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Herd of bush elephants, in Amboseli national park, south Kenya.
Elephants are among the species of globally threatened vertebrates.
Biologists (yet again) sound the alarm in this latest article via Stanford News Service, warning that 16 to 33 percent of vertebrates are now endangered. Larger animals such as elephants, rhinos and polar bears face the highest decline rates, which follows in the pattern of past extinction events. The loss of such creatures would mean devastating trickle-down effects on the human population and other species.
[P]revious experiments conducted in Kenya have isolated patches of land from megafauna such as zebras, giraffes and elephants, and observed how an ecosystem reacts to the removal of its largest species. Rather quickly, these areas become overwhelmed with rodents. Grass and shrubs increase and the rate of soil compaction decreases. Seeds and shelter become more easily available, and the risk of predation drops.

Consequently, the number of rodents doubles -- and so does the abundance of the disease-carrying ectoparasites that they harbor.

"Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission," said Dirzo, who is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle."

Vertebrates aren't the only species on a troubling path of defaunation. Over the last 35 years, while the human population has doubled, invertebrate numbers have plummeted by 45 percent.

Past mass extinctions were driven by planetary transformations or catastrophes, but the extinction we face today can be attributed to man-made causes.

This is far from the first time that scientists have cautioned us of the next looming mass extinction. Last month, The Week delivered a similar warning that we could be headed the way of the dinosaurs if we don't address these crises immediately. In February, NPR concluded the mass extinction is already underway.

In the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson:

We just can't seem to break our addiction to the kinds of fuel that will bring back a climate last seen by the dinosaurs, a climate that will drown our coastal cities and wreak havoc on the environment and our ability to feed ourselves. All the while, the glorious sun pours immaculate, free energy down upon us, more than we will ever need. Why can't we summon the ingenuity and courage of the generations that came before us? The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What's our excuse?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Most Horrific Thought I've Had May Explain (96+ / 0-)

    out future. The Pentagon will drive our extinction.

    The only really important reason we need global military presence is to protect our supplies of carbon energy from the existential threat to the nation of their capture.

    --The use of which is
    A) our only actual existential threat; and
    B) no longer necessary.

    If we were to start the scale of movement away from carbon energy that science says we need to do and our level of technology says we're able to do, all plausible justification for the military intel sector would collapse.

    We're going to be driven to the end of civilization by our defenses.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:07:00 AM PDT

  •  We're not on the brink of a mass extinction. It (44+ / 0-)

    is ongoing. Most large animals have popultions in the wild of thousands or hundreds of thousands. They'll all be gone soon.
       And, with climate change, the extinction will happen even faster.

  •  That was a powerful episode of "Cosmos" (47+ / 0-)

    when deGrasse Tyson made his "the dinosaurs never saw the meteor coming. What's our excuse?" comment.

    This is a totally man-made mass extinction event and we are in the beginning throes for sure.

    This is why I've often said (to the horror of conservative friends/acquaintances) that in the near future, assuming there is still a human history, that Jimmy Carter will be viewed the most favorably of Presidents from this era and Reagan will be the most reviled.

    Carter had the blueprint laid out of a sane energy policy. Heavy incentives for individuals and businesses to conserve, seed money for research to develop commercially viable renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.

    And Saint Ronny came in and shut it all down. Let the free market decide our energy policy, not some "Washington bureaucrats". And since there had been generations to build up the infrastructure for production and distribution of fossil fuels, guess what the market decided?

    So when half of Florida is under water, along with most of our seaports, and parts of the country deal with extreme drought or severe flooding as a matter of course, and they see that the plans were in place that might have spared us from the calamity, or at least mitigated it, they will certainly curse us, and deservedly so.

    But keep on frackin' folks!

    Fracking - the last gasp of a fossil fuel addiction.

    Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

    by kenwards on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:36:37 AM PDT

    •  Jimmy Carter was prescient. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fredswisher

      He tried very hard to convince Americans that we had to detach from oil.  And people laughed at him. He told us to conserve, to avoid driving unless we had to (back in the day when The Sunday Drive was a frequent form of entertainment), to turn down the heat and put on a sweater. He managed to get us tax credits for renewable energy; unfortunately it was so expensive back then that it was rarely affordable even with the tax credit.

      They laughed at him. Then came Saint Ronny's deal with the Iranians to make Carter seem ineffectual.

      When the history of our demise is written, Carter will be recognized for what he was. And so will Ronny.

      I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. ~ Booker T. Washington

      by Prickly Pam on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 12:55:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I tend to focus on elephants (21+ / 0-)

    Like rhinos, they are under threat from poaching as well as environmental concerns. One of the many things I stress when discussing poaching as a threat is also the environmental problem.

    Days like today, after reading articles like this, I am not so worried about pandemics among people. I feel that people are a pandemic that the earth needs a cure for.

  •  Will some future civilization (5+ / 0-)

    look back on us and marvel that we lasted as long as we did, given our inability to learn and adapt productively?

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:07:57 AM PDT

    •  No, we will figure this out, sooner rather than (7+ / 0-)

      later. It will be a massive shift in masses of people's thinking, and it will work. I have every confidence. We are not a wise species, in general, but we are not totally stupid or totally self destructive, in general.  There is hope still.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:20:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I mostly agree with you, but occasionally (4+ / 0-)

        think saving the planet might require extinction of humans.  This is a bad day for me.  Thanks for adding some light to my current tunnel.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:24:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To win, we are going to have to reject (7+ / 0-)

          apocalyptic thinking and feeling. It is a construct implanted by a certain religious cult which believed it needed it, and it infects all of us whether we ascribe to the cult or not. It is the meme of the past which really needs to be extinguished one person at a time.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:31:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you need to make a distinction (5+ / 0-)

            between our scientific understanding of the path we are on regarding climate change as it applies to our apocalyptic thinking and apocalyptic thinking which is a result of believing that the son of the sky god is going to once again return to reign supreme on a renewed earth.  The latter group of apocalyptic thinkers have no incentive to change course.
            You have way more hope that we will change than I. It would require the will of the whole world, sacrifice, enormous monetary investment, and extremely committed and persistent leadership.  Do we have the capacity?  Yes, I think we do.  Can we pivot in time?  I don't think so based on scientific researchers who think we have already hit the tipping point. I don't think we throw up our hands and accept our fate as the religiously driven apocalyptic thinkers   might do.  I think we fight like hell to slow down our path to mass extinction, with an apocalyptic feeling that it is probably too late.

