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What should be done... about climate change

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1 minute ago, Conflicting Thought said:

And our primary existential threat would be... Asteroids? 

Don’t confuse likelihood with severity. Climate change is far more likely - in fact is close to certain to occur. But in terms of severity of impact, a large asteroid strike, pandemic, massive vulcanism or some other major celestial event etc. are far greater existential threats.

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16 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Climate change is not our primary existential threat as a species. In fact, I would challenge that it is even an existential threat at all. It will make life worse for many people, and should be avoided if at all possible, but it won’t end us in the way an asteroid strike would, for example.

Climate change is certainly a potential existential threat for all life on Earth - it could act as a catalyst for tipping point, self-sustaining greenhouse effect that will turn us into Venus 2.0 - but this is at the very high end of the disaster scenario.

Although that is extreme, there are associated dangers which are much more realistic and certainly present an existential risk to our current mode of civilisation: the displacement of tens of millions of people from coastal areas (where most major cities are located) to continental interiors which cannot support them. Destruction of arable land and the erosion of the topsoil making feeding our current population (let alone the estimated 10 billion by 2100) impossible. Rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere which will, somewhere around double our current rate, start to impair human brain function. Social and civil disorder caused by these crises: if the relatively tiny number of Mexicans and Central and South Americans trying to cross the American border is a problem now, just wait until equatorial regions of the planet start to become uninhabitable and you have 40 million people trying to cross the border. There will also be drinking water shortages and likely wars resulting from those pressures.

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And our primary existential threat would be... Asteroids? 

It depends how you define it. Climate change is happening and it's getting worse, and will be devastating to vast areas of the globe without drastic action to reduce it. That is inevitable.

Nuclear war and a global pandemic are rated as being potentially far more devastating, and the latter is also considered inevitable, but it could happen tomorrow or in several decades. The chances of a genetically-engineered pandemic are also getting higher.

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As for cars with solar roofs - Elon has addressed it before. He said the power generated by the available surface area is so low that it is not worth it.

What Musk meant is that he couldn't figure out how to do it, so ergo no-one else could. Hyundai would like a word. Their first model can charge over 60% of the battery over the course of six hours, which of course will improve in efficiency over subsequent developments.

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Anyway, becoming a space faring civilization in the window of opportunity before some disaster or dwindling resources knocks us back to pre-space age capabilities will be the difference between us remaining a one planet species and eventually dying out, or escaping our gravity well and colonizing the galaxy.

 

This is not something that is viable within our lifetimes or probably several centuries to come. We do not have the technology to become a multi-planetary civilisation because we will have to genetically engineer ourselves to be far more resistant to radiation than currently. We will also have to change the way we breed: giving birth in microgravity or the low gravity of the Moon or Jupiter's moons is impossible, and might only be possible with significant technological and medical l intervention on Mars (and no other body in the Solar system we can go to has as high a gravity as Mars, until someone can figure out how to colonise Venus without dying horribly).

Musk's talk about going to Mars and starting a Terraforming Mars/Surviving Mars colony of domes and hydroponic bubbles is a fantasy. Realistically colonising Mars with current tech or tech likely to be available in the next 50 years will mean digging massive underground installations far below the surface of Mars and going outside rarely, or risk being irradiated on the spot.

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18 minutes ago, Werthead said:
 

Musk's talk about going to Mars and starting a Terraforming Mars/Surviving Mars colony of domes and hydroponic bubbles is a fantasy. Realistically colonising Mars with current tech or tech likely to be available in the next 50 years will mean digging massive underground installations far below the surface of Mars and going outside rarely, or risk being irradiated on the spot. 

I think digging underground structures on Mars was the main reason Musk started The Boring Company, even though he plays it off as an afterthought.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Climate change is certainly a potential existential threat for all life on Earth - it could act as a catalyst for tipping point, self-sustaining greenhouse effect that will turn us into Venus 2.0 - but this is at the very high end of the disaster scenario.

