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kev
06-06-2012, 03:38 PM
The case against:

Matt seems to have mistaken the economy for a closed system, which it is not. The inputs fluctuate daily and it is where our economy is derived from. There are constantly new sources of wealth flowing in form new mineral discoveries to emerging technologies and the resources that generate the economy occupy many more dimensions tham simple statistical descriptions of exchanges of temperature and pressure, from the direct mineral and resource inputs like oil, gold and food to the more abstract ones like services, taxation, gambling, dissipation of wealth among growing populations and investments.

In a way if you were to cut off all economic inputs and left the economy to simply be an exchange of existing resource, which makes no tangible sense, in a very laisssez faire libertarian regime, I would imagine that wealth would eventually become accumulated by a few and not at all entropic, so even on that level the analogy doesn't work.


Disclosure: I don't understand them!

Niall
06-06-2012, 03:56 PM
I don't claim to know anything much about economics however. But I know it definitely isn't a good analogy :LOL:

Tofu
06-06-2012, 04:09 PM
Well, didn't he claim to get bored of books, read the interesting bits, and make up the rest? :p

Furygirl
06-06-2012, 04:19 PM
Somehow this album isn't seeming so "personal" from what we've surmised in the last couple of days.

And I have no clue about thermowhatsits.

a-museing
06-06-2012, 04:53 PM
Probably not. Probably a case of him going 'Oooh cool word' again. But maybe it will make more sense soon.

zer0-1ne
06-06-2012, 05:04 PM
No, but then maybe he didn't even write that 30 second psychobabble fauxcast. Maybe, it was just for dramatic effect.

Those Deaf Mutes
06-06-2012, 05:10 PM
matt is stupid

Kati
06-06-2012, 05:27 PM
I don't claim to know anything much about economics however. But I know it definitely isn't a good analogy :LOL:

Bah, don't know how to quote something already quoted. Anyway...

Er, did he claim that there is a direct analogy between 2nd law in thermodynamics and economy? I read a bit of that article you posted in the twitter thread, also what I could find of the book that it was referencing, and I thought the idea is that there is a limit to how much we can use natural resources because of 2nd law, and that is why the endless growth is unsustainable. Sure you get an idea of the lyrics (newsread) he tweeted that energy is running out, but I assume it's a bit hard to put an explanation of thermodynamics into a few sentences that preferably rhyme ;)

I didn't agree with the acopalyptic vibe (?) of the article. Earth is not a closed system.

I presume Matt finds the 2nd law fascinating because it actually says something definite of the whole universe, not just parts of it, i.e. that entropy in the whole universe increases all the time. The problem with that is that there is actually quite a lot of low entropy energy left.

Kati
06-06-2012, 05:31 PM
Matt seems to have mistaken the economy for a closed system, which it is not.

Now thinking about it, economy is a closed system much more than Earth physically. Didn't you mom tell you that money doesn't grow in trees, or fall from heaven? I think that means we don't get it from space ;)

jdeboer01
06-06-2012, 05:39 PM
Money or wealth is not finite. The economy isn't like a game of Monopoly, where there is a set amount of money. I find it amusing when people bash the rich because they're hogging "all the wealth".

Kati
06-06-2012, 05:53 PM
Money or wealth is not finite. The economy isn't like a game of Monopoly, where there is a set amount of money. I find it amusing when people bash the rich because they're hogging "all the wealth".

Okay, I'm not an expert on economics but I bought a book called Paper money collapse, which I haven't read yet... Anyway the basic idea is that all money systems based on flexible amount of money have collapsed sooner or later. Our western system was tied to gold reserves until sixties, and relatively stable systems like Germany have always sworn on very low inflation. Basically printing money i.e. causing high rate of inflation kills the monetary system.

Your statement is typical defense for capitalism, but in practise it seems that wealth does accumulate. For I know historically the levels of income have been brutally unevenly distributed, and the 60's -70's era in western countries when wealth distribution seemed relatively fair, i.e. working class had pretty nice standard of living compared to the rich, was an exception. But I don't think thermodynamics help at all understanding that!

CarrieB
06-06-2012, 06:04 PM
Money or wealth is not finite. The economy isn't like a game of Monopoly, where there is a set amount of money. I find it amusing when people bash the rich because they're hogging "all the wealth".

Well they could do with spreading it around a bit more whatever the theories.

The idea of unsustainability, as far as I understand, is that if we keep going as we are, we are likely to run out of natural resources or at least make our world a pretty nasty place to live.

Concentration on economic growth above all other considerations encourages indiscriminate use of resources plus practices that cause pollution. This occurs because we place profit and economic growth on a higher pedestal than ecological balance. That is where the link is I think. And it is a definite link.

I suppose it really depends on whether or not we believe natural resources are finite. But maybe Matt is complicating it to sex it up a bit? I suppose we will know more when we get more lyrics.

This is also quite a simplistic post.

I don't know too much about economics, not in depth, or anything about physics for that matter, but I do believe in Green issues, and I also don't accept trickle down theory or economic growth as the be all and end all.

Maybe the analogy if there is one is simply the idea of everything ending up in disorder.

Niall
06-06-2012, 06:32 PM
I think if it's just talking about oil then he's right.

In fact all non-solar energy is eventually going to be bad when humanity's energy consumption reaches a certain point. Almost all of our energy ends up as heat. Even nuclear and some biomass. The only kinds of energy that are truly sustainable are those that do not change to overall entropy of the Earth-Sun system, namely solar and wind, as they are simply altering the path the energy takes into the system rather than adding extra energy to it. Obviously our current nuclear use is a drop in the ocean, especially compared to the greenhouse effect which is a much more immediate concern.

But I don't think Matt was alluding to human energy changes over the next century in those regards.

CarrieB
06-06-2012, 06:47 PM
Maybe NME are closer to the album theme, that it will be a fictional apocalypse, loosely based on various scientific, economic and ecological theories.

http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=1&p=12342&title=muse_8&more=1&c=1

Hyper
06-06-2012, 06:48 PM
Matt understands the basics, most likely, better than an average layman. He was interested in the idea of resources running out since pre-Absolution, if you remember his rants about chickens and saving water

re: applying 2nd law to economy - there is a whole notion of thermoeconomics trying to see the connection

Quote:
Thermoeconomists maintain that human economic systems can be modeled as thermodynamic systems. Then, based on this premise, theoretical economic analogs of the first and second laws of thermodynamics are developed. In addition, the thermodynamic quantity exergy, i.e. measure of the useful work energy of a system, is one measure of value. In thermodynamics, thermal systems exchange heat, work, and or mass with their surroundings; in this direction, relations between the energy associated with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services can be determined

Kati
06-06-2012, 07:23 PM
I think if it's just talking about oil then he's right.

In fact all non-solar energy is eventually going to be bad when humanity's energy consumption reaches a certain point. Almost all of our energy ends up as heat. Even nuclear and some biomass. The only kinds of energy that are truly sustainable are those that do not change to overall entropy of the Earth-Sun system, namely solar and wind, as they are simply altering the path the energy takes into the system rather than adding extra energy to it. Obviously our current nuclear use is a drop in the ocean, especially compared to the greenhouse effect which is a much more immediate concern.

But I don't think Matt was alluding to human energy changes over the next century in those regards.

I guess by oil you mean all fossile energy. But I don't quite get your second paragraph. First, I wouldn't have thought all the energy we use ends up as heat - a lot goes to building (concrete) and stays there. And for I know the Earth does radiate heat to the space, so the energy as heat that we are releasing from fossile sources is not the problem - the problem is that we are changing too rapidly the current relative equilibrium of the thermodynamical, chemical and biological processes on the earth, plus we are polluting it in ways we don't even understand. The greenhouse effect, if I have understood correctly, is more due to changing the equilibrium (the outward radiation is reduced) than about the amount of energy we are releasing... Am I wrong?

I also don't know how you are getting to this: The only kinds of energy that are truly sustainable are those that do not change to overall entropy of the Earth-Sun system. Umm, what do we care about the entropy of Sun? There is a lot of available energy in Sun, the fusion reaction is not going to end soon. So I would have thought it is safe to let the entropy in Sun increase. It is doing that no matter what we do btw, it's not that anything that happens on Earth would have an effect on the Sun's activity. So we have the sunshine on Earth in any case, the problem is that we are rapidly using available energy stored during millions of years, it's running out but most importantly it's changing the system where we live and we are not prepared to adjust quickly enough.

Hmm. After writing this I'm starting to think the 2nd Law has nothing to do with the current climate change problems we have, and Matt has no idea what he is talking about. I don't quite understand how I got here ;)

EXOPOLITICIAN
06-06-2012, 07:31 PM
It's at this stage I regret having accepted a place at uni doing economics. :stunned:

jdeboer01
06-06-2012, 07:44 PM
Your statement is typical defense for capitalism, but in practise it seems that wealth does accumulate. For I know historically the levels of income have been brutally unevenly distributed, and the 60's -70's era in western countries when wealth distribution seemed relatively fair, i.e. working class had pretty nice standard of living compared to the rich, was an exception. But I don't think thermodynamics help at all understanding that!

I'm no economic expert either. But I do know that there is not a finite amount of demand and creating a product for which there is demand has infinite possibilities. For example, artists, take Muse for example, created their wealth by writing songs for which there is a demand. All of the people they employ, both directly and indirectly, benefit from the their creation of music -- from the people who design and make instruments, to the vendors at the show facilities.

When someone is "extremely wealthy", they rarely keep their assets liquid. That money gets invested, usually in businesses, in hopes that the value of that asset will go up. In the investing of millions, that wealth is not being hoarded. It's creating jobs indirectly.

I know it's complex, but I don't believe that it's a zero-sum game. I don't believe that whatever top earners make comes at the expense of lesser earners.

Hyper
06-06-2012, 08:08 PM
For example, artists, take Muse for example, created their wealth by writing songs for which there is a demand...

So the same article Kati refers to disagrees with the idea that the only limited resource is the brain power. I tend to think, however, that human creativity is limitless, as long as there are people to come up with the solutions. At the same time, demographic growth is not endless and there are forecasts that by 2050 it will stop, resulting in the scarcity of human resources.

Seaking
06-06-2012, 08:12 PM
I think if it's just talking about oil then he's right.

In fact all non-solar energy is eventually going to be bad when humanity's energy consumption reaches a certain point. Almost all of our energy ends up as heat. Even nuclear and some biomass. The only kinds of energy that are truly sustainable are those that do not change to overall entropy of the Earth-Sun system, namely solar and wind, as they are simply altering the path the energy takes into the system rather than adding extra energy to it. Obviously our current nuclear use is a drop in the ocean, especially compared to the greenhouse effect which is a much more immediate concern.

But I don't think Matt was alluding to human energy changes over the next century in those regards.

It seemed to me to just be bash on capitalism and production based on want and not need. "An economy based on endless growth is SDUGHSIUDHFDIs Unsustainable" Clearly Matt wants us to turn into a Marxist regime.

CarrieB
06-06-2012, 08:30 PM
I wonder if Matt conflated two theories which were intended to be discussed separately.

In any case, even if the themes don't stand up to academic scrutiny, the music sounds like it will be awesome. :D

And as for capitalism, whatever the right wing economists say, there is lots of evidence that, uncontrolled, it ends up with the rich getting richer and the poor poorer, despite some benefits, such as work being provided etc. Globalisation and competition means that the workers get more and more squeezed.

Niall
06-06-2012, 09:46 PM
It seemed to me to just be bash on capitalism and production based on want and not need. "An economy based on endless growth is SDUGHSIUDHFDIs Unsustainable" Clearly Matt wants us to turn into a Marxist regime.

I'd buy that if the man wasn't so filthy rich himself :LOL: houses in Lake Como can't come cheap.

Chocolate E. Clare
06-06-2012, 09:50 PM
I think it's a case of "It sounds sciencey!"
"Does it make any sense?"
"probably not, but it SOUNDS sciencey!"

i can't claim to know enough about either economics or thermodynamics though :LOL:

Tjet
06-06-2012, 09:51 PM
I think it's a case of "It sounds sciencey!"
"Does it make any sense?"
"probably not, but it SOUNDS sciencey!"
Moffat Bellamy?

Seaking
06-06-2012, 09:53 PM
I don't think Bellamy is particularly smart nor stupid (not that I can really know) but I think everyone in the world knows that an economy based off of endless growth is unsustainable. That is unless Gingrich's plan for moon/mars colonization go through.

Kueller917
06-06-2012, 09:54 PM
That is unless Gingrich's plan for moon/mars colonization go through.

SPREAD OUR CODES TO THE STARS :awesome:

CarrieB
06-06-2012, 10:21 PM
I'd buy that if the man wasn't so filthy rich himself :LOL: houses in Lake Como can't come cheap.

Campaigns for change usually involve the input of elites.

Mobytoss
06-06-2012, 10:36 PM
I quite like the analogy, even if it is a little 'Enter Shikari'

Second Law of Thermodynamics May Explain Economic Evolution (http://phys.org/news176365278.html)

Kati
06-06-2012, 11:20 PM
I'm no economic expert either. But I do know that there is not a finite amount of demand and creating a product for which there is demand has infinite possibilities. For example, artists, take Muse for example, created their wealth by writing songs for which there is a demand.

When someone is "extremely wealthy", they rarely keep their assets liquid. That money gets invested, usually in businesses, in hopes that the value of that asset will go up. In the investing of millions, that wealth is not being hoarded. It's creating jobs indirectly.

I know it's complex, but I don't believe that it's a zero-sum game. I don't believe that whatever top earners make comes at the expense of lesser earners.

First bit: when I go to a concert or buy a CD it means I'm saving on something else. That there is increasing supply, does not mean there is increasing demand, because demand depends also on capacity to buy. We can't become millionairs by selling say water to Africans who are dying without it, because they don't have money to buy it.

Rich with their money: when they invest, they expect return for that invest. Nowadays I think they expect ~15%. That 15% is away from the workers salaries, which means they won't be able to buy everything that they are producing. The idea is always that there are other businesses which produce wealth so that all products can be sold with the 15% profit, and that also the rich will use they profits, but the filthy rich cannot consume all money they own. It seems to get piled in their pockets.

So the same article Kati refers to disagrees with the idea that the only limited resource is the brain power. I tend to think, however, that human creativity is limitless, as long as there are people to come up with the solutions. At the same time, demographic growth is not endless and there are forecasts that by 2050 it will stop, resulting in the scarcity of human resources.

Yes I remember reading that. Hmmph, human resources is not directly proportional to number of people. To become a resource person needs an education and a good mental health. I would think the problem nowadays is that increasing part of the population is not fit to the demanding jobs available, and the non-demanding work is done by machines or the salary is not enough for living. Anyway that article argued against the idea that natural resources are not limited. Of course they are if wasted like at the moment.

I'd buy that if the man wasn't so filthy rich himself :LOL: houses in Lake Como can't come cheap.

He can feel guilty of his money.

I quite like the analogy, even if it is a little 'Enter Shikari'

Second Law of Thermodynamics May Explain Economic Evolution (http://phys.org/news176365278.html)

Ugh what bollocks. Ok, it was just an abstract not the study thus not complete, but I didn't find a single bit in it that would have seemed reasonable. Like I said I don't know economics but at least the examples should have made sense.

Kueller917
06-06-2012, 11:24 PM
Most of the stuff brought up from this and speculated has just seemed like armchair economics.

Gemsy
07-06-2012, 08:03 AM
matt is stupid

Lol

CarrieB
07-06-2012, 08:54 AM
It shouldn't do, but this is bloody niggling me now. :LOL:

I woke up trying to make sense of thermodynamics, something I've not even heard of before! :LOL: and arguments related to economic growth and whether or not the economy is a closed system.

The Green argument is the only one I can bloody think of. So off to read the Stern review (something I should have read already) and the article posted by Niall on thermodynamics.

Mobytoss
07-06-2012, 09:44 AM
Well there's always The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy and the Origins of Wealth (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Second-Law-Economics-Collection/dp/1441993649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339061971&sr=8-1) to work through to see whether the boot fits, I suppose. I'm just picking search results at random, off Google here really

spark_
07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
No one understands entropy properly (in a physical sense).

No one. It doesn't even make that much sense to define a closed system, especially nowadays.

The stat-mech definition of entropy does make a bit more sense, but only a bit.

Shrinking Universe
07-06-2012, 11:50 AM
No one understands entropy properly (in a physical sense).

Wrong. Are you a physicist?

spark_
07-06-2012, 11:53 AM
How do you isolate a system?

Luxemburger Queen
07-06-2012, 12:00 PM
He can feel guilty of his money.

wat :LOL:

http://www.gifsoup.com/view5/2443251/robin-hood-prince-john-o.gif
Buys all the things, but it's ok because he feels guilty about it..

Niall
07-06-2012, 12:11 PM
How do you isolate a system?

A planetary system ejected from a galaxy works quite well. Technically not isolated as there is always interaction but for the most part it works. Just because there is never a truly isolated system it doesn't mean that entropy doesn't work! The laws of thermodynamics are ideal and alone describe over simplistic scenarios, but can describe components of more complicated systems, and they are understood and valid.

spark_
07-06-2012, 12:18 PM
That was one scenario tbh, and one issue with the second law as stated.

The more pressing issue, to me and others anyway, is that entropy is more or less a concept whose definition is implicit - energy "we can't use". So we just give it a name because we can't do anything else with it. That does not mean we understand it - where has that energy gone? What has it disappeared into? Why can't that energy be recovered? Thermodynamics alone doesn't really try to answer these question (stat mech does, to an extent, though "order" is still a fairly handwavey concept).

That's what I meant by not understanding. Same way that quantum mechanics "wasn't understood" even by its great pioneers. Sure, we can do useful stuff and make calculations, but what it actually means - nah.

Niall
07-06-2012, 12:49 PM
That was one scenario tbh, and one issue with the second law as stated.

The more pressing issue, to me and others anyway, is that entropy is more or less a concept whose definition is implicit - energy "we can't use". So we just give it a name because we can't do anything else with it. That does not mean we understand it - where has that energy gone? What has it disappeared into? Why can't that energy be recovered? Thermodynamics alone doesn't really try to answer these question (stat mech does, to an extent, though "order" is still a fairly handwavey concept).

That's what I meant by not understanding. Same way that quantum mechanics "wasn't understood" even by its great pioneers. Sure, we can do useful stuff and make calculations, but what it actually means - nah.

Not sure what you're getting at. Do you mean to say we don't understand why the arrow of time is that for which entropy increases spontaneously as opposed to a universe where entropy decreases spontaneously? I don't think that's a particularly useful or meaningful question to ask!

Don't know why you're defining entropy as energy "we can't use" (what do you mean by "we"?). Energy not available to do work is the consequence of an increase in entropy.

spark_
07-06-2012, 01:23 PM
The underlying justification for the concept of entropy was disappearing energy unavailable for work. That's where it originally came from - the strict mathematical definition came later as a implicit way to realise this concept.

EDIT: wtf, wrote energy instead of entropy. seriously losing it

Mobytoss
07-06-2012, 02:32 PM
It seems the book I mentioned earlier is available to read on Scribd, I'm gonna have a gander and see how they put the two together - Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/59899019/The-Second-Law-of-Economics-Energy-Entropy-And-the-Origins-of-Wealth-1441993649)

CarrieB
07-06-2012, 07:24 PM
It seems the book I mentioned earlier is available to read on Scribd, I'm gonna have a gander and see how they put the two together - Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/59899019/The-Second-Law-of-Economics-Energy-Entropy-And-the-Origins-of-Wealth-1441993649)

Thanks for posting that book. I think it is probably quite useful for getting our heads round this, particularly for those with greater understanding of physics and economics which I haven't. I read bits of it which seemed relevant but had to miss large chunks.

What I have gleaned however from both that and the Stern report (obviously these arguments are contested as they always are) is that the greatest threat remains greenhouse gasses and climate change. Ignoring this threat and not reducing or containing carbon emissions and changing practices such as deforestation drastically in the next few years could be catastrophic and irreversible and will cost a lot more in the long run, just dealing with the the effects of things like higher water levels, migration, loss of agriculture, disease, instability etc. This is much more urgent than the issue of finite resources.

The link between the economy and entropy and 2nd law of thermodynamics seems, to me, to be both the inter-relationship between growth in wealth and the energy that is used in producing that, even if being used to light and heat offices, plus the argument that classical economics is outdated and insufficient because it ignores the involvement of energy in every process in the industrialised world. It is therefore argued that economic theory should be revised to include the laws of physical processes which take into account the restrictions of the natural world.

This quote explains it better than I have I think and is the sort of thing that might have captured Matt's interest.

"“Energy conversion is the basis of life and wealth creation. It is invariably coupled to entropy production, which manifests itself in emissions of heat and particles.These emissions will eventually restrict economic growth in the finite system Earth, when its emission-absorbing and life-supporting capacities are being exhausted. Growth can be maintained if industrialization expands into the space beyond Earth’s biosphere”. (p246)".

jdeboer01
08-06-2012, 03:27 PM
How do you isolate a system?


You could think of a single human body as a "system". The body needs to eat (energy) in order to survive, which is an open system energy-wise. If one stops eating, it becomes a closed system. The body will use stores of fat, and eventually muscle -- literally consuming itself to survive. Then you die -- it's unsustainable. ;)

Kati
08-06-2012, 10:31 PM
It seems the book I mentioned earlier is available to read on Scribd, I'm gonna have a gander and see how they put the two together - Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/59899019/The-Second-Law-of-Economics-Energy-Entropy-And-the-Origins-of-Wealth-1441993649)

I downloaded this too and just read the first chapter. Thanks for the link, it looks really interesting and somehow more reasonable than the article Niall found originally, like less apocalyptic (I don't like disaster dooming, we've seen that with acid rains on 80ies - no one talks about that anymore and the Schwarzwald forests are still there. I was pretty distressed about that as a teenager, don't want to go back to that). Also better than the short summary of the article you posted before. I may have to take back my words on several things I posted about entropy though!


