A new Epoch?

Discussion in 'General Science' started by Wendy, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Wendy

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  2. Papabravo

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    Who here has a degree in geology? Certainly not moi!
     
  3. hp1729

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    Re: pie chart
    Does this imply epochs are circular?

    Re: cause of epoch
    Certainly man has an influence but if man can correct the damage he has caused does this negate the epoch? While solar activity and natural influences can be more permanent.
     
  4. Papabravo

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    Unless society at large chooses inaction for economic or other reasons. Collective decision making has certain disadvantages among an inadequately informed population.
     
  5. WBahn

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    Ironically, both sides of many debates can make this claim.
     
  6. Papabravo

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    Indeed, but given the ease of information transfer in this wired world you might expect that the populace would be more informed, not less. It is one of the conundrums of life in the 21st century.
     
  7. WBahn

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    I agree. But I think that in the past you HAD to be better informed just to function. Today is it possible to slug through life in an utterly clueless mode. Since humans are rather lazy by nature, if they CAN get by without knowing anything, a lot of them will take that route.

    The first example that I saw that really floored me was teens that spend their life watching movies and yet still fail to absorb even the basics regarding history. They can't tell you who we fought in the Revolutionary War, who bombed Pearl Harbor, what century the Civil War was fought, and the list goes on and on. Yet if you ask them if they have seen any number of movies that contain this information in an in-your-face way and they will acknowledge having seen most of them. But they watch with their brain completely disengaged. I wonder if that doesn't train them to go through most of life in the same mode.
     
  8. hp1729

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    You seem to suggest that this wired world only supports one "truth". We can get "more informed" on contradicting opinions.
     
  9. boatsman

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    The trouble is nowadays people are overwhelmed by too much information. They are not knowledgeable enough to be able to discern between serious matters and trivia. At one time a person entered a university to obtain an education; nowadays it is quite often to get a degree in any subject to qualify for a particular job whether the degree is relevant to the job or not.
     
  10. Wendy

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    Much of the damage can not be undone. We are in the middle of the 6th great extinction. Many species did not make it through the 20th century, and many more will not make it through the next 10 years, let alone this century.

    The Pi chart was just how they choose to present the info. You need to look at the content, not the wrapping.
     
  11. Papabravo

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    I don't think so. Truth is an almost irrelevant concept, it is consensus that drives policy. People don't want to be confused with facts, but they do want to belong to "powerful" majority.
     
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  12. sailorjoe

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  13. WBahn

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    Their analysis suffers from the same flaws that all such analyses suffer -- they assume that historical growth rates will continue unabated into the future, known as the extrapolation fallacy.

    Energy use per capita has not increased any anywhere near the 2.3% rate they are using -- in fact, in the last 200 years it has increased by a factor of four and most of that (fully half) was during the Post WWII boom in which significant amounts of manual labor was replaced by machine labor -- something that is not likely to be repeated on that scale. But even ignoring that and assuming that such a spike occurs every couple hundred years, we are talking about a doubling every century. Taking it into account and we are talking more like a doubling every two centuries.

    Now, that is in per-capita energy consumption. How you get from that to the factor of ten per century that they are talking about is due to global population growth which peaked at, guess what, about 2.1%/year in about 1970 and today has slowed to just over 1.1%/yr. If you look at their chart you see the significant tapering downward of the data starting in about 1970.

    So what their assumption really comes down to is assuming that world population growth will continue into the future at about the 2%/yr rate, meaning that in their 300 year timeframe that the world population will go from 7 billion to 2,660 billion people. Even they acknowledge that world population will saturate at some point; when that happens, world energy consumption will largely flatline. I think it is safe to assume that it will saturate much closer to 10 billion than to 2,500 billion. In fact, many projections of total world population have it peaking in the middle part of this century (2060 to 2070 time frame) at about 9.5 billion and falling back into the 8 billion range by the end of the century. Now, as with all predications, how good it is remains to be seen.
     
  14. sailorjoe

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    Oh, yes, and they admit as much about their assumptions and conclusions being more speculative than predictive. So, would a world population of say 8 billion people be content with limited energy, or would they also want increasing energy growth? I hope they figure out the warp drive. I know I haven't yet! Ha!
     
  15. WBahn

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    The energy growth per-capita in the U.S. peaked in the 1970 time frame and has been declining overall since then -- down about 15% since then. It is at around 300 GJ/year/capita. The overall world average is about 80 GJ/yr/capita. So let's assume that we stabilize at the U.S. average and a population of 10 billion, that would be a total energy consumption world wide of about five times the current level -- and keep in mind that the U.S. supplies a significant portion of the world's food, so the numbers are misleading because a noticeable amount of the U.S. number should already be spread out around the rest of the world which would lower the 300 GJ/yr/capita and raise the 80 GJ/yr/capita.
     
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