Our Inevitably Diminishing Resources and Degraded Environment

Discussion in 'The Study' started by elder999, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Don't waste your time. I look at this list all of the time. I posted this for YOU.
     
  2. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    An acquaintance of mine in Minnesota pipes the carbon dioxide from his brew pub to his green house and has experienced across the board increases in productivity. This isn't limited to just pot plants lol!
     
  3. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    You know that will not fossilize unless under very special circumstances, but alas...

    Fossil record may not have been the best term for what I was describing. Cycles. The plastic is already starting to form sedimentary rock and I've heard flippant name "urbanite" to describe it. I guess the broader point is that whatever humans do is fleeting and that the system responds in kind.

    Are we separate from these cycles or a part of them?
     
  4. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    He's maintaining-or increased-good nutrient quality, proper irrigation and nitrogen balance to his soil or hydromedia-these factors are far more important than the increased CO2.
     
  5. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Plastic may form sedimentary rock in some places, but in the oceanic gyres like the Great Pacific garbage patch (the Atlantic has another, less-publicized one) what happens is far more insidious: the plastic is subject to photodegradation, and, rather than biodegrading, remains a polymer down to the molecular level of degradation, concentrates at certain levels in the ocean, and becomes part of the food chain, leaching toxic chemicals like polybiphenyls, PCBs, and others-toxic chemicals that work up the food chain to fish captured and consumed by humans.

    Additionally, plastic that winds up on shore is consumed, as it was by that albatross-on Midway Island, all 1.5 million albatrosses are thought to have some plastic in their digestive tract!

    "Urbanite" is the name for reclaimed, recycled concrete from the demolition of roads, buildings, and sidewalks.

    Rocks formed from plastic are currently called "plastiglomerate."


    Whether we are separate or part of these cycles does not differentiate whether or not our effect upon them is detrimental.

    Is the cancer separate, or part of the patient? :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Is cancer natural? If humans are natural and they are cancer, shouldn't we kill them all?
     
  7. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    We may all die off yet.......:rolleyes:
     
  8. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Simple fact is that we are by our very existence, killing this planet. Through ignorance, stupidity and greed. I call the Star Trek syndrome. Yeah we will have space ships before the end or we will all die.
     
  9. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Your rep comment drew me back to this thread to see if I said something really nasty, but all I found was this...something I missed the first time.

    This, IMHO, is the contradiction that a lot of the doom and gloom porn guys fail to see in their thinking. We are all part of the Earth's mass. Our bodies, what we use, what we throw away, is not becoming LESS at all. That is, unless people have secretly been shipping their garbage to space, but let's not get too crazy here. ;)

    Here's the point. The word less says more about your bias rather than the actual fundamental science.

    What if the conservation of mass is the only conservation we really need? What if it is the only conservation we can achieve?
     
  10. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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  11. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Nope. Read the comment again-what I said was, "No. No it doesn't." This was in reference to your post with a link to a Dominionist Christian site's video, which not only did not offer an argument, but I though more than slightly hypocritical of you to use as a source.

    ( Not to mention the utter hubris of thinking and arrogance of saying that your knowledge of the source, breadth and depth of my knowledge is "factual." :lfao: )

    [/quote]

    John, aren't you a science teacher?

    Then you know that it's the conservation of mass and energy.

    And mass can be converted to energy, as it is when any fuel burns-otherwise, the mass of wood ash would equal the mass of wood before burning. Granted, some of the mass in that example is converted to other chemicals in the process, but the sum total of parts does not equal the original-some of the mass is given up as converted to energy.

    The statement stands: there is less stuff, especially in regard to resources-or are you aguing that the amount of oil, coal, uranium, wood and water on earth (part of something I'll be posting on later) are of infinite quanitities?
     
  12. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Okay, that is splitting hairs. Technically, you are correct, but how much mass do you think has really been lost from the Earth throughout the history of human energy consumption?

    If I burn 10 kg of firewood, I might lose a billionth of a gram. So, are we talking 10 kg of mass? 100 kg? 10,000 kg? Ninja please. The Earth's mass is 6x10^24 kg. That hair is split pretty damn fine!

    Now to answer your query about infinite resources. No, I'm not arguing that at all. However, I think their might be some inputs that you aren't taking into account, which is ironic considering the mammoth and impressive project you are currently working on.

