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Old 1st January 2010, 12:41 AM   #11
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Originally Posted by SY View Post
Remember the bet between prophet-of-doom Paul Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon? I'll make that bet. Humans are smart, innovative, and creative. Despite our "leaders" doing their best to keep us down, they can't- the world is (overall) infinitely better and more wonderful than it was 10 or 20 years ago by any objective measure. I'm very optimistic about our future.
Often I agree with some of what you say SY, but seldom all of what you say!

This time I go along with your (subjective) wager on this - you are right to appear to risk your money!

Here in Scotland we are having a very cold time of it. Even on the Borders of England, which is where I live, there are abnormally cold temperatures over the past 12 days. And we now are told that we have worse to come.

Although scientists have forecast that the world is changing to a degree whereby the footprint of irresponsible mankind is hastening its destruction (as we know it), considerable doubt remains among just as many equally qualified minds as to the accuracy of that prediction. Sy is, I believe, correct in his thought and therefore wise to risk the bet; and before the battle over whether or not cables should be burned-in , man will have found alternative, cleaner and safer methods of creating energy for domestic and industrial use.

Maybe too we will see enough advancement on the human front to be able to halt the onrush toward conflict which has been fact over the past four decades. It is my belief that finding one square inch of common ground between people of differing views can be enough upon which to base some hope for a more constructive, mutually beneficial, way forward. In that sense even this forum has started to bring together people of different lands, backgrounds of race, politics, religion and colour. Whatever storms may sometimes blow up on various topics, what is sure is, they have nothing to do with such differing factors. And that is a good thing!

I hope that we all continue well in 2010 and that we all have enough for our real needs, both physical and emotional.

Good Luck,

Brian
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:14 AM   #12
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
.................................................. .......................
I do have the feeling sometimes that the focus is more on maximizing short term economic gain with little regard to long term societal interests. ....................
Happy New Year everyone!!
Kevin,

You are sooo right in that.

I lived in London for 30 years surrounded by seriously heavy businessmen; bankers, dealers, lawyers et al. The biggest change I saw in that time was the way in which underlying ethical standards changed coupled with an ever increasing lack of basic responsibility for personal actions. Big money business has always had a dirty side, but back 30 years ago individuals involved were relatively ethical - at least in the rest of their lives. Now the unadulterated greed and the very sharp fall in underlying individual ethical standards is appallingly worrying. Yet, despite the recent past, in which thousands of retired people here have seen their income reduce by 25-30% in real terms, their underlying security evaporate by similar percentages, an alarming number of our national politicians have proved to be corruptly self-centred, and just like the bankers, have got away with it!
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:27 AM   #13
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I would like to believe all that SY says, in fact I would really like to believe it! However, I look at my own kids and do wonder what are we leaving for them. Of course the truth is, we (i.e. anyone over the age of 25) are already written off, and the focus is on the next generation. In reality, the sooner we die off the better for the earth!!

Sorry to be so pessimistic!! On a brighter note, I do believe there is a whole raft of new technologies just sitting there, but for whatever political or business reason, they are being held back. I look at LED lighting as a good example. All that is currently on the market are overpriced low powered crap that are offensive to use. If 50W halogen GU10 lamps were banned in the morning, I reckon the replacement in a 5W LED version is sitting ready to hit a production line somewhere. But for whatever reason, that won't happen yet.

Fran
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:31 AM   #14
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Brianco: like you in Scotland, we here in Ireland are having the coldest snap for many years. But my neighbour across the road could remind that in 1947 the River Liffey froze solid and the held dances locally on the canal. Imagine a body of water that size being frozen hard enough for long enough to hold that weight.

The real problem in predicting global warming is that we measure in years while Earth measures in millions of years. Literally we are trying to predict a hurricane in the carribean by the way a moth flaps its wings in London (and that doesn't mean they can't)


Fran
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:36 AM   #15
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Fran..
You are right. I remember 47, I was 5 at the time and living down in Mountrath in Leix.

And its almost as long since I have had a mott flap her wings, [or anything else], for me! God be with the days!

Have a good year back there now.

Brian
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:38 AM   #16
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Right back to ya....... and remember you're only as old as the woman you feel )
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Old 1st January 2010, 01:40 AM   #17
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Originally Posted by woodturner-fran View Post
Right back to ya....... and remember you're only as old as the woman you feel )

and who was it said that the nearest Irish word word for manyana has a lesser degree of urgency?
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Old 1st January 2010, 02:15 AM   #18
Key is offline Key  United States
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Originally Posted by T in AZ View Post
Free energy isn't really free, it just requires a more efficient way of obtaining it, energy exists all around us. Anything above absolute zero gives off energy in the form of heat called thermal energy, but free energy could also be called cosmic, gamma, X ray, light, infra red, radio,... the frequency is the only difference.
I think there is some truth to this. The way we use energy that is already known is generally inefficient especially in terms of utilizing heat - for the most part it's just discarded as a byproduct. My city for one has erected a new Cogeneration Power Plant which captures the heat instead of getting rid of it and then utilizes it to make more energy or to at least save the secondary energy that you would normally have to use to produce that heat.

I've sat in on some meetings with big wigs of power plants and imo I think there is a problem with explaining what is a very complex problem with many moving variables and trying to wrap it up into some easily explainable mantra to pass along to investors or co-ops.

I think people in general want easy singular answers to hard problems when in reality the solutions might be more akin to a balancing act with constantly changing weight, wind, and gravity.
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Old 1st January 2010, 12:44 PM   #19
GK is offline GK  Australia
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That's all the evidence I need to see the light. UPS's with non-standardized batteries and Ikea-like consumerism. Yeah, western society really is heading down the gurgler.

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Old 1st January 2010, 06:33 PM   #20
T in AZ is offline T in AZ  United States
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GK, was that an attempt at sarcastic humor? Or do think that world wide problems are a non-item because we have had atrocities take place in the past? I don’t see the connect? Your ref. To UPS batteries and Ikea is causing the western world to go down the drain? What was that? More of the same? I thought you were more savvy then that, but I guess some could miss understand, after all communication is the human dilemma.
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