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Best Article on Big-Picture Climate Change Yet Written


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#1 TVCasualty

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 11:10 AM

This was nothing short of a mind-blowing read that I cannot recommend too highly: https://www.theatlan...history/617793/

 

It's a long story, too long to quote, but then it details a ~40 million year stretch of Earth's history to provide some perspective on what we're looking at today and going forward.

 

 

While on the one hand it's yet another "sobering" article about how fucked we are (and we are soooooo fucked; how much more "sober" can we get??), on the other it was truly mind-blowing in terms of providing the most intuitive perspective of Deep Time with regards to Earth's climate and our evolution within it I've ever found.

 

We can only really comprehend very big, very small, very far, etc. by comparison. So I have an intuitive feel for how far "about 10 miles away" is, or how long 20 minutes takes to pass but grasping 20,000 years or 40 million years (or how far a "light year" is) is another thing altogether. This story extended my comprehension, or at least my perceived comprehension, of deep time considerably.

 

But wait there's more...

 

After reading that article and grokking what a 40 million-year long stretch of time entails as well as possible, take another step back and consider the fact that "40 million years" virtually qualifies as "the present" in terms of Geologic Time, as seen here: https://dinosaurpict...ncient-earth#35

 

That site shows 750 million years of geologic history, which is almost nineteen 40-million year blocks of time. We could have evolved from primitive mammals 19 times over in that span, and that's less than 1/4 of the age of this planet. Complex life forms only crawled or slithered or something on to land a mere billion years ago.

 

Now take one more step up in scale, where astronomical times and distances dwarf terrestrial ones.

 

All this stuff helps me tolerate my existence better since it gives me the perspective that we're arguably among the Universe's biggest Powerball Lottery winners. Simply BEING here is a victory against almost all odds. So is being able to learn this stuff about our world and Universe thanks to our being alive now instead of a thousand years ago when we only had vague guesses (or no conception at all) about the existence of things we now take for granted (galaxies, microbes, quantum phenomena, etc.).

 

Consider how lucky we've been for so long as far as catastrophes and climate are concerned; our lives take place entirely within a beaker that could easily be shattered by a space rock, fried by a nearby astronomical event, or rendered unlivable by natural processes (or our own myopic stupidity). Calling it a "razor's edge" would be an understatement.

 

And getting freaked out or bummed by the end of such a long stretch of easy living won't change anything so we might as well marvel at the fact that we exist at all, even if it's only been long enough to begin to develop self-awareness so that we can freak out about being self-aware for a few minutes until nature or our own hubris renders us extinct just like has already happened to 99.9% of all species that have ever existed (according to some estimates, though no other examples I know of involve hubris).

 

Thinking about Earth like a beaker we're conducting chemistry experiments in while we're living in it seems like it would call for a lot more prudence when it comes to the nature of our "experiments." Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

 

 

How about we all agree to meet back up in 30 or 40 million years and try to get it right next time?

 

We should probably arrange meet on a tall mountain in case the sea level is higher than expected (it will probably have gone up and down hundreds of feet multiple times by then so will be real hard to predict).


Edited by TVCasualty, 04 February 2021 - 11:14 AM.

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#2 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 06:45 PM

 The author does a good job of painting a picture of how many times the planet has changed under carbon level estimates and it's correlation to temperature. It is trippy stuff, like when they say that Cleopatra is closer to modern times than she was to when they built the first pyramids

 

You might find Randall Carlson's work interesting on that subject. He makes the case that climate science makes the mistake of assuming that all these planetary changes happen over lengthy periods of time. When in fact we do have these rapid changing events throughout history. Like near instant sea level rise when a giant meteor explodes in the atmosphere and melts a massive glacier, causing those historic hundred foot sea level rises that coincidentally seem to line up with stories of a great flood in most ancient religions. People can say what the want about religion but I think at a base level it's a collection of really old stories, stories that ring true no matter the era. A way to pass down lessons in story form. You wonder if all that talk of a great flood and the arc was pointing to an event like he theorized. It's not done to try to discredit climate science so much as to challenge the consensus that it's a singular issue with a singular solution

 

Investigating the unknown

 

Until we know absolutely everything there is always going to be that frontier edge of science where people are dismissed by the mainstream. Sometimes they end up being crack pots and sometimes they end up discovering something that changes the way we perceive reality

 

[Direct Link]


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#3 rockyfungus

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 12:40 AM

That article is incredible. I'm going to need to read it and all the links over the course of a few months to fully grasp the big picture like that.

