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View Diary: The Frogs are Dying (97 comments)

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    •  Thanks nt (13+ / 0-)

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:22:34 PM PST

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      •  Sustainability vs. Extinction. (10+ / 0-)

        We continue to choose extinction for other species and natural resources.

        Eventually, though, when everything else is extinct...

        The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

        by teacherjon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:44:59 PM PST

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      •  Any chance drilling miles into earth (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ploopie, GreyHawk

        for oil & gas might cause viruses to surface?  Or bacteria being released by melting permafrost?  The melting poles?

        then again,

        Ever Since RICK SCOTT became Governor, Frogs Have Plagued Florida. A sign?

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:06:39 PM PST

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        •  They're an exotic species, I think. The cane toad. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, GreyHawk, Nulwee

          They had a problem with them in Australia.
          May still have a problem.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:15:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Practically None (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, Nulwee, OleHippieChick

          There's no evidence or theoretical basis for viruses living below at most the top few inches of soil - and even there they're rare, infecting some species or another that lives in that layer. Viruses rely on another species in which to live and reproduce, and only a few species of bacteria have been found deeper than a a few dozen meters at most. Bacteria in permafrost is a similar situation, though theoretically more possible. But frost destroys complex chemical structures, especially water-filled ones, like bacteria and viruses.

          Miles deep there's no evidence of any bacteria or viruses, nor any theoretical way for them to exist. Indeed, organisms exist in ecosystems, practically always of many species. Buried deep under pressure, heat and away from other species, or frozen in ice, is some of the last place we'd expect to find them. And what we'd find would most probably be adapted to species living in those conditions, which aren't the rest of the ecosystem. "Extremophiles" live off of other extreme organisms, and typically can't live off the ones living in more moderate conditions.

          The conflicts of familiar organisms moving in and out of ecological niches under climate change pressure (from other displaced species in turn) is more than enough to threaten new (and possibly extincting) epidemics among species intimate with humans and our intimates.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:40:42 AM PST

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          •  Thank you. I hope no evidence pops up (0+ / 0-)

            Great, great explanation.

            If I remember correctly, some 3,000 new insect varieties evolve annually.  If so, it's an easy stretch to imagine many new viruses doing the same.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:21:31 AM PST

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            •  Evolution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              Evolution happens everywhere. But realize that it's simply the members of a species who aren't fit to survive in an environment dying before they reproduce (as much as the ones more fit). Tiny random mutations very rarely give one mutant a reproduction advantage over the others. It is extremely improbable for a mutant to suddenly be born fit to reproduce in the extreme conditions far beneath the surface. Especially a virus, that depends on other organisms (an ecosystem) to reproduce.

              Viruses aren't magic. They're not even alive according to some definitions.

              Deep drilling has far more direct damage (spills, waste dumping) and indirect damage (Greenhouse pollution, tyrannies) actually threatening us to worry about a B-movie plot like mutant bacteria/viruses crawling up from the bowels of the Earth.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:26:23 PM PST

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              •  You are a great writer, DocGonzo! (0+ / 0-)

                For me "Extremely improbable" translates as remotely possible.

                I like this Michael Chrichton quote:

                “The fact that the biosphere responds unpredictably to our actions is not an argument for inaction.  It is, however, a powerful argument for caution, and for adopting a tentative attitude toward all we believe, and all we do.

                Unfortunately, our species has demonstrated a striking lack of caution in the past (may I add a huge dose of hubris).  It is hard to imagine that we will behave differently in the future.

                We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds--and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.

                We are one of only three species on our planet that can claim to be self-aware, yet self-delusion (may I add willful innorance) may be a more significant characteristic of our kind.”
                ― Michael Crichton, Prey

                Prey, A sillyfied book with some interesting biosphere science insights.

                Interesting articles

                Viral mutation rates

                Viral RNA Mutations Are Region Specific and Increased by Ribavirin in a Full-Length Hepatitis C Virus Replication System

                That said, I agree with Crichton.  

                It's what we don't know we don't know that poses the greatest risks for surviving the mercurial, exponentially progressing, and possibly some-day-proven kinetic processes.  In other words, I posit there are unknown processes already in effect that could wipe out many species, possibly even humankind, which has been unkind to its very own biosphere.  

                We humans have some severe Ecological/Environmental/Biosphere karma yet to be reaped.

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:50:09 PM PST

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                •  Probability (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  War on Error

                  It is possible that the entire universe popped into existence a moment ago, intact and with momentum, including all the molecules making our memories, from a quantum vacuum. It is just as possible that it will pop out of existence at any moment. By the same token it is possible that it will pop into an existence in a condition far more terrifying than we could imagine.

                  But it probably won't. So much for possibility.

                  Crichton, by the way, was a rightwinger fearmonger. Yes he was pretty smart and many of his SF speculations (I've read about a dozen) were interesting investigations, but they're all Frankenstein stories. Yet we insist on transplanting organs into patients.

                  We have to keep a sense of proportion. As I said, the other consequences of deep drilling are demonstrably bad bets, without crawling into the terror of abject paranoia at the stunning range of possibilities that complex existence brings to us.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:11:16 PM PST

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                •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  War on Error

                  BTW, thanks for the nice compliment on my writing :).

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:12:21 PM PST

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                  •  You're welcome (0+ / 0-)

                    As an avid reader, I appreciate your unique ability to present technical information with both conciseness and cadence.  You seem to do so in a stream-of-conscious mode.  True?

                    If you haven't, you could write a best seller.  Just pic 10 of todays most controversial technical topics and wax melodically.