        •  always remember (11+ / 0-)

          the planet will be just fine, in planetary time, with or without us. Over 200 million years there have been many fantastical creatures come and gone. What endures is evolution and natural selection, which will create new fantastical creatures. The tragedy of our stewardship is mostly what we lose by our hubris, our own tragedy. We are nothing compared to the forces of nature.

          •  Well, THAT's hopeful... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Gwennedd

            but still, claptrap. We are here to make social evolution, civilization, work, by the use of our brains, our morals, our art and our technology. None of that admits as part of the project the extinction of us, and an eventual evolution of some future species. We are not that damned.

            We have the ability to get through this, and there are more people that agree with me than agree with the Chicken Littles in the Progressive movement. There is no use hedging your bets with writing a consolation statement of defeat before we have really started trying.

            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

            by OregonOak on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:23:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wish I could agree with you (3+ / 0-)

              However, we have already triggered the methane positive feedback loop. There are trillions of tonnes of methane hydrates sequestered off the continental shelves in our oceans and in the arctic tundras. As the methane melts and is released into the atmosphere it traps at least 40 times more heat than CO2 which then causes more methane to melt which in turn heats the environment even more...and so on.

              This methane positive feedback loop has been progressing faster than previous models have predicted. We may still have time but it will not be easy. We can't just stop burning fossil fuels, we will need to also plant millions of trees and end the use of chemical based factory farming techniques which burn the organic matter out of the soil.

              If we went back to traditional organic based agriculture billions of tonnes of CO2 would be sequestered back into the soil in the form of organic life and if we reestablished millions of acres of forests it would sequester trillions of tonnes of CO2. We would also need to something about overpopulation...like I said it won't be easy.

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:05:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right. It wont be easy, but it will be done. (0+ / 0-)

                I have no doubt.

                Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                by OregonOak on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:23:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wish I could be that optimistic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jessicacoco2005

                  I just don't see the kind of significant effort required happening in the current political climate. It will likely happen after the collapse of civilization as we know it and billions of people are killed. The survivors may eventually get their act together but it will be too late. The mass extinction event will continue on no matter what happens to people because of the positive feedback loops that have already been triggered.

                  Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                  by RMForbes on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:25:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Realism" by analysis negates what people (0+ / 0-)

                    actually do when they change suddenly, and find the old narratives will not work into the future. This is the human attribute more important than scientific analysis. We do not give it any credibility at all, and yet that quality saves us time and again.

                    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                    by OregonOak on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:46:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This is not a philosophical exercise (0+ / 0-)

                      The change in global temperature has already begun to increase and significant arctic methane has already been released. It is likely already too late since it takes at least 40 years after an environmental tipping point is reached before we notice any change in climate.

                      The human ability to embrace change will not be able to save us this time. We would need to ALL work together and I don't see that happening until things go way wrong and it will be too late by then.

                      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                      by RMForbes on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:27:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Only if you have an emotional investment in (0+ / 0-)

                        failure. The numbers can be interpreted to mean we have not yet run out of time, but if you feel better, more motivated, and more determined by feeling that we are doomed, good luck with you.

                        I am trained in science, and yet I know for certain that the human desire to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds, in the face of data which shows the situation is hopeless, is the pre-eminent human trait which makes data and analysis only a tool, not a prediction of certainty.

                        We have time, and people can change on a dime. We have done it before.

                        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                        by OregonOak on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:41:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't see it happening (0+ / 0-)

                          When was the last time we have all got together and worked to save all of mankind? I've only seen that happen is in science fiction movies. It may make you feel all good inside to believe we will somehow make it through but we need immediate action from everyone around the world and I just don't see that happening until it's too late.

                          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                          by RMForbes on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:37:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We got through World War II. Spent as much on (0+ / 0-)

                            World War II as on everything else put together for twelve years, but we came out with a stronger economy for all that deficit spending.

                          •  Yes, that worked out well for us but (0+ / 0-)

                            to turn around global warming it will take both sides of WWII plus all the neutral nations working together. That would be everybody from the Koch Brothers to the lowest minimum wage employee working for a common goal of completely replacing fossil fuel use with clean green energy AND replanting millions of acres of forests around the world. Do you see that happening anytime soon?

                            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                            by RMForbes on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:40:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry you live in that place. I think the Koch (0+ / 0-)

                            Brothers love your attitude. They win based on the widespread belief by the public that it is all too late, that Apocalypse is upon us, and we better just put our heads down and kiss our lousy asses goodbye.

                            Nope, not buying it. You will find me, and most other good people, in the last ditch, if necessary, fighting the good fight to the end, so if there are any survivors they will remember the story of the guys who would never give up their belief that people are worth dying for.

                            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                            by OregonOak on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are building a strawman argument (0+ / 0-)

                            Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. We may still have a chance but it will require everyone, including the Koch Brothers, to work together. I'm sorry but I just don't see that happening until it's too late. I guess you didn't see today's diary about mass methane release.

                            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                            by RMForbes on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 05:57:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  And buy Global Thermostats to capture CO2 for $25/ (0+ / 0-)

                metric ton.  Still have to figure out what to do with the CO2 beyond holding in tanks until we figure it out.

                •  It would be better to reforest the entire globe (0+ / 0-)

                  Reforestation would sequester trillions of tonnes of CO2 in the cellulose and the other organic matter growing around the trees and in the soil. Reforestation would also reestablish the O2/CO2 natural equilibrium and moderate the climate. However, that would be a very tall order.  

                  Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                  by RMForbes on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:53:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  No, I'm with you (0+ / 0-)

              I believe in progress too, the perfectibility of human society, all of it. But when people say "we are killing the planet" they are wrong. We are killing ourselves, and we need to become more aware and more self conscious of how we live on this planet. But nature, it doesn't care about us, it's rolling on.

        •  There is hope ... (7+ / 0-)

          35 million years from now, deep in a green forest of the Avriozoic Era, some extraterrestrial geologist will meet humanity. We will be merely a thin line in the geologic record -- there in the dust that marked the Cenozoic twilight -- all our toys, gadgets and dreams compressed there in silent extinction with us, in a simple epitaph, on a planet turned green again.

