Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Movie!

         Just a quick post today...I found this on Top Documentary the other day and thought I'd post it, as it kinda goes along with what we've been talking about this week.  Personally, I think the scenario presented below is actually optimistic, as it doesn't seem to take the current economic crisis into account.  It would be interesting to see how such a scenario would play out if fabricators and an open-source paradigm were more prevalent in the coming years.

          Let me know what you think:


  1. American fears about american future from american perspective-REALLY subjective point of view, something like: "me! me! me!". Complately useless agenda for the rest of the world. Reminds me of malthausian visions-both in terms of catastrophic projections, proposed (useless) remedies and real outcomes of the "future" itself. The problem with this scenario lays in its beginning-assumption that US would start to burn coal is ridicolous. US woudln't burn coal, but turn to nuclear. The rest of the world, including mentioned China, is doing that, becuase that's the only reasonable way. In long term US will produce most of its energy from that source and orbital solar. So scenario goes wacko from this point on and becomes useless chattings about nothing. And I now that americans are solemny believing in "american wya of life" and they are quite convinced that whole world wants it too, but this isn't true. Europeans want europan way of life, Chinese want chinese way of life, Indians...well, you get the picture. People are DIFFERENT. Its true that other countries want to develop too, but the are not going to adopt wasteful attitudes of americans, mostly becuase it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to do. Partly because they live in different conditions and have different needs and abilites to fulfill those needs. Partly-because they do not constructed the world order in such manner that it suits best their interest. American overconsumption is an effect of those two issues, which are unique for US and for US only. That's why you are superpower guys. Stop whining about it.
    So to sum up scenario isn't "optimstic" its just wrong. Makes strnage assumptions, and is cleairly desing to influence ameircna public. Fine. But stop pretending it is relveant for the rest of the wordl. Yeah, america is important, but not THAT important. You are not Jesus of this planet,and we (the rest of the world) do not want to follow your path. Get. Over. It.

  2. where you from, dude?

    I don't know that I agree about us switching to nukes. I'd love to see it happen, I think it's the smartest option, but we're not gonna do it. Partly because it IS the smartest option - As a nation, we haven't made such a rational choice in decades - but mostly because of the initial investment cost of building new reactors. The people with the money will not spend it while coal still sits in the ground. Stupid but true.

    I sincerely hope you're correct about the rest of the world not following us off the cliff of over consumption. The idea of globalization making countries like China and India abandon millennia of tradition and philosophy for the "buy now, pay later" religion of the West is too depressing to stand, even for me.

    Lastly, you're absolutely right; This program was designed to influence Americans. Not even subtly - The bit at the end that said the turning point where everything went to hell was when China and India refused to agree to America's treaty...It's just sad.

    Of course, just three guys own every media outlet in the United States. Two of them are the largest private landowners in North America. It does not behoove out mainstream media to report news that these guys disagree with...

  3. You asked, so I'm answering: I'm from most pro-american country in Europe, Poland, and even we don't accept "living style" of US. What we admire in US is not connected to consumerism. It is personal freedom-not only democracy which we already have, but that freedom connected to your economic and social life. This is what we are aspiring to. And this is "american way of life" for us. And as far as I know-for everyone else. Though it is true that it is tempting to consume as much as you do, but as I said before-it is impossible for whole world to adapt such life style. And honestly-for most part you are wasting resources, not even consuming them. This is not acceptable choice for majority of the world. Small, but meaningfull example: I for instance could not fathom when I was in US how you can finish your meal and send the rest of it into garbage bin just becuase you are "full". I've been raised in a culture where wasting food is perceived as sin. And my country is in "developed" rank. Go to southern Africa or China or whatever other country you wish and this attitude will be even stronger.

    But back to the topic-this "scenario" they are following in this I dare say crap is really, I mean REALLY unrealistic. Fairy-tale level of unreal. First-coal power plants. Then-failed summit-why there was no other in next 85 years?! And why in 2030 NOTHING has changed-despite the fact that "scenario" assumes that peak oil happened. I could understand if they would say that we started to produce oil and gas from coal gasification and other coal-derived technologies (for that you need nuclear power anyway...). Or that oil started to be produced from different types of crops-that would play nicely in their story, becuase this already happened and caused food prices to spike. And why there are no electric cars, why there are no hydrogen powered cars and other stuff like that? Well, I know-because all those things-gasification, crops, alternative sources of energy - would change "scenario" radically and it wouldn't end nicely in total disaster. Especially hydrogen cars are #$%! everything up, when basically everywhere in US you could store or produce cheap water. That would destroy this whole "drought" part.

    The more I watched the more puzzled I was. This whole "cosmic shield" project. We know RIGHT NOW that it is dangerous. And yet they decide to do it in 2070's? If ice caps are melting then simply build REAL cosmic shield made of satelites. Or you could launch rockets into atmosphere with ash-like substance to have effects of small nuclear winter. Heck, proposal to wrap Greenland in some sun-reflecting sheet has more sense than this! We can do all those things TODAY if we wished so and certainly we should be able in 2070. And please, please explain me how it is possible that this "great barrier" in NY, build for decades (becuase techology did not developed-but we covered that part already) was not prepared for rapid increase of ocean levels? I mean we know NOW that this thing with tundra can happen, but in 2070's we do not? How come?

    I especially love comparison between extinct civilizations and today world. In essence, it shows what is wrong with this whole movie. Mayan civilization-as well as every other one- had no knowledge about its impact on environment. Furthermore it did not developed. Their technology level was flat. And this is what whole movie tries to tell us-flat level of technology connected with total ingorance about matters we already know. But biggest joke is this repeated sentence that "this seems like science-fiction but actually this is what top-minds of scientific community have told us". So it IS science-fiction. Because that is what SF is all about. But they want to manipulate people, so they want to avoid admitting that.

  4. Ahem. Anonymous, go grab Collapse by Jared Diamond and maybe 1491 by Charles Mann. IIRC, they describe the Yucatan environment as a fragile and hostile one that could be as bad as the Gobi or Altiplano, if you loose your source of water. Both make a decent argument for environmental degradation being a key element of the Maya collapse.

    Is it the only possible answer? Nope, but short of a time viewer and listener, we're going to be arguing about it for a while...

    Now as to "documentaries" on this subject, please check out After the Warming by James Burke. Its almost 30 years old (moan, I'm old!), but its a decent piece on this. Plus, given Burke's chops on Connections and related I think he has the credibility on this.

  5. Strannik, check out "The Chilling Stars" by another eminent British science reporter, Nigel Calder. He's one that didn't fall for the sky-is-falling global warming fad.

  6. Strannik, I'm not arguing that this wasn't the case. I'm arguing that this is our knowledge today which wasn't given to Mayans. And even if it were they had really limited possilibilties becuase of their flat technology level. This was my argument.


Questions, comments, criticisms? All non-Trolls welcome!