    How much sunlight is hitting the earth during a 24 hour period? What is the total mass of those photons? How many are absorbed by various processes and have you considered that it might actually "outweigh" what is being lost?

    Also, consider the fact that most of what humans use for energy is simply trapped sunlight. As technology gets better, couldn't humans tap into these sources of energy? Perhaps we could speed up nature and trap some of this energy in human time scales?

    Some of these questions are far above my pay grade, but I think the overall point was that perspective is important. I grew up learning about how humans were evil and about how we were destroying the Earth and about how we would all kill ourselves eventually, either through nuclear holocaust or slow environmental seppuku.

    The irony is that this is a religious message and that a religious group is actually giving a message counter to it. I wonder if PRI has considered how humanist they have become? LOL!
     
  13. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    The principal loss of earth mass is due to atmospheric off-gassing into space. The earth loses over 50,000 tons per year, part of it due to hydrogen and helium going into space, and part of it due to the earth core energy losses. No, this is not a significant amount in and of itself, but, as Mr. Schrader said, Compared to what? :lfao;

    Remember the quantities of matter I mentioned in the OP. The quantity of oil and coal available for consumption has simply diminished in mass-I was using the larger picture as a metaphor: these things are finite in nature, and will, ultimately, be gone.

    As we, the human race, no doubt will be as well.....
     
  14. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    A little more, depending upon the wood-but you are still left with less than half that amount in ash, depending upon the wood. The rest of the mass is lost to various gasses and water vapor-never to be recovered and utilized to release more energy, which is what I was really getting at.

    The photon is conventionally considered to be "massless," or of a very, very, very, very, VERY, VERY LOW mass, though I'm pretty firmly in the "photon has mass" camp, the photon is special stuff, non-stuff, actually-so, while it has an equivalent mass (evident due to quantifiable momentum) it has no real substance as mass, so sunlight, composed of photons reaching the earth, has no weight.

    To roughly estimate the incident solar power (energy per second), the average radiation flux incident on the earth surface of about 1000 Watts/ square yard is multiplied by one half of the area of the earth (5 E14 square yards to yield 2.5E17 Watts. From E=mC2, the mass equivalent to this energy is about 2.8 kg/second. This does not, however increase the earth's mass.

    The earth does get new mass in the form of meteorites and space dust, about 40,000 tons a year, but it sometimes exceeds the mass lost due to off-gassing.Still, the earth is considered by most geophysicists to be losing mass-we have put some of the earth's mass into orbit, or onto the moon. Likewise, the earth's core is losing energy, and this translates into a loss of mass-though likely only about 1000 tons a year. All told, (and these are bar-napkin calculations, mind you) the earth is generally agreed to be losing 50,000 tons a year.....



    Another post, but you'd be talking about resources we don't have yet, and I posted here about the resources that we do have right now.

    None of them are above mine. They are, in fact, what I get paid for.....:lfao:

    Our quite finite resources are diminishing. Our quite finite environment is degraded, and continues to be. These are simply facts that I've stated.Where does religion enter into anything that I posted at all? :confused:
     
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  15. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I think you might need to dust off Mr. Schrader's question again. Compared to what? The Earth's environment is "degraded"? "Our" resources are "diminishing"?

    If humans are a part of nature, then what humans build are also part of nature. So, how can what humans do "degrade" nature? This bias is fundamentally religious in nature as I've explained before.

    Also, in terms of resources, how are they "ours"? Don't other organisms use them as well? Aren't they part of larger cyclic earth processes? This is another religious concept, IMHO. Again, are humans a part of nature or not?

    Here are some more questions to consider.

    Is the scale at which the Earth's mass is decreasing at all comparable to the scale in which humans live their lives? If you take that scale into account, couldn't the inputs of energy from space and the inputs of energy from the Earth's cooling core be viewed as practically infinite? Couldn't humans shift from one energy source to another? Why do you have such a static view of human action? Our oil based society is just a snapshot in time.
     
  16. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    1)Show me another organism that uses coal or petroleum or uranium, and I'll grant you that those are not "our" resources.

    As far as that goes, though, who's to say I'm not including the rest of the animal kingdom in that "our?"

    Certainly not you.

    2)"Nature" is your word. I used "environment."

