kelly crespo

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Does a catastrophic event need to occur, for people to demand cleaner energy?

We are facing a silent killer, using non-renuable resources are slowing destroying our home however the initiatives are moving to slow. We can think of it as high blood pressure, people only pay attention to it after they have been to the hospital. What will it take to wake up?

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    Mar 6 2013: Kelly,
    I came to the TED conversations forum hoping to find people that can think outside the box and that could possibly present the "AHAh" answer. Do you feel you came here for a similar reason?
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      Mar 5 2013: Could you provide an authoritative link to justify your claims that we are creating the material world with thought? Actual quantum physicists claim it is a complete misinterpretation to say that this is what quantum mechanics suggests.

      I have read that various mystics support and promote this belief system
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          Mar 5 2013: I also sometimes have trouble with things I type seeming to disappear. I think some browsers may work better than others and that sometimes there is a lag between our putting something up and when it appears. That is particularly true for edits of original text.

          I meant sources that meet scientific standards. I do know about the proliferation of online materials of the sort you have posted.

          Thanks for sharing what affirms to your satisfaction your belief.
    • Mar 6 2013: ok the idea that we create reality with our thoughts is absolutely true but so what? we've always done that just as i'm changing reality by thinking up this sentence to tell you which could change your way of thinking which could change reality it means Nothing. Also i don't get this non creative starvation so what get rid of math? that's not to creative well....maybe in extremely advanced math but it all follows linear guidelines creativity is good but it must always be balanced if we were nothing but creative we would be stupid monkeys that have the most in depth religion in the universe Creativity is nothing without the anchoring of facts and knowledge Also with the education system there is something wrong with it your right but it's not the system itself its the mind set it puts children into it sets them up for failure
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    Mar 5 2013: Hi Kelly,
    It appears that we (western culture) are trauma/chaos/catastrophic event oriented. In other words, we often don't pay attention until we are challenged with catastrophy. it's like you say...we have a heart attach, so we may finally pay attention to our health...we're divorcing.....oh....I didn't know there was a problem with our relationship!!! You obviously get the picture!

    That being said, I believe that when we are mindfully aware of our "self" and our relationship to other people and our environment, we DO NOT need to wait for catastrophy.

    There are a lot of interesting things going on to produce clean energy. More and more projects are coming before the regional project review committee with solar or wind possibilities, which we encourage. I can see 4 new wind turbines from my home. My home is being considered for solar panels, installed at no up-front cost. SunCommon, a Vermont company has done 200 of these projects in the past year. It reduces the homeowners electic bill with a clean energy source , and puts power back into the is win/win:>)

    When we are aware, we tend to look around for possibilities, thereby avoiding the catastrophy:>)
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    Mar 1 2013: I doubt a catastrophe would change anything.

    I dont think humans are believers by nature, unless we FEEL it, we will not care. Even if someone went through a hard experience, as the memory fades away, they lose that intense need to change something about their reality.

    We need to create an urge by relating ourselves to this problem. A TRUE connection is needed, though. We need to FEEL.
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      Mar 1 2013: You have an excellent point here, Ghina, about the need to feel it. Part of what is at play is that people have become so accustomed to "spin" in so many aspects of life, and it has become so difficult for people to distinguish evidence from spin that many people choose to respond to uncertainty with a wait and see attitude or a comfortable presumption.
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        Mar 1 2013: Thank you. I don't think I get what you mean by spin though, can you explain please?
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          Mar 1 2013: "Spin" refers to a portrayal of an idea that distorts the facts about it. People with a special interest in promoting a particular position may spin the facts to make them appear to support their position or the image they want to project in lieu of attempting an accurate and balanced portrayal.
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    Mar 1 2013: Kelly,
    It is not like that.
    By passing time, extracting oil from the old reservoirs becomes harder and harder, and needs more improved ways of recovery.
    So costs go higher and higher.
    Now, it's a matter of money, and it is no kidding.
    Economy leads people to what they should do in its proper time.
    It won't be like the hospital stuff. It will be a gradual process of rising of people's anger in gas stations.
    Just wait.
  • Mar 7 2013: Most of us die by slow poisoning. Alcohol, cigerrets, un healthy food, lifestyle...we dont know until its too late,...and they you are just living on borrowed time... I feel this is the same with our planet...

