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On Brink of 'Sixth Great Extinction,' Humanity Must Conserve or Die


#1

On Brink of 'Sixth Great Extinction,' Humanity Must Conserve or Die

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

It's official: the planet is entering a "sixth great extinction" that even the most conservative estimates show is killing off species at rates far higher than the previous five mass die-offs—and humanity is both at fault...and at risk.


#3

Yesterday NPR told us Obama was spending fathers day golfing in Palm Springs.

Great example of how not to use water since turf doesn't grow in triple digit temperatures without lots of water and energy inputs.


#6

"On Brink of 'Sixth Great Extinction,' Humanity Must Conserve or Die"

That's "conserve" as in "conservationist", not as in "conservative", its opposite.


#7

I take issue with the temporal designation of 'on the brink'. I would submit that we are well into the 6th Great extinction. One need look no further than the profile of dominant mass media pressing the 'trickle down' effect permeating this society in a manipulated steep decline. This in turn intensifies the aggregate components of anthopocene feed back loops of acceleration.

The notion of personal choice to not do/not engage the system where it abuses is increasingly being realized. Concomitantly, reengaging and newly engaging in lives of reciprocal meaning is good in both the long term. Whether or not we are going to go extinct it would be good to engage life with dignity and humanity and coming back to Earth and spirit in all ways possible.


#8

Why is this not the lead story?


#10

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#11

"Not even God can sink the Titanic!" - the One Percent


#12

More ominous is the question:

How come almost nobody is reading it? The Jenner tranny story has over ten times as many views and it wasn't the lead story either....

It's just like a destructive cigarette addict, refusing to admit he's killing himself and his family with his two-pack-a-day habit.... "What? Park my car and take the bus with the poor people????? Let's not get carried away with this Green Movement, Wall Street!"


#13

If you study world history or Physical Anthropology it rapidly becomes apparent that famine and war are always part of primate species and the bones reveal ever-present starvation and extinction. One example is the miniaturization that happens on remote islands. Elephants shrink to midgets along with Homo Erectus since there's no food left and only small consumers of it can survive to the age of reproduction. Three-foot men are all that is left before all large mammals die. But global extinction events are exceedingly rare, and not at all likely to occur within the short 150,000 years Homo sapiens has been on the scene.

There is no doubt at all, that the Naked Ape and his automobile and Smoke stacks caused runaway global warming and the hell which accompanies it; loss of our moderate stable climate.

But try broaching that one in mixed company with the Faux TV-Brainwasher going in the background....

grimacing open_mouth no_mouth


#14

Inviting Obama to Palm Springs on one of the hottest June days on record for this part of California was a stroke of either sadism or genius. The man finally experienced real heat (reminiscent of and exceeding those of his undergrad days at Oxy) and may actually have acquired some empathy for the folks who live in the unnaturally escalating heat of the parched southwest...
Be well,


#16

It's so bizarre. It's like there's a gigantic building engulfed in flames in the middle of town and people just keep walking right past it going about their business and pretending it's not there. Does our species have a secret death wish? Too bad we're taking so many other wondrous species with us.


#18

Please go embarrass yourself somewhere else.

As propaganda goes, that's pretty lame. Try harder.


#19

He ended up in Mark Maron's garage. Close to Occidental and where Barry snorted and smoked his way through L .A. But, I'm sure Barry thought about it and closed the garage door lest someone damage his viability, even then. He said he's now smarter and more fearless ( there's some huevos rancheros for ya'. Barry's a boneless chicken if I ever met one ). He even mic dropped the N word. With Barry there's always too much money at the end of the month. Especially with the fast track deal secured for his well-oiled Hollywood Buds. ( Are Presidents ever drug tested ? ) He probably hired another jet to handle all the foundation cash, too. Supposedly they're thinking of a show based on Barry's life: kind of a spin off called Moving On Up The Stripper's Pole.


#20

Is it just me or does it seem like everyday we hear of yet another part of the world that we knew dies or disappears around us. So many things that we always took for granted - like bees pollinating and frogs and bountiful fish filled oceans and so many other once quite ordinary and unremarkable things about the world that are no longer what they once were in our own lifetimes. Sure we still think of them being the way they were but where are the wild bees or the butterflies? Are the oceans running out of fish? Seals and sea lions starve... why?

We lag behind noticing that the world we all knew is disappearing fast. Much faster than anyone ever thought it would too and that is what is scary to contemplate. All those who were once called 'doom and gloom' pessimists have unexpectedly emerged as actually having been optimistic in their predictions. That is how bad it is getting these days. The doom and gloomers underestimated the rate of destruction/extinction of the natural world. They were too conservative about what they were willing to say.

We are optimistic still. That is why it keeps getting scarier. While others around us blather on and on in denial while they scrupulously avoid reading or learning the facts that might make them question their political views of the climate change issue, we try to believe in the future without a fatalistic nihilism based on greed.

Once we tried to alert people to dangerous signs like the polar ice cap thinning and the 'deniers' simply laughed for as long as they could and now they simply never mention it or babble about the sun warming mars and mythical non science like shifts in the tilt or orbit of Earth despite there being no evidence of the sort whatsoever. Politics instead of science... and the destruction marches on!
We were sure (optimistically) that if people could only be alerted to the scientific evidence and observe the signs of climate change for themselves that common sense and even self preservation would prevail! After all just how big of a sign does a warning sign have to be because a melting polar ice cap is a pretty big sign.

And then we saw the other signs beginning to mount up around more and more rapidly. Bizarre and very scary signs of dying bees and missing amphibians worldwide, starving penguins and seals, collapsed salmon runs and mass fish die offs, of unending droughts and big even gigantic storms which somehow became almost expected. But the very worst sign of all... the scariest one of all of them - was that very little was actually being done about them.

