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Is the world ending?

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Drought, floods, war, political instability, ecosystem failure etc. Societal collapse and  mass death seems pretty likely. How long have we got?

12
 Phil1919 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Mmmmm.18 months?

In reply to MG:

The world will go on.

 morpcat 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

> Is the world ending?

Yes. In just over one minute-and-thirty-five seconds.

 profitofdoom 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

> .....................How long have we got?

5 billion years. Give or take a couple of centuries

 Phil1919 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

I think he means the world as we know it.

1
 The Lemming 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

> Drought, floods, war, political instability, ecosystem failure etc. Societal collapse and  mass death seems pretty likely. How long have we got?

As a species?

Probably only a few more generations at this rate. 😭

In reply to Phil1919:

Quite. Doesn't look good, really.

1
 mk one 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Everything that starts ends. There is always drought, floods, war, political instability etc it is just that it is happening to you now so you notice it.

10
In reply to mk one:

> Everything that starts ends. There is always drought, floods, war, political instability etc it is just that it is happening to you now so you notice it.

Drought floods etc are demonstrably getting worse and more frequent due to climate change, and the consequences more serious.

War etc, yes, always happened and has lead to great loss. Never before with the destructive power now available however.e

8
In reply to Phil1919:

> I think he means the world as we know it.

I think that ended in 2016.

8
 Phil1919 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

No. Shame it can't be taken on as a worthwhile challenge.......extend the life of the only known habitable planet. Nothing like a good sense of purpose.

 Phil1919 20 Aug 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

Wild optimistic.

 veteye 20 Aug 2022
In reply to mk one:

> Everything that starts ends.

Unlike MG, I initially thought that you meant that we started as a species, so we must end... And possibly soon, at least in geological/environmental terms.

In reply to mk one:

> Everything that starts ends. 

Every end has a start.

 wintertree 20 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

You missed global pandemics (including certain tree species as well as people) and the resurgence of polio and TB in developed nations.

It’s all coming a bit thick and fast isn’t it?  I’d hoped we’d have another 15 years before it all went a bit too dystopian.  2022 is on another level however - particularly the extreme weather across the northern hemisphere.

On the good news side… Surprisingly the artic ice cover isn’t looking as crappy as in recent summers - not yet into an unrecoverable slide? Solar Cycle 25 is looking pretty active vs 24 and vs predictions, so predictions that the solar dynamo is going in to an inactive period are looking pessimistic.   

Next up - North Atlantic hurricane season?

4
 Kalna_kaza 20 Aug 2022
In reply to mk one:

I read an article (can't remember where) which predicted there could be severe heat waves in China and other parts of South East Asia with combined extreme heat and humidity. 45c or more with a very high humidity would make even well hydrated, healthy young people suffer within hours. The impact on older people, those with health conditions or those unable to escape the heat would be catastrophic. 

I thought it was all a bit OTT but seeing the current trend in Europe and elsewhere of heat records tumbling I am less sure now.  

 wintertree 20 Aug 2022
In reply to veteye:

> Unlike MG, I initially thought that you meant that we started as a species, so we must end... And possibly soon, at least in geological/environmental terms.

The end of a species doesn’t have to be bad news.  Species evolve and it’s clear humans as they are now aren’t an endpoint unless there’s a total disaster.  Technology could see our species end within decades to centuries, replaced by our descendent species (singular or plural).  

I’d be very surprised if there isn’t either extinction of humanity or a new species in five hundred years from now.  Is that species biological or in some new construct for consciousness? 

2
In reply to wintertree:

The end of the human species might be a good thing for the world.

9
 wintertree 20 Aug 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

> The end of the human species might be a good thing for the world.

But what’s the point of a world without a tool using, self aware species?  It’s all going to be consumed in fire by the sun when it goes red giant.  Unless substantial life moves beyond the solar system, eventually it will be as if none of this was ever here.  The information will never leave this system in a substantial way.

Would any other species be less awful than us given a few epochs to rise to our position?  Doesn’t seem likely given the traits needed to get there.

So we’d better shape up pronto as opportunities for sentient life to move beyond their doomed star system are strictly limited and shouldn’t be wasted.

3
In reply to MG:

Personally, I think that by one means or another, the human population of the world will fall to less than 1 billion within the next 100-150 years. That "less than" includes zero but I think that's a very small possibility in that timeframe.

1
In reply to MG:

Mathew 24 verse 3 onwards…

1
 Forest Dump 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

2100 for the end of human civilisation currently seems optimistic, shit, even 2050 does for 'western' civilisation 

The world is a different matter..

 Forest Dump 21 Aug 2022
In reply to mk one:

That's a cop out on so many levels

3
 JLS 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

It’s a tough subject. I find a little music often lightens the mood…

youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I&

In reply to wintertree:

> But what’s the point of a world without a tool using, self aware species?

What, magpies...?

> Unless substantial life moves beyond the solar system, eventually it will be as if none of this was ever here.

So what? It's just like all our lives; there's no 'higher purpose' to them.

You seem to be taking a very anthropic approach. I don't feel that the 'purpose' of the earth is to support mankind. It just is.

Post edited at 01:08
1
 artif 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

There is no end, the world is round.

2
 Offwidth 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

I've lived my entire life under some impending human initiated doom or other. I'm fairly certain our destructive species has plenty of opportunity to do more damage yet, irrespective of our positive attributes and most people being good. War, genocides and starving millions never really stopped.

Anyway, on your doom list you forgot this:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/recurring_annual_membership_fees-750922

Post edited at 09:32
 wintertree 21 Aug 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

> You seem to be taking a very anthropic approach. I don't feel that the 'purpose' of the earth is to support mankind. It just is.

I’m not claiming some purpose here, just nothing that there is currently an opportunity arising - for the first time in the planet’s history - to get life beyond a solar system where all memory of its existence is going to be ruthlessly deleted one day by our dying star.

If humanity ends, there’s no guarantee another species will evolve to that point of opportunity.  Then, it doesn’t matter if what’s left post humanity is better for the world or not, as it will leave no trace of its existence on the universe, it’s all for nout.  It will be as if all life as we know it had never been at all.

