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Forced Responses: Jul 2018

Filed under: — group @ 1 July 2018

Open thread for climate policy and responses.

406 Responses to “Forced Responses: Jul 2018”

  1. 251
    Hank Roberts says:

    I wish the self-styled geniuses here all the luck in the world getting their ideas adopted. Proclaiming them here seems less productive.

  2. 252
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @240, I broadly agree with your comments on technology.

    Imho it seems so simplistic to claim that complexity and high tech is somehow by definition “unsustainable”. Its certainly at least dubious to claim its all undesirable or somehow a bad thing.

    I don’t know enough about led bulbs to comment on how sustainable they are in terms of their component materials, although the silicon in semi conductors is very abundant, but they are very efficient and last for ages. I just recently installed them in my home. This efficiency and lifespan has to be considered along with the availability of their materials.

    Smartphones are very complex and the epitome of high tech, yet they are small and don’t use many resources. They replace the need for numerous other devices. I purchased one mainly because it saves me having to carry a camera and paper based diary. So here is an example of complexity that is of great use and reduces the need for other devices, so is arguably as sustainable as you will get.

    And how would Stephen Hawking have done without the technology that enabled him to convert key strokes into speech?

    How would disabled people get by without high technology Killian? What about hearing aids and things like that?

    However Al you need to appreciate resources are not unlimited. We have to stop wasting the earths materials on products that we don’t really need, and which add very little of value, or save trivial amounts of time.

  3. 253
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @248,

    “My point was that a typical human is quickly becoming a net loss economically speaking.”

    Yes and it appears inevitable that AI and robots will replace a lot of jobs. Owners of capital will own the factories and use them to replace labour leaving a pile of unemployed or under employed low wage people. Hell, its already happening.

    This can be mitigated by a “universal basic income”, but of course would get push back from the rather short sighted Republicans, but in time it has a sense of inevitability about it. Its impossible to stop the march of technology (in the sense of innovation and change and within a market structure) and so something will have to be done, and so many people will be affected it will require a political response.

    However limiting processes are at work as well. Negative feedbacks! I just doubt that the planet has enough resources to replace all jobs with robots. It will be some white collar and manufacturing jobs mostly at risk, as opposed to the building trades and various services jobs etc.

    Smaller population reduces the pool of unemployed or underemployed. Like Zebra says smaller population fixes a range of problems, although imho not all. People may elect to over consume on a per capita basis, and will be tapping into automated factories capable of considerable production. Everyone wants to own a ferrari or two! More or less.

    Therefore I think looking after the environment still has a moral dimension where people need to be persuaded to make an ethical commitment to doing the right thing and not over consuming to excess. Not easy I know. Of course it all depends on just how small population becomes, because a very small population could have quite a party!

  4. 254
    zebra says:

    #248 Al Bundy,

    Apologies. The sock puppet comment was just something that popped into my head; your writing style is much more focused and concise than alan’s. (Unless… you are a literary genius puppeteer??? ;-) )

    Anyway, I don’t think that in the current context you can do away with jobs that are essentially unnecessary, whether an AI can do them or not.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-01/too-many-jobs-feel-meaningless-because-they-are

    The point is that if you have a low, stable, population, relative to resources, rational economic choices will create a system that allows for most people to have both “work” and “leisure” satisfaction.

  5. 255

    nigel:

    “What is a technology backbone? How does one maintain this and clip it onto a peasant culture?”

    “How would disabled people get by without high technology Killian? What about hearing aids and things like that?”

    Indeed. And it’s not just ‘disabled’ people–noting here that I don’t mean ‘just’ in a dismissive sense; perhaps I should have written ‘exclusively’–probably a majority of the people I know are taking medication on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. For a goodly number of them, it’s actually life-sustaining.

    Modern medicine and pharmacology is pretty ineluctably high-tech–and that includes birth control. It’s been written that the biggest chunk of the responsibility for longer life spans is public health and sanitation, not ‘heroic medicine,’ and I believe it. But nevertheless, I think it’s a realistic worry whether the demographic transition to low fertility rates could survive in a ‘peasant culture.’ Like the technological backbone, it may very likely be impossible or impractical as ‘addenda.’

  6. 256
    Bill Duncan says:

    In regard to our use of resources how’s this for ridiculous consumption. Tesco in the UK have started selling water in cans. Yes, plain old water. As if we don’t have taps.

  7. 257
    nigelj says:

    https://qz.com/1349245/the-next-major-innovation-in-batteries-might-be-here/

    Something pretty interesting about a new type of more efficient lithium battery called a lithium metal battery, that is already being sold for use in drones. This is a detailed article on the tech.

    And no I don’t suggest its feasible to have a world full of billions of lithium batteries and drones, because lithium isn’t an infinite resource, however it makes sense to make battery technology as efficient as possible, so we get the most bang out of a given quantity of lithium. We then have to make sure we don’t waste the planets resources on products that add little real value to life. But that’s another story for another day, with many possible answers.

  8. 258
    zebra says:

    #255 Bill Duncan,

    I am one of the 43 million people in the USA whose water supply is a private well. I buy gallon plastic jugs for drinking and cooking from the supermarket because a sufficient treatment system would be way too expensive and troublesome to maintain. The supermarket water is cheap– very unpretentious labeling as “spring water”, but we all know it is from some “tap water” type source.

    I wonder though– are they really selling water in metal cans? What size? This sounds like some kind of prepper craziness.

  9. 259

    #256, nigel–

    Yes, I saw a piece on those batteries. The crucial bit, IMO, was the energy density claimed. If they pan out commercially–ie., if their costs can be lowered sufficiently to work for non-niche applications, and if they can be coaxed and tweaked to achieve many more than the current 50 or so discharge cycles–they would offer very practical storage performance for electric aviation more generally.

    As you say, that still does leave the question of wider, longer-term social utility TBD.

  10. 260
    John Kelly says:

    I have a few thoughts on the Jem Bendell paper. First, while he’s not a climate scientist, his work seems to have been at the intersection of advancements and change with economies, which makes him perhaps well suited to see impacts on societies that escape others. So, to me, the idea that he’s concerned is disconcerting.

    Second, I was disappointed in his huge leap from very concerning recent data to inevitable near-term social collapse. I read and then re-read to see if I missed it, but there’s no indication of how or why this happens. Based on his methane discussion, I suspect he thinks an instantaneous methane bomb is going to off, leading to temps rocketing higher. While that’s possible (moving way beyond my authority here), I wonder about the timeframes. Something that seems instantaneous in the geologic record may have taken 100, 1000 or 10000 years.

