut down if they are not presented with any possibility for a better future.  If the only thing they hear is how screwed we all are, they will not respond in any meaningful way.  They feel hopeless and disempowered and are likely to take the attitude of "if we’re doomed, what’s the point of me doing anything?"

Yes, we’re headed for a lot of pain and suffering collectively and perhaps individually, depending on how prepared we are.  But there are also many potentially positive outcomes: more meaningful work, richer relationships to community, family and friends, a deeper connection with the land, more satisfying leisure activities, better health from more physical activity, etc.  I’ve written about these elsewhere, but the point is that including a vision of the positive changes that are possible in this transition is essential to getting people on board.  I’m not talking about sugar coating the reality; just making sure to include the whole picture, which is often left out in the "gloom & doom" discussions.

 

  • Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - 06:58pm

    #32

    joe2baba

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

hi grateful

i am sorry to disagree with you but i for one would not invest in any water company.

if you want a situation where a company like exxon mobil is supplying your drinking water you are lost .yes infrastucture in water delivery is failing here just like every other aspect of infrastructure. but to think a private corporation will do any better is delusionary. not only delusionary but dangerous.

what will happen when private corporations gain control of your drinking water has been well documented .

you will pay more….. much more, water quality will go down and delivery will be sporadic.

90% of the worlds water is delivered by government only 10% presently is delivered by private corps.

atlanta turned  its water utility over to a french  corp. everything i mentioned above occurred.

the french corp gave it back to atlanta because the system needed too much infrastructure work.the people of bolivia rose up against their gov. to prevent the water supply being sold to bechtel. water rates were going up 300%

there are three things absolutely necessary for life, food , air and WATER. corporations currently control food…..are you happy with that? corporations have been responsible for polluting our air ………smog, acid rain etc. corporations have been responsible for polluting our water………..ever heard of a river catching on fire in this country?

the free market can do some things well. the delivery and care of the things we all share in common which are necessary for our survival let alone our health is not one of them

i will fight with every fiber in my body to keep any corporation from getting control of my water supply.

investments……………………be damned

  • Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - 07:03pm

    #33

    joe2baba

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

interesting site hewitt.i will investigate it further as it helps me undrstand more of where you are coming from.

  • Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - 08:34pm

    #34
    GR8TFUL

    GR8TFUL

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

joe2baba:

 I am not an expert on water, I am not familiar with the situation in Atlanta that you mentioned, & I understand your concerns re: allowing private corporations to control something so utterly necessary. However, by the statements & overall tone of your post, I wonder if perhaps you are carrying around too much personal paranoia regarding "greedy private corporations" . . .

 1) Even if "90% if the world’s water is delivered by goverment" (I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ll assume you’re correct), no doubt those goverments subcontract infrastructure work to private companies &/or buy products made by private corporations in order to deliver that water. Those goverments buy the water pipes, purifications systems, etc., from private companies, yes?

2) I am of the opinion that a free market is the most efficient one, and that goverment-run projects & businesses are (on the whole) vastly inefficient. I am not saying that regulations & oversight are not important and do not have their place, but if the goverment were responsible for growing the food & feeding this nation I’m certain I’d weigh 40 pounds less.

You write "there are three things absolutely necessary for life, food , air and WATER. corporations currently control food…..are you happy with that?" Uh, for the most part, yea, I am, Joe. Last time I was in Publix their shelves were fully stocked, the store was clean & well run, and the prices were quite reasonable. Actually, if anything, I’d prefer fewer choices–is it really necessary to have such a large selection of breakfast cereals?

 Do large scale corporations pollute? Absolutely, but so would any goverment-run project trying to accomplish the same thing. Reasonable laws can be created & enforced to regulate one as easy (or difficult) as the other.

 I’m guessing we’re simply going to have to agree to disagree on this subject, but IMHO, the problems that you are concerned about I think have more to do with human nature & basic greed than they do with the benefits / efficiency of goverment versus private sector debate. Whether a business or project is operated privately or by the goverment, humans will be in charge, and therein lies the basic root of the problem. The cause behind that basic human greed, but that’s probably a topic for the pulpit, not here! All the best . . .

  • Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - 11:02pm

    #35
    penski

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

GR8TFUL:

 I strongly disagree with you regarding human nature.  Unless you are saying that humans do not possess free will, then greed is most definitely not human nature.  Greed is a choice like any other human action.  To imply that humans are incapable of operating a business or project that is beneficial renders this whole website, indeed the very act of educating one’s young, pointless.

