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About my previous pessimistic post

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Thanks for all your replies to my previous post, most of them were extremely interesting :)

I can’t discuss right now the whole picture, but may I highlight 5 elements, to address a few mistakes or voice my opinion on some replies I’ve seen numerous times ?

– the notion of return on invested energy. Whatever the price of a an energy is, if you spend more energy extracting it, that there is energy inside the extracted elements, this is not viable. This addresses kerogen, seawater uranium, and outer space mining. Oh, who knows, perhaps a technical miracle may happen, but, well, not yet.

– hydrogen : this is a vector, not an energy. It consumes a bit more energy to produce it than it will give back later on after the hydrogen helped transport the energy elsewhere.

– « malthusianism is an intellectual fault because it failed 2.5 centuries ago ». This reasoning is also an intellectual fault ;)
Being wrong once doesn’t imply being wrong twice, we may be reaching the real limits soon. The planet is a closed, finite dynamic space. Not everything inside this can grow forever. We won’t ever see monads à la Silverberg, the system can’t handle it, and a painful question is to know if it can even accommodate ten billion persons.
Besides, betting EVERYTHING on the belief a solution, that doesn’t exist yet, will exist when the need for it arises, this is also, in my eyes, an intellectual fault, but that, this is just an opinion, not a fact.

– the state of denial : I’m not kidding, I’m seriously convinced a few of you, I reacted the same in the past, unconsciously go into actual denial state when faced with such bleak, grim perspectives. That could make you accept to believe in complete BS just so as to keep on hopes (cf my “hyperlol” comment in the other post’s comments), or at least it could induce you into having a bias towards too optimistic perspectives.

– The problem of the rarefaction of metals remains.. Let’s imagine we can be extremely optimistic with the energy production forecasts (and yet, I was not kidding, breeders don’t work yet, and fusion is still terribly far away, you won’t see it work on an industrial scale in the next decades). Even then, we wouldn’t be able to maintain our consumerist existences much longer. Converting all our current energy usage to renewables along the fall of hydrocarbons, even if it were done thanks to massive political and social conversion, would be short-lived, various components of the renewables industry would be peaked too. Hey, metals are as needed as energy, even for stuff like fertilizers, you know. I don’t have a “full” English demonstration about metals, but I could recommend a precise book to the French. We can’t recycle everything all the time.

I’m sorry I have few English sources, but I think you could beging reading with that link (but then make the effort to read the full article, okay ;) )

Once again, I don’t claim I’m right, but all the “we’ll make it somehow” replies didn’t look convincing to me. The world doesn’t need sci-fi, it doesn’t need a “once chance out of 20 that it will work, wheee, we got that one chance eventually, lucky us” fairy tale, it needs working solutions :(


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Oliver AKA The Admin

Hentairules : porn, with a brainy flavour.

ADeadGuy
ADeadGuy

Mmmm! Gotta love those brains!

Really, I could see just about anything alongside the regular shares and not bat an eyelid.

sephirot26
sephirot26

i suppose the people only really see things when happens, but i think there is at least an alternative, why we didn't know?i suppose there is people that is waiting to the others go in despair so they can "save the day" so isa thng of interest, i only hope that is not too late when the bad things start to happen of course there will be always imulsion, haha whatever it don't hurt to take care of the things that we have now

sephirot26
sephirot26

oh and it seems when you change to "page 2" about 2 or 3 post keep "hidden"

Oliver AKA The Admin

Is it still present NOW as you read it, that problem ? I'm trying to track it down.

Kav
Kav

And THAT's why the call it Christmass.

Oliver AKA The Admin

?

Mar
Mar

Obviously, the real problem is human population. And mandatory child-limits, forced birth-control (Vasalgel/RISUG – male birth control, anyone?), these sorts of things seem to be what will be needed. But that requires a world government that can enforce these laws.

anon
anon

there are nothing like what u told us in hentai world oliver. it sure nice there.

Oliver AKA The Admin

Yep, so much more cosy.

Xenor
Xenor

One reason I'm not having kids. I realize you are a newer parent, and many people take offense to attacks on the philosophy/psychology of having children. (i.e. we have to solve the problem another way.)

Right now, many governments are in denial that they can balance the budget by spending less. We have to balance the budget by having fewer kids. I think we should tax the shit out of anyone having more than two kids (excepting natural twins, triplets, etc..) We should only provide tax breaks to people having one kid.

Its the white elephant in the room, but as protests continue to erupt around the planet over haves & have-nots, one fact is clear. We will never need more people to get the job done. With each passing year, more and more innovation, invention, and industrialization is making many jobs obselete. We have nothing for people to do so we invent jobs and create middlemen to insure that wealth gets distributed. We really just need fewer people.

FailBoatInSpace
FailBoatInSpace

Industtrialization is a two edged sword in my opinion. I like to call it the cost to machine vrs cost to hire scenario. You can either;

A- build a machine to manufacture an item, thus making the item cheaper to buy since it is cheaper to produce since the machine doesn't get paid. But since less jobs are availiable, no one has any money at all to pay for said item since no one can afford it.

