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« Can China "leapfrog" the U.S. with nanotech? | Main | Nano-Robots Good & Bad »

February 21, 2008

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the oakster1

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Arianespace_Mission_Update_The_ATV_Has_Been_Integrated_On_Its_Ariane_5_Launcher_999.html

there's probably greater things to put on science news for the day, but i'll get this one on here now.

The point about space science to be said today is that nanotechnologies are gonig to make the majority of space science obsolete; if this had been done back in the seventies, then we'd be seeing a great industrial revolution. But, right now, the space station is more a symbol of how compromise with anything less than the mathematical science viewpoint leads to tragedy; case in point is the climate change problems which seems to be accellerating(this is actually old news today)

http://crnano.typepad.com/crnblog/2008/02/dire-warning-on.html

(note, I know I blast crn a lot, but it isn't about the fundamental things they do[although I've tried my buns off to find something wrong with their 'system of three ethics' i've probably strengthened it, which is good! of course, the rest of their b.s. is well . . . 'edited' You don't need to prevent humanity from expanding out to space just to feed the Earth's human population and reverse global climate change; there's something else there; something bill joyish; i keep wanting to reread his immaturity mongering lettting to wired magazine, but I've been busy posting plenty of other stuff!), but here they post something important.) To say the least, I'd say that things like the delayed space program(due to social as well as political heads) since the seventies and the slow political reaction to global warming is proof that intellectuals should be allowed to move outto space as fast as they can to avoid being 'compromised' by anti-science social 'edited'

Hal

All those quotes about climate problems do not point to "climate chaos" over the next two decades. Today and in the near future, any apparent increase in climate extremes is still more of a news media selection effect than a scientific reality. Rather, those quotes are still talking about long term effects, with an increasing recognition that we have passed the "tipping point" in which we can easily make changes that have major effects on the future.

However the missing piece in all these scenarios is one you guys should know better than to ignore: future technology. The fact remains that we have a multi hundred year record of each generation being richer, more powerful, and having much more capable technologies available to deal with problems. This is the core reason why most hard-nosed economic models of optimal expenditures for mitigating future climate change advise very low expense levels today.

It is immoral to ask people today to make sacrifices when their immensely richer and more comfortable descendants will be the beneficiaries. We don't tax the poor to support extravagant lifestyles of the rich, and we shouldn't do so across generations, either.

Whether it is your nanofactories, Richard Jones' soft machines, or the Singularitarians' super-AI, odds are that future technologies will be more than adequate to deal with the environmental challenges faced by the mid and late 21st centuries.

Hawkeye

How much warmer would it really have to get to be a problem? The idea of several degrees increase puts us back to some of the warmer periods in history, but nothing terrible. We're not melting away or anything. Maybe growing grapes in Canada and the UK again? Wouldn't it also mean longer growing seasons for crops resulting in increased food production. Are we really talking about temperatures we've not historically seen before now?

I also thought that the CO2 was a trailing indicator in the temp cycle. As the ocean warms up it's capacity to hold CO2 diminishes and releases more CO2, but it isn't a significant causal variable. Doesn't only interfere with a tiny fraction of wavelengths?

The last post made a good point, technology seems likely to be able to impact this should it become a major issue. Aren't most of the dramatic effects also long term effects? Shouldn't that give us more time to react as well?

hunter

It seems that everytime we hear about the climate being more moderate than predicted or that the Antarctic ice has been at record levels, some senior advisor tp some politician tells us that in reality we are all getting ready to die.
I think the fear-based cascade of global climate change is what is really notable here.
The climate, in reality, is changing either within the range of uncertainty or very modestly.
But careers, power and fortunes are being built selling the apocalypse.

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