Terrestrial Engineering. Objections?

LiamC

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I'm interested in moral/philosophical/environmental objections to this idea (ignoring the engineering).

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

If global warming is occurring, we can expect Aus to get drier.

Proposal. Open Lake Eyre to the sea.

For those that don't know, Lake Eyre is a drainage basin in the interior of Australia that floods a couple of times per decade. Mostly it is dry. It is on average, 16 metres below sea-level, with, IIRC a maximum of 67m below s.l.

Given that it floods on occasion, is salty (more salty than the sea), what is the difference between being flooded part-time to being flooded full-time. The flora and fauna would adapt, they have to now.

If the basin was permanently flooded, and given the high average annual temperatures, it would humidify the local atmosphere, perhaps leading to an increase in precipitation in the western parts of the Eastern states (NSW, Queensland, northern Victoria), which would be the desirable outcome of such a project.

Some background
http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Map-from-above-shows-Australia-is-a-very-flat-place/2005/01/21/1106110947946.html

It could be done by cutting a channel from St. Vincents Gulf (S.A).

Have at it.
 

P5-133XL

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Why assume that Australia will get drier? Are there specific models for Aus. that say this? The general rule is that as the temp increases; the capacity for the air to hold water increases and thereby when the air releases its water via rain, there will be more of it i.e. Warmer -> Wetter.

The assumption that the flora and fauna that is well adapted to intermittent flooding will adapt to continuous submersion is ridiculous. That’s like saying title pools will adapt to being totally under water -- They don't, it all just dies. What you are proposing is a total eco-system replacement and when man intervenes in such (even in very small ways like simply adding one outside insect/plant/animal to take care of a specific problem like an outside invasive species) it is virtually unanimous failure. Man does not know enough to be fiddling around with such. Nature needs lots of time (millenia) to adapt to such changes
 

LiamC

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Modelling that I have seen by the Bureau of Meteorology/CSIRO indicate that between latitudes 20~40 South, will get drier.

Other latitudes will get wetter.

Lake Eyre is a salt pan. When it is dry, there isn't much living in the basin (it is the middle of a desert after all). Around the edges of the shoreline, there is a remarkable abundance of plant/animal life (when there is water). Why do you think that plants/animals animals could not adapt to a year round water source rather than tri-annually or so?

Yes you are right, there are pool/lake sources in dry years and these would be affected.

I'm sure that "we" don't understand the ramifications of such a change. But I am interested in peoples viewpoints on such an issue.
 

ddrueding

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Interesting concept. Considering that it's not in my backyard by any streach, and that I have no feelings for the survival of the earth in general or humans in particular beyond my own lifespan; I think it sounds like a neat science expirament!
 

P5-133XL

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LiamC said:
Lake Eyre is a salt pan. When it is dry, there isn't much living in the basin (it is the middle of a desert after all). Around the edges of the shoreline, there is a remarkable abundance of plant/animal life (when there is water). Why do you think that plants/animals animals could not adapt to a year round water source rather than tri-annually or so?
You are taking a very unique ecosystem and converting it into an inland sea. Biodiversity will suffer! There is an awefull lot of life with a very limited ability to change. Deserts have uniquely adapted life, even if you don't directly observe it and this is a "special" desert that gets flooded intermittently (very unusual). That means it will have uniquely adapted life forms that will not be able to adapt to such a large change. Even those life forms around the edges will be unique and I suspect are not adapted to coastal enviornments: That means, they will die-off too.

You will undoubtably bring additional moisture to the interior of the continent: There is good and bad in that. For farmers and the like, a definite big plus. But for the native species that are currently adapted to the current state of affairs it will be a disaster. Some just won't be able to survive and that will have a rippeling effect as you go up the food chain. Yes, other more suitable plants and animals will replace the dying ones but it will take a long time before the biodiversity will recover (centuries) and when it does, it will be nothing like what is already there

Diversity is a very good thing. The more different life forms and enviornments there are the better. Diversity makes for adaptability. Just like in people: A diverse culture is a strong culture with the ability to think in many different ways and come up with solutions to problems that a mono-culture would never even consider.
 

LiamC

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A question, Mark, if I may.

