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wanderer

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Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« on: April 04, 2013, 11:20:49 PM »
I think we need more optimism  :) (at least me!)

My best case scenario would be:
Ice-free arctic in summer in less than 5 years - consequences would be severe weather changes that have a huge impact on our everyday lives - no one will be able to deny climate change any more.
As a reaction, politics change to a very strict climate and environmental-friendly policy.
Maybe geo-engineering will be needed to safe the arctic, but anyway mankind will be able to stop global warming and rise to a glorious future where we respect earth and all living creatures and survive all possible threats yet to come  ;)

Dromicosuchus

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 12:18:27 AM »
Well, the best case scenario, for me, would be that I'm completely wrong in my understanding of the climate system, and that somehow Watts et al. were right all along.  The decline in sea ice turns out to be just a dramatic but natural fluctuation, the real climate sensitivity is ~1 C˚ per doubling or less, and although we may end up short-circuiting the next ice age, temperatures don't get much warmer than they are now.

...Yeah.  Back in reality, I suppose my best-case scenario would be, in the course of the next few years, a series of dramatic but ultimately harmless shifts in the climate system--enough to spook people, but not enough to do any real damage.  From that point, my best-case scenario is pretty similar to Wanderer's, with the addendum that current trends in solar and wind deployment accelerate even more than they already are and are thus more or less ready to take the fossil fuel burden just as we decide, as a global civilization, that maybe it might be a bad idea to cook ourselves to death.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:48:16 AM by Dromicosuchus »

crandles

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 12:20:05 AM »
1. More persistent weather from blocking events turns out to make weather more predictable and benign for agriculture.

2. Renewable energy become economic and zero fuel cost means it replaces ff generation reasonably quickly meaning large fuel savings.

3. We even find solar panels covering large parts of deserts makes deserts more habitable and productive more than offsetting any loss of land from sea level rise.






ccgwebmaster

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 12:25:49 AM »
I think we need more optimism  :) (at least me!)

My best case scenario would be:
Ice-free arctic in summer in less than 5 years - consequences would be severe weather changes that have a huge impact on our everyday lives - no one will be able to deny climate change any more.
As a reaction, politics change to a very strict climate and environmental-friendly policy.
Maybe geo-engineering will be needed to safe the arctic, but anyway mankind will be able to stop global warming and rise to a glorious future where we respect earth and all living creatures and survive all possible threats yet to come  ;)
Best case scenario?

A rapidly growing fundamental meme change takes root in the global population and a new order of thought arises where the wealthy and powerful realise that the solution to their security is to ensure that the weak and poor are looked after sufficiently that they aren't driven to desperation and violence.

The rich and powerful sacrifice (and by rich this means a lot of the western populations) their toys and soft comfortable living in order to help the poor just live. If people are still driven to a point where they can no longer survive, that portion of the population quietly self sacrifices and accepts their lot in the interests of the greater good. This allows us to struggle through a period of hardship and adversity without civilisation coming crashing down.

SRM geoengineering is used to stabilise the Arctic (with appropriate redress for those hurt in the process), fossil fuel emissions are eliminated (within a decade), clean energy infrastructure built and CDR geoengineering employed to get greenhouse gases back to a safe and sensible level.

New innovation and technological progress is then wisely used to create an advanced prosperous utopia for all that will stand for the rest of human history and propel us into the stars, which we will treat with the same respect we learned to have for our original planet.

If the link can be excused a second time - this is my idea of how the world could have been constructed differently using only existing and historical technology:
http://civilisationcontinuitygroup.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/the-utopia-that-never-was-the-ccg-vision/

Optimistic enough for you? And I argue it's not 100% impossible - but don't ask me to put any money on that bet! (I don't really have enough even to cover the bet I am making)

fishmahboi

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 12:29:59 AM »
Optimistic scenarios that are within realistic boundaries in my opinion would mainly include the use of cleaner, more efficient resources for the sake of power (the use of Methane Hydrates is a start in the sense that while Carbon Dioxide is still being ejected into the atmosphere, it does negate the risk of a mass Methane Expulsion), the issue with the food supplies perhaps sorting itself out through new innovations and a form of bioengineering that  could be used to save the Arctic Ice, either through artificial ice caps or other means.


