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Scarcity, Surplus and Space

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Dan5, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    I think I may have finally got Peterson and out thought him and exposed him- I don't think he has any logic left- his logic has so many holes you can drive a freight train through it. His last comment was about how we do not have enough resources to give to everyone to make e-bikes, EVs, washing machines, etc, etc, and my response was :

    "What you are suggesting is a resource limited economy. The caveat to that is that people's ingenuity usually prevails in a resource limited economy and they find uses for other materials which they would not have found viable before. The good part about the batteries in EVs is that their are a few types of competing chemistries, some phospahte polymer bases, some titanium, some cobalt, some nickel and who knows what else. The point is that if people start grabbing the material to make one not economically viable, you can use another one, and so on and so forth.
    I'll give you an example in another industry- Soda, specifically Coke and Pepsi, sugar became too expensive so the used HFCS, now sugar is coming down so they are using sugar, if both went up in price, they would use another sweetner. Pepsi is not going to go bankrupt or stop making products because the Chinese started freebasing sugar or they started using HFCS on a massive scale. Corn is limited from a land perspective, ideal land to grow sugar is limited. Same argument can be made. A hundred asians who develop a taste for sugar smacks is NOT going to affect my need for a soda, worse comes to worse, they change the formulation and get it to taste similar to the old way."

    I should have added that there is only enough sugar to supply every man, woman, and child on earth with enough calories for 48 days and change if it was only used to "feed" people, and no waste, or provide 13% with enough calories for a year's worth of calories (assuming it's not used or wasted for other purposes) and that worldwide copper production would be able to provide enough copper (excluding recycled copper) to provide enough for EVs 5% of the world's population/year or 10% of compact cars (using JPs numbers)- if you factor in the percentage of people who actually drive it pushes the numbers to 8.2% of the world population that could get NEW EVs per year (or around 573 million new EVs). The real number of new regular cars sold each year is around 60 Million.
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Good one Dan.

    And Recycling suger sounds gross.
     
  3. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    #3 Citizen-T, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Absolutely. I do not fear scarcity in a world with exponentially growing technologies.

     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    JP probably was a card-carrying member of the Club of Rome 40 years ago.
     
  5. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I'm not so sure. If those exponentially growing technologies cause an exponentially growing number of people to want and consume more materials, as will happen when they try to move from a subsistence lifestyle to more modern consumerism, resources may indeed become limited. Petersen is wrong that EV's consume more materials than ICE's, but he is correct that ultimately all materials are limited. A healthier longer lived world population striving for a "better" lifestyle may not regulate itself fast enough to prevent over consumption. A microcosm of that effect can be seen in the growing practice of shark fin harvesting for Chinese weddings. Shark fins were once a symbol of wealth and power that few could afford, with growing affluence more and more can afford it, there is a growing trade of finning, which just kills the sharks, and may ultimately cause mass extinctions. Shark free waters may sound good until you start to think about the imbalance that will occur with the removal of the apex predator of the oceans. BIODIVERSITY: As Sharks Vanish, Chaotic New Order Emerges - IPS ipsnews.net
     
  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #6 Grendal, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
    Well said. And hence the need for SpaceX. Humanity needs to get off this planet and move into the vast environment of space. At 7 Billion people and growing it's very easy to use up a resource very quickly. There are plenty of resources "out there" and the sooner we get there the better.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    +1 You got my vote.
     
  8. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Yes, but that is still a continuing escalation of energy and material intensive existence which simply moves the line further. I'm a fan of space exploration but a more rational approach would be to target population reduction and sustainability. There is no reason this planet can't support humanity for millions of years if it's managed properly.
     
  9. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    I think JP is simply trying to use arguments of EV proponents against themselves. His crusade against EVs is a waste of resources in itself.
     
  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    I understand and get your point but have a major problem with it. What about a farmer in China or India? Humanity can't sustain uncontrolled growth but what are you going to do to prevent a farmer in China from having kids? And the ability to do so would create a society that I would not want to live in. How do you convince China to do what you want? Reason with them? "See, it's what's best for you and me." What do you do about those that say no?

    The more reasonable answer is to get off the planet and begin using the vast resources available off planet. The Earth should become a protected resource that humanity visits when they need to be on a planet. Elon makes an excellent point that confining yourself to one biosphere allows for a possibility of an extinction event that puts an end to the human race. Space is the only future for humanity and we need to start getting there.

    At least that's my opinion.
     
  11. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    In 7 billion years the earth will be devoured by the expanding sun. Use it or not, it ultimately cannot be saved. Space exploration though, can save humanity and anything we take with us.
     
  12. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    If humanity survives the next thousand years, I think we will likely last for a long long time into the future. We will have survived our infancy and early childhood. There are still plenty of important steps for humanity to achieve in those thousand years but that time frame feels about right.

    Admins...we're getting a bit OT here - can you move this discussion to a new thread titled "Space: The Final Frontier" :)
     
  13. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Education for girls and women. This has proven to be the key wrt health care, family planning & birth control, building maintenance and so on.
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Exactly, and China has in fact been leading the way with efforts to control population because they know there is no option. We cannot get into space fast enough before the population becomes unsustainable. Population control will happen, one way or another, long before we can get off this planet. Looking to space as our short term survival plan is not reasonable.
     
  15. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    When Elon talks about "making life multiplanetary", he's not about making life pleasant for any population surplus. He is in for survival of the species. I don't like the idea, but think of Mars as the ultimate "gated community". But we're drifting OT, should continue in the SpaceX thread.
     

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