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Hey Chris!

Just a couple of questions for the next ROMA if you needed some material to rant about. First of all, I am not an expert on anything right now. I’m 22 years old and willing to admit that I know nothing for a fact and I “know” things in regards to degrees of belief based on the evidence I’ve seen and that is all. Growing up Mormon, I can admit that at any point in my life now or in the future I may realize that everything I thought I knew previously was wrong. This is my lead into to a couple of random questions that are unrelated, and ultimately I’m not married to my current beliefs in any way surrounding them.

1. From evidence I personally have seen and heard I was under the impression that nuclear-power plants are an excellent alternative to our current methods of energy consumption. Although we currently do not know how to dispose of nuclear waste, the quantity of waste from a properly run power plant is so little that is seems negligible to the massive amounts of carbon waste we pump into the atmosphere. Nuclear power could produce more power than humanity would ever need to sustain our current existence (although I know you’re not a fan of humanities current existence) while simultaneously helping the environment and restoring some of the beauty we threaten to destroy. I understand there are nuclear power plant accidents, but then again there are accidents it seems with all forms of energy consumption. Also, we are closer than ever to developing a way to launch junk into space. This may be my short sighted thinking and lack of understanding, but launching waste into a star or black hole my be a way to redistribute that waste into energy later re-consumed by the universe. Is there something I am missing, am I misinformed, or are there better alternatives? I agree the best option is massive population reduction through lowered birth rates and also less reckless consumption but as a young person it seems to me the trend continues in the opposite direction and it is reassuring that nuclear power may actually be a viable option for a healthier future for humanity and the planet. It seems previously you have not been a supporter of nuclear power and I was wondering what your thoughts were and why.

2. Considering the fact that reckless consumption is trending upwards and cracks in societal systems such as supply chains, local communities such as neighborhoods or religions, governments etc. Continue to become apparent, how much responsibility do you think we as individuals have to fix issues that began long before we existed. As a 22 year old I am often pulled between my desire to throw away all technology I have, take those closest to me, and then insulate myself from society living a life of blissful ignorance experiencing the full range of human emotions in a way that is more similar to that of our furthest ancestors, and then my other desire to change the world for the better, to educate others and contribute new ideas, to delve deep into making money and spending it in constructive ways, even though it all seems futile, disappointing and unrewarding as I have experienced so far in my limited life span. I am young and have much more to experience; however, I am most satisfied when I am alone on a mountain where I am cannot see a sign of human civilization for miles and I am most dissatisfied when I cannot see the mountain because I am so surrounded by civilization that my point of view is restricted to the wall 10 feet in front of me. I wish these were questions I could ask an elder family member or someone more experienced in life about, but my family members mostly believe this life is meaningless besides following God’s commandments and the true reward comes in the afterlife and I believe that’s bullshit so their advice becomes more of an attempt at conversion than advice for me. I read many existentialist philosophers, I’ve pondered what is appropriate in a moral sense, and I find it difficult to feel guilty about abandoning a society that seems to have done nothing but hurt and reject me. I know this isn’t a perfectly worded question but just wondering your thoughts about this as well.
3. Do you think climate change is a bad thing for the planet in general, or do you think it’s merely a bad thing for humanity? I want to start by saying I personally believe climate change is do to human resources consumption and it is unnatural in that sense. I also believe climate change is increasing the rate at which ice melts, it is increasing the rate of extinction for some species, and it is contributing to wilder and harder to predict weather patterns that may have destructive outcomes among other things. It also seems to me that humanity wants to fight climate change as a self preservation tactic and this may be where my lack of understanding and knowledge comes into play. I had thought that plants generally thrive in warmer environments with high levels of CO2 and when the plants were thriving it provided evolutionary opportunities for other species in the sense that plants sustain animals which in turn sustain plants and so on. So long after humans have wiped themselves out the climate change we caused may turbo charge the repopulation of the planet with new life, even if it causes humanity and other species to go extinct now, it guarantees the future of life in general on this planet. I also believe it’s possible that human manipulation to the environment may delay or prevent an ice age, an event which causes mass extinction as well. Whether or not that is good I cannot say. Whenever I hear or see climate “activism” the message they preach is “save the animals, save the trees, save the coral” but it’s never that humanity itself is being threatened with extinction. Am I just misinformed or should people be more aware that the planet doesn’t care about us and will be just fine long after we kill ourselves? That fighting climate change really isn’t about animals and trees its about their grandchildren and the possibility of them not existing? This leads to another question I always ponder which is, assuming we are fighting climate change to save our own asses, do you believe there are bad actors who could commandeer the environmental movement for selfish purposes? For example, when I see Leonardo DiCaprio spearheading environmental movements from a private jet is certainly seems like he’s taking advantage of things for personal gain. Is this why some people still struggle to get on board with fighting climate change because of inherent distrust in institutions? Ultimately, if we care about the planet should we continue to fight climate change, or would earth just be healthier if humans eventually stopped living on it?

