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We are thinking on climate change wrong
Posted: 16 July 2011 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Chris Crawford - 16 July 2011 10:43 PM

Stormy, I think that, if we want to embrace the kind of thinking you’re offering, we really don’t need to mess with all this space stuff. Let’s just all decide to get rid of war, poverty, inequality, prejudice, and bad breath. Let’s just decide that everybody should live happily ever after.

What a strange discussion.  I have the impression Stormy never stops long enough to actually hear what others are trying to explain.  Seems very one-sided and missing key elements of the story.

Darron, your patient explanations were great, Doug nailed it too, though my favor post so far as confronting Stormy’s pipedream. 
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/10888/P45/#131436.

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Posted: 16 July 2011 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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I am pretty close to simply leaving these forums in disgust at the elitism and closemindedness I am encountering. Yay for your favorite argument against me. Especially ironic is much of that post is contrary to things I never said. Terraforming, abandoning the earth, cities of diamond, gold rush, bunkers, moving to another planet.. none of that has anythign to do with anything I am saying.

My message is that the climate changing is but ONE of the many things that may wipe us out, and fixating on that has precluded finding solutions to other problems. Thinking globally is a good start, but until we can start think in interstellar terms our candle will be easily extinguished.

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Posted: 16 July 2011 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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One last observation, then I’ll be eagerly following your interesting discussion with Darron.

If we are to develop technology to make hostile environments livable, why don’t we practise that on earth as an ideal model.
Let’s built a domed city and flora/fauna preserves in the Sahara desert. Lets develop survival environments in the Arctics, the oceans, subterranian, all the places where those environments might be encountered in space. How does terraforming work? What are its dynamics. All these things can be studied, modeled, and practiced here on earth, to its benefit and benefit of all living things on earth.
This is why I see a priority in the concept of addressing climate change (atmosphere) now, rather than exploring space now. Perhaps we need to know a little more about living in space itself before we start selecting that as a viable substitute.

But I loved Dune and Avatar. Someday…..maybe….

[ Edited: 16 July 2011 11:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 16 July 2011 11:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 16 July 2011 11:28 PM

My message is that the climate changing is but ONE of the many things that may wipe us out, and fixating on that has precluded finding solutions to other problems. Thinking globally is a good start, but until we can start think in interstellar terms our candle will be easily extinguished.

You and I exist in two different realities that’s for sure. . .

Understanding our planet’s dynamics seems to me crucial no matter what.
Climate dominates everything we do or need.
Thus, it seems obvious understanding and appreciating our dynamic climate and what the hyper-injection of GHG’s has done to it, along with the resultant cascading effects, which we are witnessing these days seems a real and present situation demanding serious attention.

It’s not elitism, it’s trying to point out our planet’s realisms.

This talk of interstellar solutions sounds like way too many late late movies to me.

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Posted: 17 July 2011 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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We do not live in different realities; you are exactly as vulnerable to an extinction event as I am.

What part of ‘thinking globally is a good start’ did you not understand? At no point in time did I say anything at all about NOT caring what happens to the planet, or to not try curbing our emissions, or to forego efforts to avoid negatively impacting our enviroment. But at the same time; we must be aware that a single significant eruption or impact will render our greenhouse contributions non relevent and create a slew of entirely new challenges to face, providing we even survive the initial event. This is no excuse for pumping out more pollution, it is reason to create new ideas and solutions that can address these greater threats.

... and you accuse me of not reading posts.

Edit - to be clear, if my concerns are proven moot by another ten thousand years of peace and tranquility whilst we inch our way to the stars I would be ecstatic (were I alive). But I would not be willing to gamble the future of humankind on such a hope.

[ Edited: 17 July 2011 04:21 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 17 July 2011 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Our friend Saturn.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/weekinreview/26overbye.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/opinion/sunday/17drought.html?_r=1

I started this thought with an idea for a useful space endeavor which would be beneficial to the earth on a global scale. Gather a few massive iceblocks and place them in a balanced similar orbit. The ice could be mined from earth easily and their very presence would cool the atmosphere, while drawing hot most air from the earth’s surface and causing more rain.

But then I realized it is not water we need. We have plenty water and the melting polar ice caps are contributing heavily.

It is not a matter of insufficient water, it is a matter unusable water. When do we start learning to respect water, it already cost’s a 1,50 for the most abundant resource (bottled water) on earth. Oh, what about the plastic bottles which end up in landfills instead of being recycled?

