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markjenn markjenn is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Bellingham WA
Posts: 3,603
Originally posted by micko77
In the end, it really doesn't matter. When and how this race ends is really the question...not if? If we were to make it 5 billion more years we would see the end of our sun. They say that all growing exponentials eventually plateau. As the shear number of humans increase, we can't consume at the individual level as the generation before us. Like other microorganisms we grow until we consume our environment to the point where we no longer can grow. That exponentially balance finally has an equilibrium point. It's inevitable...

But the question is whether their is a dramatic "crash" at that point, or whether we approach it more gracefully. Both types of change play out in history all the time, both with respect to the biology and with respect to human civilizations. The crash, while part of the natural progression of life, can be quite devestating and not something I would look forward to.

I believe we owe it to our children to at least be conscious of the results of our activities and try to conduct ourselves for the overall good of the human race, not resign ourselves to whatever happens as "fate" or "God's will" and then go about our life maximizing our own lot and saying to the hell with the consequences.

There is a natural tendency to look at the relatively stability of our world in the short timeframe we exist and assume that the systems of the earth have great inherent stability. Choas theory shows otherwise - a complex system may trundle along with great apparent stability for a long time, but then spin wildly into a new pattern when something is nudged or reaches a tipping point.

On the global warming issue, the science is not good enough to unequivocally prove that our activities are causing the current warm up, nor is the science good enough to precisely predict the exact consequences. But the science is good enough to say that increasing the level of CO2 in our atmosphere by 50-100% in the geologic blink of an eye is EXTREMELY LIKELY to cause very dramatic climate change. Given this fact, and given that we don't have another planet to go to, I think we should be playing it a little conservative and working on technologies and policies that don't continue "business as usual".

I think we could virtually immediately reduce fossil fuel use by about 50% with almost no reduction in the quality of our lifes. We might be driving 35-hp bikes rather than 150-hp bikes, but sometimes I think I have more fun on my 35-hp DRZ than on any of my more powerful bikes. Bigger isn't necessarily better. All it takes is everyone getting on board and conducting their lifes in a thinking way with regard to the consequences.

- Mark
Old 07-03-2007, 10:15 AM
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