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Category: Science
Date: 05/28/12 08:24 AM

39 Responses to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Earth Is Bad For Life

  1. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36187 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:25 am
    Link: Neil deGrasse Tyson: Earth Is Bad For Life - Neil deGrasse Tyson`s real view on Earth.
  2. Profile photo of Zuriel
    Zuriel Male 30-39
    554 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:31 am
    i remember watching this on FORA when it aired.

    NdGT always puts things in perspective
  3. Profile photo of swoop408
    swoop408 Male 18-29
    1754 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:38 am
    I love this mans insight.
  4. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:49 am
    Never mind *stopping* hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. What we should be doing is finding ways to harness the power in them rather than simply preventing them. I`m pretty sure it`s not beyond the wit of humanity to tap into the precursor features of these natural phenomena, such as rising and rotating air (in the case of hurricanes) and manageable tidal wave power (as in the case of tsunamis whilst they`re still out at sea, before they hit shallow water like a beach and become massive and unmanageable). By taking the power out of nature`s more destructive phenomena at source, that power could be put it to useful purposes before their more damaging aspects even get a chance to develop. There`s enough stable geothermal energy in Yellowstone National Park to power the whole of the United States, but do they use it? Do they heck.
  5. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:53 am
    @MacGuffin: It`s not really economically feasible to "harness the power" of natural disasters. One tsunami every many years? I`ll tell you: not enough tsunamis to be able to harness sustainable energy from.

    How exactly would one tap into the energy of hurricanes? Mobile wind turbines that can withstand hurricane winds? There`s no way to "take the power out of nature`s more destructive phenomena."
  6. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 9:04 am
    @patch: The point would be to catch the precursors at source. In the case of hurricanes, that would mean harnessing wind power at a point roughly a quarter of the way across the Atlantic, before the wind had become strong enough to damage turbines. By taking the wind and thermal power out at an early stage, whilst it`s still manageable, you`d prevent dangerously-high concentrations of air pressure building up.

    As for tsunamis; yes, it`s a fair point that it`d be less useful as a reliable means of energy production, since tsunamis are less predictable and frequent than hurricanes, but it`d still be feasible to keep a pelamis-type production facility off the coast of regularly-threatened countries like Japan, to be quickly brought to the surface to absorb the incoming power whilst it`s still only a 10-foot high wave out at sea should a tsunami occur. We`ve got them off the North cost of Scotland now, because we get so much wave power here all the time, and they work well.
  7. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 9:42 am
    @Mac: I`m still not sure how you could have mobile wind turbines that would be able to be deployed 1/4 way across the Atlantic. How would they be deployed and stay where they`re put? Even *if* you could do that, using the wind to generate power doesn`t mean the wind stops when it turns a rotor, the hurricane will still form, so you`ve really just spent a lot of money for a pittance of power, and the hurricane is happening anyway.

    Your Pelamis WECs could withstand a tsunami, (It won`t let me post this article in a link so I`ll just give the url with spaces http://www.lama.univ-savoie.fr/~dutykh/ innovaeditor/assets/admin/ ISOPE_FORCE_TSUNAMI_Final.pdf) but they still wouldn`t *stop* the tsunami from doing damage.
  8. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 9:49 am
    Thank you Neil for putting things in perspective.

    Humans can`t destroy the Earth, we just do not have the power to do so. We can make it uninhabitable for awhile and destroy ourselves, Yes we can do that, but the Earth will keep on spinning and repair itself in time just as it always has.

    This planet could shake us off like fleas on a hairless dog, if it wanted too. Yet we have these econuts running around in the forest hugging trees as if that`s going to help.

    This planet is resilient and robust. It`s the closest thing to a perpetual engine we will ever know. The only reason we may survive is because of our technology and intellect. Econuts telling us we can`t use that technology to sustain our ever growing population is akin to murder.

    The next time you see one of those starving children ads on TV thank the econuts, we`d have solved most of the world`s hunger problems if it wasn`t for them cursing GM foods and modern farming technology.
  9. Profile photo of EgalM
    EgalM Male 30-39
    1707 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 9:54 am
    Asteroids are from earth now?

    Sure the planet doesn`t have feelings towards anything, but did you really expect it to love us?

    Yes, let`s waste money on a giant fan that can counteract a tornado instead of the much easier and cheaper, GTFO of the way. Stop a volcano? I don`t see that happening, perhaps redirecting the flow, but not stopping it.