B- let a person manufacture an item, thus making the item more expensive because of all the manppower put into its manufacture and the company has to ensure the workers wellfare. But since the product is more expensive, less people will be able to afford to buy it.

Catch 22 anyone?

Davrus
Davrus

You forgot C and D
C- build a machine, cut everyone's hours in half, keep there pay the same.
D- build the machine, keep everyone to increase output. Don't give a pay raise. Advertise the shit out of the new products to convince people they have to buy it. Then lend money to people so they are capable of buying.
Here's a hint the modern world chose D.

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

Perhaps you're right about the "modern world" choosing D. But D also happens to be the description of an economic bubble, like the ones that crippled the banks and economies of many countries the past 5 years. You're right that there are more than 2 options, but recent history proves the option you say is the best one is at least as hazardous as option A or B.

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

On Malthusianism: The real lesson to be learned isn't simply that the model failed, but that it failed for logical and instructive reasons: Graphs can't predict the future. The population and consumption trends Malthus based his calculations on were informed by the relatively primitive colonial era human experience he knew during his lifetime, and which history books had documented up to that point in history. The world is so incredibly different today than it was when Malthus was a royal scholar in pre-industrial England, that it's difficult to visualize just how far we've come. Two hundred years into our own future (2212), population and consumption trends will change so dramatically, just as they have changed dramatically from Malthus' time to ours, that any concerns we might panic over now are certain to be every bit as out of date then as Malthus' projections are to us today.

Read some of Malthus' own writings and see for yourself. None of these ideas are new. The best mathematical minds have been studying population and consumption trends for centuries. Malthusian models are only a footnote because the march of science and technology continues to head off their predictions generation after generation after generation.

It's not really a matter of being optimistic or pessimistic. That is a much too unsophisticated way to look at the situation. More accurately, it's about recognizing the history of science and technology, and the way they continue to advance at a faster pace than ever, in the world around us even now. For a person to disregard that history and imagine that today's population and consumption trends will continue on forever is the only intellectual fault I can see in discussions of these issues.

Milius
Milius

And don't forget neomalthusianism (1950-> nowadays) have been used with political intentions, not as a warning, but as a political tool to achieve their political goals.

Joe
Joe

You know what? I'm not gonna lie. I'm not gonna say "it'll be alright", fuck that, but I'm not gonna say "we have no hope", fuck that too. I'm sorry Oliver, and the rest of you who are sincerely concerned, but I can honestly say that I don't give a shit. It's gonna sound weird, but I'm just one of those people who say "well, we're gonna die sometime". I know. It's cliche. It sounds stupid. I don't care, I'm sorry. I'm just one of those people who thrives in "living for the now". Don't get me wrong, I do think about the future. I'm in college and get good grades, I don't do drugs, I'm literally your average Joe. I'm not gonna say "oh, I don't care cause I'll go to heaven!" I'm Christian, but it has nothing to do with my religion. I may believe in a God, but that doesn't mean I KNOW for %100 if he's real or not. I have faith. That's the difference between knowing and believing. ANYWAY, it's not the whole "heaven" thing. I just plain and simple don't care. I can't make a difference in this. I'm not smart enough. I don't have nearly enough influence at all. And I didn't understand EVERYTHING you said (too in depth for me, like I said, not THAT smart) but from the sounds of it, this thing is coming on like a fucking literal juggernaut (i.e. completely unstoppable). All I can do is sit back, see what happens, enjoy my life for now, enjoy friends, family, and all the little things until my time comes, be it by this, that, or the other thing. To that, ladies and gentlemen, I say cheers, enjoy yourself to the fullest as long as you can.

Oliver AKA The Admin

Having a selfish highly biased in favour of the immediate term attitude is morally blamable, but this is a perfectly VALID philosophical stance. Don't fear blame guys, you're indeed free to voice your opinion.

Joe
Joe

I'm sorry oliver, as i said before I'm not too smart, or good with vocabulary as a matter of fact. would you mind putting that in layman's terms so I may respond properly? however, as a response to what I think you may have said: your saying that, from a moral standpoint, I may be selfish for living in the present… ? (from what I can translate, that's what I'm seeing) I don't know about that… overlooking my own comment, I think I may have been misinterpreted, at my own fault may I add. I used a lot of harsh language in an attempt to get my point across when I should probably should have just kept it short and simple. When I say 'I don't care' I mean it in both the negative and the positive way, if that makes any kind of sense at all. I'll just boil it down to this, to quote myself for the real message I was trying to get across: "I'm not gonna say "it'll be alright", fuck that, but I'm not gonna say "we have no hope", fuck that too." let me put emphasis on the last part: "but I'm not gonna say "we have no hope", fuck that too." I know I can seem very contradictory at times, but it's one of those things where 'I know what I mean'. it's weird, you know? I'm a very analytical person, and all I'm saying here is, analyzing myself, I know my limits. Look, I'm ALL about breaking boundaries (another contradiction, I know it's freakin' insane), I've watched gurren lagann with 'kick logic to the curb and do the impossible'. The anime has done a LOT for my self confidence, it literally pulled me out of a slight depression that I inflicted on myself. But at the end of the day, I know it's not real. It's a show. A cartoon. Sci-Fi. I know that if something is impossible, it is, indeed, impossible. I can't jump off a cliff, spread my arms, and fly to safety without some sort of aide. I can't jump from here to the moon using only the power of my legs. that's what I'm trying to say. I know it's impossible for me to do anything about this situation, it's completely out of my, and as you said, out of EVERYONE'S control. Is this selfish? maybe…I don't think so,… but maybe. and if it is, who cares? like you said, we're all entitled to our opinion. btw, i wasn't really worried about blame. I'm just that type of person: I really don't care what anyone 'thinks' of me. you leave me be. I'll leave you be. you do your thing. I'll do mine. As I said before, cheers to living each day like it's your last, cause whether it's this energy crisis, a brain aneurysm, a heart attack, the rapture, or something completely different, it's gonna have to happen sometime. As I said before, I know that sounds grim, but I think we can all try to find our own silver lining in that scenario…

