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Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Language)

Sheppard

New Member
Disclaimer: This article operates off the assumption that you understand and acknowledge the effects of global warming. If climate change as a result of human activity is something you do not believe in, it would be best not to reply - I'd rather not debate it.


BBC News said:
The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.
The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.
One of the new study's authors said: "We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."
The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth.

Link to the news article, which has a lot more to read than the small excerpt I've posted here
Link to the report, published in Science Magazine

As long as I've lived, I've had a keen interest in the cosmos, and I used to love watching and reading science fiction as a kid. Stuff like Star Trek, and more recently, Firefly, Mass Effect, Elite and more, captured my imagination in the greatest way. To me, they were always signs of hope - Hope that we'd one day be able to break through the paradigms and technological barriers that prevented us from visiting other stars, drawing resources from other planets, and perhaps even finding other places we could call home, places to which humanity could spread and in which they could flourish as we do here on Earth. As I grew into adulthood, studied the hard science more deeply, ran the numbers and finally began to have an inkling of the true scale of our galaxy, that hope grew until it burned within me like a beacon. Even if I didn't live to see it, I wanted so badly to believe that humans would one day visit other star systems and adapt to live on other planets. To believe that we wouldn't fuck it up for ourselves, that we'd endure as a species for at least a little while longer.

Which is why it hurts so deeply as I finally come to realize that we're out of time, and we'll never know what we could've been.

Ladies and gents, it's been a good run. But this might be the end. Our species, in all likelihood, is fucked.

To understand why, please find the time to read at least the abstract of the report.

In brief, it draws attention to the fact that, largely as a result of human activity, human-driven climate change, and deforestation, more species of flora and fauna are going extinct on our planet today than in any previous period in the history of Earth - Save only periods of mass extinction - That is, when ecosystems across the world collapsed in a cascade and most life on Earth was wiped out. Which in itself does not immediately cause a lot of alarm. Sure, we'd lose a lot of animals, but we'd survive, right? Unfortunately, it isn't looking that way. The first species that we depend on is already on the chopping block - bees.

Bees pollinate plants because of their behavior of gathering nectar. They have become the primary manner by which many, many plants across the world reproduce, and are absolutely essential for ecological stability and human survival. Today, they are beginning to die out en masse, due to an unfortunate combination of neurotoxin in human pesticide (which they come in contact with while gathering nectar), and several new parasites that attack bee hives, both domestically and in the wild. That is why it is said today that a healthy hive of honey bees is worth more than its weight in gold. According to the report, it is estimated that in about three human generations - So eighty to a hundred years - there will not be enough left to pollinate plants, and that there is no viable way to stop their decline.

This is where it gets ugly.

Humans will no longer be able to grow most of their food, or feed their livestock. The wealthiest nations on the planet may be spared for a few years, but slowly, inevitably, the majority of human beings on Earth will die of starvation, waging bloody war against each other for the last usable food resources. Ecosystems worldwide that relied on plants that were pollinated by bees will collapse, and extinction of animal species will accelerate to the point that the last remaining humans will find it nearly impossible to find a steady way to feed themselves. This is where the extinction will begin to cascade. Though a very small number of people might survive for a few centuries, living in conditions comparable to early tribal groups, their position will inevitably become untenable, and they too will slowly starve.

So that's it. Curtains for humanity in as little as three to five hundred years, with the majority of humans probably dying out in just over a hundred years. The end of the only sapient species on the planet. It's estimated that the Earth will take millions of years to recover, by which point there will be no trace of our civilization left for any race that comes after to discover, no matter how large we build it, or what we make it out of.

As bleak as that is, that's not the part that hurts the most: It's this.

Report said:
Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

It's a false hope. We're not going to lift a fucking finger to stop this until it's too late, and in the end, we'll know we only had ourselves to blame. How do I know this? Because of the way humans behave. None of this is a new discovery - We've been aware for many, many years that something like this was coming, we just didn't want to imagine it'd happen so soon.

Let's use the United States as an example, simply because it is currently the world's most powerful political, economic, technological and military superpower.