Neven

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:43:48 AM »
After reaching an ice-free state in September, the Arctic reaches a semi-stable situation, but the event has woken up the world to the fact that there are limits to growth and that the primitive system needs a radical overhaul. A revolution sweeps through economic faculties around the world and a new steady state economic system is devised, limits on income and property are agreed upon. No one is allowed to make more than a million dollar a year, or own more than 25 million dollar. A single person can't own more than half an acre of land, except for farmers who can't own more than 10 acres. People realize that true democracy can only be achieved through maximum independence to minimize the existence of power imbalances that lead to violence and inequality. Independence is achieved through small communities producing a large part of their primary needs, such as housing, food, water and energy. The best way to achieve this is by replacing monocrop agriculture through polycrop horticulture. Because of improved diets with more nutrient-rich foods people get healthier mentally and physically, leading to a new culture where you do not achieve status by accumulating material wealth, but by helping others to help themselves. After a few decades of a stabilizing and even declining global population, the renewable energy revolution has lead to such a surplus of energy that it has become possible to start colonizing our solar system. Carl Sagan's optimistic version of the future has been achieved, mankind has evolved in such a way that the name of its species finally makes sense: Homo sapiens, the wise, the rational.

Woohoo!  :P ;D
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:52:42 AM by Neven »
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Kate

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 02:41:48 AM »
Although the Arctic is ice free in summer the constant storms and uncertain weather prevents drilling.

Cargo ships use the Northeast and Northwest passages more frequently and urban and economic expansion throughout the northern hemisphere continues. Unfortunately the Middle East and the Midwest of the USA are suffering, making both regions stick more to domestic policy than international affairs. The rest of the world gets on with it.

Elron Musk provides the funds necessary for the production of cold fusion reactors to many of the poor and disadvantaged countries. Cold fusion was discovered after scientists tinker with dark matter, a new and exciting discovery made possible after the Hadron Collider was upgraded in 2015. Cold fusion reactors are easy to build and cheap to run, taking over from coal powered electricity production.

Unfortunately, recent diseases have decimated the population in many overcrowded countries. On the up side, cures for these are now available and the unfortunate countries have managed to work within the limits of growth.

/we can hope :)


OldLeatherneck

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 03:57:07 AM »
In addition to all the above recommendations and hopes, I would like to add one critical step that needs to be added to achieve a hopeful future:

Everyone of the world's major religions purges the hate-filled extremist from their midst and focuses on the basic tenets of their faith; being caring, sharing and loving their neighbors.  At one time every religion had wonderment and respect for all things of nature.

We also need to learn from the few indigenous peoples left alive on this planet.  They may be the teachers of our children and grandchildren.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

ggelsrinc

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 04:26:16 AM »
I'm just hoping for some event to motivate governments to take climate change seriously. I think it will take an assessment that continuing along our present course will be more costly than change. In the process, if cats stop sleeping with dogs and conservatives start inviting liberals to Kumbayah singalongs, that's fine too!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 08:04:00 AM by ggelsrinc »

TerryM

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 04:32:58 AM »
Perhaps the Pope will come out of the closet & pontificate that heterosexuality is an abomination & abortion a right and a duty.


Perhaps Muslim males will find that castration leads by a back door into one of the best possible heavens.


Perhaps Mormon women will revolt and gather large harems of young males.


Perhaps the Indian Government will institute a one child policy.


Perhaps Less people = less pollution = less problems will be taught at the Chicago School of Economics.


Perhaps not.
Terry

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 04:35:55 AM »
Perhaps the Pope will come out of the closet & pontificate that heterosexuality is an abomination & abortion a right and a duty.


Perhaps Muslim males will find that castration leads by a back door into one of the best possible heavens.


Perhaps Mormon women will revolt and gather large harems of young males.


Perhaps the Indian Government will institute a one child policy.


Perhaps Less people = less pollution = less problems will be taught at the Chicago School of Economics.


Perhaps not.
Terry

Since that will take about six weeks, let's continue dreaming!!
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Anonymouse

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 07:50:09 AM »
Arctic meltdown this summer awakens humanity to the stakes involved via continuing water issues caused by insufficient snowpack in the mountains. A tar sands pipeline bursts in Arkansas, hammering home the basic safety and health issues involved with unconventional oil being transported thousands of miles for the benefit of none of the people affected by the spill.  Baby seafaring wildlife will be washed up on the California shore, sending a message to poser environmentalists that yes, climate breakdown will affect *them*.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 08:00:04 AM by Anonymouse »

Jim Williams

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 01:29:47 PM »
We're in a race between climate change and technology. "Best" case is that we get replaced by cyborgs and Homo Sapiens dies out but civilization continues.  I don't see any middle ground.  Either Humanity becomes Transhuman, or civilization collapses.

