Global warming and similar debates

I’m wondering about the place of tangents to fruit and nut growing that were a small part of the gardenweb forum. The potential for something similar has started in the “Small Commercial Orchard” thread, and it’s the first time I’ve noticed something like that on this forum. That discussion about the future of small vs. large farms may not go any further, but then again it could. I’m tempted to share my own thoughts but I don’t want to contribute to getting something started that may have larger negative implications for this forum. Or perhaps it could be a healthy part of the mix (although there are at least problems with hijacking threads.) Perhaps the discussion of the future of small farms isn’t so similar to global warming discussions, but it does seem to be a sort of tangent like that.

In any case, it does seem like a good idea to open for discussion the question of how best to think about/deal with/respond to/participate in/not participate in/minimize/segregate… global warming discussions and the like. I suspect that just wandering into these discussions without openly considering their appropriate place in the forum isn’t best (especially since the forum hasn’t yet, so far as I’ve seen, really gone off on any tangents to our practical subject matter).

Cous…

You may remember that I am not shy about stating my point of view :smiling_imp: on such matters… however,

I would hesitate to embrace having these tangential topics or any other “policy” driven topics here.

Just like politics & religion these tend to inflame especially since the passion associated with them causes the “gotta have the last word” mania to get activated.

Mike

We discussed it as admins and at least now we don’t plan on applying any restrictions, as long as the posts are within the rules. If you see any post post not within the rules please flag it (hit the flag icon right below it).

The phrase I like most from the above policy is criticize ideas, not people. The main problem with touchy subjects is one person says an idea and another person takes it as a personal attack and responds likewise, things degenerate, etc.

Scott

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You and the other admins may very well be way ahead of me already, but I’m thinking there might be ways to allow very tangential discussions while limiting the potential negative aspects. Perhaps, for example, we could consider a policy of encouraging people to take tangents to new threads. There’s not a way of splitting a thread in two, is there? Maybe there’s some way to segregate threads that even start out as complete tangents so that they don’t clog up regular discussion (but maybe that’s not really going to happen anyway.) I haven’t come to any conclusions, but I’m hopeful there might be some ways of encouraging better results shy of outright restrictions.

If you click on the “+ Reply as a linked topic” in the upper right of each post it will start a new thread. It took me awhile to figure out how that worked. Please feel free to give it a spin sometime!

Scott

Cousin, I don’t think the debate about small vs large farms approaches the heat and polarization of the climate thing, but it was a good idea to bring up that question.

Given the considerable number of small farmers that are members of this forum,myself included, I would personally be fine with a discussion on the topic and would be surprised if it tipped into some kind of frenzied politically driven slugfest. But then, life surprises most every day.

Alan,

Lol… everything now days is political. People will find any way to bring politics into every discussion. New England wins the Super Bowl, it’s because of Obama and his policies. Cruise Liners suffer from norovirus… blame the Senate. Wal-Mart is trying to expand and not paying more for wages… guess what… it’s because of congress. And now the topic of global warming…

Sean ,

You mean the Super Bowl wasn’t…? Next thing you’ll tell me Fire Blight isn’t eiyher.

I gotta re-check my sources.

Mike

I run a facebook gardening forum. The rule we live by there is No GMO discussions, No Global warming, No Vegan, Monoculture, Big Ag, or other politically hot tropics. Why? Because not a single one of those subjects helps people learn to grow better. Those subjects just divide us and titilate those who love to watch others tear people apart. Ive seen way way too many forums ruined by those debates. The old Garden Web forum certainly had those from time to time, im hoping that the moderation team we have here will keep it to a minimum. Just my 2 cents.

Actually, I suspect there are a few on the sidelines that probably benefit from such debates when comments aren’t just echoes of what’s already spinning around in the media.

Information and original insights can change minds. If that wasn’t the case, most of my customers would insist on organic fruit production.

I thought the last GMO discussion on GW remained quite civil. It is the climate thing that seems to spin out regularly.

I do think the guideline that topics should be about growing better fruit is appropriate but under that subject all those mini-biographies that I consider priceless from the member introductions would not be approved topic material.

We can always change our minds later, but I’m glad there are no hard rules here. There seems to be a better community feel here than ever on GW so let’s just see where that takes us.

I suspect that there are a few that benefit from it too, but I dont think it outweighs the people it chases away and the feelings that get hurt over it all.

AMR, I don’t think we actually disagree in principle. If such discussions become a liability here we can all bring up the issue of restricting topics in the future.

Oh we hardly disagree at all. Im just throwing a opinion into the mix. I have full confidence in you guys. This is going to turn into the premier fruit discussion site on the web. Im hoping that we can coax over the west coast CRFG guys now that the Cloudforest site is in full ebb and Axle has moved to Hawaii. They can bring alot to the table and compliment the midwestern/eastern knowkedge that is well represented here already.

If a sexy, young peach convinces someone to forsake marriage in favor of adultery, that’s very little evidence of the power of “information and original insights” to change minds.

I very much agree, however, with your comments in the other thread about the nature of the current market for small farm products, by the way.

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CF, are you accusing me of being a sexy young peach, or of my customers committing adultery on their organic orthodoxy because of the sexy peaches I grow on their trees?

And here I thought it was my original insights and the overwhelming evidence I provide that a little synthetic poison can be a good thing.

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Hadn’t heard that Axel moved to Hawaii. He pushed hard on that forum for yrs but it never really took off. I think this forum has a much better long term chance of success.

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