Premature Death and Climate Change

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Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:58 pm

Here's a solid review of the recent scientific reports on climate change, pollution and all its ill effects on the planet:

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2 ... ng-impacts

Rather long, but worth reading from top to bottom.

It brings to mind that I'm probably going to die prematurely due to pollution, climate change and/or social upheaval and conflict that will result from all this. Rather sobering, though honest. I think we can read these articles again and again, and just think it'll be poor people in the third world dying of drought again, though in time to come it could very well be you or me.

I don't hold out much hope for solutions given humanity's inability to voluntarily reduce energy consumption in a permanent fashion. Even having new more efficient technology would just increase energy consumption in the long term as it would free that energy and make it available for new purposes. That's Jevon's paradox:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

If these dire warnings turn out to be true (and it sure looks that way), all bets are off on having a stable human civilization over the next number of decades. That means being psychologically and spiritually prepared for it will become essential, especially in the face of death.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby catmoon » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:37 am

Dire warnings have aways been with us. A classic example is a book tited The Population Bomb which sold over two million copies, scared the bejazus out of everybody, and whose predictions never came to pass. The author predicted in 1968,



-a substantial increase in the death rate in the next two decades. It fell 30%.
-that India could not possibly feed a population of 600 million. The current population of India is 1.2 billion, and since the book was published poverty and malnutrition rates in India have fallen from 90% to 40%
-that we were on the brink of global mass starvation. UN stats on undernourishment are that global rates have fallen from 33% to 16%.


The author still does not admit to having made a single major mistake.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:45 am

Right, but NASA among others in the scientific community (not just one guy writing some book) are issuing warning after warning. The ice up north is melting rapidly. The weather is clearly becoming more chaotic. Our conventional oil production has peaked, too, which means at some point it will decline and no amount of tar sands can give the same energy on return.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby gyougan » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:28 am

catmoon wrote:Dire warnings have aways been with us. A classic example is a book tited The Population Bomb which sold over two million copies, scared the bejazus out of everybody, and whose predictions never came to pass. The author predicted in 1968,



-a substantial increase in the death rate in the next two decades. It fell 30%.
-that India could not possibly feed a population of 600 million. The current population of India is 1.2 billion, and since the book was published poverty and malnutrition rates in India have fallen from 90% to 40%
-that we were on the brink of global mass starvation. UN stats on undernourishment are that global rates have fallen from 33% to 16%.


The author still does not admit to having made a single major mistake.


That all the doomsayers in the past have failed does not mean that mankind will never have to face the consequences of its actions. This bubble will pop.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby catmoon » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:23 am

gyougan wrote:
That all the doomsayers in the past have failed does not mean that mankind will never have to face the consequences of its actions. This bubble will pop.


I don't deny it's possible, but rather than a "pop" I would expect a gradual deflation over the course of a century or so. And at some point in that century I would expect people to say "Enough of this. Call up GE and put in an order for a coupla thousand nuclear power plants."

It is interesting that the end is already starting right here, in a sense. I live in a really poorly lit apartment because in order to qualify for some sort of energy-saver grant, the contractors who built this apartment block installed almost no overhead lighting at all. If I didn't have floor lamps and table lamps in every socket I'd be constantly falling over things in the dark.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Huseng wrote:It brings to mind that I'm probably going to die prematurely...


Define "prematurely". Life expectancy has climbed dramatically in recent years. Fifty years ago it was between 60-70 for most counties (African states typically lower).

You seem preoccupied with death and doom recently, Huseng. Is this some form of electronic Chöd? :tongue:


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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:09 pm

viniketa wrote:Define "prematurely". Life expectancy has climbed dramatically in recent years. Fifty years ago it was between 60-70 for most counties (African states typically lower).

You seem preoccupied with death and doom recently, Huseng. Is this some form of electronic Chöd? :tongue:



Actually prematurely means if the environmental situation keeps deteriorating I'll probably not live to my current life expectancy of 80 or thereabouts, provided I don't die in an accident, disaster or something like that.
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Re: Premature Death and Climate Change

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:11 pm

gyougan wrote:That all the doomsayers in the past have failed does not mean that mankind will never have to face the consequences of its actions. This bubble will pop.


Those consequences are being felt already.
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