I don’t think it’s anthropic to want to leave something behind.  It’s uniquely (for our planet) human nature.  Hopefully whatever leaves the solar system takes all that diversity of life with it.

Post edited at 09:47
 broken spectre 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Reel it in everyone! This years high temps were caused (in large part) by El Niño, a natural and recurring phenomenon, with some Climate Change chucked in. Although I agree that as a country we've been on a downward trajectory since 2016, caused by the two P's... Pestilence and Populism.

On the subject of populism, I was filling up the car in uniform and the chap at the next pump said he'd watched a programme about the failing ambulance service (welcome to the party, I thought), so I said "the NHS in general is underfunded and understaffed", which he didn't like (presumably he thinks first class health care costs nothing), I also noted he had a wod of cash in his hands so thick it could pay my wages for a year! Anyway, that's purely anecdotal but there's always someone with an opinion and they're normally comfortably off. We bid each other a good day and moved along.

1
In reply to wintertree:

> If humanity ends, there’s no guarantee another species will evolve to that point of opportunity.  Then, it doesn’t matter if what’s left post humanity is better for the world or not, as it will leave no trace of its existence on the universe, it’s all for nout.  It will be as if all life as we know it had never been at all.

Isn't that the way of all life? I think it's just human vanity to colonise other planets.

In reply to wintertree:

> It will be as if all life as we know it had never been at all.

That's entropy for you...

1
 flatlandrich 21 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> If humanity ends, there’s no guarantee another species will evolve to that point of opportunity.  Then, it doesn’t matter if what’s left post humanity is better for the world or not, as it will leave no trace of its existence on the universe, it’s all for nout.  It will be as if all life as we know it had never been at all.

Given how badly we've collectively managed to fu@k up this planet in just a few decades, isn't better that we just stay here and eventually get wiped out, one way or another? Hopefully, on another plant somewhere else in the universe, another species has evolved beyond us and done it better. 

3
In reply to flatlandrich:

Another perspective on that is that maybe there is another species out there who would benefit from the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

 henwardian 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

The world does not end, it simply changes.

In reply to Offwidth:

> I've lived my entire life under some impending human initiated doom or other.

But mostly one a time?

> m fairly certain our destructive species has plenty of opportunity to do more damage yet, .

Well yes, but if we could hold off for another say 45 years, that would be dandy.

> Anyway, on your doom list you forgot this:

Quite - could be last straw.

1
 flatlandrich 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

That's a nice thought and it would help to give some meaning to our entire existence.

I have a mental picture of the future with the remains of our civilization being stumbled upon by some far more advanced species and them figuring out what man made* disaster wiped us all out and them thinking 'How did they not see this coming? Glad we didn't make that mistake!'

* Lets face it, whatever finishes us off is most likely going to self inflicted in some way. 

 flatlandrich 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

> m fairly certain our destructive species has plenty of opportunity to do more damage yet, .

> Well yes, but if we could hold off for another say 45 years, that would be dandy.

That sentence right there highlights, at least partly, why we're in the mess we're in. We can't plan, or don't care about, anything beyond our own life span.

(Ps, Yeah, holding off for about another 45 years would be about right!)

In reply to flatlandrich:

> I have a mental picture of the future with the remains of our civilization being stumbled upon by some far more advanced species and them figuring out what man made* disaster wiped us all out and them thinking 'How did they not see this coming? Glad we didn't make that mistake!'

> * Lets face it, whatever finishes us off is most likely going to self inflicted in some way. 

I can imagine them viewing us in much the way we might look at things like spiders who bite their mates heads off after sex: “ah man, nature’s weird!”

Either that or in much they way we might react to tapeworms.

In reply to MG:

For a species that arrogantly self-appoints itself as the most intelligent species on Earth, collectively we're pretty blind, selfish and stupid in reality.

Someone needs to have a quiet word with him upstairs, and tell him that he's completely f@cked up on his little sapiens side project. Or at the very least to reconsider including the highly transmissible, virulent, self-destructive pathology of capitalism in his daft equations.

1
 Rob Parsons 21 Aug 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

> Someone needs to have a quiet word with him upstairs, and tell him that he's completely f@cked up on his little sapiens side project. Or at the very least to reconsider including the highly transmissible, virulent, self-destructive pathology of capitalism in his daft equations.

Well, we're only one species, on one average planet orbiting one average star, in one average galaxy. There will be life throughout the rest of the universe.

I'm comfortable with Homo Sapiens making itself extinct - it's the other blameless species on this planet I feel sorry for.

1
In reply to captain paranoia:

> The end of the human species might be a good thing for the world.

As far as we know, the human brain might be the most complex, beautiful and extraordinary thing in the universe. It would be a shame to let it die out. 

Post edited at 14:24
 Phil1919 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Yes, but would you contribute to our near demise, that is, carry on as normal, or make an effort to change our behaviours?

 ThunderCat 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Phil1919:

> I think he means the world as we know it.

... And I feel fine.... 

 Herdwickmatt 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Have you read Factfulness? Well worth it for a positive view on the world.

 NobleStone 21 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Things probably felt similarly bleak in the run up to the second world war when millions of people were dying and it looked like fascists would rule the world. The Black Death and the loss of two thirds of the population would have felt pretty apocalyptic, as would the slow decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Imagine being a native American in the aftermath of European contact.

Even if nuclear war takes place or our worst fears for climate change are realised, some people will survive, and if they don't life will carry on anyway.

As a student of history I know that things will get worse, and that things will get better. Which of those applies to you depends on your point of view.

The world is not ending, but your world may be.

 plyometrics 21 Aug 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

> The end of the human species might be a good thing for the world.

Couldn’t agree more. 

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

> As far as we know, the human brain might be the most complex, beautiful and extraordinary thing in the universe. 

There's a miserable thought!

3
In reply to Ridge:

> There's a miserable thought!

Why? An almost miraculously evolved conscious thing with the creative power to come up with the works of Shakespeare, all of mathematics, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, modern physics, Beethoven's symphonies. Hardly miserable.

