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Uri
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13 Jun 2012, 6:13 am

An interdisciplinary group of 22 scientists, combining paleontological evidence with ecological modeling, has concluded that the earth appears headed toward catastrophic and irreversible environmental changes.

Their report, in the June 7 issue of the journal Nature, describes an exponentially increasing rate of species extinctions, extreme climate fluctuations, and other threats that together risk a level of upheaval not seen since the large-scale extinctions 65 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs.

The lead author of the report is Anthony D. Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California at Berkeley, which coordinated the work in an 18-month project that inaugurated the university's Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology.

The report's conclusions center on a measure of the amount of the earth's land surface that has been transformed by people, from forests and prairies to uses such as cornfields and parking lots. The percentage of transformed land now stands at 43 percent, with the world's population at seven billion.

The scientists contributing to the report have calculated the various forms of damage that will be seen when the usage level exceeds 50 percent, as is expected around 2025, when the population reaches eight billion, Mr. Barnosky said. The scientists making those estimates include biologists, ecologists, geologists, paleontologists, and complex-systems theoreticians in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.

Their conclusion is that the damaging effects, when combined, appear even worse than each of the experts has seen in his or her own field, Mr. Barnosky said. "These are all driving forces that in fact are greater than what we saw in the past," he said.

The size of the problems demands a global response, Mr. Barnosky said. "The only way out of them is cooperation between nations, between individuals on a global basis," he said.

Yet he acknowledged that in a nation with sharp political divisions, including over environmental issues, the report may not garner much attention. "I don't know how much it will sway the people who are just not inclined to believe any of this stuff anyway, who just basically will put their heads in the sand and say, Let's go on with business as usual," he said.

The authors of the report, in fact, make clear that they cannot be totally sure when the earth's environment will reach a "tipping point" beyond which recovery to anything resembling current conditions will be impossible, or even if that will happen. "That's the usual scientific covering-all-your-bases" statement, Mr. Barnosky said.

But for others, the warning contained in the Berkeley-led report may not be strong enough. "I suspect it's a little too optimistic," said Paul R. Ehrlich, a professor of population studies at Stanford University known for his 1968 book The Population Bomb.

Mr. Ehrlich said he foresees a series of dire threats to humanity, many virtually untouched by political leaders, including climate change, water shortages, and the widespread use of man-made toxins. Even a single repercussion of one of those, such as water scarcity leading to nuclear war between India and Pakistan, could devastate populations worldwide, he said.

"Generally the scientific community has spoken many times," Mr. Ehrlich said, "but nobody's paying any attention."

http://blogs.physicstoday.org/newspicks ... tastrophe/

http://chronicle.com/article/Earth-Is-H ... er/132165/



NeueZiel
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13 Jun 2012, 7:40 am

Quote:
No, I'm not giving up my 401K account and living in a cave. The Bible says that no one knows the hour or the day (or the year for that matter) when things get real exciting. However, Hollywood seems to be able to at least state the year in some of their fine films. So, I continue to invest in individual stocks (Apple) and mutual funds.


Oh well. The only choice we really have is to bury our own heads in the hand or prepare for the worst because this is how the people in charge, making the decisions feel. I use to read stuff like this article, coming from a very scientific and environmentalist family, but it made me a depressed wreck of emotions.

Quote:

Scientists are liberal.

Liberals have a socialist agenda and hate the market system, gun owners, America, and religion.

Scientists conclude that 6.8 billion human inefficiently burning fossil fuels are responsible for sufficient CO2 emissions into the atmosphere to trigger global climate change and initiate a feedback loop that make the earth uninhabitable.

Thus, liberals are scientists, climate change is caused by liberals, and the atmosphere is socialist.

lmao



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13 Jun 2012, 10:24 am

Uri wrote:
Humans may be driving Earth toward catastrophe

Hasn't this been common knowledge for decades?


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13 Jun 2012, 11:26 am

Catostrophic environment changes happened long before there were humans as well, as usual though humans are so full of themselves they want to take all the credit. I won't say humans do not damage the environment in some ways but that's is only part of it....it should also be taken into consideration this is a planet...planets change even without humans interfereing. Maybe its been quite some time since the last big change so another is due...such things are not considerate of human existance, I guess they lack empathy for human existance.

Now if humans really want to cut down on some of this damage they should quit cutting down all the damn trees and use hemp for things like paper and I am sure furniture could be made out of hemp....seriously its not carbon dioxide or whatever in the air that is the problem...volcanos, cows and swamps release harmful gasses as well as green house gasses into the envrironment. Trees and plants are what more or less filter that out so the air is breathable......so its the green house gasses with not enough vegitation to make up for it that's the problem rather then the gasses themselves. At least that is the impression I've gotten from everything I've learned on such topics.


