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Old 17-08-2013, 19:46   #631
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Re: Climate Change

If I may elaborate on that just a bit....there seems to be a disconnect between our personal, individual, intelligence and ability to plan and our GROUP, or species abilities.

Individually we can be quite remarkable.

But when you take the average, or group function the result is quite different.

That is a lot of the argument I am hearing, the difference in perspective between what ONE can imagine and what we COLLECTIVELY can do.
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Old 17-08-2013, 19:48   #632
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Re: Climate Change

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In the long term, nothing is sustainable since the universe is heading for heat death. You might as well use that as an excuse for halting the growth of technology as anything else, I suppose. And while you are quite right that a hydrocarbon based civilization is not sustainable for thousands of years, it certainly is so for many hundreds. The predictions that we were approaching 'peak oil' have been shown to be as laughable a concept as many less hysterical folks thought it would be. The U.S. will outproduce Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017 - 2020 and we're just getting started. There is enough methane hydrate in the U.S. to supply the world's energy needs for the next 300 years, and I imagine that sometime within those centuries fusion energy or efficient solar or tidal, or whatever will replace hydrocarbons as an energy source. In the meantime, worry about the Andomedra Galaxy, which is speeding our way and will collide with the Milky Way in only 4 billion years.

Your complaint that there are too many people on the planet on the one hand while asserting that we are incapable of sustaining ourselves on the other possesses an irony I guess must elude you. And don't look now, but global population is leveling fast, growing at only 1.1% (below replacement), which is going to cause a population crash that will be a much bigger problem for us than continued population growth.

When people fear things that are fantasy, they usually pay no attention to the things they should fear.
I for one do not want any more people simply for the reason that I think there are already enough of us for any rational or practical purpose.

I predict that in the transportation sector electric and biodiesel will be the mix in the future. Electric in the cities and biodiesel in remote areas because it will be more economic than establishing an electrical infrastructure in remote areas. Biodiesel is proving to be a great way to dispose of used animal and vegetable fats.

Even without genetic engineering - a technology still in it's infancy - it is incredible what man has been able to do with animal and plant husbandry through selective breeding. We also now grow many crops using hydroponics wherein all the plant nutrients are provided in an artificially produced fluid.

I am a glass half full sort of guy and think that us clever little primates will not only save ourselves from looming environmental catastrophe by the development and use of new technologies, we may even be able to improve on natural processes in this sphere and create a better and more diverse world whilst doing so.

Aspire to make it better.

Preserve and conserve what we already have.

Learn, innovate and work to our full capabilities thereby living happier and more useful lives and whilst doing so contribute to the well being of mankind and the world we live on.

Get into space in a big way, it will not only require us to close all the systems required to sustain life fully without waste but we might even find it a great adventure.
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Old 17-08-2013, 20:18   #633
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Re: Climate Change

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Reading is fundamental!
Quite right!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-Pop.../dp/0807001228
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Old 17-08-2013, 20:31   #634
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Re: Climate Change

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Back to the point I was making, there is no evidence to suggest that humans, as a species, are capable of influencing their development as a species. It appears to ,make no difference what we fear or don't fear as individuals.
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "development as a species". If you mean reducing disease, poverty and human misery (on balance), then we're quite influential. If you mean growing fins, probably not.

When people spend trillions trying to solve non problems they fear, they have little money left to solve real problems. A few make make a lot of dough pandering to others fears, like the estimable if odious Mr. Gore, but on balance, it is a vast waste of resources that are better spent elsewhere to spend money changing our economy to reduce CO2 emissions in the absence of evidence that CO2 has any effect on anything.

Perhaps this goes to your earlier point about why people don't pay attention to science. We have growing polar ice, no warming and increasing CO2, yet ignoring that data, many continue their jihad against CO2, which as Bob points out (correctly I think) is just a head feint for their real concern, which is what you have so eloquently argued - a desire for fewer human beings, less technology, and shorter, more brutish lifespans. Misanthropy trumps science for some, I guess.
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Old 17-08-2013, 21:18   #635
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I suppose it depends on what you mean by "development as a species". If you mean reducing disease, poverty and human misery (on balance), then we're quite influential. If you mean growing fins, probably not.

.
A good example. There are more people suffering from malnutrition today than there were alive on the planet just a couple of century's ago. About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes.

