Prediction

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Lance Kennedy
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Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:42 am

In 2008, the famous Prof. James Lovelock (the Gaea Hypothesis), made a prediction. He said that within 20 years, the consequences of global warming will be so bad that wars and famines will wipe out 80% of humanity.

I know that Bobbo will agree with Lovelock, but I am making my own prediction. By 2028, the world will be a little warmer, and the seas will have risen by (maybe) 8 to 10 centimeters compared to 2008. But humanity will, in general, be living a pretty good life, with fewer wars than the average for the 20th century, with less famine than now.

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Re: Prediction

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:13 am

I don't think many people accept Lovelock's prediction, it's pretty silly. If 80% of humanity is wiped out, it will be because of something other than warring over global warming. There are so many other things to war over.

I don't see why there will be less famine, though. Do we have projects in the works to improve the situation?

I also don't see why there will be fewer wars. We're not exactly working on anything to bring that about, either.
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Re: Prediction

Postby Jim Steele » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:26 am

Lovelock was hailed by climate alarmists (like Stephen Schneider and Al Gore) when he made those outlandish "we all gonna die" predictions. But he has recanted his alarmist predictions stating,
“I was 'alarmist' about climate change and so was Gore!” "'The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago”.
so he is no longer adored by the alarmist crowd.

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Re: Prediction

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:10 am

:hmm: Is that some kind of tic of yours?
.

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Re: Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:26 am

To Gord

On less famine.
Nothing special. But over the past 100 years or so, world hunger has been steadily decreasing. I simply extended the trend.

On war.
I said less war than the average for the 20th century. I cheated, because we have already achieved that, and we just need to continue.

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Re: Prediction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:34 am

While I'm happy to gain a reputation of being an End of Days Alarmist.....I've never thought of the Gaea Principle as anything but brights lights on a colorful pop label. Maybe thats harsh.......the concept does have "some" use.... just not much and calling it scientific would be a stretch.

The World could end RIGHT NOW based on Global Warming. Some tribe getting forced off their land due to drought due to AGW decides to steal a Nuke and sets it off on the bumpy ride home triggering a response from where ever that causes a major power to unload. "It could happen"==but I wouldn't say that was "caused by" what is meant by dying from AGW. Its not proximate enough.

So.........most likely he was wrong. Jumping the gun a bit.

.................So.................. what?
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Re: Prediction

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:54 am

Well, I don't think we have to worry about the alarmist fringe theories of people like James Lovelock or JIm Steele. Look at the evidence of what's happening right now. The face of war is changing; it's no longer about masses of people standing face to face and firing projectiles at each other like in the olden days. Now wars are fought using high technology weapons, with as few men as possible taking out as many opponents as possible as surgically as possible. The sides these days are either so unbalanced, or so heavily armed against one another, that wars don't last very long. Or else the wars are fought in areas with such high populations that they're more like armed protests or street gangs. We seem to be just as violent these days, but the ways we fight don't get defined as "war" now.
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Re: Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:00 am

That may be true, Gord, but the number who die each year in war has dropped substantially in the last few decades.

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Re: Prediction

Postby Phoenix76 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:53 am

Yeah Lance, must be because they took my gun off me after 1968. :D

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Re: Prediction

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:17 pm

If famine wipe out even 10% of humanity, there will be no more famine because there will then be enough food to go around. There is enough even now - famines are local events caused by local calamities.
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Re: Prediction

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:02 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:That may be true, Gord, but the number who die each year in war has dropped substantially in the last few decades.

What I'm wondering, though, is if they've just taken "conflict" and defined out the ones they used to call "war". How many people die each year from conflicts that aren't considered wars?
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Re: Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:51 pm

Gord

Since the year 2000, the death toll in all conflicts has averaged about 70,000 per year. In the mid 20th century, it was more like 200,000 per year. If it were not for that arsehole, Bashir al Assad, if would have dropped even more. My source for this data is Prof. Steven Pinker's book on violence.

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Re: Prediction

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:00 am

I don't trust Pinker's book. I've referred to his and others' claims in the past when I've made the statement that the world is getting less dangerous, but in hindsight I think I've trusted too much without verifying the evidence for myself.

There is, for instance, a feller named John Gray who disagrees with Pinker (although I don't believe or trust Gray, either): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/ ... -declining

There's also Noam Chomsky. Watch him here being interviewed by Lawrence Krauss:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml1G919 ... e&t=50m50s
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Re: Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:50 am

Gord

I like numbers. If a scientific finding cannot be quantified, it must be treated with suspicion. Pinker's book is full of numbers. It also has one of the biggest bibliographies you will encounter. It quotes hundreds of studies.

This chap Gray I do not know, so I cannot comment on him and his message

Chomsky I do know. You may realise that the biggest theory of his life has now been discredited. He is a very smart dude, but I am led to take much of what he says with a pinch of salt. On the business of the history of violence, he admits things have improved drastically since the enlightenment, and he gives much credit to science for that. But he also denies that the pre agriculture societies were violent. My personal experience is with two modern societies that were in that category, the NZ native people, and the native people of Papua. I can assure you that they were definitely, absolutely not peaceful people. Their level of violence was off any modern chart. So that makes me very suspicious of Chomsky when he claims pre agriculture people's were not very violent. The two I know most were very violent.

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Re: Prediction

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:47 am

Recent data, taking Syria and similar conflicts into account, go against Pinker's trend of increasing peacefulness.
This is most likely temporary, given how long the trend has lasted so far.
But changes often have victims, and some places will be able to afford adaption to different climes much better than others. Those that can't will see violence and displacement, possibly on larger scales than we've seen before.
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Re: Prediction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 pm

Why is the declining number of deaths from "conflicts" not the deciding factor here?
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Re: Prediction

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:47 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Why is the declining number of deaths from "conflicts" not the deciding factor here?

It would be if we could be certain that it was the case. But then the question is, how are "conflicts" defined? That's what I'm questioning -- whether "things are really getting better" or "things aren't actually getting better, but our definitions of words make it seem like they are".

As a quick example (and I don't know how this sort of thing is treated in anyone's books), the Second Congo War resulted in 5.4 million deaths, mostly from disease and starvation. Are disease and starvation included in "deaths from conflict", or are they kept separate?

Another example: The Rwanan genocide. Between 500,000 and 1 million people were killed. Was that considered a war? A conflict? Is there a separate category for mass killings of civilians by other civilians?
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Re: Prediction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:04 pm

Gord: excellent points. Consequential starvation and disease......very tricky.

Say Lance: how does Pinker handle such data?
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Re: Prediction

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:11 pm

as far as I know, Gord, Pinker does include these numbers.
But since he considers violent deaths as a percentage of total population, they decline as long as they rise slower than the population as a whole.
But counting this way means that Global Warming-caused famines and floods which slow or even reverse population growth would blast Pinker's metric out of the water.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Prediction

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:41 pm

scrmbldggs wrote::hmm: Is that some kind of tic of yours?

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Re: Prediction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:25 pm

Pinker has a number of categories. For example, he has death by genocide, or which the Rwandan genocide is the last big one. And yes, deaths by genocide are falling too. There is death in battle and death by other factors in war, both of which are falling.

The Syrian conflict is the worst of the current wars. It has killed about 500,000 people over about ten years. The Viet Nam war killed 2,500,000 people over the same time period. So, despite Syria, deaths in war have fallen to a current 70,000 people per year roughly (it varies from one year to the next) since 2000 AD.


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