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Author Topic: Earth has suffered irreversible damage, and oh, The OC is on Thursdays at 8PM
Snaggy

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Icon 2 posted March 30, 2005 12:49      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted."

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1112197299985_10/?hub=World

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Serenak

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Icon 13 posted March 30, 2005 14:25      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Trouble is I think that the geek nation know and acknowledge this...

Just that Joe Average doesn't.

My nihilist self-centre says go let humanity eradicate itself. We're about 5 million years overdue for an extinction level event anyway and mankind is just a nasty virulent little virus that has given Gaia a bad dose of 'flu. Once we burn ourselves out. life will start again and maybe come up with a more balanced solution... Take a look at "After Man: A Zoology of the Future" ISBN 0 246 11577 7 (1981) for a lighthearted look at Earth in 50 million years from now...

Of course as a parent and husband my responsible "now" side deplores these facts/statistics... I recycle, I try to use my energy efficiently, I try to support the use/expansion of renewable/sustainable tech wherever I can... I try to teach my children to respect their environment and their peers...

I think Solyent Green is a fantastic film on a whole slew of levels. It was written in light of the 70's "population explosion" paranoia that cut through much of the SF of the time; but the film has the wisdom to expand on the social decay, environmental destruction, etc. that could go with it.

I always think the saddest point is when Heston breaks in on Robinson (The Book) as he is dying and sees the glory of the Earth before it "died" and says "I didn't know! How could I have known?" No-one wants that to be their grandchild talking [Frown]

Overall though, Mankind as a species is an environmental failure and if we can't sort ourselves out nature will do it for us - life will go on as it has many times before, the planet has plenty of time to heal and start over. We, as a species, however DON'T.

What can you do? Try harder one and all is about all I guess and pray to any deity that you revere for guidance and help...


[cry baby]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2005 14:42      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We don't have to worry because our world ends on December 24, 2011 when the aliens invade. [Wink]
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magefile
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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2005 15:02      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Has anyone here seen the VHEMT site? VHEMT (pronounced vehement) stands for Voluntary Human Extinction MovemenT, IIRC. Sounds more extreme than the group actually is. While I don't think I would want to vow never to have children (especially this early in life), the benefits of having 2 or fewer are certainly appealing.
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2005 15:46      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
We don't have to worry because our world ends on December 24, 2011 when the aliens invade. [Wink]

I'm reminded of the guy who Ronald Reagan appointed to his senior environmental position.

When asked why he was allowing logging and mining in national parks, when he should be preserving them for future generations, he replied "There won't be any future generations, The End Of The World is due in the year 2000".

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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MacManKrisK

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Icon 2 posted March 30, 2005 21:45      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This study doesn't tell me anything that a little common sense hasn't already told me. Well, maybe the "irreversible" part, but I'd already figued that we'd fucked stuff up pretty bad here.

So, I guess the big question is: how much longer will we let it go before we really start to clean up our act? At the root of that quesiton, though, is this one: how much longer will we put money ahead of the good of humanity at large (present and future)?

Look at the many ecological injustices we [humans] serve. How many of them are motivated by money, in one way or another? I'd venture to say nearly all of them. Our elitest attitude, looking out for number one, and making a buck at all cost have driven us into this mess. Community and sharing, free exchange of ideas, and everyone's help are what it's going to take to get us out of it.

Here's one idea I came up with to eliminate polluting electricity production. Instead of having one large production plant that runs on coal, or natural gas, or oil, or neuclear power, distribute the power production to all the customers. Government takes over control of the power grid (taking it out of the hands of big business and making it a not-for-profit outfit). Everyone gets solar collector shingles and a windmill and ties into the grid. If it's cloudy and still in your neighborhood, the power generated a few miles away by sunshine or wind would power you sufficiently. There would be more than adequete power to go around, it would be totally pollution-free, and it'd be a full community effort. Unfortunately, there's no money in it for big business so it'll never happen.

