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  1. #1
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    When do we Say Enough is Enough, Cut our Losses and Run?

    I just had an idea and thought I would run it by everyone here on the Oilprice forum.

    If we don't manage to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently to prevent the two degree increase in temperature, will there come a point when we give up? By that I mean, rather than limp on, trying to delay the inevitable, will there come a point when we say "You know what? We've f***ed it, lets look for a different solution and give up on trying to reduce carbon emissions." We could start to use the energy sources that we want without a care for the environment, start to mine and harvest all the resources that we can, because we have already passed the point of no return.

    Efforts could be focussed on other projects rather than saving the environment, such as preparing to live in a world that has been ruined by climate change. Or seriously trying to find a method of developing space travel with the ability to take some of us to another planet to being again.

    Basically, as with all paths taken, there must come a point, when all is going badly that you just cut your losses and run, at what point will that occur with humanity and the environment? and what could be the new path that we take?

  2. #2
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    I think that it is not human nature to give up, even when it is best to do so. The problem is pride, and a refusal to admit that we have ruined it. Collectively we will always believe that we can do something to fix it.

    There is also the belief that many would have, that our generation has no right to deny future generations the life that we know, so we should always try to maintain the world as best we can, for as long as possible. Even if it logically it makes more sense to focus efforts elsewhere.

    Having said that, I think that towards the end, when things really are bad, there will be a lot more focus on how to survive catastrophic climate change.

  3. #3
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    Perhaps what we should do is increase the CO2 (good for plants) and reduce the insolation. I wonder how many launches of a Falcon Heavy it would take to place enough shading at the Sun-Earth L1 point and keep it on station. Anyone?

  4. #4
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    The L1 point is a purely theoretical idea, based on a notional body that sits at a point 930,000 km from the earth on a line between earth and sun, at a kind of neutral point in the combined gravitational field. But it assumes there are no other objects in the solar system, so it neglects the destabilising effect of the Moon's gravity and that of other large bodies like Jupiter.

    You could calculate the size of a sun shade at that distance, it would definitely be bigger than a golf umbrella anyway

  5. #5
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    True, but the question is, would the cost of placing and maintaining the parasol be greater or less than the cost of the economic disruption from actually implementing Kyoto, et. al.

  6. #6
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    In truth I dont know, but I would have thought combatting climate change and reducing carbon emissions here and now on the planet would be cheaper than creating a sunshade in deep-space in the future.

    But the true factor affecting the implementation of wither scheme is not the cost of the project, but rather the motivation of the people. Even though most people see climate change as a threat, they are not motivated to truly go out of their way and prevent it. They would rather live a happy, luxurious life at the moment, than restrict that life in order to prevent something that could occur in the future.

  7. #7
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    Another cost in the equation is the cost of rising seas-level, climate change and acid oceans. But looking at the cost of a parasol, a sunshade of diameter one-tenth the diameter of the earth would reduce insolation by 1%, approximately, because the area of flux intercepted is then 1% of the total . . that would be an 800-mile diameter umbrella if I'm not mistaken.

  8. #8
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    How much would be needed?

  9. #9
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    1% was only a guess because no-one has come up with a viable suggestion. 0.01% would probably provide a negligible effect, but that still requires an 80-mile diameter parasol, and it has to be delivered to a point four times the distance of the moon. It looks like another idea waiting for proof of concept .

  10. #10