    "part of nature" or not, our pollution of the earth-things like the ocean garbage gyres-are a degradation of the environment, as evidenced by its effect on things within that environment, like the albatross.

    There is, in fact, nothing at all "religious" about my viewpoint-it neither puts humankind at the apex or the bottom of any sort of heirarchy, in spite of your weak efforts at implying as much.


    as for this:



    View attachment $b.jpg
    :lfao:
     
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  17. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    1. Whilst I'm not certain about uranium, there are plenty of organisms that utilize carbon based sources of energy. For example, petroleum that seeps up from the ground is regularly eaten by species of bacteria. Also, there are several species of fungus that live on exposed coal beds. The broader point that I'm making is that humans are a part of nature and not separate from it. Do you agree?

    2. Whether I say nature or the environment, the point stands. Humans are actors in both, therefore, what we create is natural and part of the environment. The "degradation" that you refer to is a reflection of your bias. This bias comes from various religious doctrines that claim that humans are separate from nature and that humans are fundamentally corrupted.

    As to the rest of what I said, the point is that the scale of all human societies pales in comparison to geological or astronomical scales. When you take that into account, phenomenon like the mass lost from the Earth or gained from space don't really matter to OUR big picture. Further, if you consider the energy inputs from the sun and from the cooling core of the Earth, these are practically infinite sources of energy when compared to the human scale.

    In other words, it's just a matter of perspective. And perspective was something that you were taught. I say break the chain of religious misanthropy be a real thinker instead of an automaton sophist that echoes the irrational barking of our simian ancestry.
     
  18. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Pseudomonas bacteria will "eat" petroleum, but they consume other oils in the environment as well.

    In any case, one could argue just as you do about humans in our environment: such organisms are part of the environment that is "oil," and "coal." That they are part of the resource they interact with, and not separate from it. (Where does pseudomonas whicheveritisI can'tremember exist except in oil?

    OF course I do. In what way does that negate any of my basic premise, that we are using the resources we have, and that they are finite, and that we are degrading-polluting-the environment by doing so?

    These are fallacious assumptions on your part.To say that pollutants that make water unfit to drink and air unfit to breathe are degradation only makes sense, and reflects no bias, religious or otherwise-nor does it in anyway imply any separation or fundamental corruption-you're taking this way too personally, John.


    Yes, but until we break free from the chain of fossil fuel dependence, everything I say applies, and there is no other perspective.

    I say there is no religious misanthropy in anything I've said....or, if you prefer: pancake bunny. :lfao:
     
  19. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

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    Elder

    thanks again for these posts. Keep in mind that your information/explanations are valued by other MT folks here.
    Maka is not the only poster/reader paying attention. He may not be persuaded by your
    discussion but I learn from your comments. And I appreciate your presentations of science-based
    explanations.

    What troubles me most is the accumulation of degradations _across_ related systems
    (oceans/air quality/fresh water etc.). Soil fertility (relevant to crops humans depend upon)
    concerns me most of all - world wide dependence on fertilizer/herbicide/pesticide
    (many petroleum based) that wash into bays. gulfs, near-shore water.

    Degradation is a term related to our human dependence on these resources and systems,
    correct? Those systems will continue, but not with characteristics at levels humans need.
    I don't know how to persuade people of this and less how to convince people to
    alter behavior on the scale we need to avoid major environmental damage.
    Never-the-less I appreciate your comments enormously, though they increase my
    unease. Maybe that's the reason so many people resist this information and its
    implications.

    w/respect
     
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  20. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    From the perspective of what humans need in order to survive with our current behaviors intact, I can see how people could view what we are doing to the environment as degradation. The missing piece, IMHO, is the consideration that human behaviors can change and as we become increasingly rational (or desperate), I can see people shifting to different modes of living. Technology has the potential to alter a lot about how we live on this planet. Human adaptability is a trait that cannot be underestimated as well. Humans are capable of living in nearly any land based environment on the planet. Some of these are harsher than anything most people have experienced, harsher than many of the polluted areas of the planet.

    The Earth's scale is far larger than anything humans can do to it. All of the humans on the planet could easily live in the State of Texas and have a population density less than any major city. The entire human biomass of this planet would fit into one corner of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. There are organism on this planet that have a far greater impact on the environment and have shaped more about how the ecosystems of this planet operate than anything humans can do.

    Don't let the misanthropes get you down. We're not that important.123
     

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