CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


Plant & Facilities Engineering

The Plant & Facilities Engineering Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about mechanical and electrical systems, automation and instrumentation, maintenance and management, and products & services as they relate to plant and facilities operation. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: You're a Pillar of Your Community - I Mean - Plant   Next in Blog: Mechatronics: Real or Marketing Hype
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







17 comments

Is the world about to change – big time?

Posted January 26, 2009 8:28 AM

The only constant may be change, but at the same time, change doesn't happen without some driving force. Today, powerful forces in geopolitics, technology, and economics seem to be joining into the 'perfect storm' that could shake the way we live and work. Do you think the industrialized world is ready for some 'major changes?' Perhaps in areas like petroleum consumption, energy creation, or new technology adoption?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Plant & Facilities Engineering, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Plant & Facilities Engineering today.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2713
Good Answers: 37
#1

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/26/2009 10:57 PM

As long as the oil campanies reign supreme, i expect not a big change, just enough that the public thinnks that there is progress.

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Transcendia
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 93
#2

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/26/2009 11:06 PM

The answer is yes and no. Studies have been done and academics have done work. Politicians have rejected the findings. Give us another answer! It was predicted in the 70s that overpopulation would run up burning things. Burning things and stuff was predicted to raise the temperature. Conservation was recommended. Some are ready, and some don't even have a chance to get close to ready. Jared Diamond wrote Collapse. I recommend it as a read on the subject.

P.S. Ocean destruction is a bad thing all round and nobody is really ready to face that.

__________________
You don't get wise because you got old, you get old because you were wise.
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 363
#3

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 8:11 AM

Change is like holding back the sea, you can only stop it for so long.

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#4
In reply to #1

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 8:49 AM

Good Lord Dude, every day I look at CR4 and see you whining about the big oil companies controlling the world. Give it up and find a new conspiracy to whine about. How about Flat earth for a while...

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
Posts: 5299
Good Answers: 112
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 9:50 AM

You have no right to voice your opinion of anyone if you are hiding behind your guest status.

Crap or get off the pot!

__________________
Bob
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
Posts: 5299
Good Answers: 112
#6

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 9:54 AM

Change will be driven by financial incentives. Just my opinion.

__________________
Bob
Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - NE, USA Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Aerospace Engineering - Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 194
Good Answers: 7
#7

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 10:01 AM

Change will continue. I do not expect anything catastrophic - change has been fairly fast for years, as far as technology. Perhaps there will be another little 'jump' but overall, just a steady continuation of what has been.

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 10:18 AM

The only force that matters is that of the economics of supply an demand. The net cost of the energy we need to provide for the lifestyle we can afford is what we consumers react to and the market strives to provide. As we have proceeded through the energy cost/price ups and downs for the last 40 years, the efforts to adopt alternative energy have not taken hold because the oil alternative has remained the lowest cost alternative. When it runs out or becomes too expensive to extract and process, it will then be replaced with whatever is/are the next lowest cost source(s)

We do not trust theories and studies, because too often the data has been collected or presented with a (political) bias and is later refuted by another study. We also do not trust Governments to be organized or smart enough to tell the markets what they should be doing. If businesses follow the political whims of governments, they eventually go out of business. If governments supply a market, they do it poorly at best (no competition or innovation). In either case they have nothing to loose when they fail, they just make their citizens pay for it.

Note that as the recent gas/oil prices fell, we started using more and started buying more SUVs again. Cost suppressed the demand, but it still existed until it could be economically filled. Until and if we consumers can universally agree on a sound source (say nuclear) or another plentiful source (say hydrogen) can be made economically available, there will not be a real change - only the feeble appearance of change.

Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Biomedical Engineering - Radiation Oncology Engineering Hobbies - Fishing - New Member APIX Pilot Plant Design Project - Member - New Member Hobbies - Hunting - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 250
Good Answers: 1
#9
In reply to #5

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 1:08 PM

Here Here Bob C. Login

__________________
“Sometimes we don't even realize what we really care about, because we get so distracted by the symbols.” ? Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Germany 49° 26' N, 7° 46' O
Posts: 1952
Good Answers: 108
#10
In reply to #2

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 1:21 PM

Hi,

Jared Diamond was good with Collapse but much better with: The rise and the fall of the third Chimpanzee.

Collapse is (for my feeling) too limited to small size civilisations. So the real collapse that happened to many civilisations did occur too, but very likely in a totally different manner.

What happened to:

A.: most civilisations: war and economic crisis because too high military spending,

B.: some civilisations: new illnesses unknown at that site, coming from the "outside",

C.: one or two only: big volcanic eruptions,

D.: many civilisations but not clear if fatal or survivable: violent and rapid climate changes.

E. some civilisations: exhausted by nonproductive priests or state-representatives and collapsing at first major problem,

F.: only one or ?, fragmenting into nonexistence after a long period of decline (West Roman Empire).

Maybe none of the problems above will cause our civilisation to collapse. Globalisation makes everything different. But local collapse may occur in many regions - as usual today.

Open question: will mankind be ready to live with changing energy supply and organise its distribution and conversion into needed other forms. And in future consequence quit the burning of fossil fuels: oil, gas, coal too expensive then. Bio too expensive today, causing starving others is not a recommended way.