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Ridge:

I saw a scientist on telly explain that due to the physics involved it could well be that the human brain is the most complicated thing that CAN exist in the universe.  
 

Any smaller wouldn’t have the cognitive ability, any bigger the distances involved would make it unworkable.

 artif 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Why? An almost miraculously evolved conscious thing with the creative power to come up with the works of Shakespeare, all of mathematics, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, modern physics, Beethoven's symphonies. Hardly miserable.

None of which even comes close to complexities of a blade of grass, we are but monkeys with tools. 

Whale and dolphin brains are arguably more capable than ours but they don't go about destroying their environment in the pursuit of vanity

6
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to artif:

What if the monkey tools become advanced enough to restore nature to its ideal condition, whatever that is?

 Forest Dump 21 Aug 2022
In reply to artif:

Shit with a spanner too

 artif 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

> What if the monkey tools become advanced enough to restore nature to its ideal condition, whatever that is?

Nature will restore itself, if allowed. It managed quite well for millions of years before we effed it up 

 bouldery bits 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

I think that's probably hugely arrogant of humans. 

I would think that we wouldn't be able to perceive, let alone conceive of, a whole gamut of things far, far more complex than the human brain. 

Post edited at 21:02
 Uncle Derek 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> As far as we know, the human brain might be the most complex, beautiful and extraordinary thing in the universe. It would be a shame to let it die out. 

Seems an odd thing to suggest;

  1. Complex; I have no idea, but the Amazonian rain forest is a pretty complex system, but is being the most complex a good thing?
  2. Beautiful: that is so subjective, it is literally in the eye of the beholder, and any way, just because a human considers something beautiful, does that make it good?
  3. Extraordinary: What is extraordinary, everything is extraordinary if you really consider it.

The human brain seems to be at the root of causing a lot of grief to a lot of Humans, never mind the harm it does to other species and the ecosystem, probably a good thing if it does die out.

All I can say is 42.

1
In reply to artif:

> None of which even comes close to complexities of a blade of grass.

A human brain is incomparably more complex.

> we are but monkeys with tools. 

Like monkeys we are primates, but with much more highly evolved brains.

> Whale and dolphin brains are arguably more capable than ours but they don't go about destroying their environment in the pursuit of vanity.

Very arguably. Yes, but, uniquely, we have the awareness to know what we are doing and the potential to do something about it.

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to artif:

But it’s better if we’re around to see it, right?

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to bouldery bits:

Yes I agree most likely.  I guess it’s based on the current physics we have ‘knowledge’ of.

In reply to Uncle Derek:

> Seems an odd thing to suggest;

No, I think one could argue that the human's brain's unique degree of consciousness alone makes it a very reasonable claim.

 broken spectre 21 Aug 2022
In reply to artif:

In time, all that will remain of our endeavours will be a thin stratum of radioactive plastic material for future cockroach scientists to scratch their antennae about

 Uncle Derek 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> No, I think one could argue that the human's brain's unique degree of consciousness alone makes it a very reasonable claim.

There could be a conversations going on between trees and rock and mushroom, we have no awareness of.

We could be the least conscious and most arrogant species, so far.

In reply to bouldery bits:

> I think that's probably hugely arrogant of humans. 

> I would think that we wouldn't be able to perceive, let alone conceive of, a whole gamut of things far, far more complex than the human brain. 

Of course one could imagine things more complex, but given that we have no idea how likely life elsewhere is (let alone intelligent life), it might be the most most complex and extraordinary thing in the universe, so best not bin it too readily.

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

What if the human race was erased and in a few million years a new species comes along, just as adept at destroying the environment as us (or more so), but with zero conscientiousness about maintaining anything so they just completely wipe the whole thing out.

Would it still be a good thing that humans had died out?  At least a significant portion of us want the planet and nature to thrive.

 artif 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> A human brain is incomparably more complex.

If course it is. But nothing we have "created" comes close.

Shakespeare, pretty pictures etc are all very basic in comparison. 

 Uncle Derek 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

>  At least a significant portion of us want the planet and nature to thrive.

I see no evidence to support that claim.

In reply to Uncle Derek:

> We could be the least conscious...........

Well, all the evidence points to the contrary.

> ........and most arrogant species, so far.

Almost certainly, though probably because no other species' brain has the capcity for arrogance!

Post edited at 21:16
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to artif:

So far.

500 years of science vs 3.4 billion years of evolution.

Plus the things we make have meaning to us.  A blade of grass probably doesn’t have meaning to another blade of grass.

In reply to artif:

> If course it is. But nothing we have "created" comes close.

Of course not. Given how extraordinary it is, we may not ever do so. What is your point?

Post edited at 21:15
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

I guess you’re being intentionally blind to it then 🙂

 bouldery bits 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Of course one could imagine things more complex, but given that we have no idea how likely life elsewhere is (let alone intelligent life), it might be the most most complex and extraordinary thing in the universe, so best not bin it too readily.

Oh, I'm certainly not arguing for binning humanity. Although, I think it's looking inevitable that humanity dies out in the (relatively) near future. 

Post edited at 21:46
 Uncle Derek 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

> I guess you’re being intentionally blind to it then 🙂

 I do not see the world as you suggest and you think I am being deliberately obtuse, oh dear.

1
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

I simply find it difficult to believe you see zero evidence that some want to save the environment when it’s clear that’s the case even by scrolling up in this thread

 flatlandrich 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

> At least a significant portion of us want the planet and nature to thrive.

Absolutely, but unfortunately the control of that happening is being handed to a ever shrinking number of wealthy and powerful people with little concern for anything other than more wealth and power. 

 Uncle Derek 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

> I simply find it difficult to believe you see zero evidence that some want to save the environment when it’s clear that’s the case even by scrolling up in this thread

You did say; At least a significant portion of us want the planet and nature to thrive.

Now it is some.

Some, is not a signifiant portion, please at least try and be consistent.

