The longer I do physics research the less I know why. Understanding the universe is cool and all that, but honestly what's the point of fundamental science if in some dozens of years everybody will be in full survival mode.
Like, let's save the life on Earth first, and we can resume understanding particle physics afterwards, they are not going away.
Climate, research (-)
Like I'm spending my days in an environment where, just for my group, a hundred computers are running at all times, several labs are containing dozens and dozens of power-consuming laser diodes to make other lasers to make other lasers to make x-rays to make other lasers, with energy conversion efficiencies sometimes as low as 0.1% at some steps, and all that running 24/7, with servers and cryogenics cooling and all the single-use gloves and shoe covers and in the end, WHY
@Yulran a good part of climate ressearch is physics. we simple whould know nothing about the greenhouse effect without knowing particle physics. all climate modells are fluid dynamics applications.
@benni That's true. And I think science is way more justified than many industries to do its things even if they are energy- and ressources-consuming.
But I don't think whatever new physics we are learning now in large-scale facilities will help much in fighting climate change. Short term, it would be much safer to just stop non-essential consumption, and see later what we start again.
@Yulran do you know sabine hossenfelder? she argues often against new particle accelerators and thinks we should put this money in better climate modells instead. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yNl2E66ZzKApQdRuTQ4tw
@benni I didn't know her, but I downloaded by mistake her full channel instead of only the concerned video and she's great. Thanks for the recommandation!
@Yulran @benni i know so many physicists that do so many other things these days, and i myself left physics/engineering and academia because building urine diverting dry toilets is, well, it's not exactly rocket science ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
not that toilet or stove designs couldn't benefit from high-resolution imagery and coputer models, but the ones we have are good to go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
@benni @Yulran yeah, though i don't want to completely dismiss your point, first, and foremost, we need to take measures. people have thought about these things for decades. it does not take super-computers to figure out that we should leave the amazon and other forests alone etc...
i guess what i'm after: instead of being miserable in a lab, there are many other things one might do, and i think either way is valid!
@Yulran Physics gave us nuclear power, still our best option to decarbonise rapidly while retaining enough power to maintain living standards. And physics may yet give us even better technologies and open up options we can't consider yet.
Even a hundred laser labs are unlikely to match the consumption of a concrete factory. In perspective, it's small change for big possibilities.
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