What would be your stance if tomorrow a FTL (Faster Than Light) drive was discovered that allowed humans to take to the stars. If we came across planets that could support life, but required similar amounts of terraforming to support our life, would you sanction the change?

What if there were identifiable native species?

What if we had totally polluted/destroyed/worn out/overpopulated Earth to the point where we had to find another planet and this was the only choice?
 

Tannin

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Working backwards up the thread:

LiamC said:
What if we had totally polluted/destroyed/worn out/overpopulated Earth to the point where we had to find another planet and this was the only choice?
At that point, we have then proved utterly beyond all doubt that we are the most virulent of all plague organisms. The only fair and rational thing to do, given that, is to exterminate the human species before it infects and destroys other planets in the universe.

No rational Galactic Overlord could afford to give us the chance, and the GO has only one choice at this point: wipe the infection out before it spreads any further.

Hey, would you allow the appointment of the former Enron management team to another, as yet healthy, company?
 

The Grammar Police

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P5-133XL said:
... taking a very unique ecosystem ...
Unique is unique.

Unique means that there is only one of it. You cannot have degrees of "uniqueness" - either there are zero items, in which case they are not unique because they don't exist; or there is exactly one of the items, in which case it is unique; or there are two or more of the items, in which case they are not unique.

— Do not very. Unique, or unique not. There is no very — Yoda.
 

Tannin

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Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

Australia is the least damaged inhabited continent on Earth. Hard to believe, when you look around you at the vast and terrible destruction we have wrought on this once fair continent, but unquestionably true: Australia retains a more intact natural ecosystem than any other continent.

(I am assuming here that we are ignoring the effect of human habitation from ~50,000 years ago, which was certainly not trivial, and should perhaps not be ignored at all. But that's another debate.)

There are two main reasons why this is so: Australia is the least overpopulated habitable continent on earth, though there is already good evidence to indicate that it s beyond its long-term sustainable carrying capacity, given the age of the continent, its ancient, worn-out soils, and its wildly variable climate. Second, large areas of Australia have been partially protected by their aridity.

This is not to say that the arid areas have not been damaged: they have suffered severe degradation from a combination of factors: loss of traditional land management (because we exterminated the Aboriginal people who, after an initial onslaught many thousands of years ago, lived in harmony with and cared for thir country in a way that we white people have yet to more than dimly grasp), destruction of ground and shrub layers (and thus many animal species too) through overgrazing; the introduction of feral pests such as the Red Fox and the European Rabbit (to mention just a couple of the dozens); and the consequent very rapid loss of remaining topsoil to wind and water erosion.

Nevertheless, they are the best parts of the country still remaining, and to contemplate their deliberate destruction by the sort of 1950s style large-scale engineering project you mention is plain lunacy. We already know that this sort of brute-force and ignorance engineering doesn't work.

Name me one — yes, just one — such large scale environmental engineering project in Australia which has actually worked as expected. I doubt you'll find one. And yet this country's past is decorated with a host of large-scale environental engineering projects, all designed at one level or another to turn Australia into a little England, and every single one of the projects I can think of has largely failed.

Did you notice the latest budget? Notice the large (but nowhere near large enough) allocation attempting to undo some of the unintended damage caused by the Snowy Mountains Scheme?

Ever studied the failed Ord River Scheme? Read up on the salinity disaster that has resulted from the Western Australian plan to clear and farm the wheat belt?

The track record of large-scale environmental engineering projects in Australia is abysmal. Suggesting that we try yet another attempt at this demonstrably failed methodology when we have not yet succeeded in clearing up the damage caused by past attempts is madness.


---------------------------------


If global warming is occurring ....

What century are you living in, Liam? A sentence starting with those words was quite a sensible thing to write in 1980, possibly even 1990, but in the present century it is either a strange slip of the pen, or an up-front concession of complete ignorance. The time for asking "if" is long, long past. The "if" question was resolved quite a while ago, and no reputable scientist with knowledge of the field troubles to waste his time with it any more.

The current questions — and to these we do not have sure or certain answers — are "how fast" and "how much" and "with what consequences".
 

P5-133XL

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LiamC said:
A question, Mark, if I may.

