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June 13, 2011

Doers ruin preditions

Category: General

The Coming Dark Age by Roberto Vacca

Recently I read a book called “The Coming Dark Age” by Roberto Vacca, copyright 1971. In it he talks of how our world is filled with increasingly complex and congested systems, systems so complex that if one breaks down it causes other complex systems to break down, and so on until the damage is so bad that we enter a dark age. Examples of some of these systems are our land line telephone networks (the book predates cell phones), road, train and air traffic networks, electrical grids, postal systems and military defence systems.

The sample scenario he gives is of the death of New York city. It all starts with gridlock on roads and trains. As a result, shifts of air traffic controllers can’t get to work. The already tired shifts waiting to be relieved make mistakes resulting in two planes colliding and damaging electrical transmission lines. The electrical load is immediately transferred to other parts of the electrical grid, but they are already near being overloaded themselves. A cascade of failures occur resulting in a blackout throughout several states.

Meanwhile it’s January and sub-freezing temperatures and snow cause automobile drivers to be gridlocked but with the vehicles running for heat. Many vehicles soon run out of gas so their drivers leave them abandoned, further worsening the problem. Since the trains are also not running, many workers end up having to camp out in their offices, lighting fires for warmth. Several buildings catch fire. The next day brings no relief and stranded without supplies, people panic. They all try to phone out and jam the phone network. The firearms come out and looting and begins. Of course the military is brought in with helicopters but the scale is too large to handle. Soon diseases being to play a part.

So why hasn’t this happened? Airplanes have crashed. In 2003 large parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern US and Ontario, Canada experienced a long lasting electrical blackout. Enduring subfreezing cold spells frequently occur.

The simple answer is when these things happen, people don’t just sit around and do nothing. They don’t panic. In fact they pull together and help each other, taking care of those in need, working to solve the problem. We’ve seen this time and again with tsunamis, earthquakes, ice storms, fires, … If the problems are too great locally then national and international aid rushes in.

The result is that Roberto Vacca’s predictions of a dark age never happened. Doers do things that ruin such predictions.

My father is a good one for making predictions of dire events only to have them never occur. In those cases he is usually right about the prediction. The problem is, if he is aware of it so are others who would be affected. Those others then act to prevent the things from happening. His perfectly reasonable predictions end up not coming true.

This reminds me of a short story I once read along those very lines. I haven’t been able to find it again and don’t remember either the name of the author or the story so if someone knows, please leave a comment below. The following is a summary of the story to the best of my recollection.

The story has two characters, a young man and his neighbor, a young woman. At the beginning of the story the man thinks that the world is in dire need of an abundant, cheap, clean energy source without which civilization will likely cease to exist as we know it. And so he works in his workshop to try and solve this problem. The woman thinks that there is no danger and no reason for him to be wasting his time. Instead he should relax and take life easy.

One day he manages to build the required energy production machine out of very simple materials: cardboard, wood, some wire. He’s not so naive to think he can just release it to the world and it’ll be readily accepted and spread widely, nor does he necessarily think it would be wise to do so. Instead he enrols in a university to get an electrical degree followed by a business degree. So simple is his machine that the electrical degree is not needed but it gives him respectability. After graduation he forms a manufacturing company. For added respectability he becomes active in religion and does volunteer work. After a few years he starts slowly introducing his energy machine into the devices he manufacturers, at first marketing them as high efficiency machines. Gradually he increases the efficiency and starts spreading the technology as subsystems in other companies products, until eventually it’s everywhere and the world energy need is vastly reduced. By the time he’s in his 60s, through his lifelong efforts the impending worldwide disaster has been averted.

It’s around this time that he runs into the woman again, herself in her 60s. In catching up he tells her of his very active life, his studies, his community work, his businesses, though not of his involvement with solving the energy problem. To this she responds that he should have lived a more simple, sedate life. After all, his dire predictions never came through so it was all a waste of his time.

When I think of climate change and climate change deniers I hope the above story becomes reality. A great hope of mine is that doers, one of whom I try to be, solve the climate change problem. I hope that in my old age I’m sitting in a green park beside a clean water lake breathing clean air at a comfortable temperature and am sitting beside someone who turns to me and says “See, climate change never happened. All the predictions were wrong.” If that happens then that means we doers will have succeeded in ruining yet another prediction.

