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World ending

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Aug. 25th, 2004 | 12:52 am

I've managed to avoid worrying about the world "ending" for a few months, but recently looked at the news again. While at the optometrist I flipped through the national geographic special on global warming, the scientists language is continuing getting stronger. Even if we stopped dumping carbon into the atmosphere we're committed to a warmer planet, there were also some pictures of ice cores from glaciers that no longer exist.

Then there's the problem that we're running out of water.

One of the things I find really frustrating is since I grew up in a fundamentalist christian church that believed the end times were nigh, I'm concerned that I'm to willing to assume that complete collapse is just around the corner. Though there are plenty of others arguing that the doomsday is at hand.

For example, some of the peak oil pessimists believe that civilization as we know it will end, yet off on the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas they linked to an essay about Cuba's transition to a low oil world. Though they're had to adapt to limited energy supplies, their society hasn't collapsed.

I do wish someone had a a good model for an ecosystem so we could see what happens when you blow away large chunks of it. Does it adapt quickly, or is there a sudden collapse followed by slow rebuilding?

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Comments {6}

(no subject)

from: musicwomyn
date: Aug. 25th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC)
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i know this is a totally out there thought, but, have you ever thought of going a week or two, or even a month, without reading any news of any sort? Just take some time to live, do what you normally do to do your part for the world, but just live life not knowing all of this stuff for a period of time...just a thought

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Aug. 26th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
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Well, I am trying to cut back on the frequency of looking at news sites, but really I know that we're having resource issues, and even if I don't look at what's going on I still feel that exponential growth will always exceed the limits of a closed system, and both our population and our industry is growing exponentially.

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Vicky the Compost Queen

On the other hand you can get even

from: vixter
date: Aug. 25th, 2004 11:24 am (UTC)
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more pessimistic news by joining peak_oil

I personally think that collapse will be very uneven. Really bad in some areas and not so bad/slower in others. But it is hard to say what will happen where. But of course high density/low income areas will collapse first. And then the riots will spill over to adjacent areas.

I have just finished reading the 2 Robert Graves Claudius books. It is possible to administer an empire that covers millions of square miles without a single internal combustion engine. And I think we will be able to retain phones, cell phones and possibly the internet. Probably not to everyone, but some structure will remain. And gunpowder cannot be un-invented.

I think that quite a few people could adapt to a mostly self sufficient lifestyle, growing most of their own food, etc. I'm about 1/3 way there. But I do need my hetch hetchy water. And I haven't put up the solar panel yet. But I worry about some joker with a nucl ear bomb or bio bom b that would render all my hard work useless by having my house and land uninhabitable.

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Diane Trout

Re: On the other hand you can get even

from: alienghic
date: Aug. 26th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC)
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I recently discovered the peak_oil group.

I wonder about the balance between how much to prepare for "bad things" and how much to just live in the moment, as it's not certain that what ever disaster one imagines will befall us, its even likely that things wont turn out how we currently imagine them.

One of the things I noticed when I visited a group talking about peak oil in person, was how each of us was hoping that this significant event would change the world to be more to our liking.

I like cities and universities but really dislike the noise and pollution from cars, and so envision a high density city merged with agriculture.

Others were more traditional environmentalists and imagined that the world would return to scattered small rural settlements.

cuba seems to suggest a little of both can happen.

Also it's hard for me to feel motivation if i don't get to share my accomplishments with people who find them interesting. It's easier to accomplish geek things when I get to tell what i did do some of my coworkers.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Aug. 25th, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
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i don't know whether this would help or hinder (or neither), but maybe you could try substituting "humanity ending" for "world ending";
after all, it's unlikely every other species is gonna go too.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Aug. 25th, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC)
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Aren't we are currently taking out a large swath of multicellular life with us.

Though bacteria aren't going anywhere.

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