Global waning

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by Thomas, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Some scientists treat global warning as a 'blip' and no big deal ... others as a catastrophe of unimaginable proportion. I've heard figures of 80% global casualties bandied about ...

    Now not wanting to start a debate which can reach no real conclusion, but I do have a question. Just wondering, nothing definite ...

    Assuming we take 'life as we know it' meaning the First World, what percentage of population loss can we absorb before we are incapable of sustaining a consumer-materialist culture as we do now? OK, so we make do without Wiis and PS7s or whatever ... but assuming that most live in cities, and even those living in the country do not necessarily have the knowledge and skills to sustain themselves at even a minimal basic level ... what order of 'hit' in terms of population loss will tip us 'over the edge' as it were? At what point does the fabric begin to come apart at the seams ... are there any figures? I would have though way less than 80% ...

    But hey, have a nice day!

    Thomas
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'd say we are quite resilient. But it wouldn't take much to change life as we know it. I'm thinking of oil wells, refineries, ship builders, steel mills, logging operations (you know all the stuff environmentalists grump about) those will be the first to go as the infostructure decays...and then without them a lot more will decay...so it'll be back to square one or about 1910....once no one is building new modes of transporation and maintaining the elec and tel lines...it all falls apart.

    But we will survive and rebuild with a renewed amount of interest and care for how we do it.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    What I like about you Wil, is your eternal optimism!

    Hang on to it ... 'cos' if things go pear-shaped (and pray God they don't), that's one commodity that'll no doubt be in short supply, but high demand.

    My dad, he grew up on a smallholding farm in Ireland, so he could plant, handle animals — he had useful skills. Me ... a graphic designer? Not much call for 'colouring-in' in this brave new world we're headed for!

    And I look at kids today, console-jockeys — it's a staggering thought to consider how long we take to learn stuff, and how quickly we forget. Then again, my company's sponsoring a 16-year-old who's doing a solo circumnavigation of the world.

    But I'm with you, Wil. The human spirit is surprising stuff.

    Thomas
     
  4. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    I'm just glad I don't live in the Netherlands.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    For decades there have been books, movies about us being bombed or diseased or elsewise tossed back into the stone age.

    Well in my estimation it was never truly that critical (what am I saying how long did we lose algebra??) Anywho, now more and more it is a potential reality. We are so automated and reliant on bits and bytes that as you indicated we are losing the capacity to fend for ourselves.

    70 years ago folks were still banging out cars in their garage...big difference today...when half of america wouldn't know how to build a log cabin, forge an ax, split shingles etc.

    Buy your seeds, put them in a mason jar and who knows, one day maybe you'll be glad you did. And order the full series of Foxfire books now and have them on your shelves...you can always pass these on...
     
  6. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Okay, I'll bite--why not? I mean, no matter what the problem, at least in the Netherlands you can sorta legally get baked out of your mind while civilization crumbles. Wait, come to think of it, that may actually be a bad thing for some of us. I think I for one would freak out much more.

    So, Dauer, is that why? :p
     
  7. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Yup, seeds are important.
     
  8. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    Because of where they are in relationship to sea level. :p
     
  9. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Good call! :D :)

    Hmmm. I don't think that population loss will lead to the end of consumer-materialist culture. I think that the tanking world economy will lead to the end of consumer-materialist culture, which will in turn lead to population loss due to food shortages, homelessness, and desperate violence.

    I have a pessimistic view of where civilization, as currently practiced, is heading. I am grateful for the eternal optimists, though, and think that wil makes essential and great points about human resiliency. Yes, humanity will very likely survive whatever cataclysms and catastrophes come, but I think we are in for some painful, difficult times.

