The Sixth Extinction

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26 May 2015 04:19 - 26 May 2015 04:25 #193162 by Locksley
Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth? Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished. [ Source ]
~Carl Sagan

Last edit: 26 May 2015 04:25 by Locksley.
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26 May 2015 05:10 - 26 May 2015 05:11 #193163 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic The Sixth Extinction
Another view of the most recent mass extinction event is climate change from Volcanic 'Traps'
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deccan_Traps

If one were to consider us creations of Earth, then it could be viewed as the natural course of evolution :pinch:
Population growth is going to speed species extinctions up one way or the other, so I often wonder what we do with what we've got is more important then pretending the impact of population growth is going to stop and think harm minimization is going to achieve any difference in isolation to the full range of problems.

All species are going to be vulnerable to something. I guess in a few hundred years colonization of the Moon has caused havoc with the tides so much that its killing types of marine life!!

Should we leave? What sort of impact would it have!? For me the biggest problem with staying is the population growth. I read yesterday a disturbing article about limiting families to one child, for how it might not be the best idea;

China's one-child policy breeds 'little emperors with skewed values', writer Xinran Xue says
www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/chinas-on...-writer-says/6495666

Spoilt single child syndrome to the nth degree :blink:

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Last edit: 26 May 2015 05:11 by Adder.
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26 May 2015 11:27 #193176 by Loudzoo
Replied by Loudzoo on topic The Sixth Extinction
I hope the following isn't too off topic, but as Locksley eluded to and Adder added, human population growth and environmental degradation do seem to be closely linked.
The following is something I read the other day that adds evidence that to the idea that we are past the peak of human population growth (not the peak of actual population). Its economics'y' orientated and concerned with how changing demographics will affect economic growth (rather than environmental impacts) but the projections are still valid for what they are:
www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-17/peak-population-growth
Furthermore:
www.project-syndicate.org/print/the-end-of-population-growth
concludes:
" . . . it is likely that world population will peak at nine billion in the 2050’s, a half-century sooner than generally anticipated, followed by a sharp decline. One could argue that this is a good thing, in view of the planet’s limited carrying capacity. But, when demographic dynamics turn, the world will have to confront a different set of problems."
The population growth 'problem' as popularly described is pretty close to solving itself.

If the long term population stabilises in the 8-10bn range the challenge is to work out how we can live peacefully with each other and without degrading 'our' environment. The good news in solving those issues is that it seems extremely unlikely that the Earth will have to sustain a human population in excess of 10bn.

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26 May 2015 14:33 #193201 by Akkarin
Replied by Akkarin on topic The Sixth Extinction
Well at least one piece of "good" news to take away from the video is even if we keep killing off most of the animals on the planet at least the environment would one day recover.

There are also plans to clone back some species such as wooly mammoths, though as I saw one commentator criticise the idea we can let some creatures go extinct because we can just bring them back later is a little reckless...

The worst part of all this is our ancestors can be forgiven for their ignorance, but we have no such excuse.

If one were to consider us creations of Earth, then it could be viewed as the natural course of evolution :pinch:


I'd be interested in knowing whether the exact same situation would have occurred if a different species had become the dominant one. Not that I'm expecting us to actually find out an answer to this question lol. Unless, you know, aliens!

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26 May 2015 17:59 #193232 by Khaos
Replied by Khaos on topic The Sixth Extinction
"On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"-Fight Club

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26 May 2015 21:14 #193276 by ren
Replied by ren on topic The Sixth Extinction
I think extinction (of any species) is not necessarily a bad thing. All of our ancestors have been replaced by a superior, more-adapted-to-the-environment specie: their successors, and eventually us.
The only way all life remains on earth is through an error-prone reproductive method and as such it seems it is necessary for some of the deviations to go extinct for life to continue... Otherwise the best, statistically near-impossible scenario would be stagnation... that's provided the environment does not change in any way whatsoever; with no rocks falling from the sky, no larger-than-usual solar flares, not one single bacteria adapts to a treatment/antibody, etc.