It makes sense though, all systems have to balance. Really incredible to see how rapidly the earth balances it's self out. It really is one big living cell. I'm sure in the blink of an eye Gaia will course correct and try and sequester all this CO2 we've been dumping into her, along with all of human knowledge.


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#4 TVCasualty

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 01:29 PM

A weird thought I had while reading it was "I think I'm starting to understand why (and when) we evolved to be mostly hairless" which is unlike most other species of mammals (but not all).
 
But I still have no idea why the hair on our heads grows like it does vs. the hair covering the rest of our bodies. And no other primates grow hair on their heads that just keeps growing longer and longer (or conversely goes completely bald, which is also not seen in other primate species), so wtf is up with that?
 
 
 

You might find Randall Carlson's work interesting on that subject.

 
I do, and have for a while.
 
 
The 150,000 year time span he covers in that video barely registers as significant in an evolutionary sense and yet he identified 16 distinct global catastrophes that were each capable of knocking our species back to the proverbial Stone Age (and did, apparently). And that's not even close to what would be considered "deep" time.
 
If none of those catastrophes had happened, we might well have developed colonies on Mars and in the ocean under the ice on Titan by now.
 
 
 
It's almost cruel to have evolved a mind capable of being aware of these kinds of things in light of how short our lifespans are. The only way to think about stuff like this without going mad is by interpreting it as the cosmic joke it apparently is. Douglas Adams described it as well as anyone can:
 
 

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.

And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

Er, excuse me, who am I?

Hello?

Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

What do I mean by who am I?

Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?

No.

Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

Or is it the wind?

There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”


 
We're all that hapless whale (unless we're advanced enough to be the bowl of petunias), falling and bewildered and ultimately dead right about when we start to get a handle on whatever the hell is going on and begin to try to make friends with it. It's a very weird joke and I don't think I 'get' it yet, but then the humor of the gods would almost certainly be inscrutable to the hapless apes (or whales) the joke is being played on.

 

It's been a while since I hiked up to the top of a mountain, ate a shitload of mushrooms, and did the primal roar thing. It seems to be a reliable way to help me tolerate self-awareness within the context of such a vast, ancient, and crazy Universe much like how laughing or crying enable tolerating intense emotional states. I live too far from any real mountains these days, but it's definitely time to make another pilgrimage.

 

I bet it would work for most people similarly, so I definitely recommend it. Tripping on a mountain peak is considerably different from tripping in a bedroom or the back yard, where "considerably" is an almost comical understatement.

 

 

 

 


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#5 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 03:44 PM

That is a good analogy to sum up the human condition. A guy could spend his entire life researching and learning only to come to the conclusion that he doesn't know anything. It seems to be that the people who are the most SURE are often the least critical or objective about their own thoughts. I think with that certainty comes a level of comfort as long as the narrative remains unchallenged

 

Which leads one to ponder if is science and information are a curse, the tricky thing in that question seems to be at what point does science come into play. Is using a stick to get a piece of fruit down from a tree the beginnings of it. What would we be without knowledge, could we even really survive without it?

 

There was good play with Sam Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones called the sunset limited. My interpretation was that it was trying to investigate that subject. In which Tommy Lee Jones plays a man of science that has come to the end of his rope, saved by a religious man they return to his apartment to have a discussion. To be honest I am not sure I even understood it all, but maybe that was the point. Is there really an answer to that question of what discovering the universe does to one's mind?

 

I might have to watch it again

 

 

 

It's been a while since I hiked up to the top of a mountain, ate a shitload of mushrooms, and did the primal roar thing. It seems to be a reliable way to help me tolerate self-awareness within the context of such a vast, ancient, and crazy Universe much like how laughing or crying enable tolerating intense emotional states. I live too far from any real mountains these days, but it's definitely time to make another pilgrimage.

 

I bet it would work for most people similarly, so I definitely recommend it. Tripping on a mountain peak is considerably different from tripping in a bedroom or the back yard, where "considerably" is an almost comical understatement.

 

I couldn't agree more with the nature thing, and in my experience the mountains hold a special place in my heart. A group of us went on a mushroom trip there a long time ago and it was pretty epic. We refer to the experience as mushroom mountain. There was a moment when a rain storm started to roll in and before it came and rained on our parade we were able to catch a view of a pretty incredible sight.

