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Is there a way in which us programming types can contribute to saving earth from ecological/economic disaster?

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I think we are heading to some kind of ecological or economic disaster
I would like to hear what you guys think about that statement because you all seem very clever and debate beautifully.

I have had partners in the past who cared a lot about this subject but they only listened to activists, not scientists or doubters or anyone, I actually think if they cant get their shit together we are all doomed, all too many only care about their saving the earth image and not about saving the earth, they dont trust scientists either.

I suspect that they blame them for plastics and chemicals and not improving crops or devices that clean plastic out of the sea/oil spills.

I think every ilk/creed/profession should contribute to "something" to make earths future last that bit longer because only 'wet ECO Warriors/pariahs' are pushing for the planet to be saved, coming to think of it, they have done a fair bit, anyway, I wondered what we could do.



(If its boring to think about I swear its because bleeding heart eco warriors may have bored the crap out of you so much you no longer care)
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Ecological disaster I uinderstand, but ... saving the planet from economic disaster?
closed account (3qX21hU5)
I'm not sure I even understand the ecological disaster part... Are you talking about global warming? I hope you aren't because it hasn't been proven to be true or false that we are causing "Global Warming". There is multiple studies on both sides that say it is true and not true so I just take that as false.

If you are talking about dumping waste in the oceans and getting rid of hazardous materials irresponsibly I can understand though and there are ways to help fight it but you will never stop it all the way.
We can reduce the global power consumption by using more C++ and less Java!
If everyone writes more efficient code it would less of a strain CPUs and other hardware which would lead to less waste and pollution. Yeah, science bitch! (In Jesse's voice)
We can reduce the global power consumption by using more C++ and less Java!

Agreed!

Going to become an anti-Java activist now!

@devonrevenge:
The world is F***ed. There's enough stuff on the news and enough documentaries to show that. However people can choose to ignore stuff and be ignorent. People love driving big trucks and eat too much food. A large part of this is that people don't want to take responsibility for what they do.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
The world is F***ed. There's enough stuff on the news and enough documentaries to show that. However people can choose to ignore stuff and be ignorent. People love driving big trucks and eat too much food. A large part of this is that people don't want to take responsibility for what they do.


Its up to them is they want to eat to much food or drive a truck though isn't it? And who is to say that is a bad thing, what makes one persons opinion worth more then another's? I mean there is nothing you can really do about it, and should we really do anything about it? The only way to solve it would be through the government and I for one sure as hell don't want them telling me what I can eat and can't, what I can drive and can't drive, and managing my whole life for me because they think I'm to stupid to do it myself :(.

I'm all on board for taking care of the earth don't get me wrong, but I think sometimes they go just way to far. I mean global warming hasn't even been scientifically proven.
closed account (o1vk4iN6)
The world is F***ed.


The world's perfectly fine, it's going to be fine, it's been fine for 100s of millions of years, it'll probably be fine for another several 100s of millions of years. It is us who are fucked.
I mean global warming hasn't even been scientifically proven.
"As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

Edit:
I know that is not "scientifically proven" but it is Scientific consensus.
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The only way to solve it would be through the government and I for one sure as hell don't want them telling me what I can eat and can't,


Yes you should be able to eat whatever you want.

However the government should regulate what is being fed to you. There's a big difference between the two.

If you want to make your own shit food and eat it, go for it. But that's not what most people do. Most people go to McDonalds and other similar places and basically are fed poison.

If the regulations as to what food could and couldn't be served in public restaurants were less laughable.. and if restaurants were actually required to sell actual food rather than empty calories, the nation would be much better off in the long run.

The lack of regulation is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic, which in turn negatively impacts the government and economy in the form of increased medical costs.

what I can drive and can't drive,


They already do this. You can't drive a Humvee or a Tank (even if you remove all the weaponry from it). Even typical automotive vehicles must meet several minimum emission and safety requirements or else it's illegal to drive.

The only thing that the government would have to change is make those requirements more stringent.