7 Comments »

Earl
June 15, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

Interesting ideas. If all people, including the most powerful and the most rich, thought like you and me, then any problem could be solved. Unfortunately, climate change is big business. There is much money to be taken from us by convincing us that there is a problem. Many “leaders” point at CO2 as the problem. People have been skeptical and unfortunately the super rich are hell-bent on controlling the world. One strategy the elite have at gaining control of the entire world is a global currency. How could they pull off such a stunt? A Carbon tax. That’s why they blame climate problems on CO2.

If everyone on Earth pays a Carbon tax, the only fair way to pay that tax would be through a single currency. Whoever controls that one-world currency, controls the world. With that in mind, leaders must convince us there is a problem. If it’s not a problem, they look to see how they can create the problem.

The issue is not global warming, global cooling, or whatever the phrase of the day is. The issue is ultimate control of the world. Some people want to be God of the universe and will stop at nothing.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I wish our “leaders” thought like you and would act responsibly instead of acting selfishly.

Steve
June 16, 2011 @ 9:37 am

Why do you listen to your “leaders” when it comes to things like climate change? The scientifically gathered data and other evidence (antartic and arctic ice melt, glacier melt, animal and plant migration, …) is what you should be looking at. It’s all out there on the internet. Do your own homework and decide for yourself. Look at the rawest data out there, this is the internet after all.

Anyway, this blog post isn’t about climate change, though I inadvertantly struck a nerve in that last paragraph, and that’s as far as the debate will go here. This blog post is about how a lot of predictions throughout history have not come true because some folks who heard the predictions took action to make sure they didn’t come true. Maybe if more people realized that, they would realize they can take action too, whatever that prediction may be. Be a doer, of which, Earl, I know you’re one.

So to everyone… you know one of the predictions I’m working on ruining. What predictions are you working on ruining and what are you doing about it?

Earl
June 16, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

I did my research on CO2 and found out that it is necessary for all plant life on Earth. If we reduce CO2, we will have less vegetation and less food to eat. It’s basic chemistry. (See photosynthesis.) I also learned that water vapor (yes, H2O) is far more of a greenhouse gas. I wish more people would study how CO2 works instead of taking a politician’s word for it.

Anyway, I respect your point that this is not just about the climate. However, no matter what the scenario is, the Earth will self-destruct. It’s just a matter of when. The formula is money + power + sin = destruction. If any of the the three variables approaches infinity, it’s over. It’s just a matter of time. The rich continue to take more of the world’s money, technology’s power is increasing at an exponential rate, and as long as there is even one sin tolerated in our society, it’s a formula for disaster. Ever noticed how many movies are out that have the end-of-the-world theme? No one can predict when it will happen, but it will.

The only way to avoid humans from self-destruction is for sin to be removed from humans. How do we do that?

But I agree with you that we should continue our work and continue helping each other.

Have you ever heard of the technological singularity? I believe when that happens, we will split into two different civilizations: one that tolerates sin and one that does not. The two will not mix as they do today.

Keep up your good work. :-)

THX1138
July 30, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

Listen to Lord Monckton, and others who have shown over and over and over again that anthropogenic and CO2 caused climate change is an absolute fallacy and a hoax driven by the UN (et. al.) and its greed in establishing a carbon tax. Google “Electric Universe” and Wal Thornhill to find out how science is so wrong about its gravity driven and thermonuclear driven universe, and how “dark matter”, “black holes” and other theories are just fabrications (lies) to prop up a failing set of beliefs (not theories, because science has unfortunately become a religion). Look at Milo Wolff’s work on the Wave Structure of Matter to see how “particle physics” is an illusion.

Steve
July 31, 2011 @ 9:11 am

THX1138,
As I told Earl, look at the raw data. Here are some links:
http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html
If you still think the way you think, then fine, that’ll at least be your conclusion.

Re “particle physics” being an illusion, I disagree. Particle physics is a model, a collection of theories that do a very good job of describing reality. The very silicon microchips that are the basis for the computer you’re sitting at were developed at Bell Labs with help of the particle physics model. However, no person speaking strictly as a scientist can say it’s meant to be truth. Science doesn’t deal with truth, only theories backed by experimental evidence. So if it’s not meant to be truth, it can’t be a lie. It’s just a useful tool.

That being said, I’m very familiar with Milo Wolff’s version of WSM. http://wsminfo.org is my website and is the basis for my vacuum energy research (http://rimstar.org/sdenergy/vacuum_energy). But, having a scientist’s mentality, I think of that too as theory only. One that I hope will open the way for new discoveries.

Coralie
August 28, 2011 @ 9:00 am

A mililon thanks for posting this information.

Steve
August 28, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

@Coralie, You’re very welome.

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