4. This might be stupid, but I want to know what your opinion on the opioid epidemic is. By now it should be obvious to most that pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted. They’ve lied thousands of times about drugs and their efficacy in order to make a buck. Something like 12,000 drugs are recalled per year usually due to adverse side effects. They’re publicly traded companies and are beholden to shareholders even though their products are supposedly meant to keep people healthy. A perfect pharmaceutical company would create a drug made to not be taken, what I mean is it would never become habitually used to treat symptoms of a condition rather than treating the condition itself. This is the exact OPPOSITE of what companies are incentivized to do and this among money other disgusting reasons is why the opioid epidemic began and why it continues to this day with newly developed drugs such as fentanyl. Do you think this epidemic was avoidable? Why do you think it’s not as focused upon and addressed? Everywhere that oxycontin is given to patients there is more theft, more violent crime, more overdose deaths, more underage prostitution, more homelessness, etc. but it gets glossed over by something like COVID which seems to barely kill anyone. All the homeless people in LA for example are addicted to drugs, they’re not dying from COVID. How come people continue to trust pharmaceutical companies with there lives today? In a country where health care is not only over priced but often ineffective how do you find professionals you can trust? Most people I know are vaccinated for COVID19, but when having conversations with people I know who I consider intelligent who are not vaccinated the tainted history of pharmaceutical companies comes up often and the most recent and still ongoing opioid epidemic is a glaring example as to why a company like Pfizer shouldn’t be trusted. This is just one unexpected side effect of dishonesty from major pharmaceutical developers is that even if the life saving wonder drug was invented, such as this mRNA vaccine, people would refuse to take it because they’ve seen so many “wonder drug” TV ads that they just don’t believe it anymore. This is regardless of any research regarding any of the drugs released onto the market because people assume the research is tainted with lies and half truths. Now that booster shots are a thing I have to debate whether this will legitimately help me as I am not in a high risk group at all, or whether this is the next mandatory “oxycontin” so to speak where eventually we become dependent on pharmaceutical companies for a drug that’s not necessary. What are your thoughts on drug developers? When can we trust them and when should we be wary? Are there any red flags we can look for in large corporations that can help us identify whether they’re serving us highly addictive oxycontin or whether it’s a life saving vaccine that almost everyone in the world should get?
I am unintentionally stupid and ignorant so please do not judge me if I seem woefully misinformed. I am not attempting to disagree with anything you’ve said or anything you believe and I am not trying to incite arguments or debates about anything as I am not married to my point of view on anything. I only ask these questions because I respect your opinion and I respect that the your response will be backed by more research and knowledge than I could have acquired in my 22 years of life thus far. Please feel free to avoid any of these questions if it is too sensitive a subject or merely too stupid a question to warrant any sort of response. Thank you for the podcast and everything you do! I will always continue listening and supporting the show!
(I’ve listened to the majority of podcast episodes but haven’t heard them all so if you address these questions already somewhere else then you can direct me there rather than addressing it all over again if that’s easier)

-Chandler of Chandler (hit me up if anybody in the forum is near Chandler, AZ)