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  #1    
Old February 1st, 2013, 07:24 AM
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I've got into an argument with two of my Skype contacts yesterday regarding whether or not saving the environment. I will refer them as Person A and Person B. Here's what Person A says about the issue:

Spoiler:
"idgaf about the environment or polar bears"

"polar bears should die, like everything else will. Really no point in delaying something"

"Ecosystem's going to die sooner or later"

"I hope we nuke the whales so that I don't get over 9000 documentaries on the Discovery Channel about it"

"There isn't such thing as good or evil. Just us."

"I don't really care for the environment; Every animal can die for all I care"

"No, we aren't obligated to do anything. We just eat, drink, sleep, crap, and pee. Everything else is optional"

"Of course I know the planet's going to get ****e if we don't do anything. But I find trouble caring about it because I think our priorities lie elsewhere.

"Bleh, screw the sun. We're going to get robots, then we're going to have interstellar space travel. And along the way we're going to save the god damned animals. And then they'll evolve into things that are useless without our help. We'll be colonizing entire galaxies until the universe finally dies out. Which is inevitable."

"But imo, I think everyone's too busy panicking about the environment that we're not seeing **** clearly."

"We need more arrogant people in the world."


And here's what Person B says about this issue:

Spoiler:
"Can't tell if some of these were actually serious.. Remember, I'm a cynical bastard"

"Welcome to the life of a cynic"

"Person A's simply on the other side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism"

"I'll state this right now - I'm not a huge religious prick."

"That is part of the reason that I've pretty much descended into cynicism."

"Our cynicism thrives on the negativity that this generation has produced"


It took me a while to find out that Person B really has no opinion about the environment after I misjudged him. Regardless, Do you think Person A has a point about how there's no point in saving endangered animals and their natural habitats from human activity? One youtube user wrote this about polar bears:

"Putting a ban on polar bear parts will not decrease the amount of polar bear deaths as a result of hunting. Anyone educated in basic economics would know that. It will only make them less available, which will increase demand, increasing the market value for illegal trade. If you really want to stop polar bear hunting, you would have to prosecute the people that hunt them. i.e, Eskimo Natives, who cannot be prosecuted under Canadian law. See, people, there are no good options here."

In other words, there's really no point saving them because of human greed and basic economics. There's also the late George Carlin's statement about how saving the environment is a waste of time because the Earth will slowly heal itself, and it has survived worst epidemics than pollution. Then there's that one rainforest episode of South Park poking fun of the environmentists saying that if they have ever gone to the rainforest themselves, they'll end up hating the rainforest and believe it deserves to be torn down. Is it really too late to save the environment due to our slow advancement to green/alternative resources, our addiction to oil, and our need to expand our ever-growing population?
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Last edited by Pinkie-Dawn; February 1st, 2013 at 05:03 PM.
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  #2    
Old February 1st, 2013, 07:34 AM
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wekk I think that nature should be protected. Although I can see why someone would say its useless. :/ I think that overpopulation is the biggest problem right now. It can be linked to most of what is happening. :/ I think that executing the natives is just dodging the blame. After all natives hunt few whales a year (depenfing of the tribes size) its mostly outsiders who are damaging the natural economy. For example japan and its whaling/shark fishing. And as for poachers...all I can say is that if theres a demand for something, someone will get it one way or another. :/
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Old February 1st, 2013, 08:27 AM
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The universe is going to die in a few trillion years. And the Earth will probably die in just some billion years. But if we don't protect the environment right now, humans will become extinct in a few centuries, or less.

It's not "being a cynical", it's a matter of whether you'd like your children and grandchildren to enjoy the same world you live in. Or just to exist, period.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Is this even a serious question? Of its worth saving because I'd prefer to not turn the only planet we can live on into a barren desolate rock. We're already headed that way, and eventually our Governments will be forced to act.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:22 AM
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There's a quote in the book 'Jurassic Park' of all things that I think explains it rather well.

Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet - or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.

If I can, I'd like to expand "ourselves" beyond humans to include all current life on the planet. All species on this planet are temporary. Will we fade away eventually? Maybe. Probably. If we were to screw up the planet enough that we wipe everything out, something somehow will crawl out of the ashes and start anew. The planet will outlive us and something will come after us. Similar to what you say George Carlin said.

