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It's later than you think


{Nature_and_Environment.114.16}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 30 Dec 2019 14:48:10 CST (1 line)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.17}: Glen Marks {wotan} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:50:11 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.18}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:02:16 CST (37 lines)

Trump Dooms the Future by Gutting the National Environmental Policy
by George Ochenski

NEPA requires the government to consider the environmental effects
prior to issuing permits for industries or taking major action by
federal agencies. Importantly, the law also requires the analysis of
environmental impacts to be presented to the public for review and

Bending, as usual, to unrelenting industry pressure, Congress has
already shamefully exempted any number of projects — such as
clearcutting national forests — from the required environmental
reviews. These measures are intended, as in the case of national
forest “categorical exclusions,” to bolster the timber industry which
has largely cut itself out of a future by logging far beyond the
sustainable levels of forest replacement. In the parlance of the
timber industry, our national forests are not ecosystems in and of
their own right, supporting a vast array of wildlife and producing
clean water for our citizens, but are “100-year gardens” to be whacked
down and “harvested.”

The problem is that industry’s rap, as usual, is a total sham and
there’s no way timber companies are willing to wait a century for the
forests to grow back. Moreover, given the increasing impacts of
climate change, forest regrowth is not guaranteed.

On January 10th, the Trump administration decided to gut NEPAvia
administrative rules changes that will allow virtually unhindered
development, resource extraction and pollution. It’s one thing for the
Trump cultists to support certain policies, tariffs, sanctions and
war-mongering. It’s quite another to allow Trump’s anti-environmental
administration to doom the future by leaving generations to come a
smoldering, polluted and unlivable planet — which is just what gutting
NEPA will do.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.19}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Wed, 22 Jan 2020 01:11:43 CST (15 lines)

During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural
landscapes have become significantly more toxic—over 120-fold in some
midwestern states—to honey bees when ingested
Researchers identified rising neonicotinoid seed treatments in corn
and soy as the primary driver of this change.

This toxicity has increased during the same period in which widespread
decline in populations of pollinators and other insects have been

"This dramatic increase in oral-based toxic load is connected to a
shift toward widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are
unusually toxic to bees when they are ingested," said researcher
Maggie Douglas.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.20}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:33:47 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.21}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 03 Feb 2020 23:58:52 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.22}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Thu, 06 Feb 2020 22:20:14 CST (71 lines)

Why bumble bees are going extinct in time of 'climate chaos'
by University of Ottawa

"We've known for a while that climate change is related to the growing
extinction risk that animals are facing around the world," first
author Peter Soroye explained. "In this paper, we offer an answer to
the critical questions of how and why that is. We find that species
extinctions across two continents are caused by hotter and more
frequent extremes in temperatures."

"We have now entered the world's sixth mass extinction event, the
biggest and most rapid global biodiversity crisis since a meteor ended
the age of the dinosaurs."—Peter Soroye

Massive decline of the most important pollinators on Earth

"Bumble bees are the best pollinators we have in wild landscapes and
the most effective pollinators for crops like tomato, squash, and
berries," Peter Soroye observed. "Our results show that we face a
future with many less bumble bees and much less diversity, both in the
outdoors and on our plates."

The researchers discovered that bumble bees are disappearing at rates
"consistent with a mass extinction."

"If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish
forever within a few decades," Peter Soroye warned.

"We know that this crisis is entirely driven by human activities,"
Peter Soroye said.

The researchers looked at climate change and how it increases the
frequency of really extreme events like heatwaves and droughts,
creating a sort of "climate chaos" which can be dangerous for animals.
Knowing that species all have different tolerances for temperature
(what's too hot for some might not be for others), they developed a
new measurement of temperature.

"We have created a new way to predict local extinctions that tells us,
for each species individually, whether climate change is creating
temperatures that exceed what the bumble bees can handle," Dr. Tim
Newbold explained.

