Will Science and Technology Destroy Human Civilisation?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Mind Over Matter, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Everyone has their share of blame but the co-operations obviously sets the pace and causes the lion's share of the damage per individual because co-operations are considered as an individual identity even distinct from the owners, founders, and C.E.O. But do not think I am not also equally upset with "That guy filling his plate at Hometown Buffet" Gluttony serves none but the greedy selfish and inconsiderate spoiled brats that feel entitled because they are financially privileged. You're just getting me more infuriated I feel for this planet and I do not want that to change.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That's fine. But still, individuals waste far more food than corporations, so targeting individuals first will have a greater overall effect.
    Hmm. Obesity is a problem that is worst among the financially underprivileged - so again that's probably where you should start. (Not that it's not a problem across all incomes.)
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  5. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    Hmm. Obesity is a problem that is worst among the financially underprivileged - so again that's probably where you should start. (Not that it's not a problem across all incomes.)[/QUOTE]

    At least the obese is actually consuming the food. So they pay the price directly the others will answer to directly to God.
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There is no God so just calmest your soul yourself.

    Why the rant regarding (I guess) sub-chapter S corporations (which is just a small company that would have organized as a partnership for tax purposes but can do retain that but gain the limited liability of a corporation)?

    Companies don't throw away food for insurance purposes.

    Go calmest yourself and work on James.Marshall going from J.M=-1 to J.M=+1
  8. Jason.Marshall Banned Banned

    I meant C cooperation I was typing in an enraged state, and if insurance claims is not the only reason if they are afraid of being sued then I still believe there are solutions if they cared enough to try.
    a = J/M
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Quite possibly so, if you are referring to global warming. Science, especially medical and bio-engineering science has greatly increased the number of living humans (and reduced or totally eliminated many other life forms) and food production (the "green revolution")* but Malthus may be right in the end as many in poor countries now have many more children surviving to reproduce / make more kids. Roughly an exponential growth situation, until starvation and disease get birth and death rates equal again at higher population density.

    More people on Earth, 7+ billion now and increasing, is a direct result of unequal application of science. If it had been well used as in China with population growth control then the economic increase and contraceptives, would have provided an increasing living standard for most as in China. In about 2050, China's population will be declining as the wealth per capita soars.

    Thus, clearly "science" not the blame for net deterioration of global average living conditions - How science is applied is the root of the world's troubles.

    * I tend to think of humans as a cancer on the bio-sphere, destroying its life forms, both plant and animal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2015
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's not exponential. The planet's birth rate has been falling since the mid-1980s, and is expected to drop below replacement level in the 22nd century. At this point the population will begin shrinking. Of course the down-side of that is that every economic model since Adam Smith assumes without comment that the engine which drives prosperity is a steadily increasing population of producers and consumers.

    Back on topic... Since the Paleolithic Era, everywhere in the world people had large families for the very good reason that infant mortality was 80%. With four-fifths of the population dying before they were able to have children of their own, our species was always on the verge of extinction. Medical science (vaccines, antibiotics, aseptic surgery), civil engineering (running water, covered sewers), and the world's first surplus-driven economy (wrapped food is more attractive to the consumer but also reduces the spread of germs, the automobile did away with horse-drawn wagons that left the streets in every city shin-deep in horse manure) reduced it below 50% in one generation and has now made it so rare that few of us in the Western countries know anyone who lost a child and graveyards are no longer full of tiny tombstones.

    However, it takes a while for habits to change. Here in the First World we've become accustomed to the survival of our children and we no longer have large families so enough will survive to keep the farm or business running. But these life-saving technologies were slower to penetrate the Third World. They're just beginning to enjoy the survival of their children, but they haven't yet figured out the down-side of that gift: overpopulation.