          Stupid Quaternary Period!

          by obatanga night on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:27:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The many civilization collapses of the human (10+ / 0-)

        past would argue against your theory.

        In fact, I don't believe democracies are capable of resolving slow-moving, long-term crises.  We've done very little on Global Warming, despite the prediction first appearing in the 1800s and then being confirmed and confirmed over and over again with the loudest of warmings.

        Given the splintered global governance we have, it is not at all clear to me that we will act.

        Easter Island?
        Maya collapse from over-population and drought?
        Anasazi?

        We are very stupid and very self-destructive.

        Al Gore has laid out a plan of many actions that would work. Others have as well. There's not much progress on any of those fronts.  We've already gone past certain limit points.  At any time, a self-reinforcing action may begin: carbon from the thawing tundra, CO2 gas belches from the warming deep ocean, collapse of oceanic circulation systems, etc.

        We're very close to utter disaster already, but "the regular people" just cannot see it. Crank up the AC, drill-baby-drill.  Let's open up the entire Atlantic seaboard to exploration and drilling - Obama administration, just now.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:15:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even Al Gore (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, maryabein

          danced around the issue of overpopulation.

          "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

          by northsylvania on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:50:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reduction of overpopulation can't (5+ / 0-)

            happen fast enough to help prevent global warming catastrophe.  The average age of the population of the world is so low that even if every woman and girl now living has only one child in her lifetime, the population will still rise for some years before leveling off and starting to fall.  The only way to have the size of the world's population start falling any time soon is to have many people die of causes other than old age.  

            Of course, as the global warming catastrophe becomes more intense, many people will die of causes other than old age; causes such as drowning, heatstroke, starvation, and war.  

            "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

            by Calamity Jean on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:22:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  and Gore had 4 children to prove his indifference. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prickly Pam
        •  99% has no decision making power. 1% is determined (0+ / 0-)

          to play out their little game of Monopoly to the bitter end, come hell or high water.  (Both, actually).  With money a figment of the imagination of a computer at the Federal Reserve, it should be possible to buy enough coal (or any fossil fuel the owners of which are willing to sell it for less than cost to capture the CO2 from burning it), and equipment (made by our MIC firms) to harness renewable energy to replace first coal, then much of natural gas, finally petroleum.  We need a national smart electric grid, wind turbines, solar power system, geothermal systems, and whatever other renewable energy equipment we can make good use of, and we need lots of Global Thermostats to capture CO2, eventually to recycle the carbon in the CO2 in renewable hydrocarbon fuels.  With all the imaginary money in the Federal Reserve, we should be able to buy the equipment we need to get a handle on the carbon cycle, and on the water cycle, and on whatever other cycles we need to get back to working normally.

      •  We need to replace fossil fuel with clean green (0+ / 0-)

        renewable energy (preferably made very profitably by our MIC firms), buy coal (or any fuel the owners of which are willing to sell for less than the cost to capture the CO2 from burning it) as mineral rights, and buy lots of Global Thermostats to capture CO2 from fuel that would cost more to buy than to capture CO2 from and use those Global Thermostats.  If we are lucky the renewable energy replacement for petroleum will turn out to make good use of Global Thermostats to capture CO2 and recycle carbon, and combine carbon with hydrogen from electrolyzing  water to make hydrocarbon fuels.

    •  I'm inclined to worry about (4+ / 0-)

      the probability of some insane leader unleashing a civilization-destroying virus/bacterial agent.

      This was mentioned in an editorial a few years back in the well-respected Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. With 7 billion people and counting, simple probability says we're likely to produce an outlier individual who could bring about our destruction--that one in 7 billion chance. Just as probability predicts we'll have individuals like Einstein in a given population.

      This worry is over and above climate change, which is also extremely worrying.

      Eff me, it's Friday...time for a drink :(

      •  You're right about the drink. (0+ / 0-)

        That's got me thinking...how much energy goes into the making of six ounces of Merlot?

        “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

        by Ice Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:50:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in principle (0+ / 0-)

          you can let the sun do the work (first). Then. as you may remember, people walked in the vats to squish the grapes. Thats a job ... the kind of job that humans used to have which made them less of a burden to the world, but that they would not now find bearable. That is the problem - not energy. We have enough energy for all of us ever and all other life too, its the sun. Its our desire for convenience that makes us toxic to the earth.

          therefore .. thats maybe the best argument for religion that I know ... if a religion provides us with a mental framework that prevents us from being inventive, ambitious, material, individualistic, then that religion would be unquestionably a relief to humankind and earth.  (I´m thinking macumba here obviously)

    •  On bad days I think there will be no one left to (0+ / 0-)

      look back.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the brink? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, Lefty Coaster

    I think it started quite a while ago. In fact, we went pretty hard on large mammals about 10,000 years ago.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:10:12 PM PDT

  •  In The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert (5+ / 0-)

    talks to a scientist studying graptolites -- an ancient life form that nearly went extinct -- who had a fascination with rats.  He believed rats would take over the world.

    The Sixth Extinction, is, of course, the one we're causing now.  (The previous five were the previous five big extinction events we can detect from fossil evidence.)

    Highly recommended book.  Kolbert can really write, and the stories are fascinating as well as distressing.  

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:21:36 PM PDT

  •  The inevitable denial coupled with the wry... (4+ / 0-)

    intellectualizations, when this topic comes up really is getting under my skin. I really don't care about when we started the destruction of our environment worldwide, or when we started to see the decline of natural habitat in order to "advance" civilization, I really just would like to focus on stopping the suicidal destruction of humanity. We can do that if we make the honest attempt, and my children would really like to be a part of that effort, as would I. Can we start discussing this in a manner neither apocalyptic nor dispassionately cerebral and put some of this brain power to work on actually solving the problem? Please, before it's too late...

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:22:10 PM PDT

    •  I'll have to figure it out and get back to you ;-) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52
    •  OK (7+ / 0-)

      five dollars gas extra gasoline tax in the US ... how´s that for a start?

      quite seriously. What sacrifices are people willing to make to break and eventually reverse this trend?

      the driver is human footprint, not just human numbers alone. More like the product of people x consumption levels.

      Thus, wanting to help slow the ecological crisis of which extintion is an expression, has to mean in the US, wanting to reduce consumption levels.

      This translates into wanting to reduce economic activity.

      Try suggesting that ...

