man and the earth system

Discussion in 'Community' started by chibianh, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. chibianh macrumors 6502a

    chibianh

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    #1
  2. awrc macrumors regular

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    #2
    I suspect we'll be gone, one way or another, before we've had a chance to put things out of balance to an irreversible extent.

    Of course, one of the ways we go takes everything else with it.
     
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #3
    There is no doubt the humans have a great impact on the planet. This, though, really makes a good point. One of the things you would last expect. I'd wonder what else is having such big effect.

    What would happen if no one could drive for a week - but one of the wonders of the whole system is its ability to regulate itself. There has to be a limit though, but hopefully we haven't gotten there yet.
     
  4. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #4
    we will all do this planet in, but it will be long after we are all dead so measures taken now in high priority are not likely

    think of us as a jet airliner in the sky at thrity five thousand feet...each species we do away with is the equivalent of one rivet in that jet airliner

    at a certain point, we will be one rivet less too much and the whole jet airliner will go down into the ground killing all

    it is not a question of if but when and it is one of the few points i agree on with the jehovah's witnesses that come to my door each week

    it's called armageddon...end of the earth as we know it...but not something i expect in our lifetime, or the next, or the next, or the next...but it will happen unless we change things around
     
  5. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #5
    or if we don't eventually end up like the aliens in Independence Day, going from planet to planet and consuming everything there.
     
  6. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    I agree, Jeff, about humans eventually becoming extinct. I'm not sure what the various religions say about what will happen, but I think it most likely that, unless we blow ourselves up or get hit by an asteroid, humans will die off in a gradual extinction, a slow and compounding result of the biological and chemical systems of earth being irreversibly thrown out of whack. I don't see a fire-and-brimstone type end for us, but rather a slow corrosion of our atmosphere to the point where every human will need their own filtered oxygen supplies to breathe and their own hydroponically grown plants to eat (McDonald's will be with us 'til the very end selling their genetically-engineered beef taken from cows which have been bred without legs or heads in order to be grown in the smallest space possible). Those of us that don't die of some type of cancer before age 30 will die of poverty (clean air and water cost money, after all) or malnutrition.

    I do believe we're in a death spiral; I'd say it will be about 200 years before the atmosphere becomes too poisonous to breathe, and 150 years before sun exposure results in virtually instant skin cancer. In the mean time, cancer rates will gradually skyrocket. I wonder if cancer, AIDS, etc. are nature's way of balancing us out? If so, I wish nature was able to distinguish between Republicans and everybody else, and I wish nature would hurry up before we destroy it.

    Alex
     
  7. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I can't tell if you think that Republicans are god or if they are Satan incarnate but either way you are kidding yourself. If you see the world in black and white terms then you need to seriously re-examine all sides of the issue and stop buying into Republican/Democrat/3rd Party propaganda.
     
  8. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #8
    'Twas a half-joke, sorry.
     
  9. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #9
    It's alright, that's what the smilies are for ;)
     
  10. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    who knows when it will happen but we WILL become extinct. i don't think it will be a dramatic hollywood BOOM and mushroom cloud..more like a sad slow gasp for breath or cry for water. probably the outcome of some genetic modification/experiment or vaccination that is railroaded thru the FDA that turns out to be a time bomb or trojan horse for infection or plague...

    i pray it doesn't happen but the odds of our own self-termination grow with the increasing speed of untested new technologies and the desire to profit from them.

    we're just speeding up a natural cycle...many species came and went during the formation of the grand canyon...someday, we will be one of them...occupying maybe just a 3 inch striation of geological material.
     
  11. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #11
    The way I see there are four possibilites for the end of the human race

    1.We kill ourselves (either by war or pollution)
    2.Nature kills us (via an asteroid or disease or other event)
    3.Our computers kill us
    4.The aliens kill us

    It's just that simple.
     
  12. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #12
    we are on path of the first premise

    second is possible buy highly improbable

    third could happen with true ai which is at least two hundred years away from what ai prof tells me

    the fourth is hollywood...someone who travels light years to get here would most likely be socially advanced enough to leave us alone

    therefore out capacity for war will beat any of the other three possibilities and we will have no one to blame but us
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

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    #13
    Just to get away from the depressive views of the future, I think that ultimately the human race will blossom.......
     
  14. chibianh thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chibianh

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    Me too, iGav. I optimistically would like to think that the human race will end up in a startrek-like universe a couple hundred years down the road. Of course, we'll run into a few hurdles along the way, but that's beside the point. As long as we know our effects on the environment, we will find ways to correct the bad effects. We have to, for our own sake. We are still very immature. But as we began to understand our place on earth, and in the universe, we will mature and the human race will flourish.

