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Reallybigbunny

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The Holocene Extinction
« on: April 19, 2018, 09:27:38 PM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

There have been a number of topics and posts on this forum from all over the world regarding the current mass extinction event. Please read (at least) the summary of the following New Zealand Government Report published on 19.4.18.

Summary of the key findings from the report:

•Our soil is affected by erosion and intensive agriculture:

◦192 million tonnes of soil are lost every year from erosion – 44 percent of this is from pasture.


◦Soil quality testing shows 2 out of 7 indicators give reason for concern, with 48 percent of tested sites outside the target range for phosphorus content and macroporosity.



•Nearly 83 percent of our native birds, bats, reptiles, and frogs are classified as threatened or at risk of extinction (between 2010 and 2016).


•20 species of birds improved their conservation status (between 2012 and 2016).


•As well as loss of native vegetation across the country, coastal and lowland habitats continued to reduce.


•There have been significant shifts in land use in the last two decades:

◦10 percent increase in the total size of our towns and cities (between 1996 and 2012).


◦42 percent increase in the area of land used for dairy, and a 20 percent decrease in area used for sheep and beef (between 2002 and 2016).


◦shift in the past 15 years to higher numbers of animals farmed per hectare, especially in dairy.


◦net loss of 71,000 hectares of native land cover (between 1996 and 2012).


◦7 percent decrease in total area of land in agricultural production (between 2002 and 2012).


For the entire paper please follow the link below:

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/news-events/land-report-highlights-issues-soil-degradation

Reallybigbunny

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 05:27:54 AM »
Please take 3 minutes to read the article at either of the links below. If this is happening in clean green New Zealand it's horrifying to think what is happening in the rest of the world.

https://t.co/tq3IABS70s

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12121944

josh-j

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 11:02:33 AM »
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start sticking extinction symbols up everywhere. Tragic, all around us and yet somehow invisible.

Humanity has lost touch with nature, and blindly steps on it without a thought. I'm hopeful that collectively this can be changed; but after how many more creatures are lost?

From the page:
Quote
The symbol above represents extinction. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species. The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and this symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000  species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction. This ongoing process of destruction is being caused by the impact of human activity. Within the next few decades approximately 50% of all species that now exist will have become extinct. Such a catastrophic loss of biodiversity is highly likely to cause widespread ecosystem collapse and consequently render the planet uninhabitable for humans.

In order to spread the message as widely as possible, please create this symbol in any location you feel able to. Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 11:08:43 AM by josh-j »

Forest Dweller

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 12:39:10 PM »
Hmm...extinction symbol campaign huh?
Not hopeful that will change much but why not, the climate gets 100 times more attention...

As a wildlife researcher in Netherlands i can tell you things are bad, we mostly document loss and extinction.
Due to everything from poaching, farming, recreational pressure, urban sprawl and a few dozen other factors best summarized by saying this is a small and highly industrialized place.
43% of habitat loss of Europe happens here which is insane, and that is just in the nature reserves.

And then came the record 2018 drought...to make it much worse.
Some of my research areas were left more or less completely dead, vegetation and wildlife both.
Remaining wildlife turned to city areas were more trouble awaits.
Badgers appear to be hardest hit by the combination of industrial madness and climate mayhem.
Out of 20 dens i see only one at the moment showing some remaining activity while it is also being disturbed by heavy machinery at the moment.
Guess i'll have to share the extinction symbol....

Here is a link to the IUCN Red List page with some interesting data, although far from complete;
http://www.iucnredlist.org/about/summary-statistics#TrendsInBiodiversityStatus

jacksmith4tx

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 05:04:22 PM »
Radical solutions?
If homo sapiens are the source of the problem then maybe let's fix that first?

<begin mad scientist mode>
Lets genetically modify the human genome in three specific areas.
1) Raise the intelligence or cognition of the human brain. The better the species is able to understand it's effect on the environment the more effective proactive solutions will be. Generally higher IQs will likely accelerate technological solutions.
2) Delay fertility till the late 20s or early 40s (male and female). Consider longer gestation periods to limit maximum births during fertility periods, maybe 2-3 years between births. Alternatively, we could shorten fertility to the early twenties. Limit the number of years the species is fertile to a max of 5-7 years.
3) Turn humans from carnivores into herbivores. Just like lactose intolerance make some humans allergic to milk. There are proteins in meat that could be targeted to produce similar results in humans.

