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Author Topic: Stop Environmentalism--uphold Reason, Individualism, Capitalism, and Technology.  (Read 13844 times)

<Patrick>

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"In the tumultuous late 60s and early 70s, a social movement known as the 'New Left' emerged as a major cultural influence, especially on the youth of America. It was a movement that embraced 'flower-power' and psychedelic 'consciousness-expansion,' that lionized Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro and launched the Black Panthers and the Theater of the Absurd. In Return Of The Primitive (originally published in 1971 as The New Left), Ayn Rand, bestselling novelist and originator of the theory of Objectivism, identified the intellectual roots of this movement. She urged people to repudiate its mindless nihilism and to uphold, instead, a philosophy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and technological progress. Editor Peter Schwartz, in this new, expanded version of The New Left, has reorganized Rand's essays and added some of his own in order to underscore the continuing relevance of her analysis of that period. He examines such current ideologies as environmentalism and multiculturalism and argues that the same primitive, tribalist, 'anti-industrial' mentality which animated the New Left a generation ago is shaping society today.

The late 1960s saw the first widespread expression, in overt form, of the creed of anti-industrialism in America. The original edition of this book was published as a response - as an analysis and refutation of that deadly phenomenon. Among noted thinkers of the day, Ayn Rand alone stood firm against the tide of Kantian nihilism and in support of reason, individualism, and laissez-faire capitalism - the philosophic ideals that are the foundation of American achievement and progress. Three decades later, despite a seemingly different sociopolitical climate, the intellectual essence of the 'New Left' endures. Its continued influence - manifested in such ideologies as environmentalism and multiculturalism - renders Rand's observations and warnings as relevant, and as urgently needed, as when they were first written"

http://www.objectivismstore.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=57

     The anti-industrial mentality must be opposed. Human sacrifice upon the green altar must be stopped.

    In the name of love for the beauty, the greatness and the heroic potential of human beings--fight against the anti-industrialist environmentalists.

http://environmentalism.aynrand.org/

http://www.econot.com  

http://www.junkscience.com

http://www.yourpropertyrights.com

www.objectivistcenter.org/articles/rbidinotto_the-green-machine.asp




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RhythmStar

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Acting like humans are totally independent of biosphere is like imagining your nose is independent of your face.

RS
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<Patrick>

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Acting like humans are totally independent of biosphere is like imagining your nose is independent of your face.

RS

     Did we humans go extinct when the dodo bird died off? Come on...


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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
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http://capitalism.org

RhythmStar

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Acting like humans are totally independent of biosphere is like imagining your nose is independent of your face.

RS

     Did we humans go extinct when the dodo bird died off? Come on...




That's sort of a non-sequitur, isn't it?  I mean, the dodo was killed off by overhunting, mostly with clubs -- not pretty, but not toxic either.  Likewise the passenger pigeon, although the weapon of choice there was the shotgun, I believe.  These were old-tech extinctions, achieved by predation that was fairly large scale, but not damaging to the biosphere beyond the loss of the one species and its dependents (if any existed, which we prolly will never know).  Dousing entire regions with toxic chemicals in virtually complete ignorance of the consequences is an entirely different matter (not to mention just plain foolish).

Look at it this way -- do you think it wise to inject strange chemicals into your bloodstream?   Your body is an ecology of living tissues, each made up of unique cellular entities that live out their own lives, while maintaining a careful balance that keeps you, the macro-creature, alive in turn.  Injecting methamphetamine feels great to the brain, but it's hell on the the cardiac tissues, etc.  Do it enough and even the brain cells die out.  That's the analogy I have for 20th-century pesticide use -- an intravenous drug user out for the quick fix, while ignoring the corollary damage.

They issued a health warning for farm-grown salmon today. Seems the fishmeal oil is a concentrator of PCBs and dioxins, with the result that farm-grown salmon have eleven times the level of these highly toxic chemicals than wild salmon.  Only problem, the wild salmon have mercury and pesticides in their fat, although not nearly as much as high-level predators like tuna (salmon eat krill and plankton while at sea).  See a pattern there?

We are part of the foodchain.  In fact, as the pinnacle predator, we are the natural repository of the concentrated pollutants accumulated right up to the top.  Pesticides, PCBs, gasoline additives.... it all ends up somewhere.  Some of it (a growing amount) ends up in us.  Do we have to all start dropping like flies before the simple idea that, hey, it's not smart to foul your own nest, sinks in?

