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Thread: Power for the People

  1. #1 Power for the People 
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The 2 planets are similar in some ways but significantly different in others. If you read that RealClimate item I referred to earlier you'll see that the final comment reads ....

    Arctic methane, and all that frozen soil carbon, could easily play a huge role, not so much in the near-term evolution of Earth’s climate, but in the long tail of the global warming climate event.
    The other big difference is that Earth has a large population of an extremely intelligent species - which also happens to be clumsy and short-sighted in its approach to its environment. I'm reasonably confident, not certain, but optimistic that we'll start deliberately reducing emissions soon - the USA's already reduced a bit, but that was totally unplanned. And then, in a decade or so, we'll have some scope to reduce concentrations as well as emissions.
    If we don't have the common sense to limit our population size, I don't see how we'd have the common sense to do the rest. It's not "common sense" when peoples' livelihoods are on the line. We have to use every last resource we have to sustain so many people.

    Every trim in usage you suggest, is somebody's lost livelihood. We just need fewer people and a more conservative rate of consumption would be ample for them all to live in luxury.


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  3. #2  
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    If we don't have the common sense to limit our population size
    We are quickly reducing family sizes across most of the globe. That isn't the real issue.

    Population size isn't so much of the problem as much as the part of the population which is uses lots of energy and burns fossil fuels as the primary means to get that energy. If the Western nations and rapidly industrializing Eastern nations don't learn to either live on less energy, or learn to use less fossil fuels to support that high-energy life style--than we are in trouble.

    The arctic methane is a positive feedback loop towards increasing global temperature with no chance to boil the oceans or come anywhere close. Of course hundreds of millions of years from now (probably more like a billion) of years the sun will warm to the point that life can no long compesate and only than will we get run away greenhouse effect.


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  4. #3  
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    energy

    Looking at the evolution of energy use and supplies may indicate the future of energy supplies.
    Long ago and far away, the ancient civilizations of the indus valley (mohinjo daro and harappa, etc...) really seemed to like plaster on walls and floors.
    It seems that they deforested their valley for the fuel for the kilns--------------and then --pfft, they wuz gone
    ..........
    moving ahead to the dawn of our industrial evolution, the forests of britian were mostly cut down for fuel, until finally, they decided to use coal
    saving the forest remnants........
    Then we needed to light the night, and whale oil seemed to fit the bill nicely and is still considered an excellent lubricant.-------slowly the great beasts in the north atlantic were getting rare, then the south atlantic, then out into the great pacific----the whaleing voyages grew longer and longer, and the oil was getting expensive
    When along came Ed Drake in Titusvill, drilling and refining oil for the machines and kerosine to light the night
    And millponds harvested another energy source culminating in Itaipu and 3 gorges........

    As other energy sources get rare and expensive, new sources emerge to tap those markets.
    Crude Oil just keeps getting harder to find and more expensive into the bargain(really, 7 mile wells ain't cheap, and undersea work gets impossible for hands on human workers---and the danger and expense keep rising)
    Consider that your grand children may see the end of oil used as a fuel-----the expense will make that something used sparingly.
    Add in that we are getting much more conservative---with exceedingly well insulated houses becoming more common, and smarter electric motors which use much less energy for the same horsepower.

    we are seeing generational improvements in solar and wind power and they are opening new fields of use and destribution as they evolve.
    eg: use the sun to generate energy--use that energy to isolate hydrogen, (think baked chicken feathers) and cleaner individual transportation devices------around which, much of the united states has been growing(L.A., the suburbs which once only grew up around rail lines)

    (wild guess du jour)
    We are travelers wandering through a vast forest of energy sources and potentials, and as we use one up, we find another, and with each step, we find quantum leaps in industrialization (which get more conservative as they evolve) providing more diverse energy sources.
    As new sources develope, we will re-analize the consequences of the current energy sources, and much as switching in time saved the forests remnants and whales---we may yet create on this earth a cleaner, safer place to live.
    Eden may not have been any more real than Camelot, but it surely helps to have ideals as goals.

    bonadventure
    rod

    .....................
    Meanwhile
    give over the worry and negativity, and focus on the positive and the good
    Hansen and Sato may have an understanding of the atmosphere(though, I think them a tad prone to doom and gloom), what they seem to lack is an understanding of the human animal, and it's tool evolution. God bless them if their hyperbole can direct more funding to cleaner energy sources. (but, damn them if they start a mindless fearfull stampede)
    Last edited by sculptor; October 4th, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    If we don't have the common sense to limit our population size
    We are quickly reducing family sizes across most of the globe. That isn't the real issue.

    Population size isn't so much of the problem as much as the part of the population which is uses lots of energy and burns fossil fuels as the primary means to get that energy. If the Western nations and rapidly industrializing Eastern nations don't learn to either live on less energy, or learn to use less fossil fuels to support that high-energy life style--than we are in trouble.
    You're not thinking small enough. With a small enough population, say a national population the size of that which lives in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, hydro-electric would more than match their consumption needs.

    How do I know? Because it did last year.

    This whole "we'll consume to infinity if power production grows to infinity" idea is just B$. After a person's house is at about 70 degrees, and their TV set is working, most people stop consuming. Giving them twice as much available power wouldn't double their consumption.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post

    You're not thinking small enough. With a small enough population, say a national population the size of that which lives in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, hydro-electric would more than match their consumption needs.

    How do I know? Because it did last year.
    Not even close. Oregon get more than 30% of its electricity from coal and another 10-15% from natural gas. And of course 90%+ of its transportation energy comes from fossil fuels, just like the rest of the nation.
    More Coal Is On The Northwest Grid Than You Think · Oregon Public Broadcasting · EarthFix But here's the thing. That 50% or so of total energy produced by fossils fuels being used by an average Oregon resident is enough to provide the needs of dozens of people in the undeveloped world and a half a dozen people in the developing world. That 3-5 billion people's power needs only becomes a problem as they modernize...especially if they follow in the foot steps of the Western nations by burning fossil fuels and building inefficient transportation and buildings.