The fact is that we already live in space, blessedly on a planetary paradise. A garden planet to live on. We should definely not kill the planet that gave us life. If we can learn to develop techniques to shift and stear weather patterns and be able to stabilize the air turbulence with chemicals or such. These things have applications in how to live in space. If we can maintain this planetetary atmospheric stabilization and balance on earth, we can build and maintain true terraforms on other planets even if on a smaller scale.
By maintaining the earth and using that data in our knowledge of space and possible colonies is just a matter of communication. An internet site with all known technologies which might be applicable to space exploration. From the combined knowledge we can begin to make models, drawings and a host of other preliminary research of possibility for humans to go off-world and be able to create a living environment.

I think this will be a lot sooner than 10,000 years, I’d guess a 1000. The scope of the project prevents a dedicated effort, but we can create a internet design site, where all qualified persons can submit designs and narratives conforming to a general open design limitations, purpose, language. i.e to scale, describing function and use, and meets the basic available design specifications. This could be done puiblicly with a patent issued to all participants who had made a permanent contribution to the design. i.e. a public holding.
When coordinated (integrated) with the ever greater knowledge of terraforming, plans for designing an ecological viable technically feasiblea plan to settle on another planet.
Even a miniature train scale such as N or even HO for large models could be used to build functional transport layout models. 

We need not build rockets now, they are last in line.

Natura Artis Magistra

[ Edited: 17 July 2011 06:07 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 17 July 2011 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 16 July 2011 11:28 PM

My message is that the climate changing is but ONE of the many things that may wipe us out, and fixating on that has precluded finding solutions to other problems. Thinking globally is a good start, but until we can start think in interstellar terms our candle will be easily extinguished.

You’re right that climate change isn’t the only thing that could wipe us out. Phil Plait has a raft of them in his recent book Death from the Skies. To escape a rogue comet we’d need to be on a different planet. To escape a nearby supernova (though there’s none nearby enough that we know of) we’d need to be in a different star system. Etc.

Stephen Hawking said as much, FWIW.

But I don’t see, and you haven’t established, that “fixating on [climate change] has precluded finding solutions to other problems”. Firstly, virtually nobody in power has “fixated on climate change”. Virtually nothing is being done about it.

Secondly, if the human race is to survive it must be capable of tackling more than one problem at the same time. Near term problems, particularly vital ones, take precedence. As we’ve said, moving off-planet is no solution to the problem of climate change. So that must be dealt with here, and ought to be dealt with prior to thinking about colonizing space. Colonizing space will take centuries or millennia to do properly; we aren’t advanced enough in any of the relevant technologies (propulsion, shielding, hibernation, etc.) to make a go of it within our lifetimes, and a multi-trillion-dollar crash course in setting up a handful of people on Mars would accomplish nothing, since they would still be unlikely to survive without Earth help.

So yes, advocate for space colonization. I love SF and love the idea, and hope that someday it will come to pass. But don’t set up false dichotomies between that and more pressing problems on Earth.

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Posted: 17 July 2011 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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It is the public awareness that is fixated on global warming (and politicians like it that way so they are free to fixate on their machinations). I grant that I did, inadvertantly, present a false dichotomy. We do need to tackle multiple problems at a time, but just because climate change is something we can attach guilt to (and the religious that make up the bulk of our populations do so love thier guilt) does not mean it is neccessarily the most immidiate or serious threat, as write4u’s article on jupiter demonstrates. Impacts occur with little or no warning, and while we may have fifty thousand years before another strikes it might happen before lunch. Yellowstone is a tangible threat too, and there are signs it is waking up. I don’t think many people, if anyone, can actually fathom what the eruption from that would be like, it would be at least 1000 times larger than st helens and probably take out about a third of the continental US in its initial blast, then usher in an ice age the likes of which humans have never seen. And yellowstone is not the only caldera we know of, never mind any that we have not yet found.

What I am saying is that threats we have time to react to, like climate change, are one thing, and we should react to them in a reasonable (non fanatic) way. And there are quite a few we need to prepare for ahead of time to have a snowball’s chance, and this simply not occuring. And establishing a foothold in space would be useful for more than simply surviving an event, it might even put us in a position to prevent it.