Oliver AKA The Admin

I didn't mean to be rude, Joe.

Your position IS selfish, and morally this is wrong, morality requires altruism and thinking of the future.
However, from a philosophical point of view, this is a perfectly VALID opinion (not flawled, having consistency).

Joe
Joe

I don't think you were rude at all olly (i hope its ok if i call you olly), your simply stating opinion and/or (what seems to be) moral fact. As I said before, I may disagree, but so be it. to quote myself again: "you do your thing. I'll do mine". I suppose it's another one of my contradictories. I think like this, yet I like to consider myself, and try to be, an unselfish person as much as possible. But, I suppose stating that sounds narcissistic as well. I suppose I can see where your coming from though… even though I'm actually very comfortable with the thought of dying, that doesn't mean everyone else is. I'm not saying I WANT to die, I'm just stating that I, personally, fully acknowledge death as a part of everyday life (just to avoid any misunderstandings there). But, yet again, that doesn't mean EVERYONE does, so I can actually see your point there now that I've had a chance to think about it a little more. Also, as weird as this may sound, thank you for acknowledging the philosophical side. I've never considered myself an actual genius, but I do consider myself to be philosophical, a thinker, and an analyzer. I also consider you to be a very smart person, very practical, and very blunt. I can see why we would disagree on this, it seems we're almost 2 sides of the same coin when it comes to controversial topics like this. Although, I do tend to take the practical side of things on other subjects. I'm just glad we've been disagreeing in a respectful manner (actually LISTENING to, or in this case, READING the others words). You have no clue how many people I try to start an intelligent conversation with, and it ends up to be an argument because one or the other take too much offense at what the other one is saying. Thank you

Joe
Joe

I meant to say: one of my *contradictions.

Tek
Tek

Call me selfish, but my desire to have a daughter outweighs my concerns for the future stability of the world.

Oliver AKA The Admin

incest ftw ? Ew.

S.C.
S.C.

I'm not that worried either. Why? Weeell, I actually wouldn't be surprised if solutions to the problems have long been since found. Just that the respective inventors or whatever have been silenced to ensure that everyone currently in power will "remain" in power. And when one day shit finally hits the fan their gonna be all like: "Look, look we have the solution!" And pull that messiah shit on us. I can totally see that coming.

S.C.
S.C.

*they're

Milius
Milius

That's what I said in the previous post. There are lots of achievement of science silenced by the tycoons because that wouldn't make profits. Save the human race or make profits? PROFITS! Save the world or make profits? PROFITS!!!

RapidCynic
RapidCynic

Capitalism is the most immoral economic system on the planet.

You ahve a cure for a disease, should you:
A.) Distribute it to releive suffering?
B.) Sell it at an outrageous amount?
C.) Find a way to turn it into a treatment and not a cure, and then sell it for an outrageous amount?

Capitalism answers C. Prolong suffering, avoid real answers, and profit.

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

You are entitled to your own opinion of capitalism, but I can't help pointing out one more time that the world's biggest critics of Malthusianism and population control since the time of Marx and Engels, have been the socialists:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Malthus#Reactions_to_his_ideas

To wit, comments from an article in the International Socialism journal, which I only discovered yesterday while reading up on this subject:

"The idea that a growing population means a greater pressure on natural resources, which eventually exceeds planetary capacity, is a simple common sense one. It is also wrong. Since Malthus’s time, those who have followed in his footsteps have used such arguments to justify the world’s unequal distribution of wealth and argue against the possibility of social reform. Racism and scapegoating have flowed from the theory and have lead to forced sterilisation programmes, abortion and anti-immigrant legislation. The resurgence of these debates in the context of environmental crisis is a distraction from discussions about the political and economic changes required to tackle global warming.

It is in this context that Fred Pearce’s latest book is such an important contribution. Pearce turns just about every perceived wisdom about population on its head. From the publication of his first writings, Malthus’ ideas rapidly made it into the mainstream. Eugenicists tacked on their ideas of racial superiority to Malthusian concerns and the resultant poisonous mix made the perfect ideology to justify colonialism and empire. Malthus himself had become the first professor of political economy, teaching a generation of future administrators of empire about the 'perils of overpopulation' and the “pointlessness of charity”. Charles Trevelyan, who oversaw the Irish Potato famine for the British government, was a student of Malthus.