                    Re:  Creation

                    What part of infinite do scientists/quantum theorists have a hard time grasping.

                    For me, the arrow of time has an infinite number of arrows aiming at infinite targets through infinite space infinitely creating an infinitely expanding reality.

                    Perception.  Human perception is finite.

                    When we build an artificial intelligence that can perceive infinity, then perhaps we can get a grasp on creation.  Does it really matter when/how it began, if it began at all.  

                    Like you, I want more brain power focused on NOT destroying our rock and its beautiful inhabitants.

                    Until then, it's a blast to hear the new breakthrough theories every year.

                    Imo, of course.  I am not educated.

                    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                    by War on Error on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:33:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Arrows in Finity (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      War on Error

                      That's more compliment than I expected. I do write from my stream of consciousness, but I do edit a little most of the time - mostly for punctuation, which does affect the cadence. But also for qualifiers, like "a little" that I added to the previous sentence after typing the ".". I read a lot, too, so I always hear in my head what I''ve written, and my conscience insists that what I post I will stand by.

                      Remember that infinity is simply a condition of limitlessness, not a number: an "infinite number" is not a number; numbers are definite. Human perception is finite in many ways. And "infinite" could be just a temporary condition forced by our finite perception that doesn't perceive the limit of the phenomenon. Until we try it again a different way. We already have artificial intelligences in our PCs doing thinking that only humans did only a decade and more ago, and scientists have even more sophisticated ones. We use these tools, the way we used to use natural intelligence like counting and deduction, to test boundaries for extension or removal altogether. I think scientists appreciate infinity better than most other people. And creation, which some of them actually test instead of just repeating legends or tribal propaganda.

                      The "arrow of time" refers to the apparent (and perhaps real) movement of time in one direction, like an arrow flies. I knew a Canadian mathematical physicist who's proved that time's measurement cannot be by a real number, with movement forwards and backwards in equal amounts. Time is fractal: a fractal dimension between zero and one. Which means (among other implications) that time moves easier forwards than backwards; more energy is required to move backwards. Perhaps its dimension is one half or less, so time cannot move backwards (it cannot be negative), as if a fractal X axis of dimension <0.5 allowed motion only to the right (positive) - an arrow with a point at one end. Or if its dimension is >0.5 but <1 then motion into the past is possible, but requires more energy (possibly prohibitively more, like travelling close to the speed of light). His math has a lot of value, including reconciling the ordinarily mutually exclusive math of quantum mechanics and relativity - in which time is treated as a real number, not a fractal. He's had limited impact so far because his work is so novel that peers haven't been qualified to review it, and because math and science are (frustratingly) highly conservative, especially when the reward will go to someone else, and when the reward doesn't come with a budget. But now that we can measure really tiny events at a quantum scale, we will have commercial applications of math like his, so I expect a lot more will be heard about it. His name is Garnet Ord, if you'r'e interested in more of his research. For a better explanation check out the article "Spacetime as Fractal Geometry, and in the comments an example of the controversy (and its character) surrounding the innovations he pioneered.

                      If you're an avid reader, you're educated. If you're skeptical and open minded, you're probably better educated than most with a formal education. Thanks for reading and saying nice things about my writing.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:29:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are kind, too. (0+ / 0-)

                        Thank you for your patience and generous information.  Your points are well received and spot on.

                        I will read Ord's work.  Interesting name, btw.  Danish translation -ord (n.)

                        assurance, lexicon, mental lexicon, parole, pledge, promise, undertaking, vocabulary, word, wordlist, word list, word of honor  (American), word of honour  (British)
                        It is fun to contemplate all and stretch the mind.

                        Sadly, we seem trapped behind a dense, sticky veil that seems hell bent on keeping us trapped in our unknowing, while delightfully tossing us random crumbs of insight here and there, although I don't know why the veil bothers.

                        Humankind doesn't seem capable of seeing the forest for the trees! which brings us back to the beginning of our chat.

                        We are changing our eco systems.  As the eco systems are altered, so is the rest of creation, if only on an indiscernible micro level.  Action/reaction.

                        Scientists are reporting they miscalculated the rate of global warming.  It's happening much faster then last decades' computer models predicted which, for me, begs the question:

                        Are we creating a kinetic loop of reactions that may spiral out of control on any given day?

                        I think so.  I think the victims of Sandy might agree.

                        Lots of $$ is being spent on weather modification and shore protection schemes.  

                        Human hubris backed by billionaires.  That'll work.

                        That said, how do we not become too overwhelmed by the information?

                        Perhaps Yucca mountain is really a bunker for the uber elites.  If so, I hope they enjoy their cooped-up Yucca lives.  I'll wager a $1.00 they will do each other in when the supplies of caviar. Merlot, and self-importance dwindle.

                        Me, I'd rather exit, stage left and leave this magic dust behind.  I hear that's the only way to get beyond the sticky veil.

                        In retrospect, I could kick myself for my 1980s apathy!  

                        I wonder if TPTB knew we boomers would be too busy raising wee ones when they launched their evil plans with Reagan to notice?

                        Now our wee ones are facing Student Debt Slavery and moving us into their basements.  

                        Go America!

                        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                        by War on Error on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:53:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  i knew this was happening (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, northsylvania, GreyHawk

        at least 20 years ago, but did not know they had found the direct cause as the indirect cause is the way humans are living on the planet.

        indeed, i have seen the phrase 'the frogs are dying' as a kind of general lament.

        thanks for the up to date explanation.

        Donate to Occupy Wall Street here:

        by BlueDragon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:35:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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