• god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Nuclear energy now provides about 10% of the world's electricity from about 450 power reactors

    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.
    Wayfarer

    Thirty countries have power reactors. There are 195 countries.

    I'm sorry to say, but I am afraid that your rebuttal does not make sense statistically. What you are doing is taking the total amount of nuclear power plants and devide their electricity production by 195 extant countries; thereby declaring 10% involvement in creating electrical energy. Whereas the nuclear power plants supply nuclear energy to only 30 countries.

    I did not say that the world's electricity comes 50% from nuclear energy. That's a necessary inference (but false) to substantiate the argument you made.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    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)Wayfarer

    That is true.

    And it may be closer than it appears in our rear-view mirrors.

    Not because of global warming; but because of the trade deficit to China.

    China has been supplying goods to the USA and to the world for US dollars. Now China is sitting on top of a huge amount of US dollars in their possession. What can they do with it? They can't buy goods, because their domestic supply of manufactured goods is way cheaper than the prices they'd need to pay to other countries. Can they buy food, land, and energy? Sure, to a certain point. China has been buying up cheap real estate around the whole world: in Australia, in Africa. Maybe in America, and Europe, I suspect they would but I have no knowledge of that.

    So after they bought up what they possibly could, what will be their American dollars worth? And let's face it, the world economy is hugely dependent on the stability of the US dollar.
  • Tim3003
    223
    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.Possibility

    Surely we aren't doing that. We (ie. us discussing here - not mankind as a whole) are trying to find ways to let the world do what it wants, rather than assuming we have the right to alter it for our own short-term economic ends. What does the world 'need from us'? To be left alone?

    And then we get into the whole issue of rights: ie. do we as the dominant species have the right to alter the eco-system if we want to (by design or by negligance). Or do other species have the right to their un-molested existance alongside us?

    Surely a big part of the problem is over-population. ourworldindata.org
    Would sticking to a ceiling of (say) 7 billion humans on earth keep the effects manageable? And if so, should we prioritise aiming for this? The forecasts of world food shortages over this century seem to be based on another 3 billion Africans being around by 2100..
  • Lif3r
    310
    Glaciers the size of Alaska that melt and provide water for the community.

    Sorry, I thought that was obvious.
  • Lif3r
    310
    Can humanity curve climate change? In my opinion yes.
    Will they? No, I doubt it. The majority is too focused on bullshit to actually see it through until it's too late.
    Can humanity survive climate change? In my opinion yes, but survivability will become more and more difficult for the common person because eventually it's going to take bunkers with high tech air filtration systems and stockpiles of supplies.

    Also I'm looking to rent a room in a bunker of this sorts in the event of this incident if anyone knows anyone.
  • Lif3r
    310
    If communities came together on this, there would be a higher chance of increased survival rates. It wouldn't be glamorous living, but possible.
  • TheMadFool
    5.9k
    Despite the euphoria surrounding the Paris Climate Accord the world's leaders and its people have failed to act on the promises made. Few countries have legislated to start the drastic countermeasures necessary to slow down and halt global warming.

    My question is: is global warming a challenge too great for humanity to handle? Is the momentum of the growth-based capitalist system too great to slow and turn around? Is the ecocentric view of the world which could galvanise the will to make sacrifices outside our nature?

    I have noticed a fatalism in many people - ie 'it's too late to stop it now' or 'I'll be long gone by then' so why bother? Is this more a view of the older generation, and are younger adults ready to rise to the challenge? But even if they are, can they convince enough of the apathetic majority to win power for radical new governments in the few years before it's too late?
    Tim3003

    The climate change problem hasn't been framed in the way people understand - the one and only, universally comprehensible carrot-and-stick model. If there's nothing to gain or nothing to lose people will simply refuse to spend time and energy on it.

    I think scientists and some other groups are giving it their best shot at dangling the carrot and waving the stick but the carrot is too small and the stick seems so far away that most people are not in the least bit bothered by it.

