Am I in my environment or am I part of it?


If a person is part of the environment, than the definition of a good person may be that the environment became better because the person was there.
I read recently about a fellow turning dry areas into wetlands by planting grasses , and kept it repeating by livestock circulation , that the livestock kept the grasses alive by eating a lot of it and leaving but the livestock would rather just stay put and turn the grassland into desert , only the introduction of a good shepherd moving the herd at the right time kept the seeds migrating with fertilizer. That seemed to be the utility of predators, lions forced livestock to herd and move on cyclically. It’s as though life is a manifestation of necessity of the environment.


If by some magic, divine intervention, AIs of our own, visiting aliens, we could see the negative consequences of anything we did. For example, buy and eat a candybar, and you would see (and could not fail to see) all the bad things that occurred on the planet by the collection of ingredients,m manufacturing, distribution and health effects on you for that candy bar. Turn on a light and all the things resulting in a negative impact in making the lamp and electricity. Humankind would now never be able to do anything “bad” for anything else without knowing what they are causing.

What if the existence of humanity was, in the total, bad for everything else? Wait, what if all our pets and food sources were terrible for everything else. People talk about doing things to help the planet or some subset of people; they ignore what they are doing themselves to the earth or a different subset of people.

Could it be that earth is not much more than that long gone pond where life started? That earth is not supposed to be protected at all cost, that our place is out there in the universe when we live on artificial worlds that have no problems and are more comfortable than 8-star resorts?

We and the universe are the same. There are others like us all over the place (the creator used a standard set of designs) and when we meet we will see the obvious. The cat types may run some areas, but you knew that.

As we all have limited lifespans, it is necessary to develop the AI to carry our personalities into the future where eternal life will be available. Enjoy the ride, you are the destination.


@Csmith I watched this video a while back and found it really inspiring:

I find it difficult to figure out how to define what is “good” with regards to the environment getting better, though.

Perhaps intuitively we understand that we need to create a society that is kinder to the environment and enables us to live in a more balanced ecosystem. We’re creating economic systems that put the environment out of balance in a way that threatens human civilization in many parts of the world.

I live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and it pains me to see the rivers here so full of trash. There are fish living in the rivers. We eat the fish. It can’t be good for humans or the fish to have created this kind of system. The same with the birds here and other animals.

But when you think more about it, this ecosystem is probably great for rodents and insects. Cockroaches would probably be the beneficiaries of nuclear war. Ants rule the world, there are so many of them and they’re so well organized.

At some point we need to take a stand, I believe, and assert that the flourishing of human life in a more balanced environmental ecosystem is one of our values. It’s not good for humans to live in trash or pollution.

I think we need more examples like in this video above, or of shepherds as you cite, where humans are making positive interventions to bring environments back to a more “natural” state.

@BillAmes it could well be that earth doesn’t mean much more than this for human life. But it would be a pity to treat our home in this way. It would be like me contributing to destroying the ecosystem here in Ho Chi Minh City, finding it too difficult to live in, and simply moving on to somewhere else. It doesn’t fit with the values I want to live by and I think these values are appropriate for more people to live by as well.


I think when the big is hard to imagine, think small then expand where able. For example at work, you may see the dynamic of works being done by people , and you instinctively see the weak spot and move to improve the dynamic. Also, a smile at the right moment or a song can brighten a group dynamic, being excellent at your job can elevate others to higher levels of aspiration.
I do like your point though on it being hard to see good.
I couldn’t imagine lions as a good until I saw the herd movement cycles from them keeping the grasses alive and the waters on land not just under it.


I agree. It is foolishness, at present, to count on any habitat other than the one we have. With the development of clean and free sources of power, we should be able to clean up our mess and repair the damage we have done.


With 7 billion sets of values no one will be satisfied. Where ever we have people we have waste. We bring it with us and leave it behind. That will be solved when we have the ability to turn the stuff back into the original atoms of which it is made. That will be available in two ot three hundred years.


It is available right now.


No, I am talking about a home-based fusion furnace. Junk in, atoms out. All sorted for pickup. What did you think was available now?


Electrostatic atmospheric energy and cold fusion.


