But it'll be a while. A long while.
At the population density of Hong Kong, the earth's population, some six
billion people, would fit in the state of Georgia.
Which, come to think on it... would be a terrible thing.
I just read an article that claims that leading oceanographers
believe that irreversible damage has already occurred to the earth's oceans.
"The 27 participants from 18 organisations in 6 countries produced a grave
assessment of current threats - and a stark conclusion about future risks to
marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that
the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of
marine species unprecedented in human history."
Sounds like something straight out of "Soylent Green." With the top
predators slowly vanishing from the oceans, we may soon have nothing BUT
plankton to eat and if the oceans become too acidic, we might not even have
that food source.
Correct. I shudder when Bill Gates talks about all the lives he's "saving"
in the third world by improving AIDS awareness and AIDS health care. He
appears unconcerned about how all these "saved" people and their offspring
are going to eat when they can't feed themselves as it is. Tunnel vision.
When the late Sam Kinison said "you've got to move to where the food is" he
was being more truthful than humorous.
If you know of a combustion process that produces only CO2 I'd like
to know about it. I didn't say CO2, I said pollution.
It's ridiculous to think we can take tungsten, helium, iron, copper,
tin, lithium, etc out of the ground and scatter them through landfills
without using them up.
Yes, with advances in technology we can dig deeper and extract more.
To think that this can go on forever is wishful thinking.
Mining landfills is in our future. It won't be pretty.
CO2 is poisonous to us in excessive quantities, just as is Oxygen,
Water, etc. Nature has adjusted to the what was the average CO2
content back before the industrial revolution. It is now adjusting to
our adding to it and we are not going to like the result.
As to reducing our part in it? Ain't gonna happen. Best we can do is
not increase our contribution above what it is today. Nothing we can
do will reduce it withough totally wrecking industry.
Availability of resources has zip to do with whether we are depleting
them. We are. The supply of any mineral, oil, etc. resource you can
name is finite.
The truth of the matter is that we (humankind) meet every definition
of a parasite. All take and no give. Even our funeral practices do
everything possible to keep even our worn out bodies from decomposing
thus denying even that little bit from returning to nature. The world
would be a much better place without us.
So you are going to recombine all those gases emitted by cars into the
original oil? Same for a lot of the other resources, one use and it
is gone forever. When it comes to moronic, your post qualifies.
I agree we are depleting resources but the mining for materials and
fossil fuels is two completely different categories. Mineral
resources are not actually being depleted. For the most part all the
elements on the planet are still on the planet. Just because we dig
up some copper, use it for something, and then bury it in a landfill
doesn't reduce the copper. We could dig it back out of that landfill
and use it again. Or we could quit burying it in the landfill and
start recycling it which is more practical than digging it back up.
But who knows, maybe some day our descendants will be setting up mines
where we buried stuff.
Fossil fuel is a energy resource. It is the result of plants
capturing the energy in sunlight and it being turned into
hydrocarbons. Which is the chemical storage of energy. Like a
battery. We are converting that stored energy into heat energy for
the most part. Energy like matter is never lost but after we're
finished, the heat energy contributes to the gradual equilibrium of
the energy state in the universe which makes it of no further use to
us. The issue is that we're converting that stored energy at a
tremediously faster rate than it was stored. Years of our use equals
millions of years of capture. So no matter how good we get at finding
the hydrocarbons we will eventually use them all up. Will that happen
in 50 years or 500 years is debatable but most people would agree the
practical number is somewhere between those two. Bottom line we
really are using up the energy in fossil fuels.
As to the co2, we are also raising the co2 level. That's a fact. The
bydrocarbons were buried in the ground. We're releasing them and
breaking them up and combing the freed carbon with oxygen to produce
co2. Who knows maybe we will be the start of the next cycle that
produces new hydrocarbons for some other lifeform to dig up a couple
hundred million yeasr from now. On the short term the consequences
might not be so good for us.
Mostly true but we never recover 100% of the original elements and
never will. The 'pie in the sky' types keep pointing to new
discoveries as if those "new discoveries' will continue to be made for
The iron in landfills turns to iron oxide and mixes with the other
materials. I don't believe it's sufficiently concentrated to be
Not sure about copper.
There's lots of other important stuff in landfills that will be really
hard to get back, like tungsten.
There is still loss even in recycling. First _all_ of a recyclable is
never recoved. I suspect iron and copper probably get the highest
percentage back while stuff like aluminum and plastic are a low
percentage return. Second, even whil processing there is loss.
Nothing lasts forever. The Romans denuded all of North Africa and much of
Europe and used the wood for charcoal. Just as the trees were about to run
out, it became practical to mine and exploit coal. (The industrial
revolution was fueled by coal).
While in some places coal is still very economical, oil proved to be more
versatile and, in many instances, cheaper.
Heck, the archetype villain, John D. Rockefeller, and his example of
monoply, Standard Oil, drove the price of Kerosene down from $3.00/gallon to
a nickle. In less than three years. Of course the people who sold
"renewable" energy (i.e., whale oil) squealed and were eventually put out of
business, but for the rest of us, the night was brightened.
Point is, as with trees and whales, even renewables face the same problems
as truffles. There is only so much and only so many pigs to find it.
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