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Old 07-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #854 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...or, Mother Nature can (and probably will) abruptly "take care" of things as she has in the past: (a) global pandemic plagues, (b) massive earthquakes, (c) avian human flu, or (d) all the above at once.
That's what will happen if we don't change things. More likely than any of the above are crop failures and storms destroying infrastructure. When that gets too costly is not entirely clear. That it will occur is certain - that's the physical reality.

Originally Posted by niky View Post
Electricity and running water depend on industrially made goods, which depend on a cheap transport grid for raw materials and finished products. An integrated communications grid and computer manufacturing will still also be needed. Let's not forget... practical scientific and medical research will still require massive funding. How big our civilizations' carbon footprint would be if industry only made necessary things, I don't know, but it would be an interesting exercise to find out.

Also... I'd argue we'd still need a space program of some sort. If only to figure out how to deal with those pesky asteroids.
We won't go back to a pre-industrial society and just "necessary things". It doesn't have to be at an austere level, just different things in different ways. Everything will have to be closed loop but within that there's lots of room for creative solutions.

Last edited by Occasionally6; 07-17-2013 at 01:48 AM..