    Climate change, if real, will require work proportionate to its cause i.e. the response must be global in scope. We then face the uncomfortable fact that the word "global" reflects geography but not politics which is divided to such an extent that it thwarts the unified effort necessary to respond to the problem.
  • Lif3r
    310
    Invest in gold and guns. Production is going to slow way down. Governments and economic institutions are going to change and fail. People will be fighting for their place in survivable conditions.
  • Wayfarer
    9.6k
    What you are doing is taking the total amount of nuclear power plants and devide their electricity production....god must be atheist

    Nothing that complicated - I just googled it and 10% came out.
  • Janus
    8.9k
    The point is, global debt is at such a level that it cannot be simply absolved or forgiven.Wayfarer

    What do you think will happen if, when debts are called in and they cannot be paid, they are not absolved? War of all against all for money, when there will already be shortages of food, water and what we would consider to be essential services?

    The alternative scenario I proposed was one where, out of the necessity brought about by increasing resource scarcity, fuel shortages, power outages and so on, governments step in and force absolution of debt in order to head off the total financial meltdown which would result from everyone attempting to call in what is owed to them. It would be ironic if civilization were to be totally destroyed by mere money!

    What would be the alternative to absolving debt? Total collapse of any and all government, property ownership, and even the minimal infrastructure which would be needed to slow the crisis to somewhat manageable levels?

    Obviously it's impossible to predict and not easy to even imagine how things will unfold, but I think there will be martial law in any case.
  • Janus
    8.9k
    I just came across this, which sums the situation up nicely, I think:

    To use my own terminology, Earth System Disruption (ESD) is driving Human System Destabilization (HSD). Preoccupied with the resulting political chaos, the Human System becomes even more vulnerable and incapable of ameliorating ESD. As ESD thus accelerates, it generates more HSD. The self-reinforcing cycle continues, and we find ourselves in an amplifying feedback loop of disruption and destabilization.

    From this article.
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    Sometimes it’s better to keep commonsense to yourself ;)

    You’re correct. Some people prefer to see denial when facts are laid at their feet. The first post is badly worded - there is no doubt that the Earth’s climate goes through changes.

    In that sense ‘halting climate change’ is completely beyond humanities current capabilities. In term of reducing the impact of humanities effect on the climate, obviously we have the capacity to lessen our impact in some ways.

    I imagine the OP is looking to explore ways of either changing current attitudes, educating and/or exploring hypotheticals that could tackle future problems. Under these criteria I’d say the thread has largely failed to economics and education.

    The quicker we get to 11 billion the better our chances of cutting to the quick of human societies and tackling ‘destabilizing’ factors.

    The future is hazy and growing more hazy by the day. Humanity is just learning to walk.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    But what are we going to do, just sit back and enjoy the ride?

    Here in the UK we have a solution, just leave. Globalisation is controlling our powers of self determination, so I propose we leave the planet and leave then to sort it out themselves. Just get it done.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    Surely we aren't doing that. We (ie. us discussing here - not mankind as a whole) are trying to find ways to let the world do what it wants, rather than assuming we have the right to alter it for our own short-term economic ends. What does the world 'need from us'? To be left alone?Tim3003

    Sorry for the confusion - this was in reference to mankind as a whole. I recognise what we’re trying to do here.

    I think what the world needs from humanity in general is our advanced capacity to increase awareness, connection and collaboration. It’s not about leaving everything alone, but about reducing a tendency to ignore, isolate and exclude out of fear.

    And then we get into the whole issue of rights: ie. do we as the dominant species have the right to alter the eco-system if we want to (by design or by negligance). Or do other species have the right to their un-molested existance alongside us?Tim3003

    Objectively speaking, any right we think we have must be extended to all species equally - otherwise it isn’t a right - it’s a privilege. The question is not ‘do we have the right?’ - it is rather: Can we exercise that right without ignoring, isolating or excluding the rest of the eco-system’s right to the same? That doesn’t offer much in the way of rights.