Post edited at 21:40
1
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to flatlandrich:

Yes agreed.  As time goes on though the possibility/probability of the human race finding solutions to climate change / clean energy / environment preservation and reparation increases.  So surely pursuing those goals however we can and as quickly as we can would be a far better approach to simply deciding that we’ve done some damage and we should all die because of it.

We may be the only conscious beings in the galaxy or universe and the solutions to these problems may be less than a hundred years away.  It’s probably worth a go, isn’t it?

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

OK

 wintertree 21 Aug 2022
In reply to rossowen:

> I saw a scientist on telly explain that due to the physics involved it could well be that the human brain is the most complicated thing that CAN exist in the universe.  

Catchy but dubious.  It may be that a significantly more capable biological brain couldn’t arise from our animal kingdom but I am skeptical even of that; one could imagine two separate brains with hard-wired cross links that are still massively higher bandwidth and lower latency than speech and body language.  Things can also exist and be built which are not like brains from our animal kingdom, all of which share one common ancestor.

2
 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

I hope it’s the case that (much) more complex things exist out there.  Maybe it just needs a completely different biological or technological approach.  Or maybe the guy was just talking BS.  I have no idea.

 plyometrics 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Why? An almost miraculously evolved conscious thing with the creative power to come up with the works of Shakespeare, all of mathematics, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, modern physics, Beethoven's symphonies. Hardly miserable.

Or, a hideously evolved conscious thing with the power to come up with atrocities like the Holocaust, 9/11, global warming, slavery, nuclear war etc. Utterly miserable.

Post edited at 22:07
1
 wintertree 21 Aug 2022
In reply to plyometrics:

> Or, a hideously evolved conscious thing with the power to come up with atrocities like the Holocaust, 9/11, global warming, slavery, nuclear war etc. Utterly miserable.

Life as a wild animal tends to be pretty brutal and short; spread the pain humans inflict on themselves and each other and the per-human experience is a lot better than most animal life. A duck might have 8 offspring in each of 2 clutches a year  but the duck population doesn’t increase by 16x each year…

Edit: 8x each year, it takes two to tango. 

Post edited at 22:18
 bouldery bits 21 Aug 2022
In reply to plyometrics:

I feel like this sometimes but there's good stuff too. 

In reply to plyometrics:

> Or, a hideously evolved conscious thing with the power to come up with atrocities like the Holocaust, 9/11, global warming, slavery, nuclear war etc. Utterly miserable.

Yes, all that too. Truly extraordinary. But what is more extraordinary is the self awareness which allows us to reflect on it all.

 rossowen 21 Aug 2022
In reply to plyometrics:

As awful as these things are they’re not reasons for the human race to cease existing, IMHO.

There’s far more good to humanity than there is bad.  But that doesn’t stop some things being pretty damn sh*t.

Just my opinion.  

In reply to wintertree:

>  A duck might have 8 offspring in each of 2 clutches a year  but the duck population doesn’t increase by 16x each year…

I read today that only 1 in 20 cheetah cubs survive to adulthood. A stunningly beautiful killing machine of an animal, but it's brutal put there.

 artif 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Of course not. Given how extraordinary it is, we may not ever do so. What is your point?

You point out how great we are because we can scribble some pictures or string a few sentences together,  but we can't create even the most common basic plant.

All this talk of how WE are going to save the environment is BS on a Boris scale. We are just vain stupid monkeys. 

Post edited at 22:35
In reply to artif:

> You point out how great we are because we can scribble some pictures or string a few sentences together,  but we can't create even the most common basic plant.

So? But given what we can do (if you don't appreciate the arts, try the sciences or mathematics), as I said, as far as we know we could be the most extraordinary thing in the universe.

> All this talk of how WE are going to save the environment is BS on a Boris scale.

Well, nobody else is going to do it for us. The point is that we have the awareness and potential to do so.

> We are just vain stupid monkeys. 

Well, we are the most intelligent thing we know of and possibly the most intelligent thing in the universe. 

 veteye 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

You're sounding like Marvin

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Almost certainly, though probably because no other species' brain has the capcity for arrogance!

Not even cats? 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well, nobody else is going to do it for us. The point is that we have the awareness and potential to do so.

The problem is that we're all addicted to the life style that we currently enjoy.
We know that it's going to prematurely kill us as a species, but we just can't stop ourselves from doing it.

 Rob Parsons 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> ... as far as we know we could be the most extraordinary thing in the universe.

Since life has managed to evolve on Earth, it is mind-bending to imagine that it hasn't similarly evolved on other planets in other galaxies at various times over the past 14 billion years. Our civilization is a tiny flicker in time, and some of the other civilizations will naturally have developed to be much more sophisticated. Believing otherwise is pure anthropocentric (and/or religious) dogma.

1
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Since life has managed to evolve on Earth, it is mind-bending to imagine that it hasn't similarly evolved on other planets in other galaxies at various times over the past 14 billion years. 

It depends on the probability of life getting started in the first place. We don't know what that probability is. If it is astronomically small, we may be alone.

 jkarran 22 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

The world ending? Unlikely any time soon, not much beyond very big space rocks or a few billion years of solar fusion will do for our little rock and not even the sharks care about billions of years. How long it'll remain blue, green and white is possibly now in our hands.

Our species will probably go on whatever happens, evolving to find new niches, survive and gradually re-colonise what we abandon to change.

Our civilisations and generally survivable-to-comfortable lifestyles are on borrowed time now (as they ever were, nothing lasts but most didn't fall simultaneously) as climate change and our doomsday weapons dive for the finishing line.

Is it 'fixable'? Technically yes but my bet is we won't do it, we'd rather fight over the smouldering scraps instead.

jk

 jkarran 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It depends on the probability of life getting started in the first place. We don't know what that probability is. If it is astronomically small, we may be alone.

With maybe 10^18+ stars in the *observable* universe it'd have to be as near as damnit zero for there not to be life everywhere, everywhen. That's probably possible, at least I can't think why it wouldn't be but believing it likely given what little we do already know about how life might have formed makes no more sense to me than believing a god made the world, made the beasts then had a day off before setting about a few thousand years of meddling, smiting and anointing.

jk

 mondite 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

>  and some of the other civilizations will naturally have developed to be much more sophisticated.