    --
    Ya YA...we're off topic. Give me a good title and I can split this.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; October 5th, 2012 at 08:59 AM.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    ...
    Ya YA...we're off topic. Give me a good title and I can split this.
    Just call it
    "Power to the people"
    (write on brothers, write on)
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post

    You're not thinking small enough. With a small enough population, say a national population the size of that which lives in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, hydro-electric would more than match their consumption needs.

    How do I know? Because it did last year.
    Not even close. Oregon get more than 30% of its electricity from coal and another 10-15% from natural gas. And of course 90%+ of its transportation energy comes from fossil fuels, just like the rest of the nation.
    More Coal Is On The Northwest Grid Than You Think · Oregon Public Broadcasting · EarthFix
    Yeah. I see my mistake now. There was excess power during the Summer, but not during the Winter.

    BPA braces for strong spring runoff, excess power and wind power cuts | OregonLive.com

    But here's the thing. That 50% or so of total energy produced by fossils fuels being used by an average Oregon resident is enough to provide the needs of dozens of people in the undeveloped world and a half a dozen people in the developing world. That 3-5 billion people's power needs only becomes a problem as they modernize...especially if they follow in the foot steps of the Western nations by burning fossil fuels and building inefficient transportation and buildings.

    --
    Ya YA...we're off topic. Give me a good title and I can split this.
    How much of the developing world lives in a cold climate? You can live without air conditioning (it's not fun, but you can). You can't live without heat.
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  9. #8  
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    You can live without air conditioning (it's not fun, but you can). You can't live without heat.
    Depends on how extreme either one goes. If you're talking high humidity, extreme heat kills you pretty quickly, especially if overnight temperatures stay high. Check out the intersection of 100F & 70%RH. http://www.magazine.noaa.gov/stories...heatindexb.jpg

    Even when you're talking sub-Arctic cold, adding warm clothes - especially furs, thick woollen socks, and some leather or other impervious material can keep you alive for a fair while, especially if you eat well and have good shelter, preferably insulated, from cold winds.

    The central difference is personal insulation. If you're hot and you've taken your clothes off - what more can you do? If you're cold, and you've got warm clothes, you can add a beanie and a scarf, then gloves, then a blanket, or another blanket or three.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    You can live without air conditioning (it's not fun, but you can). You can't live without heat.
    The central difference is personal insulation. If you're hot and you've taken your clothes off - what more can you do? If you're cold, and you've got warm clothes, you can add a beanie and a scarf, then gloves, then a blanket, or another blanket or three.
    It seems that in cold old winters many did not disrope till springtime and sometimes longer. There are stories from iceland of being able to pick lice out of your clothing under the arctic midnight sun----------(ok, summer in the arctic)----Then stories about our early western travelers picking lice------
    Give me a nice cozy fire and a clean change of cloths every day.

    "clothing optional" hot and humid days ------hmmmmmmm---

    the thing is--there is a lot of waste in some peoples approach---I have walked into air conditioned spaces that were 60 degrees(F) in mid summer---that is really crazy, but considered normal for the people who worked there.

    I've found nothing like a good heat wave to help me shed a few extra pounds/kilos-----------nor autumnal feasts to put them back on for the winter ahead.
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  11. #10  
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    I'm going to add that I think it's silly for people to suffer. Think what you're suggesting here. Should it be a permanent part of the human condition to always have to endure extreme heat and cold?

    Is maintaining a population of 6+ billion worth every last one of them having to live like that? Why not instead trim it down to 2 billion or 500 million, and then every last one of them could have climate controlled homes? Then maybe humanity survives happily for the next million years, instead of just a couple of centuries of squallor before we kill ourselves off fighting over the few resources we haven't used up. If each century is 3 generations, the second option actually leads to more humans. 30,000 generations * 500 million, vs 10 generations * 6 billion.

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Even when you're talking sub-Arctic cold, adding warm clothes - especially furs, thick woollen socks, and some leather or other impervious material can keep you alive for a fair while, especially if you eat well and have good shelter, preferably insulated, from cold winds.
    If a person can't afford heating, then I think they also wouldn't be able to afford to eat well enough.

    The central difference is personal insulation. If you're hot and you've taken your clothes off - what more can you do? If you're cold, and you've got warm clothes, you can add a beanie and a scarf, then gloves, then a blanket, or another blanket or three.
    The trick to surviving extreme heat is to drink a lot of water. Then you sweat a lot and it cools you. (Admittedly it doesn't cool you as much in extreme humidity, unfortunately.)
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  12. #11  
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    Even at 7 billion, we ain't yet crested the carrying capacity of the earth during this interglacial period.

    How would getting rid of a billion asians or indians or africans benefit me in rural midwest Usa?
    Hell man, I can't even see any gain in getting rid of you.

    Given the next onset of the glaciers, and throw in another super volcano, and we might get down to less than 10,000 of us within 70,000 years.

    fill yer heart with joy?
     

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    Given the next onset of the glaciers,
    To get into anything like an ice age, we'd have to get CO2 concentrations down way below what they were in the pre-industrial era. If you look at the glacial / inter-glacial calendar in this item, RealClimate: 650,000 years of greenhouse gas concentrations you'll see that there's absolutely no chance of that any time in the next few millennia.

    We'll be hard-pressed to get back to 280ppm which is the usual high point in the cycle. Getting to below 200ppm looks to be out of reach for 10000-100000 years which is what you need for reglaciation.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    adelady
    You seem to be assuming that atmospheric concentrations of green house gasses are the causal factor in the ice age/glacial age and glaciation,
    and may be confusing a period of glaciation with the greater "ice age/glacial age"
    There is no proof of that assumption, and some viable null hypothesis

    We are now in an interglacial era of an ice age, and have been in this ice age for at least 2.58-3million years--------unless you consider the onset of the ice age to be the glaciation of antarctica, then 35-40 million years . And your link goes back 650 thousand years. Not nearly enough.
    There is no consensus on exactly what has caused this ice age, or any of the previous 4(or more?) ice ages.
    During the ice age that occured at end ordovician/beginning silurian, atmospheric CO2 was several time higher than it is today(likely over 4000ppm), and still, the earth experienced an ice age.