      People are disquietened when someone reminds them of the ecological situation. But by and large they are not prepared to support meaningful change to address it.

      Who wants to work all their life on a farm, producing their own food with untechnological means? Really who wants that? But just that the Americans of 1880 did that, meant that they were less ecologically destructive. That the people of Mali today do just that - subsistence millet farming, and otherwise copious teadrinking and storytelling - that makes them ecologically less destructive than modern Americans.

      Madagascar is a catastrophe (which no one talks about). Yet it is one only since circa the last three decades, and it turned into one exactly as fast and as far as modernity progressed into that country.

      Modern western societies have a few percent of their workforce in agriculture, some 20-30% in primary industry, and 70% or so in consumptive trade and services. These 70% are the problem.

    •  The problem is as plain as is the solution. You (4+ / 0-)

      and rest of humanity simply choose to ignore it because you're all so very special.

      Here's the solution.
      Quit breeding.

      Your contribution to the gene pool will not be missed. Neither you nor any spawn you produce is going to change the world, you're just randomly unique. No one and nothing will suffer from the lack of your contribution to the species.

      So to paraphrase an ad campaign that brilliantly summed up the "how this all happened"...

      Just Don't Do It.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:19:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Life after people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    will have a chance

  •  I don't see any problem with the extinction of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Calamity Jean, Prickly Pam

    humans.  Then, the rest of the planet can breath a sigh of relief and get on with living - oh, except of course for the nuclear waste humans have generated and the messing around with genetics.  
    But, that would be an abdication of the responsibility our species should feel towards the mess we've made of the planet.  If we were indeed responsible adults, we would at the very least stop killing and start healing.

  •  My neices and nephews have all these books (4+ / 0-)

    The kind with pictures of animals that you generally give to young children who are learning their first words.

    I wonder how many of them will be extinct by the time the kids are my age.

    Feel trickled on yet?

    by War4Sale on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:24:41 PM PDT

  •  This article from the BBC yesterday opened my (6+ / 0-)

    eyes to an entire new dimension to this problem: Global decline of wildlife linked to child slavery.

    Huh?

    Well,

    Ecologists say the shortage of wild animals means that in many countries more labour is now needed to find food.

    Children are often used to fill this need for cheap workers, especially in the fishing industry.

    The decline in species is also helping the proliferation of terrorism and the destabilisation of regions.

    So, saving the animals is linked to saving people, and not just in the way where we're all animals and the world would be lonely and diminished for us humans without wildlife.  But in the sense that loss of wildlife has immediate and direct impacts on the welfare of human beings, including children.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

    •  Ha. (5+ / 0-)

      just this evening passed through a news tidbit that explained that taking away the big wildlife means less predatory pressure on smaller forms among which small rodents, which tend to be carriers of human disease vectors. Thus hunting the big game increases human disease rates in the rural areas. This is working against us in so many unexpected ways.  

      •  Maybe it's just...working. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigjacbigjacbigjac, Prickly Pam

        The planet simply cannot sustain the population we have now and certainly not the population that is expected to be reached over the next 50 years.

        As horrible as it is to think it, let alone say it, the simple fact is that massive numbers of people are going to die one way or another.  Be it disease, starvation, lack of water, wars (fought mostly for food and water) it is inevitable.  The sad thing is that it will probably be the wealthy west that survives.  What a world that will be.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:22:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Would that it were only people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina
    "Mother Earth deserves a long, long rest with no people on her."

                                                  - Spalding Gray, Swimming to Cambodia


    "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:33:05 PM PDT

  •  Choice (4+ / 0-)

    And all this we do, the mining and clear cutting and all the sprawl and birth rate, ALL OF IT is done freely, by choice. We choose to destroy the natural world for gains today. Humanity as a whole is entirely and wholly lacking ethical consideration for The Other.

    There is nothing more depressing when looking at the gulf between what is and what could be.

  •  If we want to preserve the planet as early man (5+ / 0-)

    found it, that is a complex system of species and closed cycles, then we needs to return most of the planet to the wild. It is not a resource for us to plunder, it is a complex ecosystem that can support the evolution of many species in a stable environment. If we want to exist with this we need to build sustainable cities and remove ourselves from 95% of the land. It's OK to visit it and study it, but keep your hands off.

    More likely though is that we are a disruptive species and will destroy ourselves and take a significant number of species with us.

    It's not surprising that large wild mamals are going extinct in that we compete for the same large area habitat. Nations see as their direct responsibility to provide resources for an ever increasing population at an ever increasing "standard of living" especially if that means unbridled consumerism.

    Who will tell the truth and will anyone listen?

  •  I hate to say it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Prickly Pam

    but

    "We" deserve it....

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:04:54 PM PDT

  •  Our excuse: $$ (5+ / 0-)

    We have to suck up to the wealthy because they are better than we are.

    Thats why Americans don't protest because commoners know they NEED the supr-rich to make this world convenient.

    So we give the super rich all the money we can and allow them to do things like kill electric cars and intefere with solar power so they can still make money off fossil fuels.

    And of course these captains will drive us into the rock unles we take the wheel from them - and they aren't going to give it up without an UGLY vicious fight.

    Some guy said such a thing once about people with power not being all down with just giving it up.

    We wont get it if we don't just take it. They'll never give it up peaceably, like sensitive people dream of.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:05:34 PM PDT

  •  The people at the helms of our various ships (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, Prickly Pam

    of state/commerce are probably not concerned with the welfare of humanity, but only with the welfare of the plutocrats/oligarchs. As long as the uber wealthy survive in the style to which they've become accustomed, then nothing else really matters.

    Concepts like Social Darwinism, Predestination, etc. allow our "leaders" to justify their actions. Those "blessed" (and let's face it, they "know" they deserve those "blessings") with wealth will have the means to pay for whatever they need to not just survive, but thrive in the lap of luxury.

    If the rest of us don't have the money to survive then they feel that we don't really deserve to. I think that's why the Right (arm of the oligarchs) want to dismantle the Commons, since they are only concerned for themselves and those they care about.

    So, mass extinction? Too bad as long as the plutocrats have what they want.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:15:09 PM PDT

  •  Our biggest problem: Lack of awareness (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, too many people, Prickly Pam

    Most people are too busy to pay attention to the reality staring them in the face, and if they have to think about the deeper questions, forget it. Too much, too much.

    So will humans wake up and become capable of awareness and making needed changes fast enough?

