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Do You Think We're Going To Make It?


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Hi all,

with peak oil and global warming and unbelievable amounts of debt in many countries, some see Industrial Civilisation on the verge of collapse. What are your thoughts? What are the most urgent and depressing problems, and why? What are the most important solutions?

 

It's one of those questions I like to put every few years to see how everyone's thinking may have changed.

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with peak oil and global warming and unbelievable amounts of debt in many countries, some see Industrial Civilisation on the verge of collapse. What are your thoughts? What are the most urgent and depressing problems, and why? What are the most important solutions?

I think many second-world countries are incredibly upset. I think revolution and war are side effects of poor economic management, large wars, global wars. Take for example Ukraine, whose people have effectively won their revolution. Russia's military is now being sent to Ukraine to put their old government back in charge (to which Obama said military action would be met with military action), giving a very ominous WWIII feel, or at least a second cold war.

 

A lot of countries, instead of redoing their economics, throw out their old leaders in hopes the new leaders majored in economics. It doesn't seem to work, but whatevs. First world civ doesn't seem like collapsing any time soon unless WWIII actually happens lol.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Archer_83

 

Our own self destruction was closer than anybody could have dreamed. At one point a Russian missile commander refusing an order from there superiors to launch when their system received false information. So in a sense this one person in that moment in time held the fate of most of humanity in his hands. If he did launch surely we would have retaliated.

 

I agree with Moontanman our future is fixed. The above scenario or something like it is the more likely event to end ourselves as Snax said. But if we don't end up doing that things can change in an instant. Consider all the natural events that could possible take us out. There is a lot more than just global warming.

 

Number 1 on my list is an asteroid large enough to wipe us out or get close to it at least. Although we know where a lot of these roids are we don't know them all. One could come up on us with just a few days/weeks notice. We would barely have time to get Bruce Willis up there to blow it up....but seriously something like that can happen any day. I'll speak for myself here, with things such as this possibly imminent, I often take my time on this world for granted.

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Hi all,

with peak oil and global warming and unbelievable amounts of debt in many countries, some see Industrial Civilisation on the verge of collapse. What are your thoughts? What are the most urgent and depressing problems, and why? What are the most important solutions?

 

It's one of those questions I like to put every few years to see how everyone's thinking may have changed.

 

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work ...~ Ecclesiastes 8:15

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Don't worry about the Red Giant just now: Elon Musk will save us from that. :lol: ;)

But in the more immediate future, I hear you all on comments and super-zombie bugs and whatever other weird and freaky stuff nature could throw at us, but I'm thinking more of the rubbish we're doing to ourselves. What about endocrine disruptors bioaccumulating up through the food chain? How will the race between peak fossil fuels and global warming play out? Will a rise in price help accelerate our shift off oil and coal and gas? Or is it too late for that? What other self-induced threats do we see out there?

 

And above all, right now, what do we make of the Ukraine?

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handwringing redacted....

 

I think we have enough 'real' day to day problems without descending to alarmism. That was rather my point in my last post which seems to have gone ignored. What's your point Eclipse?

 

Alarmism @ Wicked Pedant

 

Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat e.g. the increases in deaths from infectious disease.[1]

 

The alarmist prefers intimidation and coercion to reasoned debate, and is often motivated by the desire to bring themselves to the forefront of discussion.[citation needed]

 

The alarmist person is subject to the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing – of always expecting the worst of possible futures.[2] ...

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I think we have enough 'real' day to day problems without descending to alarmism. That was rather my point in my last post which seems to have gone ignored. What's your point Eclipse?

 

Alarmism @ Wicked Pedant

Hmm, yes, it probably seems like that. I should have thought about a more specific question or issue. I guess the big one for me is whether peak fossil fuels will help defeat global warming? But as we move into more and more brown tech like tar sands and fracking, I don't think we've quite got the climate threat yet. I'm not a survivalist doomer preparing for the end of the world: just frustrated that we're not implementing the solutions we already have fast enough. But that's about it.

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Hmm, yes, it probably seems like that. I should have thought about a more specific question or issue. I guess the big one for me is whether peak fossil fuels will help defeat global warming? But as we move into more and more brown tech like tar sands and fracking, I don't think we've quite got the climate threat yet. I'm not a survivalist doomer preparing for the end of the world: just frustrated that we're not implementing the solutions we already have fast enough. But that's about it.