The more pressing issue, to me and others anyway, is that entropy is more or less a concept whose definition is implicit - energy "we can't use". So we just give it a name because we can't do anything else with it. That does not mean we understand it - where has that energy gone? What has it disappeared into? Why can't that energy be recovered? Thermodynamics alone doesn't really try to answer these question (stat mech does, to an extent, though "order" is still a fairly handwavey concept).

I'm not sure where you wanted to write entropy instead of energy, was it in this quote? In any case I have understood entropy is a concept created to explain why physical phenomena happen to the direction they do, like that temperatures tend to even out. It's difficult to understand because it cannot be directly measured. But physical phenomena do not need entropy or any human created concept to know how they should happen, it's all our attempts to organise the reality we see to something we can use to predict things.


"“Energy conversion is the basis of life and wealth creation. It is invariably coupled to entropy production, which manifests itself in emissions of heat and particles.These emissions will eventually restrict economic growth in the finite system Earth, when its emission-absorbing and life-supporting capacities are being exhausted. Growth can be maintained if industrialization expands into the space beyond Earth’s biosphere”. (p246)".

Hmmph, I just read the first chapter and I assume there will be more interesting stuff later. Back to the thread if I'll understand anything more about the issue.

jdeboer01
09-06-2012, 02:05 AM
One of the most fascinating open energy systems is photosynthesis. Trees and plants take CO2, separate them, store the carbon in the form of (burnable) plant material, and discard the Oxygen using the sun! Plants and trees are stores of carbon. Wood and fiber are made of carbon. Energy sources like oil are highly concentrated dead trees and plant materials that are millions of years old. Hence the term "fossil fuels". I'm not even remotely close to being knowledgeable in thermodynamics, but I'll go ahead and guess that the most rapid thermal energy expenditures come from the combustion and molecular separation of carbon and oxygen. Seems to me that the most effective remediation of too much CO2 from burning too much old decayed dead plant material would be to have more plant material converting and separating CO2 into oxygen, and completing the (re)cycle again.

And when you think about it, "global warming" itself may be a "fix" for a CO2 saturated atmosphere by allowing CO2 converting plant material to exist in a normally hostile environment. It would allow the conversion of CO2 to oxygen and carbon in environments where not possible before. ;)

Friar44
09-06-2012, 01:14 PM
I think I understand what Matt is saying. Bare with me here as I try to explain the thought process;

Earth's resources represent a finite amount of energy. Predominantly, Our global economy is based on the consumption of energy; To put it simply, according to some "scientific law", energy cannot be created or destroyed, only moved around. But when we consume our planet's natural resources for energy, we are doing so in such a way that the new state of that energy is unusable (smog, waste, etc.). So as we move from a planet with energy in a low entropy state (oil wells, taps, reserves, etc.) into a planet with energy in a high entropy state (smog, gasses, etc), we will eventually be left with a ton of energy that we can't do anything with. Unsustainable. What happens then?

jdeboer01
09-06-2012, 04:21 PM
I think I understand what Matt is saying. Bare with me here as I try to explain the thought process;

Earth's resources represent a finite amount of energy. Predominantly, Our global economy is based on the consumption of energy; To put it simply, according to some "scientific law", energy cannot be created or destroyed, only moved around. But when we consume our planet's natural resources for energy, we are doing so in such a way that the new state of that energy is unusable (smog, waste, etc.). So as we move from a planet with energy in a low entropy state (oil wells, taps, reserves, etc.) into a planet with energy in a high entropy state (smog, gasses, etc), we will eventually be left with a ton of energy that we can't do anything with. Unsustainable. What happens then?

The economy would become less "global", and would go back to what it was -- local. If it becomes unprofitable due to fuel prices to ship goods internationally, more products would be produced locally, and not shipped very far.

I'm fairly confident that if and when the price of fossil fuel becomes higher than other sources of energy, technology will advance in leaps and bounds. The reason these technologies aren't advanced enough to compete with fossil fuels now is because, quite simply, fossil fuels are cheaper, and new technologies can't compete.

The human race will refuse to go back to a world without electricity, and it really doesn't need to. There's always nuclear energy, and possibly in the future -- Helium-3. Also, there's hydroelectric, and likely technological advances in solar and wind. I'm willing to guess that the future will hold an increase in private electrical generation and off-grid living. The fact that we rely on an aging electrical grid makes us all vulnerable. I'd love to "off the grid". :)

CarrieB
09-06-2012, 06:43 PM
The main point made by environmentalists though is that irreversible damage is likely to happen before we get to the point of limitation in resources. And it would already be too late by then. Irreversible damage would have occurred, with results that are out of the realms of human experience. Thus it's no good waiting for things to work out. Efforts need to be made now to mitigate the risk.

jdeboer01
09-06-2012, 07:46 PM
The main point made by environmentalists though is that irreversible damage is likely to happen before we get to the point of limitation in resources. And it would already be too late by then. Irreversible damage would have occurred, with results that are out of the realms of human experience. Thus it's no good waiting for things to work out. Efforts need to be made now to mitigate the risk.

What sort of "irreversible damage" and risk are you referring to? Sometimes people truly underestimate the resiliency of mother nature. ;)

CarrieB
09-06-2012, 08:53 PM
What sort of "irreversible damage" and risk are you referring to? Sometimes people truly underestimate the resiliency of mother nature. ;)

So you know better than lots of scientists?

I will post the stuff up when I get time.

Anxyous
09-06-2012, 09:30 PM
And when you think about it, "global warming" itself may be a "fix" for a CO2 saturated atmosphere by allowing CO2 converting plant material to exist in a normally hostile environment. It would allow the conversion of CO2 to oxygen and carbon in environments where not possible before. ;)

No.

Breathalyzer
09-06-2012, 09:39 PM
I think if it's just talking about oil then he's right.

In fact all non-solar energy is eventually going to be bad when humanity's energy consumption reaches a certain point. Almost all of our energy ends up as heat. Even nuclear and some biomass. The only kinds of energy that are truly sustainable are those that do not change to overall entropy of the Earth-Sun system, namely solar and wind, as they are simply altering the path the energy takes into the system rather than adding extra energy to it. Obviously our current nuclear use is a drop in the ocean, especially compared to the greenhouse effect which is a much more immediate concern.

But I don't think Matt was alluding to human energy changes over the next century in those regards.

As read in New Scientist a few months ago...

The only thing to remember with solar and wind power is that they may forever be renewable power-sources (providing there's enough fossil fuels in the world left to actually last until we engineer even marginally capable renewable systems and replace all sources we have) although they may still contribute to climate change due to, in the case of solar, the reflectivity of their constituent materials, and in the case of wind turbines - their affect on global wind circulation.
Imagine all of the energy sources of the world today being replaced with solar power and wind turbines. Everything on the Earth's surface reflects a certain amount of light back to higher altitudes and utilising a national fleet of solar panels would most definately alter the amount of heat absorbed in the atmosphere from the Sun.
One wind turbine can distort wind passing by it excessively, pushing gusts in other directions other than straight on as it would have naturally. We currently employ only a few hundred as a batch with large distances in between. If they were interfering forcefully with important passing winds then this could also become an issue.
I would go into further detail, but I haven't read that particular issue of NS recently =S
So the bottom line...yeah...how 'green' is 'green energy'? Just play about with the physics a little...

Still...I do feel that all alternative power sources of today are a great step in the right direction. Every technological advance leads us somewhere new, and we've sure adapted to changes in society and the world before.
Farming methods, for example, have changed over the last century or so, and they were only founded due to the demand of people feeding off them.
I'm useless with names, but some guy predicted that we would experience a famine in the late 19th century (In England) and he was right (well...it didn't happen though), although farmers figured out how to make more out of their land and therefore the crisis was avoided. This is not to say our species hasn't stumbled before now either, but try not to be too bleak, for all our great great grandchildren's sake. =)

Protecting our Earth should be a serious priority in everybodies eyes. People who don't care are often those who don't read into the science and weigh the potential risks correctly, or have read too many books about making money.

I never thought Muse would go on to make an album involving sustainability and energy, although their political spectrum to date has been half way there. I've been interested in the subject since college and I'm amazed! Although Muse tend to do that... =D

jdeboer01
10-06-2012, 02:15 AM
So you know better than lots of scientists? :erm:
Know WHAT better? Just because I state that nature is resilient, you get defensive? :wtf:

I will post the stuff up when I get time.

Why would you make a claim of "irreversible damage", and not know a single example offhand? I think you're reading into my statement WAY too much.

jdeboer01
10-06-2012, 02:16 AM
No.

Yea. No shit. The "wink" was there to imply sarcasm.

naget4music
10-06-2012, 04:53 AM
What the fuck is this thread?

Kueller917
10-06-2012, 05:13 AM
http://i.imgur.com/VR9cP.jpg

CarrieB
10-06-2012, 10:31 AM
:erm:
Know WHAT better? Just because I state that nature is resilient, you get defensive? :wtf:



Why would you make a claim of "irreversible damage", and not know a single example offhand? I think you're reading into my statement WAY too much.

If you had read through my previous post on this thread you would have seen that I have already given examples.

What I have gleaned however from both that and the Stern report (obviously these arguments are contested as they always are) is that the greatest threat remains greenhouse gasses and climate change. Ignoring this threat and not reducing or containing carbon emissions and changing practices such as deforestation drastically in the next few years could be catastrophic and irreversible and will cost a lot more in the long run, just dealing with the the effects of things like higher water levels, migration, loss of agriculture, disease, instability etc. This is much more urgent than the issue of finite resources.

I couldn't be bothered to reiterate but was going to post the stuff from the Stern report, which is also in the book that Mobytoss posted, based on claims, not made by me (I know fuck all about the physical sciences) but by people who do . I haven't got round to that yet as I have other things to do.

What irritates me is when people who haven't even tried to educate themselves make patronising comments.

Now if you have a realm of scientific knowledge on which you can base your comment that nature is resilient, and thus there is no need to consider the risks of climate change, as everything will sort itself out, and we'll all be happy ever after, then, fair enough.

CarrieB
10-06-2012, 11:46 AM
As read in New Scientist a few months ago...

The only thing to remember with solar and wind power is that they may forever be renewable power-sources (providing there's enough fossil fuels in the world left to actually last until we engineer even marginally capable renewable systems and replace all sources we have) although they may still contribute to climate change due to, in the case of solar, the reflectivity of their constituent materials, and in the case of wind turbines - their affect on global wind circulation.
Imagine all of the energy sources of the world today being replaced with solar power and wind turbines. Everything on the Earth's surface reflects a certain amount of light back to higher altitudes and utilising a national fleet of solar panels would most definately alter the amount of heat absorbed in the atmosphere from the Sun.
One wind turbine can distort wind passing by it excessively, pushing gusts in other directions other than straight on as it would have naturally. We currently employ only a few hundred as a batch with large distances in between. If they were interfering forcefully with important passing winds then this could also become an issue.
I would go into further detail, but I haven't read that particular issue of NS recently =S
So the bottom line...yeah...how 'green' is 'green energy'? Just play about with the physics a little...

Still...I do feel that all alternative power sources of today are a great step in the right direction. Every technological advance leads us somewhere new, and we've sure adapted to changes in society and the world before.
Farming methods, for example, have changed over the last century or so, and they were only founded due to the demand of people feeding off them.
I'm useless with names, but some guy predicted that we would experience a famine in the late 19th century (In England) and he was right (well...it didn't happen though), although farmers figured out how to make more out of their land and therefore the crisis was avoided. This is not to say our species hasn't stumbled before now either, but try not to be too bleak, for all our great great grandchildren's sake. =)

Protecting our Earth should be a serious priority in everybodies eyes. People who don't care are often those who don't read into the science and weigh the potential risks correctly, or have read too many books about making money.

I never thought Muse would go on to make an album involving sustainability and energy, although their political spectrum to date has been half way there. I've been interested in the subject since college and I'm amazed! Although Muse tend to do that... =D

I have seen it claimed (I think by politicians who don't like them) that we haven't enough land for wind turbines, I don't know about sea. I have seen arguments before that water is a energy source which hasn't been fully explored.

One thing I don't like the idea of is nuclear energy. It's the idea of having to bury toxic waste everywhere, but also the risk of accident.

Also you mentioned farming, and I've read something before of how factory farming damages the environment, so obviously organic farming is an improvement.

Funny enough, I was wondering this morning whether the manufacture of solar panels carries it's own environmental drawbacks. I don't know. On a rather trivial point, they're quite unattractive on old buildings. I suppose if they became popular, they might seem attractive.

I think that if there was a bigger demand for new ecohomes, that would both improve the environment and produce economic growth. I'm not sure whether economic growth always has to be in conflict with the environment. It's only because it is seen as the priority or when it involves promoting wasteful practices that are unnecessary to life or fulfillment.

I would have to check again but I think in the Stern review it said that we need to reduce emissions by something like 80% in the next 50 years in order to mitigate the effects of climate change which could occur at the end of the century.

Another thing to think about I think, is whether it's more about about protecting the inhabitants of the earth than the earth itself. It wouldn't matter to the earth if London is flooded, or viruses and bacteria multiply or if raised heat levels become unbearable in hot countries. It wouldn't matter to the earth if the human race is wiped out (not that scientists are saying that incidentally - it's for hypothetical argument). In fact it would probably be very beneficial. If certain animals become extinct, it will change the ecological balance but I'm not sure it would matter to the earth itself.

The last random thought is that the economy is man made and artificial so though complex, I think there are always going to be answers, but the natural world is not as easy to control.

Anyway various thoughts not claims.

Kati
10-06-2012, 04:49 PM
I still haven't managed to read the book linked (well it's a lot of text and I have plenty of other things to do too! <guilty>). Anyway, some thoughts, still pretty uneducated, about the posts others have done. God it's long, well uninterested please just skip it.

jdeboer, I don't have the solid scientific background to make claims about nature's resiliency either, but I do know from physics that it's well possible that a system has several stable states. Take for example a ball on a bumpy terrain, it won't stay on any peak of the terrain, but it can be stable in a small bit - then it gets lifted from that pit by an external force, but doesn't stay on the nearby peak but falls into a deeper pit next to the peak. There it is stable again, but it takes a lot of external force to get it back to the original pit. To put this example back on Earth climate, we know that Earth has been much much warmer than it is nowadays millions of years ago. I'm not sure how many years ago exactly, and what kind of life there was at the time, but I think the Earth was much warmer at the era of dinosaurs (Greenland for example has been green once upon a time, according to something I think I've read). It can very well move back to the previous state, or to another state, maybe badly deserted... It's true what Carrie said, the Earth or probably even some forms of life will survive even if the state of the climate changes, but quite a lot of humans and definitely our economical system will not. The modern society is quite vulnerable. Besides, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been increasing from the start of the industrial era, and it might well be that the resiliency capacity of the Earth has been used already - although I don't know exactly, and if I have understood even scientists do not know.

Another point jdeboer, don't be so bloody US centric - the electricity grid in your country may be in a bad shape, but not allover the planet. Also roads and bridges in your country are in bad shape, all a result of the long policy of tax decreasing. Ok sorry, I don't want to start a war between Europe and US :) The results of tax decreasing are visible also on European roads, although for I know electricity network is in a relatively good shape in different countries. Connections between countries are bottlenecks. But it's not the first time I hear of the distributed energy production, so that idea is quite good basically. It might be something also for countries like India where, afaik, the electricity network really is bad.

There are already small windmills on sale, for family houses - the price I think was around 10 000 eur, which is quite a lot when the electricity for electrically heated house costs only around 1000 -1500 eur per year, and the own personal windmill does not even cover all heating costs.

Then about windmills, solar panels, and how much energy can be extracted from those sources: one good thing I've read about those energy sources is that they are annoyingly inefficient... Meaning that they cannot absorb too much of the energy around them. That of course means that the price of the resulting energy is high, but also that they do not disturb the system around them that much. I haven't heard of radial wind bursts from the windmills, and I doubt they can create too much disturbance, that would make them even more inefficient as they are today, plus they would break structurally. I would be interested to hear more about this? Carrie mentioned water energy, well there are quite a lot of experimental work going on trying to win energy from tides (?) and waves. They are not as ready as wind energy technologically, there are several competing mechanisms experimented at the moment, but the good thing about those is that they are not as visible as windmills. Technical problems in salty seawater are huge, afaik...

On the fuel and transport side of things (it's fine to win a lot of energy from wind and sun and waves and whatever, but that energy is really difficult to store, and the problems become very difficult in automotives as long as there is no better battery technology than the present one) there is research going on on algae, plus there are already methods, commercially competitive methods to produce diesel from plants.

One interesting article I read a while ago was artificial meat - and I mean real artificial meat, not something produced from plants. It is relatively easy to let muscle cells grow in those solutions they use in biological studies, and it can be made taste like chicken or beef or whatever. The problem is that since they don't know how to grow blood veins, the meat starts to rotten in the middle. Hmm, I guess at the point where the medicine manages to grow whole new organs, we will also get artificial meat - that means a large drop in the need of grass land for cattle, plus that methane emissions of cattle also decrease. Plus of course no need anymore for the cruelties for the cattle... One thing in the first chapter of that booked linked was that animals are actually not very efficient in producing work. I presume they are also not very efficient in producing meat :/

Then there is energy saving. People start thinking of switching off lights, using public transport or not travelling altogether, not using plastic bags etc when they hear about this, but if I think of UK, for example, I see such a waste of energy in buildings... Centimetre wide gaps in windows, poor insulation, ventilation based on gravity, stuff like that. UK is a warm country, buildings shouldn't need much heating at all if they were properly insulated. There is also potential in industry (in all countries), pumps and so. In industry the energy savings happen anyway because the cost for energy is calculated all the time, but if the price of energy increases the investments into saving it become productive sooner. That kind of stuff can be done without people changing their behaviour much at all, which seems to be the aim of the green idealists - they mostly try to change people's behaviour, often based on emotions rather than physics. For example those plastic bags are peanuts in the energy balance. Well, one thing about industry - the price of energy has to rise in all industrial countries, including China and India, in order to any changes to happen. I think that is the biggest problem at the moment, that those countries do not want to harm their industry in any way to tackle a problem western countries have created.

Umm, this became a list of things I think can be done and should be done. I'm not hopeless about whether we can change the direction of the climate change, but there isn't much time and it takes a lot of money (well each of you think the investment into an own windmill, UK residents think of the cost of renewing all windows, extra insulation and machine driven ventilation with heat pump - there must be thousands of things I don't know that take money) plus that people won't do these things if it is not politically driven. In that way I appreciate a band bringing the subject up, it quite simply increases awareness. Without the awareness there is no political pressure, and without the pressure there are no laws that either directly force people do the investments or drive the energy price so high that people have to do the investments to keep the energy bill affordable.

fabripav
10-06-2012, 04:54 PM
This thread in a nutshell:
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/021/503/tldr_trollcat.jpg?1318992465

Luxemburger Queen
10-06-2012, 05:41 PM
Holy mother of dragons. Was that post made by the same person claiming to have neither the time nor the energy to reply to a simple Sippe question?

LyraSilvertongue
10-06-2012, 05:52 PM
Holy mother of dragons. Was that post made by the same person claiming to have neither the time nor the energy to reply to a simple Sippe question?

Never was tl;dr more appropriate.

fabripav
10-06-2012, 06:03 PM
Holy mother of dragons. Was that post made by the same person claiming to have neither the time nor the energy to reply to a simple Sippe question?

:LOL: true.

Epona99
10-06-2012, 06:53 PM
for anyone interested in something outside conventional economics

http://www.realitysandwich.com/homepage_sacred_economics

Not going to stick around to argue for it, you'll either read it and see that it makes sense or you won't, but it is part of why I think Matt has the right idea

kingcools
10-06-2012, 09:38 PM
I presume Matt finds the 2nd law fascinating because it actually says something definite of the whole universe, not just parts of it, i.e. that entropy in the whole universe increases all the time.

this is, to be precise, wrong.
The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy never decreases. It can stay the same though. But one can not understand the term entropy without going deeper into the matter/math.

Kati
11-06-2012, 12:57 AM
this is, to be precise, wrong.
The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy never decreases. It can stay the same though. But one can not understand the term entropy without going deeper into the matter/math.

Er, wut, did you actually read what I wrote? :p Didn't expect that anymore after tl; dr comments.

But I suppose you are right, I think the sign in the simple-looking incomprehensible law was greater or equal to zero. But isn't the entropy increasing on Earth, that would mean it increases in the universe too ;) Whatever. I did a course on thermodynamics in university, but I have to admit I never really understood it. I seemed to have a simple definition in molecular level if I remember correctly, but then the idea was difficult to grasp in classical thermodynamics.

Seaking
11-06-2012, 12:59 AM
E = mc^2

Kueller917
11-06-2012, 01:05 AM
E = mc^2

Genius.

Seaking
11-06-2012, 01:21 AM
Genius.

They don't just hand these PhD's out.

Furygirl
11-06-2012, 01:55 AM
They don't just hand these PhD's out.

Yeah, you have to do a mail order.

Kueller917
11-06-2012, 02:08 AM
Yeah, you have to do a mail order.