We humans are complex beings living in a very complex universe, but are driven (and these days taught) to over-simplify the magnificence of this universe and of life and humans within it.
My training as a physical system Science type had me helping others question their assumptions and simplifications; middle manages hated me but Senior management and those in the trenches loved my attitude!
“The probability of getting useful answers goes way, way down when you refuse to ask the right questions!”
Often the ‘right’ questions are a relatively large set and we need Philosophy to get us to determine the full Context of the issues we are addressing. While Philosophy sucks at providing good answers, it sure is helpful in steering us towards better questions.
Ask the ‘right’ questions and good Science results in Great answers!
Too bad so few Science types know so little about the Philosophy of Science!
These days even many top Science types are still asking the incorrect set of questions!


I agree, for the most part, with what you say in your post. I did some research and there is much you did not say:


I know, Bill and that is a useful snippet that points to a problem in separating Science and Philosophy.

Science is not only good, but Great at answering questions (providing Content) to well-chosen questions. Science sucks at finding the correct questions to ask, however, because you have to back off from the issue to start to develop a perspective on the issue.

Philosophy is great, or can be great, at developing the entire Context of an issue, helping groups determine which processes can likely be dismissed for a specific issue, and working out a possible set of better questions. Philosophy sucks at even choosing the best questions unless that is done with Science types who can understand what could possibly be determined in the way of Content.

We live in times when very few Science types understand enough about Philosophy to even work with those who may know enough to be of help. In Ancient times, many famous Science types were Philosophy types first, so they could do some fairly good work on their own. These days we need teams who will work together. Many Science types refuse to work with Philosophy types! We humans have to learn how to work together!


You know of this: “The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.”

Please tell me of the means of similar recognition of the “Philosophy types” and identifies their contribution to humanity in the same light as does the Nobel Prize.


Nobel is overrated , I mean what a pack of posers. They gave President Obama the Nobel peace prize for crying out loud. I feel in today’s culture, nothing means anything anymore, folks can just buy their way into Harvard blocking out real potential with their I’ll gotten gains. The whole stuffed shirt thing just has no gravitas for me anymore, at least for now.
Contribution to the world is exponential and scientifically im measurable .
Who saved more people, doctors or plumbers ?
Plumbers or Mason’s ?
Not all contribution can be quantified and recognized by a supposed August body. Real contribution seeks no recognition.
The contribution of philosophy needs no formal recognition.


What are the questions which philosopher scientists should be asking about climate change? It seems we have stopped asking questions in this area because we are told that the only possible answer is to stop producing greenhouse gases. What is the question we should be asking?

“Americans, especially students, are being whipped into a panic over the allegedly existential threat of climate change. Yet the actual research, summarized in the UN’s own periodic reports and in the research of a Nobel laureate in the field, shows that at best only a modest “leaning against the wind” could be justified according to standard economic science. By their own criteria, the alarmist activists are admitting that political measures are nowhere near achieving their goals. Their own rhetoric says that these activists are wasting everyone’s time pushing solutions that will end in catastrophe.”

Here is another important environmental question.

Excerpt: “Stakeholders thus far in the development of 5G have been industry and governments, while renowned international EMF scientists who have documented biological effects on humans, animals, insects and plants, and alarming effects on health and the environment in thousands of peer-reviewed studies have been excluded. The reason for the current inadequate safety guidelines is that conflicts of interest of standard-setting bodies “due to their relationships with telecommunications or electric companies undermine the impartiality that should govern the regulation of Public Exposure Standards for non-ionizing radiation”. [92] Professor Emeritus Martin L. Pall lays out the conflicts of interest in detail, and the lists of important studies that have been excluded, in his literature review. [93]


I think a good question is,
Is it theoretically possible that we could produce trash that benefits the environment ?

All mammals produce waste that benefits plants.

Could there theoretically be a trash that benefits the sea ?

Could landfill trash theoretically be broken down to chemical compounds that could be separated ?

Could landfill trash go through a process theoretically that all types of trash can start in the process and end as, energy, building products, fertilizer, metals etc… ?



History shows obviously that people can grow their own food , use animals for food , and build homes in a way that could benefit the environment.

Our modern embrace of the free market as a super hero has created most of these problems. That only the free market can save humanity. What a crock.


I remember when diesel was considered a waste product.


I know of a process that turns settled aggregate like sand and turns it into a liquid state sort of , in so much as you can swim in the sand like water using timed, patterned air bursts.
I wonder if you built a thousand miles circular tunnel deep underground causing a sand river could you add continual waste to it that would break it down to valuable products and gases.
:movie_camera: Liquid Sand Hot Tub- Fluidized air bed - YouTube