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paul.fr

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Building an earth dome
« on: 06/07/2007 07:50:49 »
Would it be possible to build some sort of "Earth Dome", or "city dome" to protect us from the effects of climate change? I am assuming that nanotechnology would be used for the construction material.

Suppose we did build the dome, could it actually offer protection. or just give some sort of localised, short lived enviroment?


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #1 on: 06/07/2007 10:58:55 »
Why should you want to do this.  The suggested climate changes are well within the limits of natural changes during the period life has existed on this planet and natural changes that are likely to occur in the future.  Evolution means that we have to adapt to whatever changes occur. 

I just don't know why people are not talking about the real reason for the climate change problem  that is there are far too many human beings on this planet and we need to take radical steps  (short of mass extermination) to enable our economies to cope with an aging and reducing population and plan for a more practical and sustainable population of human beings on the earth.  Without this, evolution shows that we are doomed as a species and will suffer a far worse extermination by starvation and war.
 

another_someone

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #2 on: 06/07/2007 13:49:29 »
Would it be possible to build some sort of "Earth Dome", or "city dome" to protect us from the effects of climate change? I am assuming that nanotechnology would be used for the construction material.

Suppose we did build the dome, could it actually offer protection. or just give some sort of localised, short lived enviroment?

In a sense, aside from such fancy and irrelevant ideas as nanotechnology (nice buzzword, but not pertinent), this is what we have always been doing when we build houses, and flood walls, etc.  All we really need to do is as we always have done, only beef it up a bit.

We certainly don't need to totally isolate ourselves from the outside environment (a few degrees difference in temperature is not going to be like living on Venus); just slight improve our conventional civil engineering.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #3 on: 06/07/2007 15:39:37 »
as opposed to the Millenium Dome which was uncivil engineering.....
 

Offline Karen W.

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #4 on: 06/07/2007 23:36:00 »
Remember the movie with Michael York and Farrah Fawcitt and  how they lived underground and had never been outside in the air they went to carousel when they were young never being allowed to live past a certain age.. oh Yeah " LOGANS RUN"! I don't remember if they ever said why but just a science fiction thought of a living in a dome so to speak!
 

Offline chrisdsn

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #5 on: 07/07/2007 13:51:30 »
The closest we've gotten is the biosphere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2#Mission_1 [nofollow]

which hasn't ever managed to last for a prolonged
period. This doesn't mean such a thing is not
possible; just that we need a lot more testing before
we know how to put together a sustainable ecosystem.

So: right now, the best guess is that even if some
engineering advance allowed us to build such a dome
(Maybe nanotech; Maybe not), we wouldn't last very long.

chrisdsn

> Why should you want to do this.  The suggested climate changes are well within the > limits of natural changes during the period life has existed on this planet and
> natural changes that are likely to occur in the future.  Evolution means that we
> have to adapt to whatever changes occur

It's well within the changes while life has existed, but not within the changes
that have existed while the human race has been populous and civilized. While a look
back in history may suggest that the human race could survive such an event, that
doesn't mean it wouldn't suck mightily; for example: a collapse of civilised life.       
Thus depriving me of my ipod. Not good. Admittedly, a look back at history
would suggest that we cannot avoid such things, but such changes in climate
happen on a much larger timescale than a Human life. Putting it off as long
as possible (in the hope that the slow but steady increase in scientific
knowledge will enable  us -- for the first time -- to avoid, or survive
relatively intact, such things) seems like a good plan.   

Also: Building a domes which preserved the previous environment *would* be an
adaptation.

 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/2007 18:20:17 »
I agree that we should all do our best to minimise climate change but we need to do lots more than this, namely plan to achieve a slowly reducing population for quite a long period as well.  It will need careful planning to achieve this because most population reductions are catastrophic.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #7 on: 07/07/2007 21:55:25 »
Why should you want to do this.  The suggested climate changes are well within the limits of natural changes during the period life has existed on this planet and natural changes that are likely to occur in the future.  Evolution means that we have to adapt to whatever changes occur. 

I just don't know why people are not talking about the real reason for the climate change problem  that is there are far too many human beings on this planet and we need to take radical steps  (short of mass extermination) to enable our economies to cope with an aging and reducing population and plan for a more practical and sustainable population of human beings on the earth.  Without this, evolution shows that we are doomed as a species and will suffer a far worse extermination by starvation and war.

Mathus will take care of the over-population.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Malthus
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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« Reply #8 on: 07/07/2007 22:46:33 »
A good reference.  Malthus was probably the first person to realise the danger in unlimited population growth in a world with limited resources.  The inevitable disaster of unlimited population growth is obvious to all nowadays (I sincerely hope).

Taking a systems theory look at the problem the larger the eventual population limit that we collectively accept the more precise must be our control over sustainability and the less freedom individuals will have for action. Even at the current and near future population levels these limits are probably much more stringent than people in developed societies would like.  The strictures that are required to limit carbon dioxide are only a small part of what will eventually have to be accepted particularly where consumption of scarce elements is concerned whilst at a population level of about ten percent of our current population there would be a great deal of individual freedom of action.

