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SyFy delcares it will bring Science Fiction back to Television


Television

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Qadira

So If you were presented with a Scifi series called 'Golden Gate' where oil is a distant memory and people must walk across a USA which has slipped into a medieval state.
The Premise is a series about the Town of Golden Gate which is a fishing community under the rule of a Warlord who controls access to the bay with artillery located on the Bridge of the Same name occupying the Bridge which is on a trade road along the coast.

What would you expect of the series to keep you interested?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So everyone must walk? No one has bikes, horses, electric cars? Just saying.


What about bio-fuels? Has corn and sugar cane all disappear also?

To keep my interest they would have to do a lot of exposition as why the USA broke up. Why alt fuels aren't used and why a warlord would want to control the bay area. No fuel equals no shipping worth the effort of holding an area that can't feed it's own people. They would also have to explain how a medieval state can maintain it's artillery and the Golden Gate bridge with out petroleum products or advanced metallurgy.

If SyFy really wanted to bring back science fiction back to TV they should concentrate on bringing their excellent web shows like Mercury Men and Riese: the Series to TV instead of backing an iffy quasi sci-fi post-apocalypse show.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xabulba wrote:

What about bio-fuels? Has corn and sugar cane all disappear also?

To keep my interest they would have to do a lot of exposition as why the USA broke up. Why alt fuels aren't used and why a warlord would want to control the bay area. No fuel equals no shipping worth the effort of holding an area that can't feed it's own people. They would also have to explain how a medieval state can maintain it's artillery and the Golden Gate bridge with out petroleum products or advanced metallurgy.

If SyFy really wanted to bring back science fiction back to TV they should concentrate on bringing their excellent web shows like Mercury Men and Riese: the Series to TV instead of backing an iffy quasi sci-fi post-apocalypse show.

If our oil-based economy collapses before alternative fuels become viable. (remember that most bio-fuels now are a mix with gasoline) I could definitely see us going back to the oxbow level.

A major thing to remember is that crops used for bio-fuel can mean a major hit in the food supply especially if mass freight systems have already collapsed. If you can't ship large quantities of food, then areas like Golden Gate may very well be dependent on what can be raised locally. It then becomes a choice of gassing your car or filling your belly. In the real world, Bio-Fuel production has caused major hikes in food prices in the third world.

With the collapse of transportation, it would take a major miracle to prevent the United States from undergoing balkanisation.


LazarX wrote:
Xabulba wrote:

What about bio-fuels? Has corn and sugar cane all disappear also?

To keep my interest they would have to do a lot of exposition as why the USA broke up. Why alt fuels aren't used and why a warlord would want to control the bay area. No fuel equals no shipping worth the effort of holding an area that can't feed it's own people. They would also have to explain how a medieval state can maintain it's artillery and the Golden Gate bridge with out petroleum products or advanced metallurgy.

If SyFy really wanted to bring back science fiction back to TV they should concentrate on bringing their excellent web shows like Mercury Men and Riese: the Series to TV instead of backing an iffy quasi sci-fi post-apocalypse show.

If our oil-based economy collapses before alternative fuels become viable. (remember that most bio-fuels now are a mix with gasoline) I could definitely see us going back to the oxbow level.

A major thing to remember is that crops used for bio-fuel can mean a major hit in the food supply especially if mass freight systems have already collapsed. If you can't ship large quantities of food, then areas like Golden Gate may very well be dependent on what can be raised locally. It then becomes a choice of gassing your car or filling your belly.

With the collapse of transportation, it would take a major miracle to prevent the United States from undergoing balkanisation.

The military always takes precedence over citizens so the military would let the civilians starve so they can have fuel. Ethanol, the product of corn based bio-fuels, can be used directly in diesel engines without any problems so trains and trucks and tanks would still be operational long after oil disappears.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xabulba wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Xabulba wrote:

What about bio-fuels? Has corn and sugar cane all disappear also?