    Third, while we know very well the energy being added to the system, and pretty well (in broad brush strokes) the climatological implications (higher ocean and atmospheric temperatures, melting ice, etc.), one tipping point that Mr. Bendell seems to feel attuned to that remains a mystery is the societal one, that which tips us over into collapse. With modern societies in the developed world so interconnected, I don’t doubt that a large enough shock could make it all happen quickly. For instance, when the delivery truck doesn’t show up at the grocery store, where are the vast majority of people going to get food? Likewise, when the power goes out and the water stops flowing. To top it all off, and I know this has been pointed out here before, the current crop of humans, at least in the West, is the group least capable of surviving a non-technological world in the history of human-kind. But we can text.

  11. 261
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @255, yes modern medicine and high technology are integrated together. I have a long list of health issues, none life threatening, but they require medication, and without this my quality of life would plummet. Perhaps this is why I’m less than enthusiastic about low tech philosophies. I hadn’t considered this before!

    I’m not prepared to sacrifice this particular aspect of my quality of life for future generations, especially when it’s not clear that they would gain much benefit. I’m prepeared however to sacrifice some things and keep consumption of scare resources reasonably minimal where it makes some sense. For example I drive a small car when I could afford something much larger if I wanted. I do it partly also because of the climate problem.

    Coming back to pharmeceuticals, they do not use massive quantities of metals anyway, so wheres the problem for people like Killian? They are another example of complexity that is not actually ‘unsustainable’ if one defines sustainablity in commonsense terms. Medecines do use non renewable fossil fuel compounds of course, but they use small quantities, and are arguably the ‘right’ use of fossil fuels.

    The issue then is how does society maintain a level of technology like pharmaceuticals? While I see many problems with capitalism, I dont see how we maintain modern medecine and continue to improve it without some form of capitalism, competition and free markets. Theres a huge risk of some form of shared ownership or other alternative leading to stagnation and all sorts of problems. Tell me if you think I’m wrong.

    I hasten to add I’m not some libertarian right winger. I support public education and healthcare for example, but communal and socialised forms of ownership of manufacturing mostly has a poor history in the modern era. Perhaps we could learn to do this on small scale of worker cooperative ownership, as opposed to “state owned” manufacturing as such, however I’m not hugely persuaded.

  12. 262
    alan2102 says:

    251 Hank Roberts 8 Aug 2018 at 9:11 AM
    “I wish the self-styled geniuses here all the luck in the world getting their ideas adopted. Proclaiming them here seems less productive.”

    Hank reflects here a deep thread in the American ethos: anti-intellectualism. “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” To which the best answer is: “If you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?” Different skill sets, different roles.

    Ideas require a great deal of thought, discussion, more thought, more discussion, extensive modification, and still more thought and discussion, before they become ready for adoption. And even then, the people doing the thinking and discussing are seldom in a position to do any adopting. Different skill sets, different roles. All part of a process that is lost on anti-intellectual minds.

    One of America’s biggest problems has always been too strong of a bias for action over thought and discussion, which results in a mess. We didn’t think things through very well, nor discuss them, before building a massive oil-burning CO2-belching culture, did we?

    Too much action; not enough theory.

  13. 263
    alan2102 says:

    Al Bundy 7 Aug 2018 — “we’ve got to figure out how to get humanity to use all their time in a non destructive fashion.”

    That’s a simple one. Simple, but not easy. Abolish capitalism. Sequester the psychopaths. Establish an anarcho-communist, ecological and empathic classless society devoted to art, science, learning, spiritual development, post-modern permaculture (or even the Killian-esque pre-modern/luddite variety, if anyone is interested in it), getting high with family and friends, cooking gourmet vegetarian meals, practicing birth control, making stupid videos, and aimlessly puttering around the backyard and shop. Lots and lots of fun, fulfillment, communion, worship, joyful work and play, meaningful self-expression, and creation of novel and beautiful things and experiences, for everyone, forever.

    Hank Roberts may not approve, but I think it a good idea to spend a little bit of time every week, (just a little bit), imagineering a great future for everyone. Everything starts with an IDEA, a vision, even before the discussion begins, let alone adoption. And for every one of us with a vision, there are a hundred without. We have to make up the deficit, for without a vision, the people perish — and that’s what is happening, right now.

  14. 264
    Hank Roberts says:

    More rivets missing
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ecology+missing+rivets

    +—————————————–+
    | Why The Summer Sound Of Noisy Crickets Is Growing Fainter
    | https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/08/10/0238239
    +—————————————-+

    [0]Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the [1]following story:

    […] Because the crooning of the crickets has quietened in recent years and may be becoming a thing of the past. There is strong evidence that large numbers of crickets and grasshoppers (known, along with mantises, earwigs and cockroaches as the “Orthoptera”) are declining across Europe. [2]A 2017 review of European species showed that over 30% of the 1,000 European species were in decline while only 3% were increasing. As with many insects, we simply don’t know what is happening to most of the rest.

    The problem is that recent work has suggested that all insect species, including Orthoptera, are declining – the so-called “insect Armageddon.”

    A 2017 study found that the abundance of flying insects has plunged by 75% over the past 25 years. One member of the study team, Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University, said at the time: “Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline.”

    ——————————————

    [3]Original Submission

    Discuss this story at: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=18/08/10/0238239

    Links:
    0. https://soylentnews.org/~Arthur+T+Knackerbracket
    1. https://phys.org/news/2018-08-summer-noisy-crickets-fainter.html
    2. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/conservation/species/redlist/orthoptera/summary.htm?dm_i=2QBL,E62V,2KAHDP,1FRJW,1
    3. https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=28336

  15. 265
    Killian says:

    Re #263 alan2102 said or even the Killian-esque pre-modern/luddite

    Stop lying.

    1. Your comment shows you do not understand what the Luddite movement was. it was not anti-machinery and neither am I. That is clearly established.

    Educate your ignorant self.

    2. If you think a permaculture design would end up being able to be described that way, then you don’t understand permaculture.

    So stop lying. Stop claiming permaculture when you so clearly are not a practitioner, not trained, not educated in the subject.

    And stop lying.

  16. 266
    Killian says:

    Re #261 nigelj said Kevin McKinney @255, yes modern medicine and high technology are integrated together…

    Coming back to pharmeceuticals, they do not use massive quantities of metals anyway, so wheres the problem for people like Killian?

    The only problem I have is your lie. But your ignorance is also an issue if you think the only thing making pharmaceuticals unsustainable as currently practiced is the use of metals.