Using data on 66 different bumble bee species across North America and
Europe that have been collected over a 115-year period (1900-2015) to
test their hypothesis and new technique, the researchers were able to
see how bumble bee populations have changed by comparing where bees
are now to where they used to be historically.

"We found that populations were disappearing in areas where the
temperatures had gotten hotter," Peter Soroye said. "Using our new
measurement of climate change, we were able to predict changes both
for individual species and for whole communities of bumble bees with a
surprisingly high accuracy."

This study doesn't end here. In fact, it opens the doors to new
research horizons to track extinction levels for other species like
reptiles, birds and mammals.

"Perhaps the most exciting element is that we developed a method to
predict extinction risk that works very well for bumble bees and could
in theory be applied universally to other organisms," Peter Soroye
indicated. "With a predictive tool like this, we hope to identify
areas where conservation actions would be critical to stopping

Dr. Kerr said, "Ultimately, we must address climate change itself and
every action we take to reduce emissions will help. The sooner the
better. It is in all our interests to do so, as well as in the
interests of the species with whom we share the world."


{Nature_and_Environment.114.23}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 12 Feb 2020 21:29:38 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.24}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 19 Feb 2020 11:11:24 CST (4 lines)

Coral reefs:



{Nature_and_Environment.114.25}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Wed, 26 Feb 2020 00:27:46 CST (39 lines)

>So, what do you think humanity should do now to save our climate?<

Collectively humans are dependent upon economic, political and social
institutions that are in the process of consuming all available
resources and energy that provided niches wherein the eco-diversity of
life could formerly flourish. In the process we are heating up and
poisoning the ecosystems we live inside of. This is all done for the
immediate benefit (progress) of the system we live in. This system is
now reaching its terminal end with the annihilation of the planet.

As the annihilation proceeds the entire array of human institutions
has and will become more aggressively destructive in the attempt to
maintain privilege as usual.

Sane and cool minds will be brushed aside in the struggle to maintain
lifestyles that will now vanish.

Humanity has a tendency to embrace and follow psychopathic leaders in
times of trouble.

So what humanity might do to lessen the catastrophic impact of
ecosystem destruction/climate change and what it is likely and now
doing is worlds apart.

Individual and collective groups will be in competition to grab as
much as they can to maintain life/advantage when ecosystems providing
the basis for life collapse.

In the decade before dissolution individuals can help others
understand then problem.

By the force of the likely ecological collapse the human population
will decimate as will most of life.

We can stop the most heinous annihilation only by collective awareness
and the complete overhaul of institutions: (regenerative agriculture,
socialist sharing of meager resources, worldwide social bonding to the
health of ecosystems and to the health of the ecodiveristy lifeform we
live inside of).


{Nature_and_Environment.114.26}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 03 Mar 2020 19:11:54 CST (3 lines)

How to Enjoy the End of the World


{Nature_and_Environment.114.27}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 03 Mar 2020 21:49:02 CST (37 lines)

New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to
an End’ Starting in 2050
The climate change analysis was written by a former fossil fuel
executive and backed by the former chief of Australia's military.

On our current trajectory, the report warns, “planetary and human
systems [are] reaching a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century, in which
the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown
of nations and the international order.”

The scenario warns that our current trajectory will likely lock in at
least 3 degrees Celsius (C) of global heating, which in turn could
trigger further amplifying feedbacks unleashing further warming. This
would drive the accelerating collapse of key ecosystems “including
coral reef systems, the Amazon rainforest and in the Arctic.”

The results would be devastating. Some one billion people would be
forced to attempt to relocate from unlivable conditions, and two
billion would face scarcity of water supplies. Agriculture would
collapse in the sub-tropics, and food production would suffer
dramatically worldwide. The internal cohesion of nation-states like
the US and China would unravel.

“Even for 2°C of warming, more than a billion people may need to be
relocated and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is
beyond our capacity to model with a high likelihood of human
civilization coming to an end,” the report notes.

