Is Time Running Out?

  • #1
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Can we afford to curb our use of global resources? Can we afford not to?
 

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  • #2
chroot
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Originally posted by Greg Bernhardt
Can we afford to curb our use of global resources? Can we afford not to?
Does not the mountain need the snow?
Does not the desert need the sun?
Does not your scrotum need kicking?

- Warren
 
  • #3
spinning head
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Good point. I'm the kind of person who believes that we have to drastically reduce our resource consuption no matter what the price. I worry about the environmental impact that we're having and the long term effets this is going to have on the balance of nature. Some people say that it would be too costly, but think about the economic impact when/if we start to run out or fossil fuels.
 
  • #4
Andre
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Is this another Antropogenic Global Warming thread with emission control as the great solution? :wink:
 
  • #5
selfAdjoint
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Sounded more like population explosion/resouces running out to me. In 1919 it was predicted that if the then current rate of rise in telephone usage continued for 100 years, the world would run out of copper.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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In elementary school I learned we'd run out of oil in roughly 20 years. So we'd better do something soon, we only have 3 years left! :wink:
 
  • #7
Andre
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Right, when I was very young, horses were a common sight on the streets. It was predicted that if horse stacks would continue to grow, the global temperature would rise a couple of degrees due to the warmth of the massive heaps of dung on the street, which were also emitting vast amounts of methane gas, a powerfull greenhouse gas.
 
  • #8
Copper? 3 years left? Horses? Upon reading all of your posts, it appears humans have created/discovered new technologies from time to time.

I do think that humans are 'eating' this planet alive in every way due to overpopulation though.
Has anyone read Daniel Quinn's theory regarding food production/population?
 
  • #9
Njorl
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Resources don't run out. They become scarce and expensive. At that point it becomes economical to develop alternatives. Unfortunately, it also becomes more economical to fight wars over them. There are limits. A terrestrial civilization can not use more energy than is incident on the planet for very long. At current rates of increase, we'll hit that point in 300-500 years. Hopefully, we'll learn to deal with it by then.

BTW, those doomsayers about oil consumption were just about right. Oil consumption had been doubling every 10 years. While we are still increasing our oil consumption, doubling time is roughly 30 years now. If it had gone on at the faster rate, we would have probably exhausted all known reserves that could be extracted for less than $50 per barrel. That's the problem with being a doomsayer. If your good at it, people change their ways and make you look bad.

Njorl
 
  • #10
Andre
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Yes Daniel Quinn has some valid ideas:

http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/DanielQuinn

However if we need to grow food for all people, we need more carbon, since that is where living stuff is made off. We also need good high temperatures to grow crops fast. Would anybody have an idea how we could accomplish that? :wink:
 
  • #11
Originally posted by Andre
Yes Daniel Quinn has some valid ideas:

http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/DanielQuinn

However if we need to grow food for all people, we need more carbon, since that is where living stuff is made off. We also need good high temperatures to grow crops fast. Would anybody have an idea how we could accomplish that? :wink:


I think this is a trick question ;)
Good. I'm here to learn.

Also, Quinn's theories about limiting/slowing food production make sense to limit population growth...but how is that accomplished?
 
  • #12
Originally posted by Njorl That's the problem with being a doomsayer. If your good at it, people change their ways and make you look bad.
Njorl


Maybe we need more doomsayers.

I do not believe we could continue to live this way for much longer. Civilization needs to begin co-existing more with other life on earth.
I can't say I am exactly 'green' but natural settings are becoming sparse in NYC where I'm from. Glass, steel, cement, truck and car exhaust fumes.
I imagine technologies are available to assist/change civilizations direction (downward spiral), but will they be welcomed?

In my opinion the doomsayer is important. Thank you for laying it out so plainly.




:smile:
 
  • #13
Originally posted by Andre
Is this another Antropogenic Global Warming thread with emission control as the great solution? :wink:

Instead of emissions 'control'...why not rethink industry?
I've also read that global warming is cyclical - but humans have had an effect too.
So if the brilliant minds of the world conspire with McWorld to create or release new technologies as well as increase profits, the Earth (our home) benefits no?
 