    I have, regardless, never stated an opposition to pharmaceuticals in general. Ever. not one time in my entire life. In fact, I am on record, repeatedly, to you, as saying one of the things we need to spend some of our unsustainable resources on even as we simplify is the medical system.

    What, problem, then, are you speaking of? Other than the one you are lying about, which you made up?

  17. 267
    Killian says:

    Re #241 nigelj said Killian @234

    “Ships existed long before modern machinery. highly functional buildings for myriad climates, too. And many other things. Fire and a big hammer can forge any metal.”

    So in other words we are expected to build sail boats out of hand made tools and very, very simple machines like the ancient Greeks for example.

    Why the hell not? Why do you *need* anything more? But I cannot tell you what would be sustainable where you are. How many times do I have to tell you that? I can only tell you what is or is not sustainable. If you can make tech sustainable, please do. I have never said otherwise. But you can’t, so it is stupid to keep destroying our home for creature comfort. If someday they can, great.

    But the real problem with your question is that it is not sincere. It is an implication, oft repeated by you, so it is dishonest.

    I have repeatedly explained this. You pretending I haven’t is just *another* prevarication. You intentionally leave out reuse. How long will all the tools, from as simple as a nail to as complex as a bullet train, we use be useful if we care for them, husband them carefully? You intentionally leave out re-purposing. If a train car becomes to fragile for movement, is it useless as a home, a store, a barn or…? You intentionally leave out recycling, which I have said – ad nauseum, so yet another intentionally misleading statement from you – we should do. How do the words, “It’s currently unsustainable,” equal, “We cannot recycle anything?” Hmmm? They do not.

    You intentionally leave out my suggestion for deep simplicity except in communications, medical systems transport and R&D and long-term planning to extract resources from the solar system, then you, et al., call me a Luddite/claim I said we should all live deprived, “peasant” lives. Unethical behavior. Aka, lying.

    And I have repeated probably hundreds of times, because of disgusting, misleading statements and falsely polite, intentionally misleading questions like the ones you use in your post, that simplicity does not require deprivation. It does not require sacrificing half the planet or any fraction of it. It does not include any sort of hate of technology or complexity. But it IS a state of a system that is non-negotiable in its underlying principles, in its limits. And we have precious little time to get there so, yes, *getting there* will be harder than it needed to be, and people like you are making it harder still be imposing your concepts onto the natural world and injecting your ignorance into a conversation you have no useful reason to be part of other than as a reader, perhaps asking an occasional question. Hey, I believe we must go to an egalitarian system of decision making, so, hey, throw it in there, buddy, but understand the harm you do because you speak when you should be listening – and lie about what those who understand more fully than you have said.

    This is pretty much peasant culture

    Bull. Your ignorance of that which you speak about is again on display. Peasants building ships. :-)

    Whatever you say.

    But, hey, let’s go with lying crap for just a moment. Assume what I suggest – egalitarian, simplified, slower, highly social, healthy, happy, sustainable – meets some stupid-assed modern idea called “peasant culture.” Tell me, what is it that makes the “peasant culture” so unbearable? For example, was Oetzi miserable over his 40 or so years? Have the Sa’an been miserable these tens of thousands of years? The aboriginal Australians? Were the Cherokee? The Blackfoot? The Cree? The people of pre-Columbian Amazonia?

    Why do you use derogatory – and you absolutely are using it with negative connotations, so don’t complicate things by denying so – terms for such people? Or are they somehow above your use of “peasant culture” to denigrate sustainability?

    So, clearly, please, articulate what makes “peasant culture” so unbearable? Were the Amazonian people, and those that are still there, isolated, peasants? If so, are you saying their way of life is shit, (or is your ignorance the problem here?) Are they peasants and the Middle Ages “peasants”, too? Or are they qualitatively different? Is one a peasant, the others not? If not, why not? If so, why?

    Let me save you the trouble. What might be different? Weeeeeeelllll, Amazonians (as distinct from unsustainable cultures such as the Inca, Maya, etc.,) appear to have been freely associating human beings who by turns defended against or welcomed the first Europeans to navigate the Amazon. (Look it up.)

    On the other hand, during exactly the same era, European “peasants”…:

    Is there any reason to believe that the material factors that define one’s status as “peasant” are more fundamental to consciousness than the cultural or ethnic factors having to do with one’s immediate social milieu? Does the peasantry constitute a distinct social group?

    There are some shared features of peasant experience that would provide a partial answer to this question. First is the common experience of insecurity. Farmers are more vulnerable than most economic groups to the vagaries of weather, water, and soil.

    [Sure. But does unlucky weather make one peasant? And why were they so vulnerable? Where were their 8 years of grain, like the Sa’an (iirc) tended to keep on hand? Oh, might it be because…]

    Second is the fact of surplus extraction.

    [Whoop! There it go!]

    …the state and other powerful agents in society have an interest in extracting part of the peasant’s surplus from him/her. This occurs through rent, interest, and taxation. And it is a commonplace that the peasant’s life is often held hostage to predatory surplus extraction.

    And…. there it went. You may pretend to know what permaculture is, but don’t. You demonstrate this over and over. A key element is return of surplus to the system. If you remove surplus, then over time depletion occurs and surplus ends, then deprivation begins. Basic physics and thermodynamics: Keep taking more than you put in, things go very poorly indeed.

    So, is “peasant,” in the sense you mean it, a way of life, chosen, filled with deprivation, or is it a way of life, chosen, that is then preyed upon to reduce the majority’s life to subsistence and deprivation?

    Rhetorical. The peasants you speak of are created by the taking of resources by the lazy.

    You are being dishonest when you say I suggest a peasant culture when I suggest a sustainable one, but there is at least some ignorance in your reasoning: You clearly believe simple is horrible because you associate it with the *idea* of peasantry. Sadly for you, what creates a peasantry is what *you* espouse: Hierarchy, ownership and hoarding. You are the peasantry advocate.

    You cannot call a regenerative, happy culture peasants. They are not. They are rational, intelligent, adaptive, masters of their domains, and, quite often reject the “western” world’s true peasantry of scrounging for dollars from lords, never free to pursue what one would truly wish to do. They think us fools. They see a damn being built and know it’s stupid to do so. There is no need for debate: Destroy the river, destroy life.

    (unless you are one of the wealthy ruling elite). This is a harsh life by any measure.

    I’ll go tell the remaining regenerative cultures they are poor, unhappy sots who should move to the city because you have declared them peasants.