The same ideas were at the back of Winston Churchill’s mind when he called for the sterilisation of the 'feeble-minded'. Between the First and Second World Wars '60,000 imbeciles, epileptics and 'feeble-minded' were compulsorily sterilised in the US', there were tens of thousands of further victims in countries as diverse as Sweden and Japan. The logic was taken to its brutal extreme by the Nazis, who sterilised half a million people, though as Pearce points out, their policies were 'widely admired'."
http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=671&issue

Oliver AKA The Admin

Just restored your comment from the spam folder, please forgive my antispam filters ;)

Oliver AKA The Admin

Tricks can be found, improvements can be done.

But even a dynamic circle is a circle : you can't outgrow the system's limits. And us toying with these limits is dangerous.

Oliver AKA The Admin

You're in denial.

J.E.
J.E.

That is the truth of the matter, everything on this planet is finite. Our resources won't last forever, we've been consuming them since the dawn of time and our rate of consumption is continuing to grow. We aren't going to magically regain these things. Once something is truly gone, it's gone for good. We aren't going to miraculously find a new energy source that will fix everything.

The future depends on what we do in the present. Far too many try to deny the inevitable and pretend the issue is non-existant. Even worse are those with the power to make some difference turn a blind eye to the impending problem because of the inconvinence and lack of personal profit that come from doing something about it.

It's not all doomsay and religious prophecy, this is a real problem that we, as people, have created and it can have a real solution if we work towards one while there is still time to do something about the situation.

insandls
insandls

Well here is something to think about ever hear of abiotic oil. This is the theory that states that oil was not created by the decay of plant and animal life over millions of years ago but instead is a natural substance that is created inside the earth which then makes its way to the upper crust were we tap into it.
For those who will immediately dismiss this as stupid or to idealistic let me first ask a question. If oil truly came from decaying dinosaurs and plant life shouldn’t we find it in more places and in less concentration than we do? I mean what did all the dinosaurs just pile up on each other to create a giant mass grave that then millions of years later develops into billions and trillions of barrels worth of oil? Could it not be instead that the areas we find these huge deposits of oil be natural cavities that allow oil to seep up from the mantle to fill these voids.

Just give this article a look over as it has been shown by Russian scientist that Crude oil can be created without the use of Decayed mattered and in such conditions that are available in our earth’s mantle. http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

Oliver AKA The Admin

You sir, are gravely offending the dinosaurs and the prehistoric vegetation that died for our sake.

I'll still have a look, I never heard of it before, so I can't say anything ;)

ProfessorWhat
ProfessorWhat

…..what….๏̯͡๏)….??
Well don't fuckin look at me!!
I still use my completely "out-dated" Virgin Super Slice that still holds a charge FOR WEEKS and I'll have you know that I am the supremely proud, merry owner of my very first and only ever PC, (only ever doubling the 512DDR2RAM) a fully operational AST180-EA350M running XP-sp2 to boot too!! She was already considered a relic of a PC by "benchmark standards" when I bought her but she still kicks "supah-mega-kingu-quajillion-core" XP-sp3/Vista/Win7&1.0.4.0.34.55-CatNameHere-555.00-AnotherRidiculousCatNameHere-0.1-OS PC/MAC ass!!
Since I love SciFi and she is considered a living antique of a PC, I named her The CAIDIS. (Computational And Internetworking Device In Service)

oh, my point:
RAREFICATION MY ASS!!
More like 1,000,000,000 RETARDS "UPGRADING" NEEDLESSLY CONSTANTLY!!

Jelescu Bogdan
Jelescu Bogdan

I agree with Oliver and most of the others. I think that maybe not all but most of the Earth's resources will eventually disappear. I also think we can delay that moment. How? It's really simple. Like most of you said, consume less! We can live with only food, water, electrical energy, and friends! :-) You don't need anything else! Trust me. I know. This is what I have and I'm very happy with it.
I know that there is also the population problem. Again, the solution is really simple. Have only one or two children. But no more.
These being said, I think that people who have more than these resources and/or more than two kids are selfish and are destroying out future and our children's future.
Really people. Consume less! Use condoms! It's easier this way. For you and for our future generations.

Mark
Mark

As an evolutionary ecologist, I can give another [somewhat grim] reason for optimism: while we may eventually have a human population collapse, and seriously disrupt the world’s climate for the foreseeable future, and cause an unprecedented mass extinction…we probably won’t go extinct ourselves, at least for a long, long time. And we certainly won’t extinguish life on earth. Life goes on, and when conditions change, species go extinct, etc, other species will thrive, adapt, and evolve to fill the empty spaces.

In fact, the ecological reality is that human population collapse will at least temporarily solve most of the problems we are discussing. [It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!]

