It just shows that we don't know really what is going on and a little humility from those scientists that seem so sure is in order. 


On 26 Nov 2009, at 22:56, russell_c wrote:

Actually I think the Ice Age has it ... and this is just the warm introduction before the 'rains' start to fall. Time Magazine (1974) did an Ice Age story (,9171,944914,00.html). Very similar style of writing to what we read today.

In my more 'visioning' moments I see, 200 years out, some 'Gubornator' character called Arnie pressing the Total Recall  button and huge CO2 spouts erupting from the Carbon banks sequestrated with great foresight at the turn of the millennium.

Of course CSIRAC will be the only computer left still operating by then!

(The Futurist)

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 6:21 AM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Also re: formerly predicted ice age, it is now noticed that in the arctic the ice is actually advancing again! And it's not helpful when some of the environmentalists dismiss this as an "exception".

Very cheering to see more physicists beginning to question the global warming scam. It's being the marketeers' dream especially the Carbon Footprint campaign which has made many many people very rich.

It would definitely be better to design societies that can respond flexibly to global warming or another ice age. Of course another ice age would be the ultimate challenge that would make global warming infinitely preferable.


On 26 Nov 2009, at 21:27, Nick Green wrote:

Thanks Stuart. It has tied down von Foerster's contribution for me.

But Frank's point about greater energy consumption per capita is well made. At least everyone is focussed on low energy solutions these days.

It seems churlish to go on about the misperceived evils of carbon dioxide but not inappropriate now America has made a decision to get involved- to adopt the Precautionary Principle.

Few physicist friends seem impressed by the science behind Global Warming. Now Freeman Dyson can be added to that list. Pask had no time for the Greens' "claptrap" as he was heard to say once. At the time I was happily working on a contract for Greenpeace to improve electrical chemical analysis methods and the "clouds are the thing" position came out of precipitation and albino discussions. Recall also in the sixties, based on astro/geo data, climatologists had us entering a new ice age. Today some say ice cores show temp increase preceding CO2 increase.

Tremendous irony, though, for vegetarian pacifist friends who see their campaign for conservation taken up by the military to produce a solar from space solution (as per the Next 100 years scenario). Friedman will have beamed microwaves as the means of transmission (which may heat the atmosphere to some extent). For work in space surely a space elevator is the real answer. It might heat less and calculations on a tapered cable show perfection of long carbon nanotubes, as current costing fashions dictate, may not be necessary. All I can say is thank heavens this work is all in public.

Incidentally Pask's "no causality can be proved within circularity" can be made tractable in considering the products of concurrent homeostatic processes. Applicable design rules from his theory haven't emerged yet.



One of Lovelock's famine cards is the decrease of productivity in a warm ocean. We now know most biomass is microbial and sub microbial. Considering the facile exchange of DNA at this level surely an adaptation in the primary food chain would not be long in coming if needed.

From: "Stuart Umpleby" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:29 PM
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: The Next 100 Years (CSIRAC)

Heinz von Foerster published an article on world population in Science
magazine in 1960, 8 years before Paul Ehrlich's book The Population
Bomb.  It generated a VERY entertaining exchange of letters in
Science.  See
Currently world population is growing at about 80 million a year.  The
Economist recently had a cover story saying that growth rates are
declining rapidly.
Heinz's point was that about 2026 will be a time of instability in the
relationship between human beings and the environment.  According to
the World 3 model from the Club of Rome (1972), about 2025 will mark a
transition from rising to falling world population.  I have heard
people in Washington, DC, say that the Club of Rome models are invalid
because their predictions did not come true, but the turning point is
still 15 years (approximately) in the future.  I think the models have
held up pretty well.

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:14 PM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi Nick,
someone whose name I can't remember has had his writings on overpopulation
revived and people now are listening to him.
Birth *rate* might be declining but unfortunately that the population is
still rising. And the means more and more resources being used up and if you
subscribe to the greenhouse gas stuff then that means more humans emitting
co2 more livestock to feed those humans which means more methane being
produced and so on. It doesn't seem that those authorities have keyed the
above factors in.
On 25 Nov 2009, at 20:57, Nick Green wrote:

Hi Russell, Doug, Frank

Well happy birthday to CSIRAC. Of course joules per bit were enormous then
and we are working on the single electron transistor .i.e everyone is
working on low power if only because batteries cannot improve much and
everybody wants long life viable mobile devices.
On population people are saying that birth rate decline is pretty well
universal but freedom of choice in this is denied by the Pope and Muslims
which is certainly not politically correct. As it happens nobody, even the
devotees, pays much attention to them on this but there is an
unsustainable fuss about it. Note also some authorities are comfortable with
a world population of 1000 billion. We don't all live in Japan or London -
recall Marchetti "A check on the earth-carrying capacity for man"- given out
at Cwarel Isaf 2? Didn't somebody once say we could all live on the Isle of
Wight if suitably packed?

On Enron, Doug check out SuperFreakonomics- apparently they were open about
what they were doing within financial reporting laws anyway. The Big Six
auditors are right - nobody understands company accounts. Lay's 25 year
sentence in high security (i.e. vicious prison) seems excessive to Levitt
and Dubner.

But take this on board. CO2 has had a bad rap. It's regarded as a poison.
It's not: it's the basis of all the food we eat. So eat more and save the
planet? Water and clouds are far more influential on climate and your own
CSIRO sustainability group  found a small increase in cloud cover would put
climate back in recent range. On air conditioning hmm- there are better

Trouble is we don't understand cloud homeostasis. Recently CSIRO reported
aerobacter aerogenes (a bacterium from tree leaves) might be important in
seeding clouds for rain.

But you are right Russell this is nothing to do with Friedman's  The Next
100 Years. No climate wars just trade wars and the superstitions of the poor
exploited by a frightened risk averse elite. There may be many faults in his
approach one is that he doesn't factor in improved education and
control from the web (where luck is not the product of propitiating the Gods
but measuring the variance) or improved (democratic) accountability. Also in
the robotized wars Friedman forecasts (Turkey vs Poland, Japan vs America)
casualties will not be high.  Fanciful maybe, fascinating certainly but we
must consider possible scenarios. Homeostasis is a stern mistress and, says
Pask, because of the circular nature causality cannot be proved. A naive
science reduces us to superstition but at least we get a familiarity with
the tools of good science.



From: Frank Wood
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The Next 100 Years (CSIRAC)
Not to mention that overpopulation is and will be a major cause of
environmental degradation.  But of course it's non PC to talk about
population control.
On 25 Nov 2009, at 12:00, russell_c wrote:


I'm not sure this is on topic, but this CSIRAC story (below) came through
today and caused me to reflect on a comment (by Staford I think?) that "they
will find the cause" to a major US power outage (a $2.50 relay?).

Why are we blaming climate change causes on CO2 when the energy increases
have a lot to do with the complexities related to power station upgrades
needed for PC proliferation, building air-conditioning capacity increases,
flat plasma screens and additional housing demand due to family break down

In respect to heat and power production -- are there any estimates of the
energy generation involved in the growth of ICT and Internet over the 60
years from when this machine came to be? (there is a picture with the story)

Is this technology phenomena equally the cause of climate change and can it
be somehow statistically correlated to CO2 increases?


Australia's first 'iPod' marks 60th birthday

"The CSIRAC - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research organisation
Automatic Computer - is housed in the state's museum and has today been
granted heritage listing as part of its birthday celebrations.

It is the first computer ever to be made in Australia; the fourth computer
ever to be made in the world; and the only first generation computer that
remains intact. . . ."


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