The new policy briefing is written by David Spratt, Breakthrough’s
research director and Ian Dunlop, a former senior executive of Royal
Dutch Shell who previously chaired the Australian Coal Association.

also see: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise


{Nature_and_Environment.114.28}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:59:27 CST (2 lines)

Guy McPherson - Will The World End Sooner Than We Think?


{Nature_and_Environment.114.29}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 10 Mar 2020 05:40:46 CDT (14 lines)

Climate and Ecological Crisis: Heading for Extinction

We are entering a critical decade in our history, in which a failure
to enact unprecedented changes in all aspects of industrialized
societies may lead to a catastrophic and irreversible ecological
collapse. This video is a survey the most relevant scientific facts
related with our current climate and ecological crisis, and it urges
all members of society to take immediate action for systemic change.

All scientific facts and predictions presented in this video are
extracted from the mainstream scientific literature on the topic,
accessible through the references below.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.30}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 11 Mar 2020 16:39:21 CDT (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.31}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Fri, 13 Mar 2020 14:14:03 CDT (128 lines)

Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse

The progress of the past was built by sacrificing the future—and the
future is upon us.  All the happy facts …. about living standards,
life expectancy, and economic growth are the product of an industrial
civilization that has pillaged and polluted the planet to produce
temporary progress for a growing middle class—and enormous profits and
power for a tiny elite.

Not everyone who understands that progress has been purchased at the
expense of the future thinks that civilization’s collapse will be
abrupt and bitter. In The Long Descent, Greer assures his readers
that, “The same pattern repeats over and over again in history. 
Gradual disintegration, not sudden catastrophic collapse, is the way
civilizations end.”

But Greer’s assumption is built on shaky ground because industrial
civilization differs from all past civilizations in four crucial ways.
And every one of them may accelerate and intensify the coming collapse
while increasing the difficulty of recovery.

Difference #1:  Unlike all previous civilizations, modern industrial
civilization is powered by an exceptionally rich, NON-renewable, and
irreplaceable energy source—fossil fuels.  This unique energy base
predisposes industrial civilization to a short, meteoric lifespan of
unprecedented boom and drastic bust.  Megacities, globalized
production, industrial agriculture, and a human population approaching
8 billion are all historically exceptional—and unsustainable—without
fossil fuels.  Today, the rich easily exploited oilfields and
coalmines of the past are mostly depleted.  And, while there are
energy alternatives, there are no realistic replacements that can
deliver the abundant net energy fossil fuels once provided. Our
complex, expansive, high-speed civilization owes its brief lifespan to
this one-time, rapidly dwindling energy bonanza.

Difference #2:  Unlike past civilizations, the economy of industrial
society is capitalist.  Production for profit is its prime directive
and driving force.  The unprecedented surplus energy supplied by
fossil fuels has generated exceptional growth and enormous profits
over the past two centuries.  But in the coming decades, these
historic windfalls of abundant energy, constant growth, and rising
profits will vanish.

However, unless it is abolished, capitalism will not disappear when
boom turns to bust.  Instead, energy-starved, growth-less capitalism
will turn catabolic.  Catabolismrefers to the condition whereby a
living thing devours itself.  As profitable sources of production dry
up, capitalism will be compelled to turn a profit by consuming the
social assets it once created.  By cannibalizing itself, the profit
motive will exacerbate industrial society’s dramatic decline.

Catabolic capitalism will profit from scarcity, crisis, disaster, and
conflict.  Warfare, resource hoarding, ecological disaster, and
pandemic diseases will become the big profit makers.  Capital will
flow toward lucrative ventures like cybercrime, predatory lending, and
financial fraud; bribery, corruption, and racketeering; weapons,
drugs, and human trafficking.  Once disintegration and destruction
become the primary source of profit, catabolic capitalism will rampage
down the road to ruin, gorging itself on one self-inflicted disaster
after another.

