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  1. #106
    martinelillycrop martielillycrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylinar View Post
    I thought, according to the Gaia theory, that Humans are Gaia's organs of procreation if you will. That is if Gaia is ever to spread off of this planet (i.e. reproduce) that is going to have to be done by us (or some more worthy but intelligent successor). Anything spreading off planet is going to take as much of it with them as possible for obvious reasons of survival, or happiness (think pets).
    I can't gainsay you on that as I found Lovelock's ideas a bit long-winded, but whatever role humanity plays on a macro scale; the way we spread, consume and toxify, we behave like a disease. Any intelligent, concerned alien civilisation would be terrified of us. They'd want to keep us down on Earth at least, exterminate us at worst.

    Cheerful, eh?

  2. #107
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martielillycrop View Post
    I can't gainsay you on that as I found Lovelock's ideas a bit long-winded, but whatever role humanity plays on a macro scale; the way we spread, consume and toxify, we behave like a disease. Any intelligent, concerned alien civilisation would be terrified of us. They'd want to keep us down on Earth at least, exterminate us at worst.

    Cheerful, eh?
    While I can't really disagree with you about your description we currently only have a single data point to work with. When (if) we ever get into the Universe, or it comes to visit us it may turn out that we are the Panda Bears of the Universe (which is an even scarier to think of than your description of Humans habits). Someday I hope we do find out, pity you and I won't be around by that far off time.

  3. #108
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    But if we allow it to be eroded away into rivers and down to the ocean with incompetent or careless farming techniques faster than it is produced then it does not matter.

    It comes down to waste through stupid consumerism.

    http://www.r2launch.nl/index.php/lif...d-obsolescence

    http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/200...-cm-kornbluth/

    psik
    No, it doesn't. That's an emotional reaction, not an intellectual review of the rationale. I note that none of those in the Malthusian camp really ever bother with any sort of rationale, leaving none to review. It only looks intimidating, if you never stop to observe. I do little else.

    I have twelve cats at present. In the nearly fifteen years I've been living here, between clay and pine cat litters, more than three cubic yards of new soil have been created on my mulch pile from their waste alone, every five years. In between compost dumps, bush and tree trimmings, grass clippings, and raked leaves go in, accounting for another cubic yard every five years. A cubic yard, for those who don't know, is a volume three feet on a side. It's quite a bit of soil. All of this on a very small piece of property in a small city.

    Human waste reprocessing is currently very inefficient, largely because of an unquestioned assumption that it needs to be buried or burned quickly. This is not remotely true. Sewage effluent, when processed down to compost quality, should be returned to the soil whenever possible. The technology is getting better all the time. What is lacking is mindset and motivation.

    And while some think nature does better than humans can, it just isn't so. Areas replanted by humans after Mt. St. Helens began recovering far quicker than those areas left to recover on their own. Humans certainly can help the natural structure by removing impediments to organic life's spread and by returning organic materials when they are finished with them. Microbes, worms, insects, and plants will do the rest.

    If humans would cease their worried prattling about non-existent nightmares, they could easily bioengineer many possible aids to the strengthening of the biosphere. Unfortunately, humans are given to hysterical irrational thinking. They've been engaging in breeding of animals for thousands of years, and even their own kind, but they have never produced some mutant monster that wipes out whole populations. And yet, they imagine that a bacteria designed to feed on certain synthetics under certain conditions found only in soil will somehow mutate to eat all synthetics. That is not how biology works, but try telling them that. Their worries about genetically engineered livestock and produce are equally silly. Rather than mindfully watch the process to ensure that mistakes are not made or if so, fixed, they instead hyperventilate that world-ending results are sure to follow.

    It's attitude, not technology or biology, that limit humans.

  4. #109
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    Better crank up the AC, its another day of global warming out there.

