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What should be done... about climate change

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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.

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7 minutes 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.

The horse-buggy riders of the early 1900’s probably said the same about the newfangled automobiles that appeared on their roads at the time.

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And the buggy riders were perfectly correct about crashes and often fatal injuries. It's just that we "decided" to pay that price for the benefits of automotive travel.

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7 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.

Drivers kill and injure a lot of people though. Autopilots only need to be better than humans nothing more. 

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25 minutes ago, Wolfgang I said:

Drivers kill and injure a lot of people though. Autopilots only need to be better than humans nothing more. 

:rofl:  Not asking much of autopilots are we? 

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Just to kick off with few things about religion and religious approach to fighting climate change:

first off, thinking that it's more prone to cause violence is not, IMO, supported by human history. For the most part, wars and conflicts had other causes: Greeks and Romans, for example, never conquered other in name of religion. Mongol Empire, one of the most brutal conquering nations in history of humanity - was religiously pretty tolerant. And for many millennia eastern Asia was a site for interplay between many different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc. The only two major exceptions to this: Christianity and Islam.

A digression: research was done about actual causes of human violence, and the answers were pretty diverse: from absence of central authority to having your status and wealth measured by goods which can't be easily stored and protected (such as livestock).

With that said, I don't think that religious approach to combating climate change would work. As we can all agree, climate change is a definite problem, and ideally you'd want a open-minded system which pools various ideas and solutions and filters out best ones to actually implement. Religion, with its tendencies towards dogmatism, isn't one such system. Secondly, who's to say that people in charge of climate change (i.e. religious leaders) would be the ones best fit for the job? Most likely they would end up a bunch of demagogues, populists and schemers - rather than actually competent ones. And lastly, this new religion would fall under the category of monotheistic (just replace "god" with "fight against climate change") and universal one - just the type that's historically most likely to e.g. be intolerant, punish "heretics", wage wars etc.


And now for the main topic: climate change.

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts". With that kind of attitude, you don't really need climate change deniers: eco-movement will simply sabotage itself from within.

Second would be the realization what humanity isn't just damaging environment for shits and giggles: the energy and resources produced this way is actively raising the living standard of billions of human beings. It lifted and continues to lift millions from poverty. It helps to end world hunger. Etc. Rich people and corporations may indeed be the ones who are profiting the most from environmental damage, but they're also the ones who will lose the least once the change becomes necessary. They're rich: they'll make do with alternative approaches, no matter how expensive or inefficient they currently are. But poor and developing countries, who are using fossile fuels to...well, stop being poor - they're the ones I'm worried about the most. They're the ones who will pay the highest price if some hypothetical international eco-laws were passed tomorrow.

Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit. And some countries are just particularly ignorant of the necessities: I'm talking about Russia and USA, for example. And especially USA under Trump.

With all o this I'm not for a moment saying we should give up on our fight for better and cleaner planet. What I am saying is that change won't be easy. It won't be pleasant - in fact it will likely cause pain and suffering for people who are the least responsible about the whole situation we've found ourselves it. In fact - I'm considering this to be a first major test for humanity as a global whole. If everyone sets their personal interest aside to fight a common enemy - it may be possible to avert a disaster. If not - well, we will have only ourselves to blame.

 

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1 minute ago, maarsen said:

:rofl:  Not asking much of autopilots are we? 

Not using the smart phone while driving would count as a plus in my book. ;)

It is just statistics. Less people injured and killed is a plus in my book. 

No need to wait for perfection.

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18 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Just to kick off with few things about religion and religious approach to fighting climate change:

first off, thinking that it's more prone to cause violence is not, IMO, supported by human history. For the most part, wars and conflicts had other causes: Greeks and Romans, for example, never conquered other in name of religion. Mongol Empire, one of the most brutal conquering nations in history of humanity - was religiously pretty tolerant. And for many millennia eastern Asia was a site for interplay between many different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc. The only two major exceptions to this: Christianity and Islam.

A digression: research was done about actual causes of human violence, and the answers were pretty diverse: from absence of central authority to having your status and wealth measured by goods which can't be easily stored and protected (such as livestock).

With that said, I don't think that religious approach to combating climate change would work. As we can all agree, climate change is a definite problem, and ideally you'd want a open-minded system which pools various ideas and solutions and filters out best ones to actually implement. Religion, with its tendencies towards dogmatism, isn't one such system. Secondly, who's to say that people in charge of climate change (i.e. religious leaders) would be the ones best fit for the job? Most likely they would end up a bunch of demagogues, populists and schemers - rather than actually competent ones. And lastly, this new religion would fall under the category of monotheistic (just replace "god" with "fight against climate change") and universal one - just the type that's historically most likely to e.g. be intolerant, punish "heretics", wage wars etc.


And now for the main topic: climate change.

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts". With that kind of attitude, you don't really need climate change deniers: eco-movement will simply sabotage itself from within.