Oliver AKA The Admin

The perspective of the failure of CIVILISATION grieves me as much as the perspective of human specy's extinction. I'd love both of them to prosper, but that is sadly unlikely :(

Flow
Flow

I've spent quite some time pondering about this as well and my greatest fear is that most highly developed countries are now too full with … well, idiots.. to realize that the time to act is now. The "Someone's gonna take care of it"-mentality is very widely spread and at the end of the day most people ignore their enviroment if that makes life easier for them. Now, I'm from Germany and I don't know how it is in most other countries, but for us I think one of the biggest problems that stops us from achieving a solution is the lack of people who go into science. (Be it engineering, physics or anything else of the like) I've seen dozens, if not hundreds of bright young students choose a career in law or medicine, even though those areas have terrible job markets and are well oversated, simply because of the promise of prestige and money. At the same time, most jobs in science are very well paid and easily available to graduates, since so few people actually go down that road, but apparently that isn't enough. To conclude, I think it would be a huge step if the public opinion shifted towards a higher appreciation of scientists, which it probably will, when shit has hit the fan.

Milius
Milius

In Spain is different. Since the money destined to I+D is TERRIBLE LOW, the few who choose the path of science and investigation have to go to other countries if they want to do something.

Mark
Mark

Not only is science undervalues, in the US there is a strong and conscious effort by regious/social conservatives to demonize science, and to actively undermine science education in public schools. Scientists are being portrayed as "intellectual elites" and atheists who want to either turn your babies against you with treacherous book-learnin' or failing that, to abort them and use their stem-cells to turn people gay and cause the price of gas to go up. It makes me really mad.

The Angel
The Angel

I always find if very weird that a lot of the religious zealots use science and technology in their daily lives while denouncing scienc and technology . I mean you are using a computer and going on twitter? that's motherfucking science asshole!

Joe
Joe

I'm going to have to, respectfully, disagree with you on this. That may be that case for some of us religious, but those who are like that give the rest of us 'normal religious' a bad name. I acknowledge science as a great tool to use in everyday life. I can almost guarantee the big bang happened. There was no adam and eve, we evolved. I know this, as do many others of my religious status. by the way, i AM practicing, just so there's no misunderstanding. But as you already said, they are religious conservatives, and as angel said, they are zealots. they're not normal. they believe religion is everything and it's the only thing they have, and believe me, I can tell ya, that IF there is a God, he don't want us thinkin; like that.

The Angel
The Angel

what does it matter? 2050? you will all be old or dead. You are just consigning your children to a bleak future like "Children of Men" or "THX 1138". I blame mother nature. She usually comes up with some awesome natural population control like the Black plague, Bird Flu, or AIDS but Man has trumped her every time. I mean Diarrhea is still killing hundreds of thousands of people every year but it's not the millions killer it used to be. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that before the year 2050. we will get either a huge asteroid armageddon wiping out a lot of vegetation like the dinosaur ice age or We will have some crazy man made nuclear catastrophe doing the same shit. Who knows Man has always trumped nature this last century save for the whole fukushima thing. If we are lucky we might have a World War III with China over rarefied earths or something stupid and we could lose huge numbers in people which will probably be the most plausible scenario for human culling. So far with this climate change this year and not having a winter in the states and Europe being in a icebowl we have passed the tipping point and we should accept fate. It was our hands that deal it. Pretty soon the ice shelfs will collapse the sea levels will rise, the honeybees will die and the eco culture will head into a tailspin. Apples will cost 50 bucks and animals will become extinct. Read Nathanael West's "MISS LONELYHEARTS" it was set in 1933 but in the end the main protagonist is about to die and he opens his arms for the cold embrace of death. It is inevitable. I won't likely have kids and if I do it will just be one. The best thing to do right now is to make enough money so that you can be in the top tier of the pyramid for when you croak. Our parents fucked us over and now we were too powerless to stop ourselves. Sorry kids and great grandkids, You are fucked.

qz89
qz89

I'm gonna say: hater gonna hate

i believe every single of you, that keep posting here is pervert,
if my theory is correct, that's mean "the more perverted you are, the more genius you are.."

I'm genius.:p

Milius
Milius

I've been reading from several sites and this is what I've found:

-Several organizations says if I+D continues like today, the solar panels will have an efficiency of the 50% in 2030 and 70% in 2050.
-The problem of the petroleum is the cost to obtain it. If new methods of obtain it with much lesser inversion of energy (more energetic efficiency), the petroleum use can be prolonged.
-The actual agrary system needs a lot of energy. But, if the energy source can be replaced with other energy resources, we can mantain the level of production.
-If the petroleum demand fall, (due to the replacement of energy resource), the price and the extraction will fall too, so this resource can last longer.

And one question to all of you. I live in a small city (population 300.000), and the city is very plain (no uphill or downhills at all). And you can go from one corner of the city to the opposed one by bike in less than 30 minutes.

WHY THE FUCK I NEED A FUCKING CAR IN ORDER TO GET A FUCKING JOB!!!??? (Fucking true history, 6 job interviews and all of them asked me if I have driver's license and a car. I'm a fucking physiotherapist, for God's sake! Why I need a car?)

Jelescu Bogdan
Jelescu Bogdan

I fully agree with you Milius but just get a license anyway. It doesn't cost much, it doesn't take long to obtain and you don't need to own or drive a car afterwards. I got mine 6 years ago. Do you know when I drove my first car after I finished driving school? A month ago.

Milius
Milius

I have a driver's license, but I don't have my own car…
I use the bycicle because thank to that I lost 20Kg in six months. Cheaper, faster if there is a traffic jam, no polution… for a small city is the best.