What would be your stance if tomorrow a FTL (Faster Than Light) drive was discovered that allowed humans to take to the stars. If we came across planets that could support life, but required similar amounts of terraforming to support our life, would you sanction the change?

What if there were identifiable native species?

What if we had totally polluted/destroyed/worn out/overpopulated Earth to the point where we had to find another planet and this was the only choice?
Nothing there, or nearby -- Do with what you like. But there had really better be nothing there and that is virtually impossible to prove. Especially since we really don't know what life looks like elsewhere.

Native species - Totally hands off. What we did to the American Indian is not acceptable behavior and we should not repeat it; even if it costs us our own lives. Surely that is the moral high ground. I'm sorry, but we should not do anything we want at the expense of others just because we can.

Only one petrie dish allowed. Period! Accept responsibility and the consequences of peeing in our own petrie dish. I'm already at the point of believing that we need to kill-off about 90+% of us as the only solution to keeping the earth habitable for future generations. As a race, we are not behaving any more intelligently than bacteria in a closed petrie dish: They will continue growing till all resources are consumed and then everything dies.
 

P5-133XL

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The Grammar Police said:
P5-133XL said:
... taking a very unique ecosystem ...
Unique is unique.

Unique means that there is only one of it. You cannot have degrees of "uniqueness" - either there are zero items, in which case they are not unique because they don't exist; or there is exactly one of the items, in which case it is unique; or there are two or more of the items, in which case they are not unique.

— Do not very. Unique, or unique not. There is no very — Yoda.
unique is to very unique as being "pregnant" is to being "very pregnant". Every Woman knows the difference -- Q.E.D.
 

P5-133XL

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Just in case anyone has any further doubts: I'm a tree hugger and prowd of it. I think that if the Human Race wants to survive, then they need to switch to a tree hugger philosophy (mighty quick) where other life forms have a right to live too. It really is best for us, if the non humans do well. We really rather depend upon co-existing with them and without them we just die.
 

LiamC

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Tannin said:
Hey, would you allow the appointment of the former Enron management team to another, as yet healthy, company?
How do you feel about dams?

Tannin said:
What century are you living in, Liam? A sentence starting with those words was quite a sensible thing to write in 1980, possibly even 1990, but in the present century it is either a strange slip of the pen, or an up-front concession of complete ignorance.
Read my signature ;) As for why I write that, I have seen lots of scientific research that indicates (in some cases quite strongly) global warming exists. I have seen nothing reputable that proves it. Most scientists I have spoken to, or seen quoted in reputable journals, say that the evidence points to a warming trend and the theory of global warming is the most likely cause. Ask them off the record, and they will say "yes, it's happening." But the scientific method (ingrained in me) says that until it is proven, it remains a theory.

Read my signature, I think you read too much, attributed intent, thats comes from your own frame of reference, and wasn't in what I wrote. This is not a criticism of you. People can't help it. FWIW, I do subscribe to the theory of global warming.

Tannin said:
lived in harmony with and cared for thir country
Lived in harmony, or the environment adapted? How do you prove it one way or another?

I saw a recent paper where the authors claimed that destruction of the forests in the interior many thousands of years ago by Aborigines burning off the forests to clear the lands caused the interior to become drier. With less forest to expirate water, the air became drier. With drier forest, the fires burned hotter, cause more, and more permanent, damage. Round and round we go, hey presto!. Desert.

Large scale engineering.
How do we feed people?

If you want less people, how do you convince the Chinese or Indians to de populate, without them thinking it is some kind of Western plot to enthrall them? Education is the only thing I can think of, and we can't even educate 20 million people to think these sorts of things through, let alone 4 billion.

I do agree, large scale engineering projects have an appalling record, but is this the fault of the engineering, or of vested interests (Capital)?
 

Bozo

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That twice a decade flooding is fresh water, what you are proposing is salt water. The salt water would kill everything. And because the water in the lake would evaporate and be replaced by more salt water, you end up with more and more salt that would leach into the surrounding soil and pollute it.
Buy some fresh water tropical fish and plants and put them in salt water and see what happens.

There was a very large lake in Russia that "man" tried to improve. Now it's the worlds largest ecology nightmare. (can't seem to recall the name)

Leave it alone

Bozo :mrgrn:
 

Tannin

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How do you feel about dams?

