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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old April 24 2014, 03:37 PM   #31
RAMA
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Re: Welcome to the future

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
In the case of climate change, knowing is worth fuck all without action.
Well that's why it is only half the battle.

Now this knowledge is opposed to the vast amount of human history, where we knew nothing concrete and couldn't act. often it took decades or longer to fix things, from city sanitation, to waste disposal, to nuclear cleanup, et al.

There are also many examples..more than ever about successful environmental cleanups. I'm not equating the monumental scale of climate change to these, only the willingness and ability to fix them! The most recent example that comes to mind is the huge decrease in smog in LA over recent decades.

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories...litystudy.html

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Old April 24 2014, 03:40 PM   #32
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Re: Welcome to the future

Here's a tip: if you have to make your point by quoting a 1980s children's cartoon program, it may not be a very good point.
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Old April 24 2014, 03:41 PM   #33
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Re: Welcome to the future

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UN, 15 years vital:
They always say the next 15 years. I remember the first IPCC report and they said the next 15 years.
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Old April 24 2014, 03:42 PM   #34
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Re: Welcome to the future

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Possible, however, much of the time, when man has to find a solution, he does.
This is logically equivalent to saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Those who get more than they can handle aren't around to offer their contrary experience.
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Old April 24 2014, 03:44 PM   #35
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Re: Welcome to the future

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Here's a tip: if you have to make your point by quoting a 1980s children's cartoon program, it may not be a very good point.
I don't know which show you mean, but the point still stands and makes sense.

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Old April 24 2014, 03:49 PM   #36
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Re: Welcome to the future

Dennis wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Possible, however, much of the time, when man has to find a solution, he does.
This is logically equivalent to saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Those who get more than they can handle aren't around to offer their contrary experience.
Actually, there's no logic to your analogy. I can rip it apart if I wanted to.

My claim simply means that an intelligent humanity, when met with problems has succeeded to the point where we demonstrably are now, it never stops learning, and it can't act on what it doesn't know. If someone failed at another point in history, then evolution simply means we failed to adapt properly, but the rest of humanity did. The same applies to global warming, we will either put our minds to it and adapt on a global scale, or we have to leave. Both are a form of adaptation and both could mean survival. Both are still possible.

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Old April 24 2014, 03:51 PM   #37
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Re: Welcome to the future

RAMA wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Here's a tip: if you have to make your point by quoting a 1980s children's cartoon program, it may not be a very good point.
I don't know which show you mean, but the point still stands and makes sense.

RAMA
Um... no, it doesn't. You'll have to do more than assert that it does.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:06 PM   #38
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Re: Welcome to the future

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Dennis wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Possible, however, much of the time, when man has to find a solution, he does.
This is logically equivalent to saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Those who get more than they can handle aren't around to offer their contrary experience.
Actually, there's no logic to your analogy. I can rip it apart if I wanted to.
You can't. Read it again. Maybe the invocation of the word "God" is freaking you out.

History and experience are replete with both successful innovations in the face of necessity and failures to solve overwhelming problems. Your assertion that "man" finds solutions "most of the time" is nothing more than cherry-picking those anecdotes that are reassuring coupled with the obvious tautology that those who survive - organisms, societies, what-have-you - are those who've managed not to be destroyed.

It's a meaningless and irrelevant assertion.
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Old April 24 2014, 05:08 PM   #39
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Re: Welcome to the future

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It's a meaningless and irrelevant assertion.
I've seen well known skeptics like Michael Shermer and James Randy make the same argument and it's perfectly valid (even if I disagree with it). infinite creativity + large numbers of people + "need" will lead to solutions "in time".
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Old April 24 2014, 06:12 PM   #40
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Re: Welcome to the future

It's not much of an "argument," valid or invalid. It's an assertion on faith, and just because one might find it persuasive doesn't lend it any more support.

