Author Topic: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.  (Read 939 times)

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Online John Albert

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2019, 06:37:10 PM »
Several positive feedback loops have been going on for decades already. If that's a measure of failure, then we've been boned for quite awhile now.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2019, 07:24:06 PM »
It is my opinion, not backed be any hard evidence, that we have the technology, but not the political mechanisms, to address these issues enough to avoid a total collapse. The problem, as I have often repeated, is that political decisions are made by people with large vested interests in the status quo and (because of their age) a short time horizon. If it won't bear fruit in 25 years, they won't invest in it. They do not want to give up money they could spend on themselves now to prevent a disaster that (in their opinion) will come, if ever, after they are dead.

And even if population stabilizes at ten billion or so, the economic rise of the developing countries means that most of those ten billion will want to have the standard of living that we in the developed countries have. That fully-developed ten billion would have the environmental impact of fifty billion at today's average economic level. Considering that today we are making things worse from one year to the next, this is unsustainable.
Daniel
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2019, 05:56:00 AM »
It is my opinion, not backed be any hard evidence, that we have the technology, but not the political mechanisms, to address these issues enough to avoid a total collapse.

That's pretty much how I understand it as well. The technology we need is already available.

The problem, as I have often repeated, is that political decisions are made by people with large vested interests in the status quo and (because of their age) a short time horizon. If it won't bear fruit in 25 years, they won't invest in it. They do not want to give up money they could spend on themselves now to prevent a disaster that (in their opinion) will come, if ever, after they are dead.

I think a major issue probably is that politicians fear that actually proposing things that ruffle feathers will cost them electoral support.
"I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel, of all inquiry, all discovery, and all innovation" - Christopher Hitchens

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2019, 09:01:55 PM »
It is my opinion, not backed be any hard evidence, that we have the technology, but not the political mechanisms, to address these issues enough to avoid a total collapse.

That's pretty much how I understand it as well. The technology we need is already available.

The problem, as I have often repeated, is that political decisions are made by people with large vested interests in the status quo and (because of their age) a short time horizon. If it won't bear fruit in 25 years, they won't invest in it. They do not want to give up money they could spend on themselves now to prevent a disaster that (in their opinion) will come, if ever, after they are dead.

I think a major issue probably is that politicians fear that actually proposing things that ruffle feathers will cost them electoral support.

Jimmy Carter was a one-term president because he spoke the truth about our wasteful use of resources. (Though the hostage thing in Iran certainly didn't help.) A weakness of democracy, at least our implementation of it with its reliance on Big Money is that speaking painful truths loses elections and demagoguery gets votes.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online CarbShark

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2019, 11:44:46 PM »
It is my opinion, not backed be any hard evidence, that we have the technology, but not the political mechanisms, to address these issues enough to avoid a total collapse.

That’s mostly correct. We’re not quite there with technology to prevent a apocalyptic catastrophe, but it probably would be in reach if we had the political will to invest in earth-saving technology.

The longer we wait the more difficult and expensive any solution becomes.

We are getting to the point where we have to rely on a the scientific equivalent of a miracle to save us.


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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2019, 02:25:01 PM »
It is my opinion, not backed be any hard evidence, that we have the technology, but not the political mechanisms, to address these issues enough to avoid a total collapse.

That’s mostly correct. We’re not quite there with technology to prevent a apocalyptic catastrophe, but it probably would be in reach if we had the political will to invest in earth-saving technology.

The longer we wait the more difficult and expensive any solution becomes.

We are getting to the point where we have to rely on a the scientific equivalent of a miracle to save us.


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Online John Albert

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2019, 07:16:37 PM »
We’re not quite there with technology to prevent a apocalyptic catastrophe

What specifically does an "apocalyptic catastrophe" mean?


but it probably would be in reach if we had the political will to invest in earth-saving technology.

What kind of technology do you think we would need to avoid such a catastrophe?


Online CarbShark

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2019, 08:45:48 PM »
The end of the world as we know it


Massive scale capture of CO2 from the atmosphere.


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Online John Albert

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2019, 10:13:28 PM »
The end of the world as we know it


Offline Nacreous

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2019, 10:05:50 AM »
Such predictions have been made before.   
By virtually the entire world of science?

 
Quote

...

The US has reduced carbon emissions over the last few decade or so. 
Largely due to the replacement of coal by natural gas in power generation.  It’s a misleading statistic because it does not mark a major move away from fossil fuels.  Renewables' share is growing, but not nearly fast enough

Quote
I am not nearly as pessimistic as you lot.
That may be because you haven’t heard Kevin Anderson’s explanations of just how deep the shit we're in really is:

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-some guy at MIT

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2019, 11:17:55 AM »
The US has reduced carbon emissions over the last few decade or so. 

This is like the debt/deficit issue. Decreasing your annual deficit does not reduce your total debt. You have to reverse your deficit into a surplus before you reduce your debt. We may have decreased our carbon emissions, but we're still pouring carbon into the atmosphere at an unsustainable rate.

And the developing countries are building power generation (mostly from coal, which is the highest-carbon fossil fuel) at an ever-increasing rate.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2019, 11:29:08 AM »
Projections commonly assume we'll have immense CCS capacity up and running, too.  To avoid tracking a worst-case projection, we need to do a lot.  And we need to be doing it literally right now. 

However, we have yet to start doing anything of significance.  Global warming and it's consequences will be a disaster for the human race.  We've run out of time and we've yet to start doing anything of significance.

Every day we don't undertake radical change, we are choosing to track a worst-case scenario. 

I do believe we're buffaloed.
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Online CarbShark

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2019, 01:32:00 PM »
Projections commonly assume we'll have immense CCS capacity up and running, too.  To avoid tracking a worst-case projection, we need to do a lot.  And we need to be doing it literally right now. 

However, we have yet to start doing anything of significance.  Global warming and it's consequences will be a disaster for the human race.  We've run out of time and we've yet to start doing anything of significance.

Every day we don't undertake radical change, we are choosing to track a worst-case scenario. 

I do believe we're buffaloed.

We are not buffaloed. That means baffled or overwhelmed.

We are fucked.
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline Nacreous

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2019, 10:07:10 PM »
We’re not quite there with technology to prevent a apocalyptic catastrophe

What specifically does an "apocalyptic catastrophe" mean? 

How about a catastrophe producing massive shifts in the world’s agricultural zones to go along with the expansion of deserts?  How about coastal cities and small island nations rendered uninhabitable by sea level rise?  How about collapse of ecosystems, particularly in the oceans where warming and acidification will expunge corals and many shell-making planktonic species?  Exceeding 2 deg. C of warming will be enough to do all that and more.  It can get much worse, but aren’t those apocalyptic enough?


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Online CarbShark

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Re: Positive Feedback Has Begun. Humankind has failed.
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2019, 10:19:53 PM »
Plus a mass extinction event. Don’t forget that.


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and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.