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Climate change and consequences, split from electricity
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 1969

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a problem if we don't speak the same language. It really means that there is no sense debating issues as if you make a statement I disagree with you can simply say that the words don't mean the same as they do in English.

It becomes somewhat futile.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John wrote:

There is a problem if we don't speak the same language. It really means that there is no sense debating issues as if you make a statement I disagree with you can simply say that the words don't mean the same as they do in English.


That certainly sidesteps the issue of addressing my points that civilisation is not necessarily urban, that civilised society need not (should not) be stratified and that a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment by a cultural elite is exactly where our potential path to civilisation went wrong.

I would put the well-being of all members of society at the top of the criteria for a civilised society. Other attributes are just mechanisms to achieve this.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:
Whichever way you look at it civilisation would persist at least in part of the world if average temparatures went up by 5 C and all the ice melted.


If a major proportion of the world;s population died off I doubt that civilisation as we know it would continue for very long. .................to grow their own food and even if they did it takes at least four weeks for baby salad to grow and there isn't much nutrition in that.

There might still be life on the earth but civilisation as we know it? I doubt that very much.

Well yes things would be as difficult as you say but consider that if a major share of the worlds people died off there would be a major share of our manufacturing and food supply chain that is no longer needed. There would be vacant houses and factories everywhere and salvaging from them would become a way of life. Renewable power sources that supply only ten percent of demand today would supply one hundred percent not because we built more but because the demand literally died.
Also a world with say a half billion people in it will have plenty of individuals that know how to build a textile factory and farmers that know how to grow cotton. you can't assume that the technophobes will die off leaving the uneducated masses behind.


Cuba is a good example of a civilisation being cut off from the benefits of technology and oil when the Soviet Union died. They have survived quite well without a major dieoff but the did have the advantage of an authoritarian, communist government which immediately imposed rationing on a compliant population.

Can you imagine the US without petroleum, the consequent food shortages and a government which attempted to impose a fair rationing system? Could they even get that through a congress in the pockets of big business which would see the situation as one to profit from? The FEMA fail in New Orleans comes to mind!

I'm assuming that there would be emergency measures in place to keep congress going for a while after all it is essential to keep the Kleptocracy going in an emergency.

Cuba has only managed to survive because they could export doctors and other professionals to their friends in exchange for at least some oil. If even that wasn't available their efforts with old American cars and trucks to provide transportation would have been useless. There were only a few donkeys and mules in the country; nowhere near enough to keep a full transportation system going.

They were able to get food production going because they had a large proportion of the population who knew how to grow their own food. How would that go down in the US and the UK? Yes, the black population in Detroit have done well in supplying themselves with fresh food since the demise of the car industry but many of them came from agricultural roots in the south. They still have electricity and running water and clothes and tools probably manufactured in China! How many blacksmiths are there in the US who could take up tool manufacture using charcoal of their own making?

Civilisation might carry on for 50 to 100 years after a crash with people scrounging and reusing stuff but there comes a time when the legacy abilities of the survivors and the knowledge of the old technologies, which become largely superfluous with a lack of power, have been lost due to a lack of education and people have to start developing their own, much simpler, technologies. Then comes a generation which looks in awe on the fallen monuments to long forgotten ancestors.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
The Met Office 'human dynamics of climate change' poster provides a good overview of climate impacts:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/climate-change/impacts/human-dynamics


They show several scenarios but not the "we've left it too late and now need extremely aggressive mitigation" one!
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
snow hope wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:
None of that says there is no future for civilisation.


Biff likes to play-up the end of the world due to AGW.....


Have you changed your position yet, snowhope?

snowhope wrote:

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:38 pm Post subject: Manmade Global Warming? Reply with quote
The correct terminology is Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory (AGW) which means global warming where mankind is having a major impact on the warming of our climate.

I am sceptical of the AGW Theory which is based on the fact that CO2 is a Greenhouse Gas (GHG). With an increase of CO2 in our atmosphere, it is theorized that this GHG will cause the global temperature of our planet to heat up. There appears to be a global warming of about 0.6c over the last century. Many scientists and organisations, bodies around the world including our own Met Office consider that a major part of that warming is down to mankind's activities.

But there are some laymen, scientists and countries who remain sceptical that this warming is due to mankind's influence. I am one of these laymen and I think the warming is more likely to be due to natural decadel and centenial swings in our climate, brought about by our local Star, the Sun which provides everything we have in our Solar System. Natural swings in our climate do occur naturally, recent examples being the Medieval warm period (1100 - 1400 approx) and the Little Ice Age (1600-1900 approx).

And as Bandidoz kindly posted in this thread, http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163
we can see the Ice Ages which occur about every 100,000 years with about a 10,000 year inter-glacial which we are lucky enough to be enjoying currently. It should be noted that the next ice-age is due now. Shocked

The recent Horizon programmes on Global Dimming, Gulf Stream cut-off etc, were enjoyable and quite possible. As is the next Caldera explosion in Yellowstone as well as the next major asteroid impact and flu pandemic. They could start/happen tomorrow or not for 200 or 2000 years. Anything is possible! Shocked

Just my opinion folks.. Smile
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I know it really annoys you Biff - but you have to get used to the fact that lots of people don't agree with lots of stuff that you post...... it must be a tough life for people like you.....

2 or 3 degrees rise is not going to end civilisation on Earth - it may change a bit but most of us will find ways to adapt over time. And we will even cope when the next ice-age arrives - and that is likely to involve an even larger change in temp......
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:

I would put the well-being of all members of society at the top of the criteria for a civilised society. Other attributes are just mechanisms to achieve this.