    History seems to indicate that when humans have come to grip with things, it is because reality hit them upside the head like a two by four swung by a heavy hitter.  Boom.  Survive? Maybe.

    I think the internet will help, as people learn to use it as a resource.  At present this is helping the faster, quicker adopters.  

    Most people are not letting go of their illusions.  We have been, as a society, really creating a seamless, round the clock mass manufactured dream that is convincing enough to be preferable to reality.  It is essentially a commercial for more consumerism in all its forms and dimensions.  Many people will die before they give this up.  Maybe literally.  

    But there have been good efforts to turn things around since the mid seventies, right after the gasoline crisis of 1973.  Many people devoted whole careers to making progress and have laid a good foundation.  

    THere are people building on that foundation.  So there is some cause for optimism.  

    But no slack.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:16:09 PM PDT

  •  ...on the bring of...(?): WTF It's happening TODAY (0+ / 0-)

    where you been?  

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:16:55 PM PDT

  •  extention mean us, Homo Sapiens (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:17:49 PM PDT

  •  We passed brink, now are on its slippery slope (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greyhound, corvo, maryabein

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:43:48 PM PDT

  •  The idea that a species that invariably breeds (6+ / 0-)

    itself into extinction, can also believe itself to be intelligent is the kind of thing you just can't make up.

    You can spend all day, every day reading about what is happening and what the causes and consequences will likely be, but almost nobody can bring themselves to point out the single environmental disaster that drives all the rest.

    Seven billion bald monkeys and counting. We're rats in a world with no cats. We are a plague, an infestation of this beautiful blue speck, with a limitless capacity to pretend that it's someone else's problem/fault.

    Fortunately, as is typical of our character, we are not nearly as important as we wish we were, so the earth will recover from us in a few thousand years and see what comes up next.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:04:11 PM PDT

    •  Speaking of cats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greyhound

      a world full of rodents sounds pretty good for them. Maybe that's why the lolcats are lolling.

      “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

      by Ice Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:57:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You imagine that humans have no predators? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joncleir, Prickly Pam

      Ha. Consider viruses. They replicate faster than anything, and hijack your own metabolism to do so.

      Every challenge by a new infectious agent is a race between its replication to a degree causing your death vs your immune system's figuring out the right code.

      10 days vs 8, you live.
      8 days vs 10, you die.
      A virus causing death in 5 days vs 10 days' average immune response: no one can keep up, everyone dies. It could be out there on some chicken farm right now.

      Bacteria don't do a bad job on their own: consider Yersinia pestis, alive and well. That experiment's already been done: a third of Europe died. Yes we have antibiotics, but consider cross-bacterial exchange of resistance genes, which is already demonstrated in real world pathogens.

      A matter of time.

  •  I wouldn't wring my hands over it. (0+ / 0-)

    Extinction of the entire Earth is inevitable.  Just a question of when.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:05:09 PM PDT

  •  One child per family would solve this problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    ... and virtually all others, within a generation. But it appears that the normal human response to environmental stress is to try to outbreed the other tribes.

    This century (or perhaps just the next few decades) have been described as a "bottleneck". Human population will soon peak and then decline, but we have to try to get as many species through the peak period - through the bottleneck - as we can.

    Mother nature is trying defend her other children by sending us AIDS and Ebola... maybe we should take the hint.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:37:28 PM PDT

    •  Mother Nature's trying to defend (0+ / 0-)

      her other creatures with AIDS? You're aping Pat Robertson's "God sent hurricanes to wicked New York."

      And, never mind that it was SIDS killing monkeys before it became AIDS killing humans.

      •  Well, perhaps I'm being a bit colorful... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        ...about "Mother Nature" and all.

        But these diseases have natural "maintenance hosts" that do not experience disease pathology. Scientists believe that humans, monkeys - and their immunodeficiency viruses - have coexisted for 32,000 years.

        Recent population pressures have resulted in demand for lumber, more logging roads, more hunters in the back country and more bush meat appearing in markets of African towns and cities.

        The natural hosts of Ebola viruses are still unidentified:  Fruit bats are a suspect, but medical experts advise avoiding contact with bats, nonhuman primates, and bush meat in high-risk areas.

        These viruses, along with drug-resistant strains of Staph, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, etc... suggest that evolution is "responding" to human overpopulation.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:06:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bees go, (5+ / 0-)

    we go.

    As for tipping points, we're over.

    Head NOW for a place where as the jet streams die, rain MIGHT still fall and there are bodies of CLEAN or easily filterable water.

    WATER is going to be the decider, and the wealthy are already moving inexorably to control as much of it as possible.. not only drinking water, but FOOD water.

    Get in under their bar before it's set in concrete or die die die.

    Move now, or die.

  •  3 things drive extinction; lack of Wate,Food, Fire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    We're batting 3 for 3.

    Droughts that were unimaginable a hundred years ago, topsoil that is worn out and no nutrients or grass to feed cattle on; and no energy (which used to mean firewood, not it means oil, natural gas, coal, which will all be gone by 2100.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

  •  There are too damn many of us.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    internationaljock, Prickly Pam

    7.2 billion and expected to at least double again by 2100. We have exhausted our resources and scraping more will ruin the most precious of all - our water, our air, our soil..... not to mention the damage to our other passengers on this planet - our wildlife.  It's all doom and gloom for the future and I'm afraid too many humans are too ignorant to see the necessity of rapid change in our attitudes, behaviors and thinking. The Native Americans had it right: When we make decisions about our actions, we must consider how it impacts seven generations into the future.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:54:10 PM PDT

  •  And I feel fine. (0+ / 0-)

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:02:57 PM PDT

  •  I've been arguing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Prickly Pam

    That we are in the midst of that event, as we lose species daily. And it's almost entirely anthropogenic in nature. Of course I don't have any credentials to speak of but many extinction events, while sudden from a geologic point of view, some have taken millions of years to play out. I think the Permian extinction was such an event but what we're doing is going to look like light speed compared to the Great Dying.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:04:39 PM PDT

  •  Depressing. *sigh* nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  How many warnings will it take to impress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    the majority of human beings that this is actually happening.

    Here is my diary about one scientist and two journalists signalling the 6th extinction. There is the natural slow moving extinction and the rapid human caused extinction; both  happening at the same time. It's the rate at which the earth is changing and the animals are disappearing that is astounding.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    An interesting book review Consume, Screw, Kill. That's us.