To keep my interest they would have to do a lot of exposition as why the USA broke up. Why alt fuels aren't used and why a warlord would want to control the bay area. No fuel equals no shipping worth the effort of holding an area that can't feed it's own people. They would also have to explain how a medieval state can maintain it's artillery and the Golden Gate bridge with out petroleum products or advanced metallurgy.

If SyFy really wanted to bring back science fiction back to TV they should concentrate on bringing their excellent web shows like Mercury Men and Riese: the Series to TV instead of backing an iffy quasi sci-fi post-apocalypse show.

If our oil-based economy collapses before alternative fuels become viable. (remember that most bio-fuels now are a mix with gasoline) I could definitely see us going back to the oxbow level.

A major thing to remember is that crops used for bio-fuel can mean a major hit in the food supply especially if mass freight systems have already collapsed. If you can't ship large quantities of food, then areas like Golden Gate may very well be dependent on what can be raised locally. It then becomes a choice of gassing your car or filling your belly.

With the collapse of transportation, it would take a major miracle to prevent the United States from undergoing balkanisation.

The military always takes precedence over citizens so the military would let the civilians starve so they can have fuel. Ethanol, the product of corn based bio-fuels, can be used directly in diesel engines without any problems so trains and trucks and tanks would still be operational long after oil disappears.

Unfortunately once all your citizens starve, who feeds the military? An army can't exist without the agricultural base to feed it.


Bio-fuels are mixed with gasoline because there is governmental and oil-companies pressure. Colza oil can be chemically refined to a form that can be used as fuel for diesel engines without mixing gasoline.

There are complications involved: currently available bio-fuels are less efficient than gasoline, they are more costly in production (these costs would be probably reduced with better development of associated technologies and/or genetical engineering of more appropriate plants), accusations of increase in food prices because of repurposing food producing areas for bio-fuel producing plants and so on. However, unless the access to oil would be severed very suddenly the current civilization would be capable of shifting to alternate power sources - with economical and cultural repercussions of course, but without total breakdown.


LazarX wrote:


Unfortunately once all your citizens starve, who feeds the military? An army can't exist without the agricultural base to feed it.

50 million people can still farm enough for themselves and the US' current military so 250 million people can starve before it becomes a problem.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xabulba wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Unfortunately once all your citizens starve, who feeds the military? An army can't exist without the agricultural base to feed it.

50 million people can still farm enough for themselves and the US' current military so 250 million people can starve before it becomes a problem.

I think you really underestimate just how bad the upcoming collapse is going to be, and just how dependent on oil and mass freight transport we've become. For all the alternative tech and fuels we've developed, our dependency has not slowed in it's increase. When the collapse comes you're going to have massive die off and the whole industrial complex is going to collapse like a house of cards.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would rather see a series about space exploration than the peak oil apocalypse myself. With the news about private companies looking to mine asteroids why not tap into Heinlein's The past through Tomorrow collection?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

SyFy channel bringing sci-fi back?!? OH NOES!!!!

Whatever will we do without our wrestling?

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

2 people marked this as a favorite.

And what about the ghosts? If they aren't filmed in grainy night camera footage, will they go on a killing spree?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pan wrote:
I would rather see a series about space exploration than the peak oil apocalypse myself. With the news about private companies looking to mine asteroids why not tap into Heinlein's The past through Tomorrow collection?

Depending on the motivations and capabilities of the asteroid miners, a better Heinlein example might be _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_; specifically, the "throw rocks at them" part.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What about steam engines? Used to be these things called railroads that connected the country from coast to coast, once upon a time. Water is readily available. Losing oil doesn't mean we'll be thrown back into the stone age.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Xabulba wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Unfortunately once all your citizens starve, who feeds the military? An army can't exist without the agricultural base to feed it.

50 million people can still farm enough for themselves and the US' current military so 250 million people can starve before it becomes a problem.

Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) Add in that most pesticides/herbicides are also products of the petroleum industry, we'd see dust belt levels of crop failure and top soil loss (admittedly, there is virtually no top soil left in the midwest as it is).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Robert Little wrote:
Xabulba wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Unfortunately once all your citizens starve, who feeds the military? An army can't exist without the agricultural base to feed it.

