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My grandparents'and great grandparents' generations were stupid

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:23 AM
Original message
My grandparents'and great grandparents' generations were stupid
in oh so many ways relative to the environment. Arsenic for fruit tree insectides..., open pit dump sites polluting streams and water tables. Maximum tillage farming with no concern for erosion...

As a student in the 70's I marveled at how DDT, Deildrin, and all manner of poisonous heavy metals were simply tossed into the environment with the belief that these industrial externalizations were somehow not inputs to food, water and air that supported everyone. As an instructor for university Env. Science course I told those same stories to my students who hadn't lived in a time when there was no EPA or Clean Water or Clean Air Acts. I had a sense that as a nation we were making progress...

Now, I'm watching completely gob-smacked as the Paul Ryans and the Scott Walkers and the corporate friendly Dems are returning to the good old bad old days when the cost of dumping wastes could simply be ignored by corporations. An entirely new generation of environmental horror stories is about occur. Those stories will populate e-pages on Kindled environmental books for my great-grandchildrens' generation of college students.

The destruction seems inevitable. The return to caring for an environment that supports us seems doubtful in the short-run.

If there is any good to come from what is about to happen it will be preceded 20 years from now by college instructors and students damning today's generations for their 'business friendly' orientation to every social problem.

With Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged now in such popularity, I just wonder what nasty chemical will play the role of DDT in the coming popular resurrection of The Silent Spring?






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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I would not say stupid, just ill informed/uninformed
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 09:31 AM by HillbillyBob
I remember the print ads for those things in the farmers almanac and that there were smart folks who questioned the wisdom of poisoning.

My grandparents used DDT and when those questions started coming they wanted to know more about it and stopped using them once they had a pretty good idea that DDt was seriously bad news.

On the other hand the ignorance of the a**wipes in congress the corporated hos is amazing and appalling. Frankly in my opinion, they are traitors and the cuts they want to invoke will kill people so they are murderers too.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Also misinformed, as in lied to.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. Looking at the photographs
of industrial and waste sites from the 1880's through the 1940's it is impossible to see them as anything but polluted hell holes. Barren hills in Montana surrounding smelters were obvious, as was the cause.

The robber barons didn't place their homes downstream of the mills that were dying fabrics. Their homes were up on the hills away from all the squalor. And not by mistake.

Looking into waste debris filled coulees along rivers can't look any other way than dreadful. Watching rivers filled with phosphate boosted detergent suds was obvious as hell.

We love our grandparents and would prefer to see them as heros rather than as stupid.

With respect to the environment, many of them chose to turn away from the reality.

It wasn't that as a whole their generations were innocently doing stupid things. Their generations accepted the privilege of industries to pollute. And many of them accepted their fate in living amidst the squalor for the opportunity to have a job that generated it.



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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. How much science ago did those generations exist in?
This generation isn't doing such a bang up job either because all those electronic doodads no one can live without are going to create a level of pollution that is breathtaking. All of those heavy metals and batteries and don't forget the power required to operate them.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Much of it didn't require ANY science to know,
The destruction of industrialization was obvious and could be watched within the life-span of a single generation.

For example, a man with no science education can see sheet erosion for what it is and also the way that it silted in streams/waterways.

Indeed, it has been argued that the reason that early conservation groups were successful. I didn't say all individuals were stupid or that there weren't any members of those generations who didn't see what was happening.

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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
25. In point of fact, you do not qualify your thread title to exclude even one.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
29. Sheet erosion can be really subtle
Gully erosion or wind erosion like the Dust Bowl notsomuch.
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. that's true
we probably consume more energy and generate more waste and pollution than the so-called greatest/lost/whatever generations did in their time. but it's okay, because we're aware of how much damage we do.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
26. My grandfather went to Ohio State University before serving in WWII
Then worked for the Soil Conservation Service. They knew about all about pollution, contamination, and erosion. Big business had power then as it does now.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. A OP posted several weeks related how a small group of Japanese
anti-nuclear activists were able to stall MOX from being used as nucler fuel for a number of years. Unfortunately despite their efforts MOX got govt approval, however efforts delayed MOX being implemented so it wasn't yet in the spent fuel tanks at Fukushima. Although I agree with your assessment, I think it is important to remind everyone that activism is not a lost cause. The Japanese owe these anti-nukers a debt of gratitude.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. And coupled with this are denser populations and greater industrial output. And this
combined at greater levels with what already exists. IMO we will be living in a toxic soup with a myriad of unknown combinations of toxic pollutants combining in many ways. It's outrageous that the implications of this travesty are being ignored.


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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Add to the stew a concerted effort to eliminate
birth control by governments and churches.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Yep, excellent point, yet another multiplier. The Stupid anymore is profound. We are
following an agenda for a really unpleasant future and possibly extinction if left unchecked.

