• SophistiCat
    899
    I think (I hope) that we are adaptable enough to survive this crisis without actually diving ourselves to extinction, as other species and populations sometimes do. But survival is the lowest bar. Can we avoid a major population crash and the collapse of our technological civilization? Maybe. Can we get through relatively unscathed? That seems very unlikely.

    Certainly, as the realization of the urgency and the severity of the problem grows, the concerted efforts to combat it will intensify and become more organized. But we have few good options left to us. Drastic scaling down of greenhouse gas production seems more and more like a lost opportunity already. Some miracle sequestration technology? That would be nice, but I wouldn't bet on it. I think the most likely optimistic scenario is that we'll just cope with the consequences as best as we can.
  • ovdtogt
    377
    I am of the opinion we'll sooner have a humongous war wiping out half the human population before we solve the climate problem. The migration problem (The 'West' being overrun by refugees) will allow the rise of fascist' regimes to emerge. These regimes are hostile to cooperation and international diplomacy.
  • Tzeentch
    457
    "Everybody who disagrees with me must be stupid."
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    I’m not suggesting we should do this. What I see is a totalitarian form of government because people will be required to do what is good for the state. Even now if you disagree with climate change you’re a pariah, in the future there will only be solutions, if you get my drift?Brett

    Yeah I get what you mean. At some point it isn't even "edgey" to be a climate change denier if it ever was and people are definitely waking up to that.

    I'm okay with that form of government so long as it still gives some rights to an individual that don't conflict with our abilities to fight climate change.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    think that there are a 2 or 3 billion people who, if told the truth about global warming and if given clear behavioral options (like wearing shoes completely out before replacing them, buying a very limited number of clothing items per year, not eating meat, not flying, not driving, and so on) they would rise to the occasion

    There are another 2 billion people, give or take, who are already effectively doing what we should all be doing because they are too poor to do otherwise. and maybe there are a couple of billion people whose reductions in lifestyle would be more limited.
    Bitter Crank

    Agreed. A resource conservative maintenance heavy humble existence is going to be a necessity for most if not all.

    New technology with new renewable low carbon energy sources with many contingencies will most likely still be relied upon heavily and I think we would be fighting a losing battle to call for pure abstinence of anything but the fossil fuel and dirty fuel aspects of it all.

    However it should go without saying that we need to change our relationship with technology and restructure how we see it's utility. The kind of utility we need is not the kind of access to easy living we have become used to and the lazy cult of "making things easier". We can use our technology to potentially make any lifestyle streamlined and efficient if not easy and completely safe. Whether that is energy consuming technology or human energy technology like old style plows. All it really requires is the will to see it through and change our behaviours if we want to survive. The will to do all this will grow; I just hope it doesn't take so long that governments only wake up to the problems when politicians or their loved ones start dying of heat stroke, malnutrition, dehydration and diseases associated with these conditions. :/

    But then maybe the duty of philosophers in this time is to finally take up the burden of leading by example by really taking the "Leading" part seriously. People crave philosopher leaders and they are idolized in fiction well enough for us to see this is true. At some point, we have to realize when the armchairs need to be left and the podium needs to be mounted. Else some judgemental philosopher of the future is going to have the ability and strong argument to label those of us alive today as "The Great Moral Apathists" obviously the great part will be a joke about the magnitude of our apathy. There is no greater injustice in this world than Apathy as all other injustices spring forth from this one. A lot of people like to talk openly about their views on what they call "Psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists like they are the real problem. It isn't, it is everyone else's full apathy of what is really going on that allows the mental and physical crucibles to exist in childhood that create these demographics.

    How people expect children to all believe in justice when we cant give every child justice is beyond me. Now I know that every now and then some psychopaths are born broken to the rest of us. We need to be aware though that the criminality and immorality that come from these individuals isn't always related to their neurochem in fact it rarely is. Genes only decide how a person will respond to certain environments but the environments will always be a string contributing factor in what that person ultimately becomes. Non criminal but clinical psychopaths genuinely aren't all bad. All talents and dispositions have a context they fit symbiotically into. Take the list of professionals that have high levels of some of the more positive traits of sociopathyy and psychopathy which have been manufactured by their training; I want a surgeon who can genuinely not see me as a person and see me as a machine to be fixed if they are going to be performing surgeons on me as this is how the most successful surgeons operate. Bedside manner is a seperste skill and some great surgeons are still able to be good at this and see you as a person when checking up on you after surgery. Competitive fighters can go from focussing pure hatred on a rival to embracing them with respect and love upon completion of their bout and the sheer psychopathic positive thinking and focus you get from Shaolin Monks is terrifying in its consistency yet positive presence.