This is all feasible with genetic engineering using technologies like CRISPR and Gene Drive. Option #1 is potentially the most dangerous since there is a chance it could lead to a split in the genome resulting in multiple homo-sapiens derivatives and greater inequality.
Before you pass judgment on these ideas take note that we are already doing this to other species.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/first-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-set-released-africa/
http://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/technology/gene-drive/
Is this solution ethical, humane and moral? More importantly, would it help solve the problem of over population and the resulting strain on the environment?
Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.

bluesky

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 12:18:27 AM »
Probably already mentioned somewhere else "The 6th extinction" written by The New Yorker' scientist journalist Elizabeth Kolbert -released in 2015- is excellent, and the link with climate change is also very well articulated

jacksmith4tx

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 06:25:44 AM »
Yeah there are people out there that think we can engineer our way out of the worst effects of global climate change. Truth is they might be right.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/nsf-ebt091718.php
17-Sep-2018
Engineering biology through DNA's environment
NSF awards $16 million to understand and control epigenetic effects.

"Precise regulation of cells, thanks to a combination of advanced techniques from engineering and biology, may allow us to combat disease, engineer crop improvements, and design organisms that can remediate environmental problems or adapt to environmental change," said Dawn Tilbury, NSF assistant director for Engineering."
...
Chromatin -- a combination of DNA, RNA and proteins within a cell's nucleus -- can be modified by attaching additional molecules. This can cause altered gene expression without actually changing the cell's DNA. These so-called epigenetic changes can alter an organism's traits, or phenotype, and may even be passed to offspring.
Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.

oren

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 08:51:20 AM »
Stop human births for the next 2-3 decades, except a single child per female over 30. A self-imposed and rather humane quasi-extinction that will go a great length towards solving carrying capacity and resource over-comsumption issues, and requires no new technology.

Sleepy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 10:08:32 AM »
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start sticking extinction symbols up everywhere. Tragic, all around us and yet somehow invisible.

Humanity has lost touch with nature, and blindly steps on it without a thought. I'm hopeful that collectively this can be changed; but after how many more creatures are lost?

In order to spread the message as widely as possible, please create this symbol in any location you feel able to. Thank you.
Thanks.
To act (solve "problems" whatever those are, while inventing new ones...) is the main mode of anthropocentrism. We also teach ourselves that, early on.

"Anthropocentrism is not an initial step in conceptual development, but is instead an acquired perspective, one that emerges between 3 and 5 years of age in children raised in urban environments."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890461/

Less is beautiful.

Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

bluesky

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 06:32:45 PM »
Yeah there are people out there that think we can engineer our way out of the worst effects of global climate change. Truth is they might be right.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/nsf-ebt091718.php
17-Sep-2018
Engineering biology through DNA's environment
NSF awards $16 million to understand and control epigenetic effects.

"Precise regulation of cells, thanks to a combination of advanced techniques from engineering and biology, may allow us to combat disease, engineer crop improvements, and design organisms that can remediate environmental problems or adapt to environmental change," said Dawn Tilbury, NSF assistant director for Engineering."
...
Chromatin -- a combination of DNA, RNA and proteins within a cell's nucleus -- can be modified by attaching additional molecules. This can cause altered gene expression without actually changing the cell's DNA. These so-called epigenetic changes can alter an organism's traits, or phenotype, and may even be passed to offspring.
It might be that there could still be a few bacterias or viruses running around, the oldest living elements on earth, more than 3bn years of experience, able to outwit the now "pretentious" human ingenuity to master and rule the environment

jacksmith4tx

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 07:00:44 PM »
It might be that there could still be a few bacterias or viruses running around, the oldest living elements on earth, more than 3bn years of experience, able to outwit the now "pretentious" human ingenuity to master and rule the environment
Indeed, a global pandemic must be in the top 5 risks. The most lethal biological agents in the world are made by humans (mostly governments) but your point is well taken. Leaving out a human source, we would probably be most vulnerable just after a massive solar CME knocked out the global electrical grid.
Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.

Human Habitat Index

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 01:40:35 AM »
Yeah there are people out there that think we can engineer our way out of the worst effects of global climate change. Truth is they might be right.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/nsf-ebt091718.php
17-Sep-2018
Engineering biology through DNA's environment
NSF awards $16 million to understand and control epigenetic effects.

"Precise regulation of cells, thanks to a combination of advanced techniques from engineering and biology, may allow us to combat disease, engineer crop improvements, and design organisms that can remediate environmental problems or adapt to environmental change," said Dawn Tilbury, NSF assistant director for Engineering."
...
Chromatin -- a combination of DNA, RNA and proteins within a cell's nucleus -- can be modified by attaching additional molecules. This can cause altered gene expression without actually changing the cell's DNA. These so-called epigenetic changes can alter an organism's traits, or phenotype, and may even be passed to offspring.
It might be that there could still be a few bacterias or viruses running around, the oldest living elements on earth, more than 3bn years of experience, able to outwit the now "pretentious" human ingenuity to master and rule the environment

Viruses are not living organisms.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

Alison

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 03:15:19 AM »
”Organisms at the edge of life”, then? :)

gerontocrat

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 12:58:45 PM »
Stop human births for the next 2-3 decades, except a single child per female over 30. A self-imposed and rather humane quasi-extinction that will go a great length towards solving carrying capacity and resource over-consumption issues, and requires no new technology.

