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Gender: Male
Home country: England
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 13,026

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It will be a wonderfully clean source of energy if/when it arrives but that is missing the point.

(or "points" as there are more than one of them)

1) Fusion has always been a decade or two in the future so, at the moment, it is *not*
a "source of energy that would make coal and natural gas obsolete to make electricity".

2) Until it moves from the indeterminate future into the now, its only function is to provide
yet another excuse to maintain Business As Usual rather than *reducing* energy consumption.

3) The mindset ruling the human civilisation is absurdly immature and totally incapable of
handling "boundless free energy" without accelerating the rate of devastation to the ecosphere.

> Its by product is helium.
> No more coal sludge. No open pit coal mines. Mr. Peabocy's coal train disappears.

In an ideal world, fusion like this is *exactly* what we'd want to power our utopian society
where all people are equal and the environment respected.

In the real world, (of today and the next decade or so at least), boundless energy (clean or
not) has only one purpose: to make the filthy rich even richer at the expense of everyone
and everything else.

> You are wrong on this one.

I wish I were but my eyes watching the events of every passing day tell me otherwise.

It has everything to do with a new source of energy.

> We need better environmental laws. but this has nothing to do with a new source of energy.

The fact that we need "environmental laws" to keep our behaviour under any form of control shows
that we are not yet a mature enough species to have advanced (widespread, cheap) energy sources.

The fact that we need "better environmental laws" just underlines this problem: even the more
mature members of the species are currently (and for the foreseeable future) incapable of restraining
the greedy, exploitative & rapacious members who are in control.

> And these places were created before it existed, so the new energy source isn't relevant to that discussion.

Pedantically no, the places in & like that photograph were created after the "new energy source"
was first being promoted as "the clean energy of the future" - a state that it has remained in ever since.

Possibly that it is an excellent counter-argument to the "renewable energy is ugly" bollocks?

If the French (a very image- & culture-oriented nation) can find a solution that allows
their most famous landmark to move towards self-powering with renewables then the
old pro-fossil-fuel canard of "But they look all ugly-like" is shot down in flames.

I agree that some really serious posts do slip by with few recs (hell, for some, even
the view count is only in double digits) and I suspect that part of the reason for the
lack of recs on more than a few of them is simply concern exhaustion: the subject has
been shouted about here for literally YEARS with absolutely no progress in the real world.

At times it hits people that just what is the point of recommending the 985th post showing
how the US government is fucking up the ocean for money or how is India burning shit-tons
more coal each year or which toxic compound is currently top of China's atmospheric output
or how many more previously unknown species have gone extinct today or how insulated
from the effects of their exploitation are the 0.1%ers in London/New York/Zurich/Rome
or just how fucking dumb are the voters in Florida or how corrupt is the Harper government
or how many different IDs can a fossil fuel troll have before getting banned again or ... or ...

It is usually the E/E "regulars" (probably the same "double digit viewers" from the above)
that do the initial recs to a post, so, every now & then - when they have seen precisely how
little DUers in general (much less the wider world) actually cares about any of the things that
hit them so hard - there is an unavoidable "Fuck it" moment that means that you realise just
how futile your attempts to rec a repeat of the same critically important issues up for wider
viewing truly are: you are attempting to overpower the overwhelming ignorance, stupidity and
suicidal selfishness that surrounds us with a mouse-click, to claim the attention of couch
potatoes & facebook failures possessing the attention-span of a drunken gnat with a "+1"
to the rec count of something so far down the list of the so-called "Greatest Page" that they'd
never have scrolled down to find it, much preferring to rush off to post more "Awww!!! n/t" replies
to a photo of yet another kitten.

I rec'd this post in the hope that a post having an eye-catching thread title, a simple text
explanation & a few meaningful photos might break through that morass of triviality and put
to rest just one of the many lies about renewable energy that are thrown at us - that it is ugly
and visually damaging. YMMV.

No, we *need* to stop searching desperately for ways to continue Business As Usual ...