Oliver AKA The Admin

Milius, could you give me ilnks to the 50/70% yield in solar panels articles, please ?

Milius
Milius
Oliver AKA The Admin

Thanks. For the moment still in experimental status, but I hope this manages to become appliable on a wider scale, it would rock.

Your other initial remarks, though, would be butthurt by metals rarefaction and realism, you can't forever improve extraction of oil. About extraction of oil, what I mean is that : even if you manage to find ways to extract more oil than before, the new extraction methods will, still, cost more energy than before. The technique and the energy cost are different problems. The first is an ingeneer's problem, the latter is a "oily material composition" problem, the latter can't be helped no matter what ingeneers invent to manage to extract it.

Eventually, we'll reach a return on energy invest of 1, and at this point, the prices will be higher than the economy as it is now can affort it, meaning there will only be state-based purchases and big-company purchases for absolutely vital uses, such as fertilizers and rare uses of platics and in chemistry or drugs.

Lanin
Lanin

As I sad I am not concerned in any way about the future, because of the simple fact that humanity does work on solutions for problems and solutions exist. I.e. uranium in seawater is in fact an absolutly viable solution. Even space mining is absolutly possible but just not needed. Earth ist tremendously big and has tremendous resources which can't deplete. Okay maybe it can if space grasshoppers eat our planet but as long as they're not coming and we're not mutant to them we will have a planet that feeds us. This food can't disappear as long as we stay on the ground.

The mathusathingybingy thing stays wrong. Why? Because we're not talking about days and weeks and month but decades and centuries and you can't foresee the future that far away on that a scale. That's just not scientific and science is the only thing which matters here and therefore a scientific approach. If we talk about global warming, there is always a "possibility" or "if", because the future depends on various factors. One of this examples was Bismarcks national welfare which is a problem in Germany today because the German population stagnates or is even shrinking instead of growing. Back then nobody thought this would ever happen and now? The popular oppinion is our people could instinct. So instead of seeing a progress, they only see extremes. Either we grow forever or we extinct. That is utter nonsense.

Oliver AKA The Admin

You are in denial, google it, and then face it :D

ben
ben

Running out of metalic ore is not really a major concern for the vast majority of metals…
Recycling / scrapping will simply take over from mining.

This has already started to happen with Iron and aluminum, where more metal is being recycled than is being mined. Even though both Iron and aluminum are extremely plentiful in the earth's crust.

At some point, all metal production on earth will be sourced from recycled metal and metal mined from the trash heaps of the generations prior.

There will of course be a cap on the amount of metal in use at any one time, but that will only really be a restricting factor with rare earth metals needed for certain miniaturized components.

i.e. there is a set number of total cell phone batteries and LCD displays that can be in use at any given time.

And if all else fails, there is always antarctica and mars.
Eventually the potential gain of mining antarctica will exceed the costs.
And Mars will be colonized eventually. The technology to do so has existed since skylab, and the will to do so exists in a small minority.
Elon Musk for example has leveraged his money from the sale of PayPal to kick start his own rocket company with the express purpose of mars colonization. and they will be launching their second spacecraft on a mission to dock with the ISS later this month.

Oliver AKA The Admin

Partly wrong

About recycling.

Point 1. We are already recycling rather well several metals, and yet they keep on being extracted at a high rate with every new year. The "are we in peak" calculations take this into account. Why ? Because needs for NEW amounts exceed the recycling capabilities of now of the trashed metals of now. Of course recycling can improve, but a fact is a fact, even with recycling, there is peaking. And several metals implied with electricity storage and processing, and with green energy in more general terms, is going to peak hardcore when the needs for them rise.

Point 2 about metals : almost all the metals are by-products of a mine's #1 extraction metal. See what I mean, I think. That means this is excessively difficult to increase suddenly the production of a metal. That also means that once a mine producing huge quanties of a popular metal ceases activity, it can also trigger a sudden rarity of another metal, even though that other one was far from its peak. There are ups and downs, that's what I mean, even unrelated to the peaks, and this is "badder" with an economy depending more and more on peaked metals.

Mining in space.
Throwing rockets into space and bringing the materials from space back might be technically doable, some day ,but ask yourself the environmental and energy footprint of such a practice on an industrial spread, and ask yourself if it could provide masses of metals at an even remotely affordable price. Answer's no.
Mars : for heaven's sake, do you have an idea of the meaning of "escaping gravitational pull", in terms of energy ? And you want to make it twice ?
I don't say this is impossible, but this is only valid for cases when money is NOT the concern and quanties must NOT be important. An adventure, finding materials for setting up a space base, perhaps, but nothing any closer to supporting the global economy.

Antartica : wow, another 25% bonus oil ? Super duper. We need 3-4 more like that to maintain the resources. If all goes well with the extraction. The difficulties met by oil companies in the caspian sea, halfway between easy conditions and arctic conditions, don't give much hope.

ben
ben

1. With the exception of Uranium and its fission byproducts, there are no metals which are consumed by the human activity that uses them.
Once the stuff is mined, it stays on the surface, whether in circulation or in a garbage dump.

