TED Conversations

Mark Hurych


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Imagine a scenario this century that is very bleak for agriculture. What do you think we should do to address humanity's thrivability?

Suppose two things:
Suppose that the food producing carrying capacity (the number of people that can be fed from arable land) of the Earth within this century becomes less than one billion due to climate change, what do you think we should do to address thrivability? Suppose that you had all the necessary resources to act. For full credit, apply empathy, logic, and self-integrating system properties. Yes, this might be on the final exam.

Jeremy Rifkin,

Paul Gilding,

Ray Kurzweil,

Michelle Holliday,


Closing Statement from Mark Hurych

Thanks to everyone that participated. I apologize to anyone who might have felt slighted.

The answer I got here is that people are on many different islands of being about humanity's current reality. We all have hopes and fears but our paradigms I've found are unexpectedly different. Our perspectives and priorities sometimes don't even seem to have common ground.

I very much want to find that common ground, across cultures, across the globe, across everything that separates and isolates us. One way I plan to address this yearning is by tuning my questions to be more inclusive and collective.

I feel that art does this, pulls us together and gives us common ground, even across language barriers and across time. I want to be good. This sounds so strange but I want to be a good ancestor. I don't see myself as an artist but I would very much like to do something for the greater good the way a composer or an artist might leave behind an inspiring artifact.


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    Jan 2 2013: Firstly I believe global warming is just a natural trend, and if any man made activity has an effect on it the massive amount of asphalt roads and parking lots would be the source. Think about it mile after mile of solar powered heaters vs a inert gas? The CO2 theory is just a scam.

    But there are real possibilities that would cause a major "shift" in agriculture, off the top of my head; a mega-volcano like yellow stone erupting or the magnetic poles flipping. Besides the obvious switching of land crops that would take place, underground farm fields is now possible with the advancements in solar power and full spectrum lighting. Also with the great possibilities that sea grown crops and ranching has, it makes a bleak scenario extremely unlikely.
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      Jan 3 2013: lol Ok, you caught me. I'm part of a big scam. CO2 is not building up from human activity. Even if it's building up it doesn't really affect the heat budget by radiative forcing as reported by the IPCC. They all lied. And the amount of radiative forcing by CO2 is not 1.6 watts per square meter, since it was peer reviewed by the co-conspirators. I'm so ashamed. I guess the only honorable thing to do is give back the millions that Al Gore and Bill Gates bribed me with to run this subversive conversation. What was I thinking?
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        Jan 3 2013: Funny, to see you ridiculizing conspiracy thinking, whilst you yourself wondered whether Michael Specter was being paid for having his opinion.

        CO2 doubling causes roughly a 1.1 -1.2 degrees raise

        The rest of the estimated increase is driven by models, that used to be high in sensitivity and with lots of positive feedback loops, but were notoriously unreliable.

        Recent evidence points to low sensitivity and lukewarm warming.
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        Jan 3 2013: Interesting, I posted in hopes to calm you fear of a bleak agriculture future and you read it as a clam that you are part of the scam. Totally dismissing the possibility asphalt roads may be a greater factor.

        I did acknowledge that there are indisputable possibilities that would cause a major "shift" in agriculture and proposed areas in which that would be possible expand agriculture.
        I did this in hopes of having a productive conversation; for example (as someone knowledgeable about biospheres) you could have replied why or why not growing crop with solar power full spectrum lighting would work.

        If I had gotten a proper TED reply I could have replied back with something about how it would even keep the day/night cycle and even seasonal lighting changes would automatically be done, with the lighting being solar powered.
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          Jan 3 2013: My intention is to encourage creative practical thinking. I do not mean to incite fear. I do not mean to incite anger either. I admit that conduct this inquiry with certain assumptions and suppositions. Unspoken and unmentioned is my supposition the participants in this discussion would intend to be helpful, not to me personally to the climate crisis. If you truly don't believe that humans have a role to play in addressing this issue I can accept that. My "lol" was just an honest response. I meant no disrespect, and certainly meant no vilification. If you don't believe that human activity is causing global warming, then I don't think you'll have anything helpful to offer since we aren't recognizing the same causal relationships.
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          Jan 4 2013: How can you calm him with your reply, as you lack any authority to make claims, nor do you post any external sources that back you up?
          We can't hardly hold any random scientific fantasizing we hear on internet for the truth.

          All scientific claims I read, do point on CO2 causing rising temperatures. But, as I state in the post above, temperatures might not rise as much as was long claimed.

          ps. How do flipping magnetic poles cause agricultural shifts?

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