But, fighting to protect the environment or counter climate change is not "delaying the inevitable". On the contrary, it is us not purposely speeding up the process. We shouldn't be rushing toward the bottom. We're fragile. We need air. We need water. Why pollute it? We shouldn't. We should want to protect our own species (and the byproduct of that would be protecting other species)

Should we protect endangered species? Try to increase their populations and such? If we, being the dominate species on the planet, contributed to their weakening numbers; then yes we should. We're stewardesses of the planet and its a moral obligation. If numbers in a species are weakening just due to nature and predators that are not humans? We can protect and educate through zoos and such, but I don't think you should try to increase their population. They'd had their day.
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  #6    
Old February 1st, 2013, 09:55 AM
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We depend on the natural world for things. The environment needs saving because if we did make it uninhabitable, it would become very hard for us to live on Earth anymore, which would threaten our species. Also, I think we have a duty to not just let a lot of species go extinct, if we can do something about it we should. It's our responsibility to take care of our planet. We dont know if there is another planet out there suitable to us, Earth is our home, so we must take care of it and save it, including other living creatures that live alongside us.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 11:24 AM
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I think the environment should be protected simply because there's no need to destroy it and it's beautiful.

But on a more convincing note, we need to protect the environment for our own selfish interests. Too much pollution can affect the climate and lead to more extreme weather such as storms threatening large population centers (a.k.a. Hurricane Sandy) or tornados ravaging agricultural areas. On a more human scale, having a clean environment gives you healthy air to breathe. I could go on, but, really, "the environment" is where we live and what we rely on. We need to protect it.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:59 PM
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We kill the environment, it will lead to us killing ourselves. Simple as that.
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  #9    
Old February 1st, 2013, 05:07 PM
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*Edited my OP*

These guys are only bringing excellent points about why we shouldn't bother saving the environment, and you guys aren't even responding to their comments to know whether they're right or wrong. If we have the technology to live in space, then what's the point in saving our planet from our own activities?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
*Edited my OP*

These guys are only bringing excellent points about why we shouldn't bother saving the environment, and you guys aren't even responding to their comments to know whether they're right or wrong. If we have the technology to live in space, then what's the point in saving our planet from our own activities?
I think that we should save the planet from our own activity even if we had the technology to move to another planet. Because of OUR wrong doing to the planet, the rest of the living creatures should perish for it? We also must remember that we're not the only ones living on the planet, we both share the same planet as animals and plants. If we could move into space, we could destroy all of what human created that could pollute the earth and let the animals and plants live free while we go to ravage another planet.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
These guys are only bringing excellent points about why we shouldn't bother saving the environment, and you guys aren't even responding to their comments to know whether they're right or wrong.
I did to. They said "polar bears should die, like everything else will. Really no point in delaying something" and "Ecosystem's going to die sooner or later". And that is directly what I responded to as to why that thinking is incorrect.

And honestly, I wouldn't classify "I hope we nuke the whales so that I don't get over 9000 documentaries on the Discovery Channel about it" as an "excellent point" :|

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
If we have the technology to live in space, then what's the point in saving our planet from our own activities?
Do we? We're working on commercial travel. Nothing's been colonized. The International Space Station isn't a five-star resort, it isn't some place you would want to live.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:24 PM
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The planet is obviously worth saving, only an idiot or someone with absolutely no moral values would argue differently, but I think it's worth asking if it's too late to save it. We basically need huge action on the behalf of global governments now or the planet is definitely ruined. We had the chance to save the planet voluntarily and didn't take it.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Let's just say that we should save the environment just because we can.

It's all part of science - and science is to see the world as it is.

Until the day comes when we document EVERY living creature that will ever live, that's when we should just give up and nuke the whole place to oblivion.

But until then, we should work to keep the things as they are right now.

though I agree that we should just stop giving documentaries to the whales, it's really pointless. If I want information, I'll look up research papers.

Though I don't see how that's a "compelling" "argument" - it's just an opinion-based clash of ignorance.

Quote:
"We need more arrogant people in the world."
no, no we don't. Social problems are caused by arrogant people. Why are there inequalities? Arrogant people. Why do we drive gas cars? Arrogance. Why did we destroy the environment for a good half a millennia before thinking about it and rushing to fix it? Arrogance.

Quote:
"But imo, I think everyone's too busy panicking about the environment that we're not seeing **** clearly."
And you're too busy being cynical that you can't see **** clearly.

Quote:
"Bleh, screw the sun. We're going to get robots, then we're going to have interstellar space travel. And along the way we're going to save the god damned animals. And then they'll evolve into things that are useless without our help. We'll be colonizing entire galaxies until the universe finally dies out. Which is inevitable."
No we don't. Scientists themselves have said, that the Mars Rover Curiosity ("cutting-edge") is about as smart as a retarded cockroach. It's going to be a lonngggggggggg time before they get enough brainpower in a computer.

