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cjackson
2013-Jan-06, 04:07 PM
Are there places on this planet that you feel should be off limits to all, but select scientists? I would establish no fly zones around the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica that would be enforced by warships of a multi nation defense force. Are there any other lands you feel should be guarded from human encroachment?

Shaula
2013-Jan-06, 04:33 PM
Lake Baikal

Swift
2013-Jan-06, 04:59 PM
Are there places on this planet that you feel should be off limits to all, but select scientists?
Yes. I also think there are places that we should probably allow tourism, but in very limited amounts.

I don't think I would say anything as broadly as all of the Galapagos, but I could see setting that for a specific island or two, for example.

cjackson
2013-Jan-06, 05:11 PM
They should also cease tourism to Mt. Everest. Tourism to Machu Picchu should be restricted as well. Tourism to highly built up areas along the beaten path is acceptable, but going to out of the way areas relatively devoid of human development, and human presence should be restricted in order to maintain some pristine enclaves of unspoiled nature. I think flights that are unessential to commerce, or government should be scaled back, as most are just holiday seekers looking for a tan and a buzz. We shouldn't further the destruction of the environment just for someone's leisure. Merchant shipping of anything other than food, and vital equipment for maintaining civilization should be restricted. Existing ships should be overhauled to burn less bunker oil, or to do so more efficiently. Auto racing of any sort should be banned, as it's a waste of fuel, and contributor of CO2. We will have to live thin to save ourselves from catastrophe.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-06, 06:07 PM
The horse has already left the barn on most of that.

Romanus
2013-Jan-06, 06:16 PM
Only if it could be proven that tourism is actually damaging the environment or chief draw (ex., the Lascaux cave paintings). Otherwise, no; tourism is a window on the world to many people, people who might not otherwise care about the environment at all if they couldn't experience it firsthand. Direct economic exploitation (mining, logging, drilling, etc.) is far more worrisome and damaging, IMO.

Solfe
2013-Jan-06, 06:22 PM
See Niagara Falls. How do you remove people from a city that has sprung up around a wonder? That seems to be happening less and less.

The threats to these areas are more subtle. Acid rain, smog, warming, cooling, changing habitats, etc. are more of a danger than merely walking on a piece of ground.

I think that there are places that should be protected, but no access and no fly zone is rather militant.

cjackson
2013-Jan-06, 06:28 PM
We should have high speed transcontinental railroads to offset flights.

We should also have high speed rails connecting metros that are close to each other.

We should have roads with the ability to collect solar energy and recharge electric cars as the drive.

Cars should be outlawed in cities. Only driverless electric cars that operate on a predetermined path should be allowed. If you want to go somewhere: walk, bike, trolley/tram.

There should be a limit to how big people's houses can be, and how much land they can own. Bigger houses require more materials, and sit upon large patches of land hosting useless lawns. We should be more efficient with our use of resources and space.

We should attempt to turn skyscrapers into vertical farms, that also collect solar energy, that send it to the grid.

All vehicles that fail to meet the latest standards should be banned.

We should attempt to build cities underground, while the surface is covered with trees, and farmland.

We should invest in solar, wind, wave, fusion, and space based solar power.

We should limit the amount of children families can have.

Healthcare and college should be free.

Drugs should be decriminalized.

Abortion should be free, as well as contraceptives.

The 1934 NFA, 1968 GCA, 1986 FOPA, and 1989 ban should repelled allowing citizens more gun freedom.

Religion should be taxed.

Science should be allotted the most federal money.

Corn subsidies should be banned.

The manufacture of recreational devices not essential to civilization should be restricted.

Plastic bags and bottles should be banned.

Gay marriage should be legal.

No death penalty.

We should invest in lunar and lagrange point agriculture systems, so Earth is not the only source of food.

We should allow synthetic life.

We should rewrite human DNA for the rigours of space, and to survive on Earth in case of catastrophe.

We should invest in lab grown meat, to offset the pollutants of live stock.

We should have 3d printers in space.

We should have hybrid electric aircraft.

geonuc
2013-Jan-06, 06:33 PM
They should also cease tourism to Mt. Everest. Tourism to Machu Picchu should be restricted as well. Tourism to highly built up areas along the beaten path is acceptable, but going to out of the way areas relatively devoid of human development, and human presence should be restricted in order to maintain some pristine enclaves of unspoiled nature. I think flights that are unessential to commerce, or government should be scaled back, as most are just holiday seekers looking for a tan and a buzz. We shouldn't further the destruction of the environment just for someone's leisure. Merchant shipping of anything other than food, and vital equipment for maintaining civilization should be restricted. Existing ships should be overhauled to burn less bunker oil, or to do so more efficiently. Auto racing of any sort should be banned, as it's a waste of fuel, and contributor of CO2. We will have to live thin to save ourselves from catastrophe.