50 million people can still farm enough for themselves and the US' current military so 250 million people can starve before it becomes a problem.
Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) Add in that most pesticides/herbicides are also products of the petroleum industry, we'd see dust belt levels of crop failure and top soil loss (admittedly, there is virtually no top soil left in the midwest as it is).

You obviously don't know anything about farming with that last sentence. There's farmland in Iowa going for 240k+ an acre because it's the best farmland in the entire world. No topsoil, my *&^*&.

As for transporting bulk food, most of that is done by rail or by water, which are hugely more efficient with fuel then using automobiles, which are incredibly wasteful. What it means is people would eat more locally grown food, less imported food...which is what happens in poor societies all over the world who don't have easy access to gasoline. There would hardly be mass starvation immediately.

==Aelryinth

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Little wrote:


Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) <...>

Could I get a cite for that? Also, how does that affect things like wheat?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

They can start bringing sci-fi back by changing their name back to sci-fi.

SyFy? Really. How do I pronounce that? Siffie?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:


Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) <...>
Could I get a cite for that? Also, how does that affect things like wheat?

Two cites

Spoiler:

The first is a breakdown of the major crops in the U.S. Hay and cotton are not food crops (for humans anyways). Wheat, Rice, Sorghum, and Soybeans are edible, but usually require at least some processing (grinding down into flour, fermenting, hulling, etc). Plus, except for soybeans, these are all grains. And they are often GMO-crops with marker genes rendering them infertile after a generation to prevent seed harvesting.

Outside of these the next biggest crop is probably potatoes (another starch). There are regional vegetables and fruits grown (apples are probably the single widest spread), but nothing in comparison to wide distribution of the commodity grain crops.

Cite two - from Iowa State University. The important bit here is in the first paragraph...nearly 80 million acres of field corn were grown in 2007, but not quite 400,000 acres of sweet corn was grown the same year. Field corn is pretty much inedible...sure you could eat it, but it would be like eating really fibery cardboard. Now, we do eat it - it is what is used for corn starch, corn flakes, corn syrup, as well as animal feed, ethanol, and other non-edible corn products, but that is after being (heavily) processed. Sweet corn is what we eat naturally, and its only about 0.5% of all the corn grown in the U.S.

Your average farmer in the middle of Iowa growing corn wouldn't be able to feed themselves off of their crop. The only way they could do so would be to keep a garden to the side for themselves (and they probably wouldn't be able to grow sweet corn for risk of prosecution by Monsonto).

(I went and looked some of this up directly in response to your question, but when I made my original post I was mostly operating off of memory of various articles/shows I've seen talking about it. Regarding corn in particular, I highly recommend the documentary "King Corn", which is available on Netflix Streaming. It spends a fair amount of time discussing how corn is grown and the breakdown of its use).


for the sake of scrolling.

Qadira

So you think Asteroid Mining Scifi where robot ships go out and attatch themselves to rocks and return them to lunar orbit for mining would be a viable scifi in preference to a Post Apocalyptic Scifi where All China has to do is offer every poor US citizen jobs in the farming sector and land and a house to remove the US slave-Labor class from the US economic model plunging the middle class into the poverty well at the bottom of every US city.

You might be right. If anyone remembers SPACE: 1999 the most interesting and significant part of the Tale is the very beginning - pre-cataclysm part of the story where the Lunar Governing body has been using the moon as a nuclear waste dump site and there is space government and corporate and scientific malfeasance and terrorism and cover-up and corruption which ultimately gives rise to the cataclysm.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Little,

you're assuming people can't do something as basic as replant.

You're also ignoring the fact that people have processed wheat into flour for millenia. It's the original use of watermills...to grind flour down. The 'miller' was actually a full time occupation at one point.

Stop using Monsanto seed and you don't have to worry about a lawsuit from them. There ARE organic farmers out there, you know, and you could have the entire country's crop reorganized within 2-3 years if you had to. All they have to do is NOT BUY their seed from one vendor.

