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  • #46
    Question: where would we be planting these five billion hectares? I mean, we all know places that could stand to be plowed under and covered in woods--Detroit comes to mind--but that sounds like a lot of land.

    EDIT: a Googling says that's a third of the land area of the earth. A little more, actually. That sounds like a tall order. Don't forests need high soil quality?
    1011 1100
    Read The Curse Of Life. Or click on the link to game Google or something if you're bored. Whatever.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Elok View Post
      If you've ever dealt with the idle poor in significant numbers, you know that they're not particularly attractive, happy, or functional human beings. Years of unhealthy habits, dysfunctional relationships, stress, and resentment make them unpleasant to be around.
      and you don't have to worry about ever yourself getting categorized as "poor and idle"?

      We have, in an unconscious, path-of-least-resistance way, drugged them with crappy foods, electronic entertainment, and opiates, and increased the powers and militarization of the police to keep them in line whenever their boredom and unhappiness lead them to act out.
      sounds like a hefty bunch

      "My goal is to never succeed." -Nobody

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      • #48
        Where to put them? Everywhere! There's about 2 to 3.5 billion hectares of degraded land worldwide. That would be a good place to start.

        Yes it's a lot of work, but the premise of this thread is what do we do if there's not enough work to go around? Answer: work at things that need to be done.

        As for fertility, it's the best argument for forests just about everywhere. Forests build soil, help maintain a healthy water cycle, and can be established in most places in the world relatively easy.

        A well designed food forest requires less work and inputs (fertilizer, irrigation, fuel) over time than most annual cropping systems, and similar work to grazing systems. Any land which has been cleared for grazing or monocropping of annuals can be converted back without extra effort, and often with saved effort. We would need to change our diets to the extent that currently productive land is converted. But even if we didn't touch currently cropped lands it would be possible.

        Trees can be highly specialized. There are trees which do well in dry conditions, those which do well in standing water. Some do well in low fertility, others can tolerate excess levels of salts. Some even prefer to burn every so often. Tree roots can reach down much deeper to get nutrients and water than most other plants, so in any given area there are more available nutrients to trees than to just about anything else. Legumes (not just trees, also beans and peas etc) have symbiotic relationships with bacteria which allows fertilization through nitrogen fixation, taking nitrogen from the air and making it available in the soil to plants.

        Think of the "difficulty" this way ... If we just got out of the way, most of those lands would naturally return to forest. In some areas it would happen very fast, in others it could take decades or centuries, but it would happen almost everywhere. The natural state of most of the land in the world is forest, and much of that which isn't currently suitable for forests would eventually become so if the forests returned around them. If you look at oxygen isotopes in rainfall, much of the rain away from coasts comes from transpiration (via water that was in plants), not evaporation. Rainfall into forests isn't lost, it's used by the plants and trees and returned to the air, to fall again further along. The organic matter in the soil helps rainwater soak in, where it is less prone to running off, and instead can soak in to be used by plants or trickle down into aquifers. When we cleared so many of the forests, we increased the amount of runoff, so rain became more of a 1 and done thing ... evaporate, rain, runoff to the sea. It should be: evaporate, rain, soak, transpire, rain, soak, transpire, rain, etc ... Runoff is not just reducing the amount of water available to plants, but also destroying soil fertility via erosion (and causing dead zones in water ways and seas due to toxic levels of chemicals).

        Related to this, forests also regulate humidity and temperature. They keep heat from the day in at night, and keep air cooler in the day. Transpiration, like evaporation, cools the air. Humidity from transpiration holds in the heat. Shade from the leaves and leaf litter on the ground keeps the soil from being directly hit by sunlight. UV light being harmful to most soil life (the stuff responsible for making nutrients available), and direct sunlight causing extra evaporation from the soil, drying it out without a "use". Transpiration is better than evaporation, and much better than runoff.

        Of course we should talk about the greenhouse gases. If you run the numbers, we now have about an extra trillion metric tons of carbon in the air compared to pre-industrial levels. A tropical forest can sequester 200MT per hectare. Temperate forests can sequester up to 750MT per hectare (due to organic matter breaking down slower). Properly managed (wood harvested and turned into biochar or durable goods), those numbers can go way up. But even at 200MT per hectare ... 5 billion hectares gives us that 1 trillion MT of carbon sequestered. All the industrial era's built up carbon is now being useful in maintaining a healthy environment rather than floating around in the air.

        In 20 years we could have 5 billion hectares of food forests. Problems solved. Up to a few billion jobs created, CO2 levels back to normal, aquifers recharging, and an awesome array of fruits and vegetables available for healthy diets. It would solve climate change, obesity/cardiovascular disease, unemployment, and likely most of the run of the mill mental illness as well.
        "tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner"

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        • #49
          You talk about a Megaproject that, I guess, will be undoable for mankind during this millenium.