Possibly or they might have wiped themselves/been destroyed by the local supernova before the first homo species walked the earth.

 Phil1919 22 Aug 2022
In reply to jkarran:

My feeling is that we all find it easy suggesting what changes we'd like to see in others but can't change ourselves......on an individual level right up to the level of nation state. 

 Phil1919 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

......or the result of searching space and finding no evidence of other life.......but still accepting there might be

 broken spectre 22 Aug 2022
In reply to mondite:

Discovering an alien civilisation is something of a stretch but what about other forms of life? What form would it take? Would it be that alien looking? See convergent evolution. In other words an alien dog, despite being made from entirely different instructions, would look, smell and act like a dog. Closer to home, my money's on jellyfish, crabs and worms thriving off the hydrothermal vents beneath the ice sheets of Europa! My bet is DNA seeds itself throughout the galaxy (see panspermia), hitching rides in the form of extremophiles in deep freeze on comets. The idea that DNA emerged in some primordial broth on Earth seems unlikely compared to this alternative; with there being that much matter interacting in deep space and that much time. Of course the DNA on one planet would be very different to that on another but it would still be DNA. Whilst we're at it, I believe the Big Bang Theory is losing credibility. My bet's on a far more wonderous explanation.

1
 Andrew95 22 Aug 2022

With all the doom and gloom coming out of the radio and TV, I was looking for some light lunch time reading to cheer me up, I feel so much better now. 

 jkarran 22 Aug 2022
In reply to broken spectre:

> Discovering an alien civilisation is something of a stretch but what about other forms of life? What form would it take?

For us to 'discover' it, remotely, it'll have to be something readily recognisable, something which produces organic materials geology alone cannot. That's hard to prove of course at a vast distance which means we'll probably not achieve anything approaching certainty until we find something like us (by which I mean life on earth). That or as you say we'll find something nearby which is observably alive and us-like, most likely because it's made directly of us or we of it.

> Would it be that alien looking?

Probably! But no more so than many of our cohabiting species, there's no obvious pattern to life on earth, compare a slime to a courgette to an octopus to a bat and you'd not readily conclude they were all essentially the same thing.

jk

 Offwidth 22 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

>> I've lived my entire life under some impending human initiated doom or other.

>But mostly one a time?

You clearly didn't  grow up in the 60s and 70s. Fear of imminent nuclear armageddon and ever present overlapping wars, and regular genocides and mass starvtiontions.... they didn't exactly queue up and wait their turn. What's so sad is on top of the history of past disasters pretty much every human linked threat that looks serious now was being discussed back then at school, in books and on the TV.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Wars and other anthropogenic disasters:

hattps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll#Genocides,_ethnic_cleansing,_religious_persecution

Post edited at 12:29
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Why? An almost miraculously evolved conscious thing with the creative power to come up with the works of Shakespeare, all of mathematics, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, modern physics, Beethoven's symphonies. Hardly miserable.

A very small number of human brains, the vast majority being at best mostly harmless, the worst being capable of manipulating the rest into war, genocide, enslavement and environmental destruction on an almost unimaginable scale.

At least we've got some nice music and paintings out of it.

In reply to Ridge:

> A very small number of human brains, the vast majority being at best mostly harmless, the worst being capable of manipulating the rest into war, genocide, enslavement and environmental destruction on an almost unimaginable scale.

I wasn't claiming that human brains always do "good", just that they are the most complex and extraordinary things we know of (and for all we know in the universe) and with the most extraordinary potential - not something to be discarded lightly.

In reply to Offwidth:

> >> I've lived my entire life under some impending human initiated doom or other.

> >But mostly one a time?

> You clearly didn't  grow up in the 60s and 70s. Fear of imminent nuclear armageddon and ever present overlapping wars, and regular genocides 

The point is only nuclear was a global threat at the time, however unpleasant each other event. 

We currently have nuclear war (again), uncreasingly nonlinear climate change and its effects, biodiversity collapse and possibly plague all threatening at once, globally. 

Obviously "end of the world" doesn't literally mean no more planet earth, but the threat of collapse of advanced human society in decades,  seems to me higher than it's ever been

Post edited at 13:02
In reply to Robert Durran:

They're complex, on that we agree. As far as our planet and the other species on it, they're probably the worst thing that has evolved so far.

1
 Rob Parsons 22 Aug 2022
In reply to mondite:

> Possibly or they might have wiped themselves/been destroyed by the local supernova before the first homo species walked the earth.

Of course. There has been plenty of time for other civilizations to have come and gone, long before any Homo species appeared on Earth. Just look at the various timescales.

 Rob Parsons 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Phil1919:

> ......or the result of searching space and finding no evidence of other life.......but still accepting there might be

We haven't scratched the surface in any such search.

In reply to Ridge

> They're complex, on that we agree. As far as our planet and the other species on it, they're probably the worst thing that has evolved so far.

Depends what you mean by "bad"; without the human brain the concept wouldn't even exist.

Post edited at 13:29
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I'm comfortable with Homo Sapiens making itself extinct - it's the other blameless species on this planet I feel sorry for.

I'm with you on that one.

It makes me wonder if the level of intelligence that we humans have is actually suited to a self-sustaining, stable biosphere - or even if 'intelligence' is a misnomer if it is entirely responsible for annihilating the only biosphere it can ever survive within.

Collectively, humans are pretty stupid - even in large groups comprising otherwise intelligent individuals. A group of people will very rarely achieve the capabilities of the sum of its parts; in fact, usually the opposite. Intelligence then morphs into conformity and obedience. An example of this is when a large population of people fall in behind a charismatic leader with a loud voice that everyone hears, as opposed to an intelligent one with a quieter voice that fewer people hear. Charisma is usually loud, brash and popular. Intelligence is often quiet, understated, and overshadowed by populism.

Post edited at 14:40
2
In reply to Robert Durran:

> In reply to Ridge

> Depends what you mean by "bad"; without the human brain the concept wouldn't even exist.