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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
6. "entirely new generation of environmental horror stories..
yes. What we're doing to the planet and the rest of the animals will get worse and worse. The effects will be bigger and more dramatic. And I'm afraid they'll be spaced out just enough so the average tv-watcher will keep pretending everything's still 'normal'

My heart is broken already and I have to watch it for 40 more years.. dealing the whole time with my Boomer-aged inlaws, forever bitter at me for not giving my innocent baby the rest of this century :eyes: :nopity:
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pintobean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
7. Stupid? Does that make you feel smart?
How do you think our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will view us?
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Exactly right, exactly right.
I couldn't say it any better.
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pintobean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. We don't agree
on characterizing previous generations as stupid. I think, if they could read the OP, they would laugh and tell you to grow up.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. I'm fine with that. Really
It is of course a rhetorical hook, to get someone to make a click.

It would be of course a historical mistake to judge a previous generation with today's knowledge.

BUT, recognizing the destruction didn't take special knowledge. For example, knowing how heavy metals poison metabolic systems isn't necessary to notice that all the vegetation has died in the the mile around a copper smelter.

Today, most Americans don't know anything about the metabolic activity of pollutants either. I don't cut us any slack either when we make choices to maximize profits at the cost of directly killing not only ourselves but the very environment that supports us.
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pintobean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. rhetorical hook - ha
They could also teach you something about respect and common decency.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. And maybe them, and others, the definition of stupid...
stupid has to do with lacking a keeness of mind.

Failure to percie the obvious pollution around them as a threat to themselves and the rest of the biota would seem to require that one is not particularly keen of mind...aka quick witted.
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pintobean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Thank you
for answering the question in the subject line of post #7. Everything else appears to be bullshit.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Sure, it is.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
10. Your grandchildren will feel the same way.
ever it shall be.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Yes, though it would be a goal to think not forever re environmental destruction
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 10:17 AM by HereSince1628
One of the great environmental awakening after the American civil war was due to the emerging middle class as it traveled through Europe and North Africa and witnessed first hand the role of civilization and industrialization in degrading environments. People like George Perkins Marsh came back to the US and realized that what our forefathers were doing with our civilization was destroying the environment. It had already been noticed by people like Emerson who saw the effects of just 5 generations in a new landscape.

The Europeans had become comfortable amid their ruins, and didn't even seem to notice things like the loss of their great forests, the missing topsoil etc. The danger, of course, is that we will become comfortable amid the ruins of our own environment. That we will come to accept that maximizing profits for the corporate masters is worth the ruin.



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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. Your Grandchildren:
"WTF were they THINKING??!!!!

Building Nuclear Power plants in Earthquake Zones,

Storing Nuclear "Waste" in ponds,

Using Depleted Uranium as ammunition,

Planting & Eating "Genetically Modified" Monocrops

and on,

and on......


We are going to make our Grandparents look SMART.
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Zax2me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
13. Every generation thinks they are superior
The fact is each one has negatives and positives.
Like people.
To refer to any one, past or present, generically as stupid is, well.....
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pintobean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Stupid.
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 10:11 AM by pintobean
edit: I don't think the HereSince1628 is stupid, just the statement.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
22. The world appeared infinite to people at that point in time.
I owned a farm where they cut the logs, put them in the river, then used trip dams to flood the river and then release the logs so they would then all go careening down stream for many miles. Things like that absolutely destroyed whole sections of some of our most pristine areas.

People didn't realize that small growth would explode into complete destruction of sections of our planet.

Pardon me, I'm just blabbing pre-coffee.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. If we had only listened more closely to our poets . . . Wordsworth
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 11:35 AM by coalition_unwilling
may have said it best ca. 1800: "Our meddling intellect\Mis-shapes the beauteous form of things\We murder to dissect."
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. Our meddling need not misshape.
I'm learning this from an interesting man I met. He is doing a form of landscaping for me. He is taking the environment on my property and being part of it.

The human is a part of the ecosystem. Or, WAS. This is a new concept to me. I have considered the human a plague. An infestation. But we were here, just like my wild turkey and deer. When I watch them, I see them pecking away and chewing, and fertilizing. The human had/has a place. Not in these numbers. Billions just destroy. But like native Americans, we can be more like animals. As an engineer, it seems strange to hear me talk this way. I learned about manufacturing, and now I'm coming full circle to see that the most complex machine has always been right in front of us.

The industrial meddling is our death. Overpopulation is our death. After all, it is what lead to the industrialization. Not many seem to be able to see that.

What were we talking about? I probably made my point.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. I recall well visiting my relatives decades ago, they lived near a lumber mill, worked in
the mill and the river by the mill was clogged with logs, etc. as you discussed. They were also deaf from the noise of working in the mill and the river also flowed with a horrible green sludge. I guess that was algae, but there was also a horrible smell. I think that was from the sulfuric acid used in part of the log stripping process.

I was only about six at the time and I remember how horrible it was, but to them is was just life and jobs for survival.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. "stupid"?! Well. Mr. Holier-Than-Thou, you lost me right there.
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cordelia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
28. Unrec for using the term "stupid".
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
30. They weren't stupid, they just did not know what we do now.
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txwhitedove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
33. Unrec. My grandparents were college educated Democrats.
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 12:56 PM by txwhitedove
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