Well shit... who wants to do that?

spark_
11-06-2012, 03:23 AM
this is, to be precise, wrong.
The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy never decreases. It can stay the same though. But one can not understand the term entropy without going deeper into the matter/math.
i don't think this is true under the conditions you've given (ie. none)

CarrieB
11-06-2012, 10:17 AM
Is the earth a closed system because it is surrounded by the biosphere?

Incidentally I think manufacturing meat sounds disgusting. I read Kati's post too! But then I think killing animals for meat, although natural, is something best avoided.

The fracking that is going on now seems indicative of human arrogance. Seen as a no brainer because it is a way of bringing down energy prices, despite the fact that it has been causing mini earthquakes. That's an illustration of the economy being seen as king despite the fact that we can have more control over it than we have over the natural world.

I mean does anyone understand why mini earthquakes result from fracking? Does anyone know whether it could cause more major earthquakes? But it seems that it is good for the economy so we need to do it anyway.

kingcools
11-06-2012, 12:45 PM
Er, wut, did you actually read what I wrote? :p Didn't expect that anymore after tl; dr comments.

But I suppose you are right, I think the sign in the simple-looking incomprehensible law was greater or equal to zero. But isn't the entropy increasing on Earth, that would mean it increases in the universe too ;) Whatever. I did a course on thermodynamics in university, but I have to admit I never really understood it. I seemed to have a simple definition in molecular level if I remember correctly, but then the idea was difficult to grasp in classical thermodynamics.

in a non closed system entropy can decrease. Thats why humans can live.(they eat "energy" to keep "entropy" in place ;))
earth is not a closed system either, because energy leaves and enters its orbit. Only the universe is a truely closed system(as far as we know).
Well, im not too familiar with it myself, have yet to learn it from my physics book :)

spark_
11-06-2012, 12:52 PM
i'm not a fan of fracking but "it causes earthquakes" is not definitely not the main reason we should be careful about injecting chemicals into possibly water-bearing strata.

CarrieB
11-06-2012, 02:53 PM
i'm not a fan of fracking but "it causes earthquakes" is not definitely not the main reason we should be careful about injecting chemicals into possibly water-bearing strata.

Oh you mean because it could get into our water supplies? Yes that too.

spark_
12-06-2012, 03:22 AM
That is the reason. The earthquakes business is a furphy.

(in general, i mean. there are other issues related to the specific task that is being attempted - gas leakages if that's what you're going for etc)

Shrinking Universe
12-06-2012, 06:48 AM
Is the earth a closed system because it is surrounded by the biosphere?

No, it receives energy from the Sun (and lots of it).

jTc42
12-06-2012, 02:57 PM
I had to sit a horrifying degree level thermodynamics exam a couple of days before they announced the new albums "theme".... Somehow I feel f****d over by it! I'm trying to forget about the exam :LOL:

But yeah, it makes little sense as an analogy. While yes it's obviously true that entropy must increase in a closed system such as the universe, the universe is really pretty darn big so we can effectively "dump" positive entropy changes elsewhere in order to reduce the disorder in some sub-system (think air-conditioning). Whether the economy is a thermodynamic sub-system is a good question and many nerds on my course (myself included) have had many a discussion about it over many a drink.

No conclusion has been reached....

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 02:30 AM
I still haven't managed to read the book linked (well it's a lot of text and I have plenty of other things to do too! <guilty>). Anyway, some thoughts, still pretty uneducated, about the posts others have done. God it's long, well uninterested please just skip it.

jdeboer, I don't have the solid scientific background to make claims about nature's resiliency either, but I do know from physics that it's well possible that a system has several stable states. Take for example a ball on a bumpy terrain, it won't stay on any peak of the terrain, but it can be stable in a small bit - then it gets lifted from that pit by an external force, but doesn't stay on the nearby peak but falls into a deeper pit next to the peak. There it is stable again, but it takes a lot of external force to get it back to the original pit. To put this example back on Earth climate, we know that Earth has been much much warmer than it is nowadays millions of years ago. I'm not sure how many years ago exactly, and what kind of life there was at the time, but I think the Earth was much warmer at the era of dinosaurs (Greenland for example has been green once upon a time, according to something I think I've read). It can very well move back to the previous state, or to another state, maybe badly deserted... It's true what Carrie said, the Earth or probably even some forms of life will survive even if the state of the climate changes, but quite a lot of humans and definitely our economical system will not. The modern society is quite vulnerable. Besides, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been increasing from the start of the industrial era, and it might well be that the resiliency capacity of the Earth has been used already - although I don't know exactly, and if I have understood even scientists do not know.

Another point jdeboer, don't be so bloody US centric - the electricity grid in your country may be in a bad shape, but not allover the planet. Also roads and bridges in your country are in bad shape, all a result of the long policy of tax decreasing. Ok sorry, I don't want to start a war between Europe and US :) The results of tax decreasing are visible also on European roads, although for I know electricity network is in a relatively good shape in different countries. Connections between countries are bottlenecks. But it's not the first time I hear of the distributed energy production, so that idea is quite good basically. It might be something also for countries like India where, afaik, the electricity network really is bad.

There are already small windmills on sale, for family houses - the price I think was around 10 000 eur, which is quite a lot when the electricity for electrically heated house costs only around 1000 -1500 eur per year, and the own personal windmill does not even cover all heating costs.

Then about windmills, solar panels, and how much energy can be extracted from those sources: one good thing I've read about those energy sources is that they are annoyingly inefficient... Meaning that they cannot absorb too much of the energy around them. That of course means that the price of the resulting energy is high, but also that they do not disturb the system around them that much. I haven't heard of radial wind bursts from the windmills, and I doubt they can create too much disturbance, that would make them even more inefficient as they are today, plus they would break structurally. I would be interested to hear more about this? Carrie mentioned water energy, well there are quite a lot of experimental work going on trying to win energy from tides (?) and waves. They are not as ready as wind energy technologically, there are several competing mechanisms experimented at the moment, but the good thing about those is that they are not as visible as windmills. Technical problems in salty seawater are huge, afaik...

On the fuel and transport side of things (it's fine to win a lot of energy from wind and sun and waves and whatever, but that energy is really difficult to store, and the problems become very difficult in automotives as long as there is no better battery technology than the present one) there is research going on on algae, plus there are already methods, commercially competitive methods to produce diesel from plants.

One interesting article I read a while ago was artificial meat - and I mean real artificial meat, not something produced from plants. It is relatively easy to let muscle cells grow in those solutions they use in biological studies, and it can be made taste like chicken or beef or whatever. The problem is that since they don't know how to grow blood veins, the meat starts to rotten in the middle. Hmm, I guess at the point where the medicine manages to grow whole new organs, we will also get artificial meat - that means a large drop in the need of grass land for cattle, plus that methane emissions of cattle also decrease. Plus of course no need anymore for the cruelties for the cattle... One thing in the first chapter of that booked linked was that animals are actually not very efficient in producing work. I presume they are also not very efficient in producing meat :/

Then there is energy saving. People start thinking of switching off lights, using public transport or not travelling altogether, not using plastic bags etc when they hear about this, but if I think of UK, for example, I see such a waste of energy in buildings... Centimetre wide gaps in windows, poor insulation, ventilation based on gravity, stuff like that. UK is a warm country, buildings shouldn't need much heating at all if they were properly insulated. There is also potential in industry (in all countries), pumps and so. In industry the energy savings happen anyway because the cost for energy is calculated all the time, but if the price of energy increases the investments into saving it become productive sooner. That kind of stuff can be done without people changing their behaviour much at all, which seems to be the aim of the green idealists - they mostly try to change people's behaviour, often based on emotions rather than physics. For example those plastic bags are peanuts in the energy balance. Well, one thing about industry - the price of energy has to rise in all industrial countries, including China and India, in order to any changes to happen. I think that is the biggest problem at the moment, that those countries do not want to harm their industry in any way to tackle a problem western countries have created.

Umm, this became a list of things I think can be done and should be done. I'm not hopeless about whether we can change the direction of the climate change, but there isn't much time and it takes a lot of money (well each of you think the investment into an own windmill, UK residents think of the cost of renewing all windows, extra insulation and machine driven ventilation with heat pump - there must be thousands of things I don't know that take money) plus that people won't do these things if it is not politically driven. In that way I appreciate a band bringing the subject up, it quite simply increases awareness. Without the awareness there is no political pressure, and without the pressure there are no laws that either directly force people do the investments or drive the energy price so high that people have to do the investments to keep the energy bill affordable.

I have a fucking headache!

Kati, what no one seems to consider with these idealistic (and very expensive) theoretical energy sources (and the attempt to globally legislate their use) is that they completely fuck under-developed countries up the ass!

When cheaper sources of energy exist, forcing the use of the more expensive ones will not work.

It seems that human nature is never considered when grandiose ideas of a potential utopia are brought up as solutions.

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 02:41 AM
Is the earth a closed system because it is surrounded by the biosphere?

The Earth is NOT a closed system. There is energy input from the sun. How do you think plants grow? There are some who believe that life on earth was placed here by asteroids. The earth doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Incidentally I think manufacturing meat sounds disgusting. I read Kati's post too! But then I think killing animals for meat, although natural, is something best avoided.

We should eliminate all carnivores from the planet because killing animals is "disgusting" and "is best avoided". :rolleyes:

The fracking that is going on now seems indicative of human arrogance. Seen as a no brainer because it is a way of bringing down energy prices, despite the fact that it has been causing mini earthquakes. That's an illustration of the economy being seen as king despite the fact that we can have more control over it than we have over the natural world.

What the frack? Are you fracking kidding me?

I mean does anyone understand why mini earthquakes result from fracking? Does anyone know whether it could cause more major earthquakes? But it seems that it is good for the economy so we need to do it anyway.

So, "frack" all of the world populations who can't afford solar panels and windmills. If the can't afford it, then frack them.

Urgamanix
13-06-2012, 07:15 AM
Poor Matt has gotten himself into a pickle.

In thermodynamics, entropy is the level at which energy is not available for work. The classic example is ice in a drink in a warm room - the heat energy does work and transfers from hot --> cold, melting the ice and making the drink warm. As the drink warms and everything hits a balanced temperature, entropy increases. When everything is the same temperature, no more energy is transferring and entropy is at it's maximum.

It's generally considered that in thermodynamics, entropy is a 'bad' thing, as with no energy transfer, we can't have things such as engines. In fact one common way the universe is predicted to die is through entropy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_Universe).

Now, if you try to apply this to economics (and in some ways you can), heat energy = cash. In this case, increasing entropy would mean cash flowing from those that have lots of it, to those that don't.

In other words, cash flowing from rich to poor until everyone has equal amounts and no 'work' is done in the flow of cash. Which I'm sure supports Matt's stance and opinion on this. Yet, it seems he is complaining economic entropy is a bad thing! Effectively he is saying that the massive economic divide between rich and poor is good!

TL;DR:

High entropy in thermodynamics = balanced energy = bad
High entropy in economics = balanced wealth = good

Trying to equate two opposite concepts = VERY bad

Kueller917
13-06-2012, 07:19 AM
I actually have no idea what side Matt is taking on this. But either way the application doesn't make sense.

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 09:43 AM
The Earth is NOT a closed system. There is energy input from the sun. How do you think plants grow? There are some who believe that life on earth was placed here by asteroids. The earth doesn't exist in a vacuum.



We should eliminate all carnivores from the planet because killing animals is "disgusting" and "is best avoided". :rolleyes:



What the frack? Are you fracking kidding me?



So, "frack" all of the world populations who can't afford solar panels and windmills. If the can't afford it, then frack them.

In the main I haven't the foggiest what you are on about.

Anyway I believe it is true that we shaft the underdeveloped countries. We have done that for yonks. They are also likely to suffer most from climate change as the result of our energy use which far outstrips their own use. It is basically an issue of social justice therefore that rich countries support poorer countries in using less environmentally damaging sources of energy as well as doing that ourselves.

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 10:11 AM
Poor Matt has gotten himself into a pickle.

In thermodynamics, entropy is the level at which energy is not available for work. The classic example is ice in a drink in a warm room - the heat energy does work and transfers from hot --> cold, melting the ice and making the drink warm. As the drink warms and everything hits a balanced temperature, entropy increases. When everything is the same temperature, no more energy is transferring and entropy is at it's maximum.

It's generally considered that in thermodynamics, entropy is a 'bad' thing, as with no energy transfer, we can't have things such as engines. In fact one common way the universe is predicted to die is through entropy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_Universe).

Now, if you try to apply this to economics (and in some ways you can), heat energy = cash. In this case, increasing entropy would mean cash flowing from those that have lots of it, to those that don't.

In other words, cash flowing from rich to poor until everyone has equal amounts and no 'work' is done in the flow of cash. Which I'm sure supports Matt's stance and opinion on this. Yet, it seems he is complaining economic entropy is a bad thing! Effectively he is saying that the massive economic divide between rich and poor is good!

TL;DR:

High entropy in thermodynamics = balanced energy = bad
High entropy in economics = balanced wealth = good

Trying to equate two opposite concepts = VERY bad

Hmm, this is a good post I think. Clear and straightforward in the explanation of entropy to those of us with little understanding of physics.

The only thing though is whether an analogy is intended. I'm not sure it is. It seems to me from reading sections of the book posted earlier (though I may be wrong as I had to skip much of the mathematical based argument, plus it may not be what Matt has based his thoughts on) that the connection is that economics doesn't take account of energy processes and constraints imposed by the natural world, not that it can be seen as similar.

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 10:40 AM
No, it receives energy from the Sun (and lots of it).

Yes of course. Though, presumably the issue is that the harmful gasses can't leave the system or be neutralised as the volume is too high? Somehow or other that seems to be being linked to entropy.

I'm not sure how, if entropy is balance between energy forces and global warming is related to too much carbon.

Unless... it is something to do with the earth rebalancing in a disordered fashion.

Confusing.. just trying to make some sense of it from a layman's point of view.

Sorry for the multiple posts, quoted first and then went back.

Also just thought maybe "the economy is unsustainable" is shorthand for "life as we know it is unsustainable, if we continue to live under the illusion of the value of the same economic rules".

Kati
13-06-2012, 12:01 PM
I have a fucking headache!

Kati, what no one seems to consider with these idealistic (and very expensive) theoretical energy sources (and the attempt to globally legislate their use) is that they completely fuck under-developed countries up the ass!

When cheaper sources of energy exist, forcing the use of the more expensive ones will not work.

Sorry about the headache... About poor countries, I maybe didn't write about it, but surely people involved in that climate change conference whatever negotiations process have thought about that. The idea is that developed countries support and help the poorer countries, the actual amounts of money and the mechanisms for help cannot be agreed on, as far as I have understood. There are some good things like that quite many populated, poor countries are located in areas where solar power is a meaningful option (unlike northern countries) besides it offers a way to do a distributed power generation, which in countries of poor quality electricity network is a good thing. Another thing is that those poor countries will suffer of the climate change even more than rich countries, and in that situation you cannot much ask what is fair and what is not. Btw there is an example about telecommunications where poor countries have not gone through the same development path as western countries - African countries (ignorant generalisation here, I can't remember which country) never built a cable based broad telephone network. They went directly to mobile phones.

That as long as cheaper sources exist forcing to use more expensive ones would not work at all is not quite true. Clearly in Europe the SOx and NOx emissions have been reduced with expensive filtering/catalyst technologies in power plants, forced by legislation (I don't know about US). There are also examples of reducing see, lake or river pollution even though that increases costs. It just takes political will. Globally, using more expensive energy sources in countries like China or India, or other new industrialised countries, is a must if western countries want to be in any way competitive(?) (able to compete) in production of goods. This is difficult, but it seemed in the last meeting of that negoatiation process that China is giving in. They are not stupid. It's not in their interests to even let western countries collapse, they wouldn't have a market for their products anymore.

Besides, all new energy sources are not that horribly expensive, and price of some will reduce when used more, like solar panels. For western world the problem is new investments when the old ones to fossil fuels could still be used. The whole infrastructure will change too, increasing the costs.

The Earth is NOT a closed system. There is energy input from the sun. How do you think plants grow? There are some who believe that life on earth was placed here by asteroids. The earth doesn't exist in a vacuum.

This is true. Heat is also removed from Earth with infrared radiation.


We should eliminate all carnivores from the planet because killing animals is "disgusting" and "is best avoided". :rolleyes:

Badly off-topic here... There was a video of a bear killing and eating a moose somewhere in internetz (from Sweden I think). The bear didn't first kill the moose mercifully. The moose was alive and kicking and trying to escape while the bear was tearing parts from it. It really did look disgusting. I started thinking that humans actually are an advanced species with traces of empathy. Anyway, the stories of how chicken are killed (hanged from legs and head chopped off before skinning, or something, except some manage to avoid the head chopping and are skinned alive) would alone make me eat artificial meat if it was available, regardless of climate change :supersad:

Poor Matt has gotten himself into a pickle.


High entropy in thermodynamics = balanced energy = bad
High entropy in economics = balanced wealth = good

Trying to equate two opposite concepts = VERY bad

I'm still not through that book (well I have read now pretty much three first chapters, the one about economics I haven't started) so I shouldn't comment, but I don't think Matt meant anything that simple. It seems that people talking about this stuff link entropy with economy in a more complicated way.


I'm not sure how, if entropy is balance between energy forces and global warming is related to too much carbon.

Unless... it is something to do with the earth rebalancing in a disordered fashion.

Also just thought maybe "the economy is unsustainable" is shorthand for "life as we know it is unsustainable, if we continue to live under the illusion of the value of the same economic rules".

Kuemmel seems to link entropy increase first with emissions, not with economy (well in the first three chapters!). You might have something there. And sure Matt might have just meant the latter statement - it's not that the entropy link with environment and economy is that well known that it would be banal to make an album about it (can be disputed of course, I just know that I hadn't thought about entropy at all or seen articles about it although I do follow the climate change, new energy sources etc news).

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 12:22 PM
Kuemmel seems to link entropy increase first with emissions, not with economy (well in the first three chapters!). You might have something there. And sure Matt might have just meant the latter statement - it's not that the entropy link with environment and economy is that well known that it would be banal to make an album about it (can be disputed of course, I just know that I hadn't thought about entropy at all or seen articles about it although I do follow the climate change, new energy sources etc news).

Actually have to point out my error *before someone else feels the need to* :chuckle: that Matt actually tweeted/ and the words in the trailer were "an economy based on endless growth is (unsustainable)", but I think it could be said to mean the same. It definitely is in the language of the Green argument, at least.

spark_
13-06-2012, 12:50 PM
I want to state at the outset that I am absolutely in favour of serious action to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Now...

Sorry about the headache... About poor countries, I maybe didn't write about it, but surely people involved in that climate change conference whatever negotiations process have thought about that. The idea is that developed countries support and help the poorer countries, the actual amounts of money and the mechanisms for help cannot be agreed on, as far as I have understood.

Uh

The primary reason poor countries will/should suffer more severely from climate change is because they're poor. Not because they're inherently predisposed to more intense effects. So you'd think that one way of lessening the impact of any effects (from an adaptation) POV is to make them, well, less poor.

But ofc experience has dictated time and time again that if you just throw money at third world countries very little will actually happen as a result.

Now. As for the disagreeing thing, it has to be noted China (who were the prime drivers behind the scuttling of Copenhagen), India and others feel that they should be able to boost their living standards to West-comparable, which of course requires lots of power, which requires carbon emissions. Which, when you think about it, is absolutely fair - we get it, why shouldn't they? - but raises a hellish international policy dilemma which is far more complex than you suggest here.

There are some good things like that quite many populated, poor countries are located in areas where solar power is a meaningful option (unlike northern countries) besides it offers a way to do a distributed power generation, which in countries of poor quality electricity network is a good thing.Do you know how much solar costs and equally importantly how it scales? Hint: neither are good. I can't recall the effective carbon tax required to make solar economically viable and hence a sensible option, but it's definitely three figures and hence waaaaaaaaaaaay above what is politically viable now, or indeed economically sensible.

This is not to mention the scaling issues, the technological issues, the efficiency issues, the whole "mining bucketloads of rare earths" thing and the like which are covered extensively all over the place. Solar is by no means a silver bullet, and romantic/aesthetic notions aside, doesn't actually do too great on the metrics that actually matter.

Another thing is that those poor countries will suffer of the climate change even more than rich countries, and in that situation you cannot much ask what is fair and what is not.Because they're poor.

Btw there is an example about telecommunications where poor countries have not gone through the same development path as western countries - African countries (ignorant generalisation here, I can't remember which country) never built a cable based broad telephone network. They went directly to mobile phones.

That as long as cheaper sources exist forcing to use more expensive ones would not work at all is not quite true. Clearly in Europe the SOx and NOx emissions have been reduced with expensive filtering/catalyst technologies in power plants, forced by legislation (I don't know about US).Exceptionally poor analogy, not least because power is power regardless of the means of generation. The differences are environmental impact, scaling and cost - the end result is identical.

There are also examples of reducing see, lake or river pollution even though that increases costs. It just takes political will.Yes, because the cost (not just in financial terms) of allowing the pollution is seen as greater than the financial cost of a cleanup. It's a trade-off that has to be made, but the key point to make here is that it is a trade-off. It's not just "oh things would be so much better if we just spent the money!"

Globally, using more expensive energy sources in countries like China or India, or other new industrialised countries, is a must if western countries want to be in any way competitive(?) (able to compete) in production of goods.???

This is a complete contradiction. More expensive energy ---> higher production costs ---> less competitive. Whilst clean energy does have major advantages, you have completely failed to mention them, and as presented here it makes absolutely no sense.