    Where the differences occur is in our capacity to increase awareness, connection and collaboration. This is not a privilege, but a reponsibility. One we seem to be ignoring, for the most part.
  • SophistiCat
    1.2k
    But what are we going to do, just sit back and enjoy the ride?Punshhh

    In the first precedent of its kind, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (where, as our reliable sources tell us, no one takes global warming seriously) mandated that the country cut emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by the end of 2020. (The first ruling was actually passed in 2015, and now the Supreme Court made it final.)
  • Tim3003
    223
    I heard recently that a new angle for raising the stakes is the chance of head-in-the-sanders like Trump being charged with Crimes against Humanity. Their lack of action can (so it is claimed) be said to be endangering health and causing mounting deaths in the coastal communities most affected by sea level rise. Maybe a submission to the UN Court of Human Rights would set this ball rolling? A guilty verdict - or even a contested trial - would raise the profile of the issue hugely, and make many of the guilty leaders think hard about their priorities. A snowball effect could quickly follow with a big upping of efforts to decarbonise. Maybe the Aussie bush fires are also an opportunity for this ?
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    That's encouraging. I fear the very populous countries and South American countries won't change course quickly enough. Many are struggling to cope with their socio economic circumstances already. China is moving in the right way, but they have a reputation for stripping resources and dumping carbon heavy products into the global economy.

    I have high hopes for Australia finally coming on board.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    I agree, but a rapid change in activity can have a heavy carbon footprint itself through having to change infrastructure etc. But I think it is necessary to do it.
  • iolo
    227
    It seems to me, on a very basic point, that an economic/political system based entirely on immediate profit simply can't suddenly remake itself to take in long-term interest, especially where those who profit by the system can so immediately control the minds of voters, buying the services of those how to do it.
  • frank
    5.1k
    The climate is going to change whether we reduce greenhouse gases or not, so those who argue that if the climate changes we're doomed are simply saying that we're doomed. No angst necessary.

    Can we reduce emissions? Sure. It's just not likely that we'll choose to do it.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    Many would like to reduce emissions now, but it may prove more difficult for them than it would if everyone did it at the same time. But if the right people don't choose to, that won't happen.
  • frank
    5.1k
    It's not so much about us and what we will do. It's what future generations will do. The earth doesnt care if we put all the available carbon in the air now or in 1000 years. Geologically speaking, 1000 or even 10,000 years isnt that long. The "stop emitting greenhouse gases" story tends to overlook that.

    On the bright side, primates evolved during a hot spell on earth caused by CO2 emissions. If you look at extinction events, cold is much more dangerous to life than hot.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    Yes I'm aware of the disconnect on timescales. Are you aware of the predictions of tipping points? Where climate change tips a balance in certain systems resulting in extra emissions from sources of greenhouse gasses stored in the ground, or sea.

    If we don't act now, future generations will find themselves in irreversible (in the short term) circumstances. A proportion of humanity would be able to cope with this (although many might die along the way), but if the mass extinction event goes to far, it won't be pleasant.

    Also I don't think we can predict where the line is which we could cross resulting in runaway climate change.

    Without wanting to dampen your cheery mood ( excuse the pun), sea levels are already set to rise between 10 and 50 metres over the next 2-300 years(difficult to estimate the rate of this rise). So most of the large cities around the world will be unliveable. So where are those billions of people going to go, and what will they eat?
  • frank
    5.1k
    Where climate change tips a balance in certain systems resulting in extra emissions from sources of greenhouse gasses stored in the ground, or sea.Punshhh

    Permafrost. Scientists believe that's happened before.

    but if the mass extinction event goes to far, it won't be pleasant.Punshhh

    A warmer climate jump starts evolution. It's going to be the opposite of an extinction event, which is a potential source of danger for humans. Societies that maintain the ability to create vaccines will survive. The others will die out.

    Also I don't think we can predict where the line is which we could cross resulting in runaway climate change.Punshhh

    Source?

    So most of the large cities around the world will be unliveable. So where are those billions of people going to go, and what will they eat?Punshhh

    Many will die of disease and starvation.
  • jgill
    562
    Lots of changes coming, shifting agricultural patterns, beachfront properties inundated, and for those in the UK, get your woolies out when the Gulf Stream changes course. No turning back now. :sad:
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    Also I don't think we can predict where the line is which we could cross resulting in runaway climate change.Punshhh

    Not precisely, no; but we can make guesses. For instance, there are a lot of lakes and Arctic Ocean floors from which methane is bubbling up, the product of bacterial decomposition of organic material.