I can't answer a question as broad as that. Which dams? But I can usefully mention a couple of things: the most important of these is that there is really no room left for dam building. Name me a river in inland or western Victoria (i.e., the part of the world I live in) that hasn't already been dammed. Well, actually there are a few: the Avoca River, the Richardson, and the Avon - the three main rivers of the country west of Bendigo and east of Horsham. No dams on those three. Ummm... most of the time there is no water in them either, but why should that stop us? Oh, and I forgot to mention that the water is too saline to irrigate with anyway, though you can water stock with it.

What about the rivers next along? Well, there is the Wimmera River, that's not exactly dammed, it has weirs all along it, but then it doesn't have much water ether, and stops flowing every summer. Most of the water in it, if I remember correctly, is actually diverted out of the Upper Glenelg; i.e., water that is supposed to flow south - the Great Divide, once you get west of the Grampians, is more of an idea than a watershed. Oh, and some of its tributaties are dammed and blocked to within an inch of their lives - I'm thinking of Fyans Creek that flows north through Halls Gap now.

The Loddon? (Next river east of the Avoca - flows north from near Dalesford but, like the Avoca, rarely reaches as far north as the Murray.) It's dammed to hell. The Loddon Catchment storages are generous, but the water available is not - so much so that the relevant authority has no plans to do anything about some severe siltation problems in one of them - yup, the dam is almost useless as a water storage now because it's full of mud, but there isn't enough water to fill it up, so why spend the money to dredge it?

The Campaspe (next again to the east) is the same as the Loddon: plenty of storages, not enough water to fill them up, and similarly the countryside roundabout is riddled with channels and irrigation systems, and the productivity of the land is steadily dropping as the long-term effects of irrigation take hold - above all else, salinity. This is, of course, the same process that destroyed the Fertile Cresent thousands upon thousands of years ago: clearing leads to cropping leads to soil exhaustion leads to irrigation leads to salinity leads to wasteland leads to clearing leads to more wasteland and eventually - it doesn't take very long - you wind up with desert. The Fertile Crescent, the place where civilisation began, the place that was humanity's true Garden of Eden, was the most productive place on earth and supported the highest population densities ever known until then. The most productive place on earth .... and within a few hundreds of years they were well on the way to making it into what it is today: a desert. (You know the desert on the borders of Israel, Turkey, Afganistan and Iraq? That's it. Hard to believe when you look at it today, but there is no doubt about it: there are ruins and written records all over the place, and now there is nothing left except the ruins and the wind blowing the sand around.)

Oh, and the place that many ignorant modern people call the fertile crescent, quite incorrectly. This is the Tigris - Euphrates Delta: a large area of swampy land most famous for being fought over during the Iraq - Iran war and for being the scene of Sadam's massacre of the Marsh Arabs. The thing is, this place wasn't even there 10,000 years ago when people were busy founding civilisation in the higher reaches of the twin river valleys: it was just another part of the Red Sea. Get yourself a map: you can see where the delta sticks out into the Red Sea. It's new. It's anthropogenic. It's all that remains of the actual Fertile Crescent: the entire structure consists of the once fertile topsoil of the country upstream: that vast area, once denuded of its natural tree cover and farmed and ploughed and irrigated, washed down the rivers into the sea. A little bit of it pokes up above the waves and still grows crops.

The Goulburn: bigggest river in Victoria, and the unheathiest. Lake Eildon hasn't been full since .... er .... 20 years? Can't remember. A long time. The countryside has worse problems with salinity than the country further west that I just wrote about.

OK, let's try south of the divide. There is the Moorabool - officially rated as the most flow-stressed river in Victoria. It is the main source of water supply for Ballarat and a key minor source for Geelong. But the morons running this state have just decided to double Ballarat's population! Where on earth do they think the water is coming from? The answer is not more water - there isn't any more water - it's less people.