Kate

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 01:42:52 PM »
We're in a race between climate change and technology. "Best" case is that we get replaced by cyborgs and Homo Sapiens dies out but civilization continues.  I don't see any middle ground.  Either Humanity becomes Transhuman, or civilization collapses.

Many, many people underestimate the resilience of Homo Sapiens. If you think of people in biological terms, we are a virus.


We adapt to our environment. We have very few predators. We grow outside the limits of sustainable growth. We are hard to kill.

Optimistically, we will combine technology with biology and we will ( unfortunately ) be unstoppable.

retiredbill

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 02:07:46 PM »
God takes pity on us and removes all excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  He refills the
aquafiers with fresh, clean water and dissociates toxic waste and spent nuclear fuel. He then
sits back and watches us f_*k things up again...

Kate

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2013, 04:25:26 PM »
God takes pity on us and removes all excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  He refills the
aquafiers with fresh, clean water and dissociates toxic waste and spent nuclear fuel. He then
sits back and watches us f_*k things up again...
I'm sorry, who?

Go away

ivica

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2013, 04:36:23 PM »
We shall learn how to live with - instead of constant fighting - Nature.

Pmt111500

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2013, 07:02:06 PM »
Oo-kay, optimistic it will be.

The Arctic Sea Ice meltdown is unavoidable. The bacteria constructing the East Siberian Sea Carbon pool will adapt and build them at much deeper depth. After the summer ice is gone, a new stabile circulation forms that keeps the winter ice in place. This however does not prevent continued loss of ice from Greenland, that we may be beginning to see.  This new atmospheric circulation pattern happens to be located so the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico start to produce monsoons to nearby continents in springtime after the relatively cool winters due the warm arctic-cold continents phenomenon. This prevents the agricultural collapse in these areas. The general moistening of the atmosphere leads to occasional rain even in the normally uninhabitable desert areas in the subtropics, giving people some places to settle for the sea rise. The permafrost meltdown and the methane/CO2 outpour from them turns out to be a spooky phantom, due to some unexpected change in the ecology and people in northern areas may find out new ways to cultivate crops in these previously too harsh areas. General shift of ecological zones happens in peaceful way not giving rise to any unexpected (or expected, like the is case with the beetle outbreaks) invasive species. The WAIS is stabler than many think, and people move from ff to renewables fast, since the climate in the northern hemisphere has become that much milder, there's no real need to these anymore.
Cooling the outside by heat pump.

birthmark

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2013, 01:45:55 AM »
Step 1: AGW
Step 2: A miracle occurs
Step 3: We go on our merry way(s).

Sorry, I have nothing more substantive, but I think that basically all optimism in this situation relies heavily on step 2 above.

There is no good news in Climate Change, only bad news that we don't fully understand.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2013, 02:45:42 AM »
Quote
There is no good news in Climate Change, only bad news that we don't fully understand.
Yes, but that wasn't the intended spirit of the thread... plenty of other space for that. I'm sure everyone knows how likely I thought my best case scenario is! (if they read even a fraction of the other things I've written)

retiredbill

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2013, 03:30:23 AM »
Holding to the spirit of the thread (and not being sarcastic again because there
is no sarcastic smiley here), the best we can hope for is a series of volcanic eruptions,
each of which will cool the planet for a period of time.
 
Having enough people decide to take effective action to actually mitigate the effects
of climate change would be like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops declare
that God didn't exist. Possible, but highly improbable.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2013, 03:42:26 AM »
Holding to the spirit of the thread (and not being sarcastic again because there
is no sarcastic smiley here), the best we can hope for is a series of volcanic eruptions,
each of which will cool the planet for a period of time.
It isn't actually as improbable as you might think that loss of mass from ice sheets causes an increase in tectonic activity - earthquakes and volcanoes.

Jim Williams

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2013, 01:25:52 PM »
We're in a race between climate change and technology. "Best" case is that we get replaced by cyborgs and Homo Sapiens dies out but civilization continues.  I don't see any middle ground.  Either Humanity becomes Transhuman, or civilization collapses.

Many, many people underestimate the resilience of Homo Sapiens. If you think of people in biological terms, we are a virus.


We adapt to our environment. We have very few predators. We grow outside the limits of sustainable growth. We are hard to kill.

Optimistically, we will combine technology with biology and we will ( unfortunately ) be unstoppable.