2. There is a maximum carrying capacity for the planet. Currently that cappacity is around 8-9 billion people and is limited by the supply of arable cropland. That will likely increase slightly with further advances in farming, but it can't go on forever.
Eventually the human population of earth WILL stabilize. Whether through voluntary processes like what has happened in europe or through war.

As far as I can tell, the total ore supply of the vast majority of metals is sufficient to supply the per capita needs of the maximum human population.

There are only a few metals for which the supply is inssuficient to satiate demand. Mostly the rare earth metals used in many compact battery designs.
So microelectronics may become rationed at some point.

As for going to mars… The goal is not to bring metal back… it is to send people to the metal.
The metal that has already been mined on earth is not going to simply dissapear.

Lanin
Lanin

1 and 2 This is one of the problems but no problems which is unsolved, you just have to increase work in terms of mining as well as in terms of solutions in form of new or better technologies. Just because there can be peaks or are peaks it's not something which lead me to have a pessimistic view about the future. Especially looking at the work which is done by the European Union makes me very optimistic. It's a pleasure to read equally about failures and successes of the researches in all kinds of fields.

Mining in space:
There are possibilities for way cheaper transportation of materials. In example, you could builds cannons or using balloons and than of course we have multiple ways to get in space by independend visionaries. Things are moving forward.

Rikandur
Rikandur

But the fact remains that current resources available on Earth are limited. And humans consume them in ways that could be only described as wasteful.

We won't have infinite resources without something as cheesy as Sci Fi "molecular manipulator" that will change atoms of one variety into atoms of another variety.

hzr
hzr

Ive said it in different spots over the course of the years but the nations need to make a concentrated effort to stabilize the population.

Birth control, ratio and such things may sound cruel to some people but they are a neccessary evil!

Of course, right now in our capitalistic economy, something like this probably wont happen because more people also means more possible consumers, thus the chances for such things to happen are slim to none. People in power will do everything to stay in power, even if it means messing it up for everyone else around them and generations to come…

And of course the whole financial and ecological system has to change or at least adapt so that ressources will be better distributed. For example, what the fuck is going on all around our roads currently. Companies rather keep their wares rolling around the country on trucks than build a storage hall for these, because it is CHEAPER to just drive around with it from one spot to the next. This on the other end consumes a massive amount of finite ressources (oil) AND means that theres alot more traffic around, pumping even more emmissions into the air.

Globalization is one of the things that just accelerates the whole process of the planets ressources diminishing at a rapid pace. Especially all the price war between international companies now. So many companies shipping their goods all over the planet now instead of working with the infrastructure in the area/country. There are so many things that are wrong with it right now, be it the traffic increase, companies just breaking up their tents after 20-30 years and putting up a whole new factory in some 3rd world country and cutting off traditional jobs in their actual country… its just a massive mess on a global scale right now.

Ah well, before I go into a frenzy I rather stop. Its good to let it out at times, but sadly, there isnt much we can do right now. At some point things will just explode. This is how humanity works. We just look backwards when it comes to mistakes, not forward. And our current world is mostly driven by the interests of companies, not countries and their governments. The governments act, but usually only in the interest of “the market”.

I am just glad that we currently live in a very calm political climate, compared to times that went before us. If anyone believed it will actually stay this way… pipedream, sorry to say :)

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

I'm pretty sure just about everyone has forgotten about this discussion by now, but I started reading Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner's "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance" this week, and it has a lot to say about how advancing technology changes resource shortages in society that I think Oliver would find informative. The whole book is great, and I haven't finished it yet myself, but here's the important part to the discussion we were having about "technical miracles":

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When the world was lurching into the modern era, it grew magnificently more populous, and in a hurry. Most of this expansion took place in urban centers like London, Paris, New York, and Chicago. In the United States alone, cities grew by 30 million residents during the nineteenth century, with half of that gain in just the final twenty years.

But as this swarm of humanity moved itself, and its goods, from place to place, a problem emerged. The main mode of transportation produced a slew of the by–‐products that economists call negative externalities, including gridlock, high insurance costs, and far too many traffic fatalities. Crops that would have landed on a family's dinner table were sometimes converted into fuel, driving up food prices and causing shortages. Then there were the air pollutants and toxic emissions, endangering the environment as well as individuals' health.

We are talking about the automobile,aren't we?

No, we're not. We are talking about the horse.

The horse, a versatile and powerful helpmate since the days of antiquity, was put to work in many ways as modern cities expanded: pulling streetcars and private coaches, hauling construction materials, unloading freight from ships and trains, even powering the machines that churned out furniture, rope, beer, and clothing. If your young daughter took gravely ill, the doctor rushed to your home on horseback. When a fire broke out, a team of horses charged through the streets with a pumping truck. At the turn of the twentieth century, some 200,000 horses lived and worked in New York City, or 1 for every 17 people.

But oh, the troubles they caused!

Horse–‐drawn wagons clogged the streets terribly, and when a horse broke down, it was often put to death on the spot. This caused further delays. Many stable owners held life–‐insurance policies that, to guard against fraud, stipulated the animal be euthanized by a third party. This meant waiting for the police, a veterinarian, or the ASPCA to arrive. Even death didn't end the gridlock. 'Dead horses were extremely unwieldy,' writes the transportation scholar Eric Morris. 'As a result, street cleaners often waited for the corpses to putrefy so they could more easily be sawed into pieces and carted off.'