You've taken your point well beyond what you asked in the OP. I think a certain few places in the world should be restricted from tourism, but I don't support most of what you've stated here.

antoniseb
2013-Jan-06, 06:42 PM
... Drugs should be ...
... Abortion should be ...
... Religion should be ...
... Gay marriage should be ...
You have brought up a lot of hot-button issues... We'll be discussing how serious an infraction you've earned. You're not new here anymore, and I thought you know better.

Gillianren
2013-Jan-06, 06:51 PM
We should . . . .

Even leaving aside the obvious political/religious violations, this list simply doesn't work. Plastic bottles, for example, require less fuel to ship and suffer less breakage in transit than glass. If recycling were a higher priority, plastic containers would be more environmentally friendly than anything else we currently have. Some of the things on the list are impossible with current technology, and some of them simply aren't feasible with any technology. Many of the others will never pass through any government's legislative body, because the will of the people will not permit it. The list shows a lack of understanding of economics in several important places as well.

Solfe
2013-Jan-06, 07:01 PM
Not to argue individual points, but I would argue on "We..." Who exactly is that? I think planet Earth has a lot of "We's" that evaluate conditions and set policies.

Unfortunately, some of these folks do things that make perfect sense, but aren't great policies for everyone else. When do I jump on someone for doing something sensible because it isn't the greatest policy?

Obviously these sorts of choices are never so black and white as "let's pave this forest" or "let's set fire to the ocean." The choices and effects are subtle in real life.

publiusr
2013-Jan-06, 08:02 PM
I can't prove this, but I have always suspected that it is the same bush pilots who fly eco-tourists in who are flying pelts, ivories, and rhino horn "aphrodisiacs" out--making money at both ends.

My guess is that most indigenous peoples in Africa don't remember the silk roads, and no one but a bush pilot can get in and out quickly anymore. The term "poacher" makes one think of someone wearing a monocle and khaki shorts and a pith helmet holding a .460 Weatherby exclaiming "I say!"

But most poachers are people who are quite poor, and see a little cash flashed by a tourist and off to the rhino he goes. National Geo (back when Boyd Batson hosted it) talked about extrajudicial homicides: http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/hunting/2010/11/kenyan-wildlife-service-kills-5-poachers-month

But now, the excess zeal is actually from those on private hunting grounds: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8630021.stm

So that's a hot button topic. Folks are actually fed up with being interfered with, and sadly, that has turned violent too: http://66.147.244.135/~enviror4/people/environmental-murders/

Some argue that non-interference is the way to go according to Dambiso Moyo, who took on the topic at one of the recent Munk debates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dambisa_Moyo

NEOWatcher
2013-Jan-07, 04:04 PM
Only if it could be proven that tourism is actually damaging the environment or chief draw (ex., the Lascaux cave paintings). Otherwise, no; tourism is a window on the world to many people, people who might not otherwise care about the environment at all if they couldn't experience it firsthand. Direct economic exploitation (mining, logging, drilling, etc.) is far more worrisome and damaging, IMO.
I agree. The problem is to what degree tourism is damaging it, and if it's the only cause or just a minor contribution to it (as you infered with exploitation).



I think flights that are unessential to commerce, or government should be scaled back, as most are just holiday seekers looking for a tan and a buzz.
Got some numbers?

My feelings are that most "holiday" seekers are looking to see relatives.

Alos, the portion that is looking for a "tan and a buzz" is at around the same ratio as "unessential" business or government trips. (I see this at work a lot).


Merchant shipping of anything other than food, and vital equipment for maintaining civilization should be restricted.
As opposed to what? cruise ships?
What is the ratio here?

You sure do want to make things boring, don't you?

Grey
2013-Jan-07, 04:49 PM
Yes. I also think there are places that we should probably allow tourism, but in very limited amounts.

I don't think I would say anything as broadly as all of the Galapagos, but I could see setting that for a specific island or two, for example.I've been to the Galapagos, and it's already like this for the most part. You can't just go visit on your own, you have to be part of a registered tour agency, and they control your access pretty carefully. Some of the islands are indeed off limits, and even on the islands that you're allowed to visit, there are sometimes specific parts that you are allowed to go to, and others that you aren't. They carefully wash your shoes every time you leave an island, so that you won't accidentally transport seeds from that island to the next one that you'll be visiting tomorrow, and take other steps to prevent cross-contamination of the differing ecosystems. And some of the money that you spend on the trip ends up helping to fund the research that goes on there.

I think it's possible to allow people to continue to travel to and experience some of these places, while still preserving them for study. And I think the sense of wonder that it instills to have that firsthand experience is crucial to maintaining the will to preserve such treasures. From what I could see, the Galapagos Islands were actually a very good example of this being done today.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-08, 10:42 PM
I hope I safely ignored and averted any political issues and stuck to the physics and science of the suggestions.