Maybe 'detrimental' would be better. Even if most animal brains can't understand the concept, even sharks can possibly recognise that being hauled out of the sea, having their fins and tails chopped off and being chucked back to drown isn't ideal.

 Phil1919 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Haven't we ruled out life anywhere else within a realistic distance to reach with our technology?

In reply to AllanMac:

> Collectively, humans are pretty stupid - even in large groups comprising otherwise intelligent individuals. A group of people will very rarely achieve the capabilities of the sum of its parts; in fact, usually the opposite. 

You really don't have to look far to see the astounding achievements of humans working collectively. Modern Physics, medicine, complex technological societies, space exploration? You seem blinkered by the (hopefully temporary) woes.

Post edited at 14:55
In reply to Robert Durran:

Physics, space exploration and technology require intelligence at all levels, including leadership. I agree there has been some outstanding achievements because of that. 

On the other hand, politics and the media that supports it require no such intelligence; it is almost entirely built on vacuous dumbed-down populism. It is this category to which I refer, as it effectively governs huge populations of people.

> You seem blinkered by the (hopefully temporary) woes.

Why is that blinkered, and what makes you think it will be temporary?

In reply to AllanMac:

> Why is that blinkered, and what makes you think it will be temporary?

Because you seemed to be overlooking the sort of achievements I listed but which you have now acknowledged.

I said I hoped it would be temporary, not that I thought it would be!

 Rob Parsons 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Phil1919:

> Haven't we ruled out life anywhere else within a realistic distance to reach with our technology?

Not at all - we haven't yet ruled out the possibility of other life within our own immediate Solar System (Titan being one object of current interest.)

As for the admirable SETI efforts (which is what you might be thinking of), the challenge they face is made obvious by the following (from https://www.seti.org/faq#obs12):

"Q: If an extraterrestrial civilization has a SETI project similar to our own, could they detect signals from Earth?

A: In general, no. Most earthly transmissions are too weak to be found by equipment similar to ours at the distance of even the nearest star. But there are some important exceptions. High-powered radars and the Arecibo broadcast of 1974 (which lasted for only three minutes) could be detected at distances of tens to hundreds of light-years with a setup similar to our best SETI experiments."

Post edited at 15:46
 Offwidth 22 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

As I said you were clearly not there. Nuclear war seemed way closer than now and biological and nerve warfare was a real concern. I knew many old people who had atrocious experiences in WW1, WW2 or Korea. Everyone had lived through serious austerity during post war rationing. We had climate change worries back then, the world population getting out of control, international water concerns, serious species loss, and major oil shocks (and imminent 'peak oil' that took me a lot of reading and talking to geologists to realise I'd been lied to by good intentioned but ignorant teachers).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock

We might agree that most of the population these days are way more blasé about really  serious threats (despite being even better informed...... hopefully they might wake up a bit this winter,  to information and threats) but things really did seem way worse back then. We were also the first decades in the general population to know just how bad 20th century history had been. Part of the reason things improved was the fall of Mao and later on the USSR and the iron curtain. Scientific developments (esp agricultural) and improvements in average worldwide education,  health efforts, and politics had clearly improved things towards the end of the century.

We are sadly going backwards now overall in the world but its not inevitable  for that to continue. One exceptionally shameful position of the UK is our average government politics arguably haven't been as bad since well before WW2.

Post edited at 16:01
2
 Flinticus 22 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

I'd agree.

Even nuclear is getting bad again. Seems China wants to double their stock of weapons and the US and Russia seem to be dismantling current limitation agreements.

Who knows what's going to happen in Russia and what the war in Ukraine will pan out?

Climate change - water shortages - soil degradation - biodiversity loss - climate mass migration...

Perhaps we can get past it all with some major effort / scientific breakthroughs...

Post edited at 16:25
 Rob Parsons 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> .... Part of the reason things improved was the fall of Mao ...

Mao didn't 'fall' - he just eventually died.

In reply to Offwidth:

Do you actually read what you are replying to or just write random stuff down?

> Nuclear war seemed way closer than now and biological and nerve warfare was a real concern.

As I said above

> I knew many old people who had atrocious experiences in WW1, WW2 or Korea. Everyone had lived through serious austerity during post war rationing.

Irrelevant.

>We had climate change worries back then,

They barely registered until at least the 80s

>(and imminent 'peak oil' that took me a lot of reading and talking to geologists to realise I'd been lied to by good intentioned but ignorant teachers).

Peak oil wasn't predicted to be until about 2000 at the earliest

Random link agreeing with my points

3
 Offwidth 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Autocorrect for what I thought I'd typed as Maoism... that I didn't spot with my poor eyesight.

What's your view on the current position versus back say in the Cuban Missile Crisis (missed between ticks on the doomsday clock) or when Reagan was ramping things up? Plus all those other serious problems then (where solutions or delay fixes happened, where we couldn't see that possibility at the time .....like we can't now for current problems)? I genuinely think things seemed worse then (albeit it not by so much) but the doomsday clock says it's twice as bad now!!

 Offwidth 22 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Ad hom again... don't you get tired?

I think experience of really bad shit made those people more sensitive to future risks and that helped us in the way they voted (in particular for Atlee). Call that irrelevant  at your peril.

I'd left school by the 80s. We were told at school that increasing CO2 and other gases looked a problem for a hot future but there were also scares that other man- made atmospheric change could trigger an ice age. The key message I got was we had to care what we did to the atmosphere and that probably needed legislation.

Hubbert started the Peak Oil idea in '56 and his prediction was the early 70s... there were subsequently others pushing later dates within the century. 

I know full well the doomsday clock agrees with you... it just didn't seem like that when I was at school. The Cuban crisis was missed by the clock as it escalated so fast.

 jimtitt 22 Aug 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Most of those worries were negated by the invention of the miniskirt and oral contraception as well as an expanded cannabis trade, such were the 60's!

1
In reply to Offwidth:

> Hubbert started the Peak Oil idea in '56 and his prediction was the early 70s... 

Nope. That was US oil production as 5s googling shows. (And was about right until shale oil etc).