Quote:
"Of course I know the planet's going to get ****e if we don't do anything. But I find trouble caring about it because I think our priorities lie elsewhere.
No, our priorities lie in caring for the environment. Guess why? This is the only place to live, at least until that far-away time where we can live in space stations (read: in a long-ass time). We need to think about how we're going to live here. Unless you're a suicidal sadist, in which we're going to need you to go to a psychiatric hospital.
Quote:
"I don't really care for the environment; Every animal can die for all I care"
yeah.

Quote:
"Ecosystem's going to die sooner or later"
Quote:
"polar bears should die, like everything else will. Really no point in delaying something"
Of course it is - but, the universe is going to end sooner or later, right? Even so, we don't actively look for ways to destroy the fabric of space-time, do we? We don't terrorize everything in a few hundred parsecs because "**** it, this is going to end sooner or later", right? We don't ALL kill ourselves, because "**** it, we're going to die anyways sooner or later", right? We don't ALL spend all our money, because "**** it, we're all going to spend it anyways sooner or later.", right?

I just think you're friend, no offense, has seriously come down with a case of the retards. I'm sorry, but he shouldn't be allowed to live - these are the people who have destroyed the Earth for 500 years, these are the people who have made our environment in such miserable condition - these are the people with no foresight, and we shouldn't have foresight for their sakes.

I could barely stand to read them, because they're just…so…IGNORANT.

All in all, if you hate the environment, leave it alone. You live in the city, the place of asphalt and destroyed biomes, take heart in that! You don't need to **** all over science just because you hate it!

And for the other side, too. I don't give a damn about your stupid environment, leave me alone!

But the government is a neutral organization - we should fund the preservation of the environment, not fund propaganda posters.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:49 PM
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The environment will always be worth it. No matter how bad society gets, no matter how inhumane the policies set by humanity are, the environment is the one thing we need to preserve more then anything. One thing that worries me more then anything is the rapid pace we have when it comes to pollution, and if mother nature can respond quickly enough to balance everything out. Climate shifts usually take tens of thousands of years, and we might be frying the planet fast enough to not make it in the end.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Earth is all we have; the only consequential thing we could possibly do right now is maintain the environment, so why not? We cannot enact space travel in a necessarily useful capacity at present (ie. settle and exploit other worlds, including asteroids). Our technology isn't there yet, possibly due to lack of investment — but more importantly, our culture isn't there yet, and that's the entity doing the investing. If we cannot care about our planet, and about raising good generations within our own species and those which are useful to us, we can no longer be entitled to survival in the universe.

True, nothing is of evident consequence if the universe will 'die', but will it? We don't know, per se, nor if there is necessarily one universe. It would make no difference if we died trying to find out, but if we tried and succeeded as living things to perpetuate ourselves eternally, we would be the very consequence of our actions. That, I think, is the best we could hope for.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
*Edited my OP*

These guys are only bringing excellent points about why we shouldn't bother saving the environment, and you guys aren't even responding to their comments to know whether they're right or wrong. If we have the technology to live in space, then what's the point in saving our planet from our own activities?
They actually aren't, and, we do not have the technology to sustain a species in space.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:22 AM
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Earth is all we have. It could be a very long time before we have the technology to live off planet and even then it would take a lot of adjustment. We simply do not have the capability yet and if we destroy the environment before we do, we're toast, that's all there is to it. Also why should other creatures have to suffer because of our actions, they live alongside us on this planet, this planet is the only one we know has this kind of Biodiversity and we do not know if any other planet has this, why should we allow this place to turn into a barren rock? It makes no sense to me at all. The Earth will always be worth saving.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:28 AM
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"Putting a ban on polar bear parts will not decrease the amount of polar bear deaths as a result of hunting. Anyone educated in basic economics would know that. It will only make them less available, which will increase demand, increasing the market value for illegal trade. If you really want to stop polar bear hunting, you would have to prosecute the people that hunt them. i.e, Eskimo Natives, who cannot be prosecuted under Canadian law. See, people, there are no good options here."
That's just a problem with "how," then. More specifically, "how do we implement environmental protection laws in a way that actually does some good." Just because your friends aren't able to come up with a good answer doesn't mean there aren't people who can, and it certainly doesn't mean we should just give up on it altogether. While I disagree with some people who suggest going off the deep end with environmental restrictions and such, minimizing our negative impact on the world is still important. It's just that we need to find ways to do it that don't heavily inconvenience people or it's just not going to happen. I think clean energy is a good start.

Quote:
There isn't such thing as good or evil. Just us.
Well, I'm glad that's been settled. Time for my daily routine of raping, stealing, and murdering! I guess since "good" and "evil" are socially defined, that makes them meaningless and means my actions are completely justified. Your friend's an idiot.

