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> I remember the days of sending mass emails
So Facebook solves the "problem" of spamming your friends. NICE.
In other words, it doesn't solve any real problem at all and if anything just enables those that abuse the shared infastructure.
It isn't an abuse of shared infrastructure to send multiple people emails. Facebook is just a different type of social contract. You put something out there and you know it isn't certain anyone will see it, but there is feedback "like" when they do. With emails you expected people to read them, although with some possible delay. versus Texts or IMs which usually you expect an immediate read/response.
Facebook solved the problem of contact management very nicely. I remember the days of sending mass emails to all your contacts with new contact information... unless you manually updated your contact database then it was over and you didn't have great control over who's emails you would see and you couldn't discover old friends online...
To retain some small semblance of our privacy though we really need a set of Internet communications protocols for updating and managing address books and some sort of open directory infrastructure where people could register and look up and discover friends. But keep the information about who is connected to who private and not mediated by an all knowing third party who is selling that data to the highest bidder where it is really being used against our interests.
All it would really take is some protocol for sending or attaching updated contact info in an email or over any other protocol that a client would then use to automatically update a local/server copy of your friends list. People still rely on web mail primarily so the data would likely remain vulnerable to snooping, but at least people would have the option of keeping their data on privately owned hardware.
The issue is not that Solar isn't useful in helping cut CO2 emissions and mitigating Global Climate Change. Solar is a useful part of the technology mix and can help. The problem is that activists and environmentalists are content that Solar is going to give us the technology we need or as you essentially say it will allow us to kick the can down the road and wait for better technology to provide a real longer term solution.
I believe based on the projections and climate modeling that the threat is more urgent than waiting a decade or two before actively pursuing contingencies based on existing technology. We need to cut CO2 emissions now. Not merely cut the growth of CO2 emissions.
I see it as incredibly dangerous for the world to tinker and hope that new technology will provide a real solution down the road when we have no idea when it could be available or how long it could take to implement.
We have a real solution that is low risk with minimal environmental impact right now in nuclear power which would give us hundreds of years to figure out longer term solutions with new technology before fuel sources became more scarce. And we are literally risking the fate of civilization because on one side people can't figure out how to make enough money from it like they do selling oil and gas and on the other side people have been fooled into thinking it is more dangerous than it really is.
I don't see much difference between denying the science of greenhouse gases causing climate change and denying the science that we need to cut our CO2 emissions significantly more than Solar alone can reasonably expected to do. Unless you cut CO2 emissions by a sufficient amount to really begin to stabilize CO2 levels in the next 20 to 30 years and forestall Global climate change then policy simply does not matter and you might as well just focus on shorter term issues and adapt as best you can when climate change occurs as it will inevitably.
At this point the easy, cheap solar is what we are doing first. The adoption curve isn't going to get easier. Solar alone just can't get us where we need to be and we can't just hope it will give us time to come up with something better when the science and economics says otherwise.
Saying Solar adoption will let us kick the can down the road makes you just as much of a climate denier as those chanting "drill baby drill". We can't afford to just let the next generation figure it out or die trying. There is nothing good about that level of ignorance. Great Solar, now how do we actually save civilization?
Of course I could be nitpicking and point out that the sun actually is a huge nuclear reactor.
Just need a big power cable and we will be all set.
Why does not anybody in the solar industry step up and support nuclear energy as the logical replacement for coal to fill all of the known gaps in solar power?
Because it isn't that. Nuclear can't be ramped up and down quickly, so it's not useful for filling in.
So Solar means we can't actually eliminate fossil fuels and carbon emmissions... (unless you find the perfect loss-less battery for storing energy when its cloudy or at night) I'd say that is a significant gap in the ability of Solar power to ever serve as a solution for eliminating carbon emissions. But only being 1% of the solution now means it has a ways to grow before you hit that wall and realize that solar can only ever reduce carbon emissions by some percentage.
It does very much seam like Solar power subsidies are a way to throw environmentalists a political bone rather than a find a serious solution. Solar as it is conceived now would barely make a dent in carbon emissions if you assume population rise and economic development of Africa will offset any reductions in emissions from Solar. Current science says that treading water on carbon emissions is not enough to really forestall some very large sea level rises in the coming centuries and some serious climate shifts. If you want to get serious you need to go nuclear also.
This seems promising. Financing is an initial hurdle since it's a medical procedure requiring lengthy testing and approval. Investors aren't flocking in for an expected payout of years or decades.
I would think that you could make more rapid progress since this would be considered as experimenting on human tissue samples outside of the body which is less onerously regulated. It would only be when you think you are ready for transplants that it becomes a medical procedure subject to the more stringent approval process.
There is one thing that could be done. Pull CO2 out of the atmosphere on a large scale. That would take enormous amounts of carbon-free electricity.
Maybe someday we will have the technology to store all that carbon in a solid black substance and bury it underground
If we are finding rocks from Mars on Earth, it is likley there are rocks from Earth on Mars and possibly fossils from Earth on Mars. And I wonder about bacteria from Earth on Mars. It is possible. This complicates the "finding life on Mars" projects. Is it martian life or transplanted life from Earth?
There will always be uncertainty, but if we can find some trace of life on Mars and it isn't directly associated with a meteorite with a composition that could indicate it is from Earth then that would probably be good enough to rule out direct transport from Earth... but it wouldn't rule out that it was transplanted life unless it was completely different than anything we have or had on Earth. So if it is bacteria or other simple life it is going to be nearly impossible to rule out transplant theories with limited evidence.
But even the result of finding life on Mars that reproduced or flourished there in the past would be a great milestone of discovery and I think we can safely rule out mere contamination by meteorites just by looking at the geology of where we find it.