Use the clean energy to charge a large capacity battery in your car. Couple the battery with a solar collector. Use the electricity for electrolisys. Dump some water in your tank, add electricity (clean, green, renuable electricity), get hydrogen to power your car. If the sun goes down, battery takes over. Instead of having gas stations, have battery charging... or battery swapping... stations. Recharge with clean, green, renueable electricity, add more water... hydrogen. Volla, clean cars!

Couple that with all the recycle stuff that we already have... but get more stringent on it. Cease the production of brand new products and force the production of only recycled materials. No more choices over recycled paper or not... make it all recycled materials. Just like Futurama: "Fry, everything is made out of recycled materials. New robots are made out of old tin cans, and new tin cans are made out of old robots."

All of these ideas are insanely ecological, and, IMHO, all would do wonders for the ailing state of our environment. The unfortunate flaw in all these plans is that none of them are financially profitable. What a pity, big business can't make a buck. Who gives a fuck about the future of the human populus, afterall?!

--------------------
"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


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californiarockr
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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2005 22:55      Profile for californiarockr     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
We don't have to worry because our world ends on December 24, 2011 when the aliens invade. [Wink]

I'm reminded of the guy who Ronald Reagan appointed to his senior environmental position.

When asked why he was allowing logging and mining in national parks, when he should be preserving them for future generations, he replied "There won't be any future generations, The End Of The World is due in the year 2000".

Brtain may have Monty Python, but we have our government.
My country is the ruler of comedy

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lol

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 01:19      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by californiarockr:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
We don't have to worry because our world ends on December 24, 2011 when the aliens invade. [Wink]

I'm reminded of the guy who Ronald Reagan appointed to his senior environmental position.

When asked why he was allowing logging and mining in national parks, when he should be preserving them for future generations, he replied "There won't be any future generations, The End Of The World is due in the year 2000".

Brtain may have Monty Python, but we have our government.
My country is the ruler of comedy

Ah, but in Australia we have Abbott and Costello

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 09:02      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is so much in that article that I'd love to rant at, but I'm afraid that the media has been working it's magic too long on the populace at large... and I'd just be opening my self up as a target for a huge flamming. But I will pick at this:

quote:
Here's one idea I came up with to eliminate polluting electricity production. Instead of having one large production plant that runs on coal, or natural gas, or oil, or neuclear power, distribute the power production to all the customers. Government takes over control of the power grid (taking it out of the hands of big business and making it a not-for-profit outfit).
What's wrong with natural gas or neuclear? Seems the right thing to do is to make the burning of natural gas at landfills boil water to turn turbines... Since the landfills need to burn off the gass anyway (for a number of safty and enviromental reasons).

Neuclear produces drums and drums of radioactive sluge... It's my understanding that it could be reused, except one of the biproducts of the processess to make it reusable can be used in the production of weapons. If this is true or not, I'm not sure. If it's not then gas is the way to go.

quote:
Everyone gets solar collector shingles and a windmill and ties into the grid. If it's cloudy and still in your neighborhood, the power generated a few miles away by sunshine or wind would power you sufficiently. There would be more than adequete power to go around, it would be totally pollution-free, and it'd be a full community effort. Unfortunately, there's no money in it for big business so it'll never happen.
This would put it directly into the hands of the government. Moreover, solar and wind aren't as far along as you'd think. If you wanted to go solor, the best way to do it is putting the pannels on a satilite and putting it into geosynchronis orbit with a powerstation and use microwave beeming to transmit the power. This, too, requires a lot more work:
- Micorowave beeming has huge power losses, but that is more than made up for by the energy that would have defussed in the ionsphere
- Microwave beeming may disrupt the ionsphere and have adverse effects on the enviroment, but to my knowledge there have been no tests to verify or dismiss this idea
- It'd be expensive at the start
- Politically infeasable for one country to do it alone because the weapons technologies that would result

quote:
Use the clean energy to charge a large capacity battery in your car. Couple the battery with a solar collector. Use the electricity for electrolisys. Dump some water in your tank, add electricity (clean, green, renuable electricity), get hydrogen to power your car. If the sun goes down, battery takes over. Instead of having gas stations, have battery charging... or battery swapping... stations. Recharge with clean, green, renueable electricity, add more water... hydrogen. Volla, clean cars!
Green cars have less torque and simply can't run as fast. Electric motors that can delivery the same horsepower as a combustion engine are far larger than the average engine, and a lot heavier. Oddly enough, the numbers (gas milage) I've seen on the hybrids aren't as good as our Accura Integra. Granted the car is small, has air (but we don't use it) and no other "frills".