    Maybe a catastrophic event is what we need to buck up..!!!
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    Mar 7 2013: Ms. Crespo. My apologies, when it becomes easy to take the road off topic, I am the one in front of the line.
    In my opinion, I am not sure that we are destroying our home by using finite resources for energy production.
    Simple physics tells us that the conversion of energy in form usually has some loss and that loss can be problematic.
    The bigger problem is that these sources are finite . What I see is that many minds exploring for new resources are looking to old energy sources: wind, solar and biofuels for answers.. The problem is that those methodologies are some of the most inefficient ways to generate the energy that our civilization requires. As one wag said, "you can chrome plate a horseshoe but it still goes on a horse." To make matters worse, even sincere exploration of these old technologies have been politicized and used for self aggrandizement and profit.
    We are already facing an event, we have maybe a few hundred years to find a new process to sustain the life blood of civilization. And that is what energies are. If we fail, that civilization as we know it is doomed So, what can people do? Those that can, should learn all they can about the new technologies; Quantum Physics, nano-technology, etc.
    The rest of us can look carefully at those who we give political power. If we give power to those who say they have all the answers, we will be doomed, regardless of the energy resources.
  • Mar 6 2013: We can not reverse climate change or stop it.
    More than likely, what humans can do, well, let's look at what they have done.
    They have polluted every square inch of this globe and there is pollution, dying ecological environments in all the oceans of the world. The air we breathe is filthy, the fresh water rivers, lakes, streams and so on, are heavily polluted.
    There has been some clean up on a small scale but all these things are connected, and more closely so than we humans are.
    Our land is dying from our growing procedures, and well, it just goes on and on. We have radioactive areas around the globe, leaking radioactive containers, which in Redmond, Washington, the amount is enormous and has been going on for some time. We even have radioactive dumps in the seas along with underground caverns filled with waste. And yet some continue the cry that we need more nuclear power plants as a cheap alternative. The cost is not cheap. It is the most expensive we face. Japanese have been leaving their country after Fukushima. They don't trust their government at all. And they shouldn't. Their radioactive fish has been sold all over the world and the leaking goes on as do the lies that there is no danger to the public. This is for profit, not safety. Not wise choices. Not the right thing to do.
    The right thing for humans to do is to stop what they are doing. If what we do, in any way, contributes to more pollution, the extinction of species, the degradation and destruction of ecological environments we depend upon, then
    we need to stop. We can't heal anything. We have to leave things alone. I think they would also appreciate that.

    I'm sure most everyone knows of pollution nearby.

    We cannot really fix this stuff. We can only stop doing it. The earth will find its way to dissipate all the garbage we have provided for this service.
    We need to stop. We so pridefully, foolishly and blindly continue to believe and think we can fix it if we only fuck with it some more.
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      Mar 6 2013: So you address the waste that comes from consumption. So, we have to stop consuming. Now what.?
      Who has to stop, who gets to continue.? Who makes the choice? Consumption is life. Mankind can go on an energy diet. Lean and mean, so to speak. I don't want too. Now what?
      There are nations who have the capability to initiate a major species extinction. .that will solve the "waste" problem . I guess we can point out the obvious. But, instead of rehashing old science, would it be better for a focus on the new?
    • Mar 6 2013: Not true Random; we can and must reverse climate change.

      I believe what you mean to say is we cannot do it in time enough to avert the majority of ill effects from manifesting. This is true. We have pretty much ruined things for the kids and grandkids, but we can probably start turning it around for the genration after that. IF we start now...