  •  Capitalism (3+ / 0-)

    requires compounding growth, constant market expansion/resource allocation and a constant rise in population to create more labor sources and consumers to make and buy the never ending piles of junk necessary to keep profits expanding. A ZERO growth capitalism is impossible so humanity faces an approaching choice of either socialism or possible human and mas animal extinction but hey, tell that to the idiots who don't even think climate change is a real thing- people who also think there's 3 more earths parked out back that will supply all of the necessary resources for capitalism's continued existence on into the 22nd century.

     And it's not like liberals (I don't use the term liberal as an insult) have really been on board as they worship the innovative nature of the market combined with government intervention to come up with ways to save life on earth while keeping this whole economic suicide cult system going.

     Check out "Socialism or Barbarism" by Istvan Meszaros, or the various studies and publications being put out by ecosocialists. "Eco-socialism Or Barbarism" is also a good read:

    http://www.oekosozialismus.net/...

    Economists understand that a zero growth capitalism is impossible and we're doing nothing about climate change the the fact there's not even enough raw materials to keep this thing going is ignored. Conservatives are literally insane when it comes to these issue but my experience in the community, reading, debating and engaging with people online has been pretty negative a far as liberals understanding the depth of the ecological problems we face.

     other than conservatives the Keynesian/post Keynesian economists are the biggest obstacle to eco-socialism gaining mainstream viability in academia.  Conservatives who actually recognize the ecological problems 9far an few between) champion the market as the solution and the Keynesian's are convinced the market is going to save us via innovation but obviously support government intervention. There's so much wrong with both ideas I don't even know where to begin. This will be my next diary post. It will probably end up "tldr"- like this comment post! lol

     

  •  Were all gonna (0+ / 0-)

    Be taking a dirt nap at some point.   Then again, no one can really say when the event will happen. I choose to not live my life worrying about The End.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:10:26 PM PDT

  •  Fish warns that we are in mass extinction event (0+ / 0-)

    that we started. That's a more interesting title.

    Would you write "Journalists warn"? Not likely. "Scientists say" is one of the lamest lines in journalism yet I see it repeatedly.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:33:23 PM PDT

  •  Well, Obviously the Dinosaurs Were Smarter (0+ / 0-)

    Dinosaurs were vastly more successful than we've been. They were around for maybe 100 million years. We'll be lucky to crack 1 million.

    We ought to have this debate in about another 100 million years and see how we stack up. Is anyone going to be here for that?

  •  You can do something to help. (0+ / 0-)

    Every little effort in the right direction has consequences and benefits a small part of our ecosystem.  Take a look at this small green business startup, and see what you can do to make your part of the world a little bit better.  http://kck.st/...

    Flora's Organics- Helping save the planet http://kck.st/1rytwfL Help gardeners, homeowners, and the planet by helping fund Bakersfield's first USDA certified organic nursery.

    by mtwocats on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:56:05 PM PDT

  •  The sad thing is, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    as Americans are gazing at
    pictures of elephants,
    the oil supply will run nearly out,
    the price of diesel fuel
    for America's farmers
    will become way too high,
    and farms will shut down,
    and Americans will starve,
    maybe by the millions.

    Then,
    someone will start building
    electric tractors,
    maybe on long power cables,
    like an electric lawn mower
    on an extension cord to the house.

    Then,
    someone will start building rail lines
    to the backs of the grocery stores,
    and electric locomotives,
    running on overhead wires,
    powered by the grid.

    Then,
    after many more millions of Americans have
    starved and died,
    and died while fighting each other over food,
    all this dying,
    during the time the electric tractors and trains are being built,
    then,
    maybe,
    America will stabilize.

    Only question is,
    will it be more than 100 million Americans who survive,
    or less than 50 million?

    America will start learning how to
    hunt, fish, and farm,
    with electric tractors.

    Feeding your family
    was always the priority
    of my parents generation.

    My parents were both born in 1924,
    on two different farms,
    in Hickory County,
    Missouri.

    Feed your family.

    Only look at elephant pictures
    in your spare time.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:07:09 AM PDT

    •  The diesel engine was designed to operate (0+ / 0-)

      on vegetable oils. Farmers could be producing the fuel they need from their own crop waste and spoilage. That's not the problem. We need to learn to cooperate instead of competing for power and money.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 08:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The main problem I see is that most of us... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        have learned to be afraid.  I believe it is fear that keeps people stuck in dysfunctional interactions with themselves and others, and which then makes enemies of those who would otherwise be friends.

        To me, the quickest and easiest way to deal with the fear present in the world would be to start teaching everyone how to be assertive.  Assertiveness is based on respect for both oneself, AND others.

        Currently we live in a culture that teaches most people to be either passive, aggressive, or some combination of both.  Passive and aggressive behaviors are all based on fear, which is why the consequences of these behaviors always turn out to be negative, in the long run.  

        As long as we reward people who act in passive or aggressive ways, there will be little desire or impetus to change.  As long as passive and aggressive behaviors are seen as the only alternatives to dealing with life, nothing will change.

        People who are afraid can't think in terms of the long run.  People who are afraid can't think in terms of change.  Educate people to be assertive, and you are educating people to learn how to deal with fear, and with change.

        Take fear out of the equation, and everything changes in positive ways.  Take fear out of the equation, and there will be no more denial and blame, both of which are hallmarks of dysfunctional behavior.  It's that simple.

        Those people in the world who want to control others, will always use fear and subterfuge to do so.  Take away the fear, and you take away the control other people can have over us.  Shakespeare said that cowards die a thousand deaths, but those without fear die only once.  The Native Americans say that today is a good day to die.  If not us, who?  If not now, when...?

        •  Agreed, but if the goal remains to amass (0+ / 0-)

          a great fortune instead of building a strong community we will still be lost. Cooperation and community have too long been villianized while personal and corporate greed has been pedestalized. We need to reestablish pre Reagan American values.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 01:47:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for your comment... (0+ / 0-)

            My guess is that it would be a lot easier to form strong community bonds between people if you change the fear involved in both the process, and the people.  

            Whatever negative contexts are, or might be, connected to the idea of community, changes when you change the fear people carry around with them.  

            When people stop being afraid of the fear they have learned to feel regarding anything, they can look at everything from a different point of view.  The idea of community doesn't change, but the RESPONSE to that idea changes when one is not afraid.