    Not all psychopaths are criminals by nature, they are criminal by environment. Our brains give us all the capacity to turn off and shut out different peoples to our empathy. Its a defence mechanism we use which does have its uses still. It is maddening to try and empathise with everyone all the time.

    It is up to us however to be rational enough to know when the defence mechanism is actually increasing the levels of danger we are in. Apathy toward climate change is an extremely maladaptive defence mechanism as it will not avert the crisis here. This isn't some starving child on the other side of the world we are forcing ourselves to ignore for sanities sake, its all children everywhere that are at risk. Insanity is ignoring that now.
  • Possibility
    777
    I think we need to not just re-evaluate how we live, but to restructure our value systems themselves, to include the significance of what isn’t necessarily seen as valuable to humanity.

    Climate will change; it has done so for billions of years, and it will continue to change long after we’ve gone. The idea that the climate of a location would remain within our choice parameters is ridiculous. But the accelerated change we’re experiencing, drying out some habitats and flooding others, and the extinction-level impact this has on the already reduced, threatened and divided habitats of the planet’s diverse wildlife, is still mostly our doing.

    But - oh, no! Now our lives might be under threat! Well, maybe not under threat, as such. It’s not like we’re facing extinction. Scarce resources, maybe. Flood, fire and famine, war, genocide, coup d’etats, countries in economic collapse, environmental refugees, perhaps even poverty, exploitation and corruption on a national level - this will be the human impact. But most of that is already happening around us. Many of us will gradually need to adjust our diet, where we live (here in Australia, at least), our lifestyle, occupation, etc. It will be inconvenient and frustrating... and someone else’s fault.

    And we will be sad to hear that another species needs our help to escape extinction, that we can’t find Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef anymore, and that people and animals and trees are dying around the world without ‘good’ reason. But we’ll get used to it, won’t we? We’ll adjust, as we always do, as a species.

    We can’t fight climate change. To fight it is to refuse to accept that climate changes - that it should change - as if it’s the change that threatens us, as if it’s us that’s most important. It’s the wrong focus. We need to be more aware of what is really happening without fearing it, to connect with what is happening, and to collaborate with it. All of it. A good start would be to stop referring to it as ‘climate change’ - it’s humanity that we need to halt...
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    We can’t fight climate change. To fight it is to refuse to accept that climate changes - that it should change - as if it’s the change that threatens us, as if it’s us that’s most important. It’s the wrong focus. We need to be more aware of what is really happening without fearing it, to connect with what is happening, and to collaborate with it. All of it. A good start would be to stop referring to it as ‘climate change’ - it’s humanity that we need to halt...Possibility

    This is all very well said! You're right, the man made version of climate change we are facing now was made a reality due to the same old injustices most of us have been fighting for our entire existence. Consistent morally progressive leadership I feel is something we have never truly had as a species as well as consistent humility and responsibility in leadership too. I wouldn't mind certain leaders so much if they just had the balls to do what is right and admit mistakes or admit to lies and save us all time in deciding whether or not to give them another chance or not. There needs to be much more trust and assumption of forgiveness when it comes to callousness. Intent is certainly a contributing factor in judgement of wrong doers and if its a genuine mistake from a fallible human at least have the decency to own it and let people make informed decisions about forgiveness, forgetting or justice. If the form of justice wasn't so violent and aggressive as it is now maybe this would be easier for people to do. As it is too many people spend so much time trying to micromanage how people perceive them and its boring and totally inauthentic. I like the narrative of being in a debate with someone and wondering whether or not you or they are the "Bad guy" in this. More often than not the end of that narrative is usually realising we aren't all so different deep down. These social failures and successes are what define us really. Failure is certainly character building but we get to decide in what way this shapes our character. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to what we do.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    I submit that if we were able to figure out how to enable 100,000 people to live on the moon or Mars (in the relative near future), then it is well within our operational capabilities to sharply reduce CO2/methane output on earth.Bitter Crank

    Right. To arrange life on a different orb, sustainable, continued life for humans, would take such a humongously huge human effort, that it's waaay easier to decimate the local population on Earth, delcare a moratorium on pregnancies, and carry on with business as usual.