... and for ways to continue justifying the exact same behaviour that has got us into this fix.

Solar power is better than carbon neutral.

Wind power is better than carbon neutral.

The extraction & consumption (whether burned or converted) of fossil fuel resources
is never carbon neutral.

The use of "biofuel" can be better than carbon neutral but it can also be much worse
(e.g., when it destroys the environment "in order to save it").

"Forest residue" is not waste. It is currently used to continue the natural cycle.
Extracting it for combustion - even with "most" CO2 being captured (then lost) - is not
helping the environment as not only does it degrade the source region's carbon cycle,
it is providing fuel that would otherwise not be available ... i.e., supporting "growth" and
"profit" a.k.a. "Business As Usual".

"Field residue" is not waste. It contains nutrients to replenish the soil and continue the
ability for the land to support further crops without demanding artificial fertilisers (which
consume resources - fossil fuels - and generate CO2, destroying the environment field by field).
Extracting it for combustion - even with the figleaf of hypothetical "CCS" - supports nothing
other than "Business As Usual".

> We need to do something that produces not just lower emissions, even carbon-neutral
> technology is not sufficient. We need negative emissions.

We need to stop emissions from fossil fuels, not just push them behind a curtain of bullshit.

We need to accept that our current choices are not sustainable - even in the short term - and change them.

We need to stop destroying the environment in order to continue our lust for the myth of "profit".

It's not just political opinions that affect decisions ...

Reduced intelligence has a tendency to lead the political opinions in one primary direction
as a result of unquestioning acceptance of whoever shouts loudest (or most frequently).

Yes, political opinions can vary enormously within families but they are far less
likely to do to in low intelligence ones than in high and everything these days (across different
countries) is geared towards keeping good education as a province of the rich and reducing
any disruption to the stratification of society.

The genetic factors feed in to both ends of that process: "1%" and "herd".

That is a key point.

I'd expand it to the following enabling behaviours:
1) The ability to hedge any risk and make a profit from failure rather than success.
2) The ability to outsource to less regulated countries.
3) The ability to engineer the overthrow of sovereign states for business reasons.
4) The ability to convince the gullible majority that criminal action is acceptable business practice.
5) The ability to convince the gullible majority that criminal action is acceptable foreign policy.
6) The ability to control entire governments whilst maintaining the veneer of "democracy".

The above combination has become so deeply entrenched that the "way of things" isn't going to
change until the organism that maintains it dies.

The difficulty is how to kill the parasite without killing the host.

One country might make headway at cleansing itself but, like the mythical Hydra, the remaining
global organism will turn on the "attacker" in order to "re-grow" itself in power again.

"Are we a one issue party?" Apparently yes ...

... and the "issue" is pro-corporate profit at ANY cost.

> Mary votes with Democratic Senate 80 percent?

Suspect the 80:20 rule applies here too - 80 pro votes for political trivia vs 20 con votes for important issues?

(No, I haven't investigated her precise voting record over her career of seat-warming in the Senate so
am not interested in bickering over which few of the real progressive/liberal issues she has actually supported at
one time vs her day-to-day behaviour.)

Nice to see that the jungle drums summoned the usual cheerleaders on this subject too.

Fuck the planet, just maximise personal gain and whinge about people who aren't in lock-step
with the party apparatchiks.

Yes and no (with more no than yes).

> The problem with the environment is that it's being protected by environmentalists.

Disagree. The problem with the environment is that people have been taught to think that
"an environmentalist" is somehow a bad thing rather than a necessary & vital one.

They've been taught to think that "the environment" is somehow separate from themselves
and their own actions.

They've been taught to think that infinite growth is not only possible but desirable.

Finally, they've been taught to think that they shouldn't think for themselves but just accept
whatever is shouted loudest at them 24x7, that dissent (or even questioning) is bad and
that that mindless submission is good.

That is the problem.

I want environmentalists to remain rational & scientific, their arguments to remain logical & proven
and their appeal to remain sane & factual.

As a result, no, I do NOT want environmentalists to "get mad religious".

