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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:24 PM

6. Here's why I think we face a choiceless choice

 



Without fossil fuels we can't maintain our existing population or the civilization that supports us. We need that much energy to support this level of organization and activity for this many people. Without fossil fuel we would have only 13% of the energy we currently enjoy - assuming we could even maintain industrial-scale hydro and nuclear power without oil or gas. Because of our intrinsic dependence on energy, our population would eventually, inevitably be reduced to the same extent - down to perhaps one billion people, similar to the world's population in the early 1800s. Because we are so invested in our 10,000 year old story of human exceptionalism, we will not make any choice that might result in such a decline.

If we do not make that choice however, we will continue following our current climate trajectory as described by the IPCC's RCP8.5 and A1FI scenarios. That curve passes through a temperature increase of +6C or better by the end of the century. Mark Lynas' description of a +6C world makes it abundantly clear that such a rise is utterly incompatible with a large, complex, global industrial civilization - or the number of people it currently supports.

So what do we do? Well, we probably just muddle along doing whatever we think might be useful, as we usually do. Maybe we pray a bit. And maybe we give thanks that we weren't born a few decades later, like our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
GliderGuider Jan 2013 OP
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #1
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #2
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #5
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #8
Vox Moi Jan 2013 #3
NickB79 Jan 2013 #4
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #7
joshcryer Jan 2013 #18
LineReply Here's why I think we face a choiceless choice
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #6
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #9
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #10
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #15
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #16
joshcryer Jan 2013 #25
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #11
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #12
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #13
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #14
CRH Jan 2013 #19
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #20
CRH Jan 2013 #21
CRH Jan 2013 #28
Nihil Jan 2013 #23
joshcryer Jan 2013 #17
Nihil Jan 2013 #22
joshcryer Jan 2013 #24
djean111 Jan 2013 #26
joshcryer Jan 2013 #27
CRH Jan 2013 #29
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