In a capitalist system, greed is rewarded, and therefore reinforced.  I believe that it’s been reinforced so much and people act geedily so often that, at this point, greed seems like human nature.

For-profit corporations (those who have issued stock to the public, anyway) exist for one reason only: to make a profit.  When they are in charge of providing basic human services, such as delivering clean water, healthy food, or basic medical needs, they will always make decisions based on what makes the most profit, not what provides the most complete service.  So while you may be satisfied with the amply stocked shelves of your supermarket, there are one billion people in this world who are undernourished.  This is not due to a lack of food, but a lack of profit in making sure everyone is fed.

Though I’ve been reading this site for months, this is my first post.  There are so many insightful people who regularly comment that I rarely feel I have anything new to add to the discussions.  So, thank you all.  And here’s hoping that these discussions expand, dare I say, exponentially, to include everyone in the world!

 Chris (in Northern California)

  • Sat, Dec 13, 2008 - 01:29am

    #36

    joe2baba

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

first off there is nothing at all on the face of the earth such as a free market. except maybe in antartica. unless i am missing a piece of ground that does not have a government

i have lived in various places around the world and i can tell you from experience you do not want corporate water. i work on water issues in india. coke and pepsi have bought up vast water rights in southern india to the economic detriment of the local populace. one of the conditions that is imposed by the imf when a country is beholden to them(defaults) is that their water supply is privatized

second there is a difference between paranoia and real fear. paranoia is irrational real fear is useful.

third you  are obviously an ideologue free marketer so on that account i would say yes there is no further point in continuing as you are probably very happy at the lack of regulation which has gotten us into the current financial shangri la and no point

to enlighten you about the food you eat out of  publix or the water you drink from corporations. check out the cost of a bottle of water. then think about taking a shower for the same price per quart. yep free markets are a real blessing.

i happen to be in favor of governments for lots of things and this whole bogeyman of the governments are bad is absurd.

btw the people of new york city have the best water supply in the u.s. and it is owned by the people of new york city aka known as a government

oh yes i have a spring. and a well so when when tshtf come on by and i will give you a drink and some food from my organic garden, that is if you can hang with a paranoid hill hippy.

  • Sat, Dec 13, 2008 - 02:11am

    #37

    Ray Hewitt

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

Joe

third you  are obviously an ideologue free marketer so on that account
i would say yes there is no further point in continuing as you are
probably very happy at the lack of regulation which has gotten us into
the current financial shangri la and no point 

As I’ve explained on this site before, Austrian Theory is a thinking tool based on the simple premise that if individuals are free to choose according to their judgment, there will be a better economic outcome then if a central authority makes their choices for them. This assumes a rule of law in which government protects person, liberty and property.  Notice I use the word "better," not optimum, not perfect, not ideal.

In practice, the regulators protect the regulated from competition, establish cartels, subsidize their research, protect them from criminal liability and more. Government doesn’t give a shit about protecting you; they care that you believe they are protecting you. 

There isn’t a free market bone in a politician’s body. They use the word "deregulation" to divert attention away from their corruption.They’re out in the open about it now. How much more proof do you need?

  • Sat, Dec 13, 2008 - 05:20am

    #38

    joe2baba

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

my reply was not addresssed to you hewitt.

i assume you followed the whole thread. i also assume you manage a hedge fund as you certainly hedge on free markets when you state a "better" economic outcome will ensue if we have a rule of law in which gov protects person , liberty and property. (is property mentioned in the constitution or is it life liberty and the pursuit of happiness……..no it was the declaration).one question i have is if you have more property does that make you more equal? just asking cuz the other two are not quantifiable

i am somewhat confused where you come in on this as i was speaking about food and water yet i did not find those words in your post. so please inform me if you have a preference for free market corporate water and food ………..we can leave the air out since it will be compromised whichever you choose anyway.

as for proof i do not need any proof. when i stood in front of the draft board in 71 and told them to fold it 6 ways and stick it where the sun dont shine i kinda gave up any idea of needing proof that any one but me was looking out for me.in the context of society i appreciate things like the national park service. i kinda like osha since i have worked most of my life in construction. i kinda like nasa since they gave us tang and velcro. it is late so i wont run down the whole list. 