You're also ignoring the fact that a great deal of those crops are produced for export. America is a major food exporter...it's actually the biggest export we have.

If we don't have the fuel to get stuff to other countries, guess what? We don't plant that acreage. Crop mixes change. And if food is a priority, crop mixes can change HUGELY. We produce way more food in this country then we actually need to feed people.

Probably the biggest thing that would happen is that low-tech jobs that have emigrated to other countries will come back to the US, because the cost of transportation is prohibitive. In other words, nobody will be buying much of anything made in China, and textile mills will come back to the U.S, among other things.

===Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

Little,

you're assuming people can't do something as basic as replant.

You're also ignoring the fact that people have processed wheat into flour for millenia. It's the original use of watermills...to grind flour down. The 'miller' was actually a full time occupation at one point.

Stop using Monsanto seed and you don't have to worry about a lawsuit from them. There ARE organic farmers out there, you know, and you could have the entire country's crop reorganized within 2-3 years if you had to. All they have to do is NOT BUY their seed from one vendor.

You're also ignoring the fact that a great deal of those crops are produced for export. America is a major food exporter...it's actually the biggest export we have.

If we don't have the fuel to get stuff to other countries, guess what? We don't plant that acreage. Crop mixes change. And if food is a priority, crop mixes can change HUGELY. We produce way more food in this country then we actually need to feed people.

Probably the biggest thing that would happen is that low-tech jobs that have emigrated to other countries will come back to the US, because the cost of transportation is prohibitive. In other words, nobody will be buying much of anything made in China, and textile mills will come back to the U.S, among other things.

===Aelryinth

QFT

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Woodford wrote:
Pan wrote:
I would rather see a series about space exploration than the peak oil apocalypse myself. With the news about private companies looking to mine asteroids why not tap into Heinlein's The past through Tomorrow collection?
Depending on the motivations and capabilities of the asteroid miners, a better Heinlein example might be _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_; specifically, the "throw rocks at them" part.

Not really you are jumping the gun a bit. Past Through Tomorrow is a collection of stories about humans getting into space. The moon is a Harsh Mistress starts out with a full blown lunar colony. Which is fine but I want to see the process of us getting out there not already being there.

yellowdingo wrote:

So you think Asteroid Mining Scifi where robot ships go out and attatch themselves to rocks and return them to lunar orbit for mining would be a viable scifi in preference to a Post Apocalyptic Scifi where All China has to do is offer every poor US citizen jobs in the farming sector and land and a house to remove the US slave-Labor class from the US economic model plunging the middle class into the poverty well at the bottom of every US city.

You might be right. If anyone remembers SPACE: 1999 the most interesting and significant part of the Tale is the very beginning - pre-cataclysm part of the story where the Lunar Governing body has been using the moon as a nuclear waste dump site and there is space government and corporate and scientific malfeasance and terrorism and cover-up and corruption which ultimately gives rise to the cataclysm.

Yes I am serious. Post apocalypse has been done to death. If they really want to deliver Science Fiction it would be nice to see something different for a change. I vaguely remember space: 1999 do you know if its available anywhere?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

That is a VERY old british show...70's? only ran for one season. You can find a fine breakdown of it on Wikipedia.

Basically the idea that the moon is travelling through the galaxy after being blown out of earth's orbit by exploding nuclear waste is pretty damn funny.

==Aelryinth


I'd like to see a serial where some of the best Internet filmmakers get more funding to create one-shot hour-long shows. Like Youtube meets American Idol.


Aelryinth wrote:

Little,

you're assuming people can't do something as basic as replant.

You're also ignoring the fact that people have processed wheat into flour for millenia. It's the original use of watermills...to grind flour down. The 'miller' was actually a full time occupation at one point.

Stop using Monsanto seed and you don't have to worry about a lawsuit from them. There ARE organic farmers out there, you know, and you could have the entire country's crop reorganized within 2-3 years if you had to. All they have to do is NOT BUY their seed from one vendor.