Second would be the realization what humanity isn't just damaging environment for shits and giggles: the energy and resources produced this way is actively raising the living standard of billions of human beings. It lifted and continues to lift millions from poverty. It helps to end world hunger. Etc. Rich people and corporations may indeed be the ones who are profiting the most from environmental damage, but they're also the ones who will lose the least once the change becomes necessary. They're rich: they'll make do with alternative approaches, no matter how expensive or inefficient they currently are. But poor and developing countries, who are using fossile fuels to...well, stop being poor - they're the ones I'm worried about the most. They're the ones who will pay the highest price if some hypothetical international eco-laws were passed tomorrow.

Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit. And some countries are just particularly ignorant of the necessities: I'm talking about Russia and USA, for example. And especially USA under Trump.

With all o this I'm not for a moment saying we should give up on our fight for better and cleaner planet. What I am saying is that change won't be easy. It won't be pleasant - in fact it will likely cause pain and suffering for people who are the least responsible about the whole situation we've found ourselves it. In fact - I'm considering this to be a first major test for humanity as a global whole. If everyone sets their personal interest aside to fight a common enemy - it may be possible to avert a disaster. If not - well, we will have only ourselves to blame.

 

I cant help but think that focusing on this persived faux "climate change activists" or "facebook activists, serves no pourpose, like how much power do they actually have, to enact "real" change, and how much do any individual person actually pollutes, compared to any company or "big" buisness. Or even billionaires. Like im not the one travelling on my private plane to a summit about what to do to stop gloval fucking warming. 

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Elon Musk puts a dollar value on setting up the first colony on Mars.

It is considerably more than just spending the money needed to implement all the steps needed to keep climate change at 1.5 or less.

I think Musk needs to get off this Mars thing. It's a bold and interesting idea, but it won't help the situation here at all, even if you can overcome the 10,000 problems he seems to constantly ignore whenever they come up.

One interesting idea I saw over the weekend was companies moving into having cars with solar panels on the roof (or as the roof), with the idea that cars can charge wirelessly whilst idle (or charge whilst on the move, although obviously not enough to keep going forever), addressing the problem of on-street parking and charging infrastructure. That sounds like the sort of thing Tesla should be investigating.

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Hyundai is one of the companies coming out with a car with a solar panel on the roof. It doesn’t do much, but every bit helps.

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3 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

The one thing that irks me quite badly are good portion of climate change activists: bunch of whiners who expect others to do all the work for them. "Hey, climate change is their responsibility. Them - governments and corporations. They should do something about it. Meanwhile, I'll just continue burning fossile fuels, traveling expensively and generously using vats amounts of energy. Don't expect me to change (that's on corporations) - that would be inconvenient for me. I'll limit my fight to writing angry Facebook posts".
...
Thirdly, as it was noted before - this fight needs to be done on international level. Even if e..g Canada or Germany were to radically change their laws, their contribution would practically be meaningless, for other countries would not follow suit.

So, individual people need to make a difference by changing their behaviour, but entire countries are too insignificant for it to matter what they do? That seems just a tad inconsistent...

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14 minutes ago, felice said:

So, individual people need to make a difference by changing their behaviour, but entire countries are too insignificant for it to matter what they do? That seems just a tad inconsistent...

Don't see any inconsistency. Individuals (and countries) need to make changes even though they are insignificant. For a multitude of reasons: being principled (i.e. consistant with your values), not being hypocritical (i.e. expecting others to shoulder a burden you yourself are unwilling to take), encouraging others to adopt similar behaviour etc. If fight against climate change is an individual's goal, he will (and should) pursue it regardless of what other people do. And who knows, if enough people (and countries, and organizations, and companies) adopt the similar principle - results will be far from insignificant.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Elon Musk puts a dollar value on setting up the first colony on Mars.

It is considerably more than just spending the money needed to implement all the steps needed to keep climate change at 1.5 or less.

I think Musk needs to get off this Mars thing. It's a bold and interesting idea, but it won't help the situation here at all, even if you can overcome the 10,000 problems he seems to constantly ignore whenever they come up.

One interesting idea I saw over the weekend was companies moving into having cars with solar panels on the roof (or as the roof), with the idea that cars can charge wirelessly whilst idle (or charge whilst on the move, although obviously not enough to keep going forever), addressing the problem of on-street parking and charging infrastructure. That sounds like the sort of thing Tesla should be investigating.

The Mars goal is not a response to climate change. If anything, Tesla and fighting climate change is Musk’s second priority. Making humans a multi planetary civilization is his primary goal. He has said himself that the reason he is accumulating assets over his lifetime is to eventually plow it all into colonizing Mars. The fact that in the process he is ALSO making a leading contribution to fighting climate change is a bonus, I would say.

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.

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.

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.

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Just now, Free Northman Reborn said:

The Mars goal is not a response to climate change. If anything, Tesla and fighting climate change is Musk’s second priority. Making humans a multi planetary civilization is his primary goal. He has said himself that the reason he is accumulating assets over his lifetime is to eventually plow it all into colonizing Mars. The fact that in the process he is ALSO making a leading contribution to fighting climate change is a bonus, I would say.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

 

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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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.

 

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