quote:
Couple that with all the recycle stuff that we already have... but get more stringent on it. Cease the production of brand new products and force the production of only recycled materials. No more choices over recycled paper or not... make it all recycled materials.
Recycled paper isn't as good... I've used the stuff... Doesn't cut it.

quote:
The unfortunate flaw in all these plans is that none of them are financially profitable. What a pity, big business can't make a buck.
Mine would make profits. Maple Leaf Farms burns the gas off it's duck shit, sells it to the electric company. The SPS would be a HUGE initial investment, but would do wonders for the cost of power 10 to 20 years after the satilites are installed. It'd also push the edge of technology, in much the same way that sending the first craft to the moon did. Boeing has been pushing for it for years, but the goverenment (Clinton's and Bush's) just won't go for it.

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MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 10:13      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just a few ideas, GM. I'm not claiming that they're flawless or perfect, but they're certaily a step in the right direction.

Nuclear plants produce 1000's of gallons of waste a year. Some of this is strictly nuclear waste, some of this is strictly toxic waste (chemicals, etc.), but the majority of it is what they call mixed waste, which is toxic chemicals that have been contaminated with radioactive waste. The nuclear waste can be buried for a billion jillion years and it'll half-life away. The toxic waste can be treated and processed. The mixed waste is almost impossible to clean up. So, anyone that tells you that "nuclear is a clean way to make electricity" or "the only byproduct of nuclear is warm water" just doesn't know what they're talking about, or does and is spouting the well-known propaganda to get you to shut up. By the way, these waste facts were all part of what I learned during my on-site "unescorted access training" when I was working on the nuke plant site in CA. Needless to say, the NRC and the power companies don't tell the general public this information. I'd been led to believe (from tours at the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant, that is nearby my home) that when they were done with the fuel, there was a couple of ounces of dust left and they just threw it in the trash can and everything was fine; sunshine and daisies.

One problem with natural gas is that you're still burning things. Combustion creates CO and/or CO2, neither of which we need more of in the atmosphere. However, if the landfills need to burn it off (and I know they do), I agree that we should at least use it, instead of just letting it offgas and do absolutely nothing.

It is, however, my firm belief (however uneducated or misguided it may be) that there is enough energy that we can harvest from the sun and wind (and water) to power everything we want to power. We may need more research in that direction, but the time is nigh for us to completely cease inventing more enviromentally un-friendly energy sources.

It's time to pull our collective heads out of our collective asses and actually do something to end our enviromental insurgance. How about a War on Pollution....

--------------------
"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 10:34      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My turn to offer a beginning of a solution. Actually, it's not even _my_ solution, but something that was discussed over here not too long ago.

Most of the problem is caused by capitalism, where money is a finality. But if we were to change the rules, even a little bit, it could make a big difference. The change is as follow: have the companies (and governements) take into their fiscality an ecological charge. Use of non-renewable resources is a minus to the bottom line. Same thing for using renewable resources faster than they can renew (trees, fishs, etc.). Pollution of land, air and water also decreases their value. The message would be: you don't own the land, or the resources you are using - you are only borrowing (or buying) them from humanity.

That also means that ecologically minded companies could see their value increased from their participation in decontamination and revalorisation of land, tree planting or reuse or recycling of products and factory sub-products.

Under such a new paradigm, investors who invest on the projected bottom-line of companies would be more inclined to put their money into responsible companies.

Of course, this wouldn't undo actual damage, but would seriously reduce future ones.

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Eppur, si muove!