    Social change is impossible, much like overcoming insurmountable techinical difficulties. Of these man faces one on Earth, the other, in space. But Social Change has been achieved over and over again with brute force. Christianity changed the social landscape of Europe and then later much of the world, and Chrisitanity spread via the sword, let's face it. Communism turned 1/4 of the world's population into true atheists, and let's face it, Lenin et al did it with the sword. America eradicated legal slavery, and let's face it, with the sword.

    I don't know what would precipitate an equal measure to social change in overcoming technical difficulties, such as complete lack of resources, such as oxygen and an atmosphere, or water, on the Moon or on Mars, or conquering the distance needed to travel to other solar systems' livable planets. Brute force won't cut the mustard. The only way out of this planet within our lifetime down to our grandchildren's life, inclusive, as far as I am concerned, would be 1. a soon upocoming invasion of Earth by a super-intelligent, benign and benevolent race from outer space, 2. Computer technology taking off in capability in both physical and mental like a rocket ship, surpassing all humanly intelligible and / or 3. A mutation in humans or in another species on Earth that would result in a much more intelligent, capable biological being.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    We can’t fight climate change. To fight it is to refuse to accept that climate changes - that it should change - as if it’s the change that threatens us, as if it’s us that’s most important. It’s the wrong focus. We need to be more aware of what is really happening without fearing it, to connect with what is happening, and to collaborate with it. All of it. A good start would be to stop referring to it as ‘climate change’Possibility

    This is true, but try telling it to a human: "You gotta stop being, man. Your time is up, give way to cockroaches, bloodsuckers and tapeworms. Sit down, shut up, extinc** yourself."

    But I am more concerned about the fear that the whole thing of climate change is sustaining. Rulers operate on mass control, and in many systems, it is fear. We feared the AIDS epidemic. Before that, we feared the Cold War. Before that we feared God. Before that whatever. There is always unnecessary fear, which is necessary for sustaining the status quo, which benefits the ruling class. So the oppression continues, because, basically, people are too stupid. I tried to tell people: "Don't fear climate change. It's a shmafu." They wanted to stone me. (It was on another philosophy forum.) I tried to tell street preachers: "Don't fear the Lord. He is shmafu." They wanted to stone me. (It happens on an ongoing basis in my hometown. I am the wrath of street preachers here.) I tried to tell people in my old country, Hungary, when it was communist: "Hey, don't fear that the Amys will drop the bomb. They ain't shtuppid." They did not try to stone me, because my father stopped me from saying this, with the wisdom of his words, "son, you don't want to spend the rest of your days in a psychiatric institution looking like something that the cat brought in."

    ** extinc == verb, backformation of "extinct" (adjective). Neologism.
  • SophistiCat
    899
    We can’t fight climate change. To fight it is to refuse to accept that climate changes - that it should change - as if it’s the change that threatens us, as if it’s us that’s most important. It’s the wrong focus. We need to be more aware of what is really happening without fearing it, to connect with what is happening, and to collaborate with it. All of it. A good start would be to stop referring to it as ‘climate change’ - it’s humanity that we need to halt...Possibility

    While everything that you wrote up to this point is very reasonable, this is pure sophistry. It's like saying "you can't fight death." A truism, of course, if you state it like this, out of context. But if you say it while watching a toddler drown in a bathtub, anyone would be in their rights to bash your brains in.
  • Lif3r
    219
    Property by the great lakes is going to skyrocket, because that will be one of the few places with natural inland water supply. I think you will still need a dome or an underground bunker, but if you buy multiple properties you can sell some for profit to build survivable conditions.
  • Lif3r
    219
    Basically you need tons of water. Before it gets to that point, people are going to migrate based on weather conditions. Some places will be more comfortable, and some will be very hot and dry.
  • Lif3r
    219
    You also dont want too much water. The east coast lands especially are predicted to have increased hurricane potential. The tornado valley will have more tornadoes. High ground on the northwest coast may be safer/more comfortable due to elevation and location beside the sea. Low ground on the west coast (most of California) will catch fire. The rocky mountains will be comfortable in some areas for a while due to high elevation, but most everything around it in low elevation will eventually burst into flames, and water supply will be of concern. Great lakes area curves all of these drawbacks.