    My only issue with this guy is that he totes all science as absolute truth when it`s only partly so. How to word this next part, it`s like Einstein proving we can`t go faster than the speed of light, it was held as an absolute truth, than one day they find the tachyon particle that not only travels faster than light, but goes so fast it goes back in time. NOW, here`s thing, they will not admit that they he was wrong and they were also wrong. It`s all right, which is impossible.

    In short, we have ideas how things work, we figure out the math to make it work in theory, than turn around and claim it`s 100% tru
  10. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 9:59 am
    @patch: hence my saying "it`s not beyond the wit of humanity" and not "it`s not beyond the wit of MacGuffin". If you`d asked people how to get to the moon in 1950, there would no doubt have been plenty of people pointing out that then-emergent aircraft technology couldn`t do it. That didn`t mean it couldn`t be done.

    As for your notion that it wouldn`t prevent disasters if we were able to take the power out of natural phenomena at an early stage: I`m not sure why you think that, but it seems fairly logical to me that if you manage to take a substantial amount of the destructive power out of a system, there will be less or no energy left in that system to do damage.
  11. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:03 am
    it`s like Einstein proving we can`t go faster than the speed of light, it was held as an absolute truth, than one day they find the tachyon particle that not only travels faster than light, but goes so fast it goes back in time.

    Nobody in the world has yet "found" a tachyon, it`s merely a theoretical particle. Einstein`s theories are still looking pretty good by present experimental evidence.
  12. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36187 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

    NUTRINOS travel faster than light.
  13. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:31 am
    @Crakr: Nowhere in this video did he say anything about us hurting the environment. Stop trying to start another AGW argument.

    "Humans can`t destroy the Earth"

    Ridiculous. Well placed nuclear bombs would do the trick nicely. It wouldn`t completely destroy Earth, but no living thing would survive.

    "it seems fairly logical to me that if you manage to take a substantial amount of the destructive power out of a system, there will be less or no energy left in that system to do damage."
    Wind turbines do slow the wind that meets them, but how many mobile turbines would you possibly need to actually stop a hurricane? That article I linked also says how inefficient turbines are at strong, gusty wind speeds. The idea of having weather technology that can predict hurricane initiating zones, AND having mobile turb
  14. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:32 am
    ...turbines that can be cheaply deployed at a moment`s notice is just not feasible.
  15. Profile photo of Langer
    Langer Male 18-29
    394 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

  16. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7707 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 10:45 am
    So he wants to hold back the waves? Did he learn nothing from King Canute?
  17. Profile photo of CaptainPabst
    CaptainPabst Male 18-29
    1250 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 11:25 am
    Sorry Gerry but they dont
  18. Profile photo of CaptainPabst
    CaptainPabst Male 18-29
    1250 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 11:26 am
    my bad
  19. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 11:34 am
    ...turbines that can be cheaply deployed at a moment`s notice is just not feasible.

    Nobody said it needed to be turbines.
  20. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

  21. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    @patch: I refer you to my earlier analogy about walking on the moon, and how there would have been naysayers back in 1950, saying "but aircraft couldn`t take you to the moon". Simon there could as easily have been captioned "You`re not going to use aircraft? WTF else are you going to use?". For hurricanes, maybe they`d use thermal exchangers to take the heat out of the sea before it even heats the air causing it to rise. Maybe they`d do something else entirely undreamt of at this juncture. The point is, I don`t need to know *how* they`d do it myself at this very moment to be able to state that that it`s not beyond humanity to *invent* a way to do it. Just because you and I don`t personally understand every minutiae of *how* to do something, doesn`t mean that it can`t be done with sufficient ingenuity by other people in time to come.
  22. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    @MacGuffin: I know what you`re saying, but there`s quite a leap from airplane -> rocket as opposed to turbine -> ? Your example of a thermal exchanger doesn`t fit, because even *if* it were possible to reduce the temperature of a specific fraction of the ocean, how would you even know where to start decreasing the temperature. The reason these technologies haven`t been researched is because something like a tornado happens at a moment`s notice. Sure there can be weather conditions that we can anticipate or monitor, but the scale of money and manpower needed to, say, quell a storm because there *might* be a tornado is not possible. Yes, yes, I know you`re saying that in the future, but the video was referencing why we don`t look into these technologies now, and I`ve just told you why.
  23. Profile photo of MacGuffin
    MacGuffin Female 30-39
    2602 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm
    @patch: Forget it. Something tells me you`d have been going "but you can`t USE an aeroplane to get to the moon......oh", right up until Armstrong made that first small step for man.
  24. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm
    @MacGuffin: Fine, dismiss my argument all you want. I`m not saying NdGT isn`t on to something, and I`m also not saying that it`s not possible for us to prevent natural disasters in the future, I`m just saying that there is a specific reason we don`t spend money into that research area: How does someone justify the amount of money needed for research into something when you can`t also compare it to the value of the things that *would* have been destroyed? You`re looking at a problem 100 years from now and I`m looking at it right now.
  25. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    patchgrabber: I never mentioned AGW and as I said we could destroy ourselves, but we couldn`t destroy all life on earth even with the nukes. Nuclear radiation affects other forms of life differently than it does us.

