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Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Think the Earth is finite? Think again

Unread postby dsula » Wed 15 Dec 2010, 08:11:14

Xenophobe wrote:except those assembling strawmen use the old "it goes to zero!" trick anymore, that one is so OBVIOUS.

If it obviously going to 0 then it's got to be a sum of bell shaped curves and with enough filtering, it's going to be one smooth bell shaped curve. (low pass filter).
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Re: Think the Earth is finite? Think again

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Wed 15 Dec 2010, 08:50:49

americandream wrote:
SeaGypsy wrote:Capitalism is not about logic; it's about human nature and along with democracy is designed to undo the tendency of dictatorial systems to cyclicly revolt.
Inevitably it is human nature to blame the government for all manner of deprivations; democracy allows bloodless revenge. In this way democracy is state controlled psuedo-revolution.

The state remains controlled by the bankers regardless; that is capitalism. The hand in the glove. While banksters are in charge of the world; why would they permit, encourage or associate with agencies sponsoring their demise? They effectively own governments, the propoganda machine and almost all subsidiery business; what chance has any serious opposition got?

More than a failed religion; i would say communism is a failed business model.


Communism does not contemplate business (mercantilism or capitalism) so I am not quite sure where it has failed. In fact, communism's ongoing demonisation is testimony to the fear it generates in our masters. An ignorance of its logic, an ignorance of what capitalism really is, gives rise to such nonsense as capitalism being human nature.

That exchange is an essential aspect of existence is a given. In exchange for our labour, we derive the means to survive and where a sufficient surplus is created, enjoy leisurely moments. However, to argue that the application of passive private wealth to the generation of accumulated capital is human nature stands the notion of capital, intangibalisation, capitalisation and accumulation on its head.

Capitalism saw its genesis in the rise of the corporation, more particularly banks (the East Indian companies, the Hudson Bay company and Lloyds bank to name a few), along with the advent of non-real wealth and non-Jewish usury. Whereas in the past, feudalism was largely limited to real wealth with strict proscriptions for the management of usury, the rise of large scale banking along with these intangible asset vehicles as well as the gentilisation of usury saw the rise of capital, hot on the heels of the Reformation incidentally.

The logic of dialectical social economy is that with the increased globalisastion of this model will rise an increasing competition for the consumer dollar and stressed bottom lines, a global culture that defies the parochialism of the barbarian, increasing pauperisation of the global worker as deregulation is increasingly resorted to in a bid to prop up profits, the chasing of markets by capital in a bid to generate increasing annual profits and the rise of full scale commodification as everything is reduced to a use value with the increasing commodification of intellectual property and increasing resort to capitalisation of what was previously the socialised (bailouts as well as Quantitative easing).

This is a natural process, the inevitable confluence of events that started with the onset of rudimentary mercantilism in early history. No amount of hand wringing could possibly have halted these events. Nor will any fancy notion of ethical mercantilism halt capitalism's inevitable collapse. It will eat itself from within in a desperate quest for decreasing surplus.


Beautifully said.

I did not say capitalism is human nature, but about, as in: aimed at.

An unfortunate fact is the unconcious mass,
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Re: Think the Earth is finite? Think again

Unread postby Xenophobe » Wed 15 Dec 2010, 19:17:38

dsula wrote:
Xenophobe wrote:except those assembling strawmen use the old "it goes to zero!" trick anymore, that one is so OBVIOUS.

If it obviously going to 0 then it's got to be a sum of bell shaped curves and with enough filtering, it's going to be one smooth bell shaped curve. (low pass filter).


Seeing as how Hubbert himself is the only guy with any real credibility on this topic, could you please refer me to any reference of his where he said he needed "enough filtering" to force a particular production profile to at least fake being bell shaped? While I am sure there are some mathematic gyrations and transformations which can be used to make any shape or profile look like any other shape or profile, I don't recall Hubbert being intellectually dishonest in this particular fashion, which is why I would like a reference, please. Certainly the nonsense put out by pseudo science peakers over the past few decades hasn't been worth the paper its printed on, so if you have a reference to the man himself saying this sort of thing, I'll think about buying in. Otherwise, forget about it.
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Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant future

Unread postby anador » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 12:05:16

http://longnow.org/

I recently was reading an article about the Long Now foundation; a group of people dedicated to increasing our modern civilization’s attention span by hosting discussions and engaging in projects that extend over a wider range of time. Their Clock of the Long Now project, for example, is a huge mechanical clock being built in the Western Desert of the United states, it is designed to remain accurate for 10,000 years using a complex system of gearing akin to a mechanical computer. The device has been built to be robust against damage, and has multiple methods of being passively mechanically and electrically powered in a manner that would allow it to remain operational for millennia. The systems have also been built with abject simplicity and inherent understandability in the design of their components and operation. So even if someone with no modern mechanical knowledge came upon it, they could reason how to keep it working or repair it.