Your view of progress is not shared by an awful lot of people on the planet.
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Old 17-08-2013, 21:36   #636
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Re: Climate Change

"Did you miss the 'global species level' bit"


No, I did not. I just didn't lock in on it, because what's the point of such futility? The world will be an ice cube in 4 billion years! So what. You make it sound like we are completely out of control. This is all happening to us and we are the victims of bacteria. That we have no say in the matter. Let’s not forget that we are mostly bacteria! Is it hopeless? Of course it's hopeless. Again, so what. If you lock in on a "global species level” you will be far too burdened to make a difference. All levels, in the end, are local. Allan Watts described it this way. If you look at a picture in a newspaper with a microscope it’s just dots, it makes no sense. It you move it 100 ‘away and look at it with a pair of binoculars, turned around backwards, it makes no sense. It’s about perspective. I understand that the problems are untenable, they are untenable only if we stay the way we are. But, all of the names I mention, and thousands more, changed how they were, they picked up the dilemma in front of them and ‘they’ adapted. They changed to meet the demands of life, on life's terms. That's probably the most remarkable thing about our species, we are consummate adapters. We're having this discussion about climate and plague's as if that's all we have to deal with, ha! We are so f--ked it ain't funny. These are just two of the major issues. If we start adding in species extinction's, and how each organism that leaves the fabric of life changes the pattern of life. What about peak oil! Population! Fresh water. Chemical poisoning of our internal and external environment. Social upheaval. It's just about endless. So, we have but a few choices, we can act as if all of this is not happening, hence the deniers. Or we can throw up our hands and surrender to the inevitable. Or, we can change. Adapt. It's like a drunk that wanders into an A. A. room. Except for showing up, he doesn't ‘do’ something to change this problem. He can't, he's hopeless, powerless. He has but one choice. Surrender. We have but one choice. We have to surrender. We have built a house of cards. It's coming down. Holding on to our addictions is an exercise in futility. It is the means to our end. One need not be a soothsayer to look down the road and see this is not going to work. We are addicted to negativity. We are addicted to ‘frankenfoods’. To money. To power. To the status quo. To being right. The only way out of this dilemma is to get local, as in our own lives. We can adjust our view to gain perspective and see that the solutions aren’t in changing the species. The solutions are rooted in changing ourselves. That is what changes the species. It’s called evolution. Those who adapt survive. Those who refuse don’t. And it isn’t in reducing everything into bits or cells or units. The solution is getting right sized. Integrating back into life, again, on life’s terms. The problem/solution is what’s on the end of our fork. It’s not in the shiny 500 hp Cadillac. The twin engine behemoth destroying everything in its wake. The TV in every room. The infantile demand that we get everything just the way we want it, no compromising. That desperate need to have the perfect answer. So I get what you’re saying. We were/are wired up for survival on the African plains; we’re also wired up for floating around the moon in a tin can. We have been and we are, evolving. And that’s a global species level fact.
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Old 17-08-2013, 21:55   #637
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......... We have been and we are, evolving. And that’s a global species level fact.
:thumbs:

Good post.

I think a root of disagreement in these sort of discussions is one side ascribes purpose and consciousness to the species as a whole while another view is that Darwin was right and we aren't somehow exempt, we are only currents in the drift of genes.

Destruction of the natural world is not due to capitalism or any flaw in human institutions, it is a result of the evolutionary success is an exceptionally rapacious primate.


(Mostly john Gray's words, not mine )
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Old 17-08-2013, 22:16   #638
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I think my boys don't just drift in the current. They swam upstream jumped a fence and polluted the neighbors gene pool.
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Old 17-08-2013, 22:20   #639
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Re: Climate Change

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
A good example. There are more people suffering from malnutrition today than there were alive on the planet just a couple of century's ago. About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes.

Your view of progress is not shared by an awful lot of people on the planet.
So, from your perspective, there is no qualitative difference between 10 children dying of hunger or disease out of 20 born and 10 children dying of hunger or disease out of 100,000 because 10 is the same as 10.

It's hard to think of a more perverse view of reality, but it's what you believe I suppose.
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Old 17-08-2013, 22:26   #640
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So, from your perspective, there is no qualitative difference between 10 children dying of hunger or disease out of 20 born and 10 children dying of hunger or disease out of 100,000 because 10 is the same as 10.