      Mike, what new science you got that we can start NOW? Then I guess we need to start with old science... I like the science that Albert Howard, who went to India to teach them 'modern' agriculture instead came to embrace. Organics is, at its core, really a study of the interactions of carbon and nitrogen. We underestimate both the quantity of, and the ability of, soil organisms to store carbon; if every home, business and farm in the United States went organic today, the climate crisis would end almost instantly. Desertification is an ugly feedback loop where the soil "dies"; it loses its inherent biology and as Alan Savory's new talk demonstrates, the ONLY way to reestablish that is to reintroduce biology. While we are encouraged to plant trees, it is grass savannah, such as Alan Savory is working with, that does the best job of storing carbon, due to higher biodiversity and root densities, and attendant increases in soil biology thereof.

      As to Kelly's original question, we have had a bunch of those disasters lately, and sorry to say, while it has advanced the conversation some, the primal scream for non-carbon energy has been muted, to be polite about it. So no, dear, no amount of down-the-road-things-are-gonna-get-bad will start this conversation, even when we are already down the road. You are obviously too young to remember the Seventies, but I was there when we started this conversation (if you don't count Theophrastus, who first noticed deforestation led to warmer local climate, or Joseph Fourier in 1824, who proved atmosphere holds heat, or John Tyndall or...) See how far we have come since?

      Drill, baby, drill.. :p
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        Mar 7 2013: Let everyone go organic tomorrow. Now what. the reason we went to industrial farming with it's chemical fertilizers etc. was that the world couldn't grow enough food. So, I have a large back yard, I could grow an organic garden, raise some chickens and a few rabbits, there are even a few nut and fruit trees that are native to this area. Maybe, I could trade a few extra eggs to a neighbor for some of his excess. I could live like that. Of course, that is pretty labor intensive, so I'd probably have to cut back on my notes on TED. OK, I'm good. What about that poor soul who lives on the 24th floor of that high rise in Manhattan. He lives in a 500 sf studio. and 30 inch plastic flower box for gardening space. Him and his 15 million closest friends and neighbors.
        Where do they go "organic"? If every farm, ranch and other generator of food stuffs were to go organic... we inverse the previous calculations that industrial food production is 30 to 50 % more then organic production. So then, who doesn't eat?
        Now climate change:
        Your position is that the planetary climate has been in stable state since the beginning until about two hundred years ago when the western (Europe and North America) industrial revolution started extensively using fossil fuels thus raising the CO2 levels in the atmosphere increasing the overall planetary temperature.
        My position is that the planetary climate is in a constant change state ranging from the planet being a giant snowball to world wide sauna with the CO2 rates swinging wildly. Further, there is nothing that man can do to change any of this.
        OK, your turn...
        As far as new science, I don't know what's out there. But, we've done wind, solar and biofuels for the last 10,000 years, if we can't do better, we deserve to go back and live in caves while we starve to death
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          Mar 7 2013: ok this is completely deviated out of the initial question. Maybe someone mentioned this and I did not read it, but I have not stated to go back and get rid of technology, in the contrary I was looking into new technology to replace the one that is no doing us good for our future. Yes fertilizers come form petroleum, and we need to produce a certain amount for the amount of people. And petroleum has numerous uses ranging from medicines to plastics.

          But in chemistry there are many material that can have similar uses, and we can work towards new improved ways.
          For example biofuel is a potential solution that can replace non-renuable is the sense of utility, and there many others.

          Now for the second part, let's assume that global warming has nothing to do with humans interaction and it is just a cycle. That is not the only threat that non-renuable brings.

          Now if I have misunderstood some information please be my guest and share your thoughts.
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        Mar 7 2013: Scott,
        I saw the talk as well in the TEDlive stream.

