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Hutch

Sicc OG
Mar 9, 2005
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#1
Much of recent debate has centred on global climate change and our need to develop alternatives to oil, coal and gas. The unfortunate fact is that this is only the beginning. Every economy in the world is supported by the demand of products and services – if an economy isn’t manufacturing/developing products or providing a service, then it’s not an economy. Even if we were to somehow provide 100% of our energy using sustainable technologies, we would still have to replace every single material we currently use with natural, sustainable materials.

We could not maintain the production of plastics (bottles for beverages, housings for appliances etc), steel for construction, car/motorcycle production etc. indefinitely. The amount of waste this would generate would still have a devastating impact on our world (even if it didn’t implicitly involve the melting of ice caps). Also, there is a finite amount of materials available to manufacture such products (meaning it is inherently unsustainable).

Thus, eventually we will have to manufacture cars, houses, computers – and every other material possession – from 100% natural, sustainable materials. Can anyone foresee how this will actually work? Do any of you know of any technologies currently in existence that would enable us to construct a computer or car from 100% natural materials? With a finite supply of resources, and short of blasting off into space to extract such resources from extraterrestrial sources, how are we going to continue?
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
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#2
This is a much debated topic and the conclusions people usually reach are several (some of which you mentioned)

1. the current economic model is based on the assumption of infinite growth; it is in fact impossible to sustain a modern economy without growth; which, however, is impossible on a finite planet.

2. Even if alternative sources of energy are developed, and we avoid "peak oil" we still face the shortages of every other non-renewable resource, the so called "peak everything" - iron, other metals, water, land, etc..

3. It is possible to substitute some of these but not all of them; it might, and probably is not possible to substitute at least some of the rare metals used in the high-tech industries, for example. Still, you can argue that all of these are in fact energy problems, (I can make everything I want if you give me an infinite supply of energy). However, this is unlikely to ever happen, much less given #4

4. The most important. In addition to the peaks of oil, gas, and other resources, there is another, rarely talked about peak - the peak in the number of patents filed was somewhere in the middle of the 20th century. In other words, the easy discoveries and inventions have already been made and from now on it will be increasingly difficult and complicated to make any sort of progress. Which we in fact do see today, with teams of hundreds of people working together on the same problem, each of them specializing in some small aspect of it, while in the same time the significance of the problem is negligible compared to what people in the 19th century were able to do in their basement with just a few wires.

This means that given the scale of the change that has to come, the inadequate public understanding of the problem and even less adequate investment into solving it, with very few people as a fraction of the whole population that are literate enough in science and engineering so that they can contribute to the solution of these problems, it is very unlikely that what you describe can happen in less than at least several decades, more likely centuries

While we have less than 10 years to do something...
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
9,597
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#4
Growth is the problem, Population Growth.

The Solution is less people = War, disease, famine = death = the four horsemen !

Oh shit the Apocalypse is our only hope!
population growth is only half of the problem, economic growth is the other

we assume that both growths are infinitely sustainable, which is foolish to say the least

I've talked a lot about population growth, but it was not my main target in the previous post
 
Feb 8, 2006
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#7
Funny how Rockefeller and them talk about population control when he had 6 kids....Obviously they have suckered people into believing that. Anyone who agrees with population reduction should sacrifice themself. To say someone doesn't deserve to live is on the verge of Nazism.
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
9,597
1,687
113
#8
Funny how Rockefeller and them talk about population control when he had 6 kids....Obviously they have suckered people into believing that. Anyone who agrees with population reduction should sacrifice themself. To say someone doesn't deserve to live is on the verge of Nazism.
a lot of people don't deserve to live, the problem is how you objectively decide who

what we need is understanding and appreciation of the scale of the problem by everybody; but it's too late now

Rockefeller's 6 kids do not matter in the big scheme of things; millions of evangelical Christians having 3 or 4 do, however; same goes for India and every other rapidly industrializing country with huge and still growing population
 
Feb 8, 2006
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#9
a lot of people don't deserve to live, the problem is how you objectively decide who
what we need is understanding and appreciation of the scale of the problem by everybody; but it's too late now

Rockefeller's 6 kids do not matter in the big scheme of things; millions of evangelical Christians having 3 or 4 do, however; same goes for India and every other rapidly industrializing country with huge and still growing population

good luck on that
 
Sep 28, 2002
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#10
Funny how Rockefeller and them talk about population control when he had 6 kids....Obviously they have suckered people into believing that. Anyone who agrees with population reduction should sacrifice themself. To say someone doesn't deserve to live is on the verge of Nazism.

Suckered people into believing in overpopulation? What? This planet is over populated with human-beings. That's a FACT. Its that simple Earth doesn't have enough resources to support an exponentially escalating population and anyone who says it does is living on the outskirts of Fantasy Land. As far as sacrificing people goes its not the people who believe in population reduction that are the problem its the ones who believe that they should have as many children as they can to please a god or their ego. If anyone should be sacrificed it should be them..................
 
Feb 17, 2005
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#14
I mostly agree with you guys, but as usual i think you are being too cynical (im cynical of your cynicism) and you aren't giving the human race enough credit for maybe having enough ingenuity to fix the problem. asteroids are full of precious metals, if we ever ran out of those to make computers, damn sure someone is gonna go mine some shit on an asteroid. its not economically feasible right now, but what if the demand goes up x1000? As for the climate, I personally believe that in the 10-50 years it takes for us to start getting really fucked by that, technology will likely be enough better to fix shit. but population is just going up and up and 40% of people dont have fresh water, so its not like we dont have major problems to deal with.