Open question: will there be any natural habitat in 30, 100, 500 years? Will human population stabilise or not? Will steadily growing population trigger catastrophic failure as in experiments with mouse families with unlimited food supply?

I agree that Jared Diamond (any of his books, look also to Mrs.Diamond's book!) is very good reading!

RHABE

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
Posts: 5299
Good Answers: 112
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 1:47 PM

Open question: will there be any natural habitat in 30, 100, 500 years? Will human population stabilise or not? Will steadily growing population trigger catastrophic failure as in experiments with mouse families with unlimited food supply?

I believe for at least the next 100 years, natural habitat will remain. Perhaps wise people will re-naturalize some areas.

I also believe the population is already starting to drop in Europe. Other areas are growing, but there will be plagues yet to come. While Europe and North America may survive an outbreak of bird flu, some areas of the earth will be devastated for a long time.

__________________
Bob
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Transcendia
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 93
#12
In reply to #10

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 3:43 PM

Humans and rabbits multiply on a J curve. This is not in dispute. In the 70s I had a job recording an entire series of Ecology Lectures at UNCG. Wasn't registered for the class, but my job was to listen to every word. (I disagree with you as far as Mr. Diamonds books, feeling Guns Germs and Steel, and Collapse, are more important. I am in particular agreement that political science and history are the same thing.) Anyway- I am not looking forward to an asteroid strike, though I'd like to die by being smashed by a meteor. Nor am I looking forward to some disease like the pandemic flu. Mr. Diamond did correctly point out that as a species, big time species, we are in a bottleneck. In another Thread yesterday there was a lament that Engineers are not getting recruits. The Engineer Who Saved The World as a Hollywood or Bollywood Movie was my suggestion for improving the status and desirability of the profession. We do have the technology to get us through the bottleneck Mr. Diamond so wonderfully and artlessly describes. Employing it is another matter. Fate is what happens to you, and destiny is what you accept. We do have a duty to do the best we can, and I have very strong respect for engineers, but recognize they like pilots don't want to be bothered with politics. P.S. I was not aware of Mrs. Diamonds book, but will look it up. Thanks cc Bob C who influenced this post.

__________________
You don't get wise because you got old, you get old because you were wise.
Reply
2
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1065
Good Answers: 12
#13

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 4:35 PM

There are several areas in which the world will change. The ones on my mind are: 1. Rapid increase in technology which will change our way of living. Such as cocooning. Staying at home or nearby. Not using as much energy going to and fro. 2. Rapidly shifting energy sources including oil shale and sands, synthetic natural gas, photovoltaic, concentrated solar, biomass conversion, wind and tide power etc. Along with smaller hybrid and other fueled vehicles. This will pull the economic foundation out from under OPEC and Russia. 3. Population shifts that will favor Orientals and Indians over other groups. Caucasians will become a smaller and smaller percentage of mankind. Hispanics will make South America, Central America and Mexico more important worldwide also. Who they ally themselves with will determine the balance of power in our hemisphere. America itself will become increasingly Hispanic in nature. 4. The biggest dangers ,I see, are terrorism, nuclear waste, nuclear war, nuclear plants, man made chemicals polluting the environment, nanotechnology, superbugs encouraged by rampant misuse of antibiotics, unsupervised genetic manipulation, nations that have chaotic governments that do not properly serve the people, and moral decay. Technology is advancing far faster than the wisdom and oversight needed to use it safely.

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2713
Good Answers: 37
#14
In reply to #4

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

01/27/2009 8:49 PM

I bet you work for the oil company

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Commentator

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: New York City (West End Ave.)
Posts: 69
#15
In reply to #12

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

03/01/2009 10:51 PM

There's a very logical "countdown" of "10 ways the world might end", on the TED.com site (TED=Technology, Entertainment, Design -- a Silicon Valley ongoing Conference. What I found most interesting was the 1st one mentioned, "people just give up" in facing the crisis. In many ways that seems to be happening, in that "people" are not saying, "what can I do to created economic activity", "how can I establish something that will generate "jobs"", but rather leaving this all up to government policies and politicians. Personally, I think we should each start with a "Stimulus (organic) Aquaponic Garden" and see who can come up with a very practical design for Supermarket rooftops or backyards. These are quite popular in Australia where its necessary to save water, yet still grow food. hn

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Transcendia
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 93
#16
In reply to #15

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

03/01/2009 11:12 PM

The "I Give Up Factor"; yes it is a dangerous factor flowing from information overload, and too many 2 dimensional well dressed heroes that don't actually exist.

__________________
You don't get wise because you got old, you get old because you were wise.
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2713
Good Answers: 37
#17
In reply to #4

Re: Is the world about to change – big time?

03/02/2009 1:08 AM

delete! oops i allready answered the guest

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Reply to Blog Entry 17 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); bob c (3); DaS Energy (1); Epke (3); JCase (1); nofineprint (1); RHABE (1); rlindey (1); ronwagn (1); Transcendian (3)

Previous in Blog: You're a Pillar of Your Community - I Mean - Plant   Next in Blog: Mechatronics: Real or Marketing Hype

Advertisement