Tag Archives: Extinction

THE EARTH IS IN A DEATH SPIRAL. It will take radical action to save us – George Monbiot.

“What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?”

Climate breakdown could be rapid and unpredictable. We can no longer tinker around the edges and hope minor changes will avert collapse.

Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out.

Public figures talk and act as if environmental change will be linear and gradual. But the Earth’s systems are highly complex, and complex systems do not respond to pressure in linear ways. When these systems interact (because the world’s atmosphere, oceans, land surface and lifeforms do not sit placidly within the boxes that make study more convenient), their reactions to change become highly unpredictable. Small perturbations can ramify wildly. Tipping points are likely to remain invisible until we have passed them. We could see changes of state so abrupt and profound that no continuity can be safely assumed.

Only one of the many life support systems on which we depend – soils, aquifers, rainfall, ice, the pattern of winds and currents, pollinators, biological abundance and diversity, need fail for everything to slide.

Because we cannot save ourselves without contesting oligarchic control, the fight for democracy and justice and the fight against environmental breakdown are one and the same. Do not allow those who have caused this crisis to define the limits of political action. Do not allow those whose magical thinking got us into this mess to tell us what can and cannot be done.

. . . The Guardian

The most intellectual creature to ever walk the Earth is destroying its only home – Dr. Jane Goodall.

We are experiencing the sixth great extinction, the situation is critical, in the last 40 years, we have lost some 60% of all animal and plant species on Earth.

Each species, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a role to play in the rich tapestry of life, known today as biodiversity.

The huge global biodiversity losses now becoming apparent represent a crisis equalling and quite possibly surpassing climate change.

During my years studying chimpanzees in Gombe national park in Tanzania I experienced the magic of the rainforest. I learned how all life is interconnected, how each species, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a role to play in the rich tapestry of life, known today as biodiversity. Even the loss of one thread can have a ripple effect and result in major damage to the whole.

Biodiversity describes the rich diversity of life on Earth, from individual species to entire ecosystems. The term was coined in 1985, a contraction of “biological diversity”, but the huge global biodiversity losses now becoming apparent represent a crisis equalling and quite possibly surpassing climate change. Deforestation, poaching, industrial farming and pollution are some of the ways in which the planet’s natural ecosystem is being disrupted, with devastating results.
Mother nature is being destroyed at an ever-faster rate for the sake of short term gain. This, along with our horrifying population growth, poverty, causing people to destroy the environment simply to try to make a living, and the unsustainable lifestyles of the rest of us who have way more than we need, is the root cause of all the planet’s woes.

How come the most intellectual creature to ever walk the Earth is destroying its only home?

. . . The Guardian

See also

CLIMATE SHOCK. The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet * THE SIXTH EXTINCTION. An Unnatural History * ARE WE IN THE MIDST OF THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION? A view from the world of amphibians

MOONSHOT FOR BIOLOGY. $5bn project to map DNA of every animal, plant and fungus – Hannah Devlin * The Earth BioGenome Project.

International sequencing drive will involve reading genomes of 1.5m species.
The total volume of biological data that will be gathered is expected to be on the “exascale”, more than that accumulated by Twitter, YouTube or the whole of astronomy.

An ambitious international project to sequence the DNA of every known animal, plant and fungus in the world over the next 10 years has been launched.

Described as “the next moonshot for biology”, the Earth BioGenome Project is expected to cost $4.7bn (£3.6bn) and involve reading the genomes of 1.5m species.

Prof Harris Lewin of the University of California, Davis, who chairs the project, said it could be as transformational for biology as the Human Genome Project, which decoded the human genome between 1990 and 2003.

. . . The Guardian

Powerful advances in genome sequencing technology, informatics, automation, and artificial intelligence, have propelled humankind to the threshold of a new beginning in understanding, utilizing, and conserving biodiversity. For the first time in history, it is possible to efficiently sequence the genomes of all known species, and to use genomics to help discover the remaining 80 to 90 percent of species that are currently hidden from science.

A GRAND CHALLENGE

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a moonshot for biology, aims to sequence, catalog and characterize the genomes of all of Earth’s eukaryotic biodiversity over a period of ten years.

A GRAND VISION

Create a new foundation for biology to drive solutions for preserving biodiversity and sustaining human societies.

. . . Earth BioGenome Project

The Example of Easter Island Shows Why Humanity Will Be Extinct Within 100 Years – Philip Perry. 

Like any other system, capitalism has its positive and negative qualities. Inarguably, it has lifted nearly a billion across the globe out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2010. But as with other socioeconomic systems of the past, such as with feudalism, a time can come when revolutionary changes make such systems anachronistic. So too has capitalism’s time come, at least the kind which exploits the biosphere.

A more sophisticated system must replace it. One reason is because we are on the verge of a technological shift which will make almost all working and middle class jobs obsolete within the next 25 years or so. Currently, middle and working class families are already getting squeezed in developed countries. Their wages have remained stagnant for decades while costs have steadily risen.

Today, 15% of the US population is below the poverty line. If you include children under age 18, the number is 20%. All the gains in productivity over the last several decades have gone to the top one percent of income earners, while the economic prospects for the vast majority stagnated or worsened. Then there’s the environmental impact. We’re about to kick off the sixth great extinction event. and we’ll follow shortly after.

Big Think

A big world on a small planet. We are on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020.

More than 300 animal species are being eaten into extinction. 

The biggest cause of tumbling animal numbers is the destruction of wild areas for farming and logging: the majority of the Earth’s land area has now been impacted by humans, with just 15% protected for nature. Poaching and exploitation for food is another major factor, due to unsustainable fishing and hunting. The Guardian 

The 12 Year Old Girl Who Silenced the World for 6 Minutes. 

“Did you have to worry of these things when you were my age? 

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