    But demographers assure us that this is changing. In countries where the average family had 12 children, they now have 8. Where they had 8 they now have 5, etc. Some observers offer the explanation that in prosperous countries with electricity and a strong economy, there are more options for what to do at night than simply going to bed and starting a new pregnancy. Or as it's put more succinctly: "Prosperity is the best contraceptive."
    Well... if it weren't for science, infant mortality would still be 80%. Science is the reason for the explosive population growth in the Third World. But science also takes a lot of credit for the prosperity that is lowering that birth rate.
    What a nice guy you are. Apparently I like people a lot more than you do.
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I never suggested the planet's birth rate was exponential. I said: "... poor countries now have many more children surviving to reproduce / make more kids. Roughly an exponential growth situation, until starvation and disease get birth and death rates equal again at higher population density".

    But since you mention it, the global population will continued to increase even is the birth rate remained constant. I. e. any constant birth rate, above replacement rate, leads to ever more people living on a finite planet with the "low hanging" resources (like low production cost oil and minerals) already "picked" by the new and larger generation's ancestors. Medical science is growing the population too, as the average life expectance increases - a huge effect when it is the "at birth" life expectancy in lands where infant mortality was high. - At least until maternal fertility rates fall. That usually requires more than a generation and much more than just lower infant mortality rate. Things, like greater per capita prosperity an better education.

    I can not be sure, but think our 7+ billion people is already "unstainable population over shoot." What can not be sustanded will not be. Only uncertainty is the rate of population decline - tapper or crash?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2015
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Not really. The Western Hemisphere is very sparsely populated by world standards--as is Australia. 75% of "crowded, suburban" California is in fact forest, desert and farmland, and the state feeds half of the U.S. population.

    The developed countries in the Americas could feed twice as many people as there are now. In fact we Americans (via private charities, churches and government programs) ship boatloads of free food to the Third World. The reason they're still starving has nothing to do with the food-growing capacity of the planet.

    The problem is that so many of their governments are despotic and don't care at all about the welfare of their citizens. Their minions are waiting on the docks when the ships full of free food dock. They confiscate it and sell it on the black market, using the proceeds to pay for hookers, Maseratis, champagne, Swiss villas, and lots of weapons to fight the despot in the country next door.

    Fortunately technology is riding to the rescue. Cellphones and the internet help the people in these countries to discover ways around their problems, such as finding trustworthy people to help them get out of their countries and migrate to places like the USA where they can make an honest living and their children can get university educations.
    The world population is predicted to level off around 13 billion in the early decades of the next century--the reason for this is rudely stated, "Prosperity is the best contraceptive." There will still be plenty of food for everybody, without forcing us to give up our steaks and ice cream. At this point the population will begin to shrink.

    Few people understand what humanity's major problem will be at that time: Every economic model since Adam Smith assumes, without discussion, that the engine that drives prosperity is a steadily increasing number of producers and consumers.

    At this point, global warming will probably not be the top issue on the agendas of most governments. As the glaciers and polar ice caps slowly melt, sea level will have already risen by a couple of inches (5cm for you Europeans), but it will not yet have inspired governments to begin moving their populations inland. Except perhaps in places like Florida and the Maldives, which will be completely submerged in a few centuries.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Not sustainably. For example, California, gets from rain and snow melt only half its water consumption - they "mine water" with ever deeper wells for the other half. Gravity sensitive satellites* have recently confirmed this. Private wells are going dry as the water table falls.

    Yes, there has been a great migration for farms to the cities, in large part as small farmers can not compete with the giant agri-business, that plant and harvest from many square mile farms. The nitrogen fertilizer they use finds its way into the Mississippi and make larger algae blooms every year, that then die off leaving every larger Oxygen free zones - no fish or shrimp, etc. US education system for the masses, with local funding of schools, is failing many - they can't find a job as lack the skills needed. 1 in 6 Americans now needs financial support (or at least is collecting) from the tax payers in part, but also just part of the ~1 trillion / year growing US debt. Is the rapidly increasing per capita US debt now sustaining the economy, sustainable?

    From visit to USdebtclock.org a minute ago: Each US, citizen, (me in Brazil included) is 56,487 dollars in debt (national debt / population) or in dollars: 146,302.35/ household and growing faster than purchasing power of salaries, except for the top 2 or 3%. Per tax payer (me included) it is $145,049 - Sustainable?