And as for priorities, I don't know if your friend knows this, but there are 300 million people in the US alone. Several million of those are involved in politics, either as an activist or as someone associated with some form of political office. There are also plenty of think tanks out there dedicated to coming up with ideas for all sorts of different subjects. We already have more than enough people to saturate the "idea market" for any particular "priority." Throwing more people at a given problem when there are already thousands working on it isn't going to get it solved any faster. We're perfectly capable of coming up with solutions to more than one problem at a time.

There's a difference between "cynicism" and "mindless pessimism."
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiny Celebi View Post
Earth is all we have. It could be a very long time before we have the technology to live off planet and even then it would take a lot of adjustment. We simply do not have the capability yet and if we destroy the environment before we do, we're toast, that's all there is to it. Also why should other creatures have to suffer because of our actions, they live alongside us on this planet, this planet is the only one we know has this kind of Biodiversity and we do not know if any other planet has this, why should we allow this place to turn into a barren rock? It makes no sense to me at all. The Earth will always be worth saving.
I agree! Just because we, as humans, have evolved to have the largest brain size/body size ratio and have developed to become "sophisticated" doesn't mean we can just go kill whatever other species we want. We have no right to do that.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:19 AM
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I agree! Just because we, as humans, have evolved to have the largest brain size/body size ratio and have developed to become "sophisticated" doesn't mean we can just go kill whatever other species we want. We have no right to do that.
Says who? And why not? I think the fact that we have significant quantifiable intelligence is a pretty good reason why we shouldn't have to treat animals the same as ourselves. Plenty of animals die so that people can live or have a better quality of life. That's fine. And plenty more die from malice, greed, or just general incompetence. That's... tolerable. Animals are not people, no matter how much "animal rights" activists will tell you otherwise. They do not fall under the same ethical standard as humans because they lack those core features which make us human, which make us sacred and worth protecting. The only reason this is even an issue is because some people form emotional attachments to animals (and I'm not just talking about pets, though pet owners are a subset of that group). Well, I have an emotional attachment to my wallet, but that doesn't make it a person, even if it sprouted legs, a cute face, and made whimpering sounds when I opened it. Humans earned their place in the "moral hierarchy" and suggesting that animals are our ethical equals is degrading to our own species. It's suggesting that being human is nothing special, which is something I will never agree with.

Don't get me wrong, environmentalism is important. Protecting our resources is important. But the environment is not the end, it is the means. More specifically, it is the means to our future survival as a species, and perhaps the means to our progress as a species.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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I still dont see why that means they need to needlessly suffer and go extinct in large numbers. That is not nessesary at all. The fact is we cause a lot of suffering to animals and I do not think they deserve this. They are part of the environment too, same as plants and other organisms. If you save the environment, you should save everything that goes with it.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Shiny Celebi View Post
I still dont see why that means they need to needlessly suffer and go extinct in large numbers. That is not nessesary at all. The fact is we cause a lot of suffering to animals and I do not think they deserve this. They are part of the environment too, same as plants and other organisms. If you save the environment, you should save everything that goes with it.
If you were addressing me, I never said anything to the contrary.
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The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken, unsourced

Quote:
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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  #23    
Old February 7th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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"Saving the environment" is inherently unnatural human meddling with the environment. Global warming is a myth. The Earth's environment naturally changes on its own.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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@twocows, there are arguments that go beyond animals merely being emotional attachments of people. There are some intelligent species of animal out there, possibly who feel emotions and are self-aware. It makes the idea of "human" seem more of a spectrum than a disparate identity. There are clearly more intelligent and less intelligent humans so we accept variations in intelligence are not enough to keep someone from being "human" (or in other words, of having rights and protections). I'll just cut to the point I'm trying to make, which is that many of the things we as humans have which make us human and deserving of rights can be found in animals (or to flip the idea around, there are people who are not too dissimilar to animals) so perhaps we should think more about how we define out ethics.

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Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
"Saving the environment" is inherently unnatural human meddling with the environment. Global warming is a myth. The Earth's environment naturally changes on its own.
Is it "meddling" if humans try to undo damage that they've caused?

That was a rhetorical question aimed at showing the futility of using the word "meddling" in this context.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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.EJ
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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@twocows: to go along with what Scarf is saying, there have been experiments conducted to prove whether or not intelligent animals such as chimpanzees and dolphins are self-aware and the studies seem to say yes, there does seem to be a level of self-awareness and higher cognition in these animals present. I agree that animals are not humans but I also don't agree with just letting them die "cuz it's fine". No, it's not. All you have to do is take a simple Biology class to understand the actual ecology and how human beings threaten it.

@pinkie-dawn: what excellent points? Those were all extremely opinionated with no actual empirical facts to back it up.
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