    I think a lot of it depends on how long it will take for the oil industry and car culture to become defunct. On the global warming hand, this probably cannot happen soon enough; however, with concern for human suffering in the first world, we should hope for a slow weaning process from our fossil-fueled lifestyles.* Of course, if we bear in mind that the privileged populations in the first world countries are the minority on the planet, and that something like two-thirds of the global population lives in poverty (this could be inaccurate, but it is a figure that I am recalling from somewhere, off the top of my head), it would be in the global human population's (and the planet as a whole) best interest if the first world just went ahead and cashed in our chips asap--which I suppose we are now being forced to do with our afflicted economies. Of course, the first world is not going to go out quietly or without a fight; again, fortunate enough for those of us who are privileged to live within the 'developed' countries of global civilization, but continued bad news for everyone else.

    2c for now...

    * Actually we have a deplorable history of taking pragmatic, proactive steps towards freeing ourselves of our fossil-fuel addiction. Judging from the past, it does not look like the U.S. will be able to kick car culture and its trappings on its own initiative, which means we will probably be forced by circumstances to shake off the habit, with much damage done to ourselves in the process.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    yes but they are in the north and since water sinks the rise of the sea levels will be much more acute in Australia and South America...
     
  11. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    The bubonic plague killed one-third of western Europe. There's a test case for you.
     
  12. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

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    Consumer materialism will be around as long as anyone will have control in key trading hubs ( or a major industrial revolution that will nullify materialism takes place).

    A 2%(maybe less .002% ..yikes!) clean cut decrease in population of a particular mixed group of people will put a major damper on consumer materialism temporarily. But assuming they are the last to be around, my answer would be close to 100% until consumer materialism cannot sustain.

    TK

    p.s. because logically, that .002% are the only one`s equipped to survive WWIII or major catastrophe, it is in our interest to never go into WWIII or be part of global warming etc.. even if they tell us to do so.
     
  13. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    What does that mean in Orangutan?

    Maybe you could say it more slowly.

    Banana?
     
  14. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    allow me...
    banana go bad...
    Big wind went...WHOOSH and blew em away..
    No more nanas,

    but not to worry, Orangutans are cute enough and smart enough that some Hollywood celebrity will no doubt adopt you and make you his/her own...

    Right turn Clyde.......
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  15. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I'd be too baked to care....


    Watched a show on marine engineering.... They have built houses that sit in the bays and rivers of the dam. And when sea levels rise so do, the houses.... Quite fancy... Quite....... Snazzy... If I may be so bold! YEAH!!!
     
  16. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    How about using economic figures for that? A country that gets hit hard by the recession probably is more susceptible to a major cataclysm for the same reasons, and maybe you can even work up a math formula out of it.
     
  17. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Not sure why people go on and on about global warming. Just because Denver had record high temperatures today, that doesn't mean anything. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    Monday the temperature at Denver International Airport reached 74 degrees, which sets a new record high temperature record for March 2. The old record was 72 degrees last set in 1901.
    9NEWS.com | Colorado's Online News Leader | Record-setting Monday


    I suspect they're more prepared than any other country given their level of technical competence in the area of flood defenses.
     
  18. rebis

    rebis Hung Like a Heretic

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    The thing that struck me about Global Warming/Climate Change is that there was so much concern over an 1.7° change in average temperature over 200 years. Any 10-year old know that weather is cyclic, but it does not take much of a brain surgeon to conclude that our ability to measure temperature 200 years ago was probably not all that accurate. A increase of a degree or two is not a big deal to me, becasue I am always a little chilly anyways. Forget the Polar Bears and Caribou. Shoot them, eat their meat and use their hides for blankets to keep warm.
     
  19. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Nicely stated rebis. No human has ever been endowed with as much wisdom and compassion. It must seem like a burden at times, living so sagaciously. :rolleyes:
     
  20. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Ah yes, one of those precious statements where we only care about us and us, and the now.... We, are, f'ing, up this planet... That fact cannot be dismissed lol... Maybe so, maybe your lifespan will get through this not that bad... But what of your children? And their childrens children? There is a bigger picture.... And we make the future look grim..... Cause we couldn't give two hoots about that... Cause we won't be here so why care...

    Maybe we need to be more considerate of those that will be here in the future....

    The song "when the children cry" comes to mind.
     

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