    I think…

    What you think is immaterial. You understand almost nothing. Even the bits and pieces confuse you. The very fact that unsustainable leads to death and destruction at some future point escapes you and allows you to say things like what I deleted above. You literally think because you don’t want to or because people won’t want to you don’t *have to.* The risk is going to just evaporate away.

    I’d say you’re insane, but that would be impolite… right?

  18. 268
    Al Bundy says:

    Zebra,
    Thank you. I am rather proud of my writing. My first book was an ex post facto piece called “Quantum Magic part 1”. The second is underway, obviously “Quantum Magic part 2”

    Both attempt to write the most fantastimacal tales using easily verifiable facts. QM1 included 21 deaths personally related to my childhood and early adulthood. I even wove the sun once and Sputnik twice into the tale. (Taking out two of the top five top secret US military projects via intimately personal techniques should send shivers down readers’ spines) The premise is that I’m “The Weaver” – and no, I’m not crazy; I’m a writer looking to make one Hell of a mark.

    Hopefully, my writing will combine with my inventions to help save the world. Otherwise all those folks died in vain.
    —-

    Nigel,
    I agree, and yes, I am very aware. As I said, sustainability is a journey.

  19. 269
    Hank Roberts says:

    The only problem I have is your lie. But your ignorance is also an issue

    http://www.barbneal.com/the-collection/looney-tunes/foghorn-leghorn/

  20. 270
    nigelj says:

    Killian @267, you are being contradictory, and just don’t make much sense to me. A few days ago you were ranting about how unsustainable and complicated modern technology was, and you quoted the use of medieval level technology, and so I thought you had abandoned the idea of modern technology.

    Now you are saying basically all modern technology is acceptable (communications, transport medical technology etc) and we don’t need to be poor peasants. Seriously dude not all your ideas are bad, but plenty are seriously contradictory, flawed and incoherent.

  21. 271
    Hank Roberts says:

    So in other words we are expected to build sail boats out of hand made tools and very, very simple machines like the ancient Greeks for example.

    Why the hell not? Why do you *need* anything more?

    Remember the problem with hand built log cabins going cattywampus and falling over?
    https://www.google.com/search?q=land+where+no+cabins+fall+lyrics

    And the huge waste of wood in early sawmills?
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sawmill+narrow+kerf+blade

    The advanced technology that produced extremely thin saw blades that cut a narrow kerf — and so making a lot less sawdust — is an example worth contemplating for those who imagine the early hand tools are the most sustainable technology.

  22. 272
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian,
    How much would you charge me for a quarter ounce of what you smoked before your last rant? (But skip the meth and LSD or whatever short circuited the post.) You started this (or was it last) month with a call for civility, but here you are spouting little more than insults.

    OK, let’s assume Nigel doesn’t understand you. (This is easy enough because you certainly evade my comprehension) So, obviously the proper response would be to provide data, not insults.

    EXPLAIN YOURSELF, duh

    Nigel is trying very politely to see you as a rational actor. Me, I think you’re addled.

    You have constantly taken the side of extreme primitivism. Now you’re saying that super high tech factories are the way to go? I need a lawyer so I can sue this turnip for intellectual whiplash…

    To get to productivity, answer the damn question, “What is rust and are smelters et al a part of your vision?” Or are you advocating Mad Max?

    A simple friggin question. Don’t respond with insults, respond with your vision.

  23. 273
  24. 274
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @272, ha ha ha. Not lsd or meth, that would be too “high tech”. Probably organically gown home brew alcohol.

    But I think we all agree we have to use less resources, and I don’t even own a dishwasher for example. But for me I don’t like manual labour much, or communal living or severe reductions in technology and I certainly wont be reducing my use to that extent.

  25. 275
    zebra says:

    #271 Hank Roberts,

    Having schooled Killian in the past on the finer points of using wood, I am obliged to offer some correction on your comment as well. It’s really about context, economics, convenience, and so on. I have both thin and thick kerf circular saw blades, and neither is universally superior to the other– it really depends on the task at hand. If I had a giant studio and lots of money, I would have multiple table saws with different blades to avoid the hassle of changing.

    I made a comment earlier about the ratio of population to resources. If you had a stable world population of 300 million humans, there would be lots and lots of trees. And, in such a situation, Mike Roddy’s suggestion about not building with 2×4 would probably be the norm, because there would not be any money in constantly putting up cheap tract houses. So, creating a bit more sawdust at the mill would not be a problem; it could always be used to make wood pellets for heating anyway.

    My point, of course, is that as unhelpful as Killian’s ramblings might be in specific concrete terms, we can ourselves speculate on the details of some different paradigms for a sustainable future. The mix of technology and resource use is going to develop based on underlying fundamentals. It would be nice if people were willing to have that kind of discussion rather than pointing out over and over that K is not really saying anything.

  26. 276
  27. 277
    nigelj says:

    I’m curious about how we best define sustainability. A simple google search turns up definitions like leaving the planet in good condition for future generations, and minimising pollution. These are fine, but don’t tell us much fine grained detail about how sustainable specific materials and processes are. We need something practical, specific and quantitative, and not too arcane or philosophical.

    Here’s my definition. I think you can go further and categorise all materials as high, medium or low sustainability depending on a combination of their ability to be recycled, reused, or replanted, so timber would be highly sustainable, because trees can be planted over and over. Metals would be medium sustainability because they can be recycled, but there’s some loss of material in the process.

    Oil and coal would be low sustainability, because their products of combustion become so dispersed and there’s the climate change problem. Fissionable materials like uranium would be about zero sustainability because of the process of nuclear fission.

    I don’t think anything is perfectly sustainable, because its possible the entire universe will eventually come to an end. So we have options within the boundaries of nothing being perfectly sustainable and near zero sustainability.

    You then have to consider the size of reserves of raw materials. Some are so plentiful that this makes these materials sustainable for all practical purposes regardless of how they are used and whether they can be recycled like stone and sand. So you could rank sustainability as a combination of ability to be recycled and size of reserves of materials.

    Just a thought. Has anyone got a better definition?

  28. 278
    Killian says:

    Re #270 nigelj said Killian @267, you are being contradictory

    It is not dontradictory to apply the concept, the principles of Appropriate Technology. You’re just an idiot.

    and just don’t make much sense to me.

    Of course not. I have told you many times: You do not belong here.

    A few days ago you were ranting about how unsustainable and complicated modern technology was

    Ranting? You’re stupid. It’s called “posting.”

    and you quoted the use of medieval level technology, and so I thought you had abandoned the idea of modern technology.

    Because you’re stupid.