Scientists and academics around the world have been lobbying the government of the United States for decades to take drastic action and implement change in environmental protection policies that might save the planet - Change that the rest of the world might follow, using the United States as an example. The reaction? Monied interests pay off a bunch of phony 'experts' to say that climate change isn't real, and suddenly the US government and half the population pretends it doesn't exist. This is something unique about our species, they way we can turn a blind eye to things that threaten our very existence simply because they're inconvenient truths, because of big oil, corporate interests, and the all-important profit margins on the stock exchange. Any threat that isn't directly tangible and in front of us, we can easily ignore, dismissing or turning a blind eye to all the empirical evidence supporting its existence. Even now, many of you reading this think I'm blowing this out of proportion, that it won't be nearly as bad as I'm making it out to be.

I wish I could believe that.

It never ceases to amaze me that in a country like the USA, a country that leads the world in science and technology by driving innovation through the minds of its best and brightest, a country in which all have access to a free primary and secondary education, people are flat out denying physical, observable reality and instead filling the gap with some flowery fantasy, just because it's an uncomfortable truth. I'm sickened by the fact that in a country that claims to be best at everything it does, there are elected officials who think of climate change as a hoax, even some who believe the planet is only six thousand years old, and that evolution is a myth. People in positions of power, in a first-world nation, live in a delusion. That's scary. But it proves that we as a species are boned, and that it's going to be our own fault.

So this is it, folks. The people who do know that a disaster is coming will be forced to watch helplessly as that 'window of opportunity' closes at last, and by the time the collapse of ecosystems becomes dramatic enough that the governments of the world can no longer afford to ignore it, it'll already be far too late.

And if you or I want someone to blame, we need only look in a mirror.

I'm not a religious man, but if there is a god out there who cares, please, please let me be wrong.
 
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Bangaroo

Gay Nerd
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Yeah, our edge in tech and science has been slipping for decades. We don't even have an active spacefleet anymore.
 

Sheppard

New Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Yeah, our edge in tech and science has been slipping for decades. We don't even have an active spacefleet anymore.

We reached for the stars once, and then got bored and turned away and spent all our money on entertainment instead.
 

Gryphoneer

20 Quatloos on "disruptive"
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Condensed version: We're FUCKED

FFFFFFUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEDDDDDD
 
L

LizardKing

Guest
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

You know what doesn't rely on bees for pollination? Rice. China's gonna take over the world - if it doesn't collapse from it's bonkers economic practices first - powered by mighty rice.
 
D

Deleted member 82554

Guest
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Good riddance! For all the good we do is only matched by the bad, humans are fundamentally flawed by nature so this is hardly a bad thing. Maybe a new species will evolve and have a real fucking brain and use it! Something more coherent that runs off a hive mind or some crap like that. In any case, us hoomans will be responsible for our extinction before anything else.

Now, back to looting and pillaging.
 

Ieono

Uberaffe
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

So many preachers of death in this thread already....*le sigh*

Humanity will be fine. For all the bad certain groups have done to the environment, there are plenty of other groups making a concerted effort to end the harm that has been done. It is a shame that people would rather discuss all the flaws than to acknowledge the turn-around that is already occurring amongst environmentally-concerned people all over the world. If wars are going to be waged, it's going to be by the people who don't want their habitat destroyed against the people who blindly destroy it.
 

Astus

Well Known Foxxo
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

What people don't get is that while it is going to happen sometime in the future, global climate change, and all the fun stuff, it's going to take a really long time, and I mean like thousands of years to see the effects of global warming actually make a difference. Deforestation does nothing but cause soil erosion as well as habitat destruction, and in the tropics removes the water that acts as a temperature buffer in the air. We get most of our oxygen from the phytoplankton in the oceans.

The whole meteor thing is all just a game of chance. It could hit us, or it couldn't, and besides humans like destroying things I'm sure there's a way to blow the cap put of the meteor, like launch a massive fusion bomb at it or something.

As for the bees it's called GMOs we can literally make our own honey bees if we want. We have the genetic code of every animal on storage and can make a clone of it whenever we want. There a re also other animals that do the same job as the honey bee, they'll probably just introduce those species instead or greater GMO crops that don't need to be pollinated and WI ll just self pollinate.

oh and don't forget about the low groundwater in the United states, especially around the farm lands. That is sure to cause a good shortage without a doubt as soon as that happens, but then om sure someone will invent something and that problem will be averted too.

