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Haven’t You Noticed 20/29

Haven’t You Noticed 20/29 published on 12 Comments on Haven’t You Noticed 20/29

Jax: How about this . . . I tell you some common plant-y powers, you check which ones you can use, and we’ll go from there.

Laurel: You can tell Holly has an uncommon spread of powers.

M. Raifort: Yes . . . almost any kind of assignment she wants, she’ll be able to go there.

Except that she’s too young to be put in charge of anything. And we wouldn’t send her into acute danger.

Laurel: I hear Ivy Muscade was in acute danger not too long ago.

Raifort: There are exceptions when you’re the only mage in Ceannis who can punch a tsunami in the face.

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Do mages have a negative effect on the ecosystem? The ability to punch tsunamis, instantly put out fires, make plants grow, etc etc, all sounds real neat on paper, but surely there’s a negative effect when nature isn’t allowed to handle things the way that it wants to handle things?

The natural way isn’t automatically good or bad, it just is. Interfering with it can have plenty of positive effects — think about antibiotics, warm winter coats, indoor plumbing, and sheepdogs, just to name a few.

Negative effects can happen, but they’re not some inevitable principle of karma. They come from specific situations, and plenty of those are avoidable if you think it through ahead of time and plan how to do it.

…this tsunami situation actually involved tons of planning, modeling, and calculation, and what Ivy did was a lot more complicated than punching. She just made it look that easy.

I would expect that even if all Ivy did was to punch the tsunami, the part when someone computed where exactly should she punch it to not just redirect it elsewhere would be quite important.

Generally, it’s nice talking about nature, but where would you find it? Amazonia? Take forest fire as example: Any forest close to city would already be unnatural, due to humans influencing which trees and other plants grow there. The cause of fire would most likely ALSO be human-related … quite often, someone throwing away cigarette. So, would it really matter if you put that fire out “unnaturally”?

I would expect that mages wouldn’t have any worse effect on the ecosystem than people without magic powers unless they would deliberately try to.

Well, for example; California regularly suffers from wildfires. Sometimes they’re caused by people, yes; but just as often it can be a spark from a lightning strike, or some other effect that wasn’t necessarily human in origin. Humans taking action to prevent wildfires (re: smokey the bear) wound up causing things to get worse the next time there was a fire; because there was so much plant life and dead plant life and stuff that could easily catch fire, it was really freaking bad and they had a hard time dealing with it as a result. Stopping a massive fire is obviously a good thing… but what about the next massive fire if the mages aren’t readily available to ship out to where it is? There’s all the brush and dead stuff from the fire they stopped, and if another one starts when no one’s in the immediate vicinity to do something about it then the results could be really dangerous. Even if they do ship a mage out to deal with it ASAP, fires can spread really fast, and so a lot of damage would have been done by the time they got there.

This is a good example, because there are sustainable ways that humans can prevent wildfire damage to our homes and properties, without leaving a buildup of extra fuel to make future wildfires worse.

We haven’t done them nearly enough in the US, because they require things like “government funding” and “increased regulations on businesses,” but the options are out there.

And Ceannis doesn’t have the same hangups about those requirements that the US does. (Which is why, for example, they have universal government healthcare, and we’re still sputtering along with a more-expensive less-efficient privatized system…)

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