    Jim
    Don't believe all the nonsense about global warming. It just isn't so. The AGW movement has discarded scientific method, made it all about being right at any cost, and cast disrepute on science by their shenanigans and attitude. Science has been damaged in the public eye more by them than anything else in the last fifty years. They're attempting to foist massive so-called solutions on society, ram them down their throats by scaring the people, that only appeals to the power hunger of the political class because it usually leads to poor thinking and abdication of personal choice to those who will claim to solve the problems. We all know that they have no interest in any actual progress on anything, just power for its own sake.

    The complete end-to-end system of heat input and rejection of the entire Earth-Sun-Space system is not remotely known to the degree that they'd like everyone to believe, and there is a pronounced streak of treating past and future across geological time periods as if they were all the same thing. Previous arrangements of continents, preponderance of surface biota, global currents, and solar activity periods are all disconnected and not integrated. They have tried to paint Earth as having some necessarily perfect condition that would remain if only nasty, horrible humans would just go away or cooperate with their superior intelligence.

    That attitude is one reason I left futurism in the 80s. Rather than trying to find ways of doing things that people would want to willingly choose, it began creeping ever more into an arrogant and egomaniacal state, where thinkers were fancying themselves suprageniuses and fretting over people not listening to them, and how much better life would be if they only listened to their supposedly more enlightened ideas. At the same time, ideas became more and more extreme, more towards the population control, eugenics, and social engineering end of things, as if they totally lost sight of reality and felt that their estimation of their intelligence made any and all ideas justified. Why won't people live in tiny prefab houses? Why won't they drive electric cars? Why won't they do all their own farming at home? Why won't they do selective breeding? Why won't they accept sterilization? Why won't they listen to us?

    I'm seeing that same attitude that the AGW people think themselves smarter than everyone else, that they reject the free will of the individual, that they do not respect individuality and the collective effects of same, that they believe themselves right independently of rational review, that they are not open to the idea of being wrong, and that they believe themselves justified in every single idea they come up with. The only thing they are achieving is the reduction of science's stature in the minds of the people. Making science look hysterical and emotional is bad enough. Making it look arrogant and antagonistic to the very species practicing it is even worse.

  5. #110
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    The AGW movement has discarded scientific method, made it all about being right at any cost, and cast disrepute on science by their shenanigans and attitude. Science has been damaged in the public eye more by them than anything else in the last fifty years.
    Agreed that there have been a number of scientists/scientific groups pushing their ideas and figures too strong and it's come back to bite them, which has weakened the view of scientific method.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    Don't believe all the nonsense about global warming. It just isn't so.
    I'm not an expert but isn't it fairly straightforward that man-made activities since the Industrial Revolution have resulted in an increasing amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere and increased radiative forcing (and if we do nothing these will continue to increase)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Westsiyeed View Post
    I'm not an expert but isn't it fairly straightforward that man-made activities since the Industrial Revolution have resulted in an increasing amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere and increased radiative forcing (and if we do nothing these will continue to increase)?
    Simple answer NO. For a well reasoned look at the reasons why it isn't so you couldn't do better than going to http://www.bishop-hill.net/ and have a good read.

  7. #112
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westsiyeed View Post
    I'm not an expert but isn't it fairly straightforward that man-made activities since the Industrial Revolution have resulted in an increasing amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere and increased radiative forcing (and if we do nothing these will continue to increase)?
    According to the AGW people, we put out more CO2 by far every year than all natural sources combined. If CO2 were as efficient a heat retaining mechanism as they have implied (note, implied, NOT proven) then we should be far warmer now than we were at the same point in the previous interglacial. We aren't. The height of the last interglacial was slightly warmer than now, and had a CO2 level slightly higher than now, and that was about 120,000 years ago. Humans were only on the scene about 80,000 years by then and a species population of maybe a few million planet wide. There has never ever been any massive CO2 release shown to account for it. No worldwide vulcanism, no worldwide wildfires, no worldwide coal seam fires, no anything to account for it. The CO2 was there just as it is now. If we're putting out so much, the CO2 levels today should be far in excess of what we currently see. Why aren't they? Why the need for fudging numbers?