 

This is the closet video of what it looked like I could find.

 

https://www.reddit.c...table_mountain/

 

Natures beauty hits you freaking hard on the shrooms

 

 

There is a small area of sand dunes fairly close to where I live. I always wondered what it was like desert tripping so I have a goal to go out and do a solo camp out there one of these summers. I told myself it would have to align with a clear warm night where a guy could get away with a small fire for lighting purposes and just stare up at the majesty.


Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 05 February 2021 - 03:46 PM.

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#6 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 08:23 AM

Tripping on sand dunes is otherworldly. I would recommend waiting for a full Moon and skipping the fire.


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#7 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 09:39 AM

Hmmmm I think I like that Idea. Star gazing can be a little troublesome on higher doses as my vision can blur enough to render the stars dull and less satisfying to look at. Chasing the opposite lunar conditions where the big bright moon is the focus makes more sense, there is plenty of wonder there as well


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#8 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 10:49 AM

A glacier just "burst" in Uttarakhand state in India. I'm guessing they mean a glacial lake breached an ice dam since all that water didn't just melt a few hours ago.

 

The videos that have already come out are pretty spectacular, and there are a lot of casualties, but still a relatively small-scale event as far as glacial lake outflows from melting glaciers that we're probably going to see happen more often as the melting accelerates.


Edited by TVCasualty, 07 February 2021 - 10:52 AM.


#9 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 12:35 PM

^^ Geez going to have to check that out. ^^

 

 

The runaway scenario seems almost inevitable at this point, is this rise in carbon going to be the little push that precipitates the true end of the last ice age. What happens when a massive glacier lake spills into the ocean's potentially causing havok with the underwater pumps that circle that water around the globe.

 

The focus seems to be on prevention which certainly is a noble goal, but when are we going to start preparing for the inevitable climate change that will happen regardless of human interaction. A good start would be to quit rebuilding on all these freaking flood plains and hurricane locations. Easier said than done for sure, that means people leaving their homes which is no small thing to ask. I was watching a show about all these million dollar properties located in hurricane locations that constantly flood, and then they use insurance to rebuild, this constant cycle just drives the price up for everyone else that has home insurance. But that's the insurance problem, rebuild or take a loss, so people chose to rebuild due to lack of options. Then you have guy's like Trump that use disaster funding to keep rebuilding their vacation homes. To me these are the kinds of things we need to be start thinking about. Not like you can just relocate LA I get it, but at some point those oceans will rise and then we will be forced to deal with it then. Not like I actually expect anything to happen, we are such a reactionary society. Even with this pandemic, are we really any better prepared for the next one that will come?

 

I like how Randall and Graham were talking about the idea that there was a technological society that was wiped out during one of the last great ice age floods. Likely the one's that survived the catastrophe were the hunter gather societies and not the technological one's that planted their root and formed these large cities. They would be far more susceptible to climate change. Then you think about where we are now, and how easily that cycle could repeat itself. Those few tribes off in the amazon may be the only one's that make it through another cataclysm

 

It makes sense when people are talking about trying to get back to the rural way of life, growing their own vegetables and buying a diesel generator, but you wonder if that's enough. One might need to go farther back to only relying on the nomadic hunter gather life style to be able to realistically make it.  A few bad drought years could render a man's fortress of solitude into a prison of death


Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 08 February 2021 - 12:36 PM.


#10 microscopeman

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:21 PM

The runaway scenario seems almost inevitable at this point, is this rise in carbon going to be the little push that precipitates the true end of the last ice age. What happens when a massive glacier lake spills into the ocean's potentially causing havok with the underwater pumps that circle that water around the globe.

This is manipulative propaganda. The rise and fall of atmospheric carbon amounts are related to the sun's solar radiation patterns as shown when when we test and compare the carbon fluctuation rates on other planets, in relation to the fluctuations here. Infinite other environmental factors also exist but with a much less drastic relation, when compared the sun's effects. Slight increases in atmospheric carbon gases tend to be related too more fruitful crops and pleantful food supplies, and less intense disasters.

The sea tempreatures are effected by geothermal activity and weather cycles as well as a number of other complex things we don't have the capability to observe coherently for the use of future predictive models.

Any and all research that is available today is useless to predict the future of our natural disasters within any measurable level of accuracy.

Scare the people with "world is ending" propaganda, then provide them with solutions that enslave them. (problem, reaction, solution)


Edited by microscopeman, 08 February 2021 - 10:48 PM.