You're also ignoring the fact that a great deal of those crops are produced for export. America is a major food exporter...it's actually the biggest export we have.

If we don't have the fuel to get stuff to other countries, guess what? We don't plant that acreage. Crop mixes change. And if food is a priority, crop mixes can change HUGELY. We produce way more food in this country then we actually need to feed people.

Probably the biggest thing that would happen is that low-tech jobs that have emigrated to other countries will come back to the US, because the cost of transportation is prohibitive. In other words, nobody will be buying much of anything made in China, and textile mills will come back to the U.S, among other things.

===Aelryinth

There are a couple of counter forces at work, though I don't know enough about food science to know their impact. Without proper refrigeration and climate control, more food will be lost to spoilage.

Qadira

Aelryinth wrote:

That is a VERY old british show...70's? only ran for one season. You can find a fine breakdown of it on Wikipedia.

Basically the idea that the moon is travelling through the galaxy after being blown out of earth's orbit by exploding nuclear waste is pretty damn funny.

==Aelryinth

More than one season but the series was dying the instant they went from corporate malfeasance to Star Trek - the Moron Generation.

Qadira

I agree that the most interesting character from Asimov's Nemesis was the Ruthless old Administrator in charge of the Hyperspace Research Project on earth planning to pursue the Humans aboard the Space Colony that developed Hyper-assist drives and fled the solar system.

How about an outline for the Story for Asteroid Mining:

1. We can begin with the election of a Senator who has refused to vote in support of removing laws allowing Asteroid Mining. In fact He recommends Selling off US Space Intellectual Property to pay off the National Debt. He is Assassinated.


Space 2099 is being produced and should be airing sometime next year. Space 2099 still needs to find a network to air it so if it isn't picked up by a major network maybe SyFy could buy it.


A couple of game settings that would make for cool shows are TORG, Shadowrun, and Alpha Centauri (the Civilization expansion). Shadowrun would be the cheapest, I suspect, and timely.


The premise is entirely plausible, at least within the context of the United States. Our civilization is dependent on oil to keep running, from top to bottom.

Nitrogen in our soils is replenished with oil products, consumer products require oil to produce, our fleet of combustion engine vehicles take oil both to manufacture and operate. It goes on an on.

Large numbers of people commuting to work from suburbs does not help matters. At some point segments of the population will be priced out. What that means is the price to buy heating oil, to fuel a car, or to purchase food, will be to high.
A speculated result of this is economic collapse, once enough of the population is priced out and unable to contribute to consumerism.


Assuming this asteroid venture doesn't pan out, I'm more concerned about the shortage of rare metals than I am about the shortage of oil.

Without rare metals, we can't build computers. Our global economy is as dependent on computers as it is on oil and I suspect that our rare metals will run out first.


Surely, they'll bring back Firefly.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:

Assuming this asteroid venture doesn't pan out, I'm more concerned about the shortage of rare metals than I am about the shortage of oil.

Without rare metals, we can't build computers. Our global economy is as dependent on computers as it is on oil and I suspect that our rare metals will run out first.

Assuming that you are referring to 'rare earth metals'... there is absolutely no chance of us 'running out' of these any time soon. They are actually fairly common elements which only became known as 'rare' because they are usually widely dispersed throughout the Earth's crust. It is uncommon to find them in high concentrations. However, numerous deposits HAVE been located around the world.

The 'problem' is that about twenty years ago China cornered the market by paying workers next to nothing and providing these minerals globally at prices so low that they drove everyone else out of business. Prior to that the US had been the world's primary supplier. Now, as demand has increased, China has put export limits in place in an attempt to keep the high end technology manufacturing with these materials local. This is creating a shortage in availability.

However, the solution is quite simple... we can just re-open the mines in the US and/or others around the world. Might mean higher prices, but we are nowhere near running out of these materials.