        Thank you for referring to my question. You are right about me not remembering the seventies I was born in the 90's. Just like I am sure you do not remember the 1800's when people did not want industrialization, however we can use Allan's Ted talk as an example of previous mistakes. when he was young (probably the 60s - 80s I do not recall the decade) Allan mentioned that he order to kill over 40,000 elephants to solve the problem in Africa. After many years of research he found out that he was wrong and came up with a solution to correct what he had done.
        In other words he did not say I do not know the solution lets just ignored deforestation we still have a lot of good land. He came up with a solution over years of research.
        And as I pointed out before, I am from the 90's maybe just because previous generations could not get of the addiction of oil, it does not mean that my generation wants the same. After all we are allowed to shape our future how we wanted right? For this reason I study to become an influence in my generation.
  • Mar 6 2013: Even the events of 9/11 is claimed to be a designed catastrophe to help in USA’s quest for more fuel sources. Also it is learnt that US has accelerated onshore and offshore oil exploration in the last decade due to record Oil prices early in this century. USA, the top consumer of energy and fuel, did not sign the Kyoto protocol. Are all these discrete events or do all these indicate the USA’s belief that the success in harnessing sustainable and low cost alternate energy is not reachable in the near future?
    Perhaps, the economic crises or market meltdowns that occur regularly have forced the ongoing researches to shutdown or go slow. But it is the awareness on environment protection that has made us adopt energy saving measures and non-conventional energy production sources in a big way that were available even before the news on ozone hole became known widely. Clearly the world is awaiting a breakthrough that will help reducing use of fossil fuel as the quest for fossil has increased worldly conflicts, their use has increased health afflictions, chances to increase clean hydro or nuclear power has reduced greatly. I feel the need of the hour is to find the means to distribute the burden of generating power to as many as possible rather than expecting the state to do it. The various reasons including corruption, unrest, greed, non-cooperation and inertia, the governments have become unreliable in addressing this important need of the mankind. Lack of funds can not be a reason as it can always be found when there is a will.
  • Mar 6 2013: I believe that the catastrophes that you are expecting have already happened. Expansion of the ozone hole, breaking away of glaziers, thinning of ice shelves, reduction in polar bears, recent extreme whether events, etc. may not be considered individually as a catastrophe, but collectively they have immense effect on the mankind in an indirect way.
    Thanks to the initiatives of several scientists, agencies, governments and individuals, the world is more aware of the need to conserve energy, pollute less, tackle the environmental issues or at the very least raise the voice to help the cause. This awareness itself, in a way, has hampered availability of additional energy as none wants a thermal, hydroelectric or nuclear power plant in their backyard. At the same time the world’s population has increased and the resulting increase in consumption of farm produces, gadgets (ex: mobile, TV), services (ex: cable, amusement parks), travel, etc. which in turn has increased energy consumption several fold. Now we depend more of powered tools for what was done by sheer muscle power a few decades ago. So when we attempt to generate more power, also an attempt is required to restrain wasteful consumption.
    As I see, there have been many notable improvements in the last decade : Thanks to the energy saving gadgets, I consume less power, despite an increase in their number at my home; old building are being replaced by new ones that conserve energy; newer cars emit less fumes; electric cars are commercially available; depleted green cover is being replenished; large wind turbine forms are seen in developing countries like India too; newer ways to harness energy from Sunlight are being tested; though less efficient, use of solar panels have increased; this is a growing list of incremental improvements that have already touched our lives. I trust and hope a technological innovation becomes available soon in generating sustainable and cheap solar energy.
  • Mar 6 2013: This is surely the biggest intellectual nonsense to afflict the World at present. Using (mostly) non-renewable energy we have since 1900 increased atmospheric CO2 by about 35%. World population has risen from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7 billion now - a 337% rise. Average life expectancy at birth has risen from about 31 years then to 67 years now - a 116% rise. If non-renewable energy and CO2 is a 'silent killer' it is doing a remarkably poor job!

    Of course, CO2 is not a silent killer; it is THE silent life-giver. We would all be dead without it. It is the World's main plant food and its increase has played an important, although seldom acknowledged, part in the quite magnificant rise in food production since 1900. As CO2 rises still further from about 0.04% by volume now to around 0.08% by the end of the century the result will be nothing but good for Nature generally and for plant, animal and human life. Atmospheric CO2 is the quintessence of 'Green'.