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 11:57      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Just a few ideas, GM. I'm not claiming that they're flawless or perfect, but they're certaily a step in the right direction.
I know. I was just offering more food for thought. Remember that the automobile was a pollution saver, and reduced (eliminated) stating hourse manure in cities which became run off. With every solution, there will be a catch.

quote:
Nuclear plants produce 1000's of gallons of waste a year. Some of this is strictly nuclear waste, some of this is strictly toxic waste (chemicals, etc.), but the majority of it is what they call mixed waste, which is toxic chemicals that have been contaminated with radioactive waste. The nuclear waste can be buried for a billion jillion years and it'll half-life away. The toxic waste can be treated and processed. The mixed waste is almost impossible to clean up. So, anyone that tells you that "nuclear is a clean way to make electricity" or "the only byproduct of nuclear is warm water" just doesn't know what they're talking about, or does and is spouting the well-known propaganda to get you to shut up. By the way, these waste facts were all part of what I learned during my on-site "unescorted access training" when I was working on the nuke plant site in CA. Needless to say, the NRC and the power companies don't tell the general public this information. I'd been led to believe (from tours at the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant, that is nearby my home) that when they were done with the fuel, there was a couple of ounces of dust left and they just threw it in the trash can and everything was fine; sunshine and daisies.
Like I said, just something I heard... I wasn't sure if it was true.

quote:
One problem with natural gas is that you're still burning things. Combustion creates CO and/or CO2, neither of which we need more of in the atmosphere. However, if the landfills need to burn it off (and I know they do), I agree that we should at least use it, instead of just letting it offgas and do absolutely nothing.
Methanol combustion: CH3OH + O2 --> CO2 + H2O
So, it'd also be a complete "clean" combustion. Granted that C02 is a "green house gas" but so is water vapor... To be honest, I don't think humans are the cause of the warming trend, but to avoid flame wars lets suppose we are. Which would you rather have an abundant amount of in our atmosphere?

quote:
It is, however, my firm belief (however uneducated or misguided it may be) that there is enough energy that we can harvest from the sun and wind (and water) to power everything we want to power.
The solarsystem is fairly closed system. All energy came from the sun in some form or other.

quote:
We may need more research in that direction, but the time is nigh for us to completely cease inventing more enviromentally un-friendly energy sources.
I'm guessing this is in responce to SPS. What I really like about SPS is that it would also give us a goal, akin to putting a man on the moon. A loft, though reachable, goal that would spur innovation and leaps in technology. It's a ways off and governments only see the benifit in R&D when it kills more enemies faster, so it's unlikely that the US or other nations would pick up the charge (with the exception of possibly Japan, who might not pick up the charge due to fear of the US).

quote:
It's time to pull our collective heads out of our collective asses and actually do something to end our enviromental insurgance. How about a War on Pollution....
Actually, as technical people in computers, electronics and engineering there is a lot we could do to push forward the "green" movement if we so desired. There are companies making biodegradable CD players. Most MP3 players have no moving parts, so their shelf life is longer. More electronic mediums that portable to give people the alternitive from using the "print" button as often as we all like to deny. Then again, I don't believe the Earth is as fragile as everyone else thinks it is. It's been around and inhabbitable for a VERY long time before we had the slightest inkling of thinking about possibly comming into existance; and it will be habbitable long after we all kill eachother off... unless the Vogons stop by for a visit.

Our real worries should be watching the skies for rocks... but that's another thread for another time.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 12:12      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Earth is not so much the worry as is our existance upon it. The Earth will recover after we are wiped out. It may take milions of years, but it will recover.

Solar and wind power at this stage are unreliable resources. What about our friends up in the northern parts of the hemisphere? Sunlight is a very spotty situation. And wind is again the same way. I know out in our area we have the windmills that produce electricity. Too bad that if the wind becomes too strong they are unusable.

As far as Hydrogen. At this point hydrogen is created from plants that use nuclear, coal or other non-renewable sources. So that is out, for now.

Electric cars create their own waste in the form of the lead and acids that make up the batteries.

