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  •  No, we've begun a mass extinction event. (1+ / 0-)
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    Much of the complex life we see today will likely vanish or be greatly reduced in number.

    There is consensus in the scientific community that the current massive degradation of habitat and extinction of many of the Earth's biota is unprecedented and is taking place on a catastrophically short timescale. Based on extinction rates estimated to be thousands of times the background rate, figures approaching 30% extermination of all species by the mid 21st century are not unrealistic
    Sure, some day life will bloom again, but even so, earth's days as a habitable planet are numbered.

    Peter Ward explains what he thinks is the real and inevitable danger in his (I thought anyway) fascinating book The Medea Hypothesis.

    When Earth warms to the point that it no longer has cold poles and warm tropics, as the result of geologically released greenhouse gases, the oceans stop mixing. Without mixing, only the uppermost layer of the ocean remains oxygenated, and anaerobic bacteria that produce poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas thrive. Before long, the level of hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere becomes lethal, simultaneously poisoning living creatures and shredding the ozone layer.
    Of course, no one really knows the effects of 400+ ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere for centuries will have on earth. But I'm pretty sure it won't be good for humanity and most life forms for some time.

    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

    by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:26:03 AM PDT

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    •  there have been several (0+ / 0-)

      mass extinction events in the past.  There have been several "warm earth" periods.  And because of the tilt of the earth's axis there are, and will continue to be, alternating "cold poles".  There will be "weather", there will be "climate", and there will be life on earth.  Maybe not "humanity" (although probably some will survive) but really, so what . . .

      It is a real shame that we have destroyed the planet that bore and nurtured us.  The early stages of that destruction were limited, and perhaps excusable as "accident" . . . a result of not knowing any better (that excuse has not applied for half a century now).  But humans drove species to extinction long before "global warming", and without appreciable remorse . . . there's something poetic in it that this time we're doing to ourselves what we have done to others.  To bad for the "innocent" species caught up in the destruction, but nature will create more to replace them, and maybe the next attempt at "intelligence" will not be quite as foolish as we were.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:11:38 PM PDT

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