    Honestly the best place I can think of is probably inland of Greenland.
  • Possibility
    777
    While everything that you wrote up to this point is very reasonable, this is pure sophistry. It's like saying "you can't fight death." A truism, of course, if you state it like this, out of context. But if you say it while watching a toddler drown in a bathtub, anyone would be in their rights to bash your brains in.SophistiCat

    This is true, but try telling it to a human: "You gotta stop being, man. Your time is up, give way to cockroaches, bloodsuckers and tapeworms. Sit down, shut up, extinc** yourself."god must be atheist

    Yeah, but it got a response.

    I’m not saying that you can’t turn the tide on the effect of climate change - what I’m saying is that when you frame it as a ‘fight against climate change’, you will lose. You have to approach it differently - stop trying to make the world do what we want it to do, but rather listen and pay attention more, and then give the world what it needs from us.

    Don’t just stop being anything - start being what the universe needs, instead of being human just for the sake of it, for the glory of it, or for the perks. We are not the ultimate goal, as such. We can be the ultimate solution, though - humanity has the capacity to facilitate a sustainable world. We’ve evolved not to maximise survival, dominance or proliferation, but to maximise awareness, connection and collaboration. The more we focus on this, the more we recognise that the rest of the universe is open to it - and needs this from us, more than anything else we can do.
  • Possibility
    777
    This is all very well said! You're right, the man made version of climate change we are facing now was made a reality due to the same old injustices most of us have been fighting for our entire existence. Consistent morally progressive leadership I feel is something we have never truly had as a species as well as consistent humility and responsibility in leadership too. I wouldn't mind certain leaders so much if they just had the balls to do what is right and admit mistakes or admit to lies and save us all time in deciding whether or not to give them another chance or not. There needs to be much more trust and assumption of forgiveness when it comes to callousness. Intent is certainly a contributing factor in judgement of wrong doers and if its a genuine mistake from a fallible human at least have the decency to own it and let people make informed decisions about forgiveness, forgetting or justice. If the form of justice wasn't so violent and aggressive as it is now maybe this would be easier for people to do. As it is too many people spend so much time trying to micromanage how people perceive them and its boring and totally inauthentic. I like the narrative of being in a debate with someone and wondering whether or not you or they are the "Bad guy" in this. More often than not the end of that narrative is usually realising we aren't all so different deep down. These social failures and successes are what define us really. Failure is certainly character building but we get to decide in what way this shapes our character. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to what we do.Mark Dennis

    To be honest, I’m not putting much stock in authorities to ‘lead’ on this, or anything. As long as survival is a major goal, authorities won’t have the courage to lead. And we have had morally progressive leadership, but they’ve notably led from the bottom, not from the top, and ‘consistent’ is a pipe dream in an ever-changing world. If we’re to make this kind of change, it has to be a groundswell that influences authorities, not the other way around. I think as a rule we rely too much on authorities to make these decisions for us, as if we can’t choose to stop burning fossil fuels on our own, but need to be forced into it (and then complain about it).

    Like @god must be atheist says, we need to stop being hampered by fear. We need the courage to own our mistakes in the face of violent and aggressive justice in order to demonstrate that justice is overly violent and aggressive, and wrong doers are mistreated. And we need to recognise that we’re the bad guy in this, in order to repair our failures.

    One thing that Trump has done is make it painfully clear that the POTUS has never had to earn the respect and authority we’ve given them.
  • prothero
    228
    There will be some degree of human activity induced climate change now no matter what we do. There have been irreversible changes to polar ice, permafrost thaw and ocean currents and a self reinforcing system is now in operation. We still could at least in terms of science and technology takes steps to keep this from getting even worse. In terms of our political and social systems it is not clear that we will be able to plan far enough ahead or fast enough to keep from continuing to raise atmospheric CO2 and thus cause an even worse scenario in terms of global warming.