    The question remains, can anthropogenic atmosphere forcing delay the next onset of the glaciers? and: If anthropogenic climate forcing is delaying the onset of the next glaciation, why would you want to stop now?
    Are we at or near the end if this ice age? Or do we have several more periods of glaciation and interglacial cycles yet to go?
    The average global temperature hasn't been this low since the carboniferous/permian boundary, wherein atmospheric CO2 concentrations were near todays--------maybe a tad higher---say 400ppm

    Ok the world keeps evolving, and it ain't the same as it was hundreds of millions of years ago.
    And, maybe "this time things really are different" (an oft heard phrase during the late 90s stock market bubble), but I doubt it.

    So far:
    One theory is that ice ages are triggered as we move outside our spiral arm of the galaxy.
    Alternately it has been proposed that we have larger and smaller ice ages roughly every 250 million years which coincides with the time it takes us to go around the galaxy.
    There are many other earth and solar system based theories as to causation of ice ages, but no real consensus yet.

    Timing is a bit tricky, but it seems that most ice ages have lasted for over 30 million years.
    Untill we are certain that we have, indeed, exited this current ice age, perhaps we are best served by assuming that we have not.
    Last edited by sculptor; October 6th, 2012 at 05:41 PM.
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    OK. You didn't even look at that RealClimate piece or try to find out why your ideas don't line up with the data or actual climatologists.

    Let's agree on something. I won't bother you with actual climate science if, and only if, you agree not to put this kind of speculation in front of young people who really need to understand how their world works. They'll be living with the results of previous generations' folly long after we're dead and gone.

    If you can't agree with that, then I'll keep putting real scientific opinion backed with actual scientific data and analysis regardless of baseless theories that were debunked decades ago, or maybe last week. Whether they're put forward by you or anyone else.

    If you're so fearful about the maintenance or possible advance of ice, keep Mauri Pelto's blog From a Glaciers Perspective in your feel-good folder and look at the pictures of all those glaciers receding. There's no need to read the text. It's much the same for each and every glacier he reports on in every part of the world. Though you might not feel so reassured every now and again when he reports that a particular glacier is not doomed to disappear immediately. (And you might want to get your kids or your neighbours to organise the little generation to get in a holiday at Glacier National Park before the last glacier disappears entirely and the name becomes a mere historical pointer to what's no longer there.)
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  16. #15  
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    Just a comment on population.

    As lynx pointed out, population growth is slowing and will soon stop.
    However, you need to think about the ideal reduction in population. The simple economic fact is that we need a sizable population to permit production of all the luxuries and wonderful toys we have available to us today. If we were to drop world population to a billion or less, we would also have to drop our standard of living, and go back to doing 80 hours hard physical labour each week. And not having food security, iPads, computers, TV's, medical care etc., etc.

    Life would again become nasty, brutish, and short.

    Without enough people to produce those things, they will disappear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    OK. You didn't even look at that RealClimate piece or try to find out why your ideas don't line up with the data or actual climatologists.
    Silly girl: of course I took the link and read the blurb(the page seems more like a blog of the acolytes and converted than a detailed science platform, the charts sucked, but I see they put a new one up this morning---still going back 650,000 years.) It is simple, though I do not always agree with you, you post and I read. You post links and I read them too.

    So, intrigued by your comments, and the blog blurb, I sought out epica data:
    and from them, I quote:

    "We used principal component analysis
    to extract the joint climatic signal and produce a common
    high-resolution record of dust flux. This new record is used
    to identify Antarctic warming events during the past eight
    glacial periods. The phasing of dust flux and CO2 changes
    during glacial-interglacial transitions reveals that iron
    fertilization of the Southern Ocean during the past nine
    glacial terminations was not the dominant factor in the
    deglacial rise of CO2 concentrations. Rapid changes in dust
    flux during glacial terminations and Antarctic warming events
    point to a rapid response of the southern westerly wind belt
    in the region of southern South American dust sources on
    changing climate conditions. The clear lead of these dust
    changes on temperature rise suggests that an atmospheric
    reorganization occurred in the Southern Hemisphere before
    the Southern Ocean warmed significantly."

    It would seem that their focus is/was on our exiting of a(many) period(s) of glaciation into interglacials.

    Still going back only 800,000 years, we are at maximum only 31% into this current ice age/glacial age, unless we consider this glacial age to have started with the glaciation of antarctica, then 800,000 years is just scratching the surface at 2% of this current ice age/glacial age. And, the data do not even go back to the beginnings of this ice age when the cycles were assumed to be of a 41,000 year range instead of our current 100kyr cycle.
    A curiousity of mine is : Will we drift back into a 41kyr cycle before we exit this ice age? Or go into an even longer cycle than our current 100kyr cycle?
    And, if so, will the low temperatures during the glaciations be even lower than in our current 100kyr cycle?

    What I was focusing on was how exactly do we enter or exit an ice age, and how long does it last------and not on how we re-enter a period of glaciation(within an ice age), or exit into an interglacial.

    ancillary to the above:
    The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)
    is always an interesting read
    and from them. I quote:
    "Over the last 800,000 years atmospheric CO2 levels as indicated by the ice-core data have fluctuated between 170 and 300 parts per million by volume (ppmv), corresponding with conditions of glacial and interglacial periods. The Vostok core indicates very similar trends. Prior to about 450,000 years before present time (BP) atmospheric CO2 levels were always at or below 260 ppmv and reached lowest values, approaching 170 ppmv, between 660,000 and 670,000 years ago. The highest pre-industrial value recorded in 800,000 years of ice-core record was 298.6 ppmv, in the Vostok core, around 330,000 years ago. Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased markedly in industrial times; measurements in year 2010 at Cape Grim Tasmania and the South Pole both indicated values of 386 ppmv, and are currently increasing at about 2 ppmv/year"

    You will note that they use the word "corresponding" rather than causing.

    as/re "fear the ice" no, I'll be dead long before it gets here------will the next glaciation plow out my grave? Should I care?
    This is all a curiousity. And I am a voracious devourer of much information, especially that having to do with our earth and our evolution within the earth's everchanging climate.

    ......
    What i would like to know is
    What, exactly, causes this earth to go into an ice age/glacial age.
    How long will it(have they) last(ed)?
    Can we see how it will end, and what will be the signs that it is ending?