    The entire AGW-CO2 theory relies on a 1950s view of Venus, which has been repeatedly disproven. Venus' atmosphere is more than 90 times the mass of Earth's. It is 97% CO2. Venus is far closer to the Sun and receives far more energy. There is no evidence that it ever had water on the scale that Earth does (there's probably a full Atlantic Ocean worth in the crust alone, and maybe that much or more dissolved in the upper mantle). It doesn't appear to have the sort of plate tectonics system we have, recycling atmosphere by way of constantly exposing new material to soak up gases through chemical reactions (water is important to the chemistry of this process, and Venus' system of new material exposure has none). Its chemistry is very different. Venus sits just beyond the inner edge of the Green Belt and Earth sits just inside the outer edge. Earth is more given to freezing than heating, and it has at least once and possibly more than that done so over its entire surface. There's no comparison to Earth in any way.

    Earth is a humongously complex system, and it requires a very in-depth interdisciplinary approach covering a dozen plus fields to begin to understand what is going on. AGW theory has been most strongly embraced by people who come from one discipline, and even more so by those who aren't in climatology, and held on to with religious tenacity despite any and all objections, mostly trivializing them.

    NOTE: the advocates of terraforming Mars and Venus NEVER behaved this way and that is an equally complex undertaking. They acknowledged the complexities and posited that it would be many decades just to get to where microbes could be started with. They also acknowledged that it would be process of constant refining and the knowledge building would be ongoing over the decades and centuries. Yet, the AGW people want to engage in massive terraforming right here on Earth, where we have an established biosphere and planetary system of hydrology and geology???

    That's as bad as willy-nilly damning of waterways, redirecting of rivers, and draining of swamps. That's as stupid as draining the Everglades. It's arrogant presumption on par with the other mega-engineering jobs that make big environmental changes, that the environmentalists decried for decades. Now, they suddenly magically know that their specific terraforming is okay. Sorry, we should not be treating this planet so cavalierly, and doing it in hyperventilating panic mode.

  8. #113
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    According to the AGW people, we put out more CO2 by far every year than all natural sources combined. If CO2 were as efficient a heat retaining mechanism as they have implied (note, implied, NOT proven) then we should be far warmer now than we were at the same point in the previous interglacial. We aren't. The height of the last interglacial was slightly warmer than now, and had a CO2 level slightly higher than now, and that was about 120,000 years ago. Humans were only on the scene about 80,000 years by then and a species population of maybe a few million planet wide. There has never ever been any massive CO2 release shown to account for it. No worldwide vulcanism, no worldwide wildfires, no worldwide coal seam fires, no anything to account for it. The CO2 was there just as it is now. If we're putting out so much, the CO2 levels today should be far in excess of what we currently see. Why aren't they? Why the need for fudging numbers?

    The entire AGW-CO2 theory relies on a 1950s view of Venus, which has been repeatedly disproven. Venus' atmosphere is more than 90 times the mass of Earth's. It is 97% CO2. Venus is far closer to the Sun and receives far more energy. There is no evidence that it ever had water on the scale that Earth does (there's probably a full Atlantic Ocean worth in the crust alone, and maybe that much or more dissolved in the upper mantle). It doesn't appear to have the sort of plate tectonics system we have, recycling atmosphere by way of constantly exposing new material to soak up gases through chemical reactions (water is important to the chemistry of this process, and Venus' system of new material exposure has none). Its chemistry is very different. Venus sits just beyond the inner edge of the Green Belt and Earth sits just inside the outer edge. Earth is more given to freezing than heating, and it has at least once and possibly more than that done so over its entire surface. There's no comparison to Earth in any way.