    Also, anyone that thinks we can somehow capture all the energy of a hurricane, tornado or tsunami is a first grade moron.

    It`s not THAT the wind is blowing, it`s WHAT the wind is blowing that would make that effort futile and disastrous. The same goes for the debris coming in from a tsunami.
  26. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    The only flaw I see in his reasoning is that there`s usually a reason things happen in nature, even if they are inconvenient for life in the way. Fires are necessary for some plant species to thrive, etc. If you prevent natural disasters, you better fully understand what benefit they provide and find a way to provide the benefit in another way.
  27. Profile photo of Fancysucksss
    Fancysucksss Male 18-29
    1048 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm
    This is something I totally disagree with. Destruction breeds creation. Just like our wars have made us more efficient at killing eachother, they have also brought up better ways to defend ourselves, for the time being, from ourselves. It`s good to figure things out and how to prevent them, but even better if these things are let be. Especially something big like this. at least until we know the exact outcome. Bad neil. bad!
  28. Profile photo of mon360
    mon360 Male 13-17
    735 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    humans are bad for earth
  29. Profile photo of paperduck
    paperduck Male 18-29
    1745 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm
    the hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, & tornadoes we see are gentle fluctuations to an otherwise extremely well balanced system. check out some of the temperature swings or wind conditions on other planets.
  30. Profile photo of DrProfessor
    DrProfessor Male 18-29
    3894 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm
    Wow, that sucked. He used some really bad, anecdotal reasoning there.
  31. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15844 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm
    If earth was a perfectly safe, secure, and nurturing environment, there would be nothing here but single-celled life. If you want to evolve, you gotta thin the heard.
  32. Profile photo of phil7243
    phil7243 Male 18-29
    143 posts
    May 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm
    I think the interpretation of `bad for life` is important here; if you think that death in general is `bad for life`, then yes Earth is bad. If the inability to live in the first place is `bad for life` then Earth is good.

    Also CrakrJak has made the most rational arguments here.
  33. Profile photo of photomstr
    photomstr Male 50-59
    766 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 12:48 am
    Mother Nature is getting pissed . . .
  34. Profile photo of Justin9235
    Justin9235 Male 18-29
    1582 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 5:15 am
    Lol he cracks me up =P
  35. Profile photo of sutra46
    sutra46 Female 40-49
    2550 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 6:07 am
    He is simply posing a question. Instead of this why not try that. That is how most inventions start.
    No need to get the pagoda in the bunch over this now. Five years from now there will be solutions that we are not even in the realm of imaginig.
  36. Profile photo of sutra46
    sutra46 Female 40-49
    2550 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 6:08 am
    *imagination
  37. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Five years from now there will be solutions that we are not even in the realm of
    And 50 years ago they thought we`d have flying cars by now.
  38. Profile photo of sutra46
    sutra46 Female 40-49
    2550 posts
    May 29, 2012 at 8:57 am
    And 50 years ago they thought we`d have flying cars by now.

    50 years ago cell phones were not imagined! Ye of little faith.
    What the heck do you want a flying car for? We are looking at holographic transportation.
    Think different.
  39. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36187 posts
    May 31, 2012 at 6:15 am

    "50 years ago cell phones were not imagined! Ye of little faith."
    Star Trek, 1966 - Communicator.
    A hand held, flip up device for calling the office.
    Okay, it`s only been 46 years not 50, but I`m rounding up.

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