Senate Debbie Downer - The Senate Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabbadabbado, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But how much should sociological concerns factor in? For example, the cover story in the current Jan/Feb issue of MIT's Technology Review is all about genetically modified foods (GMO's) MIT's position is that GMO's have an essential role in feeding the population and basically, it won't happen without using genetic modification.

    863 US permits for GMO potatoes
    0 current commercial varieties currently provided
    China is the largest potato crop producer with 86 million metric tons

    286 permits for GMO versions of rice
    0 current commercial varieties provided
    more than 90% of world's rice is grown in Asia, where efficiency ranges from 1 ton per hectare to 10 tons per hectare.

    461 permits for GMO species of wheat
    0 current varieties provided
    wheat provides 21% of the total calories that the entire world consumes.

    Does the "fear" over genetically modified crops overshadow the future necessity that they be used?
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    It shouldn't, given that there's a lack of evidence for any of the concerns. I expect the rich will continue to object, but when food shortages are more common, those that need food will start to embrace GMOs in the same way that the hybridization efforts of the Green Revolution were embraced.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yeah I don't think uneducated public fear of GMOs is going to hold up at a global population of 8 billion and higher.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 17, 2014
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, continuing Jabba's signature doom and gloom trend, MSN news has an article about how 17 communities in California are going to loose water availability within 4 months unless something drastic reverses the situation. All 17 of the areas are in more remote areas of the state, each ranging from a handful of residents to up to 11,000 people. Whatever the specifics, the overly obvious issue is that California is using more water than can be replaced. The smaller communities feel the effects first, but the larger metro areas seem to be just postponing the same dangers.

    Certainly, water economy is, and will continue to take on a new focus.
  5. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    The water issue has been a problem for years, and for example, it's been something actively discussed with cities in California, Nevada, and Arizona for years well beyond this as water levels are problematic, and Australia is a few years further along as an example of another developed country that has built in areas that are not easily sustained by water supplies. The California story is here, and it looks to be mostly Northern California.

    There's three points to this, at least for California. One is that there was someone from the state on NPR recently discussing actually putting water back into the aquifers that have been depleted as a water storage method when there is rain so that it's better kept for drought conditions, and would be interesting if it could be done in a reliable fashion. The other two are definitely changes in thought, one would be the more discussed conversation on getting water that wouldn't normally usable to be reusable, either by recycling water that is being lost otherwise (often with needed filtration) and the other is desalination, and since a great many of California's cities are near the coast, that could also be very useful, albeit at a cost. The final thing, and yet it's the least discussed, is a bit of a culture shift in terms of water usage. There is a huge focus on lawns in California, to the point that in many areas those are required to be maintained by home owners associations, however those also represent a lot of water usage, and the suggestions that people should switch over to less water-demanding options, or at least be able to, doesn't get discussed nearly enough. Accepting the idea that a yard can be acceptable without being the cliche suburban lawn could cut down on a great deal of water use that's currently just going to support an aesthetic ideal.
  6. Espaldapalabras Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I do not see any likely public policy response to the threats we face. We like to pretend that we can overcome disaster as a species because every time in the past a prophet of doom has appeared, turns out we were able to deal with it in the end. But we aren't that smart, and so we have a collective dunning kruger effect that will keep us from paying attention to the serious problems we face until it is too late. Apart from maybe a few hippies who live in a commune in the woods, these problems are not taken seriously by our thought leaders. To me, the social science is more interesting than the hard science. The climate scientists have already proved their case, the time horizon of the problem is simply too far away for our political and social systems to react effectively. We can pin our hopes on faith in the singularity, but whatever that is won't be "human."

    Unless a mad scientist is able to develop biological species control prior to development of effective counter measures, there will be no collective action on climate controls. The costs of action are simply too high in the short run, and we hope technology will save us from ourselves. We are confronting problems that we simply have never had to deal with before. The mad max future will only be a period of intermittent chaos, and the elites are well on their way preparing for that day by hoping their technology reaches the point that rather than being subject to revolution, the robot armies of the future will make the uncertain loyalty of human troops unnecessary. They will continue to retreat to their enclaves, humanity will survive, but in lower numbers and perhaps below ground. Or we ascend to a higher plane of consciousness. Who knows, all we know is that life as we know it isn't going to last 200 more years.