General / Off-Topic Recycle or Die! (the elite environmental thread)

The political issue is that they don't consider the future. Why lift a finger or spend any money that will benefit the opposition who are probably going to be in by the time it comes to fruition. That happened with the millennium dome successive governments stole credit/blamed their predecessors as it cycled from a success to a huge empty carpark. That's how bad they are on projects that last a decade things that would take generations are just beyond their collective ability to comprehend.

Democracies greatest weakness is short term thinking. Add a strictly two party system like ours where coalitions and compromise are utterly alien concepts and its even more pronounced, they are only bothered by their own term in office.
It's the same with the issue of antibiotic resistance. Everyone knows what's coming, the experts are practically screaming about it, yet hardly anything is done about it. We still pump farm animals full of the stuff to keep them alive in their cramped, inhumane conditions. And so on and so forth. Crazy.
 
It's the same with the issue of antibiotic resistance. Everyone knows what's coming, the experts are practically screaming about it, yet hardly anything is done about it. We still pump farm animals full of the stuff to keep them alive in their cramped, inhumane conditions. And so on and so forth. Crazy.
Combine antibiotic resistant infections with doing hospital cleaning on the cheap and you have a very scary situation indeed. It doesn't help that the easiest way to clear a doctors waiting room of hypochondriacs is send everyone home with a bottle of them either.

Another naughty farming antibiotic use is constantly chucking it into animal feed to make them gain weight faster, that's done on an industrial scale. Stop it a few months before slaughter and they test clean.
 
One of the many reasons (talking mass antibiotic usage/growth hormone etc) i only eat meat that is organic, and as local as possible. We are lucky to have a place near where we live that believes in all that in farm production, and can be reasonably priced if you pay attention. Ideally i'd keep my own pigs, and likely will later down the line, but one of the aspects of this thread is to partially highlight just how much about how we run our world is just so wrong and the consequences of all that is coming home to roost, from AGW to food quality and the poison that all of us now have in our bodies (and children are now born carrying).

When you loose sight of the thinking around 'Recycle or Die', well you die!

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'Climate change: UK 'can cut emissions to nearly zero' by 2050':


The UK should lead the global fight against climate change by cutting greenhouse gases to nearly zero by 2050, a report says.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) maintains this can be done at no added cost from previous estimates.

Its report says that if other countries follow the UK, there’s a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended 1.5C temperature rise by 2100.

A 1.5C rise is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change.

Some say the proposed 2050 target for near-zero emissions is too soft, but others will fear the goal could damage the UK's economy.

The CCC - the independent adviser to government on climate change - said it would not be able to hit “net zero“ emissions any sooner, but 2050 was still an extremely significant goal.

The main author Chris Stark told me: “This report would have been absolutely inconceivable just a few years ago. People would have laughed us out of court for suggesting that the target could be so high.”

The main change, he said, was the huge drop in the cost of renewable energy prompted by government policies to nurture solar and wind power.
I'd just like to say that i'm very happy to be able to find articles worth posting about from the BBC again. After the Blair (Rupert Murdoch) era when they tried to destroy the 'truth' reporting the BBC was world famous for, it was hard to find free decent news on stuff (thanks to the Guardian it did not die out completely).
 

WingardiumLevicoaster

Volunteer Moderator
It's the same with the issue of antibiotic resistance. Everyone knows what's coming, the experts are practically screaming about it, yet hardly anything is done about it. We still pump farm animals full of the stuff to keep them alive in their cramped, inhumane conditions. And so on and so forth. Crazy.
Combine antibiotic resistant infections with doing hospital cleaning on the cheap and you have a very scary situation indeed. It doesn't help that the easiest way to clear a doctors waiting room of hypochondriacs is send everyone home with a bottle of them either.

Another naughty farming antibiotic use is constantly chucking it into animal feed to make them gain weight faster, that's done on an industrial scale. Stop it a few months before slaughter and they test clean.
Antibiotic resistance is terrifying. We are sleepwalking into a nightmare and most people don't even know about how it is used in farming.
 
There might be a way to deal with antibiotic resistance. When antibiotics were discovered, it was mainly adapted by the Western World, whereas the Soviet Union went another way. In the west we went for the low hanging fruits, being the naturally occurring antibiotics produced by organisms like fungi, happily not knowing about resistance. However that is not the only way to cure an infection. A virus is a very specialized thingy. It normally only attacks one single type of organism. Some virus also attacks bacteria. Those are called bacteriophages. Using bacteriophages to cure an infection is called phage therapy, and it might be the only solution to antibiotic resistance.