We too therefore must meet extinction, and I think trying to delay or prevent it will lead not only to the inevitable extinction of our specie, but also of our genus, and maybe more. Although humans are likely unique in the way the extinction of our genus is probably good news for biodiversity overall.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

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26 May 2015 22:19 #193281 by CryojenX
Replied by CryojenX on topic The Sixth Extinction

Khaos wrote: "On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"-Fight Club


Ah man.. There, you had to go and do it. You done did it. You HAD to talk about Fight Club! :lol:

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26 May 2015 22:27 #193283 by CryojenX
Replied by CryojenX on topic The Sixth Extinction

ren wrote: I think extinction (of any species) is not necessarily a bad thing.


Whether it is considered a bad thing or not, what is unavoidable is that extinction is inevitable for any species. Just as death is unavoidable for a single individual. I mean unless we figure out that whole warp drive or stable wormhole problem, everybody on this planet will end up going the way of the dodo in approximately 5.3 billion years regardless - that is if another asteroid doesn't put us down first.

Now I believe that part of being a Jedi is serving as a protector of those who cannot protect themselves, and as such, believe that as much as is practical be done to maintain biodiversity on this rock while we're still here. The more biodiversity, the more likely that some form of life will carry on in our stead, as the mammals did after the great lizards "bought the farm".

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26 May 2015 23:44 - 26 May 2015 23:57 #193295 by Locksley
Replied by Locksley on topic The Sixth Extinction
The problems associated with the one-child laws are, frankly scary. We're seeing a massive rise in depression and mood disorders worldwide, but in China, and even more Japan, we're seeing extremely serious cases on widespread levels - children growing up completely divorced from society, family, even themselves - unable to cope with existence. And we're definitely seeing an issue with the rise in lifespan accompanied by a drop in birthrate.

But, someone in the comments section of one of those posts quoted Carlin, and it made me think of this:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


I think that this requires narrowing down the discussion, or at least making the specific point that what we're really talking about here is "how to make humanity better", not "how to save the world." The goal here is to question the future of our species - if there is a future. It's also about a sense of responsibility - because we, as humans, feel a deep sense of self-importance, we end up caring about our actions. I think that this can actually be a really good thing: I think the urge towards betterment is not an unworthy one. This sense of responsibility is also valid when we consider the sheer rate of extinction, caused directly by our growing civilization. Our sense of separateness allows us to recognize our very direct part in the destruction of the world environment and ecosystem - and yet it doesn't seem to be enough to actually make us do any better. We toss something in the recycling bin and feel proud of ourselves for doing our part - when in reality we aren't doing our part - we aren't concerned with doing our part; we're very concerned with looking like we're concerned with doing our part.

I think we should try to better ourselves. Should try to improve the global environment, for our species and all those billions of species upon which we somehow rely.

Because the fact of the matter is that Carlin might have been a cynical philosophic bastard, but he used his humor to try and make people think. His jokes aren't banter for banter's sake - they're there to try and create the voice of self-reflection that people are so-often missing. "Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet."

So how do we save ourselves?

Here's another Carlin Quote:

I look at it this way... For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers... so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it's natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse.


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This is just me spit-balling some thoughts. I'm not trying to create an argument for any particular direction of thought here.
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Last edit: 26 May 2015 23:57 by Locksley.
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27 May 2015 03:08 - 27 May 2015 03:17 #193314 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic The Sixth Extinction
call me biased but i would say its a good idea to promote the idea that human beings ought to survive as a species

since we know that certain characteristics or behaviors improve our relationships with each other - like humility, attentiveness, boundary recognition

why dont we apply that to EVERYTHING and see if it doesnt do some good?

imagine if we took our understanding of healthy human to human relationships and applied those principles (first to each other really)to the whole world - including the non human parts

i think its extremely absurd to talk about human extinction as if its somehow fair or expected or mundane

if you feel extinction is mundane or especially, DESERVED then i invite you to lead the way

or we can work for solutions

People are complicated.
Last edit: 27 May 2015 03:17 by OB1Shinobi.
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