Japan is already (and China soon) reaping the unforeseen consequences of birth rates lower than that necessary to maintain the population. Lots of old people, reducing numbers of people of working age. It is only immigration (and increasing the retirement age) that is stopping the same happening in the UK. Much the same in Europe? Automation to the rescue?

Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories from China abound. Now China is on the point of abandoning the one child policy - but the young don't want kids (same in Japan).

There is no kind or compassionate way of reducing population growth quickly, let alone reduce population - even China's one child policy took a couple of generations to stabilise the population.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2018, 01:26:20 PM »
Viruses are not living organisms.

I agree that viruses not being life is the consensus. I would also agree that for practical purposes it is good to not define viruses as life. However, I believe that things very similar to viruses were the precursors to life.

The  common tendency in the universe is towards disorder. Viruses are a state of matter that given the correct environment multiply, creating order.  What we typically consider life are states of matter that seek energy to actively create order (multiply).   
If by chance or rule of thermodynamics, viruses emerge and the environment remains favorable for a few hundred million years, life might be a likely event in the evolution of viruses.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Human Habitat Index

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2018, 01:54:25 PM »
Viruses are not living organisms.

I agree that viruses not being life is the consensus. I would also agree that for practical purposes it is good to not define viruses as life. However, I believe that things very similar to viruses were the precursors to life.

The  common tendency in the universe is towards disorder. Viruses are a state of matter that given the correct environment multiply, creating order.  What we typically consider life are states of matter that seek energy to actively create order (multiply).   
If by chance or rule of thermodynamics, viruses emerge and the environment remains favorable for a few hundred million years, life might be a likely event in the evolution of viruses.

Viruses do not have a mitochondria, cannot produce energy, cannot transport themselves, so they must depend on the weather to circulate.

When a hurricane blows them out to sea, they will be out of circulation as they will not be able to extricate themselves from the ocean and cannot reproduce.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2018, 02:01:14 PM »
Correct. Virus don't seek energy. They just exist around the world until they stumble upon the environment that allows for their reproduction. Life seeks energy and performs work. Viruses merely exist and life does all the work for them.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

wili

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2018, 04:14:01 PM »
ger:

"Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories from China abound. Now China is on the point of abandoning the one child policy - but the young don't want kids (same in Japan)."

Your first sentence here, seems to be contradicted by your last sentence. Perhaps you could clarify?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

gerontocrat

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2018, 06:43:58 PM »
ger:

"Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories from China abound. Now China is on the point of abandoning the one child policy - but the young don't want kids (same in Japan)."

Your first sentence here, seems to be contradicted by your last sentence. Perhaps you could clarify?
Governments enforce population control, causing huge distress to large sections of the people.
Then Governments find that they need more kids, and the child-bearing population (and the men), don't want them.

Yes, it is a contradiction. Why aren't the people sensible and just do what Government tells them to do willingly ? After all, Government knows best.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

josh-j

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2018, 09:03:40 AM »
Gerontocrat, it seems to me that a very large number of people spend their time in jobs which are relatively pointless - the most obvious example probably being working for a company producing (let's say) the plastic toys which are inside Christmas crackers, or indeed all sorts of consumer goods companies if we could only learn to buy less and fix things. For so many other jobs, automation will eventually be able to replace people (a whole topic on its own, and a frightening one at that).

Perhaps the solution to an aging population necessitated by birth rate reduction is to stop doing and buying all this crap and instead be free to look after our families and neighbours?

I guess what I mean to say is that population and the consequences of population reduction are tied to the nature of our economic system, which values non-essebtial production yet does not reward the real human actions like caring for ones family and community.

Good job that system already needs to change then hey...!   ;D

wili

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2018, 09:13:44 AM »
I guess I still have problems with the inevitability implied in "Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories..."

Bangladesh greatly reduced their population growth rate mostly by empowering women, and similar measures have been found to be highly effective elsewhere.

Do you find empowering women to be equivalent to horrific government enforcement?

;;;;;;;;;;;;

josh, have you heard of the book 'Bullshit Jobs'?

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/8/17308744/bullshit-jobs-book-david-graeber-occupy-wall-street-karl-marx
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 09:56:06 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2018, 10:49:28 AM »
We can make them Green, Lurk! /sarc  ;)
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

oren

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2018, 12:04:19 AM »
I guess I still have problems with the inevitability implied in "Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories..."

Bangladesh greatly reduced their population growth rate mostly by empowering women, and similar measures have been found to be highly effective elsewhere.