That, of course, would not abolish all trucks/SUVs. What would happen as a result of that is just that trunks/SUVs would get more fuel efficient (and more expensive).

There's no reason cars have to be as fuel inefficient as they generally are. This has been proven by cars like the VW Jetta (Diesel) which gets about ~45 mpg (without being a hybrid). It's just more expensive to make cars that way, and people don't care enough about it to warrant the extra cost.

However if regulations were increased to require all cars be that efficient, the automotive industry would have no trouble meeting those requirements.


I mean global warming hasn't even been scientifically proven.


Umm... yes it has.

What hasn't been proven is whether or not we are the biggest cause of it. But as for whether or not it's actually happening -- yes, that has been proven. And yes, it is happening.
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-Ecological: animal extinctions, natural habitats being made unlivable by pollution plastics deforestation, huge changes in the climate not recorded in this end of the earths history causing new problems like flooding land slides poor crops water borne disease etc

Economic: resources running out causing poverty, wars, rise in the far right and bigger gaps in wealth dividing society.


I heard we have more morbidly obese people than we do people dying of malnutrition, granted you cant post food you don't eat and throwing it away is just fertilizing the ground.

Its going to be a big problem for us in our later lives.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Lol leave it to me to start a debate ;p well here I go.

Umm... yes it has.

What hasn't been proven is whether or not we are the biggest cause of it (which I find rather unlikely). But as for whether or not it's actually happening -- yes, that has been proven. And yes, it is happening.


Yes that is what I meant sorry, obviously the world is warming it would be quite stupid to debate that it is not. What I will debate on like you said is if we are the cause of it or if it is just part of a natural cycle that the earth goes through.

Humans have only been here for a VERY short time or the earths total life, so it is quite hard to prove that the warming of the earth is not part of a natural cycle that happens every thousand, million, billion years.


There's no reason cars have to be as fuel inefficient as they generally are. This has been proven by cars like the VW Jetta (Diesel) which gets about ~45 mpg (without being a hybrid). It's just more expensive to make cars that way, and people don't care enough about it to warrant the extra cost.


I agree with you on that. Though I was more directly that comment toward the electric cars that cost a arm and a leg to buy, have safety problems from what I hear, and also are at the current time not cost effective to make (Companies are selling them for less then it costs to make them).

It's just more expensive to make cars that way, and people don't care enough about it to warrant the extra cost.


That is arguable but i'm pretty sure you realize that if you make the car companies do that they will just pass the extra expenses off to the consumer. Know the gas saved probably would outweigh the extra price, but can't be sure.

If you want to make your own shit food and eat it, go for it. But that's not what most people do. Most people go to McDonalds and other similar places and basically are fed poison.


So basically your argument is that it is not the persons fault that they go to McDonald's everyday and stuff their face with bad food and get fat, its McDonald's fault for serving it? Instead of putting responsibility on the person at fault (IE The person that eats unhealthy and gets fat) we try and blame someone else for it.

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its McDonald's fault for serving it? suppose they served arsenic, that would be illegal, where do you want to draw the line?

the fact that smoking is controlled yet more deaths and health conditions owe there existence to crappy crap like Maccy D's and other fast food.

fructose glucose corn syrup isn't actually food! did you know that your body cant process it and scars the liver while attempting to do so? this is called fatty liver syndrome and a huge proportion of americans a large amount of brits have this deadly condition, they appear to be fat but its actually liver damage just like a beer belly on someone who abuses booze!

the most interesting thing about glucose fructose corn syrup is that its actually outlawed to be sold as food, except it being one of americas biggest exports there is no problem with lobby groups keeping it in a constant state of appealing and legal limbo.

so beer and ciggarrets are controlled no one starts foaming about freedom but food? we have a basic right to eat poison that is allowed to call itself food.

EDIT: and you cant get a decent bit of salad with your meal in the usa without having to forkout cash for it.
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Zereo wrote:
Humans have only been here for a VERY short time or the earths total life, so it is quite hard to prove that the warming of the earth is not part of a natural cycle that happens every thousand, million, billion years.