An awful lot of futurism and chatter about things like the Singularity is nothing other than the religious impulse dressed up in new vocabulary.
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Old April 24 2014, 06:20 PM   #41
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Re: Welcome to the future

I'm inclined to agree.

For real-world examples: what stopped the Black Plague? Nothing, really. At least nothing humans did. It killed lots of people, scarred others, and eventually petered out. Humanity didn't solve that, we just survived it. We are pretty good at surviving, which is not at all the same thing as solving problems.

For that matter, we aren't that far removed from some of the worst bouts of violent excess in human history. There is no guarantee our "solution" to climate change won't be to simply kill off a large portion of the population, either systematically or by happenstance.
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Old April 27 2014, 10:26 PM   #42
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Re: Welcome to the future

I will say this--any time I hear carbon footprint this or overpopulation that, there is this part of me that wants to scream at the TV "Excuse me for living."

--especially with the Malthusian miserabilists like Paul Ehrlich who said “Giving society cheap, abundant energy . . . would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

I think his work on the Population Bomb that Simon debunked made folks not believe any type of ill effects. I share in the concept of the noosphere. Both sides of the spectrum have made mistakes.
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Old April 27 2014, 11:03 PM   #43
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Re: Welcome to the future

The personal carbon footprint thing is not particularly helpful anyway. That's just randomly instilling guilt into people without giving any measurable effect on the rate of climate change. What you need is a centralised effort to combat it with actual solutions, preferably with the participation of all world governments. Obviously, since this is pretty much impossible, what you want is at least rapid advancements in renewables and energy efficiency that would lead to self-adoption, but that's the equivalent of doing nothing – but at least we know we can focus the effort can be focused on accelerating that, not on scaring people what lives they live, and that way we'll get real results, even if at the end of the day these results would be too small.

But if you tell somebody their carbon footprint is humongous, without giving them a good way to reduce it, you're not doing anything. If you give them a good way to reduce it, they don't even need to know their carbon footprint.

IMHO, anything that encourages non-fossil fuel solutions is helpful, anything that scares people is unhelpful, possibly counter-productive.

(OTOH, carbon footprint for energy producing and consuming technologies might be helpful.)
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Old April 28 2014, 12:50 PM   #44
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Re: Welcome to the future

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
The personal carbon footprint thing is not particularly helpful anyway. That's just randomly instilling guilt into people without giving any measurable effect on the rate of climate change. What you need is a centralised effort to combat it with actual solutions, preferably with the participation of all world governments. Obviously, since this is pretty much impossible, what you want is at least rapid advancements in renewables and energy efficiency that would lead to self-adoption, but that's the equivalent of doing nothing – but at least we know we can focus the effort can be focused on accelerating that, not on scaring people what lives they live, and that way we'll get real results, even if at the end of the day these results would be too small.

But if you tell somebody their carbon footprint is humongous, without giving them a good way to reduce it, you're not doing anything. If you give them a good way to reduce it, they don't even need to know their carbon footprint.

IMHO, anything that encourages non-fossil fuel solutions is helpful, anything that scares people is unhelpful, possibly counter-productive.

(OTOH, carbon footprint for energy producing and consuming technologies might be helpful.)
That's nonsense. There is plenty people can do to reduce their footprint: drive less, drive a more fuel efficient car, use public transportation, reduce their energy usage (lots of methods for this), reduce their solid waste, recycle, etc. It's not really feasible to get it down to zero or anywhere close, but if a large number of people significantly reduce their personal carbon footprints, that makes an impact.

Fossil fuel use is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so anything you, as an individual, can do to reduce it is a good thing.
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Old April 28 2014, 01:09 PM   #45
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Re: Welcome to the future

Sure, but organised campaigns to get a more fuel efficient car or use public transport do much more than spending time to calculate your carbon footprint yourself. Not to mention if you took the time to do the latter, you probably already knew it was a good idea to do this things in the first place without such organised campaigns.
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