Although that is extreme, there are associated dangers which are much more realistic and certainly present an existential risk to our current mode of civilisation: the displacement of tens of millions of people from coastal areas (where most major cities are located) to continental interiors which cannot support them. Destruction of arable land and the erosion of the topsoil making feeding our current population (let alone the estimated 10 billion by 2100) impossible. Rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere which will, somewhere around double our current rate, start to impair human brain function. Social and civil disorder caused by these crises: if the relatively tiny number of Mexicans and Central and South Americans trying to cross the American border is a problem now, just wait until equatorial regions of the planet start to become uninhabitable and you have 40 million people trying to cross the border. There will also be drinking water shortages and likely wars resulting from those pressures.

It depends how you define it. Climate change is happening and it's getting worse, and will be devastating to vast areas of the globe without drastic action to reduce it. That is inevitable.

Nuclear war and a global pandemic are rated as being potentially far more devastating, and the latter is also considered inevitable, but it could happen tomorrow or in several decades. The chances of a genetically-engineered pandemic are also getting higher.

What Musk meant is that he couldn't figure out how to do it, so ergo no-one else could. Hyundai would like a word. Their first model can charge over 60% of the battery over the course of six hours, which of course will improve in efficiency over subsequent developments.

This is not something that is viable within our lifetimes or probably several centuries to come. We do not have the technology to become a multi-planetary civilisation because we will have to genetically engineer ourselves to be far more resistant to radiation than currently. We will also have to change the way we breed: giving birth in microgravity or the low gravity of the Moon or Jupiter's moons is impossible, and might only be possible with significant technological and medical l intervention on Mars (and no other body in the Solar system we can go to has as high a gravity as Mars, until someone can figure out how to colonise Venus without dying horribly).

Musk's talk about going to Mars and starting a Terraforming Mars/Surviving Mars colony of domes and hydroponic bubbles is a fantasy. Realistically colonising Mars with current tech or tech likely to be available in the next 50 years will mean digging massive underground installations far below the surface of Mars and going outside rarely, or risk being irradiated on the spot.

Just to briefly respond to the “solar panel on the car roof” point (I will have to come back to the other points later).

Without looking at Hyundai’s proposal or Musk’s calculation, here are some basic facts to consider:

Solar energy reaching the surface of the earth is about 1000W/sq m. Of that, current solar panel efficiency is about 25%, meaning it will convert about 250 watts into electricity. That means 0.25kwh generated per hour per square metre of car roof. Let’s say you can fit 5sqm of solar panels onto the car (not sure what the exact area size is). That would mean 1.25 kw/h generated per hour of sunlight. At an optimistic 10 hours of good sunlight per day, that’s maybe 12.5 kw/h generated per day.

The Tesla Model 3 has a 75kwh battery. So that’s 15% of the battery charged. And how much does this system add to the cost and weight of the car? And once you get to the Performance models, and the future battery densities Tesla is working towards, the batteries will be even larger, while the surface area available for solar panels remains the same.

So for a car with a (very) small battery and lower performance you might be able to generate “60% of the battery capacity per day”, but not for the type of aspirational vehicles Tesla is making.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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14 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I mentioned it because many of the posts in the thread have mentioned Tesla technology, Elon Musk, etc. 

Auto-pilot is a important part of that companies strategic business model, I'm not a fan of these things being on the road. If folks dont want to drive they can ride a bus or train or cab, other options, but I'm not convinced the autopilot cars being rushed to market are as safe as marketed. I fully expect to continue reading more reports of future crashes and injuries.

Autonomous driving is an interesting topic, but it is only tangentially relevant to this thread. Musk has already won in terms of making electric cars cool enough for other manufacturers to emulate Tesla. Given that battery prices are plummeting, there will soon be many affordable electric cars with decent performance and long range. In fact, while Tesla is still fairly dominant in the West, the combined sales of various Chinese electric car companies have already surpassed them.