We should have high speed transcontinental railroads to offset flights. Plausible. It's been looked at by RAND and talked about it at length in a thread around here somewhere earlier this year or last year.


We should also have high speed rails connecting metros that are close to each other.already being done in some countries and in a small part of the US and could be part of the above system.


We should have roads with the ability to collect solar energy and recharge electric cars as the drive.Is the amount of sunlight captured enough to power vehicles? I don't know the answer but I suspect it depends on traffic density and also on vehicle electricity load, which depends on size and speed, which may depend on climate and weather. If the road is mostly enclosed, then perhaps there would be less need for heating and cooling inside the cars; and no wind may allow lighter vehicles or a rail system for lower friction and power distribution. This is probably only doable on interstates and other high volume roads.


Cars should be outlawed in cities. Only driverless electric cars that operate on a predetermined path should be allowed. If you want to go somewhere: walk, bike, trolley/tram.We've talked about it here before. Inside cities, I'd prefer a multi-level road within covered streets that extend for several blocks before opening to the elements. the lower level can allow electric online vehicles and bikes (and pedestrians on sidewalks) with the next level being bikes and pedestrians, and the next level being a micro-rail tram with pedestrian catwalks.


There should be a limit to how big people's houses can be, and how much land they can own. Bigger houses require more materials, and sit upon large patches of land hosting useless lawns. We should be more efficient with our use of resources and space. Lawns aren't entirely useless. They allow rain to soak into the ground and can reduce run-off if managed properly. A lawn can also reduce the heat island effect like any green-space and can be converted to garden-space if necessary. This may be an issue in highly populated areas, and that gets political, but in rural and less built-up areas it's not a big deal.


We should attempt to turn skyscrapers into vertical farms, that also collect solar energy, that send it to the grid.Not sure that's plausible. Some tall buildings have green roofs, such as in Chicago. The added mass of growth medium or hydroponics or perhaps even aero-ponics might bee too much. You may need to get rid of some floors for more ceiling space. One tower might work with solar light-tubes or electric grow lights, but a lot of towers might not get enough sun if blocked by other towers, so you'd need more electric grow lights and that means electric power, which may have it's own drawbacks. In the final calculation it might be simpler, cheaper and more effective and efficient to enclose marginal land and grow plants that way, even if you include transportation of materials.


We should attempt to build cities underground, while the surface is covered with trees, and farmland.Been talked about here before and is generally considered implausible for multiple reasons of physical engineering.


We should invest in solar, wind, wave, fusion, and space based solar power.Already being done.


The manufacture of recreational devices not essential to civilization should be restricted.Depends on what you mean, but many of those devices are essential in certain circumstances. I was watching a show about swamp-buggies recently and they are mostly used by law enforcement and researchers, although some people like to go mud-boggin' in them.


Plastic bags and bottles should be banned.Plastic bottles are useful. They could be made from recycled material or biological material, although that may start to impact food crops, unless we start using non-food crops from marginal land.


We should invest in lunar and lagrange point agriculture systems, so Earth is not the only source of food.Not necessary at the moment and cheaper and easier to agri-form marginal land and even sea-surface or even airspace (Buckminster Fuller's floating city spheres). I've talked about growing food in space, but as an organic adjunct to other activities in space, not as a primary motivation.


We should allow synthetic life.Unclear what you mean here.


We should rewrite human DNA for the rigours of space, and to survive on Earth in case of catastrophe.It's quicker, cheaper, more efficient and convenient to use mechanical adaptations.


We should invest in lab grown meat, to offset the pollutants of live stock.Plausible. Lab grown stuff may output methane and CO2 as well. It might be useful to enclose farmyards and even some range-land to capture CH4 and CO2 effluent. Keep in mind that marginal land for crops can allow food production via animals that process what does manage to grow there, which might be more efficient than agri-forming that marginal land.


We should have 3d printers in space.Already being looked into.


We should have hybrid electric aircraft.Perhaps possible for propeller driven craft and possibly for lighter-than-air craft, but may not be possible for turbojets.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jan-09, 02:16 PM
Lawns aren't entirely useless. They allow rain to soak into the ground and can reduce run-off if managed properly. A lawn can also reduce the heat island effect like any green-space and can be converted to garden-space if necessary. This may be an issue in highly populated areas, and that gets political, but in rural and less built-up areas it's not a big deal.
Yes; it's political, but in favor of lawns and green space. Around here, we have minimum lot sizes, cluster homes requiring a certain percentage of open land, and we get charged for non-permiable space (house footprint, driveway, patio, etc) by the sewer district because of run-off management.