Then there is the Yarrowee / Leigh (it changes name half-way down to its junction with the Barwon). It has all its useful water extracted high upstream above Ballarat, then trickles through the town, gathering extra flow from its many tributaries (the same ones that deposited all that gold that made the town famous in 1861), all of it polluted by city runoff. It's still a tiny trickle until it hits the major source of water for the major length of the river: the Ballarat sewage works. Yup: 10% of the Yarrowee's water is what you and I pissed out yesterday, and in summer that percentage rises to nearly 100%. And even this they are planning to take away from it, under the guise of "recycling".

Finally, the Woady Yaloak River, the poor little land-locked orphan river that flows south but never reaches the sea. No one has bothered damming the Woady - it's too small to bother.

Dams?

Sure. Build lots of them. Be sure to remember to bring your own water, because there isn't any in the rivers.
 

Tannin

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Tannin said:
(I am assuming here that we are ignoring the effect of human habitation from ~50,000 years ago, which was certainly not trivial, and should perhaps not be ignored at all. But that's another debate.)
[quore="LiamC"] (a couple of paragraphs cheerfully ignoring what I just wrote.)[/quote]

No matter: your summary of the deep history of human occupation here is essentially correct, so far as we are able to tell, and not ignoring substantial scientific controversy still remaining. My point, however, is that even despite that destruction], arid Australia remains one of the most bidiverse places on earth, and it is in much better shape than the two or three other markedly bidiverse places around the globe - how long do you give the Amazon? 10 years? 20? Arid Australia is prime candidate to be the last great wilderness on the planet. Digging a channel to fill Lake Eyre with seawater would be quite possibly the greatest act of environmental vandalism the world has ever seen.
 

time

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Discussion of this idea.

Although you excluded engineering from this discussion, I particularly liked this post:

Volume of lake Eyre when full is 34cubic km, or 34 million megaliters. Evaporation in the area approximates 1.5m per year - over the approx 10,000km square surface area of the lake, that's about 15 million megaliters.

Assume your 'barge canal' is about 50 metres wide and 4 metres deep - gives cross section area of 200 square meters. A quite rapid flow rate, from the sea ,through the canal, of 2.88 kilometers per hour, or 0.8 meters per second would thus take 100 years to fill the Lake Eyre basin (ignoring evaporation).

To fill the basin over ten years, while compensating for evaporation, would take 184 million megaliters of flow - that means the water in your canal travelling at 156 kph, or 43 meters per second, or 260558.339298 furlongs per fortnight....
 

Drakantus

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P5-133XL said:
Native species - Totally hands off. What we did to the American Indian is not acceptable behavior and we should not repeat it; even if it costs us our own lives. Surely that is the moral high ground. I'm sorry, but we should not do anything we want at the expense of others just because we can.
So, are you against evolution? If we are the stronger species, by rights we should dominate the lesser species to insure our survival.

What do you think about owls killing rats and mice? Should we exterminate the owls so that they do not eat at the expense of other animals just because they can?
 

ddrueding

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time said:
Discussion of this idea.

Although you excluded engineering from this discussion, I particularly liked this post:

Volume of lake Eyre when full is 34cubic km, or 34 million megaliters. Evaporation in the area approximates 1.5m per year - over the approx 10,000km square surface area of the lake, that's about 15 million megaliters.

Assume your 'barge canal' is about 50 metres wide and 4 metres deep - gives cross section area of 200 square meters. A quite rapid flow rate, from the sea ,through the canal, of 2.88 kilometers per hour, or 0.8 meters per second would thus take 100 years to fill the Lake Eyre basin (ignoring evaporation).

To fill the basin over ten years, while compensating for evaporation, would take 184 million megaliters of flow - that means the water in your canal travelling at 156 kph, or 43 meters per second, or 260558.339298 furlongs per fortnight....
Now I'm really interested. Let me know when you do it so I can fly down there and watch.
 

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P5-133XL said:
we need to kill-off about 90+% of us as the only solution to keeping the earth habitable for future generations.
Atta boy! Show us how it's done! You are planning to lead by example, right? You did say 90% of "us" and not 90% of "everyone besides me." Very noble.


ddrueding said:
Now I'm really interested. Let me know when you do it so I can fly down there and watch.
I agree. That would be amazing.
 