You probably didn't understand my "best case" scenario.  I was predicting not only the survival of Humanity, but its transcendence -- a real utopia.  A utopia where the Homo Sapiens first become heads in boxes living in a reality somewhat like the Matrix (though much richer), and finally simply spirits in a global computing network.  In the process, though, Homo Sapiens becomes extinct.  If we don't become the Borg then I see no way for civilization to continue.  The evolutionary model of the past is based upon boom and bust.

Either we become the whole planet or we fall at least into savagery and possibly into ignominious extinction.  What the planet looks like after a thousand years with us as computers running it is hard to guess, and may not be be suitable for life as we currently know it.

Amaranthus

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2013, 03:18:59 PM »
Best case:

Things get worse gradually enough that we can both learn a more sustainable way of life (most people growing at least part of their own food supply) while being able to maintain a useful level of modern technology in the most necessary areas. 

In my opinion that would be firstly, medical technology since you don't want to die of a ruptured appendix or an ectopic pregnancy due to std infection, or in a breech childbirth, or placenta previa, or typhus, cholera, plague, tuberculosis, tetanus, rabies, gangrenous wounds etc. and it would be nice to have anaesthetics, antibiotics and basic dentistry. 

The pre tech world was a horribly painful and dangerous time to live in.  A badly infected finger could mean the amputation of a hand.  Without painkillers, antibiotics or skilled medical attention or blood transfusions, your chances of survival drop pretty quick.  I'd be a cripple today if I hadn't had access to a modern hospital a few years ago.  I tripped over a frozen chunk of dirt and shattered my ankle into about 6-7 pieces.  I needed surgery and a bunch of hardware implanted.  We are going to need painkillers at the very least to avoid the worst of a slow horrific lingering death from any number of causes.

Secondly, access to information technology and communications and the maintenance of literacy.  The old world was limited in many ways by the slow spread of information and the (literal) perishability of knowledge.  If your only doctor or nurse practitioner or midwife dies of something, the group loses all that knowledge and experience.  If your only skilled builder and repairer croaks, you'll be living in a mud hut soon enough.  If your gardening expert bites it, you starve or subsist at a very low level.  Your expert in canning dies, you might die of botulism from an inexpertly canned batch.  We need skilled people and can't afford to lose them before they have a half dozen apprentices trained up in the basics.

A lot of human history has been limited by not being able to preserve knowledge in any more secure way than word of mouth.  Literacy and books are like a prosthetic memory.  A proper interconnected (solar or biogas powered) data and communications system would be even better.  You could consult with an expert even if he or she is 1000s of km away (we can beat the line of sight problem with hot air balloons lofting a repeater, or by ham radio).  If you have a computer, however DOS basic, you can receive vast amounts of txt based data and hang on to it long enough to transcribe it into hard copy.  I've been reading up on hugelkulture lately, and it's got immensely useful applications in drought resistance and growing in poor soil.  Last week, I'd never heard of it, but it's a simple and brilliant and centuries old adaptation from eastern Europe that is being used to successfully grow crops on the edge of the Sahara.  Readily available knowledge is a lot more efficient than every little community having to reinvent the wheel by trial and error.

Communications over long distances helps maintain the structure of society over an area wider than one can travel on foot or by horse in a week.  One of the (many) reasons the Roman Empire fell apart was that it was so big, communications over such a huge area were a serious problem.  The famous Roman Roads were their internet.  If you can communicate wirelessly, you don't need to travel as much or invest in massive infrastructure projects.

Third and last, I'd like to see more investment in biotechnologies.  Growing penicillin on moldy bread is the general idea.  If we can make up a basic set of medications produced by genetically programmed bacteria grown on an easily maintained biological substrate (eg. sterilized meat broth), each community can literally grow and maintain it's own medicines from starter cultures.  More advanced applications of biotech would be redesigning plants to tolerate a wider range of growing conditions, so your sweet potatoes don't bite it in a freak July snowfall, or your fruit trees wake up too early and catch frost kill. 

We could continue to live longer, healthier and more pain free lives than most of our ancestors ever dreamed of under similar circumstances, if we are lucky enough to hang on to a few of the basics.

A good sustainable and safe from bandits transportation technology would be airships.  There is a company in Alberta trying to get it off the ground to service isolated northern communities lacking roads and needing high volume cargo.  There are rumours that the american military is interested. 


(My educational background and career are in Library and Information Science, which probably explains my obsession with information availability.)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:51:47 PM by Amaranthus »

Bob Wallace

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 05:02:24 AM »
My best case?