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Aelfwine
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13 Jun 2012, 11:38 am

I needn't new informations to know that we driving the earth into a desaster.
We should spend our money into technologies to save ressources and rescue our environment. We shouldn't spend our money to prove proven facts.



MarthaCannary
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13 Jun 2012, 12:57 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
Catostrophic environment changes happened long before there were humans as well, as usual though humans are so full of themselves they want to take all the credit. I won't say humans do not damage the environment in some ways but that's is only part of it....it should also be taken into consideration this is a planet...planets change even without humans interfereing. Maybe its been quite some time since the last big change so another is due...such things are not considerate of human existance, I guess they lack empathy for human existance.


True on all points.

Sweetleaf wrote:
Now if humans really want to cut down on some of this damage they should quit cutting down all the damn trees and use hemp for things like paper and I am sure furniture could be made out of hemp....seriously its not carbon dioxide or whatever in the air that is the problem...volcanos, cows and swamps release harmful gasses as well as green house gasses into the envrironment. Trees and plants are what more or less filter that out so the air is breathable......so its the green house gasses with not enough vegitation to make up for it that's the problem rather then the gasses themselves. At least that is the impression I've gotten from everything I've learned on such topics.


I think this is the kind of thing the OP was getting at. The tree's, the Tar sands, Deep sea drilling, Horrible Nuke plant design, wars, trade etc etc etc. We as a species aren't helping matters much and we have no interest in changing our ways, at least the majority of us don't.

My mantra when I'm in a bad mood from reading the news is: "Human beings are a pox on this planet"

When I get really misanthropic I get going on the coming global economic collapse... I know for a fact millions upon millions are going to die... I am entirely at ease with it, even if that group includes me. I know the planet is far to over populated, capitalism isn't working, The "Have's" have, the "Have Not's" don't. Constant struggle and strife, greed.

We are going to be our own undoing.

Sometimes I think I stick around JUST to see what happens. I don't want to take any part in it, I just want to observe, I want to know if I'm right or wrong about the whole thing in the end.



ruveyn
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14 Jun 2012, 9:43 am

The earth is too big and to complicated for humans to wipe out life entirely. However we could very well do ourselves in.

ruveyn



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14 Jun 2012, 7:33 pm

MarthaCannary wrote:
Sometimes I think I stick around JUST to see what happens. I don't want to take any part in it, I just want to observe, I want to know if I'm right or wrong about the whole thing in the end.

If we blow each other up, I hope it happens during my lifetime, hopefully right near the end. That way, I don`t feel left out of such an important human event. I`d hate to miss it.



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14 Jun 2012, 9:12 pm

Kon wrote:
MarthaCannary wrote:
Sometimes I think I stick around JUST to see what happens. I don't want to take any part in it, I just want to observe, I want to know if I'm right or wrong about the whole thing in the end.

If we blow each other up, I hope it happens during my lifetime, hopefully right near the end. That way, I don`t feel left out of such an important human event. I`d hate to miss it.


Sooner or later (assuming we don't do ourselves in first) a natural disaster will render Earth impossible for human existence. For example an asteroid the size of Mt. Everest hitting the planet. That helped put an end to the dinosaurs and it would end human existence has we know it.. It is just a matter of time.

ruveyn



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17 Jun 2012, 10:54 pm

NeueZiel wrote:
Quote:
No, I'm not giving up my 401K account and living in a cave. The Bible says that no one knows the hour or the day (or the year for that matter) when things get real exciting. However, Hollywood seems to be able to at least state the year in some of their fine films. So, I continue to invest in individual stocks (Apple) and mutual funds.


Oh well. The only choice we really have is to bury our own heads in the hand or prepare for the worst because this is how the people in charge, making the decisions feel. I use to read stuff like this article, coming from a very scientific and environmentalist family, but it made me a depressed wreck of emotions.

Quote:

Scientists are liberal.

Liberals have a socialist agenda and hate the market system, gun owners, America, and religion.

Scientists conclude that 6.8 billion human inefficiently burning fossil fuels are responsible for sufficient CO2 emissions into the atmosphere to trigger global climate change and initiate a feedback loop that make the earth uninhabitable.

Thus, liberals are scientists, climate change is caused by liberals, and the atmosphere is socialist.

lmao


Instead of being depressed and waiting for the system to change from above, plant some trees, harvest some water, grow a garden, support local businesses, etc. This is probably the best anyone can do on an individual level.



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18 Jun 2012, 5:24 pm

Humanity has a tendency to wait until things get REALLY bad before making drastic changes in their patterns.
In other worlds, catastrophe will have to happen before any significant changes occur.