This is difficult, but it seemed in the last meeting of that negoatiation process that China is giving in. They are not stupid. It's not in their interests to even let western countries collapse, they wouldn't have a market for their products anymore.See above. They want a living standard for their 1.4 billion (or however many) people comparable to ours. Is it not grossly unfair to deny them that? But of course if they do so on the back of coal-fired power generation is a recipe for environmental disaster, and therein lies the problem. To their credit, they seem increasingly aware of this - but again, it's not a "oh just do x y z and everything will be fine" - it's a trade-off, costs on one side against costs on the other.

Besides, all new energy sources are not that horribly expensive,Yep, nuclear isn't in theory (once you get past the huge capital investment required to actually build the things etc), nor is wind (apart from its baseload abilities being non-existent) or geothermal (apart from... something?)

and price of some will reduce when used more, like solar panels.It'll have to reduce a hell of a lot. Currently twice as expensive as geothermal, nuclear, wind, modern coal-fired, natural gas etc (which on a pure cost basis are actually all quite similar. It's just solar that is exorbitantly expensive - though ofc doesn't take into account all the other costs associated with a certain generation source)

For western world the problem is new investments when the old ones to fossil fuels could still be used. The whole infrastructure will change too, increasing the costs.So you see why it's rather hard to do now?

This is true. Heat is also removed from Earth with infrared radiation.The point remains - the system is not closed.

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 01:08 PM
In other words, cash flowing from rich to poor until everyone has equal amounts and no 'work' is done in the flow of cash. Which I'm sure supports Matt's stance and opinion on this. Yet, it seems he is complaining economic entropy is a bad thing!

Does anyone really know what Matt's political positions are? I don't think he's ever elaborated. I think the most he's said is that he doesn't trust government at all -- left or right. I get the impression that he doesn't classify untrustworthy politicians by the side of the aisle they stand on. My guess is that he'd rather see all powerful politicians neutered, and to take that power away, which (despite the probable revulsion of many on this board) is actually a very right leaning position -- along the lines of Libertarian. We do know that complete wealth redistribution IS unsustainable.

It's also possible that he's a climate change skeptic, and sees the concept as manufactured by politicians in order to cause fear in the populace and a power grab in government.

From Uprising:

And all the, green belts wrapped around our minds
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

Financially, Matt isn't exactly a "plebian" anymore. So to assume he's all for wealth redistribution may be inaccurate.

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 01:53 PM
Does anyone really know what Matt's political positions are? I don't think he's ever elaborated. I think the most he's said is that he doesn't trust government at all -- left or right. I get the impression that he doesn't classify untrustworthy politicians by the side of the aisle they stand on. My guess is that he'd rather see all powerful politicians neutered, and to take that power away, which (despite the probable revulsion of many on this board) is actually a very right leaning position -- along the lines of Libertarian. We do know that complete wealth redistribution IS unsustainable.

It's also possible that he's a climate change skeptic, and sees the concept as manufactured by politicians in order to cause fear in the populace and a power grab in government.

From Uprising:

And all the, green belts wrapped around our minds
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

Financially, Matt isn't exactly a "plebian" anymore. So to assume he's all for wealth redistribution may be inaccurate.

I would guess that Matt is more Libertarian left. I seem to remember he said recently he was Libertarian but ideas he has expressed are not in line with the right. He apparently supports Georgism, which makes the argument that land can't be owned as it's a natural resource; but I think supports ownership of self. So tax shouldn't be on labour but on the land that is occupied, the money going back to supporting the community.

He has also said he would be voting for The Green Party in the past and the last general election said he would be voting for the Lib Dems who appeared, at the time, to be on the left of New Labour. I think you are right that he seems anti-authoritarian however, which is obviously a central tenant to both kinds of Libertarianism.

An argument from the left, I think I have seen about the green belts is that they preserve the nicer areas for the few and push up property prices. I think there are different stances on conservation - the more conservative stance is of course "don't put windmills on our landscapes as it spoils our pretty view". That is in contradiction to those who argue for cleaner energy.

Hmm you were possibly a little selective re Uprising. :chuckle:

What about:

"Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed" and "it's time the fat cats had a heart attack".

Though the fact that it is meant to be based on rioting football hooligans kind of brings into question any depth of meaning. :LOL:

Matt did a very good German interview however where he spoke a bit about his political outlook in relation to this song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mesIUG3kI

Yes, so distrustful of any government but also seems aware of how wealth accumulation breeds unequal power relations.

Kati
13-06-2012, 03:53 PM
I want to state at the outset that I am absolutely in favour of serious action to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Now...

You seem to have a relatively pessimistic view on the possibilities though. What do you think should be done realistically (i.e. what do you think is possible) and what are the outcomes of that? Btw is this stuff your profession? (it's not mine, I'm an engineer on another field and I rely on news etc).

I have to admit that I have now been reading the Kuemmel book which I suppose is very optimistic. Before that I used to think there isn't much we can do anymore about climate change, it is going to happen anyway and it's more about what is politically done with the climate refugees (whether for example European countries set up stricter rules on immigration), what will happen socially, economically and so on.

Ok some notes on issues I thought are interesting for the sake of argueing ;)



The primary reason poor countries will/should suffer more severely from climate change is because they're poor. Not because they're inherently predisposed to more intense effects.

No? Poor countries tend to be located closer to equator than the rich countries. Even though the effect of climate change is not equal increase of average temperature, it is logical to assume that regions now barely inhabitable would become clearly uninhabitable. I'm thinking of African countries. But whatever you say...

Btw I have no opinion about what should be done, if anything, about rich/poor countries in general. I don't know much anything about it and therefore don't want to get into an argument.


Now. As for the disagreeing thing, it has to be noted China (who were the prime drivers behind the scuttling of Copenhagen), India and others feel that they should be able to boost their living standards to West-comparable, which of course requires lots of power, which requires carbon emissions. Which, when you think about it, is absolutely fair - we get it, why shouldn't they? - but raises a hellish international policy dilemma which is far more complex than you suggest here.

I guess you are right. I don't know details of politics, but the fact is there is interest in all countries to mitigate climate change, but sure it is extremely complicated. Especially now that so called "rich" countries cannot much cope with their debts anymore, i.e are not rich.

Do you know how much solar costs and equally importantly how it scales? Hint: neither are good. I can't recall the effective carbon tax required to make solar economically viable and hence a sensible option, but it's definitely three figures and hence waaaaaaaaaaaay above what is politically viable now, or indeed economically sensible.

No I don't. Here I actually believed the tone of the Kuemmel book, which suggested solar power is a realistic option, at least in areas close enough to equator (according to the book, there is enough area, theoretically Sahara desert alone would be enough for a reasonable energy consumption for 10 billion people - but he doesn't discuss political aspects of using Sahara at all). Also the price of solar panels has dropped significantly recently, and there are development efforts going on. Whether anything useful comes out of that in near-enough future, is questionable I suppose.



Exceptionally poor analogy, not least because power is power regardless of the means of generation. The differences are environmental impact, scaling and cost - the end result is identical.

Yes, because the cost (not just in financial terms) of allowing the pollution is seen as greater than the financial cost of a cleanup. It's a trade-off that has to be made, but the key point to make here is that it is a trade-off. It's not just "oh things would be so much better if we just spent the money!"

Which one was poor analogy? Sure it's not about just spending the money. Otherwise I really do not understand what you mean. I still don't think industry would have developed and applied the filter/catalyst technologies if there was no legislation.

This is a complete contradiction. More expensive energy ---> higher production costs ---> less competitive. Whilst clean energy does have major advantages, you have completely failed to mention them, and as presented here it makes absolutely no sense.

Oh does clean energy have advantages? Something else than artificial market, politically induced, which makes, at some point maybe, clean energy financially more lucrative? Not being sarcastic here, I just don't know what could be such advantages. And what I meant with my text was that if western countries via political decisions raise the energy price for the industry in these countries, and at the same time China (or other recently industrialised country with abilities to produce goods) does not make similar political decisions, the buyers in western countries will buy the products from China. Meaning the industry in western countries is less competitive. I think steel is such a product, it's production requires a lot energy and becomes non-profitable if the energy price gets any higher it is at the moment in western countries.


See above. They want a living standard for their 1.4 billion (or however many) people comparable to ours. Is it not grossly unfair to deny them that? But of course if they do so on the back of coal-fired power generation is a recipe for environmental disaster, and therein lies the problem. To their credit, they seem increasingly aware of this - but again, it's not a "oh just do x y z and everything will be fine" - it's a trade-off, costs on one side against costs on the other.

For I know, China or India cannot offer same living standard as western countries to their population regardless of energy price, and western countries are not in the position to deny or allow the improvement of living standard in those countries. Of course the whole situation is much more complicated than what I could squeeze into a couple of sentences, there is the debt situation, market for products, local environmental problems in China and political problems caused by them, possibility to shatter US' hegemony of the world, whatever. It's all negotiable, I believe, when there is a clear threat that concerns all countries.

But you know what, I don't think politicians in any country will go through those negotiations and carry out unpleasant decisions that will raise energy price, if there is no political pressure, i.e. voters following and understanding these issues. I'm not sure about your view, mine has been for a longer time that individuals, consumers, cannot stop the climate change, no matter how much we recycle paper, reduce flying or car driving or use own bags instead of plastic bags. The problem has to be solved on political level, with legislation and international treaties, and that doesn't happen without wide awareness and acceptance that there is, in general, a problem.



The point remains - the system is not closed.

At this point I started wondering whether I should have skipped the argument. Geez, when did I say the system is closed? I said true, and it also dissipates heat (not only absorbs). I do know enough of physics to understand Earth is not a closed system. Carrie didn't, she asked, which jdeboer correctly replied and I added a detail.

Does anyone really know what Matt's political positions are? I don't think he's ever elaborated.

In addition to what Carrie remembered, I think Matt once (recently, TR era) said something like "it's just music, you shouldn't earn so much with it".

Otherwise I think he is a bit of rebellion, always against everything most people think. He would fit nicely in the forum :LOL:

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 03:56 PM
I would guess that Matt is more Libertarian left. I seem to remember he said recently he was Libertarian but ideas he has expressed are not in line with the right. He apparently supports Georgism, which makes the argument that land can't be owned as it's a natural resource; but I think supports ownership of self. So tax shouldn't be on labour but on the land that is occupied, the money going back to supporting the community.

WTF is "Libertarian left"? Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Maybe political leanings are described differently in the UK. In the US, the very basic explanation is left = more government, right = less government. However, in practice, both US Democrats and Republicans in the Federal Government have been wielding too much power. That's what the Tea Party movement has been about. They want to see more of a pure following of the US Constitution, and severance between wealthy corporations and individuals with government.

An argument from the left, I think I have seen about the green belts is that they preserve the nicer areas for the few and push up property prices.

:LOL: I don't think Matt meant literal "green belts".

Hmm you were possibly a little selective re Uprising. :chuckle:

What about:

"Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed" and "it's time the fat cats had a heart attack".

Though the fact that it is meant to be based on rioting football hooligans kind of brings into question any depth of meaning. :LOL:

Yea..... He's referring to the influence of money in politics. The whole song is very anti-authority and paranoia, basically.

fabripav
13-06-2012, 04:17 PM
How can you people write so much? :LOL:

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 04:51 PM
WTF is "Libertarian left"? Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Maybe political leanings are described differently in the UK. In the US, the very basic explanation is left = more government, right = less government. However, in practice, both US Democrats and Republicans in the Federal Government have been wielding too much power. That's what the Tea Party movement has been about. They want to see more of a pure following of the US Constitution, and severance between wealthy corporations and individuals with government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism


:LOL: I don't think Matt meant literal "green belts".


Why not? I'm not sure what you find so funny.

What I was trying to point out is that it doesn't necessarily mean that he thinks environmentalism is a load of tosh as those who want to preserve the green belt are not always wishing to do it for the sake of avoiding climate change.

Also who is that mad American guy, the radio show host who, as I understand, supports all the Tea party type stuff? Anti national health provision etc. Can't remember the exact words but Matt said something like his views sounded suspect, so I would be surprised if he's jumped on that bandwagon.

Also the words:

"They'll laugh as they watch us crawl
the lucky don't share at all"

don't exactly smack of coming from someone with a right wing perspective.

But anyway, whatever Matt's views, it would be good to know what the themes of the album are based on and hopefully we will find out more soon. :)

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 07:28 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

Ummm yea. After reading that, I'm even more convinced it's an oxymoron. There's absolutely no way a system like that would work without oppressive government rules and regulations on all human activity.

Some of the concepts are technically already in practice, but most people don't think of things being so. For example:

Similarities with Georgism

There are obvious affinities between the Steiner–Vallentyne approach to left-libertarianism and the approach endorsed by Henry George and his followers.[original research?] Georgists tend to believe that all humanity rightfully owns all land in common and that individuals should pay rent to the rest of society for taking sole or exclusive use of that land. People in this movement are often referred to as "single taxers," since they believe that the only legitimate tax is land rent. However, they do typically believe that private property can be created by applying labor to natural resources.[26]


One could also say that even under the current system, nobody actually outright "owns" the land they have supposedly purchased. People "buy" the exclusive right to "rent" a property from the previous "renter". But there are plenty of publicly enforced rules and regulations regarding land use dictated upon said "owners" of that property, making it NOT theirs to do with whatever they may choose. Also, land owners do pay "rent" on the land they own -- only it's not called "rent". It's called real estate taxes.

Why not? I'm not sure what you find so funny.

What I was trying to point out is that it doesn't necessarily mean that he thinks environmentalism is a load of tosh as those who want to preserve the green belt are not always wishing to do it for the sake of avoiding climate change.

I sincerely doubt Matt had this^^^ in mind. Think about it.... A "belt wrapped around your mind" would constrict and inhibit free thought and ideas -- A form of brainwashing and zombie-like line towing. He could have said "green blindfold over our eyes" and it would have meant the same thing. I get the impression he's saying **don't always trust scientists because many are funded by the "fat cats", and science is often proven to be wrong**. I don't think he's talking about a park system of any kind. :chuckle:

Also who is that mad American guy, the radio show host who, as I understand, supports all the Tea party type stuff? Anti national health provision etc. Can't remember the exact words but Matt said something like his views sounded suspect, so I would be surprised if he's jumped on that bandwagon.

Probably talking about Glenn Beck. The man actually has some interesting ideas. Others are a bit "out there". The same can be said about many left-leaning commentators. Keith Olberman is a total wing nut, and Janeane Garofalo has a screw or two loose as well.

Also the words:

"They'll laugh as they watch us crawl
the lucky don't share at all"

don't exactly smack of coming from someone with a right wing perspective.

It's also a ridiculously stupid line -- a la Bellamy. :chuckle:

If he's referring to the "wealthy" not sharing money, it's patently false. If he's referring to his own 15.5 million dollar Malibu mansion, then he's being both truthful and hypocritical, don't you think? :LOL:

Hyper
13-06-2012, 07:47 PM
Holy mother of dragons. Was that post made by the same person claiming to have neither the time nor the energy to reply to a simple Sippe question?

it would be energy wasted :p

Tim59
13-06-2012, 07:54 PM
How can you people write so much? :LOL:

I know :lol:

Kati
13-06-2012, 09:27 PM
One could also say that even under the current system, nobody actually outright "owns" the land they have supposedly purchased. People "buy" the exclusive right to "rent" a property from the previous "renter". But there are plenty of publicly enforced rules and regulations regarding land use dictated upon said "owners" of that property, making it NOT theirs to do with whatever they may choose. Also, land owners do pay "rent" on the land they own -- only it's not called "rent". It's called real estate taxes.

Georgism is a pretty old idea. The man lived in 19th century, and if I have understood anything about UK ownership issues in that era, there was a growing population without any possibility to buy land (which was mostly owned by aristrocracy) and that was causing a lot of political problems, for example many leaving to US as there was land given out for free. What happened then was that land ownership alone did not grant a good living anymore, industry owners became more wealthy, and the whole issue became obsolete. And nowadays we are (at least we are in Finland, I suppose in US too since you are writing the text above) in the situation you described. I don't think georgism is the best example describing libertarianism.



I sincerely doubt Matt had this^^^ in mind. Think about it.... A "belt wrapped around your mind" would constrict and inhibit free thought and ideas -- A form of brainwashing and zombie-like line towing. He could have said "green blindfold over our eyes" and it would have meant the same thing. I get the impression he's saying **don't always trust scientists because many are funded by the "fat cats", and science is often proven to be wrong**. I don't think he's talking about a park system of any kind. :chuckle:

Umm, I don't get that view at all from all his lyrics and interviews I've seen. Don't you have green belts in US? I presume not because there is plenty of land in the country, unlike in UK (don't know how much you have travelled in UK, I've been driving around there and noticed there isn't much regions which would seem uninhabited, well except in Scotland). I think this is what Matt had in mind:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_belt_%28UK%29

And like Carrie, I think his idea was that green belts are there to lull people believing that things are okay, while politicians and other establishment of the country are doing what they want. The song is also related to the parliament scandal in UK at the time, something about their expenses and that they were cashing too much on them... I don't remember, surely UK natives will remember this.

Are you saying you don't believe in the scientific reports of the climate change and stuff? I've understood there are quite many in US thinking so. (Personally I'm not completely sure but I tend to think the conspiracy would be too large to succeed, i.e. there is no mind game going on).

In general I think Matt is talking about people believing things are ok and that the politicians know what they are doing and the media tells truthful stories, when in fact some things are just not talked about with some sort of mutual contract between press and establishment. This stuff goes on now in UK, the close connection between tabloids and prime minister is making the titles.


Probably talking about Glenn Beck. The man actually has some interesting ideas. Others are a bit "out there". The same can be said about many left-leaning commentators. Keith Olberman is a total wing nut, and Janeane Garofalo has a screw or two loose as well.

Yeah, I think it was Glenn Beck, I've seen the name before. Never heard the other names you mentioned.


It's also a ridiculously stupid line -- a la Bellamy. :chuckle:

If he's referring to the "wealthy" not sharing money, it's patently false. If he's referring to his own 15.5 million dollar Malibu mansion, then he's being both truthful and hypocritical, don't you think? :LOL:

Don't mix things, Unnatural Selection as well as Uprising was written 2008-2009, when Matt was living rather middle class life in Italy. He wasn't part of the jetset at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if he saw the establishment as very distant, and not caring what the plebeians thought about them. That's exactly what I would still say about the establishment in any country, btw. Don't know what Matt thinks now when he talks with politicians, according to twitter rumours.

It's quite interesting to see an American talking about US political ideas... You know, about everything I've heard about Tea Party would not just be unpopular in my country, it would quite simply be regarded as ridiculous. I don't think the definition of left and right is as simple as it seems in your country either. It's also about how the money collected is used - right wing wants to support business, whereas left wing wants to directly support people with low income. Only bankers talk about simply reducing the total taxing rate.

About left and right: It's peculiar how bankers blab about less government involvement, as long as banking business is good. Then when it's not good, they become more left than anyone and scream politicians for help (no alternative! banks must be saved!). That has happened in so many countries now :mad:

Alec.
13-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Does anyone really know what Matt's political positions are?...

Well, maybe not wealth redistribution, but trust me when I say that libertarians can be repulsed by serious inequality. It's just that they have different beliefs about how it should be dealt with.

But also, might I suggest that Matt could be disregarding any facts that get in the way of a good disaster narrative? ;)

Shrinking Universe
13-06-2012, 10:05 PM
I love it how people interpret Muse lyrics as indicative of Matt's opinion even though there's this little thing in between.

Commerce. Yes.

Try again.

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 10:34 PM
Ummm yea. After reading that, I'm even more convinced it's an oxymoron. There's absolutely no way a system like that would work without oppressive government rules and regulations on all human activity.



I never said I thought it would work. Though I wouldn't go as far as that it would need oppressive government rules. The point is, I think, that communities are supposed to work things out for themselves. I don't think right wing Libertarianism would work either. Freedom from is not the be all and end all. Freedom to is a necessary part of life. For all it's faults, and there are many that need attention, I think government intervention is a necessary part of modern life.

I love it how people interpret Muse lyrics as indicative of Matt's opinion even though there's this little thing in between.

Commerce. Yes.

Try again.

Erm, so Matt is writing lyrics which he thinks will be popular? Possibly.. but there's cynicism and then there's over cynicism. Matt's lyrics generally seem to reflect the kind of books he is reading, so based on his own interests.

If it was down to commercialism many more would contain political content in their lyrics but it is something that is largely lacking in the majority of modern music.

jdeboer01
13-06-2012, 11:19 PM
And like Carrie, I think his idea was that green belts are there to lull people believing that things are okay, while politicians and other establishment of the country are doing what they want.

Even when putting this under consideration, it would still mean basically the same thing. People aren't thinking for themselves and don't know the truth. Simple as dat. :p

Are you saying you don't believe in the scientific reports of the climate change and stuff? I've understood there are quite many in US thinking so. (Personally I'm not completely sure but I tend to think the conspiracy would be too large to succeed, i.e. there is no mind game going on).

For me, the jury is still out. There is simply too much conflicting evidence for me to be sold on "man caused global warming". And there's been no "warming" since the 1990's. I don't think there's a huge conspiracy, but I do think that certain people latched onto the idea of global warming and made (or tried to make) profits off of people's fear. It's has also been an excuse for government power grabs. I certainly don't think that burning huge quantities of coal and other fossil fuels is a GOOD thing, but I'm not convinced it's causing climate change.