    Now you are saying basically all modern technology is acceptable

    I in no way, shape, or form said that. You’re just stupid.

    and we don’t need to be poor peasants.

    Why are you shifting he goal posts? Now the amount of money is the issue? What has poor got to do with this discussion? You’re stupid. I actually said this:

    You cannot call a regenerative, happy culture peasants. They are not. They are rational, intelligent, adaptive, masters of their domains, and, quite often reject the “western” world’s true peasantry of scrounging for dollars from lords, never free to pursue what one would truly wish to do.

    It was stupid of you to try to twist what I said.

    Seriously dude not all your ideas are bad, but plenty are seriously contradictory, flawed and incoherent.

    No, you are stupid.

    And along comes Stupider:

    Re #272 Al Bundy said Killian,
    How much would you charge me for a quarter ounce of what you smoked before your last rant? (But skip the meth and LSD or whatever short circuited the post.)

    But, you just said, “Don’t respond with insults”

    Stupid hypocrisy. And, yes, you two ankle-biting idiots have re-earned such treatment with your goddamned lying.

    You started this (or was it last) month with a call for civility, but here you are spouting little more than insults.

    Bullshit. There were zero insults in #267. Nigel lied, I said so. How is that an insult? He *doesn’t* understand, I said so. How is that insulting?

    You’re an idiot.

    OK, let’s assume Nigel doesn’t understand you.

    Why assume when it’s a fact?

    (This is easy enough because you certainly evade my comprehension)

    Because you’re stupid.

    So, obviously the proper response would be to provide data

    My response at 267 was absolutely clear.

    not insults.

    And included no insults. You are an insulting, lying idiot who got his undies in a bunch because your widdle fwiend got his ass handed to him.

    You’re stupid.

    Nigel is trying very politely to see you as a rational actor.

    Another lie. When you lie, you are being irrational, rude and stupid. He lied. You’re lying.

    Me, I think you’re addled.

    Because you’re too stupid to keep up.

    You have constantly taken the side of extreme primitivism.

    See? You’re stupid.

    Now you’re saying that super high tech factories are the way to go?

    No, I didn’t. You’re just stupid. Or lying. Stupidly lying, I suppose.

    To get to productivity, answer the damn question, “What is rust

    Really? You don’t know what rust is? Stupid.

    are smelters et al a part of your vision?”

    I have answered this question the same way for over ten years. You’re just really, really stupid. Search “appropriate technology permaculture.” I have stated this concept many, many times. Oh, wait, you’re stupid. I’ll do it for you.

    https://permaculturenews.org/2017/10/05/defines-appropriate-technology/

    Or are you advocating Mad Max?

    God-awful stupidity.

    Now, stop lying and stop pretending it is not your pettiness that is your problem. Then I’ll stop pointing out how utterly stupid you are.

  29. 279
    Killian says:

    Re #275 zebra brayed Having schooled Killian in the past on the finer points of using wood

    Link, please, because you are delusional.

    My point, of course, is that as unhelpful as Killian’s ramblings might be in specific concrete terms

    Your ignorance is the problem. Had you ever studied appropriate design, you would understand it is unethical and immoral to tell people what to design where they are when you have no knowledge of their location. It’s flatly stupid to do so, also.

    That is why we teach principles first. Any idiot can pick up a book or go online and find a solution to their specific question, but only an informed person who has internalized the principles and design process can properly evaluate whether any given solution is appropriate for that location.

    You constant calls for specific design input comes from your ignorance. Given I have stated this ad nauseum to everyone here, it must also be called stupidity.

    we can ourselves speculate on the details of some different paradigms for a sustainable future.

    You can, but you will fail because you do not properly define sustainable, do not know or understand the principles, and are uninterested in learning the process.

    The mix of technology and resource use is going to develop based on underlying fundamentals.

    Yes, but you choose inappropriate fundamentals.

    It would be nice if people were willing to have that kind of discussion

    Wouldn’t it? Too bad you never really want to.

    rather than pointing out over and over that K is not really saying anything.

    Rather, that none of you can keep up.

  30. 280
    Killian says:

    Re #277 nigelj said I’m curious about how we best define sustainability.

    You’ve been told over and over.

    These are fine, but don’t tell us much fine grained detail about how sustainable specific materials and processes are. We need something practical, specific and quantitative

    You have been given it.

    I think you can go further and categorise all materials as high, medium or low sustainability

    No, you can’t. It’s a threshold. Something is endlessly usable or it isn’t. Even water is only sustainable if you use it slowly enough. There is a rate of replenishment for aquifers, streams, rivers, lakes. Exceed that, it becomes unsustainable even though left to itself, less large perturbations, such as massive drought, it is sustainable. But droughts DO happen and deserts form and then green. Thus, indefinitely does not equal “forever.” We must think in terms of human time scales and acknowledge we will always be mitigating and adapting. When we speak of sustainable resources and achieving sustainability, it is not stupidly considered. But, for all intents and purposes, hundreds and even thousands of years is possible, depending on the size of expected or unexpected perturbations. This is what it means when we say “indefinitely.”

    Theoretically, we might be able to manage resources such that we maintain a generally constant climate by keeping CO2 in a specific range. But not with unsustainable materials. That would mean at some point our ability to keep within that range would be compromised.

    depending on a combination of their ability to be recycled, reused, or replanted

    No. Every recycling process has losses. This is unavoidable. Saying something that is not sustainable is sustainable is nonsense. What you can calculate is approximately how many times you can recycle a resource. If something can be recycled 10k times, it disappears as that resource on the 10,001st attempt. It’s not sustainable. It’s not kind of sustainable. It’s unsustainable. Thus, you plan appropriately, preferably finding a sustainable way to do the same thing, or to stop doing that thing.

    So you could rank sustainability as a combination of ability to be recycled and size of reserves of materials.

    Wrong. See above. It is binary.

    Just a thought. Has anyone got a better definition?

    Yes. I have repeated it many times. You reject if for one reason only: I said it.

    BTW, above you do not define sustainability, you define sustainable. Not the same. Sustainable as you use it is an adjective. Sustainability is a state, thus a noun.

    Sustainable, adj. : Describes resource that can be replenished without any meaningful limit (like the end of the universe) assuming no large external perturbations (like water and a multi-decade drought.)

    The rate of H2O extraction from aquifers and ecosystems is presently unsustainable.

    Sustainability, n. : A system state in which the system can continue to function indefinitely assuming no large external perturbations.

    The tribe maintained their consumption at a sustainable level, thus achieved sustainability and a sustainable resource base.