 Jon Stewart 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> You really don't have to look far to see the astounding achievements of humans working collectively. Modern Physics, medicine, complex technological societies, space exploration? You seem blinkered by the (hopefully temporary) woes.

Totally agree with your take on this.

Human beings are, on the one hand, grubby animals that rape and murder and are turning their own habitat into an unliveable shithole, taking down most of the rest of the planet's inhabitants with them. But on the other, humans produce art and science, and no matter how much anyone likes dolphins or whatever, they don't do that because they can't. They're nowhere near smart enough.

That atoms are arranged into self-organising structures that reproduce themselves, carrying their structure through time, is astounding. That atoms are arranged into such structures that are conscious; and not only that, they've worked out that they are atoms arranged into structures is significant from 'the point of view of the universe' (cf Sagan, "we are the universe's way of understanding itself"). And if you take a second to really think what is actually involved in watching a performance of a Beethoven symphony on YouTube, say, your head will explode. The music itself is quite complex for a start, but humans made the instruments, gathered to play them to a score recorded centuries ago, the event was recorded using technology that encoded the structure of the light and sound so it could be decoded and recreated using screens and speakers...the imagination and internal emotional landscape of the composer in the 1800s is transmitted into the minds of humans in 2022. 

The question, "is humanity, on balance, good or bad?" is pointless. Nature doesn't have "good" and "bad", it's totally neutral. Other species are hardly paragons of what we think of as virtue - they kill and eat each other, and do a lot of dark shit - we're by no means exceptional on that front. Nature just creates complex stuff, and we are the most complex stuff around this neck of the woods by a country mile. It makes no difference to me personally whether the human race dies out, but it is significant in the scheme of things because while there may well be other conscious, intelligent life out there, there's no evidence of it.

A worldview that thinks humanity is the centre of, and purpose of, the universe is foolish. But so is a worldview that is completely ignorant of our significance as conscious, understanding, creative beings. 

Post edited at 00:09
1
 Offwidth 23 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

I suppose when you realise life and everything you love might suddenly end, living life faster is inevitable. Yet there were some pretty big anti war protests as well.

A recent tribute to Briggs is apt for our times...

https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2022/08/11/the-times-perfect-tribute-to-raymond-briggs/

 Offwidth 23 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Again I'm fully aware of the different Hubbert predictions... you seem to be completely missing my point: we were told at school in the mid 70s that Peak Oil would hit us in 20 to 30 years... it was wrong but it was worrying to intelligent kids, as pretty much everything needed oil. This was soon after the economic and social mayhem caused by the '73 oil crisis. That was oil shortage as a political weapon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

It's just one aspect of the catastrophising we faced as kids and Peak Oil was one of the few areas where it wasn't justified on known evidence at that time (albeit oil as an economic weapon was). It didn't take me long to figure out Peak Oil was wrong and I was still arguing against Peak Oil here on UKC in the early 2000s: there is a hundred years plus of mainly dirty oil left in known reserves.

Post edited at 09:36
 Offwidth 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

All true but at times it's all a bit like celebrating the genius of someone who is spiralling into self destruction. We are capable of incredible things and we can drive that with love, but as a species we seem endlessly distracted from the evils being done in our name. I remain optimistic on balance but various man made 'world ending' catastrophes might happen and we need to work harder to prevent that.

 Arms Cliff 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The question, "is humanity, on balance, good or bad?" is pointless. Nature doesn't have "good" and "bad", it's totally neutral. Other species are hardly paragons of what we think of as virtue - they kill and eat each other, and do a lot of dark shit - we're by no means exceptional on that front. Nature just creates complex stuff, and we are the most complex stuff around this neck of the woods by a country mile. It makes no difference to me personally whether the human race dies out, but it is significant in the scheme of things because while there may well be other conscious, intelligent life out there, there's no evidence of it.

We are exceptional in the way we have as a species largely removed ourselves from the natural planetary feedbacks that constrain the behaviours of other species. For example if another predator over predated its prey, then it would start to starve and its numbers would be reduced until a semblance of balance returned. Humans roved from continent to continent making megafauna extinct and then went on from there! 

 Offwidth 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Arms Cliff:

Yes but it's the conscious self destruction that makes it bad. Early man didn't know that. We do and have no excuses.

In reply to Arms Cliff:

> We are exceptional in the way we have as a species largely removed ourselves from the natural planetary feedbacks that constrain the behaviours of other species. For example if another predator over predated its prey, then it would start to starve and its numbers would be reduced until a semblance of balance returned. Humans roved from continent to continent making megafauna extinct and then went on from there! 

The next logical step will be to return to preying on each other. Slavery and genocide will no doubt be making a comeback (not that they ever went away).

 Jon Stewart 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> All true but at times it's all a bit like celebrating the genius of someone who is spiralling into self destruction.

Yeah! That's my kind of genius. Who doesn't love a bit of Picasso, Nietzsche etc. Bell-ends all, but that's the price you pay. You get the odd exception like Einstein, but do we really know what he got up to in private?

 jkarran 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> We are exceptional in the way we have as a species largely removed ourselves from the natural planetary feedbacks that constrain the behaviours of other species. For example if another predator over predated its prey, then it would start to starve and its numbers would be reduced until a semblance of balance returned. Humans roved from continent to continent making megafauna extinct and then went on from there! 

That holds true for us too, you're just being impatient! With climate change, biodiversity loss and soil degradation your wait for feedback could be almost over.

jk

1
 Arms Cliff 23 Aug 2022
In reply to jkarran:

> That holds true for us too, you're just being impatient! With climate change, biodiversity loss and soil degradation your wait for feedback could be almost over.

Entirely agree, we have removed ourselves from certain systems, but Mother Earth still has a range of options available! 

 Offwidth 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Picasso died at 91 and Einstein's private life was known to be pretty messy, but I don't want to fall into the trap of being picky on detail and missing the bigger picture. I think the human tragedy is bigger than individuals and that collectively we should be doing much better. Genius also needs witness.

