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Saving our future or just repeating the cycle

 
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WickedLiquid
In Limbo


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Saving our future or just repeating the cycle Reply with quote

I'd like to get environmental for a moment with a bit of sci-fi mumbo jumbo.

I can remember my parents telling me after man landed on the moon how they all assumed in 2000 we'd be living there in colonies. They didn't know why they would live there; they just thought it would be cool.

After watching an episode of Ted Talks about the moon Europa (Jupiter's moon). I discovered that moons could also be a place for resources. Our own moon contains what is called Helium-3; which is a safe and environmentally friendly fuel that could revolutionize the planet and our dependent on oil.

So living on our own moon is starting to sound like a pretty good idea. Not because a colony can be set up there as a "second home" but because we can drill into this moon for resources and use it to help out our own planet. There was a pretty cool movie called Moon where they were doing this exact idea. The more I learned about it, the more it actually makes sense.

If the US were to be the first to supply this H3 to Earth (being the first men on the moon). It would be a bigger economic boost than the end of World War 2.

If we can successfully harvest this fuel from our moon, what's to stop us from traveling to Europa and bringing back its ice to refill our oceans and clean out our own H20? Well first of all, Jupiter is one light hour away so we just can't get there yet. But it can be done, we don't have to achieve light travel to get there, we just need to be able to travel fast enough that it would feel like taking a plane from NYC to Sydney Australia.

It kind of sounds a bit hopeful, like we've got a back up plan if things get too terrible here on Earth. But it asks the question is this the right thing to do? If we're the only living things in our solar system then we should see moons as resources we were given to help restore our planet. However, is hollowing out our moons just our destructive nature, the same destructive nature that is killing our planet?

What do you think
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Rakon
Tastes like burning


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You gotta get off the wacky tabacky
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WickedLiquid
In Limbo


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One o these days Rakon! One o these days! POW Right to the moon.
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more i look at how the world's working, the more worried i get.
Basically, humanity is screwed. And i don't mean that in a funny way - i mean we had a golden opportunity between 1970 and 1990 to explore our local space and start establishing structures on other bodies.

It's now the 2010s and the population continues to grow. By the 2020s we'll be at 10bil+ humans, by 2030 we'll be reaching our population cap/carrying capacity and the climate be ready to start it's next cycle - the ice caps will have melted further and the ocean currents we're used to will have changed.
This means that from 2020 onward, all our technology and money will be going towards resources to keep us alive. This is a pointless task because population caps find a way of dropping the size of the population. For humans, it will probably be huge wars killing billions. Even if there's no huge wars, there won't be any space exploration happening because nobody will want to spend money on seeing if there's titanium on mars when a family in socal has 2 cans of baked bans between them for dinner.

Unless we see a dramatic shift in how things work, humanity stands a good chance of declining right at this point and never making it out of the solar system.

What we need is nuclear power, better batteries, lab grown meat and superior desalination technology. We need these things right now if we want to avoid BIG fucking problems in the next 20 years.

But it won't happen. People are retards and are opposed to nuclear power and won't want to eat meat that hasn't been on a (very resource expensive) animal. Electric cars won't work until batteries have been improved and nobody cares about how much drinkable water we'll have in the future, preferring to drink a coke now.

So, my predictions?
Australia gets taken over (through war or politics) before 2030 for our delicious natural resources, the US decides to go after some more small countries between now and then, steps on some toes and starts a full scale war with somebody. The UK doesn't bother with any of that - it just dies from the inside, while japans young continue to not have children causing them to go into a very bad economic downturn. South Korea takes over the role japan had as the tech center of the planet when Samsung and Hyundai continue to grow, north korea will keep talking shit until somebody offers to buy them out or they die from the inside.
As this happens, natural disasters are more common as the planet starts to switch itself over to track B.
Nuclear plants would continue to fail as they get built too cheaply and rushed in 2020+

End result: Human population drops below 5bil by 2050, the population cap/carrying capacity having done it's job. The future of humanity depends largely on if the Magnetosphere continues to have our back.
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De-Ting
Formerly Known as Prince


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madster111 wrote:
Basically, humanity is screwed.


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madster111
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go check out scishow and crachcourse if you're not already subscribed to them on youtube. Awesome channels and you can form your own opinion on how screwed you think humanity is.
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Icepick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that utilizing the resources of the moon signifies any type of harmful traits humanity has other than the fact we live life like parasites as opposed to mammals. What's never discussed on the subject however, at least not to my knowledge, is if there was some type of large scale mining operation on the moon, if it would affect the gravitational pull it has, and therefor disrupt how the tides work here on earth.

