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Subject: NASA: the end of the world as we know it? .... rss

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http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/ma...
 
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Luke Wunderlin
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Wow. I'm now dumber for having read that.

In other news, NASA budgets are bloated with non-scientific studies outside the parameters of Aeronautics and Space.

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sum up...there are always more pitchforks than crowns
 
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Altair IV wrote:
sum up...there are always more pitchforks than crowns
That's just part of the context.

The article is interesting because of the mechanism it describes, and the data on resource (over)use. Both are independent of era and technology.
 
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shaftdiggity wrote:
Wow. I'm now dumber for having read that.

In other news, NASA budgets are bloated with non-scientific studies outside the parameters of Aeronautics and Space.

meeple

Hey, what's bad for the World is bad for NASA
;-)


I'm surprised NASA didn't include threats to our power grid. One good solar storm could take years to recover from - blowing out substations, satellites, etc.

Also, it came out last week that terrorists can apparently easily take down our power grid:

The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230402010...
 
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Well duh, Agent Smith prophesied this years ago:

Quote:
Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.
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Dave G
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tesuji wrote:
shaftdiggity wrote:
Wow. I'm now dumber for having read that.

In other news, NASA budgets are bloated with non-scientific studies outside the parameters of Aeronautics and Space.

meeple

Hey, what's bad for the World is bad for NASA
;-)


I'm surprised NASA didn't include threats to our power grid. One good solar storm could take years to recover from - blowing out substations, satellites, etc.

Also, it came out last week that terrorists can apparently easily take down our power grid:

The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230402010...


Good thing they'll never find out. ninja
 
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gyc365 wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
sum up...there are always more pitchforks than crowns
That's just part of the context.

The article is interesting because of the mechanism it describes, and the data on resource (over)use. Both are independent of era and technology.


They really, really aren't.
 
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CaffeineBot wrote:
gyc365 wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
sum up...there are always more pitchforks than crowns
That's just part of the context.

The article is interesting because of the mechanism it describes, and the data on resource (over)use. Both are independent of era and technology.
They really, really aren't.
Supporting arguments? (check with the article first though)
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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I have to say that it does seem rather outside what they are funded for. It does not invalidate what the findings are however.
 
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TheChin! wrote:
Well duh, Agent Smith prophesied this years ago:

Quote:
Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. [...]
This is a common pattern for animals too.

Agent Smith chose to ignore something important about looking at systems as a whole: if they're both complex and stable, some form of equilibrium has already formed between the elements. It didn't start out that way.

Smaller groups of people can still run into problems, but the entire human population hasn't been at risk, just parts of it. In a sense, it hasn't mattered that humans haven't achieved a long-term global equilibrium, because there have always been backup populations (considering only the last few thousand years of course - 20+ thousand years ago the situation was different).

But the planet is filling up, and its distinct parts are interconnected and interdependent. Some time quite soon, for the first time ever, there will be a possibility for global economic collapse (**).

It's comparable to the potential for serious damage via nuclear weapons: it doesn't have to happen, but it's become possible.

It would be foolish to ignore the possibility, and foolish not to look at history for insight into on expected human behavior as the environment becomes constrained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Santayana
Quote:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it


(**)
Note that collapse in this context is distinct from minor issues like the 2008 financial crisis. Collapse means that the "carrying power" of the environment changes. In economic terms this doesn't have to imply that a lot of people die. But it could easily mean a world in which the middle classes couldn't afford to buy a car.
 
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