It's quite interesting to see an American talking about US political ideas... You know, about everything I've heard about Tea Party would not just be unpopular in my country, it would quite simply be regarded as ridiculous.

I get the impression that most of the world is only seeing one side of the story when it comes to things in America. ;) Most of the media in America is very left leaning, and they actively try to make right leaning entities look like greedy, uncaring, gun toting, bible thumping red necks. I'm not going to deny people like that exist, but they aren't the people who started the Tea Party. The Tea Party came about as a response to the ongoing government bailouts and buyouts of the fat cats! The Tea Party is on the same page as "Occupy Wall Street" when it comes to abhorring the fact that government and corporations are in bed together! Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a Tea Partier, but I think they've got some very good points.

America was founded on the concept of strongly limited Federal power. But over the years, the Federal government has grown into a bloated monster due to a hole or two in the US Constitution that have been repeatedly abused to validate Federal power grabs. That power should have remained with the States and the people. America is far too geographically huge and diverse, and demographically diverse to have a "one size fits all" Federal government making all the calls. European countries are much smaller, and as a result, their central governments aren't distant suits 3000 miles away telling them what to do when they couldn't possibly understand what real life is like "locally". ;)

CarrieB
13-06-2012, 11:22 PM
It's also a ridiculously stupid line -- a la Bellamy. :chuckle:

If he's referring to the "wealthy" not sharing money, it's patently false. If he's referring to his own 15.5 million dollar Malibu mansion, then he's being both truthful and hypocritical, don't you think? :LOL:

Actually I just have to comment on this. I don't think it's a stupid line at all, when you consider that the spending on perfume in America is enough to solve third world poverty.

And the cry of hypocrisy is an easy accusation to make by those who would rather things stayed the same. Most of us could do without some of our luxuries and yes Matt could easily live in a three bedroom semi and give his money away if he wanted to. But no one alone can do enough to make change, it takes joint concern and willingness.

It's better to care, even a bit, than not to care at all, because then there is no hope.

jdeboer01
14-06-2012, 02:06 AM
Actually I just have to comment on this. I don't think it's a stupid line at all, when you consider that the spending on perfume in America is enough to solve third world poverty.

Huh?

First of all, the US has the third largest population in the world. Due to sheer volume, the same could probably said about toilet paper. And what's your point, exactly? Are you implying that Americans are greedy? Americans are statistically the most generous givers to charity in the world. So get off your high horse. And I don't think any of these guys are hurting for cash. Why aren't they giving it all away and solving third world poverty?

2011 British billionaires list

1 The Duke of Westminster $13 billion Grosvenor Group
2 David and Simon Reuben $8 billion Reuben Brothers
3 Philip & Cristina Green $7.2 billion Retail
=4 Bernard Ecclestone $4.2 billion Formula One Group
=5 Richard Branson $4.2 billion Virgin Group
6 Earl Cadogan $4.2 billion Cadogan Estates
7 Bruno Schroder $3.7 billion Schroders

And there's only three Americans on the Forbes list of the richest billionaires, and I know that two of them claim to be very far left. Why aren't they giving it all away?

1 Carlos Slim $69.0 billion 72 Mexico Telmex, América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2 Bill Gates $61.0 billion 56 United States Microsoft
3 Warren Buffett $44.0 billion 81 United States Berkshire Hathaway
4 Bernard Arnault $41.0 billion 63 France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
5 Amancio Ortega $37.5 billion 75 Spain Inditex Group
6 Lawrence Ellison $36.0 billion 67 United States Oracle Corporation
7 Eike Batista $30.0 billion 55 Brazil EBX Group
8 Stefan Persson $26.0 billion 64 Sweden H&M
9 Li Ka-shing $25.5 billion 83 Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings
10 Karl Albrecht $25.4 billion 92 Germany Aldi

You're blaming the world's ills on America and Americans, why exactly? And keep in mind, if it sucked that bad here, and we were all greedy assholes, then 3/4 of Muse wouldn't be living here 1/2 of the time. :rolleyes:

It's better to care, even a bit, than not to care at all, because then there is no hope.

So, just because some people have a lot of money means that they "don't care"?

Sorry, the line "the lucky don't share at all" IS completely ridiculous.

spark_
14-06-2012, 02:28 AM
For me, the jury is still out. There is simply too much conflicting evidence for me to be sold on "man caused global warming".

There really isn't, no, not unless you count just about everything as "evidence".

And there's been no "warming" since the 1990's.

Not withstanding the fact that a 10 year timeframe is extremely short and hence subject to call kind of problems, this is wrong and even more wrong when the data is filtered to remove known natural causes of variation (there was a paper that did exactly this late last year).

I mean, it's not a question of debate, it's flat out wrong.

I don't think there's a huge conspiracy, but I do think that certain people latched onto the idea of global warming and made (or tried to make) profits off of people's fear.

So? Unless you believe the tired fiction that grants are being doled out on the basis of political leanings, there is no relevance or indeed basis for this.

It's has also been an excuse for government power grabs. I certainly don't think that burning huge quantities of coal and other fossil fuels is a GOOD thing, but I'm not convinced it's causing climate change.

The data is fairly incontrivertible when correctly analysed.

jdeboer01
14-06-2012, 02:50 AM
Sorry about the headache... About poor countries, I maybe didn't write about it, but surely people involved in that climate change conference whatever negotiations process have thought about that. The idea is that developed countries support and help the poorer countries, the actual amounts of money and the mechanisms for help cannot be agreed on, as far as I have understood.

Well, seeing as in the US, our country is trillions in debt, that's going to be tough. And I don't think many countries in the EU are doing much better.

That as long as cheaper sources exist forcing to use more expensive ones would not work at all is not quite true. Clearly in Europe the SOx and NOx emissions have been reduced with expensive filtering/catalyst technologies in power plants, forced by legislation (I don't know about US). There are also examples of reducing sea, lake or river pollution even though that increases costs.

That it does. That is why China has such an advantage with manufacturing pretty much everything now. The costs of production there are low, so the world buys everything made in China now.

Globally, using more expensive energy sources in countries like China or India, or other new industrialised countries, is a must if western countries want to be in any way competitive(?) (able to compete) in production of goods.

This is true, but then the cost goods produced will become unaffordable by everybody.

This is difficult, but it seemed in the last meeting of that negoatiation process that China is giving in. They are not stupid. It's not in their interests to even let western countries collapse, they wouldn't have a market for their products anymore.

This is true. And seeing as China is basically funding the US government, they'll be sitting pretty for a very long time to come. The US will be their "bitch". Even more so than it already is! Don't want to kill the bitch, right? Then you're not "getting any". :LOL:


Badly off-topic here... There was a video of a bear killing and eating a moose somewhere in internetz (from Sweden I think). The bear didn't first kill the moose mercifully. The moose was alive and kicking and trying to escape while the bear was tearing parts from it. It really did look disgusting. I started thinking that humans actually are an advanced species with traces of empathy. Anyway, the stories of how chicken are killed (hanged from legs and head chopped off before skinning, or something, except some manage to avoid the head chopping and are skinned alive) would alone make me eat artificial meat if it was available, regardless of climate change :supersad:

Humans DO have empathy. That's why there are humane slaughter laws in place (at least in the US). Nature is NASTY, mean and gruesome. It is what it is, and it's been that way since the beginning of life on earth.

jdeboer01
14-06-2012, 03:05 AM
So? Unless you believe the tired fiction that grants are being doled out on the basis of political leanings, there is no relevance or indeed basis for this.

Actually, I was thinking more of the CCX, ECX, and their investors. For example, Al Gore (who made that move "Inconvenient Truth") stood to make billions in carbon trading if "cap and trade" had passed in the US. That doesn't make you go "Hmmmmm"?

CarrieB
14-06-2012, 07:23 AM
Huh?

First of all, the US has the third largest population in the world. Due to sheer volume, the same could probably said about toilet paper. And what's your point, exactly? Are you implying that Americans are greedy? Americans are statistically the most generous givers to charity in the world. So get off your high horse. And I don't think any of these guys are hurting for cash. Why aren't they giving it all away and solving third world poverty?

2011 British billionaires list

1 The Duke of Westminster $13 billion Grosvenor Group
2 David and Simon Reuben $8 billion Reuben Brothers
3 Philip & Cristina Green $7.2 billion Retail
=4 Bernard Ecclestone $4.2 billion Formula One Group
=5 Richard Branson $4.2 billion Virgin Group
6 Earl Cadogan $4.2 billion Cadogan Estates
7 Bruno Schroder $3.7 billion Schroders

And there's only three Americans on the Forbes list of the richest billionaires, and I know that two of them claim to be very far left. Why aren't they giving it all away?

1 Carlos Slim $69.0 billion 72 Mexico Telmex, América Móvil, Grupo Carso
2 Bill Gates $61.0 billion 56 United States Microsoft
3 Warren Buffett $44.0 billion 81 United States Berkshire Hathaway
4 Bernard Arnault $41.0 billion 63 France LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
5 Amancio Ortega $37.5 billion 75 Spain Inditex Group
6 Lawrence Ellison $36.0 billion 67 United States Oracle Corporation
7 Eike Batista $30.0 billion 55 Brazil EBX Group
8 Stefan Persson $26.0 billion 64 Sweden H&M
9 Li Ka-shing $25.5 billion 83 Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings
10 Karl Albrecht $25.4 billion 92 Germany Aldi

You're blaming the world's ills on America and Americans, why exactly? And keep in mind, if it sucked that bad here, and we were all greedy assholes, then 3/4 of Muse wouldn't be living here 1/2 of the time. :rolleyes:



So, just because some people have a lot of money means that they "don't care"?

Sorry, the line "the lucky don't share at all" IS completely ridiculous.

I am not blaming America. I used that example because that is the example I have been given. If you or anyone else doesn't find that a pretty sobering thought, and would rather come up with excuses, there's not much hope.

I also agree that extremely rich people should be doing their bit and possibly some of them do, but they obviously don't do enough. What I don't agree with is supporting a system that allows or even encourages such ridiculous inequalities, while some people don't even have enough to live.

Incidentally for someone who laughs about the words "green belt" being taken to refer to, well issues concerning green belts, you seem to want to take that line very literally to mean no one who is lucky shares or cares. Do you think Matt should have added a qualification - "except for some people who give to charity, and some people might care but not know what to do about it and anyway with our economy as it is, what can we do?" :LOL: Wouldn't quite have the same ring would it? No, to me, it represents, the way our world is overall and I think it's a very good line.

However, whether you or I think it's a good line or not isn't really the issue, my point still stands that it doesn't sound like the sort of line a right winger would use.

spark_
14-06-2012, 08:47 AM
Actually, I was thinking more of the CCX, ECX, and their investors. For example, Al Gore (who made that move "Inconvenient Truth") stood to make billions in carbon trading if "cap and trade" had passed in the US. That doesn't make you go "Hmmmmm"?
Wasn't aware Al Gore had any published papers tbh.

jdeboer01
14-06-2012, 02:23 PM
Wasn't aware Al Gore had any published papers tbh.

???

My point is, he was a huge player in the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), as were Goldman Sachs, and believe it or not, Barack Obama (long before he was president). It and the affiliated European Climate Exchange stood to make it's investors TRILLIONS had green initiative legislation passed. In the US, "Cap and Trade" ultimately failed to pass due to the recession, and as of 2010, the CCX is defunct.

The players involved obviously had a HUGE motive to promote the concept of man-caused global warming! The possible amount of money tied up in carbon exchanges completely boggles the mind.

It should give pause and reason to question many, many "facts". ;)

spark_
14-06-2012, 03:57 PM
Shock horror people try to make money off something, sometimes in curious and odd ways. We live in a free, capitalist society - within legal and moral bounds they are not just allowed but entitled to do so. That really has nothing to do with science.

Does ExxonMobil's bankrolling of CEI et al automatically discredit their position simply because they stand to lose badly in a low-carbon future? Of course not (being completely wrong is what discredits their position).

I mean, if you want to argue politics, sure, argue politics. You want to have an economic debate about the merits of certain policies, by all means, the existence of climate change does not imply that any single method of dealing with it is imperative. But you're trying to argue science without making a single argument based on science, and, well...

(notwithstanding I have extreme doubts about some of the numbers you throw around there)

I mean within the scientific community, the theory was more or less broadly accepted by 1988. That's a looooooong time ago.

Hyper
14-06-2012, 06:17 PM
is this the book you are discussing????

http://s16.postimage.org/whc3051md/51_Thu_4_Oi_PL_BO2_204_203_200_PIsitb_sticker_arro .jpg (http://postimage.org/)


http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Law-Economics-Collection/dp/1441993649

Alec.
14-06-2012, 06:25 PM
Oh buggery lord, it's got properly political now...

Kueller917
14-06-2012, 06:39 PM
Oh buggery lord, it's got properly political now...

Stick around for a bit and maybe Godwin's Law will kick in.

Tjet
14-06-2012, 06:43 PM
But no one alone can do enough to make change, it takes joint concern and willingness.
And that's usually the excuse from people who would rather things stayed the same :)

Kati
14-06-2012, 10:02 PM
is this the book you are discussing????

http://s16.postimage.org/whc3051md/51_Thu_4_Oi_PL_BO2_204_203_200_PIsitb_sticker_arro .jpg (http://postimage.org/)


http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Law-Economics-Collection/dp/1441993649

Yes, that's the one. You can get it nearly free from the link provided earlier (sorry I've forgotten the name of the sharing service, I just paid for a day to get this book). I'm now reading the fourth chapter, and it seems it's not about money being thought as energy (that wouldn't hold any thermodynamical laws) but more complicated idea. If you know physics, go straight to fourth chapter!

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 01:47 AM
is this the book you are discussing????

http://s16.postimage.org/whc3051md/51_Thu_4_Oi_PL_BO2_204_203_200_PIsitb_sticker_arro .jpg (http://postimage.org/)


http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Law-Economics-Collection/dp/1441993649

I'm strapped for time. Can someone read it and give a synopsis? :LOL:

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 01:58 AM
I am not blaming America. I used that example because that is the example I have been given.

By whom? Who "gave" you that example? Because whoever did obviously has an agenda against America, because the "example" is beyond ridiculous. If you were applying the same American spending point on toilet paper, would you still find it "sobering"?

Incidentally for someone who laughs about the words "green belt" being taken to refer to, well issues concerning green belts, you seem to want to take that line very literally to mean no one who is lucky shares or cares. Do you think Matt should have added a qualification - "except for some people who give to charity, and some people might care but not know what to do about it and anyway with our economy as it is, what can we do?" :LOL: Wouldn't quite have the same ring would it? No, to me, it represents, the way our world is overall and I think it's a very good line.

WTF are you talking about? ^^^ I'm thinking you took my "LOL" face just a tad personally. Chill out, kay?

However, whether you or I think it's a good line or not isn't really the issue, my point still stands that it doesn't sound like the sort of line a right winger would use.

Tell me this. Purely hypothetically, if you were to discover that Matt, and Muse were "right leaning", how would feel about their music? Be honest.

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 02:42 AM
Originally Posted by CarrieB:
But no one alone can do enough to make change, it takes joint concern and willingness.

Sure, and that "joint concern" comes in the form of government law and regulation. What starts out as a good intent becomes a power grab by government. Can you not see that? Every case of supposed environmentally motivated legislation, where the intended purpose is "to do the right thing", has unintended consequences. "This is what's best for you" legislation limits freedom, and creates a faceless bureaucracy of enforcement. A "one size fits all" across the board law creates red tape that kills economic growth.

And there are always unforeseen consequences of restrictive legislation. Prohibition in America is a good example. Making the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages illegal created a vicious and bloody black market around booze that gave rise to organized crime and led to the overall lack of respect for the law!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not for zero regulations or anarchy. However, I do think that much legislation creates opportunities for those who disregard the law.

Morality cannot be legislated, unless you're in a country that embraces something like Sharia Law, which is my entire point. ;)

CarrieB
15-06-2012, 09:30 AM
And that's usually the excuse from people who would rather things stayed the same :)

That depends. :) I was thinking of an article called something like "if you're an egalitarian, how come you're so rich" by G A Cohen. One of the points he made was that by giving his money away, he would make himself poorer and a few people richer, but the system that produced those inequalities would remain the same, so it wasn't really doing much. However he was spending his life making arguments for a fairer system so that doesn't mean he wanted things to stay the same or else he would probably have done nothing or argued that the system, as it was, was the right one.

In any case, I think that was in response to a point made by jdeboer about Matt. Now we can't get into specifics because that would be in danger of breaking the rule of discussing aspects of band members personal lives which haven't been spoken about by band members themselves ;) but it has to be remembered that, when unattached, it seems that Matt, according to what he said himself, didn't rush out to buy a ridiculously huge house or twenty flash cars, as far as we know, but did spend some of his money on buying a piece of land and some goats. That, I think. says something about the man and his priorities. :)

Yes, that's the one. You can get it nearly free from the link provided earlier (sorry I've forgotten the name of the sharing service, I just paid for a day to get this book). I'm now reading the fourth chapter, and it seems it's not about money being thought as energy (that wouldn't hold any thermodynamical laws) but more complicated idea. If you know physics, go straight to fourth chapter!

Looking forward to your comments on the fourth chapter. :)

By whom? Who "gave" you that example? Because whoever did obviously has an agenda against America, because the "example" is beyond ridiculous. If you were applying the same American spending point on toilet paper, would you still find it "sobering"?

It was a lecturer in sociology. As far as I know he had no particular vendetta against America but he does believe in justice. The point is that no one would be arguing that Americans shouldn't be spending money on toilet paper, as that's a necessity. They might argue that we could get away with cheap toilet paper, remember the scratchy kind! :chuckle:

The fact is that it's an example of money being spent on a luxury by some people, something that isn't needed at all, while others barely have the most basic of necessities and often they don't. It's a moral argument against the worst aspects of our capitalist system and suggests we should do something to improve it.



WTF are you talking about? ^^^ I'm thinking you took my "LOL" face just a tad personally. Chill out, kay?



:rolleyes: I'm perfectly calm, thank you.


Tell me this. Purely hypothetically, if you were to discover that Matt, and Muse were "right leaning", how would feel about their music? Be honest.

Matt is entitled to believe whatever he wants to, though I would argue with his views if they were right wing. That has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the music though, which I love. I'm not sure why it matters to you so much. Would you feel differently about the music if you found out he was a communist? What's the point in that comment?

Sure, and that "joint concern" comes in the form of government law and regulation. What starts out as a good intent becomes a power grab by government. Can you not see that? Every case of supposed environmentally motivated legislation, where the intended purpose is "to do the right thing", has unintended consequences. "This is what's best for you" legislation limits freedom, and creates a faceless bureaucracy of enforcement. A "one size fits all" across the board law creates red tape that kills economic growth.

And there are always unforeseen consequences of restrictive legislation. Prohibition in America is a good example. Making the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages illegal created a vicious and bloody black market around booze that gave rise to organized crime and led to the overall lack of respect for the law!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not for zero regulations or anarchy. However, I do think that much legislation creates opportunities for those who disregard the law.

Morality cannot be legislated, unless you're in a country that embraces something like Sharia Law, which is my entire point. ;)

That's just using a slippery slope argument. Yes, of course there are arguments where governments have become too powerful, but in general there is not much that can be accomplished without government being involved. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't argue against bad choices but the idea that big government gets in the way of our wellbeing is not supported when you look at the social outcomes of social democratic countries, which are generally a lot better than those of their neoliberal counterparts.

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

It really depends on what governments do, not the fact that they are simply involved. In a society with a healthy civil society there should be ways to counteract and argue with poor government interventions. Though civil society itself doesn't necessarily bring about a better society, it depends on the values of the various groups involved.

The main problem now is that many governments are signed up to a neoliberal agenda and the idea that the market knows best, which generally appears to make things worse. It's a kind of paradox because the very idea of reducing government and distributing power to lower levels actually leads to more bureaucracy and more power grabs by rich multinationals and by government. Well that's what appears to be happening in England right now.

It involves making cuts in public services on the back of an argument that it crowds out other forms of provision, which it doesn't. And then when people rebel against that, there is a bigger crack down through more coercive measures, for example, greater police powers, demonisation of the poor and vulnerable, rather than policies that assist the more vulnerable. You also get governments trying to crack down in other ways, on rebellion, such as by trying to pass legislation which snoops on personal correspondence and before you know it, there is a danger of totalitarianism.

I'm sorry to keep using America as an argument, but the fact is that America is commonly used as an illustration of an extreme of neoliberalism, and was where a global neoliberal consensus was born in The Washington Consensus. In America, I have read somewhere, can't remember where unfortunately, there are apparently more prisons than hospitals. However, the way we're going in the UK right now we are likely to overtake. The danger, as I see it, is that, if an electorate simply sees all big government as bad, that feeds into the prevention of any change that might improve matters.

Anyway, can we just agree to disagree?

Tjet
15-06-2012, 10:14 AM
Actually I just have to comment on this. I don't think it's a stupid line at all, when you consider that the spending on perfume in America is enough to solve third world poverty.

And the cry of hypocrisy is an easy accusation to make by those who would rather things stayed the same. Most of us could do without some of our luxuries and yes Matt could easily live in a three bedroom semi and give his money away if he wanted to. But no one alone can do enough to make change, it takes joint concern and willingness.

It's better to care, even a bit, than not to care at all, because then there is no hope.