    A warmer planet is a more energetic planet. Warmer oceans and atmosphere have more energy to impart to storms and thus stronger more violent weather and storms lie ahead. Changes in climate will change crop and agriculture patterns and regions.

    There will be major dislocations of populations from many costal areas and as always the poorer sections of the planet will suffer more disruption, political unrest and economic stagnation.

    We have not even taken the most basic steps of stopping subsidies for oil exploration, closing off federal land and wildlife preserves to exploration, in fact movement has been in the opposite direction. We should cease new oil and fossil fuel exploration immediately, allow the price of oil to rise and make competing renewable energy sources more cost comparative as well as expend large sums on battery technology and renewable sources. See any evidence of that?

    Having said all this, life on the planet will not cease to exist and humans will not likely go extinct. The planet and life on it have survived more severe disruptions in the climate due to natural cycles. That is not an excuse for doing nothing for there will surely be major loss of life and severe stress on our political and social structures and human civilization as we currently know it is not assured. We have arisen and thrived in a certain climatic and geological environment and we should be much more careful than we are being, and have been about altering that environment in this way and this rapidly.

    IMHO.
  • Jim Grossmann
    6
    @ Tim3003: Fair enough. The time and prerequisites for the tipping point are issues for climate scientists. As for the human response to climate change, or the relative lack thereof, I am pessimistic.

    Climate change is already flooding the coasts of low-lying countries like Bangladesh. Water is also getting high in Venice, Italy. Most of the hottest years on record occurred in the 21st century. Killer storms are becoming more frequent and severe.

    Yet none of the big carbon emitters, including the USA and China, seem to be doing much about this. One reason is that Big Oil can't wait for the Arctic ice to melt and open up the Arctic Ocean floor for oil drilling. Another reason is that the public is being disinformed by Big Oil and Republican noisemakers. Still another reason is the denial that springs from fear. Not many people talk about the fact that our civilization can't sustain itself in its present form. But the popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction, like "The Walking Dead," may be a sign of this fear IMO.
  • Wayfarer
    8.9k
    life on the planet will not cease to exist and humans will not likely go extinctprothero

    There's a lot of points between 'business as usual' and 'total extinction'. The world is barreling towards a massive population boom at the same time that it's facing environmental catastrophe. And 'catastrophe' is not too strong a word, either.

    I think the real crisis will manifest as economic collapse. Modern capitalism is intrinsically connected with (among other things) the discovery and exploitation of vast reserves of fossil fuel. And it's also based on the expectation of perpetual growth. So estimates of long-term returns on investments, forward values, and the like, are all based on the illusory idea that growth can continue forever; all the lines point upwards. When it really becomes undeniable that this is not the case, I think it will trigger a financial collapse, as everyone scambles to call in their debt and the whole house of cards comes down. It came close to happening on September 18th 2008 already. That will be end of capitalism as we know it. It might not be the end of the world but it might be the end of the world we know.
  • Janus
    8.7k
    When it really becomes undeniable that this is not the case, I think it will trigger a financial collapse, as everyone scambles to call in their debt and the whole house of cards comes down.Wayfarer

    I think this is a possible scenario. An alternative scenario is that all debt will have to be absolved when it becomes obvious that there is not sufficient available energy to run and maintain the system and upkeep its infrastructure. This scenario is one in which we would see increasingly frequent and sustained blackouts and brownouts and fuel shortages which will lead to food shortages and general panic.
  • ovdtogt
    377
    Migration will be a far greater problem humanity will have to solve than climate change.
  • SophistiCat
    899
    Migration has a lot to do (and will have even more to do) with climate. People flee from lands that are stricken by severe droughts, floods, hurricanes, and other climate disruptions that result in pest infestations and crop failures. Local conflicts are also fueled by the same underlying conditions - which in turn produces more migration.
  • frank
    3.8k
    We don't have any recipe for dealing with a problem like this. But we're pretty amazing, so who knows?