Difference #3:  Unlike past societies, industrial civilization isn’t
Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, Aztec, or Mayan.  Modern civilization is
HUMAN, PLANETARY, and ECOCIDAL.  Pre-industrial civilizations depleted
their topsoil, felled their forests, and polluted their rivers.  But
the harm was far more temporary and geographically limited. Once
market incentives harnessed the colossal power of fossil fuels to
exploit nature, the dire results were planetary.  Two centuries of
fossil fuel combustion have saturated the biosphere with climate-
altering carbon that will continue wreaking havoc for generations to
come.  The damage to Earth’s living systems—the circulation and
chemical composition of the atmosphere and the ocean; the stability of
the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles; and the biodiversity of
the entire planet—is essentially permanent.

Humans have become the most invasive species ever known.  Although we
are a mere .01 percent of the planet’s biomass, our domesticated crops
and livestock dominate life on Earth.  In terms of total biomass, 96
percent of all the mammals on Earth are livestock; only 4 percent are
wild mammals.  Seventy percent of all birds are domesticated poultry,
only 30 percent are wild.  About half the Earth’s wild animals are
thought to have been lost in just the last 50 years. Scientists
estimate that half of all remaining species will be extinct by the end
of the century. There are no more unspoiled ecosystems or new
frontiers where people can escape the damage they’ve caused and
recover from collapse.

Difference #4:  Human civilization’s collective capacity to confront
its mounting crises is crippled by a fragmented political system of
antagonistic nations ruled by corrupt elites who care more about power
and wealth than people and the planet.  Humanity faces a perfect storm
of converging global calamities.  Intersecting tribulations like
climate chaos, rampant extinction, food and freshwater scarcity,
poverty, extreme inequality, and the rise of global pandemics are
rapidly eroding the foundations of modern life.

Yet, this fractious and fractured political system makes organizing
and mounting a cooperative response nearly impossible.  And, the more
catabolic industrial capitalism becomes, the greater the danger that
hostile rulers will fan the flames of nationalism and go to war over
scarce resources.  Of course, warfare is not new.  But modern warfare
is so devastating, destructive, and toxic that little would remain in
its aftermath.  This would be the final nail in civilization’s coffin.

Rising From the Ruins?

How people respond to the collapse of industrial civilization will
determine how bad things get and what will replace it. The challenges
are monumental.  They will force us to question our identities, our
values, and our loyalties like no other experience in our history.
Who are we?  Are we, first and foremost, human beings struggling to
raise our families, strengthen our communities, and coexist with the
other inhabitants of Earth?  Or do our primary loyalties belong to our
nation, our culture, our race, our ideology, or our religion?  Can we
put the survival of our species and our planet first, or will we allow
ourselves to become hopelessly divided along national, cultural,
racial, religious, or party lines?

The eventual outcome of this great implosion is up for grabs.  Will we
overcome denial and despair; kick our addiction to petroleum; and pull
together to break the grip of corporate power over our lives?  Can we
foster genuine democracy, harness renewable energy, reweave our
communities, re-learn forgotten skills, and heal the wounds we’ve
inflicted on the Earth?  Or will fear and prejudice drive us into
hostile camps, fighting over the dwindling resources of a degraded
planet?  The stakes could not be higher.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.32}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 26 Mar 2020 15:09:30 CDT (3 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.33}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 09 Apr 2020 02:50:59 CDT (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.34}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 13 Apr 2020 17:59:38 CDT (1 line)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.35}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 08 May 2020 15:00:59 CDT (3 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.36}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sat, 09 May 2020 15:17:21 CDT (1 line)


{Nature_and_Environment.114.37}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 26 May 2020 18:48:15 CDT (74 lines)

Humanity’s impact is threatening nearly 50 billion years of
evolutionary history: study

Human activities threaten to saw off branches of the “tree of life”—
putting irreplaceable species at risk of extinction.

So finds a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature
Communications which highlights the need for urgent conservation

Barring such action, the researchers wrote, “close to 50 billion
years” of evolutionary history worldwide is at risk.