RS
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nonluddite

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They issued a health warning for farm-grown salmon today. Seems the fishmeal oil is a concentrator of PCBs and dioxins, with the result that farm-grown salmon have eleven times the level of these highly toxic chemicals than wild salmon.  Only problem, the wild salmon have mercury and pesticides in their fat, although not nearly as much as high-level predators like tuna (salmon eat krill and plankton while at sea).  See a pattern there?

11x nothing is still nothing.  You can EAT pure Mercury and not have any lasting effects.  People using to work with Mercury all the time, they used in in working the felt for hats, after years of this they got a bit loopy, hence the "mad" hatter.  That's what you would call a high dosage--working with it everyday, 100's of gallons over time.  (Mercury and the form found in fish, dimethyl mercury, act in different ways in the body)  The same thing with PCB's.  
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We are part of the foodchain.  In fact, as the pinnacle predator, we are the natural repository of the concentrated pollutants accumulated right up to the top.  Pesticides, PCBs, gasoline additives.... it all ends up somewhere.  Some of it (a growing amount) ends up in us.  Do we have to all start dropping like flies before the simple idea that, hey, it's not smart to foul your own nest, sinks in?

RS

We haven't started dropping like flies.  Doesn't that tell you something?  Years ago (like 40!), people were practically BATHING in DDT, working with GALLONS of PCB's, etc and just dumping it afterwards, and the only people with higher rates of cancer were the poor stiffs who were in direct contact!  Why?  Dosage!  And since these chemicals act on different parts of the body, you can't just add them up and conclude that "something must be happening"!

While it's good to have information, people don't know what to make of it, because they aren't taught to think objectively, and the information sources, the media and government, don't interpret it because it is in their own interest not to do so.  So people think that riding in cars is safer than airplanes, etc.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2004, 01:15:21 pm by nonluddite »
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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

Some people can smoke 4 packs a day and live to be 90.  Others quit smoking in their 20s and still die from tobacco-related cancer in their 30s.  Same with other environmental pollutants -- those with sensitivity suffer symptoms, others do not.  (shrug)  Far as I'm concerned, if it is not an unalloyed Good, then it most likely is Bad -- it's just the way the world works.

RS
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Mike Lorrey

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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

Some people can smoke 4 packs a day and live to be 90.  Others quit smoking in their 20s and still die from tobacco-related cancer in their 30s.  Same with other environmental pollutants -- those with sensitivity suffer symptoms, others do not.  (shrug)  Far as I'm concerned, if it is not an unalloyed Good, then it most likely is Bad -- it's just the way the world works.

The original measure of toxicity was the 50% fatality dose, i.e. the dose at which 50% of your test subjects died. This is how they determine what the toxic effects of a substance are. It's how they know that saccharine is carcinogenic. Do you know what the toxic level is? About 100 times your body weight.

Toxic fatalities drop off with dose size, to the point where no statistically discernable deaths can be attributed to the substance being tested. For example, a maximum standard for arsenic levels in drinking water of 50 ppm has been determined to cause 12 more deaths per year, nationwide, than a 10 ppm maximum standard. 12 lives. Turns out that the cost to get the nations entire water supply to reach that new standard would cost $100 million.

Actuaries value an American human life at about $6.5 million. That means if you waste that much money, you are essentially wasting the entire lifetime output of one human life. You might as well kill someone instead. So, when we do a cost benefit analysis of the water in arsenic situation, the envirofreaks and safety nannies want to spend $100 million to save $65 million, i.e. wasting $35 million, i.e. wasting the lives of 5 MORE people than would have otherwise died. i.e. killing 17 people to save 12.
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RhythmStar

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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

Some people can smoke 4 packs a day and live to be 90.  Others quit smoking in their 20s and still die from tobacco-related cancer in their 30s.  Same with other environmental pollutants -- those with sensitivity suffer symptoms, others do not.  (shrug)  Far as I'm concerned, if it is not an unalloyed Good, then it most likely is Bad -- it's just the way the world works.

The original measure of toxicity was the 50% fatality dose, i.e. the dose at which 50% of your test subjects died. This is how they determine what the toxic effects of a substance are. It's how they know that saccharine is carcinogenic. Do you know what the toxic level is? About 100 times your body weight.

Toxic fatalities drop off with dose size, to the point where no statistically discernable deaths can be attributed to the substance being tested. For example, a maximum standard for arsenic levels in drinking water of 50 ppm has been determined to cause 12 more deaths per year, nationwide, than a 10 ppm maximum standard. 12 lives. Turns out that the cost to get the nations entire water supply to reach that new standard would cost $100 million.

