Or to be exact, is humanity fucked? Or at least the vast majority of it - I can imagine some of us surviving even a catastrophic ecological collapse. But leaving aside the horrible thought that we might go 99% extinct, is there any chance for the survivors, at least, having a long term future?
I suspect not, because the chances are they would be unable to sustain anything like our present level of technology. A tribal or medieval human race is unlikely to last out. All the readily available fossil fuels have been burned, which makes another industrial revolution unlikely - even assuming they could learn the lessons of the past and headed towards sustainability a.s.a.p., they'd need that initial kick-start. And without attaining at least our present level of technology they would have no defence against normal planetary disaster - comet impacts, supervolcanoes, etc. So in the long run it's goodnight Vienna, and the silence of the stars, as noted by SETI, continues. On 31 October 2013 10:12, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote: > > -------- Original Message ------- > >> On the subject of completely fucked up : >> >> In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad >> Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists >> at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San >> Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed >> Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to >> interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his >> adventures in deep-sea submersibles. >> >> But it was Werner’s own session that was attracting much of the buzz. It >> was titled “Is Earth F**ked?” (full title: “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical >> Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for >> Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”). >> >> Standing at the front of the conference room, the geophysicist from the >> University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced >> computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system >> boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a >> whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us >> uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear >> enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, >> convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming >> dangerously unstable in response. When pressed by a journalist for a clear >> answer on the “are we f**ked” question, Werner set the jargon aside and >> replied, “More or less.” >> >> Read the rest: http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt >> > It is the case that our situation is beyond rescue. Even if a turn > around is to happen it may not be until 2025 before the political direction > is seriously changed. Even then one has to consider the economic inertia > still to overcome, where this inertia is fossil fueled economic activity. > This then means we will have to engage in geo-engineering, which will be a > part of trying to manage our situation that is becoming increasingly > unstable and that involves exponential trends in growth, change and > complexity. We might only at best be shifting the collapse or implosion > time a few decades; a century if we are lucky.**** > > ** ** > > It is curious that science and religion do seem to be converging on one > point; the end is nigh. The “end” here though is somewhat different, and > religion proposes a certain faith based escape or end-run plan around the > implosion. Science offers no such thing, except maybe a way to hunker > down on the moon or Mars long enough in order to come back to Earth. The > source of this end is also different, science tells us things about energy > and environment, religion focuses on our moral failings and sexual > peccadilloes. > LC > > > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an > email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. > For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out. > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.