This made me think about other long-term gambles we have made, as a society, with possible disasters that require regular maintenance of technologically advanced systems to maintain. Some examples include:

Nuclear containment and spent fuel.

Capped undersea oil and gas wells.

Waste chemical holding pools at large factories.

Large scale regional defense against non-native species.

Large rural dams

Landfills and chemical dumps

Acid mine drainage and deep mine pumping

And many others.

Without regular and advanced knowledge of the engineering and handling of these systems, within 100-500 years all of them have the opportunity to fail, creating huge, planetary environmental problems.

If Federal governments become unwilling or unable to continue the maintenance of these places due to socio-politico-economic collapse we could see the following long term, slow occurring disasters that would multiply in effects over the next thousand years.

Nuclear fall-out and discharge at first gradual, then reaching disastrous levels within several centuries

Corroded concrete caps and seals failing at undersea drill sites, creating multiple massive, BP-esque hydrocarbon releases worldwide over several centuries.

Breached chemical containment rendering entire watersheds contaminated and sterile.

Overwhelming incursions by invasive species causing irreparable local ecological collapses worldwide.

Large dam breaches flooding and destroying huge regions of cropland and urban land.

Mine pump failures lead to them filling with highly acidic water laden with heavy metals and dissolved chemicals spilling over into regional water table, polluting entire aquifer systems.


None of these disasters could reach their full potentials within our lifetimes, but if allowed to languish unthought-of about in a low energy world, will we even be capable of stopping them?

Would it not be prudent to build in robust systems designed to operate on the scale of millennia as failsafes? Is that even possible?
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Re: Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant fut

Unread postby ritter » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 12:36:00

anador wrote:None of these disasters could reach their full potentials within our lifetimes, but if allowed to languish unthought-of about in a low energy world, will we even be capable of stopping them?

Would it not be prudent to build in robust systems designed to operate on the scale of millennia as failsafes? Is that even possible?


Nice post. I'd say there's substantial evidence that we can't stop such disasters in our current high-energy world, so no chance of it in a low-energy world. How many months did Horizon spew? Fukushima's going on 3 weeks with no containment in sight. We have created technology that allows us to do wondrous and powerful things in controlled environments. Unfortunately, the world is not a controlled environment and shit happens. When it does, we do not have sufficient technology or plans in place to deal with it.

I would say that the use of such systems is inherently short-sighted and puts the future health of the world and its species at substantial risk.
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Re: Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant fut

Unread postby lper100km » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 13:41:17

Fascinating and powerful post. A large scale breakdown is inevitable as the ability to maintain power systems fades. It’s a potential demonstration of the effect of generic entropy - a somewhat widened definition of the thermodynamic concept – that niggling little axiom that states that left to it’s own fate, everything goes to r*tsh*t.

You can add nuke weapons storage to the list.

Just a quibble over the clock. It’s being built in a desert, using finely machined parts, hi tech metals and a complex mechanism. 10,000 years operational life seems to be optimistic when wind and sand can screw up anything in a matter of days, even minutes. And how can a future technologically and power challenged society be expected to maintain it? Besides, who knows what the actual environment or landscape will be in 10,000 years. Who will even know it’s there?
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Re: Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant fut

Unread postby anador » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 14:20:35

Yes, I also misquoted, The clock apparently is meant to be powered by direct human winding. The different systems discussed were for the accuracy regulation.

They also go on to state that goal was not necessarily to create a clock that they can justifiably say will be there for ten-thousand years, but rather the challenge, the design itself, and the long foresight required in such a design created new and interesting creative processes, which the foundation is keen on promoting.

10,000 yrs was used not really as a realistic goal, but one within "the limits of plausability"

Whether a clock would actually receive continued care and maintenance for such a long time is debatable. Hillis chose the 10,000-year goal to be just within the limits of plausibility. There are technological artifacts, such as fragments of pots and baskets, from 10,000 years in the past, so there is some precedent for human artifacts surviving this long, although very few human artifacts have been continuously tended for more than a few centuries.
from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_of_the_long_now
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Re: Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant fut

Unread postby eXpat » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 16:33:11

We are at the beginning of the long emergency
Natural disasters will increase: British report
Major disasters like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami or Pakistan's floods are likely to become more frequent, and global governments must prepare for an uncertain future, according to a British report.