"Isolated from Western advances in antibiotic production in the 1940s, Russian scientists continued to develop already successful phage therapy to treat the wounds of soldiers in field hospitals. During World War II, the Soviet Union used bacteriophages to treat many soldiers infected with various bacterial diseases e.g. dysentery and gangrene. Russian researchers continued to develop and to refine their treatments and to publish their research and results. However, due to the scientific barriers of the Cold War, this knowledge was not translated and did not proliferate across the world."

 
Cu
There might be a way to deal with antibiotic resistance. When antibiotics were discovered, it was mainly adapted by the Western World, whereas the Soviet Union went another way. In the west we went for the low hanging fruits, being the naturally occurring antibiotics produced by organisms like fungi, happily not knowing about resistance. However that is not the only way to cure an infection. A virus is a very specialized thingy. It normally only attacks one single type of organism. Some virus also attacks bacteria. Those are called bacteriophages. Using bacteriophages to cure an infection is called phage therapy, and it might be the only solution to antibiotic resistance.

"Isolated from Western advances in antibiotic production in the 1940s, Russian scientists continued to develop already successful phage therapy to treat the wounds of soldiers in field hospitals. During World War II, the Soviet Union used bacteriophages to treat many soldiers infected with various bacterial diseases e.g. dysentery and gangrene. Russian researchers continued to develop and to refine their treatments and to publish their research and results. However, due to the scientific barriers of the Cold War, this knowledge was not translated and did not proliferate across the world."

Cuba made lots of internal medical advances under US sanctions, maybe they'll help to save us all from our own mess.
 
@Stigbob
Some of the former Soviet states also have a lot of expertice.

Some of the most nasty infections we know, are those caused by anaerobic microorganisms. They are extremely hard to treat with antibiotics, but have been successfully treated with bacteriophages.

Even bacteriophages are a double edged sword though. I know this sounds very cynical, but the more diseases we find a way to cure, the longer people will live, and that will result in population growth. Before antibiotics people died from even "simple" infections, and antibiotics is perhaps the most important reason why the average life expectancy of a newborn human has roughly doubled in a century.

That is one of those paradoxes I mentioned earlier. We all want to remain alive and healthy, but if nobody dies Earth will become overpopulated very quickly, unless we stop having kids. And we like kids :)
 
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This quote has resonated in my ears for a while:

"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies."

- Jon Snow
 
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'Nature' is a great 'leveller' when push comes to shove. I'd not worry too much about population (by saying this i'm just offering a perspective, it's not a subject i wish to clutter the overall debate with as i know it gets 'messy'). But like i said nature is a great leveller and we can be (on occasion) super smart beings that can create solutions. However if we carry on 'killing' our planet then there is only a cliff edge to fall from in terms of humanities future:

'Nature loss: Major report to highlight 'natural and human emergency':


Scientists and government officials meet this week in Paris to finalise a key assessment on humanity's relationship with nature.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, will issue the first report of this type since 2005. It will detail the past losses and future prospects for nature and humans.

One author says the report will highlight the "social and ecological emergency" the world is now facing.

From Monday some of the world's leading researchers in the field of biodiversity will meet in the French capital to work through the details of their report with representatives from 132 governments.

Their conclusions, known as a Summary for Policymakers, will then be published on 6 May.

"I would say that this is the most comprehensive assessment on the state of nature and humanity's place in it," said Prof Sir Robert Watson, who chairs IPBES.

"It is the first intergovernmental assessment - this is much more powerful in my view, it means that governments are fully involved."
 
It's the same with the issue of antibiotic resistance. Everyone knows what's coming, the experts are practically screaming about it, yet hardly anything is done about it. We still pump farm animals full of the stuff to keep them alive in their cramped, inhumane conditions. And so on and so forth. Crazy.
Disgusting, like our leaders.

Should be severely punished by the law.

:mad:
 
'Nature' is a great 'leveller' when push comes to shove. I'd not worry too much about population (by saying this i'm just offering a perspective, it's not a subject i wish to clutter the overall debate with as i know it gets 'messy'). But like i said nature is a great leveller and we can be (on occasion) super smart beings that can create solutions. However if we carry on 'killing' our planet then there is only a cliff edge to fall from in terms of humanities future:

'Nature loss: Major report to highlight 'natural and human emergency':

A good fast way to get some knowledge about ecology and biodiversity, and why it matters, is Hank Green's excellent series on the subject:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjE-Pkjp3u4&list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNdTKZkV_GiIYXpV9w4WxbX
 
I love Hank Green! Are you a nerdfighter?
I didn't know that term, but I'm a huge fan of Hank and John.