I do believe that hydrogen will be the best hope for energy in the future. Too bad the future is not here yet.

And our electronics are filled with plenty of nasty chemicals that if not disposed of properly can be an environmental nightmare (CRT's anyone). So most of our lives will have to be radically shifted to make us more earth-friendly.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 12:56      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
What's wrong with natural gas or neuclear?

You mean, aside from the spelling? [Wink]

</spelling-nazi>


This would put it directly into the hands of the government.


You say that as if it's a bad thing.
Until recently, the electricity system where I live was government run, it was privatised a few years ago.
Costs went up, and reliability of service suffered noticably.

Electric motors that can delivery the same horsepower as a combustion engine are far larger than the average engine, and a lot heavier.

Um, you've got this backwards.

Electric motors are more powerful than an internal combustion engine of the same weight.

The problem with electric cars is the bulk and weight of the batteries, even the best experimental battery doesn't come close to the energy density of petrol.

quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:

Solar and wind power at this stage are unreliable resources. What about our friends up in the northern parts of the hemisphere? Sunlight is a very spotty situation. And wind is again the same way. I know out in our area we have the windmills that produce electricity. Too bad that if the wind becomes too strong they are unusable.

As far as Hydrogen. At this point hydrogen is created from plants that use nuclear, coal or other non-renewable sources. So that is out, for now.

Electric cars create their own waste in the form of the lead and acids that make up the batteries.

The really cool thing about Hydrogen is that you can produce it from solar electricity in deserts, and ship it to the cold, cloudy places where it's needed. There you run it through a fuel cell to power your electric car, so no big, bulky, chemically nasty batteries (but possibly big, bulky hydrogen tanks instead [Frown] ).

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 16:09      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry TFD, not at home -- so spell checking isn't quite as easy. And I thought I copied it from somewhere in the thread, but it appears that if I did it was changed. I'm sorr


This would put it directly into the hands of the government.


You say that as if it's a bad thing.
Until recently, the electricity system where I live was government run, it was privatised a few years ago.

Just that MMKK wanted to take it out of the hands of gernment and big bussiness. But he missed that someone whose able to enforce XYZ would have to administrate it; which is "great place" for the gorvenment to step in [Roll Eyes]

Electric motors that can delivery the same horsepower as a combustion engine are far larger than the average engine, and a lot heavier. Um, you've got this backwards.

Electric motors are more powerful than an internal combustion engine of the same weight.

The problem with electric cars is the bulk and weight of the batteries, even the best experimental battery doesn't come close to the energy density of petrol.

Er, I was thinking about that after I posted, but thought better of going back and fixing it.

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ewomack
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2005 16:43      Profile for ewomack   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The problem isn't the energy sources, it's the energy users. We've irresponsibly created a society that revolves around fossil fuels and long distance travel. Some people commute 3 hours to work a day. We in the US are repeating the gluttonous wave that deforested America in the 19th century. The state I'm in used to be thick with heavy chunky timber. Now it's full of flatlands where ancient forests used to stand. You can see some of the ancient forests in the 19th century buildings. The size of the logs is jaw-dropping. And this all happened in about 200-300 years. Now old incredibly-quality wood has become so expensive and desirable that old logging rivers are being dredged for drowned logs. We're basically doing the same with fossil fuels, and we'll likely do the same thing with whatever the next big thing is (hopefully there will be another one). US oil production peaked in 1969 (natural park drilling may keep us going for a while, but probably not another century). World oil production is expected to peak in a decade or two. But yet we demand more. China has now joined in the oil grogging game.

If we'd admit from the onset that all natural energy sources are finite (we don't yet have a perpetual motion machine) and use the resources responsibly we wouldn't find ourselves in this mess. Hopefully we'll wise up before we realize that to harness great amounts of solar energy (i.e, above the atmosphere) we need a lot of oil to implement and maintain the infrastructure. We should be using alternatives now, not wasting them on SUVs and entertainment (i.e., air travel, cruises, etc).

So the problem isn't energy technology or energy sources, it's the irresponsible and insatiable use of energy technology.