We need to put intentional priority on maximizing human survivablity, rather than maximizing profits. (that dichotomy is not false)

[ Edited: 17 July 2011 06:30 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 17 July 2011 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Stormy, I think that you are overestimating the probability of an extinction event. The last major extinction event was 65 million years ago, and the one before that was 250 million years ago. You are worrying about something that takes place only once every 100 million years or so. In other words, the probability of an extinction event taking place in any given year is one in one hundred million. With those kinds of probabilities, we can imagine all sorts of lovely disasters: a disease mutating into something both deadly and virulent; China deciding to nuke the whole world; Sarah Palin getting elected and deciding to nuke the world; Mr. Obama inhaling some fungus, going pyschotic, and deciding to nuke the world; a cool new techie toy that emits radiation that interacts with something else in the world to emit deadly killer rays; a new mutation of harp seals that generates man-eating killer baby harp seals—at probabilities of one in a hundred million per year, I can dream up all sorts of horrible things!

But the problem is that we have vastly higher probabilities of other destructive things, things that are much more mundane. The greatest threats facing civilization are political, not physical—but to appreciate that, you need an education with both depth and breadth. I very much doubt that anybody under 30 could have amassed enough education to truly appreciate all the different factors at play here. I’m twice that age, an avid student of just about everything, (well, not philosophy or the arts) and I didn’t really start to grasp it solidly until I was maybe 40 or 50. I don’t know your age or education, but your priorities seem so out of whack that I have some confidence in the hypothesis that you are at an early stage of your education. I don’t want to squash you with the implication that you are just a dummy and you should shut up and listen to your betters—that’s exactly the opposite of what a good teacher (which I like to think I am) does. I encourage you to keep pushing and probing, developing outrageous, kooky ideas and testing them against reality. A discussion board like this one, stocked with so many mature thinkers, is an excellent place to learn. But you can’t learn if you think you already know the answers. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and gals—but only by a readiness to abandon ideas I had previously embraced. The best way to learn is to generate a million ideas and then murder 999,900 of them—that leaves 100 good ideas.

My most frequent muttering to myself is “You sniveling fool!” It is occasionally countered with “I’m so brilliant!”, but the ratio between the two is at least 10:1.

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Posted: 17 July 2011 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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I appreciate your intention, but I am fully aware of the limitations of my knowledge, and have no problem at all discarding ideas when they are invalid. But by the same token, I have as much capability as anyone else, and it often seems more than most, to reason, and that is far more important than knowledge. I have met many people who know much, and understand nothing.

As to extinction events, you reveal a gap in your own knowledge. They occur a lot more than you think, there have been five major ones, including the permian and cretaceous ones you reference, as well as at least 15 relatively minor ones. We are already in an extiction event right now, caused by global warming that started thousands of years before humans built any kind of engine. While we might be contributing to that heating trend, it started before us, would have continued to this day without us, and will most likely continue completely independant of our best efforts.

My biggest gripe on the whole climate change issue; absolutely no one is willing to discuss a course of action should we be unable to affect it.

[ Edited: 17 July 2011 08:31 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 17 July 2011 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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My biggest gripe on the whole climate change issue: amateurs who think they know more than professional climate scientists.

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Posted: 17 July 2011 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Stormy, you’re running on testosterone, not acetylcholine. I’m out.

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Posted: 17 July 2011 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Darron and Chris. I saw it comin’.  tongue wink

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Posted: 17 July 2011 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Stormy, OK, I’m guilty of not fully reading or understanding your posts.
{Although it could be asked if you yourself have closely read, or considered, posts such as this one:
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/10888/P60/#131472}

That said,

Stormy Fairweather - 17 July 2011 08:28 AM

My biggest gripe on the whole climate change issue; absolutely no one is willing to discuss a course of action should we be unable to affect it.

... are you implying that focusing on space colonization is an option for when climate change starts to truly disrupt food production, commerce, transportation?

DarronS - 17 July 2011 08:31 AM

My biggest gripe on the whole climate change issue: amateurs who think they know more than professional climate scientists.

ditto

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Posted: 17 July 2011 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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You posted a factually inaccurate statement regarding the frequencies of extinctions, I correct you, and I am being stupid?

And no citizen, it is not a solution, just another step we need to take towards one.

edit - Actually, I am out too. Between the ad hominem, mob mentality, false interpretations of my words, lack of useful feedback, and outright dismissal of even the possibility I may have a valid point or two, I see no point in further discussion with anyone here. You can nuke this account doug, I’ll not return. I will find reasonable discourse elsewhere.

[ Edited: 17 July 2011 09:16 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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