    Methane in the atmosphere traps much more heat than CO2, and as the arctic warms (faster than mid latitudes), more and more previously frozen vegetable matter will rot and more and more methane will be out-gassed. The more methane, the faster the arctic warms, the more methane. This is the sort of feedback loop that will produce a tipping point where the atmosphere has warmed enough, that some other large change will cascade into being--probably much to our disadvantage. One of the cascade possibilities is a rapid increase in Greenland ice melting, flushing too much fresh water into the ocean to maintain the conveyor belt of warm gulf salt water on top glowing north, and cold arctic salt water flowing south. If and when this happens, the prevailing westerlies that pick up gulf heat crossing the north Atlantic will turn cold and Europe will become much colder (despite global warming). @John Gill

    At the same time, the NYT has published photos of methane gas plumes coming out of natural gas and fracking operations that are much, much bigger than anyone was previously aware of.


    Societies that maintain the ability to create vaccines will survive. The others will die out.frank

    You are assuming the vaccine-wielding nations won't have starved before they sickened from novel viruses. The extinction of insects has already begun, and many of the evaporating species of insects are pollinators--not just honey bees, but they are the most familiar.*** About 35% of our food supply depends on pollinators -- fruits, nuts. seeds, and vegetables. Things like apples and orange, carrots, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. [no more French fries]. Rice, wheat, and corn are self-pollinators and would continue in production without bees. Then again, corn, rice, and wheat production will probably be significantly reduced by heat, drought, and unseasonable rain, a shortage of fertilizers, and eventually (owing to the demise of abundant petroleum) a lack of fuel for ag. equipment.

    ***(I suspect that nasturtiums--a salad plant developed in France--are pollinated by earwigs. The beautiful and edible blossom has a sharp mustard-like scent and are often obscured by the foliage. Earwigs are the only animal I have ever seen crawling around in the blossoms.)

    In conclusion we are, in all probability, totally screwed.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    You mention that permafrost release has happened before and that climate change might result in a period of rapid evolution. Both which would develop over longer periods than those in which the affairs of humans typically occur. Or in other words, humanity could easily revert to a Stone Age level of development in which perhaps 99% of the population has died within perhaps 200 years. Whereas these two developments could take thousand, or millions of years to play out.

    I accept that "runaway climate change" is a vague concept with varying definitions. Also that it is unlikely that human activity would result in a permanent runaway state like on Venus, but it could easily become runaway for a few hundred thousand, or millions of years.

    My source is broadcasts by David Attenborough, although I have heard most of these concepts from many sources.
  • Punshhh
    1.8k
    Agreed, there are other tipping processes which have been identified, I'm no expert though. One I was thinking of is the acidification of the oceans causing the calcium carbonate on the sea bed to dissolve, which then increases the acidification. There are large quantities of carbon down there.
  • frank
    5.1k
    Or in other words, humanity could easily revert to a Stone Age level of development in which perhaps 99% of the population has died within perhaps 200 years.Punshhh

    Sure, and an asteroid could collide with the earth and put a giant crater where North America is now.

    But if you're saying that this could happen due to climate change, this is where I ask: what do you suggest we do about it? Being all bound up in fear isn't going to change things. The climate doesn't care if you're full of angst. So beyond a gesture: what's your plan?

    I accept that "runaway climate change" is a vague concept with varying definitions. Also that it is unlikely that human activity would result in a permanent runaway state like on Venus, but it could easily become runaway for a few hundred thousand, or millions of years.Punshhh

    As I explained earlier, primates evolved at a time when the earth was so warm there were no polar ice caps. It's not going to get warmer than that. What did you think was going to happen? The oceans would just boil away and the earth would turn into a small star or something?
  • frank
    5.1k
    The extinction of insects has already begun, and many of the evaporating species of insects are pollinators--not just honey bees, but they are the most familiar.***Bitter Crank

    Yes, I know about the bees. Much of that is because of widespread insecticide use. Insecticides tend to breed insecticide-resistant species and a warmer climate has already started doing this:

    IMG_1014.jpg

    wasp-nest-final.jpg

    These are yellow jacket super colonies that have multiple queens. It's believed that warm winters are the cause.
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