    Earth is a humongously complex system, and it requires a very in-depth interdisciplinary approach covering a dozen plus fields to begin to understand what is going on. AGW theory has been most strongly embraced by people who come from one discipline, and even more so by those who aren't in climatology, and held on to with religious tenacity despite any and all objections, mostly trivializing them.
    You do present a compelling argument. So in summary the AGW theory is based on a lot of assumptions without really taking into account the unpredictability of Earth's (long term) weather systems (and using Venus's greenhouse effect compared to Earth is like apples v oranges)?

    I still can't stop thinking that if you compare the Earth pre-humans to now, the amount of pollution/chemicals we increasingly output has to have negative consequences on Earth's natural balance. What that is and what we do about it seem to be questions that are currently too difficult to conclusively answer.
    Last edited by Westsiyeed; June 20th, 2011 at 08:52 PM.

  9. #114
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westsiyeed View Post
    I still can't stop thinking that if you compare the Earth pre-humans to now, the amount of pollution/chemicals we increasingly output has to have negative consequences on Earth's natural balance. What that is and what we do about it seem to be questions that are currently too difficult to conclusively answer.
    Exactly so, but if we go off on a religious crusade, ultimately bringing the very question of our effects into disrepute and scorn among the people, and engaging in non-solutions that hobble the human race's forward progress economically, technologically, and infrastructurally, then we will never be able to address them in any way. The way we're doing things is the flat-out worst possible way we can do it.

    In fact, that would be a more realistic hard sci-fi disaster story approach: we go off stupidly to correct a non-issue, and we make everything dramatically worse, and society falls apart as everyone falls on each other in the resulting degeneracy.

  10. #115
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    No, it doesn't. That's an emotional reaction, not an intellectual review of the rationale. I note that none of those in the Malthusian camp really ever bother with any sort of rationale, leaving none to review. It only looks intimidating, if you never stop to observe. I do little else.

    Human waste reprocessing is currently very inefficient, largely because of an unquestioned assumption that it needs to be buried or burned quickly. This is not remotely true. Sewage effluent, when processed down to compost quality, should be returned to the soil whenever possible. The technology is getting better all the time. What is lacking is mindset and motivation.
    Human beings exist to raise cattle and pigs.

    How much grain has to be grown just to feed the cattle to produce 100 pounds of meat?

    If human beings refuse to be efficient then what is the point of talking about the efficiency? How much fuel is used and pollution created transporting food all over the world? We have created a system too complex and interdependent to figure out how it can fail.

    The technology is a joke. People figure out ways to make more money by screwing it up.

    http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2...y_is_makin.php

    Then people that can't do a good job of figuring out what to buy because they don't understand enough about it talk about how great it is. I have had a man tell me, "I LOVE CARS", but then he couldn't explain what a cam shaft is. He didn't know a cam shaft from a crank shaft.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcSxL8GUn-g

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; June 21st, 2011 at 12:43 AM.

  11. #116

    Cosmic Rift - JP Osterma

    Try "Cosmic Rift" by JP Osterman. It picks up where amazing left off - an action packed story filled with threats to our universe and new technology ideas.

  12. #117

    Cosmic Rift - JP Osterman

    Try "Cosmic Rift" by JP Osterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunners View Post
    I'm looking for recommendations for the best hard science fiction novels about space travel, exploration and colonizing new planets. What I'm looking for are novels which explore current scientific theory about space travel and exploration. I'd also like to find books that explore the most likely solar systems and planets that scientists have found where human life may be able to live.

    I'd like to find novels in the nearer future about the initiation of space exploration and planet colonization not novels that take place in the very far future when the planets have already been colonized by humans.

    I'm currently reading the Mars trilogy books by Kim Stanley Robinson. They're very good, but I'm looking for books that explore further solar systems and more Earth-like planets. What technology is needed to get to these planets? What are these planets like theoretically? What types of lifeforms may be found there?