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2005 17:37      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
The Earth will recover after we are wiped out. It may take millions of years, but it will recover.

That's silly, remove the 7.5+ billion humans right now and allow the microbes to convert C, H, O, N, etc. to usable material for other life forms, and you'll find that the overall system of nature quickly regains equilibrium. Of course, there will be a small number of localized areas that will resist colonization by flora. I'm always amazed how quickly grass and other "weeds" find ways to grow in the cracks of concrete.

The whole problem is humans use: water, space, and chemical energy (food, as well as heat and cooking). When humans no longer use water, space, and chemical energy, there won't be any problems.

quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
I think Soylent Green is a fantastic film on a whole slew of levels.

Agreed, but very few seem to think that the quantity of humans is a problem. I wish I could find an old web page that gave the significance of certain human population levels:

    * (Obvious) Humans cover all land area (excluding deserts and polar regions) at a density typical for a suburban community.
    * Based on the ability of plants to produce food by sunlight, at "n" population, human caloric consumption equals total food production of plants.
    * At "n" population, human biological activity is the cause of global warming (CO2 and heat generated by converting food energy).
    * At "n" population, all fresh surface water has become part of human organisms.

There were about 20 things, but if someone can find the "study", I'd appreciate the link.

quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Most of the problem is caused by capitalism....

Uh, no. How about bacteria-like behavior: eat, "produce waste", and breed exponentially. Was Easter Island destroyed by capitalism and technology which matched the industrial age? (I'm not going to repeat the quote of Agent Smith in the Matrix because I've posted it enough already.) Oddly enough, most "modern" countries almost (or do) have negative population growth if you don't count immigrants entering them.

Germany is probably number 1 in:
    * recycling plastics, metals, and paper.
    * Cogen systems (heat recovery from electricity generation).
    * "Green" roofs.
... but even they can't live off just windmills and sunshine. Note: Windmills for generation of electricity often kill birds (kinda' like bugs on your windshield).

BTW, Germany's "green" technology is driven in part by capitalism ... the cost of fuel (etc) makes efficiency a financially attractive choice.

quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
Our real worries should be watching the skies for rocks...

I disagree. The constantly increasing human consumption of fresh water (such as for irrigation) will reduce ecosystems (see the Aral Sea for example). Trees may make rainforests, but you don't hear about "rain-wheat-fields." Even biological waste is pollution, the only difference is that nature has abundant mechanisms to break it down, but they all require time.

A few words about timber .....
When hurricanes hit the U.S., you see hundreds of destroyed homes, nearly all of them using wood construction. (Having lived on the small island for two years, I know ...) An average of 3 to 5 typhoons hit Okinawa every year, but the only required recovery operations are small, such as the removal of tree branches from roads, because nearly all buildings are concrete. Moral: Don't build with wood when storm damage is common.
PS: ... and they don't cover their windows with plywood.

--------------------
Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 03:29      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:

A few words about timber .....
When hurricanes hit the U.S., you see hundreds of destroyed homes, nearly all of them using wood construction. (Having lived on the small island for two years, I know ...) An average of 3 to 5 typhoons hit Okinawa every year, but the only required recovery operations are small, such as the removal of tree branches from roads, because nearly all buildings are concrete. Moral: Don't build with wood when storm damage is common.
PS: ... and they don't cover their windows with plywood.

Gotta disagree there.

I was in Vanuatu some years ago, when the damage from a recent cyclone was still evident. The really striking thing was that the traditional homes (your stereotypical tropical islanders huts) survived the storms far better than the western style buildings. It's the design that's important, not the construction material.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10700 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 12:10      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let's compromise ... design and building materials are important. [Big Grin]

Geodesic domes are the most durable design, but a round floor plan (cylinder) is also very resistant to high winds. Something like bamboo has good flexibility and resists weather, but building height is very limited, especially with heavy loads. According to a Discovery channel program, Malaysia's Petronas Towers were built almost entirely of concrete (using very little steel, relative to most buildings) because of cost.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged


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