That depends. :) I was thinking of an article called something like "if you're an egalitarian, how come you're so rich" by G A Cohen. One of the points he made was that by giving his money away, he would make himself poorer and a few people richer, but the system that produced those inequalities would remain the same, so it wasn't really doing much. However he was spending his life making arguments for a fairer system so that doesn't mean he wanted things to stay the same or else he would probably have done nothing or argued that the system, as it was, was the right one.
But then how isn't "They'll laugh as they watch us crawl
the lucky don't share at all" a stupid line? :erm:

You've basically just said that you think it's a useless way of thinking.

Kati
15-06-2012, 10:30 AM
I'm strapped for time. Can someone read it and give a synopsis? :LOL:


Looking forward to your comments on the fourth chapter. :)


I'm strapped for time too, but I'll try to read the book by the weekend and summarise the ideas. Btw jdeboer, it seems he says basically that economical growth cannot be sustained after a certain limit. In one of your posts you seemed to assume governments should keep their fingers out of anything that hinders economical growth, so the ideas in the book might change your thinking drastically too. But you wouldn't be alone there, about all western governments plus most of the populations would be with you.

And jdeboer, you seem to be the one who is not calm here. When Carrie gave the example of parfumes, which I think could easily be given also over the EU region, you thought it's aimed specifically againts US. Do the Americans in general feel guilty over their way of life (which btw does consume more energy than that of most European countries)? There are reasons for high energy consumption, like large distancies, also structure of industry (steel production for example is energy intensive, and some European countries simply import their steel).

CarrieB
15-06-2012, 10:32 AM
But then how isn't "They'll laugh as they watch us crawl
the lucky don't share at all" a stupid line? :erm:

You've basically just said that you think it's a useless way of thinking.

Erm, I don't think so. Too much black and white thinking.

To me it's not a comment on individuals but on society. It's not literally saying people laugh, but some don't care enough to advocate change, that is true. It's probably more that people are too concerned with their own situations to see a bigger picture, though

The line: "Just make sure that you are looking out for number one" also appears to be a comment on our individualistic society and our wish to preserve capitalism as it is because it suits us in the Western World.

I'm sure you must realise this Sippe. It's very basic. Are you just trolling? :p

Dee3Dee
15-06-2012, 10:38 AM
Are you just trolling? :p

I've often wondered about you.

Kueller917
15-06-2012, 10:42 AM
Do the Americans in general feel guilty over their way of life (which btw does consume more energy than that of most European countries)? There are reasons for high energy consumption, like large distancies, also structure of industry (steel production for example is energy intensive, and some European countries simply import their steel).

Not very fair to compare consumption to European countries seeing as we have states bigger than most European countries. But I do get your point of high consumption.

CarrieB
15-06-2012, 10:44 AM
I've often wondered about you.

How ridiculous.

Watch out, watch out, the trolls are about! :shifty: :chuckle:

Tjet
15-06-2012, 10:52 AM
Erm, I don't think so. Too much black and white thinking.

To me it's not a comment on individuals but on society. It's not literally saying people laugh, but some don't care enough to advocate change, that is true. It's probably more that people are too concerned with their own situations to see a bigger picture, though And I'd say that's bullshit. Most people are very aware of the situation and the problems, but they just don't care. Or they care but are too concerned with their own situations to want to change anything.

I really don't understand how you can't see the problem in this statement "And the cry of hypocrisy is an easy accusation to make by those who would rather things stayed the same. Most of us could do without some of our luxuries and yes Matt could easily live in a three bedroom semi and give his money away if he wanted to. But no one alone can do enough to make change, it takes joint concern and willingness. "


The line: "Just make sure that you are looking out for number one" also appears to be a comment on our individualistic society and our wish to preserve capitalism as it is because it suits us in the Western World.

I'm sure you must realise this Sippe. It's very basic. Are you just trolling? :p
I'm not sure how you think that it being aimed at society instead of individuals changes the point.

In short: you accuse people of just giving excuses not to change(calling "hypocrisy" when someone says we need change) but then defend Matt's hypocritical behaviour by saying that individual choices won't make a change.

Isn't that exactly the kind of thinking that these don't-want-things-to-change people usually have? "It's pointless for me to try to change the world because one man doesn't make a difference".

CarrieB
15-06-2012, 11:33 AM
Isn't that exactly the kind of thinking that these don't-want-things-to-change people usually have? "It's pointless for me to try to change the world because one man doesn't make a difference".

Okay this bit is true (and I'm getting a bit lost) but Matt doesn't seem to be saying that.

The difference is that when people who don't want change, accuse people who believe change would be a good thing, of being hypocritical if they don't individually change everything about their lifestyles, that means that unless people who believe in change give away all their money and become poor themselves, or in the context of Green issues, don't own cars or travel on aeroplanes, etc, their arguments are dismissed and things are left to go on as before. Barring people like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, most of us are hypocritical in some way because generally most of us don't do that.

Now saying that, I'm not trying to make the argument that Matt is some kind of angel who doesn't deserve any criticism. He doesn't appear to see himself in that way either - remember when he recognised the fact that despite wanting better farming practices, he still used damaging cleaning materials? He sees the hypocrisy in that - he appears self aware. There are reasons why we can't discuss the point in full that jbeolar made and Matt hasn't given an account of his own experience and reasoning - which makes being judgemental a bit unfair - or I might make my thoughts clearer! ;) I was incidentally critical of Matt when he joked about gambling ten grand with George Clooney. However, I don't think that his personal choices or comments made by other band members, take away from the argument that the lyrics appear to be making, imo, or from my argument that those lyrics appear to indicate views that lean more to the left than the right. I may be wrong, but that's my impression.

And I still think that's a good thing. I don't agree with everything Matt says, but leaving Matt out of this, if everyone with more leftist views, who had a platform, which usually results from being in a position that comes hand in hand with greater wealth, thought the only way I can make any comment is to change my own lifestyle, there would probably be much less opportunity for argument against existing systems.

As I said earlier in the thread, most change involves argument from elites, because basically the system, as it is, does it's best to avoid those without any power making their arguments heard.

And I'm going to have to leave it at that for now because I do actually have other things to do. :D

fuesch
15-06-2012, 12:11 PM
is this the book you are discussing????

http://s16.postimage.org/whc3051md/51_Thu_4_Oi_PL_BO2_204_203_200_PIsitb_sticker_arro .jpg (http://postimage.org/)


http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Law-Economics-Collection/dp/1441993649

Origin of Wealth sounds like it would have been a good album name. :awesome:

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 02:53 PM
when unattached, it seems that Matt, according to what he said himself, didn't rush out to buy a ridiculously huge house or twenty flash cars, as far as we know, but did spend some of his money on buying a piece of land and some goats. That, I think. says something about the man and his priorities. :)

:LOL: Yea, it says that Matt's priority is in his pants!

It was a lecturer in sociology. As far as I know he had no particular vendetta against America but he does believe in justice.

He was making a negative statement about Americans. Period. He could just as easily said "The western world spends more money on perfume.......yadda yadda".

Matt is entitled to believe whatever he wants to, though I would argue with his views if they were right wing. That has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the music though, which I love. I'm not sure why it matters to you so much. Would you feel differently about the music if you found out he was a communist? What's the point in that comment?

Id laugh my ass off if I found out he was a communist. :LOL:

That's just using a slippery slope argument. Yes, of course there are arguments where governments have become too powerful, but in general there is not much that can be accomplished without government being involved. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't argue against bad choices but the idea that big government gets in the way of our wellbeing is not supported when you look at the social outcomes of social democratic countries, which are generally a lot better than those of their neoliberal counterparts.

It seems to me that the outcome of social democratic countries is to eventually go bankrupt. The money for cradle to grave entitlements has to come from somewhere, and eventually governments run out of other people's money or "the producers" stop producing and/or leave.

Anyway, can we just agree to disagree?

Sure. That was a lot of writing to conclude with "Oh well, whatever" though. :LOL:

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 02:55 PM
Aw boohoo, someone made a negative statement about America.

Except it was just an observation rather than a judgement.

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 02:58 PM
Aw boohoo, someone made a negative statement about America.

Except it was just an observation rather than a judgement.

Oh. Another hater, I see. :rolleyes:

Tjet
15-06-2012, 02:58 PM
He was making a negative statement about Americans. Period.
And that's wrong becaaaaause?

Comparing perfume to toilet paper and thinking that it's a valid point is also kinda ridiculous.

"Why did you spend all that money on things we don't need?"
"Would you have said the same thing if we spent in on things we DO need? No, didn't think so."

wut

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 02:59 PM
Oh. Another hater, I see. :rolleyes:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/ohgod.gif

beeSides
15-06-2012, 03:12 PM
not the brightest bulb in the box it would seem

http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/merlin/tumblr_m13h4qzt1M1qkj24uo7_r2_250.gif

spark_
15-06-2012, 03:13 PM
It seems to me that the outcome of social democratic countries is to eventually go bankrupt. The money for cradle to grave entitlements has to come from somewhere, and eventually governments run out of other people's money or "the producers" stop producing and/or leave.:facepalm:

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 03:14 PM
And that's wrong becaaaaause?

Because Europeans buy just as much needless crap as Americans. So why should they be singled out?

Comparing perfume to toilet paper and thinking that it's a valid point is also kinda ridiculous.

The point was about population, not the item being purchased.

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 03:15 PM
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/lol.gif

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 03:19 PM
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/lol.gif

What's your point? And while I'm at it, WTF is your personal issue with me? :mad:

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 03:21 PM
What's your point? And while I'm at it, WTF is your personal issue with me? :mad:

The point is this thread make me lol and facepalm.
I have no personal issue with you.
I like my .gifs

Dee3Dee
15-06-2012, 03:28 PM
What's your point? And while I'm at it, WTF is your personal issue with me? :mad:

Lol

beeSides
15-06-2012, 03:46 PM
The point is this thread make me lol and facepalm.
I have no personal issue with you.
I like my .gifs

you hate americans!

http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_m5nt910AOD1r7fu0n.gif

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 03:49 PM
you hate americans!

http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_m5nt910AOD1r7fu0n.gif

I do. Fucking America ruins it for the rest of the world.
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/slap-1.gif

beeSides
15-06-2012, 03:54 PM
I do. Fucking America ruins it for the rest of the world.
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/slap-1.gif

http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_llb0wlWHEi1qe594go1_500.gif

why? we can't help it if we're big :awesome:

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 03:58 PM
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_llb0wlWHEi1qe594go1_500.gif

why? we can't help it if we're big :awesome:

Can't help it that you're stupid either!
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/turkeyarthur.gif

beeSides
15-06-2012, 04:16 PM
and europeans are socialist snobs so just

http://i54.tinypic.com/vyqgj6.gif

Dee3Dee
15-06-2012, 04:19 PM
So the bottom line seems to be:

Does Matt understand thermodynamics?
No, but fuck America.

Furygirl
15-06-2012, 04:20 PM
Here's an adorable bunny opening an envelope.

http://gifs.gifbin.com/032010/1267709056_bunny.gif

beeSides
15-06-2012, 04:24 PM
So the bottom line seems to be:

Does Matt understand thermodynamics?
No, but fuck America.

your summary gets
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_m40cpnXbSO1qamvs9.gif

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 04:38 PM
your summary gets
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_m40cpnXbSO1qamvs9.gif

with complementary scarlet
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/welldone.gif

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 04:47 PM
I do. Fucking America ruins it for the rest of the world.

:LOL:

You're an idiot!

Dee3Dee
15-06-2012, 05:10 PM
:LOL:

You're an idiot!

You think she was being serious?

Now who's the idiot?

beeSides
15-06-2012, 05:12 PM
You think she was being serious?

Now who's the idiot?

stupid americans

http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq26/mskitte/misc%20gifs/tumblr_m4vlb9GxMF1qfcfxu.gif

bucket_
15-06-2012, 05:31 PM
You think she was being serious?

Now who's the idiot?

:LOL:

Kati
15-06-2012, 05:39 PM
What's your point? And while I'm at it, WTF is your personal issue with me? :mad:

According to what I've seen, she picks on you in no special way. She does that with everyone. Quite simply ignore her. In that way a reasonable discussion can go on.


He was making a negative statement about Americans. Period. He could just as easily said "The western world spends more money on perfume.......yadda yadda".

Well this was quite unfortunate statement... There is nothing wrong in principle in making a negative comment about Americans, according to European standards, because Europeans make negative comments on other Europeans all the time. I think there is a real cultural difference here (I once told a joke about Norwegians to an American guy, and he said you shouldn't make jokes like that in US. It's not seen politically correct.).

Because Europeans buy just as much needless crap as Americans. So why should they be singled out?

The actual example probably was as it was, because someone somewhere has calculated how much money all poor people in the world would need for their basic needs, and how much a western population consumes on something seen as a luxury. The numbers for a western country are probably easiest to get from US. If the data was gathered from Europe, the statistics of different countries would have had to be calculated together. Plus, that original example might well have originated from US... (no I'm not saying it was, but information, research results etc do flow easily from US to UK, I guess simply because of the language). In any case, as it was scientific context where Carrie heard it, it was not possible to give a vague example, it had to be specific.

Btw I don't agree with thinking that if rich western countries would give a bit of their richness that would solve poverty problem. Spark_ wrote about this, it has been tried since sixties and poor countries are still poor. But I have no idea what should be done then.

It seems to me that the outcome of social democratic countries is to eventually go bankrupt. The money for cradle to grave entitlements has to come from somewhere, and eventually governments run out of other people's money or "the producers" stop producing and/or leave.

I live in such a social democratic country, and it might come as a surprise to you that the state debt of Finland (relative to GDP) is below 50%. For USA it is over 100%, for Sweden, another social democratic country, it is lower than Finland, I think below 40%. For Italy and Greece it's ~120%, Germany and France ~80%, UK ~60% (I just quickly googled the numbers from different sources, please someone correct if they are wrong).

What you say about producers leaving or stopping producing is a very common statement in Finland. The right wing politicians, bankers etc keep talking about that. Strange enough, companies or high earners like managers and marketing professionals have not left the country in large numbers. Factories, i.e. production, have gone to China, but some have stayed and some are coming back. You should notice that even in social democratic countries it is possible to be rich.

Persons, professionals, leaving is actually quite ignorant statement (not blaming you, like I said it's used very often in Finland when talking about lowering tax rate). Especially managers and marketing people are tied to the language and local culture, and social networks. A good manager or sales person in Finland probably will not succeed in Germany or Sweden, or vice versa. It's experts, engineers for example, who can leave abroad. I've done that, but 1) it wasn't that much better there, 2) people often just want to return home because they want home.

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 05:43 PM
According to what I've seen, she picks on you in no special way. She does that with everyone. Quite simply ignore her. In that way a reasonable discussion can go on.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/Game%20of%20Thrones/sobsob.gif
Anyway, don't blame it on me my original comment was given such a ridiculous reply. Just going along with the flow of this thread.

Niall
15-06-2012, 05:46 PM
Sure, and that "joint concern" comes in the form of government law and regulation. What starts out as a good intent becomes a power grab by government. Can you not see that? Every case of supposed environmentally motivated legislation, where the intended purpose is "to do the right thing", has unintended consequences. "This is what's best for you" legislation limits freedom, and creates a faceless bureaucracy of enforcement. A "one size fits all" across the board law creates red tape that kills economic growth.

And there are always unforeseen consequences of restrictive legislation. Prohibition in America is a good example. Making the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages illegal created a vicious and bloody black market around booze that gave rise to organized crime and led to the overall lack of respect for the law!

Seems far to generalising. And for some things you absolutely need a large, powerful organisation like a government to take control, especially for things like the environment. There's no hope in hell of all of humanity suddenly deciding that invest their spare cash in researching more efficient solar panels or only buying green cars. Governments have the benefit of being able to coordinate in response to a huge array of input from an incredible complicated system.

Unintended consequences could simply be avoided by governments being more scientifically rigorous with their legislation. There's certainly plenty of obvious arguments around for governments making restrictive legislation for short sighted and moralising reasons (prohibitions on various drugs for the supposed benefit of improve society is an obvious example of legislation conflicting with science - plenty of studies have indeed show that the current situation is subjecting people to criminality and poor health), but when the aim is justified and means are apparent and verified, it's necessary.

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 07:07 PM
This thread :noey:

LMR
15-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Any of you following Dexter, the Showtime tv series? If yes, take a look at season 6 episode 9 at 50:32 minutes. I'm watching right now and Dexter is looking up on the internet what '2LoT' stands for. It stands for 'The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics'...

Just wanted to share it with you ....:):):)

Dee3Dee
15-06-2012, 07:28 PM
Any of you following Dexter, the Showtime tv series? If yes, take a look at season 6 episode 9 at 50:32 minutes. I'm watching right now and Dexter is looking up on the internet what '2LoT' stands for. It stands for 'The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics'...

Just wanted to share it with you ....:):):)

You should post this in more threads.

Pip
15-06-2012, 07:34 PM
This thread :noey:

I beg to differ! This thread (or more specifically, one of the contributors):

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0_Pa_hlrEA0/T47PLprDq6I/AAAAAAAAByU/jPQnlIpMCoE/s1600/hyena-laughing1.jpg

Chagi
15-06-2012, 07:36 PM
Any of you following Dexter, the Showtime tv series? If yes, take a look at season 6 episode 9 at 50:32 minutes. I'm watching right now and Dexter is looking up on the internet what '2LoT' stands for. It stands for 'The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics'...

Just wanted to share it with you ....:):):)

It's a message! The album will be a concept album about murdering! :eek:

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 07:46 PM
I beg to differ! This thread (or more specifically, one of the contributors):

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0_Pa_hlrEA0/T47PLprDq6I/AAAAAAAAByU/jPQnlIpMCoE/s1600/hyena-laughing1.jpg

Which one? Say it, Pip!

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Pip, have you got some personal issues with me or something? :erm:

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 07:49 PM
Pip, have you got some personal issues with me or something? :erm:

Of course she has. You pick on everybody and are best ignored :phu:

Pip
15-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Which one? Say it, Pip!

You know and I know you know!:LOL:

Pip, have you got some personal issues with me or something? :erm:

:eyebrows:

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 08:04 PM
Of course she has. You pick on everybody and are best ignored :phu:


:eyebrows:
Show me your beef :eyebrows:

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 08:24 PM
You know and I know you know!:LOL:

Maybe :shifty:

LMR
15-06-2012, 09:18 PM
You should post this in more threads.

Great idea! Any suggestions...?

Pip
15-06-2012, 09:58 PM
Show me your beef :eyebrows:

You made me think curtains now! :'(:'(

Luxemburger Queen
15-06-2012, 10:04 PM
You made me think curtains now! :'(:'(

oh god :LOL:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/danrad.gif

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 10:07 PM
oh god :LOL:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/potver-dorie/gifs/danrad.gif

Oh god, no *closes eyes*

Seaking
15-06-2012, 10:11 PM
So do we hate our like the United States? I'm confused ...

Also while I'm at it can we stop calling the United States = America.

Any of you following Dexter, the Showtime tv series? If yes, take a look at season 6 episode 9 at 50:32 minutes. I'm watching right now and Dexter is looking up on the internet what '2LoT' stands for. It stands for 'The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics'...

Just wanted to share it with you ....:):):)

Yes and in Fringe, Walter keeps a book on Entropy in his bag for flights but that doesn't mean fuck all now does it...

jdeboer01
15-06-2012, 11:51 PM
You think she was being serious?

Now who's the idiot?

You think I was being serious?

NOW who's the idiot? lol

What you say about producers leaving or stopping producing is a very common statement in Finland. The right wing politicians, bankers etc keep talking about that. Strange enough, companies or high earners like managers and marketing professionals have not left the country in large numbers. Factories, i.e. production, have gone to China, but some have stayed and some are coming back. You should notice that even in social democratic countries it is possible to be rich.

The US used to do a huge amount of manufacturing, and it employed millions of people. Now it does very little manufacturing because it all went to China. And many of our high tech jobs went to India. Things are not looking good! Our government is trillions in debt. Military spending is ~20% of the budget. I do wonder what would happen if military spending were largely eliminated. Not having a military budget is one of the reasons why some European social democratic countries are better off than others right now.

The whole situation is depressing, tbh.

This thread :noey:

It was fine before Dore showed up. :phu:

I beg to differ! This thread (or more specifically, one of the contributors):

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0_Pa_hlrEA0/T47PLprDq6I/AAAAAAAAByU/jPQnlIpMCoE/s1600/hyena-laughing1.jpg

And before Pip decided to show up for the sole purpose of doling out some beyotchiness. :phu:

LyraSilvertongue
15-06-2012, 11:54 PM
You think I was being serious?

NOW who's the idiot? lol



The US used to do a huge amount of manufacturing, and it employed millions of people. Now it does very little manufacturing because it all went to China. And many of our high tech jobs went to India. Things are not looking good! Our government is trillions in debt. Military spending is ~20% of the budget. I do wonder what would happen if military spending were largely eliminated. Not having a military budget is one of the reasons why some European social democratic countries are better off than others right now.

The whole situation is depressing, tbh.



It was fine before Dore showed up. :phu:



And before Pip decided to show up for the sole purpose of doling out some beyotchiness. :phu:

Chill, Judy. Dore and Pip are both lovely. Really. I know them both irl.

jdeboer01
16-06-2012, 01:53 AM
Chill, Judy. Dore and Pip are both lovely. Really. I know them both irl.

I'm sure they are. But why they've chosen me as a target, I have no idea. I don't know who or what they think I am, but I'm sure we have much more in common than not. :noey:

Seaking
16-06-2012, 02:03 AM
what they think I am

Personally I always thought you were a Cylon.

jdeboer01
16-06-2012, 02:08 AM
Personally I always thought you were a Cylon.

Shit! You've blown my cover!

