Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bali and the Island of Time

Kyoto achieved nothing, Bali will achieve nothing - unless the agreement to stop deforestation is seriously implemented, which I doubt. The Americans seem to regard fighting carbon cuts as patriotism and the Europeans are lost in a bureaucratic wilderness. Everybody else is just ducking and diving. We are warring ants just before the farmer's boot comes down and crushes us all. Only a disaster that can unambiguously be shown to be caused by climate change will make any difference. And that won't happen because any such disaster could be claimed to have a multiplicity of causes. The emission of CO2 will thus continue to rise inexorably. There is a theory that we have not heard from intelligent life anywhere in the universe because advanced civilisations are lost, not in space but in time. Some life form attains high technology and the ability to communicate across interstellar distances. But this moment of communication is brief because there is an iron law that dictates that technological competence always brings destruction to the technologically competent. There may have been many advanced alien civilisations, but they are all isolated on tiny islands of time. On the basis of a sample of one, I think there's a lot to be said for this theory.

9 comments:

  1. These truly are the last days of Rome.

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  2. I doubt anything much will be done to prevent deforestation as the drive to bio-fuels demand that more forest be cut down. I think being an enviromentalist now means you get to say "I told you so" when we hide from the storm.

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  3. I think being an enviromentalist now means you get to say "I told you so" when we hide from the storm.

    Actually it seems to mean you get to say "I told you so" even before there is any storm.

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  4. i don't think the future will be quite that grim - probably The War will come within a generation and utterly destroy civilization. No more logging because no more loggers. The population will be drastically reduced - hopefully to less than 1 billion globally, and most of those will die from radiation, diseases, chemical poisoning, starvation, or just from other people.

    i dare say lots of power stations will explode and spread yet more radiation about but after the last human being has died the planet can start to return to health, should only take a few hundred thousand years.

    So short-term pretty grim, long-term not too bad, not bad at all!

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  5. Bloody hell, Elberry, you really don't like us, do you?

    Mark my words, pessimism and misanthropy on such a scale will be the death of us.

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  6. Don't alien civilisation always get invaded and taken over by Little Green Men?

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  7. I would think by intergalactic standards, we must be a very primitive species. Why would anyone want to communicate with us? Do we want to communicate with the ants about to be squashed under that big cosmic boot?

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  8. The only sane thing to do is build billions of wind farms,(it will be beautiful) wave machines and other green alternatives.
    We must swallow the bitter pill and destroy as many eco systems as possible to ultimately save our one giant eco system. Nuclear is wrong because it ultimately puts humans in greater danger than the enviroment and humans are obviously more important than nature.

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  9. Susan:

    I would think by intergalactic standards, we must be a very primitive species.

    Seeing as there is nothing out there despite the desperate hopes and prayers of many rational brights, I think we are actually rather extraordinary and advanced.

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