Do you find empowering women to be equivalent to horrific government enforcement?
I think governments could do many things to reduce population growth, with no enforcement or horror, as a lot of it depends on public perception, expectations and traditions. Why not run TV ads recommending to stop at 1 or 2 children per family? Why not change child allowance policies so as not to encourage people to have more and more children (as is the case at least in Israel)? Why not educate children in middle school and high school about family planning, and the high cost of raising children?
Re the problem with an older population, I think it's a very small problem compared to the challenge of dealing with an ever expanding population given a fixed amount of land and dwindling natural resources, not to mention climate change.

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2018, 12:44:20 AM »
A wealthy family of 3 emits much more than a poor, rural family of 10.

I still don’t see an actionable plan to stop people from buying shiny trinkets. It will happen as climate change destroys all human wealth but I don’t see how to make it happen as a way of stopping the Holocene extinction.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2018, 01:40:24 AM »
We can make them Green, Lurk! /sarc  ;)
Until I open up down the street selling ones "Guaranteed to never turn green in storage".
Terry


Sleepy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2018, 10:42:16 AM »
I guess I still have problems with the inevitability implied in "Stopping people having kids requires enforcement. Horror stories..."

Bangladesh greatly reduced their population growth rate mostly by empowering women, and similar measures have been found to be highly effective elsewhere.

Do you find empowering women to be equivalent to horrific government enforcement?
I think governments could do many things to reduce population growth, with no enforcement or horror, as a lot of it depends on public perception, expectations and traditions. Why not run TV ads recommending to stop at 1 or 2 children per family? Why not change child allowance policies so as not to encourage people to have more and more children (as is the case at least in Israel)? Why not educate children in middle school and high school about family planning, and the high cost of raising children?
Re the problem with an older population, I think it's a very small problem compared to the challenge of dealing with an ever expanding population given a fixed amount of land and dwindling natural resources, not to mention climate change.
It's the same in Sweden. Here we get SEK 10540 /month through child allowance and large family supplement if we have six children. One kid is SEK 1050. But we generally do not want more than one or two children, which is also the reason for the supplement.
How many kids less would a family in a poor nation have if they could afford a simple bicycle? Think Hans Rosling...
https://www.gapminder.org/
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

Sleepy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2018, 11:05:35 AM »
bbr, trying hard to restrain myself now, you obviously never read any of my posts in here and you totally missed the point of my post above.
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

gerontocrat

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2018, 11:30:08 AM »

Do you find empowering women to be equivalent to horrific government enforcement?


No, as a simple male, merely terrifying.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

oren

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2018, 11:30:58 AM »
bbr, trying hard to restrain myself now, you obviously never read any of my posts in here and you totally missed the point of my post above.
Indeed...

bbr2314

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2018, 07:47:23 PM »
bbr, trying hard to restrain myself now, you obviously never read any of my posts in here and you totally missed the point of my post above.
I deleted it! Apologies.  8)

Sleepy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2018, 07:31:49 AM »
Cool.  :)
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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jacksmith4tx

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2018, 03:19:34 AM »
First they came for the Mosquito, but I was not a Mosquito so I said nothing...

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/09/24/650501045/mosquitoes-genetically-modified-to-crash-species-that-spreads-malaria
Quote
Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species.

The scientists used the revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to engineer mosquitoes with a "gene drive," which rapidly transmitted a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito's species.

After mosquitoes carrying the mutation were released into cages filled with unmodified mosquitoes in a high-security basement laboratory in London, virtually all of the insects were wiped out, according to a report in Nature Biotechnology.

If one chooses a optimistic outlook then one day we will target human genes to improve and enhance our genome and so begins Homo Sapiens 2.0.
Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2018, 03:30:08 AM »
Mosquitoes are human killers. I have no mercy for them.

I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Bruce Steele

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2018, 03:39:58 AM »
Archimid, Should they all die or only the ones that vector disease ? Death might not be so cooperative perhaps ?

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2018, 03:53:10 AM »
I attempt to kill every mosquito I see. I don't test them for contagions and judge them all dangerous. However, I do like to observe them before I kill them. I look for color patterns, state of maturity, size, shape and general behavior. 
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2018, 04:20:57 AM »
You think there is no difference between a mosquito and a human?
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Bruce Steele

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2018, 04:55:17 AM »
Archimid, I don't think meddling in DNA and engineering terminal genes is a good idea. I would much rather the mosquitos held their timeless spot as human killers than to start down the road of bioengineering nature. Not us or them cause we have cohabitated from day one.

TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2018, 05:09:40 AM »
You think there is no difference between a mosquito and a human?


They utilize 3 dimensions, we're creatures of the surface?


They're predators, we're scavengers?


We see them as killers. They see us as a meal.


I've one of their relatives encased in amber - I'm not sure our line will last so long.
Terry




Ktb

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2018, 05:22:25 AM »
Probably already mentioned somewhere else "The 6th extinction" written by The New Yorker' scientist journalist Elizabeth Kolbