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Sixth Mass Extinction
Posted: 06 May 2014 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Anyone who thinks things are just wonderful on planet Earth might want to read this article.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/02/the-6th-great-m.html

There is little doubt left in the minds of professional biologists that Earth is currently faced with a mounting loss of species that threatens to rival the five great mass extinctions of the geological past, the most devasting being the Third major Extinction (c. 245 mya), the Permian, where 54% of the planet’s species families lost. As long ago as 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that Earth is currently losing something on the order of 30,000 species per year—which breaks down to the even more daunting statistic of some three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that this biodiversity crisis—this “Sixth Extinction”—is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had supposed.

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Posted: 07 May 2014 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not surprising. The planet is undergoing the most significant and amazing change of its entire history. Technology is changing everything and the future will be absolutely amazing.

But only fools think such radical changes happen without cost or hardship. Even bringing a new life into this world requires a lot of pain and a lot of blood, but the end result is well worth it.

The birthing of the future is little different.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Robert Walper - 07 May 2014 05:49 PM

Not surprising. The planet is undergoing the most significant and amazing change of its entire history. Technology is changing everything and the future will be absolutely amazing.

But only fools think such radical changes happen without cost or hardship. Even bringing a new life into this world requires a lot of pain and a lot of blood, but the end result is well worth it.

The birthing of the future is little different.

What a load of nonsense, we’re not on some magical quest for A.I., short term pursuit of profit is driving policies that will almost certainly bring an end to technological development as the chaos that results from climate change and ecological destruction causes social and geopolitical chaos.

Some people just don’t live in the real world I guess.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Just typical doomsayer BS. Doomsday cults and people such as yourself always think their particular branch of doomsday predictions is correct, and you’re no different. The only consistent thing in history is them being wrong every time.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Robert Walper - 08 May 2014 10:43 AM

Just typical doomsayer BS. Doomsday cults and people such as yourself always think their particular branch of doomsday predictions is correct, and you’re no different. The only consistent thing in history is them being wrong every time.

Sorry, but your pseudo-religious faith in technology doesn’t impress me at all.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 08 May 2014 11:17 AM
Robert Walper - 08 May 2014 10:43 AM

Just typical doomsayer BS. Doomsday cults and people such as yourself always think their particular branch of doomsday predictions is correct, and you’re no different. The only consistent thing in history is them being wrong every time.

Sorry, but your pseudo-religious faith in technology doesn’t impress me at all.

Nor does your doomsday predictions.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I also think it’s complete nonsense to claim that we need to make a choice between technology and ecological sustainability when it’s the misuse of technology not it’s presence that’s the problem.

I did a paper on the collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery for college shortly after it happened. It was a needless disaster that eliminated one of the densest biomasses on the planet and ended a 500 year sustainable fishery.

The Canadian government decided that it was time to make big profits off the cod and concentrated the fishery into just a few companies who invested in offshore vessels that could harvest the cod in the their breeding grounds. This was in the late 1970s.

By the mid 1980s the traditional inshore fishermen were reporting a drop in numbers but nothing was done as the DFOs numbers were still strong. What no one was told was that the DFO was getting its data from the industry itself, it wasn’t conducting independent research to verify fish stocks. By the time the problem was realized it was too late to do anything. What the DFO hadn’t factored into it’s conclusions was that the offshore fisheries had been getting progressively more efficient at finding and catching the cod. They had new sonar, high tech location gear including GPS at the end and spotter planes. The boat captains also got very good at knowing where the fish would be. So the industry numbers didn’t drop until the fish stocks were almost gone, the Newfoundland cod is commercially extinct now and hasn’t rebounded in twenty years of protection. From one of the densest biomasses on the planet it’s at such low levels it can’t recover.

Billions of dollars are spent every year subsidizing industrial fishing that has a huge by-catch that is usually dumped back into the oceans dead, up to half the catch.

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/problems_fishing/fisheries_management/bycatch222/

We’re to the point where over fishing threatens many important species.

Faced with the collapse of large-fish populations, commercial fleets are going deeper in the ocean and father down the food chain for viable catches. This so-called “fishing down” is triggering a chain reaction that is upsetting the ancient and delicate balance of the sea’s biologic system.

A study of catch data published in 2006 in the journal Science grimly predicted that if fishing rates continue apace, all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048.

So don’t tell me this is about technological advancement over ecological responsibility when the root problem is usually a very limited corporate interest driving policy that is highly destructive against the both the long and short term interests of the public.

It’s also ridiculous to claim that the energy sector is a driving force in advanced technology when we’re effectively still stuck in the age of steam for most of our power.

The real doomsayers are claiming nuclear power is too dangerous when coal power produces far more radioactive pollution than nuclear power ever did, including the major accidents.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

The result: estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities. At one extreme, the scientists estimated fly ash radiation in individuals’ bones at around 18 millirems (thousandths of a rem, a unit for measuring doses of ionizing radiation) a year. Doses for the two nuclear plants, by contrast, ranged from between three and six millirems for the same period. And when all food was grown in the area, radiation doses were 50 to 200 percent higher around the coal plants.

So while we get bizarre claims about Fukushima possibly contaminating the entire Pacific Ocean, the reality is that the accident there released only about 1/4 of the radiation that a typical coal power plant does in one year.

And how about developing molten salt reactors that can’t melt down and use almost 99% of the input fuel instead of spending billions to dig up Northern Alberta and frack the hell out of the entire continent. Nuclear power is the densest fuel available, the entire globe could be run for a year on fissile mattrial equal to the amount of coal, oil and gas that is extracted in a few minutes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

I could go on, but what’s the point in a world where most people seem effectively brain dead.