Paddy Ashdown, a member of the British House of Lords and ex-United Nations high representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said rich nations must help poorer countries to build up their defences against disasters.

In a government report published Monday, he said scientists believe recent natural disasters were not an aberration, but "the beginnings of a new kind of future in which mega-disasters are going to be more frequent."

"The scale, frequency and severity of rapid onset humanitarian disasters will continue to grow in the coming years, and at an accelerating pace," said the report issued by the International Development ministry.

Ashdown said a lack of prior support for Haiti and Pakistan worsened the impact of recent events.
By 2015, the report predicts, roughly 375 million people will be affected by climate-related disasters every year, well above the 263 million believed to have been directly impacted by natural disasters in 2010.

Non-climate-related disasters such as earthquakes and man-made disasters are expected to affect many more.

Areas of the world most prone to natural disasters tend to be economically underdeveloped, which may exacerbate the death toll. On average, 1,052 people die from natural disasters in less developed economies, the report said, compared to an average death toll of 23 in fully developed economies.

The global trend toward urbanization will also have an impact.

"More people will be living on marginal land, in overcrowded and poorly planned housing, lacking access to adequate water and sanitation," the report said.

Climate change is also expected to reduce crop yields, "sometimes catastrophically," which will also require a change in the way agencies plan to feed those affected.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/03/28/disasters-paddy-ashdown-britain.html
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Re: Long Emergencies, Environmental chaos of the distant fut

Unread postby Lore » Thu 31 Mar 2011, 16:40:58

This is another outcome of an overcrowded planet. Where natural disaster in the past had little affect on those halfway across the globe, we now all suffer when some economic partner there takes a hit. Not to mention the more people in any given area the greater the collateral damage.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
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Earth's Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 27 Sep 2011, 17:10:51

Earth's Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says

It's only September, but humans have used up the Earth's natural resources for the year, according to a sustainability nonprofit group.

The Global Footprint Network (GFN) has declared today (Sept. 27) "Earth Overshoot Day." That's the day when humankind's demand on nature exceeds the planet's ability to regenerate resources and absorb the waste.

"Our research shows that in approximately nine months, we have demanded a level of services from nature equivalent to what the planet can provide for all of 2012," according to a GFN statement. "We maintain this deficit by depleting stocks of things like fish and trees, and by accumulating waste such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean." [Read: Top 10 Alternative Energy Bets]

Running an ecological debt

Earth Overshoot Day is a rough estimate, but other conservation groups raise similar alarms about consumption of resources on planet Earth. The world's 7 billionth person is likely to be born next month, according to estimates by the United Nations. Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that humans currently consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets' worth of resources to maintain our activities.

"If current trends continue, by 2030 we will need the capacity of two planets to meet natural resource consumption needs and absorb CO2 [carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas] waste," according to the WWF's Living Planet Report.


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Re: Earth's Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says

Unread postby Ferretlover » Tue 27 Sep 2011, 18:01:45

Graeme wrote:[b]
Running an ecological debt

And most humansdon't ever expect a bill to come due, while the rest of the life on this planetdoes not know how fast humans are using up all the resources.
Pathetic human species.
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Re: Earth's Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says

Unread postby ItalyRules » Sat 08 Oct 2011, 13:27:38

I remember the first time they said that we had reached the point when the planet could no longer support the population.

Now they are saying we are running out in September. It's not like there is another planet we can import another 3 1/2 months worth of resources from.

This should be ringing alarm bells everywhere.

But no.

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Resource Limitations

Unread postby AdamB » Fri 03 Nov 2017, 19:22:30


Chris Nelder, William E. Rees, originally published by Energy Transition Show How do we know at what level our consumption is sustainable, and when we’re in planetary overshoot? How do we quantify what the planet’s capacity is to meet human demands, and how much of that capacity is renewable, and how much of it is just being permanently depleted? And once we had a way to quantify that, what would we do with that information? Would we use it to inform our actions and avert overpopulation and disaster? Would we ignore it at our peril? Or would reality just unfold in some messy fashion along a default path somewhere in between? Is a deliberate transition to a sustainable energy system even possible? Our guest in this episode created a scientific methodology called “ecological footprint analysis,” a kind of ecological accounting, to


Resource Limitations
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 17:58:11

Resources have always been limited and Liebig's Law sums it up pretty well.
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 16:27:16