    Meanwhile---you and your brethren seem to think that we have the power to end this ice age, without knowing what caused it in the first place.
    Is that an accurate assessment of the situation?
    And, if not end the ice age, at-least stave off the next advances of the glaciers.
    For how long, and why? Does our climate forcing overpower the milankovitch cycles? Are they really the cause of the glaciation/interglacial cycles? If so, then why the lack of correlation for the recent one million years?
    Was it the cold snap when we drifted into the 100kyr cycles a little over a million years ago(mis 31) that led to the evolution of homo sapiens heidelbergensis? Or, Lake El’gygytgyn data suggesting much warmer arctic at that time...was it the warmth?--and---3 million years of arctic climate(wowie zowie)
    here's a fun link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxbOSB7zDgY
    Julie Brigham-Grette, super interglacials
    "the tree line is marching north (now)", "8 degrees warmer 400,000 years ago(mis 11)" and (mis 31)
    Anecdotal to this it has been proposed that a 400,000 milankovitch cycle is coincidental with the super interglacials, which could mean that we are in for much warmer conditions during this interglacial, and adding agw, maybe a new record warm interglacial? Then, should there have been another "super interglacial roughly 800,000 years ago?
    counterpoint: The lake E team states "Simulations using state-of-the-art computer climate models show that neither changes in the Earth's orbit nor high levels of greenhouse gases could produce such changes alone."


    Knowledge is a peculiar beasty. We start with questions, and accumulate more knowledge seeking to answer those questions. The accumulation of knowledge helps refine the questions, but offers precious few answers.

    I suspect that the quest will take my entire lifetime, and still, on my tombstone it should read "WHY?"
    Last edited by sculptor; October 7th, 2012 at 03:36 PM.
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    I'm not sure why you're mixing effects over the span of millions of years, what are sometimes referred to as the major ice ages and successfully modeled with changes in geography over those periods, with effects over the next few generations which are driven predominantly by green house gas concentration changes. It's analogous to arguing that the evidence for high saturated fat eating and smoking reducing lifespans isn't important because population has increased dramatically over the past 6000 years. This major ice age will likely end when the ocean and land configuration reduce he amount of polar land mass--it has nothing do with centuries to thousand year time spans.

    And this thread was supposed to be about the relationships between increased population and energy use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I'm not sure why you're mixing effects over the span of millions of years, what are sometimes referred to as the major ice ages and successfully modeled with changes in geography over those periods, with effects over the next few generations which are driven predominantly by green house gas concentration changes. It's analogous to arguing that the evidence for high saturated fat eating and smoking reducing lifespans isn't important because population has increased dramatically over the past 6000 years. This major ice age will likely end when the ocean and land configuration reduce he amount of polar land mass--it has nothing do with centuries to thousand year time spans.

    And this thread was supposed to be about the relationships between increased population and energy use.
    Hi Lynx
    as/re mixing effects (anecdote---I sailed with a captain who steered by watching his wake and the compass)(the past can teach us alot about where we are going)
    I am interested in paleo-climate and the glacial cycles, and one cannot study them without some reference to agw.
    I am much more a student of science than an engineer. Much more interested in the cycles of the earth, and our evolution within those cycles than in the next few generations. Remember that i degreed in archaeology /anthropology----paleo is my delight.
    For me, seeing the climate in which our ancestors evolved is a real joy that rounds out my knowledge base. And the scientists at greenland, wisconsin, lake E, antarctica, etc. ... are feeding that delight with ever more discoveries. We live in an age of miracles. and, If i see someone getting it wrong when referencing what i have studied, i chime in, even, and sometimes especially when supposition is overstated as fact. when i read, i almost invariably formulate a null hypothesis, then seek information supporting, or negating it........(i do that here, often)

    Yes, the irony
    You split this thread, and then I responded to adelady
    and.......well we headed back to what should have been in the pre split thread
    as I was posting, the irony of it struck me (and if I could'a drug her and my posts back to the other thread, I would'a)
    the more we think we're in control, the more we find out just how improbable that can be.

    But really, thanx for trying, and accept my
    whoops

    .........
    just cause i don't want you to think me a total asshole, please reference post 3 wherein, i propose that our energy useage will change, is changing, and therefore: future worries based on current consumption are somewhat like trying to grab a fart in the wind.
    FF is finite, a gift to us by our earth who has been collecting these treasures over millions of years.
    Unless our culture, society, and species are also to to be finite, we will move on to new energy sources.
    energy use is a juggernaut that has built up one helluva head of steam, and she ain't gonna slow down fast
    meanwhile---
    -----if it was much warmer in previous interglacials, and if the 400,000 thing holds true, and if anthropogenic global climate forcing adds to whatever cycle it is that turns an interglacial into a superinterglacial (a lot of ifs)
    then we should focus on what it is that we can do to mitigate it's effects on us-------egocentric/speciescentric?
    which may mean earth friendly
    Last edited by sculptor; October 7th, 2012 at 02:01 PM.
     

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    I share your enthusiasm but neither this thread or the other had anything do with the geological over millions of year, major ice ages, astronomical changes as the solar system orbited the galaxy or anything over such long time periods. It was about methane and the changes over the course of decades and centuries, at the most a few thousands years where man's activities clear can and likely have already had an effect on global climate. Identifying the physical and temporal scales are at the heart of all natural sciences so you can decide what terms to consider--I think you know that already. I fully admit I'm perhaps oversensitive to the confusion and misunderstanding about scale--but if I am, it's only because it's been at the heart of about half misunderstandings through the years here at in other science forums--it's certainly something I'll harp on as a science teacher.

    If you want to start another thread that discusses the difference scales of climate change--knock yourself out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I share your enthusiasm but neither this thread or the other had anything do with the geological over millions of year, major ice ages, astronomical changes as the solar system orbited the galaxy or anything over such long time periods. It was about methane and the changes over the course of decades and centuries, at the most a few thousands years where man's activities clear can and likely have already had an effect on global climate. Identifying the physical and temporal scales are at the heart of all natural sciences so you can decide what terms to consider--I think you know that already. I fully admit I'm perhaps oversensitive to the confusion and misunderstanding about scale--but if I am, it's only because it's been at the heart of about half misunderstandings through the years here at in other science forums--it's certainly something I'll harp on as a science teacher.