It is also important to remember that in the very long term we will have to cope with much more serious climate change as a result of secular variation and this is likely to make agriculture much less efficient if it goes very far upwards or downwards in temperature so we will have to ensure a reasonable amount of spare capacity in the system.
 

another_someone

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #9 on: 08/07/2007 10:42:04 »
Since most affluent countries are not actually growing their own populations (to the extent that many are considering importing population just to sustain current levels), I don't think the notion of continued population explosions are an issue (there is just as much risk of a population implosion).

Ofcourse, what this does not take into account is the effect of mechanisation.  While human population in the developed world are static, and maybe falling; the population of machines continues to increase, and these machines consume every bit as much in terms of resources (depending on what resources you are measuring) than the human population.

Clearly, machines do not need food, so the concern that Malthus had over limited food production is not pertinent (but it has also been shown not to be pertinent to human growth either).

Energy needs for machines are even greater than for humans (which is why energy usage in highly mechanised countries is higher than in low mechanised countries); but land resources are generally lower for a machine than a human (which is one, but by no means the only, factor that is pushing affluent countries away from increases in human population and towards greater increases in machine populations).

The other reason why machines are favoured over humans is simply they can produce more, and can produce it faster - but it is the very fact of their high production rates that demand their high consumption rates (you cannot have output without input).
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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« Reply #10 on: 08/07/2007 23:26:02 »
That's where you are totally wrong.  The seeds of your fundamental error can be seen in your comments about developed societies considering importing population.  Our economic structure is totally fixated on "growth" and until it can find ways of stabilising itself using limited resources more efficiently and making do with an aging population we are headed for that Malthusian cliff like a load of lemmings.

Your comments about machines are just a delusion the only purpose of machines is to manufacture goods and services that humans want.  They are not alive in their own right.

To return to the concept of an earth dome to protect us from climate change can you imagine the resources needed to protect just one large city in this way.  This technology may be available for a select few but could never be for the bulk of the population that is unless the human population of this planet was reduced by a factor of about ten thousand to one not ten As I am suggesting.
« Last Edit: 08/07/2007 23:31:33 by Soul Surfer »
 

another_someone

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Building an earth dome
« Reply #11 on: 09/07/2007 00:21:39 »
That's where you are totally wrong.  The seeds of your fundamental error can be seen in your comments about developed societies considering importing population.  Our economic structure is totally fixated on "growth" and until it can find ways of stabilising itself using limited resources more efficiently and making do with an aging population we are headed for that Malthusian cliff like a load of lemmings.

Your comments about machines are just a delusion the only purpose of machines is to manufacture goods and services that humans want.  They are not alive in their own right.

I was not talking about 'life', I was talking about processes, and machines represent a process just as much as human beings.  Whether they are alive or not is an irrelevance.

Yes, we are fixated on growth - because in the real world, things either grow or they die (and usually it is one followed by the other).

In the first instance, yes, machines were developed by humans, and so humans have a motivation to develop them.  In that sense, you can say that machines were created to satisfy human wants; but they also exist as a part of the social fabric that goes beyond the desire of any one person.  One humans may create a machine to serve his purpose, but he will also create a purpose in order to satisfy the need to create machines (in order to create wealth and prestige).

Certainly, in the present world, machines are not capable of reproducing themselves, and in that respect may be considered to not be living, but maybe to be closer to a virus, that needs to use a living entity (e.g. human beings) in order to achieve reproduction.

Aside from that distinction, is there really so wide a gap between a machine and a domesticated animal (in some cases, the machine has merely replaced the domesticated animal in its function within human society).

To return to the concept of an earth dome to protect us from climate change can you imagine the resources needed to protect just one large city in this way.  This technology may be available for a select few but could never be for the bulk of the population that is unless the human population of this planet was reduced by a factor of about ten thousand to one not ten As I am suggesting.

The cost of creating a dome is certainly a major issue.

As I said, to some extent we already do this on a smaller scale, with our construction of domestic dwellings, and other buildings that are intended to protect humans and their property from the elements.  Construction, and the maintenance, of these buildings does cost in terms of resource usage.  The more sophisticated and environmental isolation (e.g. the inclusion of air conditioning), then the greater the resources needed to sustain the protected environment.

At present, we do not have city wide domes (nor are they ever likely to be domes), but we do have air conditioned enclosed spaces covering several square miles already being regularly constructed (shopping malls, sports stadia, etc.).

In resource terms, the technology used is expensive when compared to what our ancestors would have used to protect themselves from the elements, but it is a technology that is ever becoming available to ever larger portions of the world population (although it is by no means the majority of the worlds population - which at present, mostly do not even have regular electricity supplies, roads, and other basic infrastructure that would be a prerequisite to create these protected areas).

Is it likely that every human in the world will have stable electricity and water supplies, and a proper road network?  It is difficult to answer, but if one believes that such infrastructure may one day be available to all humans, then it it is easy enough to extrapolate that they could also have access to air conditioned buildings.

Reducing population would not itself help matters, since it is generally the areas of the world with the lowest population densities that have the least developed infrastructures.  True, here I refer to population densities, rather than population numbers; and it might be argued that containing a smaller population at high density within a small fraction of the globe might allow the development of sophisticated infrastructure at lower cost in terms of global resources; but I would also argue that constraining the human population to a smaller part of the Earth would also constrain its access to resources in the rest of the world, so the balance between accessible resources and population numbers would not be improved any.
 

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Building an earth dome
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