  • #14
Andre
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Magick

You seem to have some good ideas. The problem is, do we know the problem? I think we do not
 
  • #15
sage
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anybody ever heard of the word Malthusian Limit? i think humans are a very adaptable species and can change lifestyles dramatically if a true crisis is felt. doomsdayers who give early warnings about probable future risks based on rational extrapolation of current trends are welcome. unfortunately not all are like that. i feel energy, food and water need special attention when conservation is concerned. and of course biodiversities need protection too.
 
  • #16
Njorl
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I was actually thinking about Malthus when I posted. I was just reading about Malthus and Ricardo. Malthus was probably closer to the truth in his ideas, but Ricardo was just so eloquent that he always out-argued Malthus. I think the only problem with Malthus' writings is that he did not have the benefit of observing hundreds of years of capitalism in action. Condemning Malthus as wrong is like condemning Newton for not seeing the relativistic limitations of mechanics.

Njorl
 
  • #17
FZ+
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Originally posted by Andre

However if we need to grow food for all people, we need more carbon, since that is where living stuff is made off. We also need good high temperatures to grow crops fast. Would anybody have an idea how we could accomplish that? :wink:
Except, that's wrong. The hot summer recently has led to widespread crop damage with some countries losing as much as 60% of their wheat yield this year. Look up the Ukraine argicultural figures for 2003. In fact, all recent studies factoring in a combination of both factors have resulted in a dieback stage when temperature continues to rise.
 
  • #18
Originally posted by Andre
Magick

You seem to have some good ideas. The problem is, do we know the problem? I think we do not

Maybe one problem is nearly 6.4 billion people and counting?
 
  • #19
Andre
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Originally posted by FZ+
Except, that's wrong. The hot summer recently has led to widespread crop damage with some countries losing as much as 60% of their wheat yield this year.

OK I was just toying with ideas. But now the opposite. Suppose that the Antropogenic Global Warming is really that strong (which is not), and we can´t wait to get the CO2 level back to the 200ppm region, Now there are two effects.

Earth cools to a new ice age that allegedly is due already and crops don´t grow either both due to cold conditions but also due to little carbon dioxide available.

So, that is what we could call the law of maintaining misery.

I don´t know about hot dry summers elsewhere but both the cold winter and the hot dry summer in Europe were caused by an extreme stubborn blocking high pressure area that remained in place for ages. At the same time the North Atlantic south-west or Ireland had unusual low sea surface temperatures for about the same period. There is a idea that this would have prevented the stream of Azores low pressure areas to form that usually moderate the weather in Europe
 
  • #20
Andre
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Originally posted by magick323
Maybe one problem is nearly 6.4 billion people and counting?

Right, So who are you going to send away from Earth?
 
  • #21
Andre
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Njorl, Sage

Thanx for the tip. Got something to read here http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/adw03/peel/social/prindex.htm

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/adw03/c-eight/people/ricardo.htm

The problem that both gentlemen may not have considered, is the dynamics of Earth climates. One cannnot assume a steady state. The Sahara and the Saoudi peninsula desert were moist and fertile landscapes, several thousends of years ago. The barren north Siberian Tundra was a Mammoth steppe, hosting numerous big mammals 10,000 years ago. Wrangel island North of East Siberia was warm enough to host Mammoths no less than 4000 years ago. Nobody blamed mankind for the big changes and the big changes will continue whether or not people on Earth who think that they are to blame for ruining climates.
 
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  • #22
russ_watters
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Originally posted by magick323
Instead of emissions 'control'...why not rethink industry?
Sounds simple enough, let's get started. You replace our electric power generation capacity and I'll replace our cars. I'll let you when I'm finished.
Maybe one problem is nearly 6.4 billion people and counting?
Well that one at least is a piece of cake - I have access to the US's nuclear launch codes. I can drastically fix that number in about 45 mintues. Ehhh, you know what, I need to go hit some golf balls. Maybe I'll do it later.

