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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM
What I'm curious about is how our current civilisation could possibly not end. There are so many problems, our population is 7 billion now, the carrying capacity of the planet is meant to be 1/4 of that. We are so completely dependent on oil that without it, we are unable to develop replacements. It is often thought that the pressure of expensive oil will spur efforts to find suitable replacements, but logically and reasonably, the opposite will happen. Oil is going to be diverted away from these projects to 'sustain our current way of life'.
Any thoughts on how we are going to get through this, with a viable energy source and technology will be much appreciated.
"If you come across a fork in the river... Take it."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
"Waiting until you're older to do what you love, is like putting off sex for old age."
Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:14 PM
Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:52 AM
I started wondering just how impossible it really was to switch from fossil energy sources to a combination of these alternatives using coal to bridge the gap, and I started finding flaws in the logic behind LATOC (Life After the Oil Crash). In due course, I found four whoppers.
First, doomers tacitly assume that anything short of our current energy consumption level would be catastrophic. They also count as a shortage the expected growth in energy demand from industrializing countries like China and India, perversely using an expansion of modern civilization (that they don't believe can occur!) as further proof that it will collapse. Truth is, there is tremendous waste in our current use of energy. A trip to the grocery store is like going to a monster truck rally these days. Is it really necessary to drive a 5000 pound vehicle to buy groceries? To go anywhere? Huge amounts of food are wasted. In fact, a lot of food is grown to feed animals for meat, a very inefficient way to produce food. (I like meat - I just don't eat that much of it.) We could cut back a lot and not miss it. In an emergency, we could cut back even more, just like we did to win World War Two. It wouldn't be much fun, but it would be possible, and no one would have to starve.
Doomers usually respond to this by making the silly argument that conservation won't work because of something called Jevon's paradox. In 1865, Jevon, writing about coal resources in England, argued that improving the efficiency of use of a resource would only cause demand to increase for the resource as the price dropped. Ergo, conservation causes demand to go up and you run out anyway. Doomers are dead wrong about conservation, though. In fact, surprise, they're dead wrong about what Jevon actually said, too. In the 1970s, conservation efforts and efficiency improvements in cars alone made a big dent in oil usage, enough that you can see it in the world's oil production statistics. Europe made the changes permanent by using taxes to keep demand down. The US didn't, so when the bottom dropped out of oil prices in later decades, we went back to our wasteful ways. Europeans use roughly half the oil per person than the US does. This all proves two things: conservation can enable us to get along with less oil if we have to, and people respond in predictable ways to price changes. Doomers forget that Jevon's so-called paradox assumed that the resource in question was still abundant. But once it runs short, all bets are off. If oil production started falling, the price is not going to go down unless demand goes down even faster. Even Jevon predicted that the price of coal would soar eventually, as the resource became scare in the 1930s - doomers don't know or don't mention that. Incidentally, Jevon was wrong about the end of coal spelling doom for industrial England - he couldn't forsee the switch to oil.
The second flaw is in assuming that because we use oil to do something now, we have no other way to do it. In particular, doomers argue that none of the alternatives will work because they all require oil to implement. Wind farms and nuclear plants require oil to produce the materials they're made from, to transport the materials to the site, and to run construction equipment. Electric cars take oil to manufacture. Even coal mines need oil to run mining machinery. Once we run out of oil, we won't be able to do any of those things anymore, goes the argument. The most obvious problem with the argument is that while these activities require energy, the energy doesn't have to come from oil. We use oil for many of them now because it's cheap and convenient, but that doesn't mean we can't use another energy source when oil's no longer cheap or available. Another problem with this argument is that many of these activities don't even use oil now! They use electricity or natural gas (natural gas will also eventually start to run short, but most likely a decade after oil does). The final problem with the argument is that if things really do start to get as bad as LATOC would have you believe, building energy infrastructure will have much higher priority that most of our present transportation uses. In an all-out emergency, rationing could be implemented giving first priority to food production, energy infrastructure, and long-distance transportation of goods, especially food. The annual road trip to see Aunt Tilly and the annual vacation getaway to the Caribbean would be below the line.
The third flaw in the argument is a bit more subtle. It is the assumption that the energy required to switch to alternatives must come on top of what we are using energy for now, rather than instead of some of it. For example, Savinar argues that we won't have the energy to power a crash program of building efficient cars. This ignores the fact that we are already building cars, millions of them every year. The energy used to build them is already counted; the energy needed to build efficient cars doesn't just add to the total. It takes roughly the same energy to build an efficient car as an inefficient one. It would take 10-15 years to turn over the automobile fleet - it doesn't have to happen all at once. Another example: we are today using energy to expand the infrastructure associated with oil consumption, things like roads, airports, and shopping malls. If things get as bad as LATOC says, we won't need those things anymore. That energy and construction equipment could be used to build power plants instead.
The fourth flaw in the argument is even more subtle. Perhaps you've guessed it by now. Doomers argue that there is no energy source we can switch to that can take oil's place in modern civilization. That might or might not be true, but it's beside the point. No single energy source has to, provided we can put enough of the others together. LATOC and others knock down alternatives one by one. But if (for example) we can produce biodiesel from fuel crops, why can't that be used to run construction machinery to build power stations? I've come to believe that no single energy source will take oil's place, but rather that by combining all the ones we know about, we can put together a workable solution that will be good enough to last 200 years or more - enough time for our descendants to come up with something else, or, if they can't, to gradually reduce their numbers without letting anyone starve.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:25 AM
I suppose my main point is that if this forum existed in the 1980s, it would be talking about the threat of nuclear war (though I suppose that's popping up again...). All I know is that people have been talking about humanity killing itself since as far back as I can remember. Again, this doesn't mean that at any point it couldn't have happened. I think it just proves that the idea of civilization's end is firmly part of humanity's mind, and it's something most of us are terrified of. So you've got the misinformed people who will be pushing for a solution as soon as the major problem emerges, the people who continually announce that the end has finally come, and the people who continually work to fix major problems. So far, I haven't seen any problem, short of an asteroid impact, that humanity as a whole is not capable of overcoming in some way. I think the main problem with the perception of humanity and its future is how poorly represented it is. Very rarely do people appear to have their shit together but if one thing is true, it’s that assholes are loud.
