On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 4:04 PM, Lawrence Crowell <
goldenfieldquaterni...@gmail.com> wrote:


> ​*> *
> *He​ [Freeman Dyson]​ did brilliant work on QED and other physics. The
> Dyson sphere is not one of his brilliant ideas. He has also been on the
> climate denial side, and continues to be as far as I know.*
>

​
Dyson doesn't say the climate is not changing nor does he say humans have
nothing to do with it, and he doesn't even deny that change could be
​a ​
bad thing, what he does say is that on a list of important world problems
climate change is nowhere near the top. And I think he's right about that.
After all its not as if this is anything new,
​ ​
the climate has
​ ​
always
​ ​
been changing. Other than a few very brief ice ages during the last few
million years the temperature has always been warmer than now and
occasionally
​ ​
much
​ ​
warmer; at least that's the way things have been during the last 600
million years. And by the way, right now the sea is rising at the rate of
about one inch every 10 years, that would make for a rather dull Hollywood
style disaster movie
​.​


​> *​*
> *Any IGUS that might engage in this sort of thing would be doing it for
> the long haul, as in millions of years. Such a giant project would be meant
> to be around for a long time.*
>

​I don't know what IGUS means.​



> ​> ​
> *If so the decoupling of the sphere from the star is problematic, for even
> small gravitational perturbations from other stars will cause the star to
> deviate from the center.*
>

​Then slightly perturb the sphere in the opposite direction to get it back
to the proper position.​


*​> ​This would be a large management problem.*
>

​A trivial problem for a Jupiter Brain.​



> ​> ​
> *Any hyper-advanced IGUS will most likely not generate energy this way,*
>

​From the context I assume IGUS means ET, if so then I don't see why ET
wouldn't make a Dyson sphere if he wanted to have a huge source of power
that would last for billions of years.​


​>
> *It would be far smaller and compact to generate energy by converting
> matter directly to energy via quantum gravitation or black hole
> physics.Such being could use their stellar system material to convert
> around a million tons per second into energy to generate as much energy as
> a star like the sun. So large Dyson sphere needed.*
>

​Maybe, but that would require new physics and I was being conservative. A
Dyson Sphere requires no new science it just needs better engineering. And
even if what you suggest is possible and ET prefers to generate energy in
some very exotic way we don't now understand we should still be able to
detect the waste heat in the form of infrared or microwaves because even a
Jupiter Brain can't get around the second law of thermodynamics. But we see
no sign of such waste heat, and so I conclude that there is no ET, or at
least there is no ET that isn't as dull as dishwater.     ​



> ​> *​*
> *there is no real implication or possible role we have in the universe, *
>

​Assuming we are the first and something isn't about to destroy us then
you've got​

​that backwards. The universe won't be assigning us a role we'll be
assigning a ​role to the universe. A cloud of hydrogen gas a billion light
years away can't give meaning to you but you can give meaning to it. You
are in the meaning conferring business not hydrogen gas.

​> ​
> *with global warming I suspect that rather than actually doing something
> to adjust ourselves we will instead engage in planetary climate/weather
> control.*
>

I certainly hope we start talking about
​ ​
planetary climate/weather control
​ ​
because the the cures environmentalists propose are far worse than the
disease, they forget that
​ ​
humans are large
​ ​
mammals
​ ​
and
​ ​
7.5 billion
​ ​
of them
​ ​
need to be fed,
​ ​
and you can't do that on moonbeams and wishful thinking.  Nathan Myhrvold,
the former chief technical officer at Microsoft
​,​
has an idea
​ ​
that
​ ​
might
​ ​
actually work
​ ​
he wants to build an artificial volcano.

Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 became the best studied large volcanic eruption in
history, it put more sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere than any volcano
since Krakatoa in 1883. There is no longer any dispute that stratospheric
sulfur dioxide leads to more diffuse sunlight, a decrease in the ozone
layer, and a general cooling of the planet. What was astonishing was how
little stratospheric sulfur dioxide was needed. If you injected it in the
arctic where it would be about 4 times more effective, about 100,000 tons a
year would reverse global warming in the northern hemisphere. That works
out to 34 gallons per minute, a bit more than what a standard garden hose
could deliver but much less than a fire hose. We already spew out over
200,000,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere each year, but all
of that is in the lower troposphere where it has little or no cooling
effect, the additional 100,000 tons is a drop in the bucket if you're
looking at the tonnage, but it's in the stratosphere where its vastly more
effective.

Myhrvold wasn't suggesting anything as ambitious as a space elevator, just
a light hose about 2 inches in diameter going up about 18 miles. In one
design he burns sulfur to make sulfur dioxide, he then liquefies it and
injects it into the stratosphere with a hose supported every 500 to 1000
feet with helium balloons. Myhrvold thinks this design would cost about 150
million dollars to build and about 100 million a year to operate. In
another design that would probably be even cheaper he just slips a sleeve
over the smokestack of any existing small to midsize coal power plant in
the higher latitudes and uses the hot exhaust to fill hot air balloons to
support the hose.

If Myhrvold's cost estimate is correct (and I admit most cost estimates are
not) that means it would take 50 million dollars less to cure global warming
​
 than
​what​
Al Gore
​ used​
 just
​to ​
advertise the evils of climate change. But even if Myhrvold's estimate is
ten times or a hundred times or a thousand times too low it hardly matters,
it's still chump change. In a report to the British government economist
Nicholas Stern said that to reduce carbon emissions enough to stabilize
global warming by the end of this century we would need to spend 1.5% of
global GDP each year, that works out to 1.2
​Trillion
 (
​that's ​
trillion with a
​T​
) dollars *EACH YEAR*!

One great thing about Myhrvold's idea is that you're not doing anything
irreparable, if for whatever reason you want to stop you just turn a valve
on a hose and in about a year all the sulfur dioxide you injected will
settle out of the atmosphere. And Myhrvold
​ ​
isn't the only fan of this idea, Paul Crutzen won a Nobel prize for his
work on ozone depletion, in 2006 he said efforts to solve the problem by
reducing greenhouse gases were doomed to be “grossly unsuccessful” and that
an injection of sulfur in the stratosphere “is the only option available to
rapidly reduce temperature rises and counteract other climatic effects”.
Crutzen acknowledged that it would reduce the ozone layer but the change
would be small and the benefit would be much greater than the harm.

​>* ​*
> *The complexities of this, both technical and political, are formidable.
> Never mind the many orders of magnitude greater complexity in managing
> something like a Dyson sphere.*
>

​Big is not the same as complex, the Earth is far more complex than the sun
and the
gravitational ​

​dynamics of a Dyson sphere would be far simpler than the weather. ​

John K Clark

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