A surge in oil and coal discovery created a new oil boom because of a mythic 'peak oil' era that somehow was so critical but coincidently occurred just when oil should have started to be phased out? Somehow we all went crazy in the search for more oil although we have far more oil already discovered and in reserve that is far beyond the capacity of the Earth to burn safely. Much more than we need and yet we found our water tables being poisoned by fracking because the oil barons said we needed to find more and more oil and even more than that ... more oil than we we can ever use. To my thinking poisoning your own drinking water is definitely a bad sign. Don't you think? Or is it just me?

Like in some epic myth filled with pathos and grief we create a tale of dire warnings that went unheeded. But we add a modern twist to the tale because in fact we actually do believe the warnings. How about that? We know and yet we do nothing... isn't that scarier than not knowing at all?

The problem is that 'we' don't really care as a society. Maybe that should be written as 'We don't really care as an economy!' We buy a million things each one wrapped in plastic (does everything have to be packaged in plastic? It seems like it is a sign for our age. If ever there are future archaeologists they will call us the 'Plastic People'. 7.5 billion of us x 365 days a year ends up a lot of plastic wrappers) How do we stop being the agents of our own destruction? It is now a race because in another ten years it will be over 8 billion and ten years after that 9 billion... wow.. a billion more people a decade... this decade is half over... we are on schedule to having 8 billion people before it is over.

What will change us? It is simple ... it has got to hurt first. Maybe we'll only care when we have to but not before. Greed and pleasure is like that. We sympathize with the starving while our cupboards and supermarkets are full but who will sympathize for us when one day they start to become empty? Unending drought changes things. But then when the forest fires become awesome and cities are threatened and the drought has farms and ranches failing we'll just pay ($25.00 for a hamburger?) and pay for our food and keep the economy strong... won't we?

Well all that is happening all over right now (food riots are not just in history books) and what are we doing together as a SPECIES? Not much actually or at least not nearly enough!

Personally I think an intelligent technologically competent species that knowingly participates in its own extinction ... is a very bad sign!

I sure hope that I am being a pessimist about that because if I turn out to be an optimist about it... then I am wondering just how bad can bad actually get?

It won't be the end of the world for us but it is truly and inescapably the end of the good times... the end of the bountiful times... the end of what we knew the world to be with all its beauty... that world is dying all around us and it is happening in our lifetimes.

Listen to what you hear >>> The doom and gloomers are exaggerating and giving us 50 years before catastrophe strikes.
...or...
The optimists are giving us 50 years that we surely won't have before catastrophe strikes!

Look around you and decide for yourself... the natural world that we once knew is dying all around us. What will replace it we won't like (don't forget at least 8 or 9 billion people too).

It just seems that modern life ...is a bad sign these days. It just is but then we made it to be that way didn't we?

Does this tap water taste funny?


#24

Reading some of these comments, I really hope the people who will save us are off busily working on solutions. Because they're apparently not commenting on news feeds.


#25

You are in line with Guy McPherson. We are indeed into the sixth great extinction. He does well in presenting the instigators and markers thereof. Few have even the ability to accept his concepts since the consequences for human abuse of the biosphere are so dire will continue to be so. Mankind is in the oven, already baked, and if it were even possible to pull it out, it's already too late.


#26

Americans are a bit slow on the uptake. Our abandonment of book reading is one reason.

Richard Leakey described the current state of affairs in detail in "The Sixth Extinction", Anchor Books, 1996.


#27

"Humans don't seem to like the real world. They are making more real world into human world every day. And the human world is not a nice place. It has bad smells and bad water. It seems as if humans have taken fire and burned things from the real world to make things for the human world. But all the things they make are dead; it's as if they speed up the process of life and make things dead too soon."

-from "Thoughts Between Deer" in "The Weaning of America".


#28

What we're seeing are, I would submit, are the results of blind and fearful application of exponential function. This concept has earned its chops, been vetted, verified and documented as an economic calculation. Its like blind magic of the sorcerers apprentice for wall streeters - the equivalent of a kid on a bicycle going "look ma, no hands" as he rides off the cliff.

At the same time, the exponential function is used in statistics seen in the media, political machinations and market research every day to rationalize the agendas of the 'takers'.

Such a powerful perspective does not know cultural boundaries. That is to say, it is also applicable to stewardship actions.

Too late? I don't know about that. Consider this and imagine it applied to every benign reversal of damages.


#29

That's so bogus. Today the WHO released a report calling 2,4 D probably carcinogenic. And, RoundUp, what did you do to try and change or end its' usage, beginning in the 70s. ? What do even know about farming or organic farming ? Did you fight for all elections being publicly financed ? The root of all evil in many people's mind. Did you ever work or donate to the Natural Resource Defense Council or World Wildlife Fund and join with lots of other people to try to save the magnificent creatures of the planet and keep their environs intact ? Now that we're losing our planet to overpopulation, thoughtless development, extraction/disaster capitalism and vast political and economic corruption, you complain about no solutions being offered ? I started working on political and environmental causes, ( voter registration and leafleting, etc ) at the age of 12, in 1964. And, have had to push for more radical and costly solutions because folks like you didn't take the time to push any when more could have done with less pain, to all, btw. Now that the country has slipped into kleptocratic governance with a Military Keynesian economic model ya' snivel; " nobodies got solutions, boy I sure hope some smart guy comes along and saves me and my 2 cats. " Find a lake, a nice cold, deep one; jump in it.