I recommend a book by William Catton " Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, "
I perused this book some time ago and it is a good primer on environmental axioms and basic ideas related to carrying capacity in a general sense and particularly for humanity on this planet
“"If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money"”
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 19:30:38

onlooker wrote:I recommend a book by William Catton " Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, "
I perused this book some time ago and it is a good primer on environmental axioms and basic ideas related to carrying capacity in a general sense and particularly for humanity on this planet

It's the Doomer's Handbook. I carry a small copy in my vest pocket, always at the ready so as to lecture the cornies :razz: 8)
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 19:40:59

pstarr wrote:
onlooker wrote:I recommend a book by William Catton " Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, "
I perused this book some time ago and it is a good primer on environmental axioms and basic ideas related to carrying capacity in a general sense and particularly for humanity on this planet

It's the Doomer's Handbook. I carry a small copy in my vest pocket, always at the ready so as to lecture the cornies :razz: 8)

:P :lol:
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 20:07:20

pstarr wrote:It's the Doomer's Handbook. I carry a small copy in my vest pocket, always at the ready so as to lecture the cornies :razz: 8)


Is that so? When was the last time you lectured a corny in the meatspace?
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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 10:04:21

Yet another totally optimistic view of how the future will be different from the present.

Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, often simply called Liebig’s Law or the Law of the Minimum, is a principle developed in agricultural science by Carl Sprengel (1828) and later popularized by Justus von Liebig.

It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor). Or, to put it more plainly, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

Based on this view, I think that the limiting factor in artificial intelligence (AI) advancement will be human intelligence, imagination, and institutions. The interaction of those dynamic at play will define the scope of AI.

If a new technology wants to turn into a revolution, there are three things that should be considered: information, magnitude, and time. Let’s go through these one by one.

Information: The degree of change moves along according to the degree of recognition. The reason why earthquakes brings huge impact is that they happens without expectation.

Magnitude: Sometimes we have information but the magnitude is so huge that it leaves us with little or no way to respond. AI will be adopted partially and incrementally. There will be no rush to apply AI to every area of our lives.

Time: In other cases, we have information but the speed is so fast that it also leaves us no time to respond. This is similar to the above point on magnitude. If our jobs were to be replaced by AI within the next 2-3 years, it would be too big of a shock for most people to cope with. Just imagine the resistance from trade unions!

But if the gradual adoption of AI happens within the next 5-10 years, surely we will find a way to mitigate the negative consequences.

This means the effects will not be as catastrophic as an earthquake, to use the earlier example. It also rules out a revolution, according to traditional definitions.

In the case of AI, fortunately we have information. We have time to prepare. And we can respond to the magnitude of the coming changes by preparing today.

As a result, I don’t think AI’s impact will be too formidable for us to manage and control.

Finally, we benefit from the experience of drastic changes in recent times thanks to new technologies including the Internet, smartphones, and the advent of electric vehicles that the car manufacturers and governments have finally bowed to en masse.


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Re: Liebig's Law of the Minimum Pt. 1

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 18 Nov 2017, 14:15:02

AI requires copper. Unless one assumes:
    3.1 Optical Computing
    3.2 Spintronics
    3.3 Atomtronics
    3.4 Fluidics
    3.5 Quantum computing
    4 Chemistry approaches
    4.1 Molecular computing
    5 Biochemistry approaches
    5.1 Peptide computing
    5.2 DNA computing
    6 Biological approaches
    6.1 Neuroscience
    6.2 Cellular automata and amorphous computing
    7 Mathematical approaches
    7.1 Analog computing
    7.2 Ternary computing
    7.3 Reversible computing
    7.4 Chaos computing
    7.5 Stochastic computing
Seekingalpha, Mar. 6, 2017: Is A Major Copper Bull Being Unleashed?
On the supply side, copper mining has been suffering a pronounced decline in ore grades. In "Copper: A Bullish Decade Is Coming" Moore shows a graph for global mining revealing that copper content of ore coming out of the ground is half of what it was in 2008. The best fruit has been picked, and, unlike oil, there is no big shale bump to come to the rescue. Shale, as I have written about in other articles, is keeping oil prices moderate for at least a couple of years.

If nothing suddenly shows up like a copper shale, the projected departure of demand curve from supply curve is slated to transpire around 2019 according to mining.com and their infographic tour of copper. For 50 years, they've known about shale and the other "dreg oil" (bottom of the barrel) that would be flooded onto the market by a quantum leap to higher prices. There is no such thing for copper - just a continuous slide to more and more expensive grades of normal ore. The current labor problems of Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine and other disruptions may be bringing a looming copper deficit closer at hand. Mining.com isn't the only one projecting this timeframe. Moore includes an RBC Capital Markets chart saying the same thing:
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