I see this all the time. Its a disease where people find problems and propose self-evident non-solutions to them. I call it "hippieism." Hippieism is counter-productive because it takes energy and emphasis away from people trying to find REAL SOLUTIONS to these problems.
 
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  • #23
Originally posted by Andre
Right, So who are you going to send away from Earth?

Totalitarian agricultural people, maybe? :smile:
 
  • #24
Originally posted by russ_watters
Sounds simple enough, let's get started. You replace our electric power generation capacity and I'll replace our cars. I'll let you when I'm finished. Well that one at least is a piece of cake - I have access to the US's nuclear launch codes. I can drastically fix that number in about 45 mintues. Ehhh, you know what, I need to go hit some golf balls. Maybe I'll do it later.

I see this all the time. Its a disease where people find problems and propose self-evident non-solutions to them. I call it "hippieism." Hippieism is counter-productive because it takes energy and emphasis away from people trying to find REAL SOLUTIONS to these problems.

I am certainly not here to argue with anyone and I am certainly not advocating genocide or hippieism. lol

The Earth can support many different ways to live. Modern civilization has a chance to rethink the way we are living.
Limiting/slowing food production is quite possibly a way to achieve co-existence with all life.
Should we begin at 9 billion people? 50 billion people? ... where is critical mass?

I am here to learn about real solutions. I was hoping some people here had a few or even one brilliant idea.
 
  • #25
Originally posted by Greg Bernhardt
Can we afford to curb our use of global resources? Can we afford not to?

I wanted to go back to the beginning again for a minute.
What does this question mean exactly? "Afford" as in financial, (economic) or to avoid destroying 200 species per day?
Some might say our own species is in danger.

Perhaps if I lived in a more natural setting my perception would be different.
But I see a sickness in our major cities and industrial zones.
The sickness is not limited to paving the Earth either.
The people themselves are sick, diseased in mind and body - living longer by way of pharmacueticals and modern medicine.

Sorry to ramble, just wondering what the question is really asking.
-mitch (nyc)




[b(]
 
  • #26
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Perhaps by 'afford' he means 'survive' as either of the directions begs the question of continued survival...

Food, and space to live in, become the dominent items, followed right in 'footsteplocked' with the energy needed to do it all!
 
  • #27
sage
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does every one agree that
1)there exists a real problem that needs real solutions.
2)that human population cannot grow forever due to constraints of food, drinking water and living space
3)that natural resources should be preserved as far as possible from degradation so as to ensure that future generations are not deprived of them.

if you agree then we can think of possible solutions. even a skeptic of global warming must agree that biodiversity zones are being lost very rapidly primary due to humans and this is effecting us adversly. clearly something must be done to prevent this.
 
  • #28
Andre
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Sage

there exists a real problem that needs real solutions.

Absolutely, If only we knew which is the bigger problem. We seem to be prepared to spend billions to a fictional non-problem (Anthropogenic Global Warming) whilst the real problems like the eradication of the tropical rain forests are on the background.
that human population cannot grow forever due to constraints of food, drinking water and living space
Right, but we can't cut the growing within a wink of an eye. This will be a very gradual process at the most.
that natural resources should be preserved as far as possible from degradation so as to ensure that future generations are not deprived of them.
Absolutely, It's a case of balancing. Every species should have it's own living space. However if a certain species like the big Panda insists on getting extinct due to natural causes and would have gone extinct even without human interference, would we really need to spent unproportional efforts trying to preserve it and neglecting the possible extinction of many healthy species due to intensive fishing or hunting?
 
  • #29
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by sage
does every one agree that
1)there exists a real problem that needs real solutions.
2)that human population cannot grow forever due to constraints of food, drinking water and living space
3)that natural resources should be preserved as far as possible from degradation so as to ensure that future generations are not deprived of them.

if you agree then we can think of possible solutions. even a skeptic of global warming must agree that biodiversity zones are being lost very rapidly primary due to humans and this is effecting us adversly. clearly something must be done to prevent this.
Agreed!
 
