Re: OT: Isolation of English Dialects (was Re: THEORY: Anglic languages)
|From:||Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 21, 2008, 1:18|
--- Peter Collier <petecollier@...> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gary Shannon" <fiziwig@...>
> To: <CONLANG@...>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:58 PM
> Subject: OT: Isolation of English Dialects (was Re: THEORY: Anglic
> > There are a number of converging trends which point to scenarios for
> > isolating
> > various dialects of English that are not only plausible, but probable.
> > [...] the US
> > economy is likely to collapse in the not too distant future.
> > [...] Balkanization of North America [...].
> > --gary
> Wow, you don't take the optimistic view then?!
> Nothing is ever impossible of course, but I think perhaps some (OK, most) of
> those ideas verge on the fatastatical.
I really hope you are correct, but I seriously doubt that you are.
> They overlook some very crucial
> points. For example, the power of a state and the lengths to which it it
> will go to ensure it endures, coupled with national identity.
Three or four US states and regions are seriously discussing seceding from the
> Mineral oil stocks will run out eventually, they can't not if we continue to
> consume them. However to suggest that's what will happen and the world ends
> when it does is bizarre - as if everyone is sitting around doing nothing,
> there are no technological advances, and suddenly one day we all wake up and
> nothing works.
Energy is energy and technology is technology. No technology has ever, or will
ever _create_ energy. Modern civilization is built on the abundance of cheap
petrochemicals. There is NOTHING known to man, or likely to be invented soon
enough, that can replace both the shear unimaginable quantity of oil we burn
every day, or the energy density and easy transportability of oil. NOTHING.
> There are
> already many alternatives to mineral fuels being used/developed, and even
> those machines still powered by them are more efficient than yesteryear.
Nothing being developed today can be brought on line quickly enough to replace
the current levels of depletion.
> What I think you will find will happen is that increasng mineral oil prices
> (it all boils down to money in the end, after all) and environmental
> concerns will spur increased development of other fuels (this is happening
> already) which will be increasingly used in place of mineral fuels, and
> gradually we'll stop using them together.
There are no other "fuels", only methods of storing energy. Hydrogen stores
energy, it does not create it. Biofuels store sunlight energy (and the vast
amount of petro-based fertilizers, and petro-run machinery to plant, harvest
and transport it.
> I suspect in fact we'll stop using
> oil for most things long before it runs out (existing known global stocks
> can be measured in decades, not years).
We will NEVER run out of oil. That's not the problem. The problem is that we
can no longer pump it fast enough to meet demand, and in the next decade or two
we will be able to pump even less of it. And the cost in energy to extract what
oil is left is going higher and higher.
> Think about it - bio-oils and gases,
> shale, ethanol, solar, hydrogen, wood pellets, wind, wave, nuclear,
> geothermal.... and that's just the stuff we use now.
All of those together can't replace 10% of what we use in the form of
petro-fuels. Bio-fuels are already taking up so much crop land that food prices
are skyrocketing world wide. To replace the current consumption of petro-fuels
would require adding arable land equivalent to 7 times that that exists on
planet Earth. Wood pellets: Haiti has 2% of it's original forest left. If every
home in America burned wood for heat all our forests would be gone in a
generation. Extracting oil from shale requires HUGE amounts of both energy and
fresh water, and fresh water is in short supply too.
> Brownouts and blackouts? No - for the same reasons as above.
Tell that to the South Africans: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3576
Even the energy-rich UAE is projecting electrical generation shortfalls in the
next 2 to 4 years: http://www.gulfnews.com/business/Economy/10191386.html
European electrical shortages are right on the horizon:
> Internet a
> luxury? You can even buy clockwork laptops these days!
Manufactured where? Transported from where? At what cost? Sure, we will always
have computers. For those very, very few that can afford them.
> But I'm afraid my thoughts on the future
> of English were too well embedded in the probable,
The "probable?" Anyone who doesn't realize that western civilization is already
in the early stages of terminal decline just isn't paying attention.
May I recommend this book to start with: