Mars One - Unethical?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Captain Kathryn, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    My, my, my, that wouldn't possibly just be a shameless plug for your blog would it?

    Hint: next time if you want to pretend it's not your blog, don't link to it in your signature.
     
  2. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Don't do that again.

    It's fine if you want to link a topical blog article--I don't mind that. But don't pretend you didn't write it. I have no use for dishonesty here.
     
  3. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We could always go the colonization of Australia route. No way THAT could come back to bite us on the ass.
     
  4. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On Earth. I think it's more than enough that we ruined one planet. We ought to tidy up out own home before we visit the neighbourhood.

    Mars 1 sounds like a thrilling idea but I agree in the suspicion that it's just a big rip-off (is that the right word?? I mean something like a scam, a trick to get peoples' money)

    Given the immense density of objects in our orbit that make launching larger space vessels more difficult every day, I suggest that we should rather start building a gigant vacuum cleaner (most literally, in this case). Hopefully with a little more durability than the infamous Spaceball 1 model.

    As a hobby astronomer I'd really appreciate it if the space debris got reduced. It's highly annoying when you try to take a snap of - for example - Europa and at that very moment the darned ISS tool bag passes by. (It's small but at times reflects the sunlight, ruining the photo completely)
     
  5. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "ruined one planet"?
    Talk about an unsupported hyperbole. Do you have anything to base it on? If so, let's see it.
     
  6. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ozone hole, red list of endangered species, annual G8 climate conference, oil spills, destruction of tropical rain forrests, global climate change - the list goes on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  7. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Just for starters.
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    All of which are either hyperbole or unsupported slogans.

    Let's start with the apocalypse de jour: climate change aka global warming:

    Look up the 2013 IPCC report - which defines the scientific consensus on the subject. Here’s a link to the summary for policymakers:
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGI_AR5_SPM_brochure.pdf

    The warming due to CO2 release is determined by the transient climate response, which, in the 2013 IPCC report, is likely
    in the range of 1.0 C to 2.5 C (high confidence) and extremely unlikely greater than 3 C.*

    Based on this TCR, 4 future warming scenarios were outlined, corresponding to different amounts of CO2 emitted (see pg. 25 of the linked report).
    Of these, RCP 8.5 is all but excluded – a huge continuous increase in CO2 emissions for the entire century is required to even get close to it (don’t believe me? see the worldwide CO2 emissions and then calculate what future emissions would be required to reach RCP 8.5).
    In other news, London is buried beneath a 2 miles deep layer of horse manure; such malthusian prophecies never came to pass.

    The IPCC future warming scenarios each have temperature ranges associated with them (pg. 21 of the report). RCP8.5 is the only scenario that has an increase in temperature larger than 3.1 C.

    What will be the consequences of an increase in temperature of 2.5-3 C?
    As it turns out, there’s a peer reviewed paper that summarized all the papers on the subject – up to the date it was published, that is:
    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/Tol_impacts_JEP_2009.pdf
    As per the paper, climate change is beneficial up to 2.2 C of warming from 2009 (when R. Tol wrote his paper). This means approximately 3˚C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8˚C of warming has happened in the last 150 years. The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all. IPCC, whose reports define the consensis, is sticking to older TCR assumptions, however, which would mean net benefits till about 2080.

    What about all the weather disasters caused by climate change? Entirely mythical — so far. The 2013 IPCC report is admirably frank about this, reporting ‘no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency offloads on a global scale … low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms’.
    In fact, the death rate from droughts, floods and storms has dropped by 98 per cent since the 1920s, according to a careful study by the independent scholar Indur Goklany. Not because weather has become less dangerous but because people have gained better protection as they got richer. For another example, experts now agree that malaria will continue its rapid worldwide decline whatever the climate does.

    Colour me unimpressed.

    And yet, all this doesn’t stop the green movement from advocating measures which will impose extreme poverty upon millions and millions of human beings in order to further their agenda – apparently, the mitigation of this climate change consequences I described above is worth imposing so much misery on the world.

    This mysoginistic attitude would be pathetic if it wasn’t so pernicious.

    *In more recent peer reviewed papers, the TCR is even lower than that.
     
  9. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here we go again. Super alarming 'what if' scenarios based on ultra pessimistic theorising.

    Alarm about accelerating and human caused extinctions is a popular meme in the media. There are constant references to the large and accelerating numbers of species that are being driven to extinction by human activity. The only problem is that it's not true. Here are the known facts about extinction.

    The vast bulk of extinctions are of species that live in relatively small numbers in very restricted areas on islands. Almost all those extinctions were the result of the introduction of alien exotic species by early explorers and thus the rate of extinction has been declining since a peak period associated with the period of global exploration and empire building after 1500.

    Since 1500 only 61 species of mammals have gone extinct. Of those 61 species 58 were island species. Even including the peak period during the age of global expansion the rates of extinction of mammals on the large continental land masses has been remarkable low. Of the 4,428 known mammal species (Red List 2004) living in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Antarctica, only three mammals have gone extinct in the last 500 years. These were the Bluebuck antelope, South Africa; the Algerian gazelle, Algeria; and the Omilteme cottontail rabbit, Mexico.

    Since 1500 only 129 species of birds have gone extinct. Of the 128 extinct bird species, 123 of them were island extinctions. Of the 8,971 known continental bird species (Red List 2004), only 6 have gone extinct in the last 500 years.

    It is worth bearing in mind that there are an estimated total of 8.7 million species on earth.

    What can we conclude from this record of extinctions?