On the other hand, all of the religions with which I have had more than a passing contact with
*already* have sacred writings about "preserving the Earth", about "good stewardship", about
"helping the least amongst us", about "doing unto others as you'd want them to do unto you" and
such like. All of them. (And no, I do not count either economics or politics as a religion!)

I appreciate the individual religious "leaders" (from local priest up to Chief Rabbi) when they
recognise and support the environmental message within the context of their faith.

I have seen the good that such blending of environmentalism and religious belief can produce so
yes, I'd really like the religious people to "get mad religious" about those parts (rather than
the usual misogynistic, racist & xenophobic parts which are so much easier for a rabble-rouser
to feed to the herds).

I am in favour of leading by example, of direct action where appropriate and by rewarding good
behaviour whilst punishing bad. Good religious leaders act this way (with "good" meaning in the
sense of moral, honest, consistent & possessing integrity). My personal belief is that this is
because they are "good" people (with or without their religion) in the same way that someone
who hacks off a stranger's head is "bad" (with or without their religion).

For the record: I am not a member of any religion although I was taught at an early age by Jesuits,
have certain Deist, Taoist & Buddhist tendencies, married in a CofE church and have adult children
who are atheist, agnostic & approximately Deist (respectively).

That is a literally incredible statistic ...

> The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles
> fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010

I can't get my mind around the scale of the damage that it represents.

I can relate to all manner of statistics, numbers & events, treat risks in proportion
and understand the nature of the historical record but if any single statement
of a statistic makes me want to go bury my head in the sand it is that one.


And the matching one in your response:

> For example, in most of Europe, internal population growth is negative - they are having children
> below the replacement rate. Population in Europe is currently only rising due to immigration.

The immigration that is still causing the population to rise is from countries whose internal population
growth is not negative. That means that despite all of the "education" & "technology" (and hence the
voluntary restraint) of the native population, the number is still increasing and so the impact of that country
is increasing at a far higher rate than the simple number growth (due to the increased impact per capita
of the receiving country compared to the generating country).

The global population is still rising and, because of the increases also rolling into higher technological
countries, the global impact is rising faster than before.

> We are not creatures that mindlessly fuck and spit out offspring that either starve or reproduce.

That is where you are wrong.

At an "individual" level, that comment is correct but at a "creature" level, that is exactly what we are.

At an individual level, our impact on the planet is governed by the way we live our lives, what we consume,
what we waste. We might well choose to not breed at all or to restrict ourselves to replacement level.
We might also choose to live as low impact lifestyle as we can, to minimise our personal footprint.

Just don't forget that along with all of the child-free couples in First World countries, there are also the
quiver-full fanatics, the "only two children from our marriage" folks who then split up & re-marry three, four,
five times and the gross consumers (where gross refers to overall attitude to waste, possessions, disregard
for the environment and selfishness rather than simply the appetite of the morbidly obese).

Taken at the creature level, the net effect is what we have seen for decades: the source countries keep
going through the same "boom & bust" cycles that you so eloquently described as "mindlessly fuck and
spit out offspring". If the offspring arrive in a "boom" phase then they reproduce. If they arrive in a "bust"
phase then they either migrate to an "emptier" place (a sink country) or starve if unable to do so.

That is the basic situation that has existed since humans appeared but the cycle has been distorted
horribly as our ability to do so has increased thanks to the industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution,
the transportation changes, the advances in chemistry, ...

Even the Borlaug revolution didn't change the things that matter - the inner motivation - but it just raised
the stakes: When the "boom" phase is active then the impact is even higher than before and when the "bust"
phase hits, it affects more people at a time.

So, what's the solution? Prevent all immigration from countries that do not have internal negative growth?
I can see that going down well ...

Let people starve rather than shipping out supplies on a regular basis to whichever region is suffering
the "inhumanity" of a famine or drought? Yeah, that sounds so caring & civilised too.

We are between a rock and a hard place here and the pressure of the rock is just getting worse.
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