I'm tempted to change my Avatar.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1e/Cylon_Centurion.png/220px-Cylon_Centurion.png

JessicaSarahS
16-06-2012, 05:43 AM
I'm sure they are. But why they've chosen me as a target, I have no idea. I don't know who or what they think I am, but I'm sure we have much more in common than not. :noey:

Judy, people aren't out to get you. Don't take things so seriously!

Anyways, back on topic.

Dee3Dee
16-06-2012, 06:30 AM
I'm sure they are. But why they've chosen me as a target, I have no idea. I don't know who or what they think I am, but I'm sure we have much more in common than not. :noey:

Stop being such an easy target then.

LMR
16-06-2012, 07:30 AM
Stop being such an easy target then.

Easy targets are for pussies, try shooting at a moving target, while base jumping:D

Luxemburger Queen
16-06-2012, 11:35 AM
I'm sure they are. But why they've chosen me as a target, I have no idea. I don't know who or what they think I am, but I'm sure we have much more in common than not. :noey:

I have not chosen you as a target, judy :LOL: I only responded to what you said because it caught my eye as it wasn't tl;dr. I'll leave the other two to Sippe and watch from the side line :kiss:

Seaking
16-06-2012, 04:12 PM
Don't listen to them. They are out to get you! Heed my warning before they silence me like th

Tim59
16-06-2012, 04:59 PM
Don't listen to them. They are out to get you! Heed my warning before they silence me like th

:LOL:

Kueller917
16-06-2012, 09:33 PM
Don't listen to them. They are out to get you! Heed my warning before they silence me like th

I call BS. Not even the entire board could silence you :awesome:

Seaking
16-06-2012, 09:40 PM
I call BS. Not even the entire board could silence you :awesome:

These are powerful people. Even Bellamy is afraid of them. Not really surprising considering Bellamy is probably intimidated by very tall dwarves.

Kueller917
16-06-2012, 09:43 PM
These are powerful people. Even Bellamy is afraid of them. Not really surprising considering Bellamy is probably intimidated by very tall dwarves.

Yeah but you have a PhD

Seaking
16-06-2012, 09:50 PM
Yeah but you have a PhD

How is that relevant?

You have a 917. Through complex arithmetic (don't try this unless you have a PhD by the way) I have deduced that is 6 less than 911. Which is the number for the police (in Canada, it does differ slightly everywhere in the world).

Kueller917
16-06-2012, 09:52 PM
How is that relevant?


You can intimidate people with complex maths like below.


You have a 917. Through complex arithmetic (don't try this unless you have a PhD by the way) I have deduced that is 6 less than 911. Which is the number for the police (in Canada, it does differ slightly everywhere in the world).

It's also the number in the US.

fabripav
16-06-2012, 09:53 PM
Some serious talking here, that's a deep subject

Seaking
16-06-2012, 09:57 PM
You can intimidate people with complex maths like below.

It's also the number in the US.

Good point. Now I know what to do if I ever go to the US.

jdeboer01
17-06-2012, 02:27 AM
Do the Americans in general feel guilty over their way of life (which btw does consume more energy than that of most European countries)? There are reasons for high energy consumption, like large distancies, also structure of industry (steel production for example is energy intensive, and some European countries simply import their steel).

I've been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of days -- the possible reasons as to why it averages out that Americans use more energy per-capita than Europeans do. I'm wondering, do the extreme variations in seasonal temperatures in North America have anything to do with it? From what I understand, temperature extremes are not as variable in Europe as they are in North America. In the Southern, and South Western US States, heavy use of air conditioning during the summer months is necessary. Temps can be over 100F in the summer, and on the Eastern Southern states, humidity can make 85F feel like 120F. And then there's the Northeastern states, where winter forces months of heating bills, and the North Mid, and Western states, where winters can dump several feet of snow and sub-zero temps for weeks at a time.

Europe has the Gulf Stream. Americans have oppressive temps in the summer AND the winter. Could this be part of it?

Chagi
17-06-2012, 12:09 PM
You have a 917. Through complex arithmetic (don't try this unless you have a PhD by the way) I have deduced that is 6 less than 911.
Now I may not have a PhD and am perhaps in over my head with this, but surely 917 is 6 more than 911?

fabripav
17-06-2012, 12:27 PM
Now I may not have a PhD and am perhaps in over my head with this, but surely 917 is 6 more than 911?

Shut up.

Chagi
17-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Shut up.
Will do.

Seaking
17-06-2012, 01:38 PM
Will do.

:LOL::LOL::LOL:

I changed the sentence halfway through and I forgot to go back and fix it.

Kati
17-06-2012, 08:54 PM
Okay, I've read through the book The second law of economics by Reiner Kuemmel now. There are five chapters in the book. Of those the fourth one is by far the most important for understanding the album title and Matt's tweets, but I'll briefly describe the contents of others too, especially points I found interesting:

1. chapter goes very briefly through the energy/economical human history. It talks about energy consumption per individual, which was 2 kWh for prehistorical hunter/gatherer without fire, 6 kWh after inventing how to use fire. In medieval western Europe the energy consumption has risen to 30 kWh, by 1960 to 165 kWh in USA, 61 kWh in Germany, by 1995 to 133 kWh in Germany, 270 kWh in USA. He also talks about energy slaves - in ancient agrar cultures slavery was necessary condition for some people to live rich life, including building cultural achievements. Later, with invention of heat engines (first steam engine) the average consumption of energy could rise because engines converted fossile energy to work, so the engines are called "energy slaves" (engine work divided by maximum possible work of a human). Germans have in average 45 of them, Americans 92.

2. chapter describes more the energy usage historically and nowadays, the solar energy and the absorption/emission of energy on Earth, the consumption of fossile fuels (most of our consumption of energy is based on fossile fuels at the moment), and the technological perspectives of energy sources not based on fossile fuels. He discusses also solar power satellites and space industrialisation - I thought that is sci-fi, but understood later on why that stuff was explained.

3. chapter explains entropy in thermodynamics. I'm not trying to explain it, it is physically a measure for disorder, and we know that natural processes tend to maximise entropy (i.e. ice cube in water melts etc). Irreversible processes, like burning fuel always produce entropy. Entropy consideration does not only affect closed systems, it is a state variable and a balance equation can be derived for it in the same way as for mass, momentum or energy like usually done in continuum mechanics. Such a balance equation contains terms like time derivative, convection, diffusion and source terms, and it can be integrated over a volume, like the Earth biosphere. The source term (which is basically what Earth produces in the biosphere, i.e. human induced entropy increase) contains contribution from heat (energy) production, plus particle emissions. So physically, when we do energy conversion in heat engines (these are always irreversible processes), we produce heat and particles into the biosphere, and these cause also a source of entropy in the biosphere. The particles can mean for example CO2, SO2, NOx etc. The part of the these emissions that cannot be handled by natural processes in biosphere is called pollution. The pollution of certain particle emissions, most famously CO2 but also other greenhouse gases, changes the heat emission from Earth to surrounding space. It is possible to convert the particle emissions to heat emissions, like with catalytic converters to reduce SO2 and NOx emissions, but that requires more primary energy, not very much for SO2 or NOx, but in case of CO2 (carbon dioxide capture and storage) the percentage is much larger so that the power plant efficiency goes from 38% to 28%. The waste heat production i.e. entropy source is still there, and there is a critical limit for heat production called heat barrier, which is 3E14 W (somehow determined from urban areas which are warmer than surroundings). This barrier is there regardless of the human induced green house effect. If the waste heat we produce increases by a factor of 20 this barrier is reached.

4. chapter is then about economics and the connection of that with thermodynamics. Kuemmel does not equate money with energy. Instead he first explains that the economical production factors are not just capital and labour, or land or material as in classical economics, but capital, labour and energy. (If energy is left away, the development of production output (relative to capital) staying about the same even though labour (relative to capital) usage is decreasing, cannot be explained properly). The production growth rate is determined by these three factors, by using something called output elasticity = productive power, which "gives, roughly speaking, the percentage of output change when the factor changes by 1% while the other factors stay constant". Kuemmel uses a lot of pages to prove with empirical data that the productive power of energy is much larger than it's cost factor (which is used in classical economics). Cost factor of labour is ~75% and energy ~5%, but the productive power of labour is around 20% or less, of energy more than 30%. These vary in time and between countries. There is also a production factor creativity, but it's productive power isn't that large except in Germany according to the figures in the book. Anyway the point is that a lot of economical growth can be explained by increasing usage of energy, not by technological progress or labour/capital usage. Now when we remember the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and realise that we are producing more and more entropy into the biosphere by energy conversion, and this entropy growth is, by energy being an important factor in the economical growth, linked to the economical growth, and we realise there is a critical limit to the entropy that we can produce to the biosphere without severe climatic effects, we can conclude that an economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.

Kuemmel postulates first law of economics being "Wealth is allocated on markets, and the legal framework determines the outcome." and the second law of economics being "Energy conversion and entropy production determine the growth of wealth."

With this stuff in mind, the album name cannot be Entropy, it must be The 2nd law. Providing that Matt has been reading the same book as I was ;)

AlexB
17-06-2012, 09:15 PM
I also reached the same conclusion that the new album is called the 2nd law after an in-depth investigation of the muse websites home page.

fabripav
17-06-2012, 09:21 PM
I also reached the same conclusion that the new album is called the 2nd law after an in-depth investigation of the muse websites home page.

:LOL: that was the easy way.

Kati
17-06-2012, 09:29 PM
Kuemmel also talks about wealth distribution and financial assets. It is a proven fact that wealth is very unequally distributed in the world (2005 the consumption share for the richest 20% was 76.6%, for the poorest 20% it was 1.5% and for the middle 60% of the population it was 21.9%). He doesn't link that with entropy, but he states that "The legal framework that determines the allocation of wealth on the global market is such that the gap between the rich high-net-worth individual and the common man is widening more and more, and the debts of nations are growing." He says something interesting about the financial assets:

"Since the 1970s, global earnings from tangible and financial assets grew more rapidly than global GDP, from about 14% of global GDP in 1970 to 40% in 2007. Incomes from tangible and financial assets hold roughly equal shares. Growth of financial assets means growth of debt, because each financial asset is an entitlement to money in the future, which balances a credit, and each credit is debt. One expects interest on each credit. Credits and savings are used to build up tangible assets such as firms and real estate. A return is expected on these tangible assets too. It has to be generated by the sale of goods and services, or by renting and leasing. Extrapolation of the present growth trends into the future yields that as early as 2030 all global GDP would be consumed by payments of interests and returns. Nothing would be left for paying employed persons. This is a definite limit to the world’s financial system."

This, I think, has something to do with the usury which Matt was talking about when TR was released. The debt problem of the all western countries seems to be connected with the banking crisis, and the usury problem is definitely not about mortgages and loans and their interest rates of individuals. It's more about the earnings from financial assets.

Kuemmel also talks about how difficult it is to tax the financial sector: "Meanwhile, the budget deficits of the rich countries are about as high as the sum of unpaid taxes, which the very strong, internationally operating actors, especially in the financial sector, can avoid thanks to globalization and the free movement of financial assets around the globe."

He does not offer a solution to this problem, but states that the economical growth necessary to pay the interest rate for the state debts hasn't been there for decades in western countries, and in the light of the entropy problem is not physically possible anymore. He finally suggest a transfer from taxing labour to taxing energy, but this should either happen in all industrial countries simultaneously or there should be border taxes which refund the energy tax for exports and tax the imports according to their energy content. I assume he means that renewable energy sources should not suffer from this tax. He then quotes a wide poll over several countries saying that most people are okay with such tax reform.

Oh, and if humanity wishes to go on with the endless growth without the severe effects on climate, the entropy production should happen in space, not in biosphere. That's where I understood why he even talks about that sci-fi stuff.

Dave
17-06-2012, 09:32 PM
Now that is dedication :stunned:

CarrieB
17-06-2012, 10:07 PM
Thanks for giving us the synopsis Kati, though if Matt understands all that on the background of a few GCSEs I salute him! :D

Quite difficult to understand, I'm afraid, especially after two or three glasses of wine, :chuckle: but good. Does it basically relate to an argument that the natural world should be taken into account in economic theory?

Apparently it is already getting too late. There seems little hope of targets for carbon emissions being reached. Few are listening to the arguments and emissions are increasing rather than decreasing. That means that the Green Party are now talking of adaptive measures rather than mitigating ones, things we can do to cope with climate change rather than prevent it. Basically start stockpiling the baked beans! ;) At least for our children. And bye bye Dungeness and Romney Marsh, probably much of Norfolk.

This was all said against the background of a fierce storm in June which kind of knocked it home.

Anyway I'm not really being flippant. Will read it again. Thanks for taking the trouble to read all of it. :)

Kati
17-06-2012, 11:37 PM
Thanks for giving us the synopsis Kati, though if Matt understands all that on the background of a few GCSEs I salute him! :D

Hmm, yes, I realise the part about balance equation is typical for continuum mechanics studies for MSc. Even the mathematical toolbox used in it is not taught before university. But I suppose it is possible to understand the stuff without the mathematical background, because...


Quite difficult to understand, I'm afraid, especially after two or three glasses of wine, :chuckle: but good. Does it basically relate to an argument that the natural world should be taken into account in economic theory?



The link between the economy and entropy and 2nd law of thermodynamics seems, to me, to be both the inter-relationship between growth in wealth and the energy that is used in producing that, even if being used to light and heat offices, plus the argument that classical economics is outdated and insufficient because it ignores the involvement of energy in every process in the industrialised world. It is therefore argued that economic theory should be revised to include the laws of physical processes which take into account the restrictions of the natural world.

This quote explains it better than I have I think and is the sort of thing that might have captured Matt's interest.

"“Energy conversion is the basis of life and wealth creation. It is invariably coupled to entropy production, which manifests itself in emissions of heat and particles.These emissions will eventually restrict economic growth in the finite system Earth, when its emission-absorbing and life-supporting capacities are being exhausted. Growth can be maintained if industrialization expands into the space beyond Earth’s biosphere”. (p246)".

...this is actually the content of the book in very short. So I guess it would have been enough to just read the fourth chapter ;) Well I learned a lot of new stuff in the first three.


Apparently it is already getting too late. There seems little hope of targets for carbon emissions being reached. Few are listening to the arguments and emissions are increasing rather than decreasing. That means that the Green Party are now talking of adaptive measures rather than mitigating ones, things we can do to cope with climate change rather than prevent it. Basically start stockpiling the baked beans! ;) At least for our children. And bye bye Dungeness and Romney Marsh, probably much of Norfolk.

This was all said against the background of a fierce storm in June which kind of knocked it home.

Yep, I'm also getting the impression that the international process of reducing the CO2 emissions is hopelessly late. There is no time anymore to gradually increase the fossile energy taxes and wait for the energy infrastructure and conservation efforts to develop.

Kati
18-06-2012, 12:46 AM
I've been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of days -- the possible reasons as to why it averages out that Americans use more energy per-capita than Europeans do. I'm wondering, do the extreme variations in seasonal temperatures in North America have anything to do with it? From what I understand, temperature extremes are not as variable in Europe as they are in North America. In the Southern, and South Western US States, heavy use of air conditioning during the summer months is necessary. Temps can be over 100F in the summer, and on the Eastern Southern states, humidity can make 85F feel like 120F. And then there's the Northeastern states, where winter forces months of heating bills, and the North Mid, and Western states, where winters can dump several feet of snow and sub-zero temps for weeks at a time.

Europe has the Gulf Stream. Americans have oppressive temps in the summer AND the winter. Could this be part of it?

It's probably part of it, yes. I don't know how significant. There are also things like larger houses than average in Europe, the traditionally heavy cars with high fuel consumption (SUVs are a horrible example of a trend where fuel consumption is much higher than in compact cars, partly because of very poor aerodynamics caused by car shape which is fashionable - no real need whatsoever for such a shape), town and city structure elsewhere than east cost which makes public transport impractical. The silliest example I've heard of "American lifestyle" is that in the high temperature regions people still use tumble driers, because hanging the laundry outdoors would not look good :rolleyes:

But even if the "unnecessary" energy consumption was eliminated, I think US energy consumption would still be higher than in Europe. The large distancies and town/city structure would cause that, and the already existing climate issues you described. The cold climate problem is the same as in Scandinavian countries (we have every winter a few weeks with -25degC, i.e. -13F). I don't have the energy consumption per person in Finland, unfortunately, but I know it is higher than in middle Europe. One measure for energy savings here has been tightening the regulation for minimum heat insulation for new houses (I wonder whether anything like that is done in US?) Although I have to wonder how Americans survived before air conditioning ;) It's probably things like that that change when the economy collapses. People can't afford air conditioning anymore, meaning weakest or poorest will die during heat waves. Increased rate of mortality during heat waves has been reported in some European countries, I think.


The US used to do a huge amount of manufacturing, and it employed millions of people. Now it does very little manufacturing because it all went to China. And many of our high tech jobs went to India. Things are not looking good! Our government is trillions in debt. Military spending is ~20% of the budget. I do wonder what would happen if military spending were largely eliminated. Not having a military budget is one of the reasons why some European social democratic countries are better off than others right now.

Your information on Europe is incorrect again... I don't know any Scandinavian (=social democratic European) country without a military budget. In Finland it is ~6% of the state budget. Yes it is much smaller than the US one. I sometimes wonder how come Americans do not understand that the military spending is a huge public support for military (defense?) industry. It seems to be the right wing politicians (advocating small government) that are also advocating higher military budgets. That's not logical.

I wonder also your statement about R&D going to India. That has not happened in Europe to a large extent. Although the employees there are cheaper, the productivity is not as high as in Europe, besides the employees are very unloyal, meaning they get a job without experience, learn how to do it and then go to another employer. And experienced engineers are nearly as expensive as in Europe. And in general relocating creative work is difficult, culture differences, language problems, time difference, all make communication more difficult, and good communication in R&D is essential.

So either you are painting a too gloomy picture or US and Europe industries have different approaches to relocation. I wonder what is the role played by the financial sector. If I have understood correctly, it is more dominant in US. It might drive industries to hasty decisions for maximising the profit. What if you read this book and gave a synopsis of it? ;)

http://www.realitysandwich.com/homepage_sacred_economics

LyraSilvertongue
19-06-2012, 05:43 PM
Pretty much every post in this thread is tl;dr

L.
19-06-2012, 07:08 PM
Back on topic - I'll delete the last few pages as they are mostly spam.

Seaking
19-06-2012, 09:36 PM
Pretty much every post in this thread is tl;dr

You're tl;dr!

Anyhow I'm wondering how this theme works into other songs. Normally the albums had one or two that were connected to some book Matt read.

CarrieB
21-06-2012, 10:07 AM
Anyhow I'm wondering how this theme works into other songs. Normally the albums had one or two that were connected to some book Matt read.

It does seem to relate to Exogenesis. Do you mean old songs or how it might relate to songs on the latest album? It's difficult to think of how it will relate to songs that are yet unheard!

CarrieB
22-06-2012, 06:26 PM
I'm wondering whether the idea of unsustainable resources will be used within the album more in relation to a perceived inevitability of the earth eventually needing to rebalance itself, than as a warning of what might happen if no changes are made, if that makes sense.

fabripav
24-06-2012, 12:28 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoeconomics

nbite
11-07-2012, 11:37 AM
geez u guys are really not thinking. All sciences are interchangeable and if u think about it then u will see that. It is hard to understand that everything comes down to math (yes, biology, chemistry, economy all sciences in their core are math) With having said that thermodynamics is even applied to psychology by Freud. Earth is not an open and not a closed system, its both. And universe is tending to shift in entropy.
Suck it up people, Matts intuition is correct in the core even if the idea seems paranoid and overblown (which it might be, but that is irrelevant for music)
Have a good day!

Shrinking Universe
11-07-2012, 12:20 PM
geez u guys are really not thinking. All sciences are interchangeable and if u think about it then u will see that. It is hard to understand that everything comes down to math (yes, biology, chemistry, economy all sciences in their core are math) With having said that thermodynamics is even applied to psychology by Freud. Earth is not an open and not a closed system, its both. And universe is tending to shift in entropy.
Suck it up people, Matts intuition is correct in the core even if the idea seems paranoid and overblown (which it might be, but that is irrelevant for music)
Have a good day!

And... welcome to the forums... :rolleyes:

SerpentSatellite
11-07-2012, 05:15 PM
I got the impression that it wasn't really the economy that was representative of the 2nd law here (even though it was explicitly stated for 'impact') but the idea that our society has stagnated to the point where we are going to absolutely start declining - which we've started to see, and of which the economic problems are a large indicator.

In the US, for example, our government is just one big back and forth masterbatory-esque war between two sides who are systematically balanced to prevent anything from ever being accomplished...
And, in reality, the political war is staged to such a ludicrous "us vs them" degree that it boils down to "hot button" and inflammatory issues, with nothing but blanket black and white statements (such as the conservative christian vs liberal conflict.)
And the public is easily blinded to the fact that no ones trying to DO or FIX anything... just make enough people happy (or angry) enough to get their guy elected.
I'm sure England isn't much different.

I mean, really, you can apply this to the economy, as well - despite it not being a "closed" system, it might as well be to 99% of the population.
The "endless growth" economy is based on a very small percentage of the population benefiting AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE. Walmart, for one example, won't continue to grow endlessly if it starts paying it's employees a livable wage. However, as this giant "underclass" of citizens is subjected to continually increasing stress and lower wages/benefits, things will eventually break down - even if it's just because a large group of people can't AFFORD to buy the things they make or sell.