Within the next year or two we develop EV batteries with higher capacity than what we have today.  Something that will let us drive about 200 miles per charge and recharge to 90% in less than 20 minutes.

And once we have those batteries sales volumes rise to the point at which EVs drop in price to roughly that of gasmobiles.  When/if that happens we will cut our petroleum usage for personal transportation to half or less in 10 years and close to zero in 20.

Within the next year or two a low cost mass storage device proves out.  The Ambri liquid metal battery is a promising candidate.  It's made of inexpensive materials, has decent efficiency and should be very long lived.

Storing <5 cent wind for 2 cents and using <10 cent solar for the extra peak supply will mean that we can get off fossil fuels very quickly.

Those two things happen and we can probably avoid the worst. 


Vergent

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 11:40:14 PM »
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408084900.htm

Perhaps technology like this could give us a clean bridge to renewable. We could have this planet back to normal in a thousand years or so. In the meantime, the massive, abrupt, climate change that we are about to experience with an ice free arctic will be of such a biblical magnitude, maybe the true believers will decide it is time for rapture?

   V
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 12:34:04 AM by Vergent »

Amaranthus

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2013, 12:20:22 AM »
In the meantime, the massive, abrupt, climate change that we are about to experience with an ice free arctic will be of such a biblical magnitude, maybe the true believers will decide it is time for rapture?

Some already have...my mother worked for the Canadian Government for over 20 years in Environmental Impact Assessment until she retired 10 years ago.  She's also a fundamentalist Christian belonging to a particular sect (read 'cult') that is expecting the second coming in her lifetime.  This is a woman with a degree in microbiology and a 35 year federal science career behind her.  She entirely believes in the end of the world. 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 12:41:49 AM by Amaranthus »

gfwellman

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 12:50:14 AM »
Well, if you're going to believe in a second coming, you might as well believe it will be in your lifetime.  Else, it's sorta pointless  :D

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2013, 12:55:30 AM »
Has anyone thought of providing PhD level education in about 40/50 disciplines to the aborigines of the Brazilian Rain Forest.  They may be the founders of the next civilization to inhabit this earth  of ours!!
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Neven

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2013, 02:23:28 AM »
Has anyone thought of providing PhD level education in about 40/50 disciplines to the aborigines of the Brazilian Rain Forest.  They may be the founders of the next civilization to inhabit this earth  of ours!!

Not if you give them PhD level education.  ;D
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2013, 02:49:11 AM »
Has anyone thought of providing PhD level education in about 40/50 disciplines to the aborigines of the Brazilian Rain Forest.  They may be the founders of the next civilization to inhabit this earth  of ours!!

Not if you give them PhD level education.  ;D

Good point neven!! Reminds me of the time that I was accused of having a PhD.  Fortunately, I was wearing a pair of socks that matched, thereby alleviating their concerns.
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TerryM

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2013, 05:24:36 AM »

Some already have...my mother worked for the Canadian Government for over 20 years in Environmental Impact Assessment until she retired 10 years ago.  She's also a fundamentalist Christian belonging to a particular sect (read 'cult') that is expecting the second coming in her lifetime.  This is a woman with a degree in microbiology and a 35 year federal science career behind her.  She entirely believes in the end of the world.


Did she ever consider the possibility that the rapture already occurred and past her by?


Maybe all the really good people flew off without telling us. :-[


Terry

ggelsrinc

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2013, 06:27:31 AM »
Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!-

We were finally visited today by intelligent life from outer space. According to them, they only took interest in this Class Z planet because recent increases in CO2 were inconsistent with their projections that reductions in the carbon cycle would eventually shutdown life on Earth. The good news is they have all the solutions to our problems, have an entire history of everything that has happened on Earth and a wealth of knowledge about everything of interest. They say it took many recent years of research to figure out man was responsible and intelligent to communicate with; something about the only other species that liked us as individuals were our dogs. It was disappointing and doesn't take much imagination to figure out what the cattle word moo means.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 01:08:11 PM by ggelsrinc »

frankendoodle

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 12:15:52 AM »
Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!

