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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:56 PM

Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

Four decades ago, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer model called World3 warned of such a possible course for human civilization in the 21st century. In Limits to Growth, a bitterly disputed 1972 book that explicated these findings, researchers argued that the global industrial system has so much inertia that it cannot readily correct course in response to signals of planetary stress. But unless economic growth skidded to a halt before reaching the edge, they warned, society was headed for overshoot—and a splat that could kill billions.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=apocalypse-soon-has-civilization-passed-the-environmental-point-of-no-return&WT.mc_id=SA_20120616

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Reply Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return? (Original post)
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 OP
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #1
bemildred Jun 2012 #2
Xipe Totec Jun 2012 #3
bemildred Jun 2012 #5
Speck Tater Jun 2012 #4
daaron Jun 2012 #6
AverageJoe90 Jun 2012 #7

Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:09 PM

1. Passed I don't know,

but, if not I bet we are close.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:22 PM

2. We're not going to be able to steer it like a boat.

I can tell you that.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:25 PM

3. The problem with large ships, is that they act as sails...




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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:18 AM

5. Yep, and a lot of inertia.

If it takes millenia to get it moving, it's going to take millenia to slow it back down.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:47 PM

4. We crossed the point of no return when we discovered wheat.

 

Grains can be stored for long periods of time making the invention of greed possible. Then the grain hoarders could extort labor from those who hadn't hoarded grain, forcing them to work hard at providing more grain for the hoarder in exchange for a little bit of grain for the peons.

It was all down hill from there. Any sharp-eyed alien observer would have looked down at earth and said to themselves, "Yup. That species is doomed."

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:13 AM

6. Frightening article.

 

But it's just science, right? It's just a Matter Of Opinion, to at least half of Americans who think You-Know-Who (not Voldemort) would never let that happen. Or would he? Apocalypse, indeed.

This is what half the population WANTS, people. The end of the world: war, famine, disease ... then a global messianic theocracy.

ETA: In fact, I'm X-posting this in the Religion forum, n'kay?

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:31 PM

7. To the point where the planet is permanently and irrevocably doomed to death? No.

But have we reached the point where it may not be possible to undo all the accumulated damage ourselves, and that we may have to wait for nature to finish repairing itself, even if we do take all the necessary steps? Sadly, that is a possibility.
This planet isn't going to turn into Venus or Mars or whatever but if we do nothing in the near future, it may come to the point where it will take many decades to recover completely even if we do finally get things done. And until then, life will be tragically desolate for MANY, even more, and even worse, than now. =(

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