    NOTE: This is the type of response you get when you have not lied in the post I am responding to. Civil discourse is entirely in your court: Stop lying.

  31. 281
    Killian says:

    Re #277 nigelj said I’m curious about how we best define sustainability.

    These are fine, but don’t tell us much fine grained detail about how sustainable specific materials and processes are. We need something practical, specific and quantitative

    You have been given it. Listen this time.

    I think you can go further and categorise all materials as high, medium or low sustainability

    No, you can’t. It’s a threshold. Something is endlessly usable or it isn’t. (It is misleading to use the word incorrectly. The average doesn’t have the time nor the inclination to study all this for years and years. Be accurate.)

    Even water is only sustainable if you use it slowly enough. There is a rate of replenishment for aquifers, streams, rivers, lakes. Exceed that, it becomes unsustainable even though left to itself, less large perturbations, such as massive drought, it is sustainable. But droughts DO happen and deserts form and then green. Thus, indefinitely does not equal “forever.” We must think in terms of human time scales and acknowledge we will always be mitigating and adapting. When we speak of sustainable resources and achieving sustainability, it is not stupidly considered. But, for all intents and purposes, hundreds and even thousands of years is possible, depending on the size of expected or unexpected perturbations. This is what it means when we say “indefinitely.”

    Theoretically, we might be able to manage resources such that we maintain a generally constant climate by keeping CO2 in a specific range. But not with unsustainable materials. That would mean at some point our ability to keep within that range would be compromised.

    depending on a combination of their ability to be recycled, reused, or replanted

    No. Every recycling process has losses. This is unavoidable. Saying something that is not sustainable is sustainable is nonsense. What you can calculate is approximately how many times you can recycle a resource. If something can be recycled 10k times, it disappears as that resource on the 10,001st attempt. It’s not sustainable. It’s not kind of sustainable. It’s unsustainable. Thus, you plan appropriately, preferably finding a sustainable way to do the same thing, or to stop doing that thing.

    So you could rank sustainability as a combination of ability to be recycled and size of reserves of materials.

    Wrong. See above. It is binary.

    Just a thought. Has anyone got a better definition?

    Yes. I have repeated it many times. You reject if for one reason only: I said it.

    BTW, above you do not define sustainability, you define sustainable. Not the same. Sustainable as you use it is an adjective. Sustainability is a state, thus a noun.

    Sustainable, adj. : Describes resource that can be replenished without any meaningful limit (like the end of the universe) assuming no large external perturbations (like water and a multi-decade drought.)

    The rate of H2O extraction from aquifers and ecosystems is presently unsustainable.

    Sustainability, n. : A system state in which the system can continue to function indefinitely assuming no large external perturbations.

    The tribe maintained their consumption at a sustainable level, thus achieved sustainability and a sustainable resource base.

    NOTE: This is the type of response you get when you have not lied in the post I am responding to. Civil discourse is entirely in your court: Stop lying.

  32. 282
    Killian says:

    271
    Hank Roberts says:
    12 Aug 2018 at 8:09 PM

    So in other words we are expected to build sail boats out of hand made tools and very, very simple machines like the ancient Greeks for example.

    Why the hell not? Why do you *need* anything more?

    Remember the problem with hand built log cabins going cattywampus and falling over?

    Build them better. Unless you are tring to claim they all fall down. Regardless, a cabin falling down has nothing to do with whether it is sustainable or not.

    And the huge waste of wood in early sawmills?
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sawmill+narrow+kerf+blade

    No need to waste it. That’s a choice. Many uses for saw dust.

    The advanced technology that produced extremely thin saw blades that cut a narrow kerf… is an example worth contemplating for those who imagine the early hand tools are the most sustainable technology.

    Straw Man. There is no most sustainable, only sustainable or not, thus I said nothing about most or least anything. You are attempting to discuss “Appropriate Technology,” but do not seem to realize it. Couple that with “Bridge technology” and maybe some foolish, rude comments about cavemen and other horseshit will cease.

    All said before. Many times.

    Educate yourselves.

  33. 283
    JRClark says:

    The modern socio-economic system (socio-Darwinistic system) is built-on opportunism; and which is living on borrowed time by denying the truth of our current unsustainable situation. Thus, any post-collapse society will need restore trust in sustainable truths:

    Title: “A philosopher explains America’s “post-truth” problem”

    https://www.vox.com/2018/8/14/17661430/trump-post-truth-politics-philosophy-simon-blackburn

    Extract: “To get some answers, I reached out to Simon Blackburn, a philosophy professor at Cambridge University and the author of On Truth. We talked about what’s misleading about the phrase “post-truth,” and why the real problem may stem from a lack of trust.”

    For a start any post-collapse society can redefine the term ‘post-truth’ to mean seeing things from multiple different points of view to order to gain insight on the truth of a constantly changing world/universe.

    Second, a post-collapse society can appreciate that time is a derived parameter in a Holographic/Quantum/String-Theory Universe; which means that change is a function of true free will (not preconditioned free will).

    responses/comments to Adapting to the Anthropocene https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1308.msg167310.html#msg167310

  34. 284
    Carrie says:

    Building the resilience of the reef
    “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know … and I never envisioned we were going to be talking about restoration like we are now in my life time, but we are” (rough quote)

    A survey this year from the Australian Institute of Marine Science reported huge areas of bleached coral on the reef. Corals can regenerate but the frequency of climate events is severely testing their ability to bounce back. So reef scientists are searching for new ways to build resilience.
    Recorded 8 May 2018 Climate Adaptation Conference.
    Speaker David Wachenfeld Chief Scientist Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (audio)
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/building-the-resilience-of-the-reef/10098660

    I heard saw recently someone mention that Glacier Park US/Canada used to have 250 (?) separate glaciers a hundred years ago, and now there’s less than 30.

    Glaciers disappear as the globe heats up
    As negotiators sat down to hammer out a deal at the Paris Climate Talks, they watched live images of melting glaciers. Those images came from Tim Jarvis and his team who were on the top of mountain peaks at the equator. These mountains have glaciers which will disappear within twenty-five years unless we slow down climate change. 25Zero The Bettison and James Oration recorded 15 July 2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas
    Speaker Tim Jarvis environmental scientist and explorer
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/glaciers-disappear-as-the-globe-heats-up/10094546

  35. 285
    Carrie says:

    correction – In 1850, there were 150 glaciers in the area now known as Glacier National Park. Today there are 26. They’ve been there for 7,000 years — but in just a few decades, the glaciers of Glacier National Park will almost surely be gone.