Of course, we aren't close to 'running out' of oil either. We've just reached the point where global demand continues to increase while production levels off and then declines. With the 'rare earth' issue we can increase production no problem. With oil we can't find and bring new sources online fast enough to offset the ones which are becoming tapped out.


CBDunkerson wrote:


It is uncommon to find them in high concentrations.

Which is the problem. It takes time and money to build those mines - mines which will produce little amounts of rare earth metals. That means the cost of production sky rockets. This high opportunity cost will have a huge impact on our future economy.


Darkwing Duck wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:


It is uncommon to find them in high concentrations.
Which is the problem.

In a world with almost 7 billion people and counting, any finite resource can become a problem.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Which is the problem. It takes time and money to build those mines - mines which will produce little amounts of rare earth metals. That means the cost of production sky rockets. This high opportunity cost will have a huge impact on our future economy.

It really won't.

This is such a non-issue that we are currently throwing this stuff away. If there were ever to be a serious shortage or price spike we could implement recycling and/or recovery from landfills.

Unlike oil, these metals do not get 'used up'. They don't undergo a chemical process, bond with other elements, and get dispersed into the atmosphere. They are sitting right there in every electronic gadget we toss in the trash when it breaks or becomes obsolete. We could recycle them for the next generation of technology and the next after that, but we haven't bothered because it is less hassle to just mine more of the stuff.

We'll be able to continue using rare earth materials economically for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Oil as our largest power source (~35%) won't make it to 2050.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Which is the problem. It takes time and money to build those mines - mines which will produce little amounts of rare earth metals. That means the cost of production sky rockets. This high opportunity cost will have a huge impact on our future economy.

It really won't.

This is such a non-issue that we are currently throwing this stuff away. If there were ever to be a serious shortage or price spike we could implement recycling and/or recovery from landfills.

Unlike oil, these metals do not get 'used up'. They don't undergo a chemical process, bond with other elements, and get dispersed into the atmosphere. They are sitting right there in every electronic gadget we toss in the trash when it breaks or becomes obsolete. We could recycle them for the next generation of technology and the next after that, but we haven't bothered because it is less hassle to just mine more of the stuff.

We'll be able to continue using rare earth materials economically for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Oil as our largest power source (~35%) won't make it to 2050.

There is a cost to reclamation of these rare metals from the garbage that you aren't responding to.


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Darkwing Duck wrote:
There is a cost to reclamation of these rare metals from the garbage that you aren't responding to.

Response: Your position that we will shortly go from 'nearly everyone having a cell phone' to 'being unable to economically maintain sufficient computer infrastructure to prevent the collapse of modern society' is beyond absurd.

Currently we've got more 'rare' earth materials than we know what to do with. We're leaving the stuff at known sites laying in the ground for decades, tossing them in landfills by the ton, and barely even bothering to look for more deposits.

If China continues to violate international trade agreements and the world has to start recycling and/or mining these materials elsewhere on a large scale the price will indeed go up... but not so much that it triggers the collapse of civilization.

Actual 'worst case' scenario: The price of a new iPhone increases by $50 for a few years while supplies are being stabilized. Only the end of the world for Apple fanatics.


CBDunkerson wrote:


Response: Your position that we will shortly go from 'nearly everyone having a cell phone' to 'being unable to economically maintain sufficient computer infrastructure to prevent the collapse of modern society' is beyond absurd.

What I actually said is that I suspect rare metal shortage will be an issue before oil shortage will be. I don't know what your definition of "shortly" is, but if you think that we will shortly have an economic collapse due to an oil shortage, okay.

CBDunkerson wrote:


Currently we've got more 'rare' earth materials than we know what to do with.

That's nice. But, I've been talking about rare metals (which include gallium, indium, and selenium). I don't know your credentials. I'm certainly no expert. But, according to a presentation by Robert Ayres, a physicist and economist, to the Royal Society in January 2012, these metals are so rare and difficult to extract that simply raising their price isn't going to help. According to the United States Geological Society, the world wide supply of indium could deplete within the next ten years.

And, like I said, there's a cost involved in reclamation that you've been ignoring.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Selenium isn't a metal.