            Or so it seems to me at this point in time.

  •  What will it be like in 30 years ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    Most people can see the truth in science.  Most people have come to the conclusion that we are in serious trouble, the planet is in serious trouble.  The Ocean is dying, the climate is keeping on a patch that spells trouble for so many issues.   I have zero doubt that this is a man made crisis, and it could be solved, if not for so few people that have so much power, but are paid to be "deniers"
    It's like these are global criminals for not first, admitting we have all the proof we need, it's man made, and only Man can reverse or stop the damage.  Most of these men who have the power to start reversing the damage, are in the U.S. and are Republicans, and still, to this day claim they need more studies, and are in effect, still denying we are in a climate change crisis, and that we can still do something about it.  But, we allow these same people not only to remain in office, but to stop any attempts to reverse the damage.  So, yes, say goodbye to the Elephants.  Say goodbye to the fish.  Just say goodbye.   It's seriously looking like "game over"    What will it be like in 30 years?
    I can tell you that I would have to think seriously about having a child now, knowing that in as little as 30 years the reality of climate change will be more than a drought and a hurricane here and there.  
    Every time you hear one of those guys talk about how they need more information on climate change, wonder how they manage to stay in office.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:04:28 AM PDT

  •  Fight Global Warming For Just a Few Dollars (0+ / 0-)

    Fight global warming for the cost of a cup of coffee - stop 1000 tons of CO2 emissions by saving acres of rainforest for just a few dollars:

    https://www.rainforesttrust.org/...

  •  Next? Looming? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought we were already in it.

  •  Adaptation takes time, millenia. With mega-poll... (0+ / 0-)

    Adaptation takes time, millenia. With mega-polluters fighting every attempt at regulation, we aren't giving the species time to adapt. So of course they will be major die-offs.

  •  mass extinction (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe we're not any smarter than dinosaurs

  •  OUR Excuse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    Is that no corporation has ever figured out YET....how to get their hands into the green energy cookie jar.

    When they figure out a way to monopolize the market on green energy, so that they can gouge you for energy, THEN we will have widespread green energy.

    Until then, they will continue to demand and promote the use of fossil fuels...over which they currently have control - and thruogh that, control of much of humanity.

    Study the concept of hydraulic despotism sometime, and then you will understand.

  •  You May be a Climate change denier But... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes

    Mother Nature is apparently not listening to your rebuttals...

    " One Consoling thought about the 'Mass Extinction Event', is the fact that I will have the pleasure of looking into the terrified eyes of the last living Climate Denier and say, " I told you this would Happen "

  •  the Solution is here .. (0+ / 0-)

    There is a Solution but it will take every bit of moral fiber the human race has.You can jump start human evolution with this.

    1. reforest the earth the oxygen level will jump to 80%
    that will cause the human brain size to increase 10 fold in a few generations.

    2.also it will trigger a natural green house effect that will stabilize the planetary climate. earth will have natural AC and 72 f planet wide .

    3. use passive solar / water power /ocean wave power

     

    The Eden Projects - Plant Trees | Save Lives from Eden Reforestation Projects on Vimeo.

     

  •  Put people in the picture, not elephants (0+ / 0-)

    Reference "Overshoot" by William Catton, 1980.  We humans are about to experience a population crash, from 7 or 8 Billion people to maybe seventy thousand or zero [extinction].   There are several reasons, such as there are too many people [crowding, etc.], global warming will cause agriculture to collapse, magical thinking [religion and environmental cults such as belief in renewable energy], etcetera.  

  •  Simple (0+ / 0-)

    Why can we not see? because of the greed by those who have the money to influence those who are supposed to answer to the people but also have fallen to the greed that has overtaken our nation.

    Our democracy is dying and we are doing nothing to stop it.

    •  As I said in an earlier post... (0+ / 0-)

      all behaviors are a symptom of fear.  Greed is the fear of never having enough.

      Because we, the people, have been socialized to be too afraid to confront those who are greedy and afraid, the greed and fear continues.

      Until we, the people, stop being afraid, nothing will change.

  •  The Extinct Elepant in the room (0+ / 0-)

    Every problem that exists that humans are presently confronted with is the result of one cause...overpopulation. We were warned over a hundred years ago and humans ignored it. So when we say big animals they are also saying Humans. Not only do we consume everything, we produce more waste as well.

    And the end isn't 200 or 100 years from now. It may be as little as 50 years meaning that people who are now children will suffer this catastrophic end and they won't be pleased with their parents who worried more about their gas guzzling cars and their coal fired power plants then they did their own children or the planet they lived on.

    It ends with the last human eating the next to last human and a bunch of flags on the Moon to mark our failed potential.

  •  We're not on the brink of a mass extinction. (0+ / 0-)

    The extinction is already well under way.

  •  Capitalism is only concerned with profits. What... (0+ / 0-)

    Capitalism is only concerned with profits. What is capitalism? It is a system of government concerned with capital, I.e. profits. Unless we get rid of capitalism, the earth is doomed. There are always profits to be made from disasters like war. The reason why we use 17th century technology like burning coal to create electricity instead of 21st century technology like solar or magnetic energy is quite simple. Why invest $ in these technologies when you're already making profits from coal? Moreover, the elites are too busy enjoying their wealth to care. After all, its we, the workers who will die anyway. Look if you want real change, join a revolutionary party. Check out:ideologicalfightback

    •  Please note ... third-party advocacy here is a no- (0+ / 0-)

      no.

      And let me assure you we absolutely DO want real change! But not that way.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:21:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Until we change the fear that allows... (0+ / 0-)

      capitalism to be the status quo, nothing will change.

      Until we, the people, stop being afraid of change, we will avoid confronting the status quo, because confronting the status quo would cause change.

      The elites are never threatened with change, because we, the people,  are afraid - of confrontation, of being assertive,  of change.

      My God, we could die if change happened.  

      Well, if we don't stop being afraid, change is going to happen anyway, and we will die.  And most of the change, and deaths involved won't be chosen or pleasant.

      As I mentioned in an earlier post, cowards die a thousand deaths before they die, but the brave only die once.  

      Courage is the fleeing forward, and it is about time we, the people, all stopped giving in to fear, and started fleeing forward.