    Real atmospheric pollutants such as SO2 and NO2 have decreased by one if not two orders of magnitude while CO2 has continued to rise. It is important not to conflate those seemingly similar but profoundly different molecules. CO2 is the benign one that is vital for all life on Earth.
  • Mar 6 2013: good question, I know we are changing, people are becoming aware and we are more responsible with the environment. the question is, are we doing this fast enough? i think only time will tell. mean while, let's keep doing our part!
  • Mar 6 2013: I don't know.
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    Mar 6 2013: The catastrophic event is happening as people have come to realize there is no clean energy source. Every current renewable energy resource has failed to meet the needs of the people.. Biofuels either use food products or lands that could be used to grow food products. Solar and wind are inconsistent and the fixes are too. So all we are really left with is fossil fuel and nuclear. There is some water generation, but that is causing downstream issues. so, here we are, really seeing the end of fossil fuel resources, well in a few hundred years, and we find 50 different theories for renewable sources that all have one commonality... they are costly, inefficient, and a few are down right dumb. What should be happening is that all this talent should be focused on some new system . We have been using wind, sun and wood for energy for thousands of years and that's still the best we can do? No wonder the people have high blood pressure.
  • Mar 6 2013: ok petrol engines have become Way! more efficient everyone knows that it is a result of "pollution" it's good but can you please give the brilliant scientist a break? this isn't easy stuff and remember, out of the Massive age of the universe we have only had the ability to build a combustion engine for around 100 years thats NOTHING and look how far we've come and how would you even know they're moving slow? by the sunlight analogy?? do you even know how solar cells work? it's a little more complicated than realizing that sun grows plants Photovoltaic cells are very inefficient and extremely expensive why would we waste money switching to that when its in its baby stages and we are nowhere near to running out of oil?
  • Mar 6 2013: YES this is the EXACT argument I've been lamenting over for ages!!!!!! Climate change can no longer be regarded as a political aspect only. It's about time Republicans and Democrats work together to help reverse/ prevent further damage to this lovely planet. Not only is it moral, but there are so many economic incentives. It's frustrating some people think it's a "joke" or think it will not start happening for another 100 years. you should seriously consider starting a petition on and see if you can get your local or state representatives to pass sustainable bills.
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      Mar 6 2013: Don't go to Climate Change. The Climate has always been changing and always will. It is going to change and no one is going to stop it, to think otherwise is the height of conceit.
  • Mar 5 2013: are you daft? you know how many countless billions have been put into clean energy?? just because you don't see a hydrogen powered car in your driveway doesn't mean we're not doing anything about it
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      Mar 6 2013: Hi Charles,
      I understand that there are many project around the world for clean energy. However as I stated before "initiatives are moving to slow".
      Let me give you a simple example, petroleum has been used in the world a little over a century and we have learned to increase its potential to run our world.
      In the other hand the sun has been one of the essential source of power since human started farming. Several centuries have passed and our conventional solar panel only obtain about 15 - 30 percent of usable energy. Does it really seem like we are researching efficiently?

      The world uses roughly 15 Terawatts annually, and the available of solar energy that we can obtain from the sun (70% of the energy, due to photons bouncing of the atmosphere and several other factors.) is around 90 - 100 Terawatts.

      This is only one of the renewable energy that can be used.
      I see a movement towards change but I do not think it is moving fast enough, and that is why I asked if we really need to get to the point of an event to occur, for the issue to become more important.
      ( If you saw the U.S. debates last yea, the environment was really not one of the main points and it is treated as theoretic subject government wise.)

      I comprehend that Americans are one of the biggest polluters, but it can also be seen that as the other nations increase at a fast rate so is their pollution, and catching up in number to U.S. This is alarming because the environment is expected to be affected by more countries becoming industrialized.
      • Mar 6 2013: Combustion engines have been used for a long time and are quite efficient. It is a hard resource to replace. It is also hard to fund these types of programs especially in the current economic climate. Research is very costly and right now the fund are hard to find. There are also issues with initial costs to consumers of said product. Increasing efficiency of solar power is difficult. In order to increase the efficiency I would think we would need to find a better compound to absord the energy, but is also cost effective. That is a very hard thing. We have to be careful not to over simplify such an issue. Sometimes progress can be really slow until there is something that allows for a boom. It is really hard to put a value on how fast this is moving because combustion engines are a completely different animal. I will say greed is a big issue in this as well. Big oil has the money and resources. Without being an expert on clean energy and the science behind said energy it is hard to make a judgement.