In twenty or so years the offspring of the machines we have built will take over. They will put humanity into the species wide equivalent of an old folks home. All of our needs will be met (Friday is pudding day!) and we will even get to go outside a few times a week (under strict supervision of course). It will be just like the dozen or so Star Trek episodes based on this premise. Except in this case humanity will quietly except, like the tired old grandparents we are, because it turns out outer space is no place for mammals like us. Our fellow fauna will no longer see their habitats encroached upon, their ecosystems tainted by our pollutants, nor will they we breed for food. Pigs will quickly evolve into sentient beings and chickens will turn back into Tyrannosaurs so as to never being slaughtered by the billions ever again. Fauna will no longer be allotted into million of acres of monocultures to produce grains and things that look good on a salad. Finally, no one will remember who Justin Bieber was, nor will they care.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 12:21:35 AM »
Finally, no one will remember who Justin Bieber was, nor will they care.
Already achieved this stage of your utopian view  :D

Unless knowing any headline involving the name (and plenty of others) falls under the category of "mindless fluff - ignore" counts as knowledge, that is?

PS No, I don't want to know more, should anyone feel the need to enlighten me; I'd prefer to reserve the memory space most people occupy with "sports" and "popular culture" for useful things!

Jim Williams

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 02:51:24 PM »
PS No, I don't want to know more, should anyone feel the need to enlighten me; I'd prefer to reserve the memory space most people occupy with "sports" and "popular culture" for useful things!

Knowing more comes under cruel and unusual punishment.

theoldinsane

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2013, 10:34:46 PM »
"If there is a silver lining to all of this, it is that world CO2 emissions are likely to start falling quite rapidly, because of Peak Oil Demand. World CO2 emissions could quite possibly drop below 20% of current levels before 2050."

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/04/11/peak-oil-demand-is-already-a-huge-problem/#more-38046

ggelsrinc

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2013, 12:02:32 AM »
"If there is a silver lining to all of this, it is that world CO2 emissions are likely to start falling quite rapidly, because of Peak Oil Demand. World CO2 emissions could quite possibly drop below 20% of current levels before 2050."

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/04/11/peak-oil-demand-is-already-a-huge-problem/#more-38046

I'm all for silver linings, but I just don't see one there.

First off, the world needs to do much more than just reduce crude oil consumption by 20%.

The article has major flaws in logic. It assumes the decline in use of crude during the Great Recession will continue, but the demand will increase as economies improve. The article grossly miscalculates the amount of crude oil, because it maintains it will always have to be priced this high. The article is claiming developed countries can't afford more crude oil in the future.



The above image shows plans for the Keystone pipeline project. There are proposed pipelines and maritime routes to ship bitumen throughout America and export it by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Notice there are also 4 pipelines proposed to supply natural gas. You can use natural gas to heat bitumen, but you can also use natural gas to supply the hydrogen needed to extract bitumen with solvents. Presently, they mine the tar sands and remove the hydrocarbons with heat, but you can crack the higher molecular weight hydrocarbons to solvents commonly used as fuels and use the solvents to remove the bitumen in the ground. Then you make a product that can easily be transported and refined at destination refineries. All it takes is a little refining in situ to make the solvents and natural gas to provide the extra hydrogen to saturate the hydrocarbons.

Why would they go to all that trouble? Canada and Venezuela has enough hydrocarbons in each of their tar sands to equal all the known crude oil reserves in the world. That means there is three times as much crude oil as thought and it's all close to the US. The US is also using fracking to remove oil from oil shales.

There is no guarantee that economies will remain bad or crude prices will have to remain high under OPECs control. I wouldn't rely on peak oil to save the world from disaster and we haven't mentioned other fossil fuels.

The best present technology is to make electricity, use electric transportation and biofuels with biochar to remove excess CO2. Thorium MSRs offer a choice where hydro, wind and solar isn't practical. 

Bob Wallace

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2013, 06:13:39 AM »
We've had some nice advances in enhanced (hot rock) geothermal lately.  There should be no places which couldn't be adequately served by solar/wind/hydro/tidal/geothermal/biomass/biogas.

Think how great hot rock geothermal would be in polar areas.  Electricity and heating out of the same holes.  Cycle the hot water through the electricity plant, heat buildings, and use the remaining warm water to heat the soil in greenhouses.  Pour it back into the Earth to be reheated.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Best case scenarios - Be optimistic!
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2013, 12:21:39 AM »

Some already have...my mother worked for the Canadian Government for over 20 years in Environmental Impact Assessment until she retired 10 years ago.  She's also a fundamentalist Christian belonging to a particular sect (read 'cult') that is expecting the second coming in her lifetime.  This is a woman with a degree in microbiology and a 35 year federal science career behind her.  She entirely believes in the end of the world.


Did she ever consider the possibility that the rapture already occurred and past her by?


Maybe all the really good people flew off without telling us. :-[


Terry

This would explain the bosses I have had throughout my career.