As to Ayres, he has argued that continued technological development may require greater quantities of these materials than are currently produced... especially for so-called 'hitch-hiker' substances which are found as by-products of other processes. Since these are produced in small quantities while processing vast amounts of more common materials you can't simply pay a little more to increase the production rate.

All of which is true... but has nothing to do with these materials 'running out' or the world 'being unable to build computers'. Rather, Ayres is talking about the lack of materials possibly holding us back from switching over to solar power and other future technological breakthroughs. To help avoid this he advocates, amongst other things, recycling and conservation.

Indium, for instance, is heavily used in touch screens. There are rather alot of those being made currently. If we just keep making touch screens out of indium and then throwing them away when the next generation device comes out then there will eventually be a shortage. However, recycling can solve that. As could switching to other (more expensive) materials for touch screens.

Proper management of rare earth materials is going to be important to technological development in the coming decades, but there is absolutely no chance of shortages of them leading to a shortage of computers or crash of society. There is no comparison to fossil fuels. If we were to run out of the seventeen 'rare earth elements' the advancement of many forms of cutting edge technology would be slowed. If we were to run out of fossil fuels, before developing a replacement, modern industrial civilization would end.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Little wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:


Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) <...>
Could I get a cite for that? Also, how does that affect things like wheat?

Two cites

** spoiler omitted **...

Thank you much...interesting reading. I was trying to work through the amount of corn used for ethanol production in the US and getting nowhere; my google-fu was weak.


John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:


Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) <...>
Could I get a cite for that? Also, how does that affect things like wheat?

Two cites

** spoiler omitted **...

Thank you much...interesting reading. I was trying to work through the amount of corn used for ethanol production in the US and getting nowhere; my google-fu was weak.

Corn ethanol has been pushed by lobbyist from the corn industry. As of this time, corn bio-fuels offer a poor return for the investment. Google the EROI from corn based ethanol. EROI, stands for Energy Returned On Investment, and there's little to none.

One possible exception might be cellulosic ethanol, which is more promising.


Sadly sugar makes a better fuel. Unfortunately the American BioAg corporations are far too powerful to allow for that option at this time. They also create a serious roadblock to any "Black Swan" or TEOTEAWKI event. The increased reliance on bio engineered crops has led to possible unforeseen mutations in crops, seedless crops mean that should a systemic failure occur the availability of natural crops may be strained. I have a number of family members that still struggle with the small family farm model ( small is relative, even a small farm is a multi million dollar Buisness operationally ). This lack of natural seed stock is an issue that has been discussed for several years among my family.
Honestly however, insect and disease resistant crops are a no brainer for the AgBuisness operator.

Also as a point on Diesel Engines, the newer engines don't run as well on dirty and mixed fuels as the engines from just 10 years ago. This is one of the principle issues with the availability of new diesel engines offered by American manufacturers. The collapse of the oil economy would not be kind on the current supply of engines. The engineers at International, as an example, have a hellish time keeping up with the new federal standards that are designed to keep diesels out of the hands of regular Americans. This has been going on for the last 15 years.

@Robert Little
That's the type of stuff I hate reading.

Also I have little faith in the SyFy network. They got lucky with Battlestar Galactica. Otherwise they have a spotty history with new series development and SUPPORT.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Selenium isn't a metal.

As to Ayres, he has argued that continued technological development may require greater quantities of these materials than are currently produced... especially for so-called 'hitch-hiker' substances which are found as by-products of other processes. Since these are produced in small quantities while processing vast amounts of more common materials you can't simply pay a little more to increase the production rate.

All of which is true... but has nothing to do with these materials 'running out' or the world 'being unable to build computers'. Rather, Ayres is talking about the lack of materials possibly holding us back from switching over to solar power and other future technological breakthroughs. To help avoid this he advocates, amongst other things, recycling and conservation.