  36. 286
    mike says:

    Sustainability? how about when overshoot day does not occur before December 31st?
    https://www.overshootday.org/about-earth-overshoot-day/

  37. 287

    zebra, #275–

    ..we can ourselves speculate on the details of some different paradigms for a sustainable future. The mix of technology and resource use is going to develop based on underlying fundamentals.

    I agree whole-heartedly. I think that all kinds of speculation–both imaginative and informed, by preference–about what a sustainable world would be extremely helpful. You can’t build it without imagining it first (even if it usually happens that the building process modifies your prior imaginings.)

    And, IMO, we desperately need visions of what ‘sustainable’ is, means, and looks like.

  38. 288
    nigelj says:

    Killian @278

    “Nigel lied, I said so.”

    I never lied. Your claim that I lied appears to be that I accused you of promoting a peasant form of culture with medievel technology, when you have previously discussed a technology backbone using modern technology.

    But all your commentary recently has been to criticise technology in every way, and promote medieval level technology, so I naturally assumed you had abandoned your idea of a technology backbone. I even alluded to this in a comment above. It appears AB did the same.

    So obviously I HAVEN’T LIED. Your problem is you talk in riddles so people constantly missinterpret you. I have never lied about a thing you have ever said, in the sense of intentionally missquoting you or in any other way.

    “Now you are saying basically all modern technology is acceptable”

    “I in no way, shape, or form said that.”

    Then what ARE you saying? Given this is all important to you, and you appear educated, where is a link to a website or facebook page which spells out your philosophy in specific terms, and what your technology backbone really is? For example what technology is permitted, specifically with examples? How much? What is the design of this technolgy backbone? How is it organised?

    I have thought about possibilities and it looks very problematic to me as I have mentioned, but you ignore this of course.

    You said previously you believe in “collective decision making” and have sneered at hierachies. To what extent does collective decion making apply? Is every decision to be made that way, even on how many items of product to produce? Or technical details? If not, at what level does decison making become hierarchical or authoritarian?

    These are critical details!

    You may not like hearing it, but you are very inconsistent and egotistical in your writing. Your comments are very personalised and full of bragging about yourself, where for me I’m happy to be laid back, and admit I’m sometimes wrong, and I give people positive feedback even when I disagree on some point. All because I dont let my ego get in the way.

    I don’t constantly accuse people of being stupid (although certain climate denialists certainly act like they are) and I’m far from stupid. I know my school and university grades and I can assure you I have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. But mostly I avoid personalised stuff like this, about myself because its pointless on websites.

  39. 289
    nigelj says:

    Killian @280,

    Ok some fair points on sustainability and water flow etc, but we are going to need some way of ranking materials that is comprehensible for the average person. That was all I was getting at.

    You then say “No. Every recycling process has losses. This is unavoidable.”

    I frigging said that! This is your constant problem, you clearly either dont read things, or react far too quickly to what people say. I’m not saying I don’t do the same, but I’m aware I do this and you seem completely unaware.

    “The tribe maintained their consumption at a sustainable level, thus achieved sustainability and a sustainable resource base.”

    Then theres no sustainable level of use of metals, as we will run down the resource to zero eventually regardless of what we do. Theres only conservation and rationing of the resource, as I have said before, and its inevitable eventually anyway to some extent, depending on population trends.

    So its a question of what this generation does. I think the suggestions you have quoted that we reduce use of mineral and energy resources by 90% just looks unrealistic if taken literally, at face value. It sounds like some think tank just dreaming up numbers without thinking it through.

    So I come down on a lesser figure nearer 25% as I have previously stated. I’m prepared for a certain level of reduction in my consumption, but it has it’s limits.

  40. 290
    JRClark says:

    Killian, and others, I think ‘we’ need restructured western societies, including on an individual level but primarily driven from a governmental consensus informed by science best practice and technological / ethical know how. A change that is also guided by ‘philosophical’ sustainable ethical values not economic pseudo-marketeers ‘consumers are gods’ ideologues. However, I feel that despite the wide range of views expressed here, there is a general agreement that the current goal should be centered around increased renewable energy source and renewable practices beyond energy plus a proliferation of easier to understand climate change related information (education) which focuses on long term sustainability goals.

    It is too late, but only for saving a civilization based on industrial agriculture and industrial manufacturing. A permaculture based civilization would be much much more resilient to climate change. It also offers the only known robust system for genuine carbon sequestration. It seems so obvious to me. What’s also obvious to me is that it isn’t going to happen at scale either. Therefore may those who act and build the right kind of communities will survive and thrive. The rest will disappear from the face of the earth imo. That’ll fix the ghg emissions and land use issues in a geological instant. If that happens then so be it. No one nor any amount of words is going to stop it. The die is cast in my view.

  41. 291
    nigelj says:

    Killian @278

    “To get to productivity, answer the damn question, “What is rust”

    “Really? You don’t know what rust is? Stupid.”

    You completey miss the point. You have opposed mining any more materials, so what happens when metals rust? Maybe you just arent sharp enough to get the point.

    “are smelters et al a part of your vision?”

    “I have answered this question the same way for over ten years. You’re just really, really stupid. Search “appropriate technology permaculture.”

    Has it occured to your brain that not everyone has been reading this website for ten years?

    Permaculture permits a wide range of high technology, especially solar panels, and in reasonable quantity, and at the same time you are arguing we have to reduce our use of materials and energy by 90%. This is just hugely contradictory Killian.

    And so you also appear to be conceding we use unsustainable materials like metals. Yes or no?

    I see no option anyway. We use some materials that are not sustainable, and can only be moderate about – assuming you can convince people to do this. Calling people idiots will not convince many people.

  42. 292
    zebra says:

    #287 Kevin M,

    And yet, when I present an opportunity to do just that, there is deafening silence. People constantly ask Killian to be more specific and concrete, but when I am specific and concrete….?

    Why is that, do you think?

  43. 293
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @287, excellent question. I will keep my answer short.

    A sustainable world has inclusive, supportive policies and values, evidence based policy, small houses and cars, high technology, renewable energy, and organic farming and lower consumption of meat.

    Economies may be smaller scale but are likely to still be based on free markets. And this world will have much smaller population.

    But there will be no perfect model, as it will probably continually change.

    We are heading in that direction anyway, but painfully slowly. Population and gdp growth are slowing and renewable energy is slowly gaining traction, and people are living in smaller apartments and buying smaller cars, in some places at least. More is being recycled. We just have to encourage these things to happen faster and also adopt a carbon tax and levy.