    If you want to start another thread that discusses the difference scales of climate change--knock yourself out.
    From my perspective:
    the other thread had concerns over clathrates and permafrost adding to global warming and starting a run-away greenhouse effect.
    Being as the arctic has been much warmer in previous interglacials, the tundra was replaced by forests, and the voiced worries didn't happen, paleo became appropriate.

    Because it didn't happen in the past, we can assume that it is a needless worry
    Unless we add into the mix our climate forcing.
    Knowing the base, we can calculate the effect of additional forcings. Without the base offered by the guys at lake e and elsewhere, it is like measuring a building and saying "it is something plus 3 feet".

    once again:
    perspective matters

    "Not only do results shed light on natural variability of the Arctic climate, but this view of the past may be a key to understanding climate in future centuries, the researchers say.“We have a lot more to learn,” says professor Julie Brigham-Grette. "
    and
    Brigham-Grette, the lead U.S. scientist says, “What we see is astonishing. We had no idea that we’d find this. It’s astonishing to see so many intervals when the Arctic was really warm, enough so forests were growing where today we see tundra and permafrost. And the intensity of warming is completely unexpected. The other astounding thing is that we were able to determine that during many times when the West Antarctic ice sheet disappeared, we see a corresponding warm period following very quickly in the Arctic. Arctic warm periods cluster with periods when the Western Antarctic ice sheet is gone.”

    kinda what i had expected actually------------imagine my delight
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    Changing the direction of population growth has challenges of it's own, a transition that would see an aging population economically dependent on a shrinking relative number of younger people who are economically productive. It's happening to some extent anyway in places like Australia and, in a more extreme form, in China. But the alternative - ever growing population - is clearly untenable. Even if, short term, food production can be increased, it can't keep increasing without limits. As it is much of the current abundance is being 'funded' by the sacrifice of irreplaceable capital - climate stability and finite resources. Technology used intelligently can ease the burden but it leaves us and our descendants between a rock and a hard place. And it's not like we lack the foresight or the intelligence, yet we are choosing not to use either effectively.
     

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    Being as the arctic has been much warmer in previous interglacials, the tundra was replaced by forests, and the voiced worries didn't happen, paleo became appropriate.
    How many humans inhabited the planet then? Mammals of any size or description?

    If my recollections of paleo are in the right ballpark, when the world was 6+ degrees warmer than now, sea levels reached 100+metres higher than now. Regardless of how many humans (or human precursors) were around at those times, we know without any doubt that there were no cities of several million people, no bridges, no farms, no ports or railways, no sewage processing plants, no power stations, established at lower sea levels.

    The concerns we have now were never a concern of any kind in any period or history or prehistory.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Being as the arctic has been much warmer in previous interglacials, the tundra was replaced by forests, and the voiced worries didn't happen, paleo became appropriate.
    How many humans inhabited the planet then? Mammals of any size or description?
    If my recollections of paleo are in the right ballpark, when the world was 6+ degrees warmer than now, sea levels reached 100+metres higher than now. Regardless of how many humans (or human precursors) were around at those times, we know without any doubt that there were no cities of several million people, no bridges, no farms, no ports or railways, no sewage processing plants, no power stations, established at lower sea levels.
    The concerns we have now were never a concern of any kind in any period or history or prehistory.
    how many homo were alive will remain conjecture
    however, I can readily state that all of your ancestors were alive(at one time or another) during the linked climate changes.
    and
    it was 8 degrees warmer and sea levels were not up even 50 meters(take the link watch the video)(mis 11 and 31 and 49,55,77,87,91,93 all warmer)
    Without a lot of rain on the grounded ice, it will take a long time for it to melt amd raise the oceans.

    as for building where buildings are in danger-----gee what a pity--if idiots wish to build in flood plains, then they have earned the right to be inconvenienced when it floods.
    Science can provide us with real data upon which we may design our lives and prepare us for what lies ahead.
    But only if we really want to know what really happens, and not demand status quo from an earth/biom/...climate/atmosphere, etc that it seems, has never provided a steady state in all the studies carried out thus far.

    As for cities being flooded
    the studies at the pot bellied hill, indicate a likelyhood of advanced civilizations with monumental architecture during the time of the last glaciers which are most likely now undersea

    No sane person who has studied the data could possibly beleive that the waters will not rise even more.

    if we are in a superinterglacial (IF) then we should be thinking about what to do when(not if) the waters rise, the arctic ocean's shores are reforested, the bearing feeds more pacific water into the chuckchi sea and on into the arctic ocean, the winter winds coming off the arctic ocean bring more moisture to the siberian and canadian plains, ... etc.etc.

    climate change ain't your enemy
    we are wedded to this earth for better worse, and if we love it, we will thrive

    the early TAOist were true scientist, studying earths systems that we might better live in accord with them-------the later day taoist, thought to study earth so that they could control life and death, turn lead into gold---and give the emperor mercury so that he could live forever----------

    each day, you get to chose whether you want to be taught by the earth and earth sciences, or seek control as the later taoist did
     

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    as for building where buildings are in danger-----gee what a pity--if idiots wish to build in flood plains, then they have earned the right to be inconvenienced when it floods.
    Where else would you build port facilities except at sea level?
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    as for building where buildings are in danger-----gee what a pity--if idiots wish to build in flood plains, then they have earned the right to be inconvenienced when it floods.
    Where else would you build port facilities except at sea level?
    as long as container ships continue to be built bigger than extant locks and dams, ports at sea level are a must
    that doesn't mean they should be considered to last 1000 years, or 100 years

    and what does a port do but transfer cargo from one means of conveyance to another

    as i said earlier in another thread
    we should focus on rebuilding the natural barriers along the seashores
    mangroves, tidal swamps, reefs, etc...

    if the 1.2 million year milankovitch long cycle quoted and linked alligns with mis31, then we are more likely to see a superinterglacial
    if, however the timing favors mis 31 being 100kyr off, then the next interglacial may see up to 30,000 years of +8 degree arctic temperatures

    we should both live so long to see what will happen
    but we won't
    (sigh)
     

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    If you are born into relative poverty on the Ganges delta (for example) it is unlikely you will have any real option to simply move to someplace else; other people live and have prior claims there and aren't likely to welcome you with open arms and good employment opportunities.
     