Actuaries value an American human life at about $6.5 million. That means if you waste that much money, you are essentially wasting the entire lifetime output of one human life. You might as well kill someone instead. So, when we do a cost benefit analysis of the water in arsenic situation, the envirofreaks and safety nannies want to spend $100 million to save $65 million, i.e. wasting $35 million, i.e. wasting the lives of 5 MORE people than would have otherwise died. i.e. killing 17 people to save 12.

Actuaries have a function in an insurance company,  but money does not equal actual human lives, either in a positive or negative direction.  Oddly, this is why socialism doesn't actually work -- you can't just juggle numbers and come up a winner on the ground.

IAC, the toxicity measures you cite are for measuring poisons, not mutagens and/or carcinogens, many of which have 20-30 year latencies, or don't show their effects until the next generation. (Ever hear about thalidomide babies?)   So, your toxicity argument is a sort of strawman, at least as a general argument.

On the arsenic case, is that 100 million a one time charge?  If not, what is the break down of one-time versus annual costs?   If it costs 100 million one time to save all the arsenic-in-tapwater deaths from now on, it seems a bargain, eh?

As for artificial sweeteners, I use them.  Sugar is way more unhealthy for me than aspartame or saccharine, both I which I see are not banned.  :)

RS
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<Patrick>

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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

     It is even obscured sometimes by the people doing the research.
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nonluddite

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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

Some people can smoke 4 packs a day and live to be 90.  Others quit smoking in their 20s and still die from tobacco-related cancer in their 30s.  Same with other environmental pollutants -- those with sensitivity suffer symptoms, others do not.  (shrug)  Far as I'm concerned, if it is not an unalloyed Good, then it most likely is Bad -- it's just the way the world works.

RS

One of the highest causes of death among children is poisoning, among those, a large percentage is kids getting ahold of vitamins.  What do they die of?  IRON poisoning!  Now, if those kids would just take their 1-a-day, you think that they will get cancer later in life from it?  I think that since iron is not an "unalloyed good" it should be taken off the market, playground equipment should be replaced, etc!  We have to do it for the children!  If your child TRULY needs iron, make them eat spinach or liver, or get a prescription!

And if you don't think that way then you're a...a...social darwinist (or something)! ;)
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Terry 1956

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Assuming everything is safe is just as invalid as assuming everything is deadly.  Sadly, by making political issues out of scientific and clinical questions, the truth becomes obscured for all but those who perform the research themselves.  That sucks.

Some people can smoke 4 packs a day and live to be 90.  Others quit smoking in their 20s and still die from tobacco-related cancer in their 30s.  Same with other environmental pollutants -- those with sensitivity suffer symptoms, others do not.  (shrug)  Far as I'm concerned, if it is not an unalloyed Good, then it most likely is Bad -- it's just the way the world works.

The original measure of toxicity was the 50% fatality dose, i.e. the dose at which 50% of your test subjects died. This is how they determine what the toxic effects of a substance are. It's how they know that saccharine is carcinogenic. Do you know what the toxic level is? About 100 times your body weight.

Toxic fatalities drop off with dose size, to the point where no statistically discernable deaths can be attributed to the substance being tested. For example, a maximum standard for arsenic levels in drinking water of 50 ppm has been determined to cause 12 more deaths per year, nationwide, than a 10 ppm maximum standard. 12 lives. Turns out that the cost to get the nations entire water supply to reach that new standard would cost $100 million.

Actuaries value an American human life at about $6.5 million. That means if you waste that much money, you are essentially wasting the entire lifetime output of one human life. You might as well kill someone instead. So, when we do a cost benefit analysis of the water in arsenic situation, the envirofreaks and safety nannies want to spend $100 million to save $65 million, i.e. wasting $35 million, i.e. wasting the lives of 5 MORE people than would have otherwise died. i.e. killing 17 people to save 12.
                                                                             
 Something else on the LD-50  for pesticides it is based on 100% concentrate, most are at 60% concentrate or less and usally you mix one ounce or less of the partial concentrate per gallon of water.                                        
   Ironically one of the insecticdes that some eviromental groups tout as safer is boric acid powder which usually is sold retail at 90% concentrate or more. Yes the LD 50 is low compared to say Dursband or Malathion but the powder is used at a much higher  concentrate. On the other hand boric acid powder is much better against German Cockroaches if you can keep it dry.                                                                          
   One of the most benifical insecticdes that is being phased out is Metyl Bromide, not because of health effects but because it is said to effect the ozone layer. It is a oderless, tasteless and nonvisable deadly gas( but not after it is ventlated) used as a fumgant  in grainerys, field sterlization, shipping transport, flour mills and  some other food plants.
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Terry 1956