    I feel this is the best we can hope for. Expecting people to make massive cuts to consumption of resources, or to all live on farms, and share houses, and communal ownership of property looks awfully implausible to me. I’m a realist by nature.

  44. 294
    JRClark says:

    Sustainability, Adaption, Energy mix changes, the Economic system and Debt
    What a mix.

    https://www.iif.com/publication/global-debt-monitor/global-debt-monitor-july-2018

    extracts Darius Shahtahmasebi is a New Zealand-based attorney and political analyst.

    The entire planet is swimming in debt, yet no one seems to criticize the system itself as being fundamentally flawed.

    “A man in debt is so far a slave,” American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once reportedly said.

    In light of this statement, I contend that I don’t need to have a college degree in economics to tell you that our current financial system enslaving the entire world is not sustainable – and headed for one hell of a spectacularly ugly crash.

    Last month, the Washington-based Institute of International Finance published their latest statistics indicating that global debt had reached $247.2 trillion by the end of March this year, an increase of 11.1 percent from last year alone. In other words, since the start of this year, global debt rose by a whopping $8 trillion in just three to four months.

    In 2016, the global debt was already at $164 trillion, which was equivalent to 225 percent of global GDP. The global debt-to GDP ratio currently exceeds 318 percent, having risen for the first time since the third quarter of 2016.

    The debt train is on its way to an epic collision of unprecedented proportions. By the beginning of 2020, global debt could be as high as $300 trillion. Our brains are not wired to process the significantly high numbers we have been dealing with in this article. So, here is another way of looking at the issue for those of us who are playing catch up.

    One million seconds is a mere 277.76 hours whereas one billion seconds is equal to 31.69 years. In comparison, a trillion seconds is no less than 31,709.8 years. Once you take this in, multiply this number by the debt figure of 247.2, if you have the stomach for it.

    If you think the resources for paying off a bill this size exists, you are kidding yourself. If you haven’t yet realised that even while we debate what to do about this conundrum, the global debt will only continue to rise, and in that time the existence of those resources is still nowhere to be seen, then perhaps now is the time to switch on.

  45. 295
    Al Bundy says:

    Dan Miller: The reason all the money collected is returned to the public is so they will accept a very high carbon fee ($100/ton+)

    AB: If you want the public to cheer, give prebates. In other words, send everyone a check for last year’s (or quarter’s or month’s) emissions even though nobody was taxed. The economy gets a stimulus, everybody cheers, and the carbon tax slides in without complaint.

    ——-

    Carrie,
    Dividend and Fee can be structured so businesses don’t lose, either. British Columbia splits their Fee into a Fee and Dividend that gets refunded to citizens and a “BC Carbon Tax: In the 2012-2013 fiscal year 73% of BC’s carbon tax went towards reducing corporate and small business taxes. Another 21% went toward reducing personal income taxes, and 17% went toward low income tax credits .”
    https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/laser-talk-the-bc-carbon-tax-vs-ccls-carbon-fee-and-dividend/

    “”Fee-and-dividend” has worked as promised in British Columbia for seven years, lowering energy bills and taxes and growing its economy faster than any other province in Canada. It has an 83 percent public approval rating there, according to the World Bank.”
    https://www.centralmaine.com/2015/09/27/fee-and-dividend-plan-works-in-british-columbia/

    Carrie, I’ve read that the species of coral that are most resistant to bleaching are generally less desirable species.

  46. 296

    #295, AB–

    Al, though you are correct in the big picture, you’re a tad off with the details, which I blame on the somewhat confusingly written CCL piece that was your source. They are talking about 2 structures, but BC only has one, which is the Carbon Tax. The other is the CCL CF & D structure.

    The four points of difference in the post contrast BC’s Tax (which recycles its revenue via the tax system in the form of deductions or low-income credits, not via rebates) and the CCL Canada proposal (which would use the model of the monthly rebate check.) You’ll note that the percentages given for corporate, business and personal taxes, etc., already sum to more than 100% of the revenue. (Ie., the BC Carbon Tax is not just revenue neutral, as it was designed to be, it is actually slightly revenue-negative.)

  47. 297
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @292

    “And yet, when I present an opportunity to do just that, there is deafening silence. People constantly ask Killian to be more specific and concrete, but when I am specific and concrete….? Why is that, do you think?”

    I have not ignored you. I have given you plenty of positive feedback, because some of your points are good, and some criticism on occasion. Yet you now ignore me, because you think Im “wordy” apparently, but I think your real reason is you cant take criticism, even mild criticism. I see this with you all the time, you get so defensive.

    The reason other people ignore you is your comments are at the other extreme. They are so short and concise they become “cryptic” to read, so people give up.

  48. 298
    nigelj says:

    JR Clark, @290, well you make some good comments there in the first paragraph. I fear that a more soundly based form of industrial culture is the best we can hope for, and we would be achieving a miracle to do that. The trouble is billions of people have so much invested in complex modern society and it’s hard unscrambling an omelette.

    Of course you are also right small farmers or a permaculture based society of small farmers would survive a truly massive technolgical collapse or collapse of capitalism better than most. Even the rich would struggle eventually, although make no mistake they will buy up farms to hedge their bets! Some already are in NZ.

    But operating a small farm with minimal technology is hard going, and the more you separate from the “system” the harder it gets. And you have to separate, or it’s rather inane to be criticising the “system”. But top marks to people who try.

    Global debt levels are huge. There may have to be big debt write downs (there have already been many, try latin america and greece) or it will be inflated away. However I’m not sure it leads to the collapse of civilisation. The killers are financial crashes like 2008, and there’s a literature on all this. I think it comes back to so many people having so much invested in the current economic system that if it really did wobble badly, beyond 2008 levels, serious attempts would be made to restructure or modify capitalism out of necessity, and this would come in preference to abandoning it. But its human nature to only fix problems when they get extreme like that.

  49. 299
    Carrie says:

    295 Al Bundy “Carrie, I’ve read that the species of coral that are most resistant to bleaching are generally less desirable species.”

    Oh, then I know how they feel. Fat and ugly is another less desirable species. I had to exit Facebook and restrict myself to text only forums. :-(

    Thanks for the F&D refs to B.C.! Excellent, I will check them out.

  50. 300
    nigelj says:

    Guys, check this out: New laboratory bred corals resistant to climate change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/23/new-lab-bred-super-corals-could-help-avert-global-reef-wipeout

    Of course we cannot breed or invent our way out of every climate problem, but its just interesting and we will need some things like this.