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To Prevent 'Major Extinction Crisis,' Scientist Call for Designating Half of Planet as Protected Areas by 2050


To Prevent 'Major Extinction Crisis,' Scientist Call for Designating Half of Planet as Protected Areas by 2050

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

A pair of leading scientists is calling on the global community to spend the next few decades working toward formal protections for at least half of the world's oceans and lands, warning that as the human population nears its projected 10 billion by mid-century, several species will face a heightened threat of extinction.


oh please, no way to do this as humanity inevitably expands is use of habitat as its population continues to skyrocket. For other species, its bad enough with 7.6 billion humans, the 10 billion projected means game over. See Soylent Green for that future.
The only way to save most remaining species is to put the pill in the water for a decade or so in every country on the planet (so we’re all equitably treated!)


We are done. Even if we cease all industrial carbon vomiting right now…It’s too late. The laws of Physics doesn’t lie. We have destroyed a beautiful, once-pristine planet. Goddamnit!!



I would love nothing more than to disagree, but I have zero facts to work with. For more on the reality of near term human extinction, visit Nature Bats Last. Or just read a few headlines from around the world every day. Dr. Guy McPherson gives us until 2025, but from the vast amount I’ve read, I’ll be shocked if it’s more than two or three years before the curtains come down.


In a way, it’s a nice idea, but there is no way to accomplish this. You cannot really set aside half of the globe or a quarter of the globe or a tenth of the globe and “protect” it. What happens to the rest of the globe will influence it.

If one wants an easy example, look to the national parks in the California Sierra Nevada, eaten considerably through by beetles because of the rising temperatures, and ready to fuel the next fires. And when the pines are off the slopes, the soil and water will run down, and the droughts will intensify as bare dry land spreads.

At least that’s how it’s happened before.

No. What is necessary is not to divide humans from nature, but to draw human sustenance from natural systems and make decisions that protect those systems. Humans are creatures, too, and in the end receive support from ecological systems.

Economic systems only exist to distort distribution between persons.

Start gardening what’s close. Stop eating what’s flown in. Park the car. Devise passive heating or cooling. Trap your rainfall and drink it, and let what’s used flow to your plants. There’s a whole lot of details and a world of small changes, but it’s all a good deal of fun. It takes some learning, but it responds pretty well to insight and learning, too.

And develop your connections and get ready to face down companies and politicians; there’s sure to be some conflict in all this.


The Rich will stop the Scientists again just like they did 30 years ago when they started warning us about Climate Change.


Nothing positive will happen until we acknowledge and take drastic, dare I say draconian, action on human overpopulation. It is the core reason for just about all of our problems, political as well as environmental - too many people chasing too few resources, habitable land and fishable waters. To those who say it is already too late, that may be practically true, if we don’t agree to violate basic “human rights” and impose strict and unwavering fertility limits on the entire World, by forced birth lotteries, sterilizations and abortions. It is the only way to save not just humanity, but probably 95% of the major species on the planet. Species who have done nothing to deserve this fate, but be the victims of our unthinking selfishness and greed. We don’t have the right to give unlimited reproductive rights to our species, while condemning all others to extinction.


People used to let forest fires burn out of control, and then the forest fires came over the ridge and burned down the town. Or, the neighbor’s house caught on fire and nobody did anything, so your house burned down too. The socialist idea of a public fire department was born of necessity.

If we choose to let the Arctic cook then we shall certainly have 1000 ppm of greenhouse gases. The Sahara Desert will pretty much run all the way to India. Oklahoma will of course be a dust bowl. “Protecting” half the world to prevent a major extinction crisis just isn’t going to be a sensible plan. One backup plan is to freeze great numbers of fertilized animal embryos in liquid nitrogen and then maintain a few breeding animals of each species in (air conditioned) zoos.

We could do much better. First we have to work on those brain transplants for our state legislatures. Then individual states and regions, not the feds where all seats are bought with vast amounts of money, could do the vital research and field testing that is going to stabilize the Arctic, displace the entire fossil fuel industry and bring vast amounts of good-paying local jobs to their regional economies.

There’s a museum in New Bedford that covers the whale oil industry pretty well.

I take the 50 year view. Homo Sapiens will be declining by the billions in 50 years due to the desertification or other disruption of most of the world’s wheat, rice and corn belts, also the oceans won’t work well.


I couldn’t agree more and am very familiar with the Professor Emeritus and NBL. I believe he speaks the truth and has “connected the dots.”


2026 sounds too fast. Perhaps Arctic pack ice will be gone in August starting in 2026, but the ocean can absorb quite a bit of heat. It acts as roughly a 30 year cushion between what we do (also what nature does) and the effects that we feel.

On the other hand, stopping this positive feedback loop avalanche 30 years down the road is going to be a serious load.


HI barry_schiller:
I wonder if Earth is already handling that, what with more people, at least in America, having to go to fertility clinics to conceive.
I’m not sure if putting the pill in the water is a good idea-----because there’s all of that other unknown stuff that’s already polluted the public water systems .The interaction might create deadly consequences when interacting with the birth control pills. : (


My sentiments exactly.  Look what’s happening to the “protected” rain forests in Indonesia, South America, Africa, etc.

More than just “some conflict” I’d say, and have “a good deal of fun” competing with your neighbors for rainfall and arable land in, say, greater Los Angeles or metropolitan New York — where several million people live on just a few square miles of land.  These pie-in-the-sky ideas might work on a healthy planet with only a couple million of us two-legged cancer cells, but for the vast majority of the 7.5 billion of us (fairly soon to be 10 billion) it’s WAY too late and there’s just no way.