 

Well, take heart Eclipse. This too will pass. I agree that engaged concern is merited. The frustration, well, if not merited at least, is understandable. Remembering back to the 60's & 70's and the hope & promise of The Whole Earth catalog and such other sources and attitudes that looked like progress, I have by now come to some manner of truce with the reality of the pace of human development. To quote from the Desiderata -which if I recall correctly I first read in The Whole Earth Catalog- , "Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. ...With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

 

It has also been my experience that if I let myself dwell too much on dark imaginings, things quickly snow-ball, I get wound in like a watch spring, and my overall health takes a nose-dive. Not that I'm any example of carefree mirth as you may have noticed, but the occasional serendipitous agreements from the world have so far made it worthwhile to wait around for others. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yep: I think we're screwed...

 

and it's not the "energy" problem I see

 

its the "boredom of exchange" problem.

 

buying Junk on ebay is not how I see as the be all and save all for the universe, or earth, or a country (with the exception of small struggling nations/establishments)

 

ebay was cute - but it was a hiccup in our time

just as Facebook will be.

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I have to agree with Turtle, we have more pressing problems like famine, desertification of parts of our planet, proxy wars in Ukraine, Africa and drug wars in Latin America. Those who are safe in their homes are worried about doomsday: if you persist you may soon have your prayers answered like Job in the Christian Bible "That which I fear most has now come upon me"

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To be honest, I think there is a great deal of hype about the destruction we as humans are causing. Global warming caused by humans is an illusion in my opinion. Many individuals and organizations that support global warming are fanatical and will only continue to receive funding if they continue to hit the idea that man is changing the weather of the planet.

 

Of course, we are far from perfect and must continue to move forward, which to a great degree we have like recycling, re-planting trees after they have been cut down, emission testing of cars, wind energy, etc.

 

Maybe the real problem is simply over population. Maybe, what really needs to attack is the problem that we need to some how control our breeding process.

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Ya know, the best way to do something about all of those problems turns out to be the same things that would help deal with climate change: Stop converting so much dang carbon and stop wasting the energy and resources we have.

 

Population is slowly taking care of itself, mostly because as societies modernize, they lower their population growth naturally. Kudos to China for causing hell to push their growth curve artificially, and a pox on south Asia for doing little or nothing about it even though they could (Central Africa is a basket case, but even South America shows the potential path for them through modernization).

 

You might want to ask yourself why you don't believe the 99.8% of climate scientists (that number's been revised up due to recent large sample surveys) who agree that something unprecedented is happening and it's not good. And when the IPCC comes out with numbers that show that their most likely case climate models that "critics" say are bogus are actually underestimating the rate of change, it's reason enough to start looking for things we can do to make things better.

 

I always advocate following the money, and I think if you actually look the amount of money on the "climate change is an illusion" is many many times the amount on the side of wanting to warn the world about the consequences. The fat cats are staring down the barrel of losses of billions in profits if the governments start pushing not only carbon taxes but also fair return on digging up natural resources (one of the real short term crimes occurring here). I'm not a fat cat, and I doubt neither are you, and if you care about the rapid return to feudal society that the fat cats are pushing, you probably don't want to align yourself with them.

 

Now even I love my big V8 muscle car, and I hate the idea that it's going to be increasingly expensive to keep it going, but hey, Tesla's are pretty cool and they'll eventually bring back the roadster.... If you are a stock car fan, the amount of money NASCAR is throwing into "NASCAR Green" is a sign that even the redneck crowd is catching on that this is a good idea.

 

The bottom line on all of this as far as I'm concerned is not that there's alarmism on the climate-change-is-real side, but rather that--especially in the US--we have a huge political push not only to "not do anything" but really "make things worse". Hey, "Drill, baby Drill!" screamed Sarah "i'm a moron" Palin. The whole Republican party talks that way, and they're pretty much bought, lock, stock and barrel, by those Fat Cats I mention above. I'm all for taking reasonable steps and realize we're now in "mitigation" not "reversal" mode now, and I don't advocate things like "nuking the dark colored terrorist people" that you hear at Tea Party rallies, or "banning all combustion engine cars immediately" that you hear from the radical eco-terrorists.

 

But we really get off into the weeds when arguments far short of that are called "alarmism"....

 

 

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction, :phones:

Buffy

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