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
>
>
>
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