When I was a kid, most of the other kids mobbed me and called me "The Professor". I found that pretty embarrassing, and a large part of my life was spent trying to hide that I was curious by nature. I normally ended up in jobs with equally nerdy people. Then I read Microserfs by Douglas Coupland, and in that book, there is person saying something like "I'm a geek, not a nerd. Nerd's get lost in what they do, geeks don't". Many years later that had resonated enough in my brain, so combined with the amazing amount of stupidity I experienced among my fellow humans, I decided to admit it. I'm a full blown nerd. I'm proud of it, and anyone who try and mob me about it, can go suck a bug.

That has made life a lot easier in many ways ;)
 
Well it mostly was stuff i knew about broadly speaking (i'm not a professional biologist or geologist) and is probably good for younger students in terms of presentation (fast). I prefer the pace (and detail) of productions from David Attenborough, Patrick Moore, Brian Cox, Alice Roberts, Jim Al-Khalili etc.

Still it was a fast quick overview of earth's environmental history good for those who do not know the basic details. One thing i would say is he (at least in that first video) glossed over perhaps the biggest issue re current AGW. The speed of change.

Sure the earth has gone through tremendous climate changes all throughout it's history (Snowball Earth etc) many which caused mass extinctions, this time the CO2 change has been faster than at any previous time we have been able to see in the geological record. That is a big deal, and we know we are driving this CO2 surge, and how. We have one trick up our sleeve all the previous (now mostly extinct) creatures that evolved and grew on earth did not, intelligence. I hope that counts for something this time?
 
Hank and John Green's Crash Course Series is not a full blown university course, but it's excellent as an introduction or a refresh. I've also been watching a lot of the more slow paced series. My all time favorite was probably Jim Al-Khalili's two episode series on Energy and Information (Order and Disorder). That was beautiful, and thought provoking. I can highly recommend those, even though they are not specifically dealing with global warming, though highly related.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zrKyLemfg


Source: https://youtu.be/ioP0N4zYJeA
 
Sure the earth has gone through tremendous climate changes all throughout it's history (Snowball Earth etc) many which caused mass extinctions, this time the CO2 change has been faster than at any previous time we have been able to see in the geological record. That is a big deal, and we know we are driving this CO2 surge, and how. We have one trick up our sleeve all the previous (now mostly extinct) creatures that evolved and grew on earth did not, intelligence. I hope that counts for something this time?
Snowball Earth (Cryogenian Period) was pre-cambrian and thus not an extinction event.
Instead the ice prevented photosynthesis so limited the O2 available.
Low O2 levels prevented the production of collagen so multicellular life couldn't develop till the ice started to break up.
That's why the 'Cabrian Explosion' occured afterwards.
This is also why I suspect any life on Europa or Ganymede is unicellular.
 
From the presentation of UN's new report on biodiversity:

“The health of the ecosystems on which we and other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ibpes).

Josef Settele, an Ipbes co-chair and entomologist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany, said: “The situation is tricky and difficult but I would never give up. The report shows there is a way out. I believe we can still bend the curve.


Mkay... Lets just look at one of the terms Watson uses: Food Security. That sounds nice, and has a positive ring to it. However, the the flip side of food security is malnutrition, hunger and famine. How do you think a World with a large scale global famine would be like? Do you think such a famine would be isolated to somewhere where you don't live. In that case, wake up and smell the coffee!

It becomes more and more clear to me, that the way out is Mother Natures iron fist. As I wrote in another thread: Whenever I ask people around me in the scientific community, if we're telling the truth about our ability to solve what we're facing, the answer is "Think positive". You can't eat positive thoughts.
 
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So, i keep reading about how wonderful the U.K. is, for making records, for not using coal, to generate power for the national grid. last week is was something like 19 hours. This is such good news, but after some research; I find that there is a catch. That is the time, it takes to go from cold, to producing electricity. A minimum of 8 hours and the station in question, takes approximately, 27 hours. It turns out that in most of the cases, where the U.K. has been setting these records; yes that have not been using coal to generate electric; but they have been using coal, just to keep the boilers hot.
 
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