Telescopes 'worthless' by 2050

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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mark_smith
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Telescopes 'worthless' by 2050

Post by mark_smith »

Quite a scary story from the BBC. The storys about the pollution from aircraft exhaust trails and climate change making ground based telescopes impossible to use in 40 years time :cry:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4755996.stm

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A
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Post by A »

Hi

Looks like we will have to take our holidays in
Antarctica. Do McDonald's have a branch down there?
Is it near the Captain Scott hotel.

Vega
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Post by Vega »

We sooo need a new form of power, current alternatives to fossil fuels are either too controversial for mass useage (ie Nuclear Power) or not efficient enough to meet current demands.

:roll:

Fusion Power.... c'mon we can do it! :shock:
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Post by GordonCopestake »

Nuclear power is the answer, however if we changed all our fossil fuel power stations for nuclear power stations we'de run out of Uranium in short order, theres not a lot of it.

Like Vega says, fussion power and alternative re-newable energy sources are our only hope. The rise in petrol prices and recently gas prices is only the tip of the iceberg. Just wait till theres none left and only rich people can afford to drive cars. I think im going to re-insulate my house and batten down the hatches for a long winter.

Mentioning cars, electric cars are not the answer either, as it just pushes the demand onto the powerstations, which burn gas anyway. Hydrogen fuel cells seem to work but it's getting tham mass produced and getting people to accept the drop in performance. Until petrol REALLY rises i think we will all remain adicted to our petrol habit, and only when petrol is £10/litre will we start to look at buying that non-petrol car after all.

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Post by Mofomaxx »

GordonCopestake wrote:Hydrogen fuel cells seem to work but it's getting tham mass produced and getting people to accept the drop in performance. Until petrol REALLY rises i think we will all remain adicted to our petrol habit, and only when petrol is £10/litre will we start to look at buying that non-petrol car after all.
Depends who you believe of course but i dont think for 1 second when the time comes your average car driver will even notice a drop in performance.... the technology is unquestionably being subdued, when the fat cats finally decide to give it us it'll work flawlessly, but that'll be once they've worked out how to charge us for the water :shock:

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Eliminate waste..

Post by brian livesey »

Is looking for "alternative" energy sources really the point? Is it not the case that vast amounts of generated energy are wasted in the first place,and that the first priority should be to eliminate this waste?
For example,do we need millions of cars on the roads (I'm a life-long cyclist,so I'm hardly partisan towards mass-motoring)? For the billions being spent on accomodating motoring,we could have a superb public transport system.
Do we need to jet-off to faraway places everytime we take a holiday. Why not take more holidays here (pack an umbrella)?
Then there's the wasted energy implicit in light pollution. There are many more examples of energy wastage and its concomitant trail of pollution.
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bike

Post by orion f6.3 »

i agree with Brian, i dont call my self a "cyclist" just a normal person but my total last year, 3700 miles but at what incentive no redution in my tax, not the point for me but that may push others in to saving power
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Post by GordonCopestake »

I heard that lots of people who work in london are buying property in france and comuting to work via cheap flights as it's cheaper than paying the congestion charges etc.

Until governments work this out people will always find loopholes and find the cheapest way for them financially which isn't always the cheapest for the environment.

Tetricus
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Re: Eliminate waste..

Post by Tetricus »

brian livesey wrote: Why not take more holidays here (pack an umbrella)?
We take our holidays in the UK. In the last five years or so, we've had around three days when it's rained.
A customer of mine went to the Canary Islands last month, they had storms most of the time.

I don't mind flying, it's just airports I hate.

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Post by Leslie Ewan »

HI All,
Brians right,the amount of energy that is wasted is frightening,£600million pounds in the UK last year,not just with people accidently leaving lights on but deliberate waste such as households leaving appliences on'Standby' and businesses leaving lights, heating and computers on overnight and at weekends.As far as air travel goes no government or opposition would dare try to curtail air travel for the simple reason Jet junkies are voters,and power is more important then the environment.
Regards Les.

brian livesey
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Feeding the sump..

Post by brian livesey »

And all of this waste adds to the planet's heat sump.
brian

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Fall and rise..

Post by brian livesey »

It's unlikely that governments around the world and much of the general public are going to co-operate on the the global warming problem to the extent needed (with the suffering that implies).
What seems to happen is that a civilisation can eventually collapse under its own weight,to be replaced by a leaner civilisation that starts out at a more "primitive" level than the previous way of life,but, not as primitive as the stage that the collapsed civilisation started at.
A new civilisation can then go on to new heights of sophistication.
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GordonCopestake
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Post by GordonCopestake »

I fear you are right brian. If only society was able to be flexible and change without going past that catastrophe point.

Forgive my poor excel skills, but i imagine the "civilisation curve" to look something like this:
Image

The plateau is very narrow and the trench very deep....

The uphill slope is exponential, and i believe that we are at the "knee" of the bend and havnt reached the plateau yet. However when we do we have two options. Enjoy it whilst we can then fall. Or continue on up. This has been called many things including "the spike" and "the singularity". Unfortunatly i fear that the more likely result is that we travel down the other side of the exponential curve into oblivion only to pass on our legacy to another leaner culture. Only they have less natural resources to work with due to our over indulgance. I wish them well.

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Change on the way..

Post by brian livesey »

I took some of my cues from Gordon Childe's: WHAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY. The planet isn't going to disappear and,probably,neither are we,but a change of life-style is on the cards eventually.
Something "acute" (probably a combination of events) is going to have to happen to shake up people to force a change.
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World of abundance..

Post by brian livesey »

I meant to add,Gordon, that shortage of resources (rather than the misuse of them) isn't a problem. The planet has natural resources to last far into the future.
In fact,it's probably true to say that there never will be a resources shortage. :wink:
brian

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