 Jon Stewart 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> Picasso died at 91 and Einstein's private life was known to be pretty messy

I was thinking of the relationship between genius and moral values, i.e. there isn't one.

> I think the human tragedy is bigger than individuals and that collectively we should be doing much better. Genius also needs witness.

"Should" requires values. And as a species, we just don't have any! As individuals we've got chaotic, inconsistent moral intuitions from our evolutionary past, and the ability to reason, which we all like to switch on and off as it suits us. It's not a great set-up for solving humanity-wide, long term problems. We're pretty good at solving very urgent problems that are affecting us and our kin, directly, right now. Beyond that, we've just not got the right programming. "Should" is just a statement of desire, which I share, but I think it's unrealistic. Take a step back and look at humanity as neutrally as you can, and the path forward is pretty obvious: as people really start to suffer, they'll take action to make it stop hurting. This will most likely allow the fortunate to survive and flourish while the rest suffer and perish. This has been going on for centuries, why would it stop now?

 wercat 23 Aug 2022
In reply to Ridge:

> The next logical step will be to return to preying on each other.

That's just why I'm happy showing no light in the dark, light is not your friend ...

1
 Offwidth 24 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>This has been going on for centuries, why would it stop now?

Stopping is hard but until recently things were getting a lot better and the attitudes of the richest (democratic) western nations broadly supported that change. I think most humans share broadly similar stated values.. we just get let down by our governments (and/or religious establishments) and tricked by our own psychology.

Post edited at 13:22
 Duncan Bourne 24 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

There could be a very good reason why we haven't been contacted by other alien species. Are we perhaps approaching our Great Filter?

>I don’t think it’s anthropic to want to leave something behind.  It’s uniquely (for our planet) human nature.  Hopefully whatever leaves the solar system takes all that diversity of life with it.<

In one sense we've already done that. Pioneer, Voyager, New Horizons (Though it doesn't have a plaque).

 jimtitt 24 Aug 2022
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

We have learnt from invading other continents, we sterilise our junk so we don't transport our life forms elsewhere.

1
 wercat 24 Aug 2022
 Duncan Bourne 24 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

But we have transported information (assuming it survives interstellar space)

And this from xkcd

https://what-if.xkcd.com/117/

Voyager certainly carries lots of bacterial spores. If we take the number from the 2008 paper as a (very rough) estimate of the number of microbes Voyager might carry, we can try to figure out how many might still be alive.

Some microorganisms can survive for a long time in a vacuum. One study found that the majority of bacteria that spent six years in space survived—though only if a shade protected them from the Sun's UV light. Other studies have agreed that radiation is the main thing to worry about, and the radiation environment inside a spacecraft is complex. The bottom line is that we just don't know for sure how long bacteria can survive in deep space.

But we can still give part of an answer Amy's question. If we assume that 1 in 1,000 bacterial spores on Voyager were of a space-tolerant variety, and 1 in 10 of those is somewhere on the craft where UV light doesn't reach it, then that still leaves on the order of 10 million viable bacterial spores traveling on Voyager.

If they suffer a death rate of 30% per six years, as in one of the studies, then there would still be a million of them alive after 50 years, dying at a rate of 1 every 10 minutes. On the other hand, the author of the 2008 study speculated that microbes could avoid hits from cosmic radiation for extremely long time periods, and other sources have speculated about survival for thousands or even millions of years. But no one really knows.

Post edited at 18:28
 Duncan Bourne 24 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

I think realistically we aren't about to peg out any time soon and the planet will go on long after we are gone. However I would say that a huge dent in the human/animal population is likely. Most notably there is an ongoing extinction in the animal kingdom. That hasn't really impacted us yet but it probably will (loss of pollinators being one) the effects of climate change are unlikely to go away and less likely to be reversed (I think that ship has already sailed) and it will impact on us more than it has done. Drought means crop failures, forest fires mean more co2 in the atmosphere. Ocean temperature rises mean loss of many species that we feed on, loss of fresh water not to mention displaced persons escaping these things. Such things are bound to impact upon world population. These things are possibly surmountable but it is going to be rough in the short term

In reply to MG:

It does at times feel like it. 

I have this dreadful, illogical theory, I'll rephrase that, feeling, I can't shake off.  The end of the world will coincide with my death.  It's not so much about narcissism, although that is undoubtedly a part of it, but more to do with the theories that abound that life and everything we experience is just in my imagination e.g. you, everyone, UKC, the PC I'm typing on only exist in my mind. Or is it perhaps a defense/reassurance mechanism that kicks in with age? It becomes more of a concern to me as I get older. Shades of that sci-fi film perhaps? was it the Matrix ?

Post edited at 19:13
1
 CB 24 Aug 2022
In reply to MG:

Collectively we are all part of the problem or we are part of the solution, make your choice, however small an act towards the solution is the way to move, and if enough people move..

 Flinticus 24 Aug 2022
In reply to CB:

Yup, small acts are what most of us can do. Collectively they may amount to something.

Just this year, I've put in small investments direct to two companies developing offshore energy systems. I'm tired of the limted options available in most geeenwash pension funds. If they work out, great. If not, I'll have other worries.

 Phil1919 24 Aug 2022
In reply to CB:

Yes, I find interesting to try and understand why so many of us just carry on as normal or actually increase our carbon footprint.

 Flinticus 25 Aug 2022
In reply to Phil1919:

Indeed.

I found it antiquated and inconsistent when The Guardian lauded the youngest round the world flight.

A no-purpose, fossil fuel using endeavour (not even a solar powered flight) and I thought the youth were going to save us 😉. Not sure what its supposed to be inspiring?

 Billhook 25 Aug 2022
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> .

> Human beings are, on the one hand, grubby animals that rape and murder and are turning their own habitat into an unliveable shithole, taking down most of the rest of the planet's inhabitants with them.

And already we've littered the surrounds of our planet with countless bits of space litter, making it a known hazard for future development.  At least one satellite has been deliberately blown to bits and there have been other accidental, collisions.    

We've even managed to create litter on other planets.  There's no hope.

Post edited at 08:17
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