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Alfonso Lopez

"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them" ... "Isaac Asimov"

Berlin, Germany
male
single
Speaks: German , English, French, Spanish
Joined Jul 4, 2000


 
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"...Yet nature is so massively indifferent to us and our suffering. Perhaps this indifference, this majesty of years in uncaring billions (before we made a belated appearance), marks her true glory...
...... The true beauty of nature is her amplitude; she exists neither for nor beacuse of us, and possesses a staying power that all our nuclear arsenals cannot threaten (much as we can easily destroy our puny selves).
     The hubris that got us into trouble in the first place, and that environmentalists seek to avoid as the very definition of their (I should say our) movement, often creeps back in an unsuspected (and therefore potentially dangerous) form in two tenets frequently advanced by "green" movements: (1) that we live on a fragile planet subject to permanent ruin by human malfeasance; (2) that humans must act as stewards of this fragility in order to save our planet.
     We should be so powerful! (Read this sentence with my New York accent as a derisive statement about our false sense of might, not as a literal statement of desire.) For all our mental and technological wizardry, I doubt that we can do much to derail the earth's history in any permanent sense by the proper time scale of millions of years. Nothing within our power can come close to conditions and catastrophes that the earth has often passed through and beyond. The worst scenario of global warming under greenhouse models yields an earth substantially cooler than many happy and prosperous times of a prehuman past. The megatonnage of the extraterrestrial impact that probably triggered the late Cretaceous mass extinction has been estimated at 10,000 times greater than all the nuclear bombs now stockpiled on earth. and this extinction, wiping out some 50 percent of marine species, was paltry compared to the grenddaddy of all---the Permian event some 225 million years ago that might have dispatched up to 95 percent of species. Yet the earth recovered from these superhuman shocks, and produced some interesting evolutionary novelties as a result (consider the potential for mammalian domination, including human emergence, following the removal of dinosaurs).
     But recovery and restabilization occur at planetary, not human, time scales--- that is, millions of years after the disturbing event. At this scale, we are powerless to harm; the planet will take care of itself, our puny foolishnesses notwithstanding. But this time sacale, though natural for planetary history, is not appropriate in our legitimately parochial concern for our own species, and the current planetary configurations that now support us. For these planetary instants---our millenia--- we do hold power to impose immense suffering (I suspect that the Permian catastrophe was decidedly unpleasant for the nineteen of twenty species that didn't survive).
     We certanly cannot wipe out bacteria (they have been the modal organisms on earth right from the start, and probably shall be until the sun explodes); I doubt that we can wreak much permanent havoc upon insects as a whole (whatever our power to destroy local populations and species). But we can surely eliminate our fragile selves---and our well-buffered earth might then breathe a metaphorical sigh of relief at the ultimate failure of an interesting but dangerous experiment in consciousness. Global warming is worrisome because it will flood our cities (built so often at sea level as ports and harbors), and alter our agricultural patterns to the severe detriment of millions. Nuclear war is an ultimate calamity for the pain and death of billions, and the genetic maiming of millions in future generations.
     Our planet is not fragile at its own time scale, and we, pitful latecomers in the last microsecond of our planetary year, are stewards of nothing in the long run. Yet no political movement is more vital and timely than modern environmentalism---because we must save ourselves (and our neighbor species) from our own immediate folly. We hear so much talk about an environmental ethic. Many proposals embody the abstract majesty of a Kantian categorical imperative. Yet I think that we need something far more grubby and practical. We need a version of the most useful and ancient moral principle of all---the precept developed in one form or another by nerly every culture because it acts, in its legitimate appeal to self-interest, as a doctrine of stability based upon mutual respect. No one has ever improved upon the golden rule. If we execute such a compact with our planet, pledging to cherish the earth as we would wish to be treated ourselves, she may relent and allow us to muddle through. Such a limited goal may strike some readers as cynical or blinkered. But remember that, to an evolutionary biologist, persistence is the ultimate reward. And human brainpower, for reasons quite unrelated to its evolutionary origin, has the damnedest capacity to discover the most fascinating things, and think the most peculiar thoughts. So why not keep this interesting experiment around, at least for another planetary second or two?"


Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)
From his Book : "Bully for Brontosaurus" (1991)








 
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Joined Jul 4, 2000 Activist Aspirations undeclared 
Here for Meeting Friends, Professional Connections, Support a Cause 
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Groups Amnesty International, Apple Trees and Worms, Better Schools Network, Biology Lovers, Bird watchers and feeders, Care2Guru, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund - Electing Pro-Wildlife Leaders, Dog Lovers, Einstein's Universe, Equal Rights for Women, Friend Of The Week, General Trivia., Good Will Ambassador Of 63 Countries, Half Full - Half Empty more »
Hometown Mexico City, Mexico... now, Berlin, Germany 
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Birthday April 07  
About Me I would like to know one percent of what is unknown to me...
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  Lifestyle
Activist Aspirations
Political Leaning Indifferent
Wild Fact About Me We're all wild
My Philosophy There's no try... do or do not
What Gives Me Hope Today
If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by i would never be Mayor
What/who changed my life and why hmmm
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Quotation "Don't think you are... Know you are"

"Objectivity cannot be equated with mental blankness; rather, objectivity resides in recognizing your preferences and then subjecting them to especially harsh scrutiny and also in a willingness to revise or abandon your theories when the tests fail (as they usually do)." Stephen Jay Gould
  Introduce yourself to Alfonso
 
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    Red Squirrel (Squirrels) 
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    Feb 21, 2016 1:24 PM

    Jennia D. (24)

    Hiya Aldonso!


    Just wanted to drop by to say hello and thank you for stopping by my page to show some love and support as well as friendship. I am returning in kind.  =  )  I also really appreciate all the Green Stars and attention you give. I wanted you to know that, although I am not here as much as I used to be, I DO see them all and appreciate each one. It means a lot to me. Gratitude.

    Hope all is well. Take care and thanks again. Cheers!


    -jennia ♡♡♡

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    Happy Birthday Alfonso
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    WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY,GOD BLESS YOUR FRIEND SHARON


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    Jan 29, 2015 1:00 PM

    Fiona O. (562)
    February is almost here......Mercury is in Retrograde and Venus is in the sign in which She is elevated, Pisces...which also makes Her dizzy sometimes.

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