But... but, the world is only six thousand years old :O So it has to be us!
We are fucked if the following:

1.) the populations continues to rise to a degree that resources are strained (8+ billion) projected 14 billion by 2050.

2.) Any large economy in an interdependant global econonomy fails. (This has been happening a lot lately ). Thanks federal reserve corporation and bankers.

3.) We continue to be wasteful creatures and do mostly things that fall only into self-interest vs the interest of others and the well-being of other species.

4.) As "1st world" countrie(s) we continue to value entertainment and athleticism too much more highly than necessities or scientific and social achievement. Why does a single player in the MLB Yankees make more than the collective whole Orioles (23 million dollars)? Overall it boils down to being wasteful and inefficient.

5.) We don't hire people and INVEST in people who can discover an alternative (efficient, low polluting, and high output) means of energy.

6) We keep using nuclear energy since a modern nuclear plant is only good for about 40 years, then they shut it down. We keep burying nuclear material, making it possible to contaminate ground water. Just 2 years ago Japan had a nuclear meltdown that is today causing a higher risk of cancer in the rural area, and creating an area of land that is indefinitely uninhabitable, Not to mention mutating the animal population that resides near that meltdown site. This includes fossil fuels (crude oil and gasoline) obviously.

7.) We hide scientific breakthroughs like a cure for a cancer/virus of any kind, but continue to release over the counter medicine that treats the sickness but does not cure it. Greedy bastards. Hospitals in the U.S. were just blasted recently for overprofiting from silly things such as towels, blankets, pillows, (generic) medicine, and even water cups. If they didn't hide all these cures which I'm sure at least some medical companies have then it would inspire more people to become the chemists, geneticists and doctors who find more cures, bringing humanity closer to biological perfection (not including immortality).

8.) Oligarchies, Dictatorships, and Plutocracies continue to exist.

In other words, humanity might just be fucked, but the world will keep turning for as long as the sun isn't a supergiant. If the population doesn't evolve then we're done. Meaning the people who don't care about any of the above continue to be the most successful at reproducing and spreading their wasteful values. And we keep being greedy bastards of a species.

EDIT:
All scientific theory is based upon empirical evidence, a series of inductions, that add to the validity or truth of the proposed theory. With that being said, Global Warming HAS been proven reasonably. Any scientific theory or hypothesis must be falsifiable by nature, so unless there exists something to disprove the theory of Global Warming and its proposed evidences then you cannot reasonably conclude that global warming "accelerated climate change" is not occurring, especially as a cause of human, volcanic, and/or solar activity, probrably mainly due to human activity.
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Zereo wrote:
What I will debate on like you said is if we are the cause of it or if it is just part of a natural cycle that the earth goes through.


While I don't think we are the direct cause of it (which is what I feel is unlikely), I certainly do think we are accelerating the natural process. In any event being environmentally conscious is not a bad thing.

I find it difficult to understand why so many people get in denial over our possible role in it rather than just be a freaking adult and accept responsibility and do what we can to fix it.

Humans have only been here for a VERY short time or the earths total life,


I think you underestimate just how much of an impact humans make on the global environment.

In that short time... hell.. in just the past 300 years... look how drastically we've changed the face of the entire Earth. I'm not just talking about climate change, I'm talking about other environmental impacts such as forest and other natural habitat destruction, light/sound pollution, water contamination, etc, etc. And it's been getting exponentially worse with time.

That is arguable but i'm pretty sure you realize that if you make the car companies do that they will just pass the extra expenses off to the consumer. Know the gas saved probably would outweigh the extra price, but can't be sure.


I do realize that, which is why I said cars would get more expensive ;P

But the point of doing this would not be financial, it would be environmental. The attitude of doing things that are of benefit financially is the biggest problem with capitalism. If all you can look at is the dollar signs, you're blinding yourself here.