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

The noise from iron wagon wheels and horseshoes was so disturbing,it purportedly caused widespread nervous disorders,that some cities banned horse traffic on the streets around hospitals and other sensitive areas.

And it was frighteningly easy to be struck down by a horse or wagon, neither of which is as easy to control as they appear in the movies, especially on slick, crowded city streets. In 1900, horse accidents claimed the lives of 200 New Yorkers, or 1 of every 17,000 residents. In 2007, meanwhile, 274 New Yorkers died in auto accidents, or 1 of every 30,000 residents. This means that a New Yorker was nearly twice as likely to die from a horse accident in 1900 than from a car accident today. (There are unfortunately no statistics available on drunk horse–‐drivers, but we can assume the number would be menacingly high.)

Worst of all was the dung. The average horse produced about 24 pounds of manure a day. With 200,000 horses, that's nearly 5 million pounds of horse manure. A day. Where did it go?

Decades earlier, when horses were less plentiful in cities, there was a smooth–‐functioning market for manure, with farmers buying it to truck off (via horse, of course) to their fields. But as the urban equine population exploded, there was a massive glut. In vacant lots, horse manure was piled as high as sixty feet. It lined city streets like banks of snow. In the summertime, it stank to the heavens. when the rains came, a soupy stream of horse manure flooded the crosswalks and seeped into people's basements. Today, when you admire old New York brownstones and their elegant stoops, rising from street level to the second–‐story parlor, keep in mind that this was a design necessity, allowing a homeowner to rise above the sea of horse manure.

All of this dung was terrifically unhealthy. It was a breeding ground for billions of flies that spread a host of deadly diseases. Rats and other vermin swarmed the mountains of manure to pick out undigested oats and other horse feed,crops that were becoming more costly for human consumption thanks to higher horse demand. No one at the time was worried about global warming, but if they had been, the horse would have been Public Enemy No. 1, for its manure emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

In 1898, New York hosted the first international urban planning conference. The agenda was dominated by horse manure, because cities around the world were experiencing the same crisis. But no solution could be found. 'Stumped by the crisis,' writes Eric Morris, 'the urban planning conference declared its work fruitless and broke up in three days instead of the scheduled ten.' The world had seemingly reached the point where its largest cities could not survive without the horse but couldn't survive with it, either.

Sing si lip yan
Sing si lip yan

And then the problem vanished. It was neither government fiat nor divine intervention that did the trick. City dwellers did not rise up in some mass movement of altruism or self–‐restraint, surrendering all the benefits of horse power. The problem was solved by technological innovation. No, not the invention of a dung–‐less animal. The horse was kicked to the curb by the electric streetcar and the automobile, both of which were extravagantly cleaner and far more efficient. The automobile, cheaper to own and operate than a horse–‐drawn vehicle, was proclaimed 'an environmental savior.' Cities around the world were able to take a deep breath,without holding their noses at last,and resume their march of progress.

The story, unfortunately, does not end there. The solutions that saved the twentieth century seem to have imperiled the twenty–‐first, because the automobile and electric streetcar carried their own negative externalities. The carbon emissions spat out over the past century by more than 1 billion cars and thousands of coal–‐burning power plants seem to have warmed the earth's atmosphere. Just as equine activity once threatened to stomp out civilization, there is now a fear that human activity will do the same. Martin Weitzman, an environmental economist at Harvard, argues there is a roughly 5 percent chance that global temperatures will rise enough to 'effectively destroy planet Earth as we know it.' In some quarters,the media, for instance, which never met a potential apocalypse it didn't like,the fatalism runs even stronger.

This is perhaps not very surprising. When the solution to a given problem doesn't lay right before our eyes, it is easy to assume that no solution exists. But history has shown again and again that such assumptions are wrong.

This is not to say the world is perfect. Nor that all progress is always good. Even widespread societal gains inevitably produce losses for some people. That's why the economist Joseph Schumpeter referred to capitalism as 'creative destruction.'

But humankind has a great capacity for finding technological solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and this will likely be the case for global warming. It isn't that the problem isn't potentially large. It's just that human ingenuity,when given proper incentives,is bound to be larger. Even more encouraging, technological fixes are often far simpler, and therefore cheaper, than the doomsayers could have imagined. Indeed, in the final chapter of this book we'll meet a band of renegade engineers who have developed not one but three global–‐warming fixes, any of which could be bought for less than the annual sales tally of all the Thoroughbred horses at Keeneland auction house in Kentucky.

The value of horse manure, incidentally, has rebounded, so much so that the owners of one Massachusetts farm recently called the police to stop a neighbor from hauling it away. The neighbor claimed there was a misunderstanding, that he'd been given permission by the farm's previous owner. But the current owner wouldn't back down, demanding $600 for the manure.

Who was this manure–‐loving neighbor? None other than Martin Weitzman, the economist with the grave global–‐ warming prediction.

'Congratulations,' one colleague wrote to Weitzman when the story hit the papers. 'Most economists I know are net exporters of horseshit. And you are, it seems, a net importer.'