    Now, about aliens wiping us out... I agree with jef in that if a society is advanced enough to make it here, I don't think they would be violent at all. If they were, they would've wiped themselves out before they even get here. OTOH, they could just be resource huntin......
     
  15. awrc macrumors regular

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    #15
    Hmm, lot of gloom and doom there. I was thinking there were some positive ways mankind could leave the scene. I know it's sci-fi, but there's a *lot* of writers big on the idea of "singularities" right now, a point at which the human race (depending on which sci-fi author you prefer) either goes in for uploading themselves in a big way (and you end up with an entire continents worth of people "living" in an environmentally clean block of something or other buried under the Siberian tundra), or we just figure out a way to "slip behind the scenery" completely (along the lines of subliming in the Iain M Banks books).

    Yes, it's sci-fi, but so's Star Trek, and a lot of people are fairly confident we'll end up whooshing around the galaxy and meeting lots of people with interesting foreheads.

    I just had a scary thought - a big block of quantum-density memory simulating reality for millions - buried under Siberia with "Intel Inside" printed on it running Windows Virtual Universe (r). What do you do if your perceived reality blue-screens?
     
  16. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #16
    About the pessimism

    Although we pessimists may sound depressed or unrealistically negative, I don't think this is so. Optimists say "don't worry, everything will be fine," conveniently dismissing any forthcoming problems as bumps in the road. The problem with this is that what happens when one of these problems is not a bump, but a 150-foot cliff? Optimism grants one an excuse to go about any course of behavior, no matter how damaging to the future health/prosperity of humans, since, after all, everything will work out in the end, and we'll all be living in a sunny utopia anyway. Why bother fixing the problems that could spiral out of control in the future when it's obvious that "it will all be okay"?

    I find this statement very troubling:

    This seems to me to be a philosophy that humans reign supreme over all, that nature can be shaped and moulded into whatever we want, that we should, for example, feel free to continue polluting rivers with nasty chemical A because we have a chemical B that is known to neutralize chemical A, so no worries.

    We don't know our effects on the environment. We generally agree that we're messing it up, but we aren't really sure how to fix it, other than by ceasing to do what we're doing. But ceasing to pollute would be impossible, because nobody wants to sacrifice their modern amenities (produced by industries whose very foundations are built on pollution) for the promise of clean air 200 years into the future. There are countless examples of short-term economic interests taking precedence over long-term environmental interests, and very few to the contrary. I believe that the future of the human race depends on the breaking of this trend - not an easy task, as any Sierra Club member will agree with. Star Trek is not going to even come close to happening unless we as humans get our **** together and make it happen.

    Alex
     
  17. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #17
    So in essence you are saying that republicans are worse than serial killers, terrorists, children abductors, rapists, parents-who-sell-p0rn-pics-of-their-children, genocidal egomaniac dictators, supremacists, etc...

    Very nice. I am so happy that the liberals will solve all our problems and ascend to heaven.

    You need to keep gems like this to yourself, otherwise you are no better than a racist biggot.
     
  18. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    Now jef, I didn't say they were hostile. If an alien shows up with a toenail infection then that bacteria may be flesh eating to us. Look at European exploration through history and the horrible diseases they brought to the natives.

    They could be perfectly friendly but after a few contacts with various species there may be dire unintended consequences.
     
  19. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #19
     
  20. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #20

    its a wonder kirk didn't catch something really funky:p
     
  21. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Yikes, a vulcan STD :eek:
     
  22. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    I'm kind of suspicious of the whole Star Trek universe thing...

    It was a moneyless system, a Utopia on Earth....Communism anyone?

    Meh 2 cents.
     
  23. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    What about those Klingon veneral diseases? :eek:
     
  24. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    They don't need money though, because thanks to replicator technology, they can tell their replicators, "Computer, (noun), (adjective)" and they've got it for free (or at least for the cost of the elements that comprise the thing they ask for, which probably cost almost nothing). They can also transport themselves most distances extremely cheaply with transporter devices. They probably don't need cars, because their culture is more civilized and selfless than us. I guess all that could make for a very different economy.

    Warp drive is supposed to happen what, sometime in the next 30 years? This is what revolutionizes our society - the Vulcans witness our flight and land on our planet. And then we begin to spread the seed of humanity throughout the galaxy, or something.

    Unfortunately, nuclear armageddon is supposed to happen before then, so we ourselves may not survive the fallout of that. Oh, well.

    Alex
     
  25. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #25
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by alex_ant
    'Twas a half-joke, sorry.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I do wish it would be a full on joke, and a bad ona at that. Use your emoticons that's what they are there for. Then I won't have to get bent out of shape defending the underrepresented. ;)
     

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