        Yes it was a side note in the debates because one very big issue that was hammered on was the economy. Most of the green energy companies, which we invested billions in accross the board, have either failed or on the verge of failure. With so many suffering and asking the government to do more without raising taxes it is even more difficult to justify. Not to say its not a worthy cause but its definitely a hard sell.
  • Mar 4 2013: We will never have free energy, its already invented but it will never happen; There's no profit in it. You can go ahead and build your own free energy machine, there are patents all over the internet. Our human race had its greatest intellectual gains during its two biggest wars, because everyone was developing weapons and defensive equipment. And we are only seeing regression with out society today, so in the end we need a catastrophic event; one so large it destroys more than half the population of earth, don't get me wrong i don't want this to happen but its necessary. How to you expect to create if you have a canvas full of old broken ideas?
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    Mar 4 2013: I did not mean incentives from the government, as a talk of this years TEDlive conference said

    they wanted people to stop using less energy and they tried different approaches a monetary, safe the environment, be a good citizen, and the last one was that your neighbor was using less energy than you (competition approach).

    The most effective one turned out to be when people where compared to the neighbors and this create some sort of competition to using less energy than their neighbors.

    As americans we know the United States likes to be number 1.

    and about you second question, do we need to do more? definitively, that is why I posted the question in the first place because we as a world community are not progressing fast enough towards correcting our results of our actions.
    Once again a catastrophic event would be the a wake up call, but we have the ability to work before it happens.
  • Mar 4 2013: I agree that something catastrophic must occur to wake America and the world up to dangers of climate change, however, this is not as pessimistic as it may seem. (In fact, it does offer some hope!) In 1989 as the Soviet Bloc was falling, Cuba was cut from many trade ties, it's GDP plummeting, and its resources scarce. In the midst of this crisis, the Cuban people and government banded together, enacting real change and implementing sustainable practices, such as organic agriculture, biking as the main source of transportation, and the use of alternative energy to power the economy. Today, Cuba is an example to the rest of the world of how sustainability can be good for the economy, of how these changes are exactly what we need to reverse climate change. What sort of hope do you take from this example? Do you think this sort of "banding together" and "real change" is possible in larger, democratic nations like the United States?
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    Mar 4 2013: I agree with you Theodore, Clean energy is not the only concern. There are many threats towards our Biosphere, and it is hard to see how slowly the governing authorities evolve to handle such dangers. I understand that in the U.S. we have a democracy and there are steps to make to obtain results, but the world cannot wait until one decides to take action.
    Maybe a "race to space" type scenario is needed before is to late, where the country or world acts as a whole to take care of the damages our civilizations have caused.
    After all we only have one HOME. It is better to act when we have a small amount of time than acting when everything is collapsing.
    • Mar 4 2013: How would we start this "race to space" scenario? Is the catastrophe you questioned necessary? Or do you believe the world is capable of coming together in peace?
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        Mar 4 2013: a race to space would be nations competing to be come out with best solutions to be the best. The Soviet Union competed with U.S. and this effect caused a whole new space exploration era. Without a threat, nation many not see the need for change.
        However if the nation does not act in time, a catastrophic event may occur and this may be the motive for improvement.
        • Mar 4 2013: What would be some non catastrophic motives for improvement? More and more we hear of incentives for recycling, for buying fuel efficient cars, or energy star appliances. Are these incentives enough to inspire this race to space or do we need to do more?
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    Mar 4 2013: Cleaner energy is not the only concern. Agriculture is one of the leading contributor to climate change.