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#11 microscopeman

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:38 PM

A lot of simplistic assumptions in that article TV. I usually agree with your stuff, but not here. Although not all is lost, there is some real info in the artcile. Just don't confuse data with the the writers assumptions about the data. You can tell this is written by a propagandist by their word perversion patterns, and demonizations of the human.


Edited by microscopeman, 08 February 2021 - 10:40 PM.


#12 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 09:07 AM

A lot of simplistic assumptions in that article TV.

 

Such as?



#13 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 09:08 AM

 

The runaway scenario seems almost inevitable at this point, is this rise in carbon going to be the little push that precipitates the true end of the last ice age. What happens when a massive glacier lake spills into the ocean's potentially causing havok with the underwater pumps that circle that water around the globe.

This is manipulative propaganda. The rise and fall of atmospheric carbon amounts are related to the sun's solar radiation patterns as shown when when we test and compare the carbon fluctuation rates on other planets, in relation to the fluctuations here. Infinite other environmental factors also exist but with a much less drastic relation, when compared the sun's effects. Slight increases in atmospheric carbon gases tend to be related too more fruitful crops and pleantful food supplies, and less intense disasters.

The sea tempreatures are effected by geothermal activity and weather cycles as well as a number of other complex things we don't have the capability to observe coherently for the use of future predictive models.

Any and all research that is available today is useless to predict the future of our natural disasters within any measurable level of accuracy.

Scare the people with "world is ending" propaganda, then provide them with solutions that enslave them. (problem, reaction, solution)

 

 

[FACEPALM]


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#14 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 01:41 PM

This shit is funny, one day I am labeled a climate change denier and the next a science propagandist.. microscopeman you would be surprised to find I likely agree with you on many of the points about climate but one thing seems clear. The planet is getting warmer. Apparently there are only two ways to look at it. Either man made carbon has such an effect on climate it is going to kill us all in ten years or not at all. An issue that was politicized a long time ago.

 

With complex topics such as this, middle ground and nuance are lost in discussions. If you don't cover ever single aspect someone is bound to show up in the middle of the conversation and cherry pick a sentence out of your post in an attempt to manipulate the grand message. I guess one is not even allowed to wonder if we sit on the precipitate of a rapid change in climate that could be facilitated in a few different ways, yes carbon being one of them...

 

So like I was trying to say in that post but you ignored since you cherry picked the first part. Was that even if we delete the whole carbon thing from the equation, when are we going to start to plan for the idea that our climate will eventually change like it has thousands of times before. We are woefully under prepared for any cataclysmic events, be it an asteroid, or sea level rise, or a volcano, or the big daddy being the start or end of another ice age. You don't have to look far to find human error in recent history, like a hurricane that hits a state and it takes decades to recover.

 

So don't worry about re building in a hurricane alley cause it's the suns fault? Oh ya this Cherry Picking is fun

 

One can't help but wonder if a place like Gobekli Tepe was formed in a time when these events were more frequent and a refuge underground was necessary for survival. Who knows maybe it was from giant predators the size of a rhino that would have no problem smashing down your little stick hut. Hard to say really


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#15 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 06:05 PM

It's clearly going to take a near-extinction level event to convince us to perform a craniorectalotomy, which is a pseudo-technical word I just made up that means 'to pull one's head out of one's ass.'

 

And FWIW, we (meaning our species) do kind of suck pretty hard as a group. Case in point: https://www.nytimes....pollution.html?

 

Maybe it's a form of particulate-induced brain damage? https://www.bbc.com/...onment-37276219

 

 

In any case here's some introductory remedial science from 2011:

 

[Direct Link]

 

It's a bit dated (the numbers are worse now), but then the vast majority of skeptics' arguments were originally crafted in the late-90's so these conversations mostly involve re-debunking the same tired old propaganda and specious arguments from that time over and over and over, which were originally crafted by oil companies to protect their interests even though they knew what the real science was saying about anthropogenic global warming since the fucking 1970's.

One projection in particular about climate change made way back in 1989 was uncanny. IIRC this was a forecast for Miami circa 2040:

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by TVCasualty, 09 February 2021 - 06:09 PM.

