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View Diary: New Curiosity Images Bring Home That Mars is a Real Place, We'll Be Seeing Soon With Our Own Eyes (283 comments)

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  •  Climatic stability is a biological resource (0+ / 0-)

    regardless of whether current mainstream economists consider it one. It is a characteristic of a habitat on which humans depend, and one which is limited by the climate systems limited capacity to buffer our waste products. That buffering capacity is a limited resource.

    I don't intend to respond to the ad hominem stuff. It's my observation that technological optimism is a religious faith -- the sort of faith people organize their identities around, and defend when challenged as if they themselves were somehow being attacked. From my point of view, technological optimism is a dangerous illusion fostering denial. We cannot run away from global warming by moving to another planet. We have to deal with it here. So far, we have shown no sign of willingness to deal with it intelligently, and that does not bode well for the human future.

    •  It's frankly ironic to hear the charge (0+ / 0-)

      that optimism - the overwhelming lesson of human history - is a "religion" from someone who simply ignores all of that history because it doesn't agree with their apocalyptic views.  I know it makes people feel special to imagine that their experiences hold special significance to history - that they stand at the pinnacle of history, and all eras that follow, if any follow at all, will be just pale imitations at best.  It's the same self-involved nonsense that drives people to believe in religious apocalypse fantasies, and why "The End" has been "nigh" for 2,000 years.  Why we've been just on the cusp of radical resource scarcity since 1979.  

      You're welcome to your negativity, and you're welcome to take any survivalist measures you see fit to endure the coming zombie apocalypse - in fact, feel free to unload your soon-to-be-worthless dollars on me - but you're not entitled to your own facts or to project the irrationality of your views on to me.  I'm not proposing we leave Earth, just that we add more places and more resources to the human repertoire.  There is no downside to doing so, because you know damn well the money "saved" from not doing so would not be devoted to saving "the" planet while everything learned from surviving on other planets would be directly applicable to making this one more livable.

      Just give it up already.  No one is going to stop building the future because you tell them it's pointless.  

      Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

      by Troubadour on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 01:22:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More ad hominem (0+ / 0-)

        I'm in favor of increased funding for research in basic science generally -- basic biology (as opposed to biomedical areas) are severely underfunded, and I'm favor of increased spending on robotic planetary exploration and astronomy.

        If I wanted to play the ad hominem game, I could say that you "obviously don't understand economics", because in your "analysis" of market responses to decreasing arable land, you took economic concepts that apply at best to small local perturbations around an equilibrium and applied them to a global stability problem: what happens if large tracts of the planet become unsuitable for agriculture over socially short time scales?

        •  Human population of Antarctica in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

          "There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. "

          And this is after a century of exploration and good sea and even air transportation... where are the teeming millions of permanent migrants?

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