    ." Global Warming Cause: Methane emissions from animals, agriculture such as rice paddies, and from Arctic seabeds
    Methane is another extremely potent greenhouse gas, ranking right behind CO2. When organic matter is broken down by bacteria under oxygen-starved conditions (anaerobic decomposition) as in rice paddies, methane is produced.
    Global Warming Cause: Increase in usage of chemical fertilizers on croplands
    In the last half of the 20th century, the use of chemical fertilizers (as opposed to the historical use of animal manure) has risen dramatically.
    Global Warming Cause: Deforestation, especially tropical forests for wood, pulp, and farmland
    The use of forests for fuel (both wood and for charcoal) is one cause of deforestation, but in the first world, our appetite for wood and paper products, our consumption of livestock grazed on former forest land, and the use of tropical forest lands for commodities like palm oil plantations contributes to the mass deforestation of our world.
  • Mar 4 2013: No. That wouldn't (and hasn't) changed anything. What needs to happen is that alternative energy has to become less expensive at the metaphorical pump than gasoline.
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    Mar 3 2013: like an economic crisis where everything that caused it was set back up again courtesy of the tax payer? business as usual.

    while "leaders" continue to be the paid puppets of the owners and producers, nothing will change.
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    Mar 2 2013: Kelly, Perhaps a serious venture into the possibilities. The face of global warming is Al Gore who is a cocktail party punch line and has never embraced the effort in his personal life ... took the money and ran. How about Obamas venture into green where billions were poured into specific companies who had no design and no plan and took the money and shut their doors ... looked to the world as a political pay back.

    When a better mouse trap is built the world will beat a path to their door. In order to defeat coal; as a fuel the administration has enacted Cap and Trade through DOE ... changed the criteria from emmisions to visability ... enacted UN Article 21 and commited 35 government agencies to support the effort ...

    So in summary: When politician stop playing political games and become transparent in their efforts instead of using the issue as a political football. When science contributes a better alternative. When the public make it a serious demand. In short we want coal becuase it does the job better and cheaper than anything else and it is abundant.

    Did you know that the EPA demands a specific scrubber even though there are better scrubbers available ... instead of setting a level to be achieved and alloowing the companies purchase the scrubber of their choice ... The company by the way was a large contributer to the political party that won. Surprise. Surprise. Further scrubbers have nothing to do with visability.

    As the man once said ... It is time for serious people and all the current players time is up.
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    Mar 2 2013: If you divide the remaining amount of a resouce by the amount consumed each year you know when you are going to run out of that resource. Is there a particular resource you feel is going to be exhausted, or become impractical to continue using before we are ready to transition to an alternate resource? With trillions of dollars in profits to be made by producing and distributing the essential needs of society I really doubt that we will wake-up one day and realize we are out of whatever. Capitalism will not tolerate such an interruption in the profit stream. Too many people would lose too much money if the sky falls. Relax.
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    Mar 2 2013: .
    It is very probably so unless we know quickly what invalid happiness is.

    (For invalid happiness, see the 1st article, points 1-3, 14, at
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    Mar 1 2013: Great convo, Kelly. I don't know that it has to occur, but it probably would help speed the process. In a way, I have a certain serenity about life, that people always do the right thing. If they move gradually on change, that's the right way to go. If they move quickly, that's the right way to go.

    By the way, if you want to add more time to your convo, hit "edit" and add some.
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    Mar 1 2013: There are technologies that can be employed but they are in a ten year change over period and even then we will never have what we have now.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 1 2013: Given the willful blindness of the American people, it is clear that WE need a catastrophic event before we are willing to move on any such venture.
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    Mar 1 2013: every change seems to require catastrophic event. so better prepare ourselves for the collision, and hope for the best.

    btw it is not necessarily a wrong thing. false negatives are just as bad as false positives. in order to avoid rare catastrophic events we would have to waste a lot of resources. considering the sheer number of possible catastrophes, it is simply impossible to prepare for all. maybe we do best if we try to advance in scientific and technology, and face problems with a better toolset when they actually come.
  • Mar 1 2013: Kelley You are right. We know what is there to use, but many seem not to care. Probably we Cassandras will encounter the usual "why can't I have...." No one likes an I-told -you-so. They'll just mess things up like usual. Not everyone has a J as the fourth letter of their Myers- Briggs.