Scientists from Imperial College London and the Zoological Society of
London (ZSL) began their research by first analyzing the world’s
reptiles and then terrestrial vertebrates like amphibians, birds, and
mammals, looking at how areas with a high human footprint—including
factors like deforestation and population density—coincide with areas
containing species with unique evolutionary history, or branches on
the tree of life.

The scientists found a troubling overlap, with areas in the Caribbean,
the Western Ghats of India, and large parts of Southeast Asia singled
out as experiencing both extreme human pressures and unique

The greatest losses of evolutionary history will be driven by the
extinction of entire groups of closely-related species that share long
branches of the tree of life, such as pangolins and tapirs, and also
by the loss of highly evolutionarily distinct species that sit alone
at the ends of extremely long branches, such as the ancient Chinese
crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus), the Shoebill (Balaeniceps
rex), a gigantic bird that stalks the wetlands of Africa, and the Aye-
aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur with large
yellow eyes and long spindly fingers.

At risk with the possible extinctions is not just the intrinsic value
of the threatened species in and of themselves but their roles in the
greater web of life. From BBC News:

Many [of the at-risk animals] carry out vital functions in the
habitats in which they live. For example, tapirs in the Amazon
disperse seeds in their droppings that can help regenerate the
rainforest. And pangolins, which are specialist eaters of ants and
insects, play an essential role in balancing the food web.

Lead author Rikki Gumbs of ZSL’s EDGE of Existence program and the
Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training
Partnership at Imperial College London put the findings in stark

“Our analyses reveal the incomprehensible scale of the losses we face
if we don’t work harder to save global biodiversity,” said Gumbs. “To
put some of the numbers into perspective, reptiles alone stand to lose
at least 13 billion years of unique evolutionary history, roughly the
same number of years as have passed since the beginning of the entire

“Our findings highlight the importance of acting urgently to conserve
these extraordinary species and the remaining habitat that they occupy
—in the face of intense human pressures,” said co-author James
Rosindell of Imperial College London.

In blog post for ZSL’s EDGE of Existence program,
Gumbs highlighted the scope of the problem.

“We are still learning the true extent to which human activities are
encroaching on our natural habitats and threatening our most unique
and important biodiversity. Our findings indicate that the magnitude
of our impact as a species on the natural world is incomprehensibly
large, and appears to be overwhelmingly impacting the most
irreplaceable areas and species on the planet,” he wrote.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.38}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 29 May 2020 08:42:44 CDT (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.39}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Mon, 01 Jun 2020 02:00:16 CDT (39 lines)

Study shows erosion of ozone layer responsible for mass extinction

Researchers at the University of Southampton have shown that an
extinction event 360 million years ago, that killed much of the
Earth's plant and freshwater aquatic life, was caused by a brief
breakdown of the ozone layer that shields the Earth from damaging
ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is a newly discovered extinction
mechanism with profound implications for our warming world today.

The ozone collapse occurred as the climate rapidly warmed following an
intense ice age and the researchers suggest that the Earth today could
reach comparable temperatures, possibly triggering a similar event.
Their findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

Following melting of the ice sheets, the climate was very warm, with
the increased heat above continents pushing more naturally generated
ozone destroying chemicals into the upper atmosphere. This let in high
levels of UV-B radiation for several thousand years.

Lead researcher Professor John Marshall, of the University of
Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science, who is a National
Geographic Explorer, comments: "Our ozone shield vanished for a short
time in this ancient period, coinciding with a brief and quick warming
of the Earth. Our ozone layer is naturally in a state of flux—
constantly being created and lost—and we have shown this happened in
the past too, without a catalyst such as a continental scale volcanic

Professor Marshall says his team's findings have startling
implications for life on Earth today: "Current estimates suggest we
will reach similar global temperatures to those of 360 million years
ago, with the possibility that a similar collapse of the ozone layer
could occur again, exposing surface and shallow sea life to deadly
radiation. This would move us from the current state of climate
change, to a climate emergency."


{Nature_and_Environment.114.40}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 04 Jun 2020 18:24:19 CDT (1 line)



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