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#16 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 05:26 PM

I remember watching one of those how they were filmed parts of the planet earth docs, or was it blue planet, whatever it was you know it was David Attenborough narrating. Anyway, I am pretty sure they covered that noise pollution topic on one of them. I specifically remember they focused on a small family of clown fish that had made home in those anemone. It was the same bit about the fish using audio communication to alert for predators and other things. Making note how the ever increasing noise created by propellers is drowning their communications out. FWIW the government recently banned all those fish farms off the coast in BC that may have been mentioned in those articles. I wonder what role if any the sound connection played in that decision

 

A person can go fairly crazy by spending too much time looking at all the worlds problems. Especially people who are empathic

 

Too add to the humans not doing so great pile I submit the plastic problem

 

 I was trying to find an old article talking about how crop land somewhere Africa that had too much plastic in it. Causing problems for growing crops rendering the soil near useless for farming. Then I found this article which is way to long to post here. A big ole rant on the plastic problem across the globe, updated with pandemic blues

 

https://theintercept...kenya-ethiopia/

 

This was probably my favorite line from the article

 

To Ismawati, all the waste moving into Indonesia and throughout the developing world belies the notion that recycling can solve the plastics problem. “If recycling is so great, such an environmental good, why don’t developed countries do it there?” she asked. “If you’re so advanced that you can send rockets to the moon, why can’t you build recycling plants in your own countries?”

 

 

 

The claim about eating a credit card a week? Not to sure what to make of that, look at this fancy pdf from wwf.

 

https://wwf.panda.or...dit-card-a-week

 


 



#17 TVCasualty

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 12:51 PM

Recycling has always been a feel-good band-aid that doesn't really do anything to slow down or stop the unfolding eco-disaster that will render civilization-as-we-know-it unviable within 15 years, tops (which is my current prediction for when our game will end, give or take a few years).

 

Remember that old "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" mantra? We don't hear very much about the first two, but those are the ones that actually matter.

 

It frankly doesn't really matter what we as consumers do until the the primary (and legally-mandated) goal of corporations is no longer exclusively growth and profit. Arguing against regulations on economic growth is like arguing for the freedom of a malignant tumor to continue to expand (since "cancer" is literally "unregulated growth").


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#18 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 02:13 PM

I remember watching a marketplace episode where they  were interviewing an official from nestle and the question was posed if the concept of bottled water was invented today would it fly? She sort of laughs and said it would be near impossible to market due to the environmental and ethical implications of it all

 

Not to mention the fact that it's more expensive than gasoline per L... It really has to be one of the greatest marketing scams of all time, right up there with crisco



#19 TVCasualty

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 02:51 PM

Nestle is one of the worst of the worst of the worst.

 
One of their former CEOs had some infamous things to say about water rights:
 

Water is, of course, the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. The other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it’s better to give a foodstuff a value so that we’re all aware it has its price, and then that one should take specific measures for the part of the population that has no access to this water, and there are many different possibilities there.

 

 

Having a right to something that you'll die in a couple of days without being considered "extreme" is batshit crazy, and why people invent things like guillotines.

 

Funny how he glosses over the rather significant differences between water and "foodstuffs." Water used to flow freely all over the place, no expensive infrastructure required. Food never did that. Water is not a "food."

 

And we could use/drink it safely directly from the source for all but the last two centuries or so of our existence as modern humans. Now we can't thanks to a criminal lack of reasonable environmental regulations that fucked it all up in under two centuries (mostly in less than one), so the same oblivious, self-serving assholes who made natural water too polluted (or scarce) for people to freely use now want us to pay them to clean their shit back out so we can use it and we will have to since we can only get relatively clean water through their pipes and from their bottles now.

 

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (who made the statement above while still CEO) walked that view back a little bit after the instant backlash his comments generated, but I tend to believe the sentiments of original statements over later retractions that are only made because the public was justifiably outraged by what had been said.


Edited by TVCasualty, 11 February 2021 - 02:51 PM.


#20 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 03:42 PM

Yeah that is a pretty incredible ass hat statement to make, next he will be making the case that air should be a commodity, bottled and sold like in space balls... Even though we do currently have versions of this nonsense already

 

https://www.idontspe...sh-mountain-air

 

You have to wonder if that person really believes any of that corporate statement, my guess is no. Not that it makes it any better or worse when they say it to maintain that high level of profitability

 

 

Nestle Bottling facility 2055

 

post-160704-0-25339600-1613076300.jpg

 

 

post-160704-0-16551700-1613076290.jpg

 

post-160704-0-50937600-1613076308.jpg

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 11 February 2021 - 03:48 PM.





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