Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 61 to 67 of 67

Thread: Realistic scenarios for the Collapse of Human Civilization

  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    10,279
    Quote Originally Posted by potoole View Post
    In huge American cities, what is the average rate of unemployment?
    At least as of December 2010, rural unemployment was higher than urban/exurban (see http://www.dailyyonder.com/rural-une...010/03/30/2667 ). Also, in the US the definition of "unemployed" is different for agricultural vs non-agricultural workers, so it's not a simple comparison. About the only people who are "herded" into cities are suburban homeless, who are shipped to the nearest big city.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    389
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Books on manufacturing methods will be hot properties. If we went from horse-and-buggy to spaceflight, telegraph to internet, in less that a century with no books on advanced tech to guide us, we can probably rebuild factories and re-invent industrial technology within a few generations of the disaster. And fuel will still be available, just not in such copious amounts as we have today-- the first diesel engines ran on peanut oil, and converting a gasoline engine to run on pure ethanol requires, IIRC, only a moderate understanding of car engines and a couple of hand tools.
    In Scandinavia fuel was very scarce during WWII, so people used wood gas.
    See: http://driveonwood.com/learn/wwii-pictures-0
    There will always be fuel.

    There would however be way too many cars for the amount of fuel available.
    -Which would in a way be good, from a spares point of view..

    I wouldn't be too worried about the future of engineers, -insurance brokers, patent lawyers, stock traders etc. however...

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Books on manufacturing methods will be hot properties. If we went from horse-and-buggy to spaceflight, telegraph to internet, in less that a century with no books on advanced tech to guide us, we can probably rebuild factories and re-invent industrial technology within a few generations of the disaster. And fuel will still be available, just not in such copious amounts as we have today-- the first diesel engines ran on peanut oil, and converting a gasoline engine to run on pure ethanol requires, IIRC, only a moderate understanding of car engines and a couple of hand tools.

    To get back to a true dark age lasting ten centuries and resulting in medieval conditions worldwide will require a different type of disaster than the one you have outlined. Otherwise any surviving enclaves of technology and knowledge will act as seeds for the growth of a new industrial age.
    I didn't say it would be a medieval level of technology, but an 1800's level of tech. Peanut oil will only work if you can grow peanuts. This event is not happening in a vacuum, it's happening in concert with climate destabilization and political turmoil. I think some people here think I'm looking for a catastrophe-in-a-box, but I'm not. I'm looking to create a narrative about human folly and how catastrophe could have been avoided but was not. Just like how WWI and WWII were predicted and planned for but were not avoided despite a general desire to do so.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    BTW, here's a thread from PhysicsForums about a similar scenario.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by baskerbosse View Post
    I'm no expert in matters agronomical, but AFAIK, crop rotation only helps with nitrogen.
    For phosphorous, I think not.
    The crop you rotate with needs to get the required elements from somewhere.
    Some crops can absorb nitrogen from the air, but where would it get phosphorous?
    You need to put it back on the land again after you've (ahem) eaten it.. ;-)

    Peter
    According to some authorities (UK Soil Association "A Rock and a Hard Place" PDF, pp 10-11), crop rotation would help, a bit. There are two types of phosphorous compounds, soluble and insoluble. Usually, only about 10% of the fertilizer is soluble at any given time. Certain microbes (bacteria and fungi) and certain plants can convert insoluble to soluble with some left over for other plants to use the following year. So, crop rotation would work... but you're right that eventually it would be depleted unless the application of manure and compost to fields was undertaken. However, runoff and leaching would eventually reduce that too, even with better farming practices. Even organic farming with using no high-tech fertilizer may need to add some mineral phosphate to the rotation every 5-7 years. However, a problem arises with animal eating up phosphorous in a manner that is not returned to the soil, so people may need to be come more vegetarian in their diets with much less meat, so others suggest collecting human waste, preferably in separate streams for urine and feces, since the former is sterile and the latter needs to be treated.

    On the other hand, this article seems to make a good argument that Peak Phosphorus won't happen as predicted. However, the author does agree that recycling is important. Either way, a collapse that makes trade difficult is going to result in local phosphorus depletion issues, which will result in lower agricultural production, which will result in worsening food security for the survivors.
    Last edited by Ara Pacis; 2012-Sep-13 at 10:31 PM.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    So... Superstorm Sandy gives us a taste of some of what I was postulating. Also, consider that the week before there was a strong solar flare and threats of an X-class and we just got hit by a CME on Halloween.

    Anyone want to reconsider their thoughts?
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    549
    Energy and water will be not a problem in the future.

    There is a lot of energy in the Universe,,,and the only thing we have to do is to know how to take, store and distrbute it in a low (economic) cost...

    The sun give us a lot of energy...and we have to be able to drive it in a good way...every home could do FV energy and store or distribute it deppending on the needs.

    Fusion will be the strong energy of the future...a lot of power and clean...used for main manufacturing needs.

    And if we have energy...we have a lot of sea water to potabilize....no problem with water-

    From my poit of view, the main proble will be the genetic engineering / manipulation / modification... to create new species...new humans...that will be the end of Our human specie ...but could be the begining of other species...better or not (?)

Similar Threads

  1. collapse of civilization mentioned by Steven Hawking
    By Copernicus in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 2012-Jan-13, 12:12 PM
  2. Unlikely Scenarios
    By Jim Starluck in forum Astronomy
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2008-Jan-31, 09:30 AM
  3. Believable future scenarios...
    By Natural-Philosopher in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 2007-Feb-13, 07:26 PM
  4. What would be more destructive to human civilization?
    By Brady Yoon in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 2006-Mar-23, 10:38 PM
  5. Is Anyone Else Sick of Doomsday Scenarios?
    By Thomas Kirby in forum Against the Mainstream
    Replies: 78
    Last Post: 2004-Dec-13, 06:27 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •