Welcome to the future

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dennis, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.
     
  2. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.)
     
  4. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.
     
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    One of the authors of the AAAS report on climate change, Katharine Kayhoe:

    I doubt that many people who believe in the reality of climate change have a lot of confidence that the proposed changes in the way we live will necessarily solve the problem. So...
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, when it comes to peak oil, I'm pretty certain that immediately after it happens, renewable energy will take over at ludicrous speed. The technology is already there, but the will to invest isn't. But that will is there as soon as there is no oil left. And oil producers are not stupid either, they are already investing in a new cow while milking their old cow to death.
     
  8. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Russia's icebreaker fleet alone (32 ships) is one more than the rest of the worlds icebreakers combined. That oil isn't staying in the ground...

    --being dirt poor...I got that one down.

    Come on fusion power...I don't want another 20 years to wait.
     
  10. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Welcome To The Future
    (Robert Calvert, 1972)

    Welcome to the oceans in a labeled can,
    Welcome to the dehydrated lands,
    Welcome to the self police parade,
    Welcome to the neo-golden age,
    Welcome to the days you've made
    You are welcome
    You are welcome
    Welcome
    Welcome
    You are welcome
    You are welcome.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q6VtG9eGFQ
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I use public transportation but they'll get my HDTV, my PS4 and my AC when they pry it from my cold dead hands! :lol:
     
  12. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Your proposal is acceptable!" :evil:
     
  13. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Your HDTV uses less power than your old CRT TV, and the digital transmitter uses less power than the analogue transmitter that was there before it, so one can say you were responsible to the environment by buying it. And all of them use less power than your stove when you cook. But you can still be responsible by turning off your set top box while you're not watching, and closing your window when you use your AC, and turn it off when the weather is nice enough, and if your house or building lacks good thermal insulation, work towards resolving that (which still doesn't work without an organised effort).
     
  14. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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  15. ThunderAeroI

    ThunderAeroI Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The great irony is that it was only made possible due to it. Think of how much better it will be when the ice caps defrost even more and more oil becomes available.
     
  16. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Yeah, there is some irony there. I think Klein has it pretty much right, up and down the line. Humanity will have to adjust to the changing climate as best we can.
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We've been doing that ever since, man-made climate change or not.
     
  18. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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  19. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Rated Awesome By 9 out of 10 Awesome Experts Moderator

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    The species will be fine, we've survived all sorts of disasters. Our society will most likely be fine, we'll just have to deal with stuff as it comes along. A lot of poor people and people in poorer countries are fucked though.
     
  20. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This kind of makes me feel better about my failure to reproduce.