neilzero
2013-Jan-09, 05:33 PM
~My comments are enclosed with~ We should have roads with the ability to collect solar energy and recharge electric cars as they drive. ~expensive, but doable~
Is the amount of sunlight captured enough to power vehicles? ~A few vehicles per hour can be recharged, but initially only a few vehicles will be designed to receive a charge. The road needs to be much flatter (In centimeters) for efficient magnetic transfer = short flux gap; scraping is bad. Trollies will produce windage losses and distract other drivers. At present, the wide variety of battery voltage complicates all charging methods. Can we standarise at 250 volts dc which is easily obtained from 230 or 240 volts ac?~ I suspect it depends on traffic density and also on vehicle electricity load, which depends on size and speed, which may depend on climate and weather. If the road is mostly enclosed, then perhaps there would be less need for heating and cooling inside the cars; and no wind ~or a strong steady tail wind~ may allow lighter vehicles or a rail system for lower friction and power distribution. This is probably only doable on interstates and other high volume roads. ~Extending a trolley while waiting for a traffic light is possibly practical with lithium ion batteries which can tolerate a 100 kilowatts of charging energy briefly, but 100 kilowatts is presently available at only a few intersections, so sizable copper costs to get the 100 kilowatts to most intersections. Multiple vehicles attempting to charge simultaniously at the same intersection will all get reduced charging rate. No payment necessary as the free charging can be an inducement to buy an electric or plugin hybrid vehicle. Some drivers will go around the block to get some more charge, but that is ok as we don't want lots of stranded vehicles that ran out of battery. Neil~

Gillianren
2013-Jan-09, 05:37 PM
The road needs to be much flatter for efficient magnetic transfer = short flux gap; scraping is bad.

Flat roads don't work in Washington State. Assuming you mean "not rounded," they're not a good idea anywhere that gets much rain. Assuming you mean "not going over hills," there are several states that can't do that, either.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jan-10, 04:01 PM
What do the details of the technology for interstates, trains and airline alternatives have to do with "where" we should be restricted?
Don't we have enough threads talking about transportation alternatives?

Hornblower
2013-Jan-10, 04:11 PM
My brother and his wife visited a wildlife reserve somewhere in British Columbia that was accessible only in a bush seaplane that took them to a lake, where they boarded a boat to ride up the river to watch grizzly bears in a virtually pristine environment. This service had a limit of 8 passengers in the boat, and the guide was very strict about keeping them quiet to avoid disturbing the bears. I don't remember how may such trips per day there were, but clearly the Canadian government was running a tight ship. I don't think the bush pilot had anything to smuggle out of the area. My sister-in-law loves bears, and this trip was a great joy for her.

Swift
2013-Jan-10, 06:18 PM
What do the details of the technology for interstates, trains and airline alternatives have to do with "where" we should be restricted?
Don't we have enough threads talking about transportation alternatives?
A good point. Let's try to keep this thread on topic. Thanks,

Swift
2013-Jan-11, 08:56 PM
The posts on electric roads have been moved to a new thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/141155-Electric-roads).

Xiotoh
2013-Jan-12, 04:03 AM
Congratulations cjackson, I have been browsing this site and can't find a post that better captures the spirit of the board. The total disregard for any kind of application of rational analysis to socioeconomic problems is remarkable. If I could make just one small suggestion to make it even better, move from disregard to active contempt, and talk about who stupid and shortsighted anyone who applies such analysis is, and you willl have perfectly captured the ethos of the superficial veneer of science as a religion substitute.

Solfe
2013-Jan-13, 03:48 PM
Congratulations cjackson, I have been browsing this site and can't find a post that better captures the spirit of the board. The total disregard for any kind of application of rational analysis to socioeconomic problems is remarkable. If I could make just one small suggestion to make it even better, move from disregard to active contempt, and talk about who stupid and shortsighted anyone who applies such analysis is, and you willl have perfectly captured the ethos of the superficial veneer of science as a religion substitute.

I am trying to phrase a response in the terms of the OP. We do not always discuss thing with in the terms of society, economic and politics because of the rules of the board. This is to prevent agitators. But we can with a good background of science and rational. The point is to build a theory, present and support it. That we can do.

For example, I live near Niagara Falls. A lot of people choose to end their lives by jumping. The local news does not cover these stories so as not to create a bigger draw to jumpers. This particular topic falls within the confines of environment, economics, science, religion, sociology, etc.

The fact of the matter is a lot of would be jumpers step into the water and suddenly realize that going over the falls is not a good way to go, which results in a rescue attempt. One of the mechanism of a rescue is environmental; divert some or all of the water to enable rescue. An agitator would come up with a hundred reasons for or against that, all based on the environment, economics, science, religion, sociology, etc. That isn't going to be a discussion, it is more of a rant with no resolution because you know someone will eventually say something repugnant to someone else.

The rules exist to prevent that from happening.