that said i find myself swimming in a matrix in which politicians seem to have some kind of influence on my life. i think the epa has prevented anymore rivers catching on fire. that in my estimation is a good thing. a good example of gov regulation doing the right thing.

another example is the water supply in nyc. they were experiencing a large amount of water quality issues. they could have spent a ton of money on more treatment but instead they isolated the problem in the watersheds and cleaned them up at considerable savings to the taxpayers. i daresay in light of what i see of free market corporate behavior the response in that situation would have been vastly different

i think the regulators obviously protect the regulated from competition "competition is sin" jd rockefeller i believe.in most instances that is. it is up to an informed citizenry to see that that does not happen.

so therefore the financial shangri la we find ourselves in is not the result of gov. regulation but boys being boys. ie "free markets" or am i missing something here . or were all those derivatives vetted by chris cox? a failure of regulation?

well the free market should have taken care of it. as ol al said "geez i didnt know those guys were snorting all that coke. drinking all that dom and trippin their brains out  just scammin on ways to screw the entire planet. geez if ida known that why i never would have given them all that money to play with." i guess that falls under a central authority making their choices for them.

we all have our subjective view of the world and most of us think we are being objective. i do not think you are any different than any of us. we make our choices and those choices shape our lives. my choice is to take control of every aspect of my needs as i can (food water shelter) and hold the politicians liable for whatever infractions they commit. as for now that means voting against them and exposing their dirty little secrets as much as i can to as many as i can. if the opportunity presents itself for ,more "effective means of redress" rest assured i will avail myself.

btw on sphere there is no sidelines, there is no beginning and no end and all roads lead back home. sidelines only exist in a linear matrix such as a football field .

  • Sat, Dec 13, 2008 - 06:05am

    #39
    ckessel

    ckessel

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

[quote=joe2baba]

my reply was not addresssed to you hewitt.

i think the regulators obviously protect the regulated from competition "competition is sin" jd rockefeller i believe.in most instances that is. it is up to an informed citizenry to see that that does not happen.

so therefore the financial shangri la we find ourselves in is not the result of gov. regulation but boys being boys. ie "free markets" or am i missing something here . or were all those derivatives vetted by chris cox? a failure of regulation?

well the free market should have taken care of it. as ol al said "geez i didnt know those guys were snorting all that coke. drinking all that dom and trippin their brains out  just scammin on ways to screw the entire planet. geez if ida known that why i never would have given them all that money to play with." i guess that falls under a central authority making their choices for them.

we all have our subjective view of the world and most of us think we are being objective. i do not think you are any different than any of us. we make our choices and those choices shape our lives. my choice is to take control of every aspect of my needs as i can (food water shelter) and hold the politicians liable for whatever infractions they commit. as for now that means voting against them and exposing their dirty little secrets as much as i can to as many as i can. if the opportunity presents itself for ,more "effective means of redress" rest assured i will avail myself.

btw on sphere there is no sidelines, there is no beginning and no end and all roads lead back home. sidelines only exist in a linear matrix such as a football field .

[/quote]

Nice post joe2.

I think you are correct about the informed citizenry and we have been too busy tending to our own wounds to keep an eye on the boys.

And regulation as you say is not the problem. The bullies in the yard were allowed to get away with the charade because no one wanted to stand up against them. It’s boys being boys but we thought they were only kidding around. Ooops

As the exponential growth curves stretch higher ( whether it is environmental soil strains in China or economic collapse in the US), those bullies in the yard are going to be scrapping around for the same bone as the rest of us. Hopefully they will be easily identifiable in their limos so the rest of us can avail ourselves!

There was a discussion the other day at the office about using Google Earth (in realtime if possible !) to locate which remote island had a couple of Saudi tankers anchored offshore. That surely would be the "jekyll Island" crowd to zero in on.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we find Hewittr, cleverly disguised as an investment guru, sitting on the sidelines counting his winnings!

 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:44am

    #40

    caroline_culbert

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    Re: China’s water and soil too far gone to support growing …

[quote=joe2baba]

i happen to be in favor of governments for lots of things and this whole bogeyman of the governments are bad is absurd.

btw the people of new york city have the best water supply in the u.s. and it is owned by the people of new york city aka known as a government

[/quote]

great points.

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