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    If we really knew what had caused the previous (at least) 8 superinterglacials wherein the waters rose.
    Which we do not. (You saw the 'lake E' linked material?) Would it be any more appropriate to tinker with that natural cycle?
    My view is that these studies/investigations into the world are a knowledge gathering stage which will lead to a greater understanding.
    And we should not predeterming our desires without first acquiring that knowledge.

    You know the chinese story about how the young gods of the north,south,east,a and west decided to "help" the progenitor god "chaos"?
     

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    Which we do not.


    Why do keep saying this, despite posting a good vid that showed the explanation, or at least the underlying forcing with was the alignment of astronomical irradiative forcing at high latitudes and of course the enormous positive feed backs that amplify those variations?
    The details, and specific feed backs will always have room for improvement and probably never be fully explained for particular events because most of the data is wiped out--but that's far different than saying we don't know. Like all natural sciences, it's a matter of degree of understanding--not a "understand" or don't understand" dichotomy.

    Also not sure how anyone can be dismissive of the enormous cost to world economies and in real human suffering as we're forced to adapt to a much warmer world--even one about 4 C warmer (the observed in 8C in this Arctic studies run about twice the global average). Moving cities cost huge money, changing our entire agricultural systems cost huge money, displacing tens of millions cost money, and that's best case if the human displacement doesn't drive many nations to wars (the Pentagon has twice warned the US government that climate change is the most dangerous of all future threats to US--Congress has stopped asking them for the reports-no surprise given the anti-science party in control of the house).

    This might be unduly harsh, but your comments in this thread remind me of the types of stoicism that have allowed among the worst actions of humanity. I for one aren't so comfortable with creating misery for our grandchildren--especially in light of new evidence that shows that misery might come along even more rapidly than our extremely conservative climate models are suggesting.
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    Lynx:
    look at the vid again dad
    she(as the voice of the lake E team) is searching
    she's throwing stuff up against the wall to see what sticks

    she pointed out milankovitch allignments, but didn't hold onto that as a causal factor
    then she skipped to the melting of the west antarctic ice - rise in sea levels- more pacific flow through the bering and chukchi seas(and threw in a plug for her current projects)

    ------then I linked to the article about the long cycles
    but locking in the coordinated timing is something I ain't comfortable with yet.
    If I am missing something in here please voice it.

    matter of degree------OK---yeah, but (if i wuz walking to seatle without a map, how would I know if i was 1/2 way there?)
    And the Lake E data has certainly given us some really valuable climate data to which we might compare forcings like the Milankovitch cycels/long cycles/sun cycles/interplanitary gravity forcings/ cosmic forcings.....etc...?...etc!
    (and all at 1/6 the cost of an f22 raptor-------where would you rather we spend our money?)(go nsf)

    jeez-as/re:

    Also not sure how anyone can be dismissive of the enormous cost to world economies and in real human suffering as we're forced to adapt to a much warmer world--even one about 4 C warmer ...etc...
    WOW do I seem dismissive?
    That part of me that studied science/and will always be a research scientist's tag along really wants to find out just what in hell is going on with our world and species--------ties into cosmology and entomology--and a whole host of data points about stuff that I really ain't interested in-------------except as it rounds out the knowledge base which I seek.

    That ain't dismissive
    I don't follow this stuff cause I don't care

    It is just that I honor the early TAOist philosophy
    and eschew the behaviour of the younger gods who tried to improve on their progenitor (do you know the story?)
    (the modern version-"Dont fuck up what you don't understand")

    From my studies into the subject, I think it folly if not insanity to expect the waters to not rise.

    I do not see natural science exclusively as a means of controlling nature, but rather and preponderously a means of understanding nature so that we may be prepared to more readily adapt to it's cycles.

    (but, that's just me and i do not expect simular views from very many others)
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Even at 7 billion, we ain't yet crested the carrying capacity of the earth during this interglacial period.

    How would getting rid of a billion asians or indians or africans benefit me in rural midwest Usa?
    Hell man, I can't even see any gain in getting rid of you.

    Given the next onset of the glaciers, and throw in another super volcano, and we might get down to less than 10,000 of us within 70,000 years.

    fill yer heart with joy?

    It would make unskilled workers more scarce, and reduce the benefit of outsourcing those jobs so American unskilled workers could make a better living. The decline of manufacturing is sometimes attributed to the rise of gangs in American inner cities. The children of parents who had been making decent livings as factory workers found themselves unable to secure similar employment.

    Of course a love for education has never been a major virtue of those communities, but even outside of that problem, there are many unemployed computer programmers in Utah right now. People who studied and earned full degrees in a difficult, math intensive, field, but they can't compete with the lower salary requirements of similarly trained workers from India. What will we do when American doctors, engineers, and MBA's have to compete with India's doctors, engineers, and MBA's?

    It seems the only viable solution is to raise everyone up the same standard of living, so there will be no such thing as a foreign worker anywhere on Earth with a lower salary requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Just a comment on population.

    As lynx pointed out, population growth is slowing and will soon stop.
    However, you need to think about the ideal reduction in population. The simple economic fact is that we need a sizable population to permit production of all the luxuries and wonderful toys we have available to us today. If we were to drop world population to a billion or less, we would also have to drop our standard of living, and go back to doing 80 hours hard physical labour each week. And not having food security, iPads, computers, TV's, medical care etc., etc.

    Life would again become nasty, brutish, and short.

    Without enough people to produce those things, they will disappear.
    Valid point. Most of the benefits of industrial production are impossible to realize if we don't produce on a large scale. Like, an assembly line would be kind of a waste if you're only planning to build 3 cars on it.

    I guess the ideal population size would be equal to whatever our maximum sustainable production is, and that limit is largely set by the availability of natural resources. There are a lot of really cool things we can't make in mass because they require some rare element or another (especially platinum metals). It would be interesting to consider what the trade-off is between giving up cool techs that require rare materials, and giving up production efficiency from larger scales of production.

    I wonder where the balancing point is/would be?
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    WOW do I seem dismissive?
    Most certainly yes.

    (and all at 1/6 the cost of an f22 raptor-------where would you rather we spend our money?