And as for the biodiversity thing, it's what I call human expansion selection, only those animals who survive human expansion will survive and pass on their genes. Humans are part of nature and are considered part of the ecosystem. Those animals that couldn't keep up with the change will die and their species be gone forever, it's a common happening in life. Over, wow I don't think this number is right but it somewhere in this range, 98% of all animals that ever existed have gone extinct. The only reason logically to keep them alive is if they preformed an important job in their niche and helped balance the ecosystem, otherwise they ate useless.



So long story short, no its not the end of the world yet, and it probably won't be in our lifetime, or our children's, or our great grand children's, but really really far down the line. Humans will sadly endure through much and use their brains to find a solution. While I strongly agree people need to understand this crucial topic more, they just won't want to because they are stubborn and annoying. One of my goals is to be an Ecologist (more in the behavior aspect of it) and show people about the world and how it operates outside their house, and that we re all in one breathing system, and when you get a buildup up crap in that system that it just gets removed eventually. Though I doubt people will ever learn
 

Tao

Hare Boi
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

People just don't respect the Earth enough in general. Look at California.
 

Astus

Well Known Foxxo
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

People just don't respect the Earth enough in general. Look at California.

What do you mean by that?
 

ShioBear

EH b0sss
Banned
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

meh ill be dead before it matters.
 

Luki

Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Seems a bit too dramatic...
 

Sheppard

New Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Maybe so, and it's a natural reaction to not want to believe such things, but the problem is a huge one. IF we don't find a way to avert this collapse, we're looking at - at best - losing over half the world's population of people and animals in a matter of decades, with the extinction cascade continuing for thousands of years. Yes, global warming has gradual effects and they aren't usually this dramatic, but what we're looking at here is accelerating species extinction that will destabilize almost all ecosystems and cause the majority of them to completely collapse. It's as bad as it could get.
 
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lupinealchemist

Hamburger time.
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Worrying about potential doomsday events is a shitty way to live. If you and others want to try to save the world, do it; but try to live with some joy in your life regardless of the future outcome.
 

Erzyal

Keeper of useless information
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

We lose the bees we lose a lot more than just the things they pollinate and honey. You would be astounded at the amount of things that you use everyday that can't function without beeswax.
 

PastryOfApathy

Well-Known Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

Oh god we're doomed. Quick, start investing in gold before the economies of the world collapse and gold becomes worth a bajillion dollars somehow!
 

Tao

Hare Boi
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

What do you mean by that?

California's drought is aggravated by big companies cultivating almonds there, fracking, and Nestle bottling tons of water to sell all over the US, all of these things use lots of water.

Like I said, people don't respect nature enough.
 

Kosdu

Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

I don't believe the extinction of species will cause a domino effect and kill off humans, honestly.
Cause food shortages and force different ways of doing things? Sure.

The reason why I believe that is that humanity has ways beyond that of other animals, even when a natural ecosystem is decimated they can still survive in that ruin through ingenuity. There won't be as much variety but there's always a way unless the earth itself becomes hostile.

As long as the enviroment can support humanity, they will find ways to feed themselves and continue onwards.
 

Astus

Well Known Foxxo
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

California's drought is aggravated by big companies cultivating almonds there, fracking, and Nestle bottling tons of water to sell all over the US, all of these things use lots of water.

Like I said, people don't respect nature enough.


Farming in the us is slowly draining groundwater, especially in the middle states. An issue with those states over in the desert is that the Colorado River was dammed to supply water and energy. Now because of that the natural cycle of the watershed there is disrupted and the lake is slowly losing water. Everywhere you go there are clashes between nature and humans trying to beat the environment.



OP the point I was trying to make before is that the world will not reach ecological disaster in the next few decades, it will take a much longer time for the major effects to hit us, even if bees are gone, other organisms still pollinate crops and such, they will pick up the niche if food is available for them. We need to let people know what's going on, but even then do you really think everyone will listen? They're not educated enough to know and if they can male.a quick dollar doing it the non environmental way they will do it.
 

LazerMaster5

Lost in the Static
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

On the plus side, people like RedSavage and I get to live our Road Warrior fantasies soon enough. HAIL THE APOCALYPSE!
 

Sheppard

New Member
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

I hope you're right, Astus.
 

Astus

Well Known Foxxo
Re: Earth Entering New Extinction Phase: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley (Strong Langua

I hope you're right, Astus.

Me too, the only thing we DO need to worry about in the near future is the water supply... just looked at the numbers again in the us and that looks like it will be a major problem soon in the west us and about 50 years in the central us
 
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