Also much of the world population is extremely poor and too concerned with scraping together a meager existence to make the necessary changes to avert disaster.

Anyway most of the changes that are needed have to occur on the corporate level, but those folks are too concerned with profits and control than anything that might actually benefit humanity. The average citizenry really only has limited choices based on what is made available by the corporate powers.

I'd like to drive an electric car, but they are too expensive and I have no place to charge the thing up.
Frequently, the environmentally-friendly lifestyle is far outside the means of most folks who are just scraping together check to check.


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19 Jun 2012, 6:33 am

I am in favor of it. Better yet I do not have to do anything and it will just happen.

The current model of human could not survive with ten square miles, if it did not have a store, and then would not want to walk that far if it did.

The population is supported by farming, which is dependant on oil and chemicals, machines, which are not going to last long.

There are no food reserves, we live from crop to crop, so a single disruption anywhere in the industrial farming chain and world famine results.

Driving the climate to drink just speeds up the result. Hotter, more water as airborn vapor, drives the weather, which produces other events that destroy crops.

The Arctic is becoming ice free, and the last two times it did were followed by ice ages. That is the big red flag climate tipping point, and if everyone drops to their knees and prays, repents, it will happen just the same as before.

If all humans would just die, for the good of the planet, it will happen just the same.

It is for the good, Chernoble is becoming a place of nature and wildlife not seen in Russia in a thousand years. In a thousand years there will be few traces humans ever existed.

We are Doomed! So eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die.

A few will survive, become one with the earth, find a place in the web of life, and in 10,000 years when it warms up again, likely overpopulate themselves to suffering on a planet of plenty.

At less than a few hundred million this would be a great place to live.



DoniiMann
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20 Jun 2012, 8:40 am

Exactly. For all of human history, we've not exceeded a few hundred million. The only reason we've made it to the billions is because we've harnessed our abilities in technology and easy/cheap resource acquisition.

Too smart for our own good.

So now the party is coming to an end. Yes, there's still oil, just not much of the easy/cheap kind. What we have was built upon a certain kind of resource luck, and it's running out. And the system that allows billions, when it goes, will have to take the numbers with it.

Meanwhile, governments (power) and big business ($$$) must either reign themselves in :roll: or drag their feet and underperform. Guess which they're doing.

It's going down... this century. Can't be stopped because it won't be stopped.

on the bright side, nature will get a break.


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20 Jun 2012, 9:44 am

MarthaCannary wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
Catostrophic environment changes happened long before there were humans as well, as usual though humans are so full of themselves they want to take all the credit. I won't say humans do not damage the environment in some ways but that's is only part of it....it should also be taken into consideration this is a planet...planets change even without humans interfereing. Maybe its been quite some time since the last big change so another is due...such things are not considerate of human existance, I guess they lack empathy for human existance.


True on all points.

Sweetleaf wrote:
Now if humans really want to cut down on some of this damage they should quit cutting down all the damn trees and use hemp for things like paper and I am sure furniture could be made out of hemp....seriously its not carbon dioxide or whatever in the air that is the problem...volcanos, cows and swamps release harmful gasses as well as green house gasses into the envrironment. Trees and plants are what more or less filter that out so the air is breathable......so its the green house gasses with not enough vegitation to make up for it that's the problem rather then the gasses themselves. At least that is the impression I've gotten from everything I've learned on such topics.


I think this is the kind of thing the OP was getting at. The tree's, the Tar sands, Deep sea drilling, Horrible Nuke plant design, wars, trade etc etc etc. We as a species aren't helping matters much and we have no interest in changing our ways, at least the majority of us don't.

My mantra when I'm in a bad mood from reading the news is: "Human beings are a pox on this planet"

When I get really misanthropic I get going on the coming global economic collapse... I know for a fact millions upon millions are going to die... I am entirely at ease with it, even if that group includes me. I know the planet is far to over populated, capitalism isn't working, The "Have's" have, the "Have Not's" don't. Constant struggle and strife, greed.

We are going to be our own undoing.

Sometimes I think I stick around JUST to see what happens. I don't want to take any part in it, I just want to observe, I want to know if I'm right or wrong about the whole thing in the end.


It's part of why I am sticking around, curious to see what happens...but yeah humans certainly are not helping matters, they should look into what sort of changes will take place and how best to survive as a species.....Not how best to kill each other off with nukes and such and do as much damage as possible to ensure our complete destruction when catastrophe happens. But people will be people and I guess things that go boom are more fun than things that don't.


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20 Jun 2012, 5:43 pm

May?

After the Chernobyl accident, the environment improved.... because the humans left.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4923342.stm

Quote:
But she too argues that the benefits to wildlife of removing people from the zone, have far outweighed any harm from radiation.


We are worse then radioactive waste.


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