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Renewables
#52
(01-13-2015, 12:38 PM)tmazanec1 Wrote: The Limits to Growth predicted a peak and collapse of industrial civilization around 2030 if trends then being followed continued. They have continued, but we haven't reached the drop-off point yet. It did project that, by about now, it would be too late to prevent this collapse, however. I purchased TLTG when it came out in the Seventies, and even had a version of their World Model on my Apple ][+, so I remember this quite well. They may or may not be correct, but we can't tell from the fact that industrial civilization is still tootling along in 2015.

The predictions of TLTG do follow the data of the last few decades quite closely, except for two minor discrepancies; population has not grown quite as fast as they predicted, and pollution is somewhat less drastic than envisaged. The birth rate in almost every country outside Africa is now hovering somewhere around replacement levels, so population growth is less than predicted; also pollution has declined in the First World to almost negligible levels, thanks to environmental laws. But the depletion of resources (especially fossil fuels) continues to follow the predictions.

What is controversial is the 'overshoot and collapse' model. showing that both will start to happen in the 2030s. Since there is no sign of an overshoot and collapse happening yet, most people disregard the possibility. Even in TLTG most of the growth signs are still positive for the period around 2015, except for the projected increase in pollution, which really hasn't happened (except for the increase of CO2, which is a separate issue).

Overshoot and collapse is a concept found in ecology, and has plenty of evidence to back it up there; but the population of a species in the wild does not rely on technology in the way human populations do. Already our species has developed numerous technologies to address the resources issue, such as recycling, renewable energy and shale oil, which have contributed to the recent collapse of oil prices in the last year. Unfortunately, the same environmental concerns that have resulted in a reduction in pollution levels in the West are also inhibiting the adoption of nuclear power technology, which could be a much better solution to the power shortage than fracking.

But the main lesson of TLTG remains true; as the world becomes increasingly wealthy it will use resources at an increasingly rapid rate. This rate of increase is reduced by the fact that population has not grown quite as quickly as predicted, but the path to a wealthy global economy is likely pass through a period in this century when increased demand meets falling resources, and new strategies will be needed to address this.

Better recycling, increasing adoption of renewable energy sources, and (hopefully) fusion power should address the main problems of falling resources; to ensure (for instance) that there is enough fresh water to replenish aquifers and reverse salinification of soils will require a lot of energy, and currently we don't have a good strategy in place to source that energy.
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Messages In This Thread
Renewables - by xsampa - 09-19-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: Renewables - by Cray - 09-19-2014, 12:31 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-19-2014, 06:22 PM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-20-2014, 12:09 AM
RE: Renewables - by FrodoGoofball - 09-19-2014, 11:44 PM
RE: Renewables - by Cray - 09-20-2014, 12:32 AM
RE: Renewables - by FrodoGoofball - 09-20-2014, 03:30 AM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-20-2014, 05:42 AM
RE: Renewables - by FrodoGoofball - 09-20-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-20-2014, 06:53 PM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-20-2014, 08:55 AM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-20-2014, 06:34 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-20-2014, 07:04 PM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-20-2014, 09:42 PM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-20-2014, 09:36 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-20-2014, 10:54 PM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-20-2014, 11:42 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-21-2014, 12:54 AM
RE: Renewables - by Dalex - 09-21-2014, 01:15 AM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-21-2014, 01:19 AM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-21-2014, 05:28 AM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-21-2014, 02:36 AM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 09-21-2014, 03:11 AM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-21-2014, 03:36 AM
RE: Renewables - by kch49er - 09-21-2014, 10:16 PM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-22-2014, 04:24 AM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-22-2014, 07:56 AM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-22-2014, 11:13 AM
RE: Renewables - by kch49er - 09-22-2014, 05:43 AM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-22-2014, 06:17 AM
RE: Renewables - by kch49er - 09-22-2014, 07:57 AM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-22-2014, 11:29 AM
RE: Renewables - by radtech497 - 09-22-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 09-22-2014, 08:57 PM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 09-22-2014, 08:22 PM
RE: Renewables - by kch49er - 09-22-2014, 08:37 PM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 09-22-2014, 11:47 PM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-23-2014, 12:40 AM
RE: Renewables - by radtech497 - 09-23-2014, 02:49 AM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 09-23-2014, 08:25 AM
RE: Renewables - by xsampa - 09-23-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-23-2014, 01:00 PM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 09-24-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 10-09-2014, 11:15 AM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 10-10-2014, 06:41 AM
RE: Renewables - by Drashner1 - 10-10-2014, 11:23 AM
RE: Renewables - by Fsci123 - 10-16-2014, 10:50 PM
RE: Renewables - by Cray - 10-17-2014, 09:12 PM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 01-13-2015, 06:59 PM
RE: Renewables - by Rynn - 01-13-2015, 09:49 PM
RE: Renewables - by iancampbell - 01-14-2015, 01:17 AM
RE: Renewables - by kch49er - 10-18-2014, 09:04 PM
RE: Renewables - by tmazanec1 - 01-13-2015, 12:38 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 01-13-2015, 08:55 PM
RE: Renewables - by Rynn - 01-13-2015, 09:56 PM
RE: Renewables - by stevebowers - 01-13-2015, 09:12 PM
RE: Renewables - by Dalex - 01-14-2015, 05:21 AM

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