So based on that criteria you don't consider we have a civilised society currently? Twisted Evil
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:
.............. And we will even cope when the next ice-age arrives - and that is likely to involve an even larger change in temp......


With the current trajectory of AGW there probably won't be a next ice age as the runaway warming caused by fossil CO2 and then methane will counteract the loss of heat from the sun. At the moment we can only hope that economic collapse will occur before too long to stop the release of fossil CO2.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:

I know it really annoys you Biff - but you have to get used to the fact that lots of people don't agree with lots of stuff that you post...... it must be a tough life for people like you.....

2 or 3 degrees rise is not going to end civilisation on Earth - it may change a bit but most of us will find ways to adapt over time. And we will even cope when the next ice-age arrives - and that is likely to involve an even larger change in temp......


Truth is not constrained by majority voting.

The World Bank did a pretty thorough analysis of what 2 or 3 degrees would mean fo civilisation. It's good to see that you now appear to accept that some global warming is happening even if you don't yet accept the consequences or the potential for the outcome that Ken suggests.

Civilisation is, so far, a patchy affair, a work in progress with advances and setbacks, so to ask whether we have a civilised society is to put the question too simply.
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what I think of the *ankers, but if you choose to give them credence that is up to you. Twisted Evil

From what I read on the MSM it certainly seems like there is some global warming.

I haven't personally experienced or been able to measure any in my little tiny patch of the planet.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:
I know what I think of the *ankers, but if you choose to give them credence that is up to you. Twisted Evil

From what I read on the MSM it certainly seems like there is some global warming.

I haven't personally experienced or been able to measure any in my little tiny patch of the planet.


The World Bank's climate work is not actually done by bankers! I suggested their work as it tends to have credence amongst some people who are not easily persuaded by the many climate science institutions.

My guess is that your patch of the planet, dominated by Atlantic weather, will be one of the least and latest affected by global warming so you may need to look further for measurable experience for quite some while.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humans have been around for several hundred thousand years. How long have we had 'civilisation'? Agriculture, domestication of animals first started around 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamia/Iraq which led to the first civilisation around 5300 years ago and stretched into India, Afghanistan. Ancient Egypt from 5000 years ago, Myan's and Han China arose around 4600 years ago...

These were civilisations, they arose and flourished independently, were isolated pockets of civilisation with the vast majority of humans still living how they had for many thousands of years already.

There is nothing climate change is likely to do within the next few hundred years that would prevent isolated, pockets of civilisation of many thousands of people thriving. So in that sense it's wrong to say climate change will end civilisation.

However, what we've had for only really the last century or so is the first global civilisation, or at least one where the majority of humans are interconnected in some way. It's this global civilisation of 7-10 bn people that climate change endangers over the next few centuries.

When people talk about the end of civilisation I think they are talking about the end of this global civilisation, with virtually everyone connected by a hierarchy of global and national governance, economy and trade - oil, gas and electricity. Passports, embassies, the Internet etc. With virtually everyone having food, shelter, security, energy, education, healthcare etc. Sure there are pockets where this breaks down today, failed states, Somalia, parts of Syria, Libya, Afghanistan... but these areas are still tiny compared with the global civilisation that endures.

Could what happened in these areas be repeated at 10 or 100 times the scale? Could South East Asia, The Americas, Europe also 'fail'? Could we lose that global system of governance, trade, food... could a few billion die as a result of climate change (and the secondary impacts like war, disease etc)? What if global agricultural capacity is down a quarter by 2100 as population passes 9bn? What if heatwave/drought decimates US cereal crops at the same time as some new rice pathogen takes out a quarter of SE Asia's rice harvest?

That's what collapse of this civilisation might look like - but some civilisation would persist.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All previous civilisations have eventually died as they ran out of food or fuel or both in their hinterlands. They all suffered catastrophic population reduction and a reduction in, for want of better words, standard of living. There was a loss of technology which wasn't regained, in some cases such a foul drainage after the Romans, for over a thousand years.

In the past civilisations have always had a fresh bit of ground to move to with new resources. In our case we humans, because of our vast numbers and spread of population, have virtually scoured the earth clean of resources, especially easy to acquire mineral resources, so future civilisations will have to develop completely new technologies using only limited metals and virtually no fossil fuels.

That is the difference between now and then.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A reasonable guess would be that a much reduced population will be able to continue with a semblance of our current civilisation for some considerable period of time by recycling existing resources that are above ground.

In the deeper future, in the absence of something equivalent to hydrocarbons, one thing that will never be in short supply is iron I would have thought. So, running a civilisation equivalent to European civilisation up to around 1750 should always be possible so long as the population does not exceed underlying carrying capacity. That doesn't sound too bad in itself. The one big qualification being the extent of AGW, of course.

Assuming AGW does not get too bad, at least here in Northern Europe, and we are able to run a simpler, re-run of the iron age, the major bummer is how we get from here to there.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem will be that we will only have recycled metals to work with and that the energy source will have to be forests again. Let's just hope that the forest/people ratio allows sustainable management of those forests.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The problem will be that we will only have recycled metals to work with and that the energy source will have to be forests again. Let's just hope that the forest/people ratio allows sustainable management of those forests.
Why would you not do your metal recycling using electric furnaces powered by hydro power or wind? Canadian hydro power has been used for decades to smelt aluminum from bauxite ore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bay_Project
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