    Some more info:

  • Wayfarer
    8.9k
    An alternative scenario is that all debt will have to be absolved...Janus

    Might as well try and adjust the strength of gravity.

    The point is, global debt is at such a level that it cannot be simply absolved or forgiven. I'm no economist, but my understanding is that all the advanced economies are so highly leveraged (i.e. have so much debt), that the effect of sudden de-leveraging can't help but be catastrophic. And the form that will take is that the banks will close, and there will be no money; currencies will lose their value. That's what economic collapse looks like. Think today's Venezuela on a global scale.

    The basic problem is, our generations have 'spent the future'. When the next generation comes of age, they will find the larder is well and truly bare.

    Those are the 'worst case scenarios'. I'm truly hoping they don't come to pass. (I have a grand-daughter, 2, and a grand-son, 9 months. They will hit their twenties around 2040 which according to the UN will really be the climate crunch.) The only sliver of hope I have, is that there are a lot of very serious and well-informed people and agencies who are also aware of this, and who are taking it deadly seriously. Unlike the clowns and buffoons who currently occupy high office in Australia and the U.S. who have not the least notion of what is bearing down on us.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Honestly the best place I can think of is probably inland of Greenland.Lif3r

    Be sure to do your research before you put a down payment on a lot in Greenland. There are no inland lakes to speak of. I saw once a National Geographic Society map from the 1960s and it showed the elevations and sea floor of the bottom of the ocean. I now forgot if it had been a map of the Arctic or of the Atlantic ocean.

    At any rate, Greenland is mainly land, but lots of sea. From a rough estimate of my old memory, it is 60 percent land and 56 percent sea. (Rounding.) Just kidding. 40 percent sea. Its elevated land above sea level resembles a human's left ear, or a letter C in mirror image. The centre of Greenland is a huge bay, or it would be, if the ice melted. There are high mountains in the ridge of the C, and most likely lots of fast rivers. But there is not much standing water, at least not as much as one could expect of a complete landmass cover of the island that is under ice.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Unlike the clowns and buffoons who currently occupy high office in Australia and the U.S. who have not the least notion of what is bearing down on us.Wayfarer

    A politician's meausre of success is getting elected. Another way to measure how successful he is would be the achievements he proposes and creates for the betterment of his constituents, but that metric is actually considered with disdain by many current politicians.

    In retrospect, bad and good politicians are remembered, and the mediocre ones are not. Bad and Good are measured by the good they achieve for their people.

    But nobody ought to expect a politician to act responsibly and smartly. He completely exhausts his brian cells with the running for office, which is a gruelling two months, after which he NEEDS to relax for four years in order to gain enough mental and emotional energy to sustain himself through the ensuing next upcoming election.

    When you cast your ballot, you are not voting for the best man for the job, but you're voting for the best Marketing team. And you know what one of my favourite philosophers said about marketing (of modern times)? "Marketing is next to grand larceny."

    All these were platitudes, of course, and I hadn't expected to say anything new that all of us hadn't already known. It just felt good to say this. It's out of my system now, I can breathe a bit lighter now.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Migration has a lot to do (and will have even more to do) with climate. People flee from lands that are stricken by severe droughts, floods, hurricanes, and other climate disruptions that result in pest infestations and crop failures. Local conflicts are also fueled by the same underlying conditions - which in turn produces more migration.SophistiCat

    This is true. It is also true that migration is not precipitated by climate change, but artificially overpopulating a land that is unable to support a huge amount of people that are now there.

    Case in point: Islam demands what Christianity does: have kids, as many as you are able to produce. Christians turned their back on this tenet of their faiths, but Muslims (mostly) have not. So they get government subsidies to populate their countries... not tvs cars and monuments to live in, but enough flour and water to bake some bread-like substance that's enough to not starve to death.

    Have you ever seen a movie about the Middle East? Not a Hollywood movie, but a movie made by the locals. These movies show grazing heards of goats. They drive the goats for miles in desert conditions to find a spot with grass on it, then they heard the goats back home for the night.

    There is clearly not enough arable land to sustain the billion Arabs in the Middle East.