- We don't make cars safer because it's cheaper (in fact it makes them more expensive)

- We don't reserve land for wildlife/national parks because it's cheap or profitable (in fact it's very expensive)

- We don't enforce laws because it's cheap or profitable (in fact it's very expensive)


We do all these things because they improve the quality of life for the population. It's not about money.

If you get so focused on the cost of something, you lose sight of what is actually important.

Yes... cars would get more expensive. But so what? The air would be cleaner, there'd probably be less cars on the road (reducing risk of accidents), and we might even slow down climate change. Life would be better.


So basically your argument is that it is not the persons fault that they go to McDonald's everyday and stuff their face with bad food and get fat, its McDonald's fault for serving it? Instead of putting responsibility on the person at fault (IE The person that eats unhealthy and gets fat) we try and blame someone else for it.


1) You don't have to stuff your face with McD to get fat from it. It's calorie dense and nutritionally vacant, so when you eat it you feel like shit preventing you from being active, and you pack away tons of calories which don't get expended. It's like a double-whammy.

2) Many people have extremely limited choices when it comes to what food they can eat. They are limited by what's available in their area, how much money they have, and how much free time they can spend on food preparation.

The good thing about McD is it's everywhere and is fast and relatively cheap. The bad news is that means that it's pretty much these people's only option for food.

There's a reason obesity is more common among low income households. That's no coincidence.


3) Fast food restaurants arguably don't even serve food. Taco Bell was semi-recently in a class action lawsuit for having too much wood pulp in their meat. They actually use wood pulp as filler.

Read that again: When you eat their "food", you are eating wood. I'm not making this up:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10984822/1/yumstaco-bell-meat-prompts-law-suit.html

The thing is... just about everybody does it. Not just Taco Bell:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/1/cellulose-wood-pulp-never-tasted-so-good.html




So yeah. It's the restaurant's fault. But it's also the government's fault for allowing the restaurants to do this crap.

And yeah, it's also the consumer's fault for not knowing any better. But this stuff isn't exactly advertised -- nor is it taught in schools. In fact... what people get from school is a taste for McD because of McD installations selling lunches to school kids.

How can we expect people to know any better when we don't teach them and when we encourage them to be duped like this?
@Disch nice.
In other words, people don't like to be responsible for their own problems. People create their own problems instead of trying to find alternative options that DO exist. Some of the people who really don't have REAL options are the modern slaves in North Korea who live in steel prison farms and are bred to think like animals. Others are people who live in extremely poor "by most standards" living conditions, who don't access to healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and other services (many parts of africa and the philippines). Then people in the US with the blessedness of being born into a wealthy or semi wealth family who don't HAVE to work to live comfortably, who HAVE a home or multiple homes, have the audacity to complain. The issue is happiness, humanity will never be TOTALLY happy.
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To answer the op's question. The answer is No, not alone can programming do so, because not all of the worlds "issues" stems from programmatic problems. I think that everything does have a value or causative effect though (everything happens FOR a reason). Its that old butterfly effect. But with that reasoning why don't we all program in assembly, binary, or even c/c++. Its because it has not enough productivity in Beginner hands, it has a steep learning curve for newer individuals because their brains have not align the proper neural pathways to see beyond the complexity/power and features of the languages. People get wrapped up in, "why is my program leaking memory" or going slowly and "f*** pointers they are from hell" and so on.

Too much choice breeds slow decision making i think, but with experience, time invested, that choice is power to determine all that you want in the manner that you want. It is for this precise reasoning that Java and Python are taught at universities to beginners, but remembering that they are beginners. Its not even the language thats the whole problem because the language was created by professionals who know how to manage memory, power consumption, and such. But when there are deadline(s) there is arbitration on both sides of efficiency and adhoc'dness.
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It's calorie dense and nutritionally vacant

And there I thought to take this thread seriously for a moment.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Lol gezz look what I started ;p All I see is walls of text.

Anyways I can tell this will go on for a long while because each of us has different opinions on the subject so I don't see much sense in replying since we have had these debates before. So I will bow out of this one.

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