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 Of course a polluter should be responsible for torts or actual harm but the uses of those claiming harm has to be looked at as well.                                                          
     Another point a property owner and those leasing may have with a pollutent weither it harms or not is tresspassing,  the factory down the road may send substance x up its stacks through John Does property or the radio tower may send wave x Mary Smiths property. Substance x and wave x may be harmless but Doe and Smith do not want them coming throught their property as they may not want a group of harmless children cutting through their property on the way to school.                                                                  
   Again if Doe willingly uses the products of the factory or Smith uses the services of the communication station their tresspassing claim loses its valdity if their use is average or even less than average if their use has a corelation with the amount  of x going through their property.   Also if X does not add to the natural X  going through their property Doe and Smith lose the validty of their claim .                                                                
     Here again is where  the idea of a right of way fee combined with a CD might be effective in coming to an agreement, instead of legislation, regulations and court battles. The communication  outfit and the factory would pay a fee for the right to pass x onto and through the property of others.
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Herself

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[...] toxicity measures you cite are for measuring poisons, not mutagens and/or carcinogens, many of which have 20-30 year latencies, or don't show their effects until the next generation. (Ever hear about thalidomide babies?)   So, your toxicity argument is a sort of strawman, at least as a general argument.
    On the topic of strawmen:
     Thalidomide, it turns out, does not cause birth defects.  It inhibits the spontaneous abortion of fetuses with certain, specific sorts of birth defects.
     I don't have the data ready to hand, but it is an important distinction to note.

     Most of the very long-term effects of small exposure are difficult to trace, but in most cases, LD 50 data are useful, and, when used with other measurements can plot a curve of toxicity vs. dose that is useful for predicting too-small-to-have-effect levels.  Very few substances are extremely persistent in the body; even PCBs fade away over time (10-15 years for typical exposures, but based, of course, on initial exposure levels and ongoing contact).
     ...Of course, if you endorse homeopathy, we ought to all be very, very dead, or perhaps totally immune....

     PCBs are an interesting case.  Polychlorinated Biphenols are no more toxic per unit volume than aspirin (which is, hey-la, worse than you think, so don't eat a bottle of aspirins, please).  But burn them in a specific, alas, pretty wide range of temperatures, and you get polychlorinated bifurans, PCFs, which are quite nasty indeed.  ...The problem here being that the traditional source of bad ol' "PCB contamination" is burned-up powerline hardware, transformers and switchgear, usually containing PCFs as a result of the failure that made it into junkyard fodder.  The PCB oil is just the soda water -- it's that shotglass of PCFs that gives it the kick.

     Moral of the story: read the fine print.  Don't juggle blowtorches, but don't confuse flashlights with blowtorches, either.

     Oh, parting thought: because humans are no longer mostly dead at 30, we live long enough to die of all sorts of unexpected, nasty things.  Please remember the dear, sweet Momma Nature only cares that you live long enough to reproduce and get your young old enough to more or less fend for themselves.  Anything past that is bonus time.  Every year since 30 is sweet to me, doubly so since in a "state of nature," I would have died many times over before hitting even the minimum!  How 'bout you -- appendix okay?  Eyesight good?  Teeth sound?  Had any of the once-fatal childhood diseases?  Tsk, think of the "tampering with nature" it took to get you this far!

     --Herself
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<Patrick>

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Anything past that is bonus time.  Every year since 30 is sweet to me, doubly so since in a "state of nature," I would have died many times over before hitting even the minimum!  How 'bout you -- appendix okay?  Eyesight good?  Teeth sound?  Had any of the once-fatal childhood diseases?  Tsk, think of the "tampering with nature" it took to get you this far!

    --Herself

   I agree.

 "Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent 'Thank you' to the nearest, grimiest, sootiest smokestack you can find."

--Ayn Rand


"If industrial progress was as harmful to mankind as environmentalists would have us believe, then the life expectancy of people living in the most industrialized nations would be decreasing, not increasing. Yet the average life-span of someone born in the US in 1900 was about 49 years; now it's around 78, a rise of over 25 years in the course of a mere century.

Back when people were 'close to nature,' i.e., in pre-industrial Europe of the Middle Ages and Dark Ages, they were lucky to reach their mid-20s"

www.homestead.com/rationalview/files/Environmentalism_vs_Creativity.htm


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RhythmStar

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[...] toxicity measures you cite are for measuring poisons, not mutagens and/or carcinogens, many of which have 20-30 year latencies, or don't show their effects until the next generation. (Ever hear about thalidomide babies?)   So, your toxicity argument is a sort of strawman, at least as a general argument.
    On the topic of strawmen:
     Thalidomide, it turns out, does not cause birth defects.  It inhibits the spontaneous abortion of fetuses with certain, specific sorts of birth defects.
     I don't have the data ready to hand, but it is an important distinction to note.