RWIndiana

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Sorry to rain on your bubble, or burst your parade, or something like that, but it just so happens that I have been officially designated as the one who gets to decide which 10% to keep. Sorry. No hard feelings man. :)

Oh but I would be sure to keep you and P5 both, just cause I like you.
 

LiamC

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time said:
Discussion of this idea.

Bugger. And I thought it was an original idea.

Having said that, as a teenager reading Sci-Fi, I wondered why there was no books that combined time travel and parallel universes (I thought that if you allowed time travel, parallel universes must exist). I found out a few years ago that that wasn't original either. You know surfboards with three fins (of similar size)? Simon Anderson popularised them in the early-mid eighties. I was making surfboards then, and was riding one a year before he first showed his to the world...

Sigh.
 

LiamC

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Tannin said:
How do you feel about dams?

Sorry for not being clear. The context in which I framed the question was:

Dams destroy/change/alter the local environment radically. Our society cannot support urban infrastructure without dams. So either we build no more dams and require people to be water self sufficient or...

If you allow dams, at what stage/size does it become a no-no?
 

Tannin

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LiamC said:
Bugger. And I thought it was an original idea.
Hell no. Mate, I was taught about the idea in primary school, and I'm pushing 50. (Translation for over-the-water friends: primary school, the school you go to when you are 5 to maybe 10-12 years old.) I should imagine that the first person to think about it was probably Edward John Eyre himself - most of those early explorers were competent surveyers, and I daresay he knew that it was below sea level. The earliest serious poposal to flood the lake that I know about was made in 1883.

In the 1950s, the sheer scale of the engineering didn't put people off: in that particular decade the dreamers and the wreckers and the lunatics were in full baying frenzy and any number of vast schemes around the world were proposed, adopted, implemented, and sometimes rather reluctantly rejected. Some were enormously successful - the Marshal Plan and the Apollo Program are examples - others were disasters - many, probably most of the dams and waterway programs of the 50s proved to be mistakes, as did the clearing of the Western Australian wheat belt, and many, many smaller projects through that terrible decade.

The "best" idea was to dig the channel using atom bombs. Can you imagine an entire vast lake filled with seawater, all of it having passed through the highly contaminated ground of the channel? Fancy getting the "clean" rainwater from that lake? The mindset of those 1950s people just beggars belief sometimes.

Let's face it: the idea is fundamentally stupid. If a (relatively) small area of sea water is sufficient to produce rain, why is the land around Spencer Gulf - which is about the same size as Lake Eyre - so dry and barren? Why doesn't it rain in Saudi Arabia because of the Red Sea? Like most of the whacko hydrological engineering projects of the 1950s, it would not only be incredibly expensive, it just wouldn't work. (Of course, that never stopped them back then. Practicality? People, we are talking boys with toys here: since when did practicality matter?)

However, the idea died rapidly at the end of the decade when Lake Eyre filled naturally - as it does perhaps twice a century. Studies of the effect of a full Lake Eyre over the following seasons showed that it had no measurable effect on rainfall in inland Australia.
 

Tannin

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LiamC said:
Dams destroy/change/alter the local environment radically. Our society cannot support urban infrastructure without dams. So either we build no more dams and require people to be water self sufficient or...
Ahh, thankyou. I think I pretty much answered that one already. You can't build any more dams: there are no rivers left worth damming, and we already have more storage capacity than we have water to fill it with. OK, they haven't quite got out of the 1950s mindset in Queensland or Tasmania yet, but that should surprise no-one.
 

P5-133XL

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RWIndiana said:
P5-133XL said:
we need to kill-off about 90+% of us as the only solution to keeping the earth habitable for future generations.
Atta boy! Show us how it's done! You are planning to lead by example, right? You did say 90% of "us" and not 90% of "everyone besides me." Very noble.
I have absolutely no desire to see what the future unfolds as. From what I know and what I can forsee, it'll be bad. Very very bad. Luckily, I'm old enough that I am unlikely to see the worst of it.

I'm not a half-empty type of guy. From where I sit it looks to me as the glass is rushing towards totally empty and I have no desire to watch as the last drops evaporate away.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
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Drakantus said:
P5-133XL said:
Native species - Totally hands off. What we did to the American Indian is not acceptable behavior and we should not repeat it; even if it costs us our own lives. Surely that is the moral high ground. I'm sorry, but we should not do anything we want at the expense of others just because we can.
So, are you against evolution? If we are the stronger species, by rights we should dominate the lesser species to insure our survival.