    Any recommendations of books that fit this description would be greatly appreciated.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    Don't believe all the nonsense about global warming. It just isn't so. The AGW movement has discarded scientific method, made it all about being right at any cost, and cast disrepute on science by their shenanigans and attitude. Science has been damaged in the public eye more by them than anything else in the last fifty years. They're attempting to foist massive so-called solutions on society, ram them down their throats by scaring the people, that only appeals to the power hunger of the political class because it usually leads to poor thinking and abdication of personal choice to those who will claim to solve the problems. We all know that they have no interest in any actual progress on anything, just power for its own sake.

    The complete end-to-end system of heat input and rejection of the entire Earth-Sun-Space system is not remotely known to the degree that they'd like everyone to believe, and there is a pronounced streak of treating past and future across geological time periods as if they were all the same thing. Previous arrangements of continents, preponderance of surface biota, global currents, and solar activity periods are all disconnected and not integrated. They have tried to paint Earth as having some necessarily perfect condition that would remain if only nasty, horrible humans would just go away or cooperate with their superior intelligence.

    That attitude is one reason I left futurism in the 80s. Rather than trying to find ways of doing things that people would want to willingly choose, it began creeping ever more into an arrogant and egomaniacal state, where thinkers were fancying themselves suprageniuses and fretting over people not listening to them, and how much better life would be if they only listened to their supposedly more enlightened ideas. At the same time, ideas became more and more extreme, more towards the population control, eugenics, and social engineering end of things, as if they totally lost sight of reality and felt that their estimation of their intelligence made any and all ideas justified. Why won't people live in tiny prefab houses? Why won't they drive electric cars? Why won't they do all their own farming at home? Why won't they do selective breeding? Why won't they accept sterilization? Why won't they listen to us?

    I'm seeing that same attitude that the AGW people think themselves smarter than everyone else, that they reject the free will of the individual, that they do not respect individuality and the collective effects of same, that they believe themselves right independently of rational review, that they are not open to the idea of being wrong, and that they believe themselves justified in every single idea they come up with. The only thing they are achieving is the reduction of science's stature in the minds of the people. Making science look hysterical and emotional is bad enough. Making it look arrogant and antagonistic to the very species practicing it is even worse.
    Bravo! Very well put. What upsets me the most is that we have some real environmental problems that are shoved out of the way by Global Warming nonsense. It's a huge, costly distraction that accomplishes nothing. We all jump up and down and call it progress.

  14. #119
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    There is an inherent flaw in what you are asking. You ask about books that are about a near future where the planets have not been colonized by humans. The problem is that the planets will already be colonized before we leave the solar system. Interstellar travel will occur in the far future. We will be on mars, the moon, and in the asteroid belt as well as on moons of the Jovian planets a long while before we come up with any real practical way of leaving the solar system. The riches of the solar system are so great it may be millenia before we need to leave. At the point we are now we really don't have a real clue about faster than light travel except for the Alcubiere drive and that requires negative energy densities and the generation of exotic particles and more power than we can practically concieve of. Any books you find that you are looking for will be complete Handwavium, Unubtainium and not hard science fiction.

  15. #120
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    According to the AGW people, we put out more CO2 by far every year than all natural sources combined. If CO2 were as efficient a heat retaining mechanism as they have implied (note, implied, NOT proven) then we should be far warmer now than we were at the same point in the previous interglacial. We aren't.
    That is not what the Keeling curve indicates. The annoying thing about DEBATING with people is that opponents exaggerate and then argue on the basis of exaggeration.

    Humans are raising the amount of CO2 by about 3% per year above what natural phenomenon puts out and reabsorbs. Then some of what we put out is absorbed. All you have to do is look at the Keeling graph.

    We have gone from 320 to 390 ppm from 1960 to 2010. 70 ppm in 50 years. But the CO2 rise in the oceans means it does not all stay in the atmosphere.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    But on the subject of space exploration I would expect the asteroids to be mined mostly by robots. Or maybe men in a ship nearby controlling them remotely. The spacesuit nonsense from the 50s and 60s has been made obsolete by the advances in robotics. Maintaining lot of men due to the food and oxygen requirements would make it too expensive.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; November 19th, 2012 at 08:35 AM.

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