Fascinating.  I hadn't read that one!  :)

Quote
Most of the very long-term effects of small exposure are difficult to trace, but in most cases, LD 50 data are useful, and, when used with other measurements can plot a curve of toxicity vs. dose that is useful for predicting too-small-to-have-effect levels.  Very few substances are extremely persistent in the body; even PCBs fade away over time (10-15 years for typical exposures, but based, of course, on initial exposure levels and ongoing contact).

An interesting point relating this wrt to DDT -- it really isn't the DDT that causes the problems for birds, it's the DDT metabolite DDE (quote from the LA Museum of Natural History):

The pesticide DDT produces DDE which affects an enzyme that controls eggshell formation in birds. Prior to banning the domestic use of DDT in 1972, the eggshells of heavily-contaminated birds such as Brown Pelicans, Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, and Bald Eagles were so thin that they broke when the adults sat on the eggs to incubate them. DDT continues to be used extensively in other countries.

Now, I don't know what the half-life of DDT in birds is, but considering the multi-year half life of DDT in humans, it would seem to me that this neatly explains the discrepancy between the observed harm to wild bird populations from DDT:

UCSC research helped lawsuit against DDT maker

And the studies cited by the industry-funded JunkScience.com hacks:

http://www.cato.org/dailys/06-27-02.html

Basically, DeWitt (author of the 1956 study cited) fed DDT to quail and noted no problems (this disputes the Carson book "Silent Spring", but I have so far been unable to locate the original DeWitt text).   Assuming for the moment that Carson's reported inaccuracy wrt to the DeWitt study is indeed reported correctly, the methodology of DeWitt's test in no way invalidates the current findings and knowledge that DDE, the primary and most biologically persistent metabolite of DDT, is the culprit in the bird reproductive cycle disruption.   Since it takes time -- years perhaps -- for the DDT to break down and the effects of DDE to assert themselves, DeWitt's negative results from feeding DDT to birds would not be suprising at all.

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    ...Of course, if you endorse homeopathy, we ought to all be very, very dead, or perhaps totally immune....

I've read some stuff on homeopathy and am fairly convinced that any reported positive results are due to the placebo effect.

Quote
PCBs are an interesting case.  Polychlorinated Biphenols are no more toxic per unit volume than aspirin (which is, hey-la, worse than you think, so don't eat a bottle of aspirins, please).  But burn them in a specific, alas, pretty wide range of temperatures, and you get polychlorinated bifurans, PCFs, which are quite nasty indeed.  ...The problem here being that the traditional source of bad ol' "PCB contamination" is burned-up powerline hardware, transformers and switchgear, usually containing PCFs as a result of the failure that made it into junkyard fodder.  The PCB oil is just the soda water -- it's that shotglass of PCFs that gives it the kick.

A recent study on the lake trout extinction in Lake Ontario demonstrates an extremely strong case for dioxin being the cause, not overfishing or lampreys.  Seems that sac fry lake trout are extremely vulnerable to dioxin... so vulnerable, that plots of historical dioxin levels extrapolated from meaurements and sedimentary deposits on the lakebed predict a trout-extinction zone that perfectly coincides with the collapse of the commercial lake trout fishery.  The model also corresponds to the reemergence of a breeding population as dioxin levels have (finally) begun to receed.

http://ourstolenfuture.org/NewScience/wildlife/2003/2003-0724cooketal.htm


Quote
Moral of the story: read the fine print.  Don't juggle blowtorches, but don't confuse flashlights with blowtorches, either.

     Oh, parting thought: because humans are no longer mostly dead at 30, we live long enough to die of all sorts of unexpected, nasty things.  Please remember the dear, sweet Momma Nature only cares that you live long enough to reproduce and get your young old enough to more or less fend for themselves.  Anything past that is bonus time.  Every year since 30 is sweet to me, doubly so since in a "state of nature," I would have died many times over before hitting even the minimum!  How 'bout you -- appendix okay?  Eyesight good?  Teeth sound?  Had any of the once-fatal childhood diseases?  Tsk, think of the "tampering with nature" it took to get you this far!

     --Herself

FWIW, I am a total child of technology, having contracted a rare and 100% fatal fungal infection of the throat in my 1st year, just months after a cure was discovered.  I repeated the feat in later life, becoming symptomatic with HCV just months after the FDA approved the first effective treatment.  

Timing, it seems, can be everything. ;)

RS
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Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House
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