    1) When European species met isolated local species, a number of the local species died. The Australian and island species were extremely vulnerable to pressure from imported humans, mammals, birds, plants, and diseases. 95% of all recorded bird and mammal extinctions are island or Australian species.

    2) When the European species arrived, Australia and most islands had been separated from the continents for forty million years or so. The initial introduction of European species into island habitats was a one-time event. While alien species will always a problem for islands, this massive onslaught of the first coming of the European species will never be repeated — there are no places left with forty million years of isolation.

    3) Total habitat destruction drove one bird to extinction.

    4) While habitat reduction has been claimed as contributing (in an unknown degree) to three continental bird extinctions, to date no continental mammal or bird has been seen to go extinct due to habitat reduction alone.

    So what you have is a picture of very, very low levels of actual extinctions.

    Even if the rate of extinctions were to quadruple in the next 500 years, and even if we assume that the rate of extinctions for continental species accelerates massively to match the rate of island extinctions then we get an absolutely worst case nightmare scenario of a total of 760 bird and mammal species going extinct in the next 500 years out of a total of 8.7 million species.

    Frankly that doesn't seem worth worrying about. It certainly is not something that should be used as a convincing case for slowing or restricting economic development (or more accurately prolonging human poverty, suffering and premature death), nor should it be an issue which is used to whip up alarm about the impact of human activity on the environment.


    This is what you call "ruined one planet"?
    As said, talk about an unsupported hyperbole.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Wut? Not sure what misogyny has to do with any of that.

    Also don't have time to deal with climate change deniers. Good luck with all that.

    The bottom line is that we manage our resources very poorly and it has both short- and long-term costs to our species, other species, and Earth's future viability as a habitat.

    You can pretend that's not the case but you'd still be wrong.
     
  11. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You have a few problems with your dictums: the most important being, my analysis is based on the scientific consensus - with no interpretation added on my part.
    Yours is a de facto a religious belief.

    Also - it's blatantly obvious you haven't read my posts: the unjustified 'climate denier' label - contradicted by my posts, I showed what mysoginy 'has to do with it', etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Sorry, but you're the one here trying to promote the fringe view that climate change, up to a point, may be economically beneficial. Even if it is, that's only for the narrow scope of wealthy temperate-zone countries and occurs at the expense of basically everyone else, so pardon me if I'm not happily swilling your "climate change is good!" snake oil.

    You have yet to explain what misogyny has to do with this, though. I suggest you look up the word to make sure it means what you think it means.
     
  13. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    thanks, I was just going to request an explanation for how a hatred for females can influence the climate. Other than the posting climate on this board, that is. In which case there's indeed no global warming detectable but it seems rather as if an ice age was dawning ;)
     
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The paper I lined to regarding the beneficial net effects of climate change is a synthesis of ALL peer-reviewed papers published on the subject - until the date of its publication, that is.
    Here you go - the paper, again:
    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/Tol_impacts_JEP_2009.pdf
    Look up the references yourself.

    And also look up the 2013 IPCC report, verify the figures I wrote here. Then take the global annual CO2 emissions - from UN, wiki, etc - and make the multiplication yourself.

    As for what misogyny has to do with this. My mistake. The word I was looking for was misantropism. As for what it has to do with anything - let's take for example, GM food:
    http://rationaloptimist.com/blog/gm-crops-don't-kill-kids-opposing-them-does.aspx
    Links embedded in the article.
    Greenpeace knows millions of children die every year in Asia due to vitamin A deficiency (unles its members lived in a cave on Mars for the last 50 years), knows GM food is safe (all studies converge on this conclusion) but still opposes GM food because it's not 'natural'. And who cares about the human suffering their actions generate?
     
  15. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Ah, so this is really all about the ax you have to grind with Greenpeace. Thanks for making it clear what you're really after here. Carry on, then!
     
  16. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, this is really all about the truth - as determined by the best peer-reviewed science available.

    Of course, you only have dictums and obfuscation attempts. And, of course, they fail to cover up anything.
     
  17. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I just find source-warring with you very tedious. Your view that climate change is ultimately economically beneficial is a fringe opinion based on massaging select data.

    Besides that, even the author admits in the paper that many of the possible positive effects have not been evaluated or researched adequately. He's essentially speculating that it might be beneficial for certain economics in certain areas with certain resource situations based on some factors that are predictable and many that are not. Hardly a ringing endorsement for "climate change is good!"

    As always, there should be more research, but it's very telling that the IPCC doesn't endorse that viewpoint even when walking back some of its more dire past predictions.
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My conclusion about the NET beneficial effects of climate change up to 2080 is supported by the peer reviewed scientific consensus.
    Is it a perfect prediction? Of course NOT; but it's the best prediction available.
    And it is very, VERY far from the 'we ruined our planet' doom and gloom of Spirit of Christmas Present.

    You, on the other hand, have posted no links to peer-reviewed papers to support your apocalyptic prophecy. It's, de facto, a religious belief.

    Are you per chance implying that 2013 IPCC contradicts my linked to papers? If so where?
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    If you only want to read papers, go read some. This is a discussion forum, not JSTOR.
     
  20. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    gentlemen, I think we drifted very far away from the thread's topic as set by Captain Cathryn. Which topic, if you'll allow me to sum it up somewhat provocatively, is: "is Mars 1 just a big scam to make money by people's naivity or is it indeed a serious enterprise?" (no pun intended!)

    Maybe we could start a new thread for global climate issues and another for gene food's pros and cons? Both are very interesting topics which I would love to discuss but it'd be unfair to Captain Cathryn to hijack her thread.