That said, I still hope Tesla can keep going because they do more than just electric cars. If Musk's solar roof dreams works out even half as well as his electric car dream, that would be really helpful.

2 hours ago, Conflicting Thought said:

And our primary existential threat would be... Asteroids? 

No, we are. Climate change is part of that, but there are several ways to devastate Earth a whole lot faster if the wrong groups get their hands on certain technology.

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11 hours ago, maarsen said:

:rofl:  Not asking much of autopilots are we? 

At least auto pilots arent going to be drink drivers

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

At least auto pilots arent going to be drink drivers

Are you sure you're not giving our future AI overlords too much credit?

What care do they have if they get inebriated and destroy their current hardware running into a few blood bags? They can always download themselves into a new body.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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8 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Are you sure you're not giving our future AI overlords too much credit?

What care do they have if they get inebriated and destroy their current hardware running into a few blood bags? They can always download themselves into a new body.

Whose knows what the effect a little too much trickle charging might have on an AI.

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next step - get rid of all that ice atop said resources...

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-has-asked-aides-about-possibility-of-us-acquiring-greenland-report/ar-AAFRjTC?ocid=msnclassic

 

Two advisers told the Journal that Trump asked them and other advisers at dinners and in passing conversations whether such a move would be possible, listening intently when they talked about its resources and geopolitical importance.

He also reportedly asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

Some of his advisers were supportive of the move, the two sources told the Journal, saying it could be a good economic play. Others dismissed it as just a fascination.

As the Journal noted, it is unclear how the U.S. would go about purchasing Greenland, the largest island in the world.

 

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i suppose he'd deport the greenlanders as unlawful aliens in order to make room for casinos and golf courses and other trashy frivolities.

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A useful resource for sorting supported claims from unsupported claims in climate reporting. Helpful for debunking deniers, but also useful in criticising people who are unhelpfully inaccurate in their claims about the changes that are happening.  

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Another article worth reading. It argues that as well as working to reduce their own emissions and deploy existing renewable energy technologies at scale, advanced economies should be putting much more funding into renewable energy R&D. As is often pointed out, if a country such as the UK (or Germany, or Japan, or wherever) cut all carbon emissions tomorrow, it would make a tiny dent in the global total (although they should still definitely pursue reduction anyway). But for a fraction of the cost of doing that, they could unilaterally massively increase the total spent on R&D, and then share the results with the world, for a much higher global impact.

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Posted (edited)

Scientists work to alter plants to fight climate crisis

https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2019/08/16/gec-salk-institute-plants-carbon-joanne-chory-pkg.cnn

 

Also.....This video is just mind boggling. According to one interviewee "there's enough ice in Greenland that if it all melted it would raise ocean levels 25 feet!"

And it's melting right now at a supercharged pace.

 

Edited by DireWolfSpirit

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On the one hand, it is an acknowledgment of human caused climate change from the right.  On the other....well, their 'solution' leaves much to be desired.  

 

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2019/06/christian-activist-mary-colbert-sin-not-climate-change-causes-extreme-weather/?fbclid=IwAR3_OtqaP73SyelJWPzrHhJFIvwx_k9iae8z-RYIhfJIaJzKfU7SHyrHexU

Faith-based science: Christian activist and author Mary Colbert claims it is sin, and not climate change, that is causing extreme weather and natural disasters.

Appearing on “The Jim Bakker Show” earlier this week, Colbert claimed that extreme weather and natural disasters have nothing to do with climate change but instead they are the result of sin. In addition, Colbert blamed Satan for using the issue of climate change to distract from the fact that the End Times are rapidly approaching.

 

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Those Christians that claim "Gaawd makes da waves!! " Can really jump through some amazing hoops to explain tsunamis wiping out whole coasts. Smh.

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For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

but:

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They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

nevertheless:

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And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

 

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Posted (edited)

The ends times have been "rapidly approaching" since a decade after Jesus supposedly died. I hate that we give idiots like this any sort of platform.

Edited by TrueMetis

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