What do you think about owls killing rats and mice? Should we exterminate the owls so that they do not eat at the expense of other animals just because they can?
huh, what are you talking about? Killing or dominating lessor species has nothing to do with Evolution. Evolution is a theory about how life internally changes over time to adapt to its enviornment. Are you really trying to argue that a mass-murder is an evolutionary improvement?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Atta boy! Show us how it's done! You are planning to lead by example, right? You did say 90% of "us" and not 90% of "everyone besides me." Very noble.
The right way to do it, in case you were wondering, is to just not have kids. Everyone on the whole fucking planet just needs to grasp that a child is not proof of your love, nor the person who has to take care of you when you're old, nor an extra farm hand.

You should need a license to have a child. The world would be a much better place if human procreation more or less went away. China has the right idea, they just don't go far enough.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
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Mercutio said:
Atta boy! Show us how it's done! You are planning to lead by example, right? You did say 90% of "us" and not 90% of "everyone besides me." Very noble.
The right way to do it, in case you were wondering, is to just not have kids. Everyone on the whole fucking planet just needs to grasp that a child is not proof of your love, nor the person who has to take care of you when you're old, nor an extra farm hand.

You should need a license to have a child. The world would be a much better place if human procreation more or less went away. China has the right idea, they just don't go far enough.
100% agreed. Part of the licence should be a fee of $250,000. That would go quite a ways towards educating the brats. Of course, we first need to keep the alternative legal, then we can start enforcing it.
 

LiamC

Storage Is My Life
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ddrueding said:
Of course, we first need to keep the alternative legal, then we can start enforcing it.
Well there's the rub. I've been following some of the goings on "down South" and it kinda runs contrary to the notion of widely available contraception. Maybe they all want you to enter the preiesthood or something.

Opus Dei maybe.. :mrgrn:
 

Sol

Storage is cool
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We could just mandate that as children reach sexual maturity they get some tubes tied and some genetic material (sperm or eggs as may be) harvested, genetically ideal (or as close a s possible with available materials) children get pumped out at a governmentally madated rate and parceled out to appropriate parents determined by the government... The downside is that is a couplee of years America is populated entirely by fundamentalist Christians and Australia is struggling to get to the same point, a religious/political opinion based world war is on the horrizon and all sides want the oposition obliterated and all have the means to acomplish it... On the up side the resulting nuclear war wipes out humanity and the six headed ice dwelling rat/cockroach creatures which replace us as the dominant species on the planet are much more environmentally aware...

Well it'd make an O.K sci-fi book anyway...
 

ddrueding

Fixture
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How about this...

Before you can have a child you need to have 4 men and 4 women sign that they never will. You need to prove your worthiness among your peers, and will be held accountable. If you fail in your responsabilities, the child will be passed over to another member of the group.
 

Drakantus

What is this storage?
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Fairfax, VA
P5-133XL said:
Drakantus said:
P5-133XL said:
Native species - Totally hands off. What we did to the American Indian is not acceptable behavior and we should not repeat it; even if it costs us our own lives. Surely that is the moral high ground. I'm sorry, but we should not do anything we want at the expense of others just because we can.
So, are you against evolution? If we are the stronger species, by rights we should dominate the lesser species to insure our survival.

What do you think about owls killing rats and mice? Should we exterminate the owls so that they do not eat at the expense of other animals just because they can?
huh, what are you talking about? Killing or dominating lessor species has nothing to do with Evolution. Evolution is a theory about how life internally changes over time to adapt to its enviornment. Are you really trying to argue that a mass-murder is an evolutionary improvement?
The original post from Liam included "What if we had totally polluted/destroyed/worn out/overpopulated Earth to the point where we had to find another planet and this was the only choice?"

Evolution is all about the strong surviving and, in some cases, the weak dying out. It sounded like you were arguing that we should just willingly die out and let the weaker native species survive if that was the only way to carry on human existance.

It's only mass murder if it is killing humans. Otherwise the entire food industry would be "mass murderers."
 
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