[ Edited: 08 May 2014 01:00 PM by Fuzzy Logic ]
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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Robert Walper - 08 May 2014 11:50 AM
Fuzzy Logic - 08 May 2014 11:17 AM
Robert Walper - 08 May 2014 10:43 AM

Just typical doomsayer BS. Doomsday cults and people such as yourself always think their particular branch of doomsday predictions is correct, and you’re no different. The only consistent thing in history is them being wrong every time.

Sorry, but your pseudo-religious faith in technology doesn’t impress me at all.

Nor does your doomsday predictions.

Except they’re not predictions when I’m detailing what’s already happened and what’s currently happening, if that concept is beyond you then trying to discuss anything of a complex nature is most likely pointless.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Robert Walper - 07 May 2014 05:49 PM

Not surprising. The planet is undergoing the most significant and amazing change of its entire history. Technology is changing everything and the future will be absolutely amazing.

But only fools think such radical changes happen without cost or hardship. Even bringing a new life into this world requires a lot of pain and a lot of blood, but the end result is well worth it.

The birthing of the future is little different.

If you’d have taken the time to actually find out, you would have discovered that in my opinion the solution to our problems is to cut loose from the past and utilize advanced technology and knowledge to the greatest degree possible and not be stuck in the past as you so obviously are.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Meh.  Let ‘em die off.  Just opens up room for new life.  Not the first mass extinction, won’t be the last.  Stupid conservationists just promote evolutionary stagnation.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dead Monky - 08 May 2014 01:30 PM

Meh.  Let ‘em die off.  Just opens up room for new life.  Not the first mass extinction, won’t be the last.  Stupid conservationists just promote evolutionary stagnation.

You’re already dead, who cares what you think.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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So let me get this straight, so far comments on the likelihood that we’re now in the midst of a preventable human generated mass extinction that would likely include us are basically;

We’re god and can do anything we chose
and
I’ve killed so many things on PS3 that I’m now numb to reality.

For some reason I was expecting a bit more.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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So let me get this straight, so far comments on the likelihood that we’re now in the midst of a preventable human generated mass extinction that would likely include us are basically;

We’re god and can do anything we chose
and
I’ve killed so many things on PS3 that I’m now numb to reality.

For some reason I was expecting a bit more.

Fuzzy, how many politicians are fist pumping and table thumping about a possible global catastrophe if we stay the course and use up as much fossil fuel as our machines can gorge? We allow them to drone on about how we need the pipeline because if we don’t use it then China will get the oil and well, we ALL know their environmental track record so let’s get it first because we can keep it cleaner and save the environment. This is the type of blinkered thinking that gets them reelected over and over again. “Well maybe they have the answers; sounds good to me anyway. Gas prices will be less and I can still drive my big ass monster truck so I can impress the ladies”. “and besides, God’s comin’ ta pluck us off this rock anyway so who really gives a shit”? let the cockroaches have it when we “intelligent” primates kill ourselves off.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 09 May 2014 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I agree with that losing diversity is a bad thing, but I guess I’ve become a fatalist about it.  There are too many vested interests fighting to keep the status quo.  As long as they can find one “expert” who disagrees with the scientific concensus, the people in charge will just drag their feet and not do a thing to stop it.

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Posted: 09 May 2014 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Robert Walper - 08 May 2014 10:43 AM

Just typical doomsayer BS. Doomsday cults and people such as yourself always think their particular branch of doomsday predictions is correct, and you’re no different. The only consistent thing in history is them being wrong every time.

Having recently visited a big city and gotten to know some folks there, with their focus on ‘stuff’ and minds glued to the boob-tube, I can well understand that you don’t think anything is wrong with the world.  Heck just gotta look at the commercials - ‘it’s all good’

However keeping within your bubble, keeps you mighty ignorant of the real world out there.
Then you say silly nonsense like the above, which makes obvious you know nothing about our planet’s history, it’s biosphere, or what has actually occurred over the past century. 

Then again it’s not like folks haven’t been working over-time to con the gullible sheeple out there.

Funny that, yesterday I wrote an open-letter to one of the current stars of the crazy-maker cliché, here’s a link - although it’s not as comfortable as remaining within your bubble.

Open letter to Judith Curry, a basic climate lesson.
http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/05/judith-curry-basic-climate-lesson.html

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Posted: 09 May 2014 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 09 May 2014 08:20 AM

Having recently visited a big city and gotten to know some folks there, with their focus on ‘stuff’ and minds glued to the boob-tube, I can well understand that you don’t think anything is wrong with the world.  Heck just gotta look at the commercials - ‘it’s all good’

Amusing, given I don’t watch TV.

However keeping within your bubble, keeps you mighty ignorant of the real world out there.
Then you say silly nonsense like the above, which makes obvious you know nothing about our planet’s history, it’s biosphere, or what has actually occurred over the past century. 

Ah, so you claim to know the knowledge I possess about such subjects, do you? Well well, if you know what I’m aware of, explain to everyone the knowledge I have that makes me not worried about it.

Then again it’s not like folks haven’t been working over-time to con the gullible sheeple out there.

Funny that, yesterday I wrote an open-letter to one of the current stars of the crazy-maker cliché, here’s a link - although it’s not as comfortable as remaining within your bubble.

Open letter to Judith Curry, a basic climate lesson.
http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/05/judith-curry-basic-climate-lesson.html

*yawns* Not even interested. You seem to conclude I’m oblivious the magnitude and ongoing problems in the world simply because I have I a very optimistic view of the future. Simpletons cry about problems and preach gloom and doom. Intelligent people go about tackling and solving the problems long before the simpletons were really aware of their existence in the first place.

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