    Of course, and naturally, their human drive will make them look for lands where they can survive. This is not a miracle and I can't blame them for it.

    But the long-and-short of it is, that to the day I haven't heard of any land or region, except for one, which has been hit by climate change that made living impossible for all who live there and the people have to fight wars to survive.

    The one such area is not Ethiopia of Eritrea, but Darfur.

    Then again, I talked to an Indian feller here in Canada, and he said he had come from South India, which is desert now, but it used to sustain people very nicely when he was growing up.

    I don't know, honestly, whether the desert in South India was formed by overfarming and overgrazing, caused by overpopulation, or it was caused by climate change.

    Disclaimer: I don't know the number of Arabs / Muslims in the Middle East. I wrote a Billion as a personal estimate.

    Disclaimer: I have no proof or evidence that the governments in the Middle East support their people to have kids and give them food to survive.

    Disclaimer: I am not positive if the "goat pastures" situation applies to all, or most, of the Middle East, and I am not sure how much land there is actually capable of growing food.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    I think the real crisis will manifest as economic collapse. Modern capitalism is intrinsically connected with (among other things) the discovery and exploitation of vast reserves of fossil fuel. And it's also based on the expectation of perpetual growth. So estimates of long-term returns on investments, forward values, and the like, are all based on the illusory idea that growth can continue forever; all the lines point upwards. When it really becomes undeniable that this is not the case, I think it will trigger a financial collapse, as everyone scambles to call in their debt and the whole house of cards comes down. It came close to happening on September 18th 2008 already. That will be end of capitalism as we know it. It might not be the end of the world but it might be the end of the world we know.Wayfarer

    Well, electricity is created in most of the western world by at least 50% nuclear fission energy. Transportation energy, you're right, is mainly fossil fuel, but battery-driven cars will rely increasingly on nuclear energy. Airplanes can't fly on batteries yet, they have too high a mass/energy output ratio.

    The debt crisis is yet another thing. I don't think anyone ownes the debt. I have been thinking about this for a decade, and other than a faulty theory, I haven't come to a satisfactory explanation how that is possible. All debts, public and private, are supposed to have a debtor. But they all don't. The Gov (the fed in the USA) dish out oodles and tons of money annually to cover their deificit. They used to issue bonds and other instruments to lenders, to cover their debts, the Govs used to do that. But I fear the practice has been abandoned, since the USA went off the gold base, and now every country is into printing bills head over heals.

    Money is only worth as much as everything else, in a sense: as much as someone else is willing to pay for it. If you are willing to give a litre of your refined gasoline for a dollar twenty Canadian, so be it. If you are willing to give up ownership of your house for a million Canadian dollars, in the Toronto area, so be it.

    This system is not as volatile or fragile as one may want to think. People are gullible, and this time it's a GOOD thing that they are. Money is basically worthless, but nobody knows that. It is literally not worth the paper it is printed on. But we believe it is, and that sustains our economies.
  • Wayfarer
    8.9k
    electricity is created in most of the western world by at least 50% nuclear fission energy.god must be atheist

    Nuclear energy now provides about 10% of the world's electricity from about 450 power reactors.

    ~ World Nuclear Association.

    Money is basically worthless, but nobody knows that. It is literally not worth the paper it is printed on. But we believe it is, and that sustains our economies.god must be atheist

    Currency is a treaty or an agreement, for sure. Stop believing in it, and it becomes worthless. Right now it's not, but if that were to happen, it would be a catastrophe, unless you're set up to be completely self-sufficient (which few of us are).
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Lif3r
    202
    ↪god must be atheist (Lif3r's reply to god must be atheist): glaciers
    Lif3r

    Rather Laconic, Lif3r, but how I interpret your reply (may need to be adjusted, but your lazy one-word reply is too short to fine-tune my understanding of it) is that to survive global warming, you need to live on Greenland, because it has glaciers.

    But that's precisely the point of global warming: glaciers are melting, and not re-forming.

    If global warming continues, after a certain point there will be no glaciers.

    No glaciers, no inland lakes, only fast-moving creeks and rivers on the steep slopes of the young mountain ridges. IF (that's a big if) there is rain to sustain the water supply of creeks and rivers.
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