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Old 07-01-2017, 12:50 PM   #271 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
...(population, energy consumption, and world GDP have been increasing in lock step for 100's of years...
Correlation is not causation, remember. Also, GDP is not really a good measure if the population. That is, if you keep the GDP the same and cut the population in half, the GDP per capita has doubled, no?

Likewise, technology usually decreases the energy needed to perform any given task. Take for instance lighting a room, and consider the increase in lumens per watt going from candles to oil lamps to gas to incandescent to CFL and now to LED. It's just that now there are many more people lighting up things, and - since it's cheap - lighting things that don't need lights, and in many cases shouldn't have them.

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Old 07-01-2017, 01:05 PM   #272 (permalink)
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During and about 50 years after the PLAGUE
Peasants who didn't get dibilitated and sick generally had much easier lives and more abundant living conditions

Conversely the very rich lost power and influence

It is very rare that economics for the majority are much worse after a large population decrease.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:32 PM   #273 (permalink)
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The free market only serves the masses well whenever the there is a pronounced labor shortage. Which is not now. And probably never again.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:03 PM   #274 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf
Correlation is not causation, remember. Also, GDP is not really a good measure if the population. That is, if you keep the GDP the same and cut the population in half, the GDP per capita has doubled, no?
Consider that everyone may be measuring the wrong thing.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ppiness-counts

Quote:
Bhutan measures prosperity by gauging its citizens' happiness levels, not the GDP. Now its ideas are attracting interest at the UN climate change conference in Doha

Since 1971, the country has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. In its place, it has championed a new approach to development, which measures prosperity through formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH) and the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens and natural environment.

For the past three decades, this belief that wellbeing should take preference over material growth has remained a global oddity. Now, in a world beset by collapsing financial systems, gross inequity and wide-scale environmental destruction, this tiny Buddhist state's approach is attracting a lot of interest.
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:15 PM   #275 (permalink)
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Post Carbon Institute sent me this. It is a good read.
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THERE’S NO APP FOR THAT « #NoApp4That
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:13 PM   #276 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
Post Carbon Institute sent me this. It is a good read.
.
THERE’S NO APP FOR THAT « #NoApp4That
.
Whew, that was long. I was delighted to see criticism of most of their viewpoints mentioned, and the acknowledgement that you can't change human behavior, but within that behavior, change can be made.

Perhaps the thing I disagreed with most is:
Quote:
Climate change is a side effect of burning fossil fuels
Fitting seeing this is the subject of this thread. Climate change has always existed and will continue to exist forever. Anthropogenic CO2 is rapidly accelerating the inevitable rise in temperature, but it isn't the cause of climate change.

Somewhat jokingly, I offer VR as a solution to all of the problems mentioned.

1. Overpopulation- We will have the opposite problem by 2100 when there is a negative growth rate, which is equally unsustainable. VR will accelerate the decline in population growth as men find themselves more interested in virtual "relationships". Making babies will then become a conscious decision rather than a consequence of having fun. Choosing to be burdened with children is a more difficult leap than accidentally having them.

2. Inequality of economic outcomes- It's a natural outcome that those with greater means to invest will grow their wealth at a faster pace than those with fewer means. Seeking equality of outcomes removes the reward for competition, which is the main driver of innovation and economic prosperity. In VR, everyone is equal. Very few will be striving for economic prosperity, because VR is more interesting than RR (Real Reality).

3. Unsustainable GDP growth- correctly identified as unsustainable because we live in a finite universe. The only way to sustain a growth rate is to continue to find and extract new resources. VR solves this problem because people will be content to virtually be wealthy rather than actually be wealthy.

4. Loss of biodiversity. All known species (and many more fictional ones) will be readily experienced in VR. Armadillo goes extinct, nobody notices because they are too busy playing the latest VR craze, Armadillogeddon.

I forget the other problems, but I'm sure VR will solve virtually all of them.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:45 AM   #277 (permalink)
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VR will solve them.

Until the population demands better VR.

Can you imagine the heat generated by the supercomputers needed to generate a persistent VR world for 8 billion people?

-

Of course, A VR life means fewer biological babies. And perhaps a declining population served by ever more robots.

-

Trying to recall the name of that story... a future where all children are "born" in virtual reality, and have to earn the right to become "physical" humans and occupy actual bodies.

It was a morality story on the question of identity and ownership of virtual people by their "parents".

-

Of course, such a future would probably have children who'd rather not manifest physically at all.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #278 (permalink)
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Climate change THIS TIME - is primarily being caused by burning fossil fuels.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:36 PM   #279 (permalink)
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Niky, I read a story like that where a large group of people worshipped Ned Flanders or something.

No wait. It was Ralph Nader.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:35 PM   #280 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niky
Trying to recall the name of that story... a future where all children are "born" in virtual reality, and have to earn the right to become "physical" humans and occupy actual bodies.
This sounds like our society, where people are born 'proto-humans' unable to consent and remain so until anointed by The State at age of majority.

I'm starting to like the Post Carbon Institute. Here's another related article:

Why Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us

Quote:
Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue. Over the past century-and-a-half, enormous amounts of cheap energy from fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution, and loss of natural habitat and hence biodiversity. The human system expanded dramatically, overshooting Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for humans while upsetting the ecological systems we depend on for our survival. Until we understand and address this systemic imbalance, symptomatic treatment (doing what we can to reverse pollution dilemmas like climate change, trying to save threatened species, and hoping to feed a burgeoning population with genetically modified crops) will constitute an endlessly frustrating round of stopgap measures that are ultimately destined to fail.
Not understanding the origin, we drained the oil fields faster than they are replenished from the deep, hot abiotic sources; and squandered the essentially 'free' energy on idling our car at the stoplight, on the way to our job selling insurance — or worse yet, selling advertising for insurance.

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