  • #30
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by Andre
Absolutely, If only we knew which is the bigger problem. We seem to be prepared to spend billions to a fictional non-problem (Anthropogenic Global Warming) whilst the real problems like the eradication of the tropical rain forests are on the background. Those two problems are from the same source, rain forest eradication is a form of Anthropogenic Global Warming instigation.

Right, but we can't cut the growing within a wink of an eye. This will be a very gradual process at the most. Use is the relativity here, and re-use is important, that and new methods with different products.

Absolutely, It's a case of balancing. Every species should have it's own living space. However if a certain species like the big Panda insists on getting extinct due to natural causes and would have gone extinct even without human interference, would we really need to spent unproportional efforts trying to preserve it and neglecting the possible extinction of many healthy species due to intensive fishing or hunting? Very few species have degradatinal problems that are NOT somehow human related or attached, land usage, forestation degredations (same thing) = Habitat loss! The losses from overfishing are as a result of the enforceblity problems(?) of International laws.
 
  • #31
Andre
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Those two problems are from the same source, rain forest eradication is a form of Anthropogenic Global Warming instigation.

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you suggest here. I think there is lots of difference. The way I see it is that anthropogenic global warming is only hypothetical, actually the increase of greenhouse gasses is not causing a dramatical global warming and there are ample, more than ample substantiations. (Yes I am provoking discussion :wink: more than happy to cross swords about that) We do not need to throw away money in an attempt to control emission of innocent CO2 (not talking about other more aggressive gasses). A normal investment in alternative energy sources like hydrogen cells, clathrate exploration and ultimately perhaps, controlled nucleair fusion should be fine, before the natural sources are drying out in a couple of eons.

But we do not have time to save the rain forests. At this destruction pace, disaster is imminent, within a decade. But I'm afraid the world community has the financial priorities totally wrong, due to the Anthropogenic Global Warming hype, and I'm serious.

Very few species have degradatinal problems that are NOT somehow human related or attached

Generally agreed, however there are probably many more species extinct due to natural causes than there are living today. It's not a disaster when an odd species goes extinct due to over specialisation followed by a slight change in habitat. The message is not to overreact.
 
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  • #32
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by Andre
(SNIP) I'm sorry, I don't understand what you suggest here. (SNoP)
Suggest nothing!

Take away trees and you remove the "Lungs of the Planet" (Ever heard the expression??) added/Compound(ing)ed by the resultant effects upon the Hydrological cycles that the environment, and the WEATHER depend upon...Hummm, a connection between the two? hUmmmm plus we add in the 'unknowns' of Radient heat cycles, the then absence of 'cooking fuel' for probably 23rds of the planet, (which, I suppose, would benefit, since less fires would be generating less heat) so (again) alternate sources need be found, and epxloited.

The trees are known to generate environment, there own, remove that and you are bound to cause changes, that is obvious.
 
  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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It seems that the more immediate threat from global climate change is being ignored: The socio-economic impact of events possible in the immediate future - less than 100 years. More powerful tidal surge along coastal and island areas, floods, fires, failed crops, more disease, more parasites, water shortages and general drought, these and many more problems threaten to impact economies long before they threaten survival on the planet.

How can we better understand the potential for these events and the impact they will have on affected areas. How will these events affect the world, national, and local economies? How can we best manage these crises? It seems that in addition to debating the 300 year solution, we should focus on the 50 and 100 year solutions. The immediate socio-economic impact of these events could be more dangerous than the events themselves.
 
  • #34
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Pesonally the most immediate threat to the planet is space, as in there is only so much space on the face of the planet.

70% covered with water (Ya approximate!) so what's left has a calculable value at a rate of one person per Sq ft. (I did this once) and the is the unachievable Ideal that at least tells us very clearly there is a need for a limit, as a limit, very clearly, is imposed.

It gets really complex, in a way...neat.
 
  • #35
sage
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andre since you are trying to provoke a discussion on global warming it is advisable that you give the link to that HUGE global warming debate we had had on sciforums with edufer for others to see so that we don't have to reinvent the entire wheel from scratch once again.(i could have given the link but i do not know how).
 

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