Technology will destroy the world! Adam Grickites
This presentation will consider some of theways technology may destroy the earth by:• Highlighting Earth’s natural lifespan• Deriving a goal from the knowledge of our natural lifespan Image?• Turning to technology for the answer• Showing that technology requires resources• Discussing balance, catabolic collapse, and human related issues Image?• Coming to a conclusion
How long do we have?Sun becomes a red giant and Increased solar temperatures kill encompasses Earth’s orbit: all but the smallest of life forms: 7.5 billion years 0.5 billion yearsEven though we are naturally doomed there must be hope to be found through thepowers of technology! Let’s get to it! (Cain, 2009)
We Have a Goal!Now that we know we have a finite time on Earth specified by the lifetime of our sun we have a goal! Get off the planet! … How do we do this?
What We Know So Far• The Earth and all of human kind will perish naturally unless we change our fate• Technology is required to achieve this change Except: We almost forgot! Technology requires resources!
Technology Requires ResourcesTechnology is wonderful but it requires one thing that exists in finite amounts: natural resources!
So What Do We Have Left?An article posted on Gizmodo specifies the timeline that current resources on Earth will last: At current consumption rates: If the rest of the world consumes at the rate of the US: 58 Years 20 Years Oops… So much for “technology the savior”! (Diaz, 2009)
Now we know that we have a very short period of time while we still have enough resources available to work towards saving life on Earth by expanding ourselves throughout the galaxy.
The Cold Hard TruthWe must change the way we live our lives and take an example from primitive societies. These societies display a balance with the natural world that we must learn from.We must learn to balance technology with conservation. Without this balance we are headed towards what is called a catabolic collapse. What is that?
Catabolic CollapseHave you ever wondered what happened to the great civilizations of the past?Catabolic collapse is a process where a society builds up a mass of stuff , the maintenance required by the infrastructure is a burden, and the resources required to fulfill the maintenance requirements are insufficient. This is the point in time where the society collapses because it does not have the resources to continue.A society experiencing catabolic collapse is analogous to a starving person. An example of a way in which our society could experience catabolic collapse is if oil supplies proved insufficient. This is the way past civilizations have perished… (Greer, 2011)
Additional ProblemsDue to the nature of humankind we have some other hurdles to overcome as resources become less abundant. Namely: •War •Pollution
Additional ProblemsEven before our resources are actually gone we will have to deal with human reactions to lowered lifestyle. Result: War Going out with a bang?
Interesting Point!Current nuclear weapons are unable to destroy the earth. In fact if we detonated them all at a single point on the earth we may be able to shift the earth all of one-quarter inch! That considered, detonating 26,000 nuclear warheads would probably do a good job of destroying the world as we know it. (Carpentier, 2009)
PollutionKnowing that we are running out of resources at an incredible rate means that we are causing an amazing amount of pollution and waste.In Canada we produce more than 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases per capita and we are trending towards increasing that number. The main cause being power generation. This is clearly at least damaging the planet.One way the world (or at least us!) could die is if we reach a theoretical critical greenhouse gas tipping point. This is the point at which there is no return from and the greenhouse heating of the world is unstoppable.
The Bottom LineEven if:• Our resources don’t run out• We don’t blow ourselves up• We don’t poison ourselves and our world with pollutionIf we followed the current trajectory of energy consumption we would be consuming 100% of the total energy output from the sun in 1,350 years and 100% of the total energy output from the galaxy in 2,500 years. And further to that… (Murphy, 2011)
The Bottom Line Continued Earth surface temperature if we generate the energy levels needed to sustain our level of growth.In a couple hundred years the temperature is unbearable. Note that this is not a greenhouse warming effect but the total heat caused by power generation. This proves that we can not sustain the growth of society (and technology) at current rates. (Murphy, 2011)
ConclusionIt is impossible for humans to destroy the world utilizing current and foreseeable technologies. In science fiction we always harness some infinite source of power but in reality we are confined by the resources available on earth. While we may waste and deplete these resources we will not amass enough energy to destroy the Earth while we are confined to it. Our demise is more likely than the Earth’s.If we end up destroying ourselves with technology the Earth will heal and the miracle of life will continue where we failed.In that case did technology end up saving the world?
ReferencesCain, F. (2009, February 13). How Long Will Life Survive on Earth? Retrieved from http://www.universetoday.com/25367/how-long- will-life-survive-on-earth/Carpentier, M. (2009, June 3). Could Our Nuclear Arsenal Really Destroy The World? Retrieved from http://io9.com/5277702/could- our-nuclear-arsenal-really-destroy-the-worldDiaz, J. (2009, April 20). How Long Will Our World Last? (Yes, We Are Screwed). Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/5219598/how-long- will-our-world-last-yes-we-are-screwedGreer, J. M. (2011, January 19). The onset of catabolic collapse. Retrieved from http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-01- 20/onset-catabolic-collapseMurphy, T. (2011, July 12). Galactic-Scale Energy. Retrieved from http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/07/galactic-scale- energy/