    BTW, from http://www.usadebtclock.com/ you can see that the US's currently unfunded liabilities (a "present" for our children and theirs) is 6.82 times greater than the current debt but that can change by congressional action, assuming Congress can still act instead of only point fingers of blame at other members. Obama's tax reform plan (help the middle class with very rich and corporations, paying more) to be major part of the "State of the Union" speech, is DOA with Republicans in control of Congress. Worse: the fight will mean not even what they could agree on will get done.

    It is things like this that make me say "unstainable" but I hope you are correct and I am wrong. I also hope current cheap oil soon ends - it is dealing a "body blow" to efforts to switch to a sustainable energy systems. Many years ago I read that the cost of an Idaho potato eaten in NYC was 95% due to oil - and that was back when oil was half or less the cheap price it is today. Oil is used for plowing, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, cross country transport, local distribution, and cooking (directly or indirectly) to name the major inputs of a potato. Do you assume either oil is inexhaustible or has affordable alternatives, so this is all sustainable?

    * I'm almost sure they are a pair, one following the other by dozen or so miles. That way their dynamic changes in separation gives data that can be "unfolded" to give high resolution information on the mass below. By comparing this years data to last year's etc. they can quantatively measure the mining of the water (all over the SW, not just California.) Just one more fact confirming we can not even sustain what we are currently doing.

    Then in addition to your share for the US's debt there is your personal debt:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    but if instead of "by accounts" it is averaged over all Americans, the numbers are a little bit lower, except mortgage debt is 30% lower as many don't have one. Interesting to note that student loan debt is greater than all other debt's totaled, when mortgage debt is excluded from the total. Also total of the four debts of graph is 144,284 dollars so is just slightly less than the average household's share of the US debt. I think Amerians have been reducing their personal debt for several year but their share of US debt keeps climbing.
    This data from and more discussion at: http://www.fool.com/investing/gener...e-american-has-this-much-debt-how-do-you.aspx
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2015
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The northern counties in California (e.g., Humboldt and Del Norte), which are sparsely populated and not well-suited to farming, have rivers which drain into the Pacific Ocean with very little of their water siphoned off for human consumption or agricultural use.

    I lived near the Humboldt County coast for many years and watched the Mad River pour zillions of gallons of water into the ocean. An entrepreneur wanted to station barges at the mouth of the river, collecting the fresh water in gigantic bags. The Coriolis force causes offshore currents to rotate clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (which is how the Gulf Stream makes swimming on a New Jersey beach a lot more comfortable than a beach in Baja California), so the barges could coast all the way to Los Angeles with almost no motive power. At that point they could sell the water at a magnificent profit to the water utility companies in Los Angeles County and the other desert regions at a handsome profit. (A desert is defined as less than ten inches of rain per year, which describes L.A., San Diego and all of the other enormous population centers down there.)

    They were unable to make it work. The utility companies that bring water through an aqueduct and over the mountains (and if you think that water must be incredibly expensive, you're right) have a sweet deal with the government: they have a monopoly on water sales!
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Hmm. Fortunately that's not true down here in San Diego; we have a big desalination plant getting ready to open.
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    What is the projected break even sales price (per unit H2O volume) that includes the interest on the capital cost as well as the electric bill? If fossil fuel is used to produce part of the needed energy, how many pounds (tons?) of CO2 released per gallon? What fraction of SDs needs is full 24/7 capacity?

    BTW on another application of technology:
    They need a scientific consultant - idiotic to have tapped even one pound packs to each of six blades - makes turbulence and effectively shortened the blades. Hang load below does not and makes for better resistance to wind gusts induced crashes. No worry - they don't read my posts - if they did they would not be so dumb.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2015
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    About 10 years not including interest on capital. (I don't know what sort of loans they got.)
    About 7% of its capacity, and about 3.5 megawatt-hours per acre-foot of water.

    They didn't tape them to the blades. A drone like that would not fly in such a configuration. See picture.
  18. theorist-constant12345 Banned Banned

    Will science and technology destroy civilisation?

    As this is a comparative religion section I will base my answer on comparison .

    I do not know if this has been said already but my answer comes with a question.

    Will science and technology destroy civilisation? NO

    Will religion and politics use science and technology to destroy civilisation? YES

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