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Thread: Raising a Child in a Doomed World

  1. #11
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    Lately I've been on a kick of watching lots of Youtube videos on this topic, so I'm feeling pretty despairing at the moment too. For a number of years now, just about everything I've read or watched on this topic seems to point in the same direction--that not only is global warming occurring, it's happening at a faster rate than all but the most pessimistic scientists predicted. Never mind exceeding the 400 ppm threshold for carbon, which means a minimum 2-degree Centigrade temperature rise by the end of this century is (pardon the expression) baked in. The melting of polar ice is apparently progressing at a rate faster than even the most pessimistic forecasts of a few years ago predicted. Feedback loops are increasing--as arctic ice melts, that huge body of water will absorb more heat, and melting permafrost will increasingly pour methane, a nearly 20x more potent greenhouse gas than carbon, into the atmosphere. That's in addition to the warming that comes from carbon.

    In response to all this, the techno-optimists have little to offer other than vague talk about "increasing fuel efficiency," "alternative sources of power," "carbon capture" or iffy and possibly dangerous schemes like seeding the atmosphere with various chemicals, or launching giant mirrors into space to reflect the sun's rays back at it.

    I don't think humanity is doomed. Humans are nothing if not adaptable. But I do think the next century is potentially shaping up to be a very, very ugly period in human history, so if this guy is worried about his kid's future, he's got good reason to be.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I read "Drawdown" and am involved with a local group working to implement the changes recommended. Has anyone else read this? There are also a number of YouTube videos with the author, Paul Hawken.

  3. #13
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    I totally agree Catherine!

  4. #14
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    Saw today that we are on track to have the 4th hottest weather worldwide in history.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    I really think there is no turning climate change apocalypse around. Even if we went whole hog on the problem today as worldwide community, we'd probably still be screwed.

    And the fact is: We'd first need a worldwide community (probably never happen) and we'd need to do everything right with it (definitely never gonna happen).

    The momentum of conspicuous consumption and environmental destruction is just too fast and powerful and everyone is so into it! Even the best environmentalists I know personally do not live a sustainable life.

    So I don't worry much about how things will go over the next hundred years.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #16
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Even the best environmentalists I know personally do not live a sustainable life.
    I remember how dismayed I was when I took this ecological footprint test: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/

    You can agree that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, but disagree on the measures to take.
    Yes, and perhaps we will have the technological and political wherewithal to get there, but certainly not under the current leadership. That's why I was in such a bad mood with my first post on this thread. It's frustrating. And I do think the environmental problems are so systemic, it's going to take tremendous effort to correct-course. This is not an issue to be solved simply by people going back to paper straws.

    But, I am basically optimistic, so here's some good news:

    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #17
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    People -- the techno optimists particularly -- say: "Look how many problems of the past we solved through technology! We're so innovative and inventive and adaptive. We'll figure out a way to overcome the climate change problem!"

    And I think: "Which problems did we overcome? If the list is so long, give me five of them."

    So, give me five examples of problems we humans solved through technology. Try me.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. #18
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    People -- the techno optimists particularly -- say: "Look how many problems of the past we solved through technology! We're so innovative and inventive and adaptive. We'll figure out a way to overcome the climate change problem!"

    And I think: "Which problems did we overcome? If the list is so long, give me five of them."

    So, give me five examples of problems we humans solved through technology. Try me.
    seriously?
    just off the top of my head

    Sanitary Sewers—overcame cholera

    polio vaccine—overcame crippling disease of polio

    printing press—overcame problem of only a tiny minority of a population having access to written ideas

    Fermintation—overcame many bad things in liquids drank by everyone

    Anaesthestia—help pstients in pain


    But I I think I understand your assumption behind this question. Just today I was thinking about how we humans like to think that technologies will solve all of our problems and I was thinking about crime in my neighborhood, and how everyone always is hot for the latest Camera System to be installed. Sure that kind of thing helps, but the criminals still know how to thwart the technology. And each tecnological innovation brings its own set of problems.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post


    Sanitary Sewers—overcame cholera

    polio vaccine—overcame crippling disease of polio

    printing press—overcame problem of only a tiny minority of a population having access to written ideas


    Anaesthestia—help pstients in pain

    To have these things you need a huge industrial infrastructure built on fossil fuels. What problems are caused by a huge industrial infrastructure built on fossil fuels?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  10. #20
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    To have these things you need a huge industrial infrastructure built on fossil fuels. What problems are caused by a huge industrial infrastructure built on fossil fuels?
    Well yes, that is technology ( in general) bringing its own set of problems.

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