    There I agree with you. I could use my own situation as an example. I live in the most wealthy nation on Earth. I'm about to purchase a beautiful piece of water front property on a major river in Washington State. Mature apples & peach trees, heritage roses bush and maple trees, enough huckleberry to make pies for weeks, and a cute 90 year old house that needs some minor work (I should be so lucky at that age).

    But here's the rub. The river floods, like all rivers. A river that occasionally would flood farmers fields below the house with minor floods around WWI, another time in the 1950s, but now with increasing regularity: a major events in 1990, 1996, 2007...starting to see a pattern? Despite the nearly quarter of a million people in harms way, FEMA hasn't updated their flood maps since the 1970s (but been promising new ones for more than ten years). I hear people complain about the foolishness of people building in the flood zones, almost unaware or too damn ignorant to realize that in an increasingly wetter climate those "flood zones" aren't fixed entities. With risk maps 40 years old, and endless funding delays, we can't even keep up with the current situation, never mind whats going to happen in 40 years from now. Will the 90 year old house, that's so far escaped every flood by at least 5 feet, be vulnerable to flooding in the next 20 years? Will I be the next one accused of being stupid because I'm betting that a 90 year old history?

    There's a coastal town at the mouth of the river--a moderate sized port in the middle of this uncertainty. It's an old timber town. Fifty years ago it was a hub of narrow gauge railroads that cut up every valley to clear millions of trees; a busy place of furniture making, roof shake and plywood factories. Sea level has risen, relative to the city, about a foot since its establishment 120 years ago. Like the parts of the river at my place, the risk maps are 40 years old. The citizens (many of which I've gotten to know) are rightfully confused--some deny the possibility that the sea may destroy the town (god--lack of imagination or other reasons). Some accept the risk but are worried about what will happen to the thousands that live there. Some are pissed (like me) that politics, skepticism or dismissal are creating a political climate where proper and useful studies can't be done.

    Perhaps most frustrating for me, who's studied climate and weather for decades, is most of the community are under the woefully wrong impression that the change will happen gradually--as if they'll be able to walk out to a levee this winter--see where the water came up and simply assume it will come up 1 more millimeter the following year. The reality will mostly likely be far more dramatic and go down like this...10 or 25 years of the levee seeming to be high enough because the water never tops them--until that big event one year, "the perfect storm" of hurricane force winds pushing water across a huge shallow bay combined with a full moon tide and 10" of rain in the foothills that floods thousands of homes and drowns hundreds of people much like it happened in New Orleans. And there are hundreds of communities in the US just like this struggling with the same questions. If the most wealthy nation on Earth can't get their arms around this, than I greatly fear the thousands of coastal towns and hundreds of millions in low laying areas in much poorer communities around with the world are in MUCH worse shape.

    ""Dont fuck up what you don't understand" The last thing we should do is hand wave, assume we don't know better, or can't effect this because we don't fully understand something that happened 3 million years ago. We understand enough to realize what's at stake and prioritize our research and policies accordingly--if only we'd listen to our scientist.





    And I do follow this stuff.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; October 11th, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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    A)
    if it were me, i'd get a topographical map and do my own risk assessment. When we bought our current place along the iowa river, I got topographical maps, and circled places where we could look for something for sale---above the dam which is 5 mi downstream, and 22 feet above the dams spillway.
    the last flood came to the bottom edge of my property, but 5 feet down as I had build up the ravine there with busted out concrete walls, riprap and soil hauled in from a nearby road project----(for the cost of the hauling)
    so far,we've seen a "100 year flood", and a "500 year flood" in the 20 odd years we have been here.
    And, we're high and dry ----kayaking and canoeing through a flooded forest---really, it was fun, but the guys in the flood plain missed that carefree joy.

    New orleans is a special case, while the army corps were focusing on building levees and dams, they were carving ship canals straight as arrows through the downriver swamps and allowing drillers to carve more straight canals for their rigs-------------a simple meander or 2 or 20 could have slowed the progress of the storm. Meanwhile the silt from the midwest was encouraged to rush to sea as the swamps and wooded isles between new orleans and the gulf were dissapearing.

    Silt should be treated as a national treasure, and used wisely to rebuild the deltas. But, it seems that those in power would rather focus on the convenience of shipping and industry-----then act surprised when their folly becomes obvious.

    as/re :
    ""Dont fuck up what you don't understand" The last thing we should do is hand wave, assume we don't know better, or can't effect this because we don't fully understand something that happened 3 million years ago. We understand enough to realize what's at stake and prioritize our research and policies accordingly--if only we'd listen to our scientist.
    agree
    I really think that we have 2 ways to go here---either this interglacial is almost over, or we should expect a 6-10 meter rise in sea levels.
    But to expect the same weather as we've had since the end of the little ice age, or even the broad swings of this interglacial ---up for the holocene optimum---down again, up for the midieval warm period down for the little ice age and up a little again, may be folly.

    Ports are actually rather easy to build and rebuild---'tain't cheap, but logistics is always a good investment.

    meanwhile we should try to build up our barrier islands and rebuild the tidal swamps and reforest the coastal areas

    and invest in studies like the above linked -------------I doubt we can stop the climate changes ahead, but knowledge can halp us zig when we should zig and zag when we should zag. If we can finally get a handle on what has happened in the past, and isolate the various strengths and sequences of the causal forces, then we may yet be able to "take control"

    god created the earth and gifted it to man,
    and man
    paused,
    and said
    uh, wow, gee, ... thanx
    and promptly invented architecture and tamed fire.

    worse shape
    fersure anything near sea level is akin to living on the flanks of a volcano----farming the rich volcanic soils on the edge of disaster.

    be fruitful, multiply, and inherit the earth------(is a gift with one whole helluva lot of responsibility attached)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post

    god created the earth and gifted it to man,
    and man
    paused,
    and said
    uh, wow, gee, ... thanx
    and promptly invented architecture and tamed fire.

    worse shape
    fersure anything near sea level is akin to living on the flanks of a volcano----farming the rich volcanic soils on the edge of disaster.

    be fruitful, multiply, and inherit the earth------(is a gift with one whole helluva lot of responsibility attached)
    Mankind was fine up until that point. It was after he invented architecture, and tamed fire, that he then decided to have a godzillion kids, who each in turn expected to be able to build their own architectural wonders and have fires in their homes.