...Or maybe I'm just an ignorant optimist. Either way, I'll die happy.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:12 AM
We may have to deal with an energy decent in the short term, but long term we are fine.
Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:47 PM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:10 PM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:16 PM
I hope you're wrong and I'll get to be transhuman
No, but I do believe that we are the last pure human generation.
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."
Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:34 PM
I hope you're wrong and I'll get to be transhuman
No, but I do believe that we are the last pure human generation.
I think you'll be able to be somewhat transhuman, but that depends on your definition of transhuman, if it's downloading your brain into a robotic body or virtual reality, I think only by the time we are old and grey, and that is a big if!!! Depends on medical advances too!!! AH, the future is so unknown at this point! Who knows what will come next, but I'm surprised how right this timeline has been for the past few years.
Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:52 AM
U.S. interests in invading Iran, is shown by the newspaper El Pais, as a state that has offered "peace and harmony" to the President of Iran, which, evil and crazy, want to produce atomic bombs to kill us all without respond to arguments of any kind.
First they make us believe that Muslims are crazy and they are fanatics autoatentados by organizing and promoting terrorism in Europe, U.S. and Arab countries. Then massacre forcing the radicalization of Palestinian groups "release" in order to massacre them faster with the excuse that they are dangerous. And now, and this is an aberration and we do believe from the oligarchy that Iran is a threat.
(And if Argentina had oil ... I'm sure we would have nuclear weapons too!)
First, the FBI had informed Bush in 2008 that Iran had stopped enriching uranium in 2003, so we had (both politicians and the falsimedia) lied for 5 years saying that Iran was in the process of building a nuclear bomb.
The most dangerous states with atomic bombs are Israel, America and Russia. If you want both USA and Israel (Zionists, do not forget) a world without weapons of mass destruction (WMD), why not agree to get rid of each and dismantle theirs as well?. The USA is not interested in "world peace" as El Pais suggests, but just want everyone to submit their military yoke.
It seems that you forget when, in 2000, the U.S. included North Korea and Iran the "Axis of Evil" (name well chosen and appropriate, no?) And saw that the North Koreans had desisted in ADM threat of attack. Naturally, then, Iran decided to manufacture WMD and to avoid being attacked and invadidos.Como not see Iran continues on the map.
During the Cold War the U.S. and the USSR played on both sides knowing that if someone used the atomic bombs, would be "mutually assured destruction." No ruler, whether Muslim or not, would launch nukes against the U.S. or Israel because it would mean to both sides. People, who believes that Muslims are fanatics crazy, can not understand this. Actually it is illogical because, in fact, Christianity has been more destructive, uneducated and fanatical than he ever has been Islam. Who has lived 60 years with the Declaration of Human Rights on the pillow during sleep does not make them saints instantly.
A cross-country problem can be solved in many ways (through diplomatic interventions, police in certain cases, etc. ...). But always seem to resort to missiles and rifles. What is the government uncivilized? Does that enriches uranium for not invading or entering the country, killing for killing and loot everything you can and always with nuclear bombs in their stores?. Because that is the case of USA ...
All States are unhealthy institutions and, therefore, the states with weapons are not to give lessons to anyone.
I could go on ... But nobody reads me. People leave you foaming at the mouth and runs off to buy a newspaper or watching television, unaware that they are being brainwashed.
Damn bitch thousand children of newspapers and television and bad states are enriched birthed killing and pillaging countries.Disgust me ... disgust me, but I hate most prolific are these creatures like rats are not reported and we discuss a topic as if they had finished high school or read a whole book in your life ...!! not have to live in the village to be one of them ... there are in all walks of life. I left the village but I decided to inform me or at least read!!! These people are dangerous.
STUPID is someone who makes mistakes because they have no information and fixes it or not and is still stupid and happy with their stupidity (I was) ... but IDIOT is the one that agrees with the stupid, vote, vote laws and form divine worship with sprouts and green fields where the idiocy never ends, as pasture for more idiots.
These, these are dangerous if, for putting us out freedom as slaves to work 10 hours a day for a role that increasingly buy less, less food (poison), fewer assets (worthless and disposable).
Now I ask are not "idiots" and open your eyes now. Because it ... GOD, THE STATE AND COME AND SuperFriends taken away IF YOU DO NOT USE (reconsider layers of fear, that strategy worked so far)
Do not talk about economy and politics ... I speak of love ... that makes sense to get together to make a soda or whatever to see us ... that feeling that causes us to kill each other for the last cd of a band that no longer exists (hehe bad example).
Well I always say boludeces and never say what truth is pienso.La love my friends, my family and my wife ... I want for generations to come with what I ... love, and do not miss a world to live.Recommendwatchzeitgeistand you will seewiththeir own eyes thatthevenusprojectis the bestoption:http://www.thevenusproject.com/
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Future civilisation, end of civilisation, civilisation
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