          It would require:
          That mankind is so united that they will all work together (perhap even some kind of world government and an end of national states)

          Perhaps it will also require an end to the capitalist system ... towards more socialism ... I doubt that such alarge scale operation can be done with pure profit-oriented companies. It will, most probably, either have to be a state spnsored operation, or, at least, require massive subsidies to private companies. All things that a lot of people, for example in the USA (like Kid / the Trumpists) fight with teeth and claws against

          I don't see mankind becoming this smart in the near or far future
          When people ask you what happened tell them the north remembers.
          Tell them, winter came for House Frey.

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          • #50
            It could also happen via consumer advocacy/social change. Basically people deciding to eat healthy and support environmentally friendly food production. Itís happening to some extent, and already profitable to produce more than we do.

            Since this is about UBI though, the assumption is that the money is already allocated.. the only difference is whether the money is given to people for free or if we work for it.

            "tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner"

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Elok View Post
              Question: where would we be planting these five billion hectares? I mean, we all know places that could stand to be plowed under and covered in woods--Detroit comes to mind--but that sounds like a lot of land.

              EDIT: a Googling says that's a third of the land area of the earth. A little more, actually. That sounds like a tall order. Don't forests need high soil quality?
              Tropical forests usually have very poor qualify soil. Places like Australia and the desert southwest have areas seemingly relatively lush but the mature trees, as large as they are, grew extremely slowly due to poor soils and low rainfall rates. It is the classic high standing stock but low replacement rates sort of case so humans easily over exploit those resources resulting in environmental degradation. Look at deforestation caused by the Ancestral Puebloans which remain unable to support forests even today 1000 years later yet the original environment would have looked pretty heavily forested.
              Try http://wordforge.net/index.php for discussion and debate.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Aeson View Post
                If you have $1t and give it away to unemployed people, less gets done than if you pay the unemployed people $1t to do things.

                Plus by giving it away you create dependency rather than self esteem and work ethic, and they will appreciate it less. Much better to pay them to plant trees or something.
                GiveDirectly and other similar charities think that direct cash transfers are fine and don't lead to the problems you describe.
                Quendelie axan!

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                • #53
                  I think that if the world moves to UBI culture will change so that there is pressure on people not to do the "bad" things that we currently envision. I don't think it will be much worse than what we have today or in the past.

                  The only reason people now feel bad when they can't work is because they break the expectations of their peers. Once expectations shift not working won't be a problem. The same way retirees don't feel bad if they chose not to work.
                  Last edited by Sir Og; January 15, 2018, 10:56.
                  Quendelie axan!

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                  • #54
                    I want people to feel the need to contribute. Retirees have an excuse, they already have contributed and are making way for the next generation.
                    It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
                    RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

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                    • #55
                      not for nothing, in theory UBI (and universal healthcare) also makes your workforce more mobile in the sense of people will be able to leave underpaying jobs and take on different, potentially more productive jobs elsewhere. How many of us have stayed in a shitty job out of sheer need for food and housing? I know I've been bootstrapped into a lower economic tier due to making some poor decisions as a young adult, and now as a single parent in their late thirties getting a degree isn't exactly viable. With UBI, I would have more choice in where I worked.
                      I wasn't born with enough middle fingers.
                      [Brandon Roderick? You mean Brock's Toadie?][Hanged from Yggdrasil]

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Sir Og View Post

                        GiveDirectly and other similar charities think that direct cash transfers are fine and don't lead to the problems you describe.
                        You can find people who think all sorts of things. Doesnít mean they are right.

                        I am involved in daily administration of both types of help, giving directly and providing work to those who need it. At times in my life I also relied on one or the other myself. Itís blatantly obvious from both sides of the transactions that those who are able and willing to work in exchange for what they receive are more productive than those who canít or wonít.
                        "tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner"

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by rah View Post
                          I want people to feel the need to contribute.
                          Eh. Eventually, this starts to look like children (humans) aping their parents (superintelligent AI) but actually just getting in the way. "Look, mom, I'm helping!"
                          Click here if you're having trouble sleeping.
                          "We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones." - FranÁois de La Rochefoucauld

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                          • #58
                            would you discourage a challenged child from attempting to help.
                            It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
                            RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

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                            • #59
                              Would you want all of human existence to be akin to humoring a challenged child?
                              Click here if you're having trouble sleeping.
                              "We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones." - FranÁois de La Rochefoucauld

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                              • #60
                                No, but the need to contribute is a basic one and is necessary for .good mental health. Again, my opinion only.
                                But if humans become that low in the scale of automation then maybe I change my mind on that.
                                It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
                                RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

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