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Limits to growth?


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6 replies to this topic

#1
Summit

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Hello everyone! I'm new here.

Global warming. Biodiversity loss. Technological unemployment. Stagnating economy. Growing population. Increasing inequality. Soil degradation. Plastic pollution.

It just looks like all the usual suspects are converging into a collapse singularity in 2020s. The timeline has a lot of such bad news but it's rarely discussed here in the forums.

So, how do you see the future? I see either a planned cull by the elites to maintain the civilization on a smaller scale or an organic, irreversible collapse that reverts mankind to 2000 years ago.

Courtesy of the latest Resident Evil movie, by the way.

#2
funkervogt

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Hello everyone! I'm new here.

Global warming. Biodiversity loss. Technological unemployment. Stagnating economy. Growing population. Increasing inequality. Soil degradation. Plastic pollution.

It just looks like all the usual suspects are converging into a collapse singularity in 2020s. The timeline has a lot of such bad news but it's rarely discussed here in the forums.

So, how do you see the future? I see either a planned cull by the elites to maintain the civilization on a smaller scale or an organic, irreversible collapse that reverts mankind to 2000 years ago.

Courtesy of the latest Resident Evil movie, by the way.

All of the things you cited are real problems, but I don't think they're so bad that they will cause civilization to collapse in the next 12 years. 



#3
caltrek

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Global warming. Biodiversity loss. Technological unemployment. Stagnating economy. Growing population. Increasing inequality. Soil degradation. Plastic pollution.

It just looks like all the usual suspects are converging into a collapse singularity in 2020s. The timeline has a lot of such bad news but it's rarely discussed here in the forums.

 

You are new here, so I can understand how you might come to the conclusion that these issues are not discussed much.  In my perception, all of these issues have been and continue to be discussed in this forum.

 

Still, not always with a focus on the concept of whether there is a limit to growth.

 

As I have written before, a lot depends upon political will.  I think that human ingenuity is such that virtually all physical obstacles can be overcome in the future.  The big challenge will be whether these technological fixes can be brought to bear on the relevant problems, or whether the existing political and economic order will prevent these solutions from emerging. That is a very complex problem that I and others have broken down into many threads, each with its own more narrowly focused theme.  In addition to continuing to comment and contribute to this thread, I invite you to read through and participate in at least some of those other threads to obtain a better feel for what I am talking about.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4
funkervogt

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As I have written before, a lot depends upon political will.  I think that human ingenuity is such that virtually all physical obstacles can be overcome in the future.  The big challenge will be whether these technological fixes can be brought to bear on the relevant problems, or whether the existing political and economic order will prevent these solutions from emerging. 

Arguably, the global warming problem could have been nipped in the bud or at least reduced in magnitude if the political will had existed in the West to fully switch to nuclear power (and perhaps to also keep building dams). Human ingenuity created the solution to the problem 60 years ago. 



#5
caltrek

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As I have written before, a lot depends upon political will.  I think that human ingenuity is such that virtually all physical obstacles can be overcome in the future.  The big challenge will be whether these technological fixes can be brought to bear on the relevant problems, or whether the existing political and economic order will prevent these solutions from emerging. 

Arguably, the global warming problem could have been nipped in the bud or at least reduced in magnitude if the political will had existed in the West to fully switch to nuclear power (and perhaps to also keep building dams). Human ingenuity created the solution to the problem 60 years ago. 

 

 

Of late, solar and other renewables have also been shown to be cost effective alternatives.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6
funkervogt

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As I have written before, a lot depends upon political will.  I think that human ingenuity is such that virtually all physical obstacles can be overcome in the future.  The big challenge will be whether these technological fixes can be brought to bear on the relevant problems, or whether the existing political and economic order will prevent these solutions from emerging. 

Arguably, the global warming problem could have been nipped in the bud or at least reduced in magnitude if the political will had existed in the West to fully switch to nuclear power (and perhaps to also keep building dams). Human ingenuity created the solution to the problem 60 years ago. 

 

 

Of late, solar and other renewables have also been shown to be cost effective alternatives.

 

Yeah, but they don't generate electricity with the same reliability as nuclear and hydroelectric. Also, solar and wind power have only gotten cheap "as of late," as you say. Had we done nuclear right (look at the French model), we could have had carbon-free electricity on a mass scale starting in the early 1990s. A large fraction of GHGs that were emitted in OTL over the last 20 years wouldn't have been emitted. 



#7
caltrek

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Yeah, but they don't generate electricity with the same reliability as nuclear and hydroelectric.

 

 

Ummmm....are you expecting the sun to go out some time soon?

 

Or the rains to stop?

 

 

 

Also, solar and wind power have only gotten cheap "as of late," as you say

 

Here, we are in agreement.

 

 

 

Had we done nuclear right (look at the French model), we could have had carbon-free electricity on a mass scale starting in the early 1990s. A large fraction of GHGs that were emitted in OTL over the last 20 years wouldn't have been emitted. 

 

 

True, some how the French managed to pull it off.

 

We had Three Mile Island, the Russians Chernobyl, and Japan Fukushima.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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