    The Earth is something like 27,000 miles around. The environment could absorb our mistakes all on its own if we didn't make them on such a huge scale. Should ask yourself, why do we do it on such a huge scale?
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    The "inventing fire" isn't the problem. The problem is sticking with old-fashioned technologies that rely on burning stuff when we had better technologies ready and able to do the job back when population was only one or two billion. (I include nuclear in the dig stuff up and burn it group just to be quite clear.)

    Far too many people who could have done better have stuck with controlling bigger and bigger fires and explosions - coal-fired power plants, internal combustion engines - when their talents could and should have been focused on more modern technologies. I understand the attraction of fire, explosion and the mastery of high pressure vessels. I don't understand why people still think these are essential to any kind of civilised life. In a modern economy, fires belong in indulgences like outdoor pizza ovens or in entertainments like bonfires, as well as some essential industrial processes like smelting or smithing where other power/heat sources can't do the job.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Mankind was fine up until that point. It was after he invented architecture, and tamed fire, that he then decided to have a godzillion kids,
    Honestly humans have always had lots of kids until very recently, probably an average of a child every two years of a women's life between puberty and death. What changed is how many survived--because of clean water, decreasing violence, better food, larger trading networks which buffer local shortages etc.

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    Choosing not to breed because life will be uncertain and difficult for offspring seems to me to be something that makes sense only to people who count the unaccountable security and ease of a modern wealthy lifestyle to be normal. If our ancestors thought that way homo sapiens would probably be extinct.
     

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    It's not as though our ancestors had many options. Celibacy is unrealistic and, until recently, wasn't an option for most women anyhow (and still isn't for many following their church teachings); birth control, such as pebble as an IUD, or drinking a mild poison tea to induce abortions, were unreliable, dangerous, or both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The 2 planets are similar in some ways but significantly different in others. If you read that RealClimate item I referred to earlier you'll see that the final comment reads ....

    Arctic methane, and all that frozen soil carbon, could easily play a huge role, not so much in the near-term evolution of Earth’s climate, but in the long tail of the global warming climate event.
    The other big difference is that Earth has a large population of an extremely intelligent species - which also happens to be clumsy and short-sighted in its approach to its environment. I'm reasonably confident, not certain, but optimistic that we'll start deliberately reducing emissions soon - the USA's already reduced a bit, but that was totally unplanned. And then, in a decade or so, we'll have some scope to reduce concentrations as well as emissions.
    If we don't have the common sense to limit our population size, I don't see how we'd have the common sense to do the rest. It's not "common sense" when peoples' livelihoods are on the line. We have to use every last resource we have to sustain so many people.

    Every trim in usage you suggest, is somebody's lost livelihood. We just need fewer people and a more conservative rate of consumption would be ample for them all to live in luxury.


    I may be changing the subject here, but heres a way to reduce humans energy needs.

    People could move to areas, where it takes less energy to live.


    example,

    I live in New Orleans (USA), and it gets so hot and humid here in the summer, that people need to run their air conditioners all day.
    Some areas of America dont get as hot and humid as New Orleans, so they dont have to use the a/c as much (and they use less energy.)
    People in high energy usage areas, could move to low energy usage areas, and a large amount of energy would be saved.


    Energy in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    section 2.3, shows regional information.
     

  40. #39  
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    I may be changing the subject here, but heres a way to reduce humans energy needs. People could move to areas, where it takes less energy to live.
    Think about the moving costs - then spend a half or a quarter of that money on retrofitting houses and neighbourhoods to ameliorate the effects. Most of the problems people have in living in 'difficult' environments is that the design of streets, surroundings and the housing units themselves have been based on 'standard' layouts and building approaches which take little to no account of the local climate.

    Houses are not just things that you plonk down somewhere and then add in the amount of heating, cooling, de/humidifying, ventilation that make the place bearable to live in. And that's very much the way a lot of housing developments have been done in countries like Australia and the USA. There's an infamous suburban development in Adelaide which boasted maaarvellous environmental credentials because of its use of recycled water for gardens. Wonderful parks and bike paths, happiness all round. But guess which Adelaide suburb is the highest user of power in our scorching summers. The houses themselves are totally unsuitable, both in the lack of attention to orientation, and in design, or its lack, of shielding for external walls.

    There are better ways to design and build in the first place. There is lots of scope for redesign and retrofitting to make inadequate or inappropriate structures better cope with the local environment.

    After all, there aren't that many places left to move to. Especially if you're looking for somewhere with no equivalent problems of its own.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
     

  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Mankind was fine up until that point. It was after he invented architecture, and tamed fire, that he then decided to have a godzillion kids,
    Honestly humans have always had lots of kids until very recently, probably an average of a child every two years of a women's life between puberty and death. What changed is how many survived--because of clean water, decreasing violence, better food, larger trading networks which buffer local shortages etc.

    It's good you point that out. Modern medicine is greatest of all the technological blights we ever created for ourselves. It faced us with a decision we'd never had to make before. Our very genetic makeup impels us to seek reproduction. Do we follow our instincts and live fulfilling lives - knowing it will only last a few generations before it all falls apart and our descendants die, or abandon our instincts and live a life some would consider un-life?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
     

  42. #41  
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    Kojax

    Modern medicine also gave us effective contraception.
    The result is a rapidly falling average global fertility. Already down to 2.5, and due to drop to 2.0 (less than replacement) by 2050.

    My view is that modern medicine is a blessing, that gives us the option for a long, healthy life, and to select how many offspring we want.
     

  43. #42  
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    My view is that modern medicine is a blessing, that gives us the option for a long, healthy life, and to select how many offspring we want.
    That also gives us the option of leaving child-bearing to later because we don't "need" the time to raise half a dozen or more. Which means we can increase the age differences between generations and that alone will slow population growth - even if each generation continues to have the same average number of children as before. (But we know that later age at first birth decreases average number of children per woman anyway.)

    Moreover, the option of "selecting" how many offspring we want is only effective / available because of our increased certainty that our children will survive. Even with the best contraception in the world, families will have lots and lots of children when they see their own children or others around them dying young. Just look at the birthrates in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
     

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