Indium, for instance, is heavily used in touch screens. There are rather alot of those being made currently. If we just keep making touch screens out of indium and then throwing them away when the next generation device comes out then there will eventually be a shortage. However, recycling can solve that. As could switching to other (more expensive) materials for touch screens.

Proper management of rare earth materials is going to be important to technological development in the coming decades, but there is absolutely no chance of shortages of them leading to a shortage of computers or crash of society. There is no comparison to fossil fuels. If we were to run out of the seventeen 'rare earth elements' the advancement of many forms of cutting edge technology would be slowed. If we were to run out of fossil fuels, before developing a replacement, modern industrial civilization would end.

Researchers have already found an alternative to Indium, carbon nanotubes and latex. The carbon nanotubes/latex mixture is also more efficient than Indium and will cost less once mass production starts.

Qadira

Back in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a friend of mine suggested a rather brilliant plan: Start a new bio-diesel company that produces fuel from [url]kudzu[/url]. Provide displaced, out of work natives of the gulf region with jobs harvesting and processing the plant. At a growth rate of six feet per week, it's a readily renewable resource. Apparently, my friend wasn't the only one who hit upon this idea, at least in part.


A highly regarded expert wrote:
Surely, they'll bring back Firefly.

over my dead body.


Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

zagnabbit wrote:

Sadly sugar makes a better fuel. Unfortunately the American BioAg corporations are far too powerful to allow for that option at this time. They also create a serious roadblock to any "Black Swan" or TEOTEAWKI event. The increased reliance on bio engineered crops has led to possible unforeseen mutations in crops, seedless crops mean that should a systemic failure occur the availability of natural crops may be strained. I have a number of family members that still struggle with the small family farm model ( small is relative, even a small farm is a multi million dollar Buisness operationally ). This lack of natural seed stock is an issue that has been discussed for several years among my family.

Honestly however, insect and disease resistant crops are a no brainer for the AgBuisness operator.

Also as a point on Diesel Engines, the newer engines don't run as well on dirty and mixed fuels as the engines from just 10 years ago. This is one of the principle issues with the availability of new diesel engines offered by American manufacturers. The collapse of the oil economy would not be kind on the current supply of engines. The engineers at International, as an example, have a hellish time keeping up with the new federal standards that are designed to keep diesels out of the hands of regular Americans. This has been going on for the last 15 years.

@Robert Little
That's the type of stuff I hate reading.

Also I have little faith in the SyFy network. They got lucky with Battlestar Galactica. Otherwise they have a spotty history with new series development and SUPPORT.


Freehold DM wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:
Surely, they'll bring back Firefly.
over my dead body.

SyFy did have the chance to take over Firefly after Fox cancled it but couldn't afford to buy it from Fox and pay Whedon enough money to keep making it so they bought the rights to WWE instead.


Don't forget Haven.

Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored
zagnabbit wrote:

Sadly sugar makes a better fuel. Unfortunately the American BioAg corporations are far too powerful to allow for that option at this time. They also create a serious roadblock to any "Black Swan" or TEOTEAWKI event. The increased reliance on bio engineered crops has led to possible unforeseen mutations in crops, seedless crops mean that should a systemic failure occur the availability of natural crops may be strained. I have a number of family members that still struggle with the small family farm model ( small is relative, even a small farm is a multi million dollar Buisness operationally ). This lack of natural seed stock is an issue that has been discussed for several years among my family.

Honestly however, insect and disease resistant crops are a no brainer for the AgBuisness operator.

Also as a point on Diesel Engines, the newer engines don't run as well on dirty and mixed fuels as the engines from just 10 years ago. This is one of the principle issues with the availability of new diesel engines offered by American manufacturers. The collapse of the oil economy would not be kind on the current supply of engines. The engineers at International, as an example, have a hellish time keeping up with the new federal standards that are designed to keep diesels out of the hands of regular Americans. This has been going on for the last 15 years.

@Robert Little
That's the type of stuff I hate reading.

Also I have little faith in the SyFy network. They got lucky with Battlestar Galactica. Otherwise they have a spotty history with new series development and SUPPORT.

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