  •  I am a big fan of (0+ / 0-)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.---George Orwell

    by okpkpkp on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

  •  Saddly Predictable and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes

    unfortunately so very sadly inevitable.  I am very much the optimists and will never give up doing my part in trying to help stop the horribleness that is taking over vast ecosystems of our planet. But I cannot help being stunned every day as I hear of acts that highlight how gravely sick humanity is becoming.  And I am sure that the decrease of humanity among the population of humans is in direct relation to what was the start of this of recent major mass extinction event.  And the saddest thing of it all is that I cannot help thinking, perhaps like a few others. That it is the greed of a very small percentage of humans that could bring this beautiful planet to the brink destruction!!!

    Fortunately

    "THERE IS NEVER A BAD DAY FOR A REVOLUTION"
  •  THE LEFT WING RAPTURE (0+ / 0-)

    Don't ya get the feeling the bad news is coming from both sides? One is paranoid the other is realnoid.

  •  Dying empires... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsakarias

    ...have neither ingenuity nor courage, Mr. Tyson.

  •  On the brink of Mass Extinction Event (0+ / 0-)

    If they're referring to this coming November 2014 and that teratogenic Republican sub-culture, BE MY GUEST!

    I hope it'll be a complete process....

  •  We are already well into mass extinction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsakarias

    It started in the Pleistocene, and also mostly affected the megafauna.  So many animals of today, from bears, to wolves, to cats, to moose, to elephants, to kangaroos, to wombats, to eagles, ostriches, etc. had much larger relatives that were eradicated by our ancestors.  The extinction rate is currently estimated to be about 1000 times the normal rate.

    This is the 6th mass extinction, and it looks likely to equal or even surpass the last one, which killed off the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs & so many other major animal groups.  At this rate, Homo sapiens will be one of the species that will become extinct, which may be the beginning of the recovery of whatever remains.

  •  the latest issue of Science Magazine ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is a special on "defaunation" (largely behind a paywall, unfortunately): http://www.sciencemag.org/...

  •  dick cheney was right (0+ / 0-)

    "the american way of life is non-negotiable"

  •  Mass Extinction (0+ / 0-)

    Look on YouTube under CO2 in the ocean a scientist shows
    you what it does to water. The water turns very acidic . The same applies to the outer atmosphere where there is ice that too quote 'gets a  hole in it ' and pretty much the same effect apply.
    If you own a car that is 3,000 pounds or less you can buy an electric engine and install it yourself. There are several sites on the computer to show you how. You can take sometimes free classes on how to do it also. You tube has site too. Or perhaps arrange for someone to show a group of people at low cost? There are people who can teach others how that I'm aware anyway. Hey!? Could this become a TV Shark Tank business? LOL ( remember Snoopy and Peanuts Xmas Cartoon? scary)  Compared to having someone else do it you save thousands of dollars. And it may cost you a few hundred or so depending on where you purchase one . Your savings in maintenance and gas definitely outweigh the cost of doing this in one year. Look into it you virtually have very little maintenance and then your gas is nil. The Mr. Bigs of this life can't do anything to stop you if your as sneaky as they are -

  •  We Really are Headed for a Major Mass Extinction (0+ / 0-)

    Celsius 6 more degrees after 2017 they do not reveal this in the current article above will be our extinction
    We can make things artificial if we know how and survive however
    Something that humans should be preparing for actually because it looks absolutely real. Look up this stuff for yourselves if you like. Get the info you need to see what is going on  And take action really it's not that far down the road. And if you have kids?  
    There are ways in which we as humans could survive look the stuff up if interested

  •  Pretend science (0+ / 0-)

    First you get the data then you analysis it, then issue a paper warning the sky is falling. And then ...nothing. Not quite the masters of the universe these guys want us to believe. Who is working on solving some of these problems?

  •  Obama gave a free pass to Fracking (0+ / 0-)

    The oil and gas industry doesn't have to comply with the EPA Clean water Act and Obama relaxed other egulations so Fracking could accelerate.  Hillary is pro-"business" as well. And Obama has green-lighted new off shore drilling leases, hundreds.
    PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP ANOUT THE FACT THAT REPUBLICANS/TEA PARTY AND DEMOCRATS CAVE IN TO BIG OIL AND THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.  Quit going along with the same old same old, it is killing us and the future for our children.  RESEARCH FRACKING IF YOU DON'T KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT IT.

  •  The Next Mass Extinction (0+ / 0-)

    Us humans have already reached a world population that exceeds the sustainability of world resources. Maybe we're next for the "great culling".

  •  Shade the Earth (0+ / 0-)

    Project reflective dust toward the sun.  If it works too well, let it fall into the sun and use less next time.  How else do we quickly turn down the heat that is releasing the methane?

  •  On the Brink? (0+ / 0-)

    I understood that we're already well into this major extinction event. In fifty years, the populations of cod, hertting, and other yasty wild fish have been cut to one tenth their previous level., and the population of humans has more than doubled.

    The reduction in human child mortality, unaccompanied by  a reduction in the birth rate, is probably the biggest factor in the plague of humans that is threatening most other species.

  •  Inconsistent (0+ / 0-)

    Humans are inconsistent. Benjamin Franklin put it well:

    The small progress we have made after four or five weeks' close attendance and continual reasoning with each other--our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes--is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding.

    We are bulldozing all the mountains away in West Virginia to get the minerals to make solar panels and wind turbines. The rivers are now polluted and toxins are leaking into the air. We are bulldozing mountains away in West Virginia to build more shopping malls and universities to educate students to live a materialistic lifestyle that requires us to bulldoze, drill, mine and explode our Earth away.

    However, fossil fuels are the problem.

    Scientists want us to bulldoze, drill, mine and explode more and faster so that we can do more space exploration and build more research centers to prove that fossil fuels are the enemy.

    Almost 80% of the USA food is grown elsewhere and shipped in because we have blacktopped and concreted our nation to put in shopping malls and hospitals to cure us of all the diseases caused by us blacktopping and concreting.

    However, fossil fuels are the problem.

    Politicians, educators and scientists say we need to bulldoze, drill, mine and explode to create more universities to educate our youth about the perils of fossil fuels. We need to bulldoze, drill, mine and explode in order to give our children better technology, air controlled buildings to live and more indoor places to have recreation.

    However, fossil fuels are the problem.

    We are inconsistent creatures which is the problem.

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