It's hard to think of a more perverse view of reality, but it's what you believe I suppose.
Or from your perspective 900 million people suffering from malnutrition is progress?
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Old 18-08-2013, 03:19   #641
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Or from your perspective 900 million people suffering from malnutrition is progress?
This is again a nice sample of the Nirvana fallacy. Progress is relative, not absolute. A statement like "900 people suffering from malnutrition" (which is not the same as starving btw...) does say zero a out wether we've progressed. It's like saying "we're still a week away of our destination" and offering that as proof that we haven't gone anywhere...

Until about a century ago malnutrition, poverty, disease was the norm in the world. It now is the exception. There are 6 billion people that are not suffering from malnutrition, poverty as been reduced dramatically in the last decades. I do indeed call that progress.

The existence of "the bottom billion" is a challenge. Lifting these people out of their dismal existence is of utmost importance. However their existence doesn't mean we have't progressed.
Going from a world with one billion mostly poor people to one with seven billion mostly prosperous people is progress. Amazing progress.
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Old 18-08-2013, 03:47   #642
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The problem is when progress is leveraged off the future.

We are consuming non-replaceable resources such as fossil fuels, and lets not forget the biggest resource that is being consumed and destroyed - fresh water.

If you take a loan from a bank for 100$, you don't now have 100$, you owe more than $100.

We have withdrawn from the earths Oil Bank to leverage our present at the expense of the future. Now desperate for more oil we are ravaging huge swaths of land and consuming the greatest quantity of fresh water for commercial purposes in history.

That said, if we can put some money and research into the more advanced nuclear plants - I would be all for it. I would consider myself pretty green in terms of political and social beliefs - yet if you cut through all the BS and fear mongering surrounding Nuclear Power it does seem to be the intermediary solution to buy us the time we need for real solutions.

This is going to sound far fetched but a real solution and achievable with current tech are high orbit based solar platforms that use Masers to transmit power to the surface...

I am less concerned with Peak Oil and even climate change than I am with all the other undeniably human wrought catastrophes such as over fishing, over farming, the loss of arable land to bio-diesel production, worldwide issues with collapsing bee colonies, acidification of the sea, the potential loss of the Atlantic thermal current due to the rapid change in salinity levels from melting ice...

...jeez, why do we still get up in the morning?

I do believe we can sort almost anything out once the economic pressures force us to, my main concern is there are several tipping points in the climate change issue. I don't care why the climate is heating up, but we are engineers and we need a solution as it will be catastrophic to our species if it does.
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Old 18-08-2013, 04:28   #643
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Re: Climate Change

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Actually people have been living in Florida without AC for centuries. All that is needed is that the US ( and everyone else) takes the climate in to account when designing houses.
As a foreigner sometimes we get news about extreme weather in the USA, it always amazes me that when you live in a place called something like "Tornado Alley" that a) folks live there and b) that they live in houses made out of wood .

I appreciate cost of construction likely a reason - but I would have thought that a town planning regs issue as for the community would seem to make sense for the town not to get flattened every now and again , even at the price of higher initial cost for long term savings..........

........and just to show that the above not a US bashing comment , I also despair in Europe about folks being surprised that a house built on a flood plain gets flooded ....yeah, I know it never used to happen so much - but that because folks had not also built on the flood plains further up the river (and 20 miles behind your house) ...........some things are less about science and more about common sense.
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Old 18-08-2013, 04:32   #644
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Also, to bring this thread back to the actual sailing bit...

Climate change has made some defo impacts on cruising in the Indian Ocean. The windows for safe crossings during the inter monsoon periods from Thailand to Galle have shrink dramatically over the last 10 years...
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Old 18-08-2013, 05:11   #645
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Re: Climate Change

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Also, to bring this thread back to the actual sailing bit...

Climate change has made some defo impacts on cruising in the Indian Ocean. The windows for safe crossings during the inter monsoon periods from Thailand to Galle have shrink dramatically over the last 10 years...
Thanks FS. I would like to hear more about this kind of change. Someone mentioned how rapid climate change is no big deal b/c some places are now going to be warmer, and we can all sail the NW passage. The real point of climate change is that long-standing weather and climate patterns are changing -- and that is a big deal.

Sailors, particularly of small boats, make decisions all the time based on the predictability of seasonal weather. In a time of rapid climate change, how are sailors coping with the increasing unpredictability? What other windows have changed?
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