I'm trying to look at this from a "layman" standpoint, and not a scientific one.
I don't think mainstream albums are written to have bulletproof metaphors for economics and math majors, in any instance. :LOL:

spark_
12-07-2012, 08:38 AM
I'm trying to imagine something that is both open and closed and all I'm coming up that is just maths.

nbite
19-07-2012, 09:19 PM
I'm trying to imagine something that is both open and closed and all I'm coming up that is just maths.
that means u are quite insensitive (no offence).
Ill try to explain what i mean:
something that is both open and closed is a contradiction in a common sense, u can imagine that only when you regularly spot stuff like that in your daily life, in yourself and in other people. It'll bug u at first, but eventually ull find ways around it by over thinking and looking at detail.
Lets come back to earth and the system it is:
- it gets input from outside sources (matter and energy, sun, gravitation etc)
- its output is non essential (think about it, what does it change even if we will blow our planet to uh.. dust. Will something really change in the universe?)
So to model earth system u can negate the output and its essentially closed, unless u go in detail. Our universe is an opened system (dunno how to prove that, try to read urself) and i doubt a truly closed system exists, but for the sake of people who have concrete mind and dont want to (or cant) look at details we sometimes call it closed. But its not.
Hope it makes sense.

spark_
20-07-2012, 04:08 AM
No, it's a contradition in definition, and it's only by making pointless, silly mental roundabouts (or doublethink) that you can get anything physical that is both open and closed, as in the physical sense the definition of open is 'not closed'.

I have no idea how you can say something as bizarre as the 'universe is open'. The universe is defined as everything that exists - energy or for that matter cannot flow out or into the universe (as we know it), as that assumes some kind of 'outside the universe', which would rather contradict the whole point of the universe in the first place (again, this is as we know it). And as such, the universe is thermodynamically closed (in fact, the only truly closed system as we know it)

nbite
20-07-2012, 03:48 PM
No, it's a contradition in definition, and it's only by making pointless, silly mental roundabouts (or doublethink) that you can get anything physical that is both open and closed, as in the physical sense the definition of open is 'not closed'.

I have no idea how you can say something as bizarre as the 'universe is open'. The universe is defined as everything that exists - energy or for that matter cannot flow out or into the universe (as we know it), as that assumes some kind of 'outside the universe', which would rather contradict the whole point of the universe in the first place (again, this is as we know it). And as such, the universe is thermodynamically closed (in fact, the only truly closed system as we know it)

Where did i say it isnt closed in terms of thermodynamics? I agree on that here, and i explained before why, but that is besides the point. I did troll a bit by calling it and open system and not provide any info to back myself up, did not say in what terms it is opened and what are the details pointing at it. Do you know what is outside of the universe and how it interacts? Mb its a multiverse? Mb there is nothing outside? Its just an opinion :)

Tjet
20-07-2012, 03:55 PM
Do you know what is outside of the universe and how it interacts?
But the universe is defined as everything. How much that covers is irrelevant. If there's more to in that we think, it's still covered under the term "universe".

sammeir123
20-07-2012, 04:52 PM
I shouldn't have read this thread, now I just feel stupid :(

nbite
20-07-2012, 05:45 PM
But the universe is defined as everything. How much that covers is irrelevant. If there's more to in that we think, it's still covered under the term "universe".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe
geez no abstract thinking? Why do we call it observable universe?

Kueller917
20-07-2012, 05:51 PM
I shouldn't have read this thread, now I just feel stupid :(

Most of what was said in his thread is nonsense anyways.

nbite
20-07-2012, 05:52 PM
But the universe is defined as everything. How much that covers is irrelevant. If there's more to in that we think, it's still covered under the term "universe".

By logical necessity, there is literally 'nothing' beyond the observable universe. It is impossible to apply falsifiable predictions to something that is inherently unobservable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe
im trying to explain what it is, the difference between abstract thinking and concrete knowledge. All we have in science are theories.

nbite
20-07-2012, 05:58 PM
its defined as "observable universe", what is beyond and what we cant see is a mystery. There can be nothing there, there can be something there, we just dont know. Again, what you imagine and what is really there is impossible to tell. This is the difference between concrete knowledge and abstract thinking, and i started with that...

Jobby
20-07-2012, 06:04 PM
I shouldn't have read this thread, now I just feel stupid :(

This entire thread is tl;dr to me anyway :chuckle:

Tjet
20-07-2012, 06:40 PM
its defined as "observable universe", what is beyond and what we cant see is a mystery. There can be nothing there, there can be something there, we just dont know. Again, what you imagine and what is really there is impossible to tell. This is the difference between concrete knowledge and abstract thinking, and i started with that...
No it isn't. Observable universe is defined as observable universe. Wouldn't the wording of that make it obvious to you that universe includes that which ISN'T observable? otherwise the word would be completely redundant.

And once again you're missing the point. By saying that the universe is everything, then we really mean everything. That means that if it turns out that there is more to the universe than we thought, then it still goes under "the universe". By claiming that the universe is everything, we're not denying that "there could be more out there than we can possibly imagine" or anything of the sort. We're not saying that we couldn't just be an atom of another world.

"Maybe there's more than everything"?, no, it's still "everything".

nbite
20-07-2012, 07:29 PM
No it isn't. Observable universe is defined as observable universe. Wouldn't the wording of that make it obvious to you that universe includes that which ISN'T observable? otherwise the word would be completely redundant.

And once again you're missing the point. By saying that the universe is everything, then we really mean everything. That means that if it turns out that there is more to the universe than we thought, then it still goes under "the universe". By claiming that the universe is everything, we're not denying that "there could be more out there than we can possibly imagine" or anything of the sort. We're not saying that we couldn't just be an atom of another world.

"Maybe there's more than everything"?, no, it's still "everything".
What is your point? Your last three sentence seems to be in agreement with me. Concrete knowledge defines universe as observable, definition of universe is abstract. What if there is nothing behind "observable" universe? Can u define nothing? try to understand what i initially meant please, its not that hard.
Just a word "universe" is per definition a fantasy and is abstract. "observable" universe however is concrete knowledge that is being constantly expanded and redefined according to discoveries.
Captchas on this forum are ridiculous :D

JoshyBarth
20-07-2012, 07:37 PM
I had a telescope once that could let me see stuff far away



it was pretty cool

fabripav
20-07-2012, 07:39 PM
I had a telescope once that could let me see stuff far away



it was pretty cool

:LOL:

Tjet
20-07-2012, 07:46 PM
What is your point? Your last three sentence seems to be in agreement with me. Concrete knowledge defines universe as observable, definition of universe is abstract. What if there is nothing behind "observable" universe? Can u define nothing? try to understand what i initially meant please, its not that hard.
Just a word "universe" is per definition a fantasy and is abstract. "observable" universe however is concrete knowledge that is being constantly expanded and redefined according to discoveries.
Captchas on this forum are ridiculous :D
My point is that "what if there's something outside the universe" is a useless question that means nothing unless you mean "what if there's something beyond what we can possibly observe of the universe". Sadly those two are not the same. And yes, you can define nothing.

What makes you think that I don't understand what you mean? It's quite simple actually. You're saying that the universe is an open system because we can't define something that we can't observe. Simply "The universe is an open system because we don't know what's beyond it".

By your definition of the universe, there can be something beyond it. But this would mean that this "beyond the universe" isn't actually part of the universe, no? Therefore what we call the universe is still intact as a closed system. You yourself is clearly saying that what could be beyond that doesn't count as the universe.

nbite
20-07-2012, 08:36 PM
My point is that "what if there's something outside the universe" is a useless question that means nothing unless you mean "what if there's something beyond what we can possibly observe of the universe". Sadly those two are not the same. And yes, you can define nothing.

What makes you think that I don't understand what you mean? It's quite simple actually. You're saying that the universe is an open system because we can't define something that we can't observe. Simply "The universe is an open system because we don't know what's beyond it".

By your definition of the universe, there can be something beyond it. But this would mean that this "beyond the universe" isn't actually part of the universe, no? Therefore what we call the universe is still intact as a closed system. You yourself is clearly saying that what could be beyond that doesn't count as the universe.
nope, u misunderstand me. Reread what i said about universe being an open system and the two posts after that where i mention trolling =)
also what if there is a multiverse, is it part of universe? Just to make u think, dont have to really answer, im studying that and dont think u can give me a better definition than what i have reached.

Tjet
20-07-2012, 08:42 PM
nope, u misunderstand me. Reread what i said about universe being an open system and the two posts after that where i mention trolling =)
also what if there is a multiverse, is it part of universe? Just to make u think, dont have to really answer, im studying that and dont think u can give me a better definition than what i have reached.
...I give up.

Raiga Kagekami
21-07-2012, 03:55 AM
...I give up.

:LOL:

I get what you mean as per definition of, 'universe'.

-FutureStar-
21-07-2012, 10:10 AM
I had a telescope once that could let me see stuff far away



it was pretty cool

What kind of wizardry is this 'telescope'!? :LOL:

Anxyous
21-07-2012, 01:25 PM
What kind of wizardry is this 'telescope'!? :LOL:

The devil's work, if God had wanted for us to see that far, he would have given us better eyes.

musefanemail
05-08-2012, 11:52 PM
The devil's work, if God had wanted for us to see that far, he would have given us better eyes.

so He wanted us to see magnified dots instead of a broadsheet newspaper?

blackfield
07-08-2012, 07:52 PM
it is more likely he was reading books of physics than economics or he might be environmentally friendly..
recommended reading: brian greene/the fabric of the cosmos. it talks about relativity, space-time fabric, origin of the universe, thermodynamics and enthropy (the 2nd law), quantum mechanics etc.

hatethishysteria
09-08-2012, 06:26 AM
Chris has already said the album's theme is really about how everything is always falling apart (entropy if i'm correct?) and how the struggles you face to keep your life going and stable despite the world disintegrating around you constantly...

plus my two cents:
because everything comes to an end and when all that chaos gets too much life ends, it's quiet and the body is transformed into a form of energy locked away and unusable for ages. life itself is unsustainable anyone? you can't keep going when it gets increasingly worse with the problems whether they be mental or physical, or relationships in general someone said 'you're unsustainable'.

...but aside from reading into the metaphor too much...
That's what i think it is exactly, a metaphor.
Matt probably read some books about the whole thermodynamic economy thing
And decided to relate it to interpersonal relationships?

fabripav
09-08-2012, 07:27 AM
Chris has already said the album's theme is really about how everything is always falling apart (entropy if i'm correct?) and how the struggles you face to keep your life going and stable despite the world disintegrating around you constantly...

plus my two cents:
because everything comes to an end and when all that chaos gets too much life ends, it's quiet and the body is transformed into a form of energy locked away and unusable for ages. life itself is unsustainable anyone? you can't keep going when it gets increasingly worse with the problems whether they be mental or physical, or relationships in general someone said 'you're unsustainable'.

...but aside from reading into the metaphor too much...
That's what i think it is exactly, a metaphor.
Matt probably read some books about the whole thermodynamic economy thing
And decided to relate it to interpersonal relationships?

Yes, it seems really likely.

Niall
10-08-2012, 11:33 AM
It's just a bit weird...I could have really fixed Matt's silly metaphors in about 10 minutes so that the album wasn't made laughably silly after a doing a GCSE in physics or economics.

In terms of an economy entropy is a really good thing. A working capitalist economy must have a high monetary entropy. The growth of an economy goes as a function of its entropy, the money/energy needs to be used to do work, so having a high entropy is a sign that the economy is working properly.

Is the economy an isolated system? No. It goes as a function of so many things like innovation, technology, resources, energy, agriculture, all of which are reliant on things which are not going to be exhausted.

Thermoeconomics became popular about 70 years ago but it was never a useful application of thermodynamics because it just doesn't hold together as an analogy.

And life itself is a product of us not be in an isolated system. Life exploits the flows of energy to be redirecting it to do work to propagate itself.

He should have kept the analogy to refer to particular kinds of growth. Growth based on fossil fuels and how human activity is causing global warming. Might have made it more solid.

Kati
10-08-2012, 09:12 PM
It's just a bit weird...I could have really fixed Matt's silly metaphors in about 10 minutes so that the album wasn't made laughably silly after a doing a GCSE in physics or economics.

Which Matt's quotes are you referring to? Sorry but so far I can see the Unsustainable newsreader sentences are physically correct.

What they said in interviews, that increasing entropy leads to nothingness, is not actually correct. It leads to everything being uniform, average. However, I can to some extent see how non-physicists can see descriptions of entropy increase as leading to nothingness.


In terms of an economy entropy is a really good thing. A working capitalist economy must have a high monetary entropy. The growth of an economy goes as a function of its entropy, the money/energy needs to be used to do work, so having a high entropy is a sign that the economy is working properly.

Pardon my language, but wtf...? Would you kindly explain what you mean by monetary entropy, for example, or maybe give source for background info?


Is the economy an isolated system? No. It goes as a function of so many things like innovation, technology, resources, energy, agriculture, all of which are reliant on things which are not going to be exhausted.

Earth not being isolated is pretty irrelevant if the ways of exchanging energy/entropy between surroundings are far smaller than needed to maintain the levels the system is used to.


Thermoeconomics became popular about 70 years ago but it was never a useful application of thermodynamics because it just doesn't hold together as an analogy.

Well this I think is correct, if thermoeconomics refers to stupidities like equating money with energy.


And life itself is a product of us not be in an isolated system. Life exploits the flows of energy to be redirecting it to do work to propagate itself.

True, but again, which quote from Matt are you argueing here?


He should have kept the analogy to refer to particular kinds of growth. Growth based on fossil fuels and how human activity is causing global warming. Might have made it more solid.

Maybe. But I was corrected earlier in this thread that renewable energy sources simply are not good enough to solve the problem of energy shortage with the desired rate of economical growth. So in practise the message in Unsustainable is correct.

Would you like to argue? I'm ready <rubs hands> :)

muse maniac
11-08-2012, 04:47 AM
It's just a bit weird...I could have really fixed Matt's silly metaphors in about 10 minutes so that the album wasn't made laughably silly after a doing a GCSE in physics or economics.

In terms of an economy entropy is a really good thing. A working capitalist economy must have a high monetary entropy. The growth of an economy goes as a function of its entropy, the money/energy needs to be used to do work, so having a high entropy is a sign that the economy is working properly.

Is the economy an isolated system? No. It goes as a function of so many things like innovation, technology, resources, energy, agriculture, all of which are reliant on things which are not going to be exhausted.

Thermoeconomics became popular about 70 years ago but it was never a useful application of thermodynamics because it just doesn't hold together as an analogy.

And life itself is a product of us not be in an isolated system. Life exploits the flows of energy to be redirecting it to do work to propagate itself.

He should have kept the analogy to refer to particular kinds of growth. Growth based on fossil fuels and how human activity is causing global warming. Might have made it more solid.

I know nothing, but I thought the idea Matt was trying to say was that we have an expanding world population with increasing needs and thus we need more energy to sustain it, and that energy (mostly coming from fossil fuels) is running out. That makes sense to me but I know nothing :$

Kerouac
11-08-2012, 07:16 AM
The main crux of the issue is that the economy, and even our energy sphere is not an isolated system.

But that doesn't matter.

It's obviously an exaggerated example. Is Matt saying we are all doomed, or is he saying the use of irreplaceable energy sources is damaging? And that we must be careful to not live outside our means.

The message I took from the song is essentially true. The biggest criticism I can come up with is that it is a bit of a clumsy metaphor masquerading as a literal issue.

Anxyous
11-08-2012, 12:05 PM
It's just a bit weird...I could have really fixed Matt's silly metaphors in about 10 minutes so that the album wasn't made laughably silly after a doing a GCSE in physics or economics.

In terms of an economy entropy is a really good thing. A working capitalist economy must have a high monetary entropy. The growth of an economy goes as a function of its entropy, the money/energy needs to be used to do work, so having a high entropy is a sign that the economy is working properly.

Is the economy an isolated system? No. It goes as a function of so many things like innovation, technology, resources, energy, agriculture, all of which are reliant on things which are not going to be exhausted.

Thermoeconomics became popular about 70 years ago but it was never a useful application of thermodynamics because it just doesn't hold together as an analogy.

And life itself is a product of us not be in an isolated system. Life exploits the flows of energy to be redirecting it to do work to propagate itself.

He should have kept the analogy to refer to particular kinds of growth. Growth based on fossil fuels and how human activity is causing global warming. Might have made it more solid.

But seriously, Niall: It's Matt. What would you expect?

foldingstars
11-08-2012, 12:54 PM
Which Matt's quotes are you referring to? Sorry but so far I can see the Unsustainable newsreader sentences are physically correct.



I'd also like to know which quotes Niall was referring to. It seems like I've missed them totally :facepalm:

Hyper
11-08-2012, 11:08 PM
I'd also like to know which quotes Niall was referring to. It seems like I've missed them totally :facepalm:

I think in the NME interview Matt talks about it in detail

jTc42
14-08-2012, 11:21 AM
I know what I'm about to write has already been posted loads before, but I cannot be bothered to read through all the other posts so heres my opinion:

The science stated in Unsustainable is sound. The implications they have derived from it are really not.

So in an isolated system the entropy must increase or remain constant. By entropy we mean the energy available to do work, which can also be defined as dS(Change in entropy) = dQ(Change in heat)/T(Temperature of system). Realistically, it will never remain constant, as that would require a mental super efficient engine that can't really be perfectly built. So they are right in saying that in a closed system, where stuff actually happens, the entropy must increase and thus the remaining available energy to do work will decrease.

But as stated time and time again here, Earth is not, in any feasible capacity, a closed system. Say what you like, but it just isn't. I'm looking out of the window now and I can see that it isnt...
We have a big ol' freakin' nuclear reactor in the sky constantly pumping usable energy into the planet. There's over a tonne of usable energy from the Sun alone emitted every few minutes, and that's not even counting other forms available.

Even sending someone into space to fetch some radioactive material would bring usable energy from a source outside of "civilization".

Really, the only time that our energy consumption MUST result in entropy within the earth increasing to the point that society falls apart and our needs cannot be met would be when the Suns fuel depletes significantly. This should be in about 4.5 billion years.

So yes, it is true that sooner or later, whatever is left of civilization will start seeing significant reductions in available energy and fast increases of entropy within the earth, but I don't think it's a big enough concern to justify the sort of conclusions the song appears to be hinting at.


"Fun" side note: decreasing the entropy in one part of a system is really easy. Air conditioning is one example. You can significantly decrease the entropy within the building.

Kati
14-08-2012, 01:34 PM
The science stated in Unsustainable is sound. The implications they have derived from it are really not.

So in an isolated system the entropy must increase or remain constant. By entropy we mean the energy available to do work, which can also be defined as dS(Change in entropy) = dQ(Change in heat)/T(Temperature of system). Realistically, it will never remain constant, as that would require a mental super efficient engine that can't really be perfectly built. So they are right in saying that in a closed system, where stuff actually happens, the entropy must increase and thus the remaining available energy to do work will decrease.

But as stated time and time again here, Earth is not, in any feasible capacity, a closed system. Say what you like, but it just isn't. I'm looking out of the window now and I can see that it isnt...
We have a big ol' freakin' nuclear reactor in the sky constantly pumping usable energy into the planet. There's over a tonne of usable energy from the Sun alone emitted every few minutes, and that's not even counting other forms available.

Even sending someone into space to fetch some radioactive material would bring usable energy from a source outside of "civilization".

Really, the only time that our energy consumption MUST result in entropy within the earth increasing to the point that society falls apart and our needs cannot be met would be when the Suns fuel depletes significantly. This should be in about 4.5 billion years.

So yes, it is true that sooner or later, whatever is left of civilization will start seeing significant reductions in available energy and fast increases of entropy within the earth, but I don't think it's a big enough concern to justify the sort of conclusions the song appears to be hinting at.


Everything you write is correct, in theory. In practise we do not have cheap enough technology to utilise the energy flow from Sun. So, in practise humankind has been using and is still using available energy stored as fossiles millions of years ago (originally even fossile energy results from Sun's radiation).

Your first sentence, that "the science stated in Unsustainable is sound. The implications they have derived from it are really not", is imo true in another way you meant. The energy usage at the moment is really a problem, but the weird stuff they seem to say of energy decreasing in human bodies etc is not. I think that statement is blatantly incorrect (especially Matt's available energy in his body seems to have increased rather than decreased :p). At the moment I'm giving them a benefit of doubt with the quotes, because most of what I have seen is written by journalists, and they may have done additional errors. But they do seem to mix with the real environmental problem also some very theoretical considerations of the space, the Big Freeze kind of stuff, which is bollocks really.

I still would like to know what were the exact quotes Niall was referring to.

I feel a bit bad of criticising them this way. They are musicians who touched a physical aspect, which I think is important at the moment, I'm an engineer with much better knowledge of physics. It's not quite fair for professionals in one field to pick on artists talking about that field. Their special knowledge is different, it's about music.

jdeboer01
16-08-2012, 01:44 AM
Isn't life itself an endless energy source when combined with the sun and water? All life dies, and ends up "pushing up daisies" so to speak. Life recycles. Where forests (or any plant life grows), the trees don't exhaust the land they grow on "using it up" and rendering it a desert. Dead trees and other decomposing organic material become the nutrients for subsequent life where their seeds have been dispersed.

Life on earth is actually extremely aggressive. Ask anyone trying to get rid of a cockroach problem, or trying to keep their garden weed-free. Organized human societies have been around for thousands of years. We've only been using "fossil fuels" for what, the past 125 years? Humanity will survive without fossil fuels. ;)