Also in regards to the topic, the difficulty isn't so much mining the material, it's already plausible (at least on the moon anyways), the difficulty lies in having an effective and economical way of transporting it from the moons surface, as a craft that can launch from earth, land on the moon, and then launch from the moons surface to earth again would require so much fuel that the payload brought back would barely cover the cost of resources to get there. There's an excellent TED talk regarding that matter, and they're currently trying to drum up funding, for floating helium balloons to pull it off of the surface where it is then collected by a orbiting space craft, which would require the first ever colony on the moon for permanent residence so workers can continually operate.

As for reaching the moons of Jupiter (and Saturn, lots and lots of potential there) they're discussing the possibility of using nuclear pulse propulsion, all theories show it appears to be possible with todays technology, but it still is an extended flight time. there's been multiple discussions on how to bring back the payload, but most seem absurd so far, with the exception being to build a massive magnetic rail to propel large crates of mined materials back to earth, the issue being not only the construction of the rail, but the path it would take as the asteroid field isn't really something that sits still, and a crate hurdling into an asteroid at super sonic speed (probably not the right term given there is no sound barrier to break in space) would be catastrophic.

None the less interesting stuff to look into, things that you think are purely sci-fi are being discussed frequently and openly, and seem to be within reach in the next couple of decades, things like asteroid harvesting even, there's belief that a single large asteroid could hold more iron in it than the earth itself, along with other rare minerals

As for one country completing this and rocketing to the top of the world wide economy, perhaps for the moon but it would take a larger effort to reach Europa than one nation alone could muster
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WickedLiquid
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just asking if it's ok to milk moons for all they're worth.

If we were capable of traveling to other planets and discovered resources beneficial to our survival, is it right to use those resources for our own planet? Afterall, Earth is special, we need it because of how perfectly we are revolving around our star. Then again, the moral dilemma is we screwed up Earth, now we're going to destroy the moon and whatever else we find besides H20 on Europa. What happens when we use up everything around us to keep Earth a habitable planet?

For one thing we can't just abandon Earth, well we could but we'd all wind up like those fat fucks in Wall-E. I suppose by then we could travel at light speed and reach a planet within a safe zone around its star. But other solar systems are light YEARS away.
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Icepick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well humanities best work comes from necessity, so as Earth becomes fucked up, we'd develop tech to utilize other planets, and as they get drained, we'd develop tech to go further and milk that area, but to be honest, before we get to that point I think we'll be able to comfortably live outside of the Earth, in space colonies (to resolve population issues as opposed to resource draining) and I'm pretty sure we'll have developed renewable energy (or fission)

that in itself would dramatically reduce the requirement for natural resources and leave only construction draining the resources, which would slow it's effect and avoid a scenario where we're left with nothing to use

why can't we move beyond earth? artificial gravity would prevent us from becoming the fat fucks in wall-e

I'm high as fuck so if my points not clear that's perfectly understandable, the tl;dr version is we need to push ourselves into a crisis situation to force the development of new technologies that will remove, or drastically reduce the need for such resources
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Paradox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helium 3 does sound like a miracle cure, but the real obstacle is getting enough back to Earth to matter. While H3 is more abundant on the Moon, it's still at low concentrations, like only a few dozen parts per billion. We'd have to clear an entire acre of regolith to get any amount of significance.

In our current technological state, we just aren't capable of getting to the Moon, stripping huge swaths of its surface, and then getting the H3 back to Earth. All that being said though, the key words are 'current technological state'.

I think that by time we get there though, we will have already developed more easily obtainable methods of energy reliance than what H3 would give us. H3 will likely better serve any potential Lunar colonies or other such operations.

And then there's the asthetic factor. Are we prepared to ruin the beauty of the Moon's surface as seen from Earth? Sure, such a concern is trivial if we are absolutely out of alternative options, but processing the surface for H3 will leave us with a dimmer, darker and ultimately, a more featureless orb in our sky.

As I pointed out earlier though, we'll develop something else before H3 mining becomes a nessecary resort. Increased nuclear reliance, fission, even zero-point energy are likely to arrive before we are to go prospecting in the Sea of Tranquility.
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MattAY
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

De-Ting wrote:
madster111 wrote:
Basically, humanity is screwed.



Hahaha!
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danielrbischoff



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rakon wrote:
You gotta get off the wacky tabacky

Yeah Wicked, you gotta stop. Cool
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WickedLiquid
In Limbo


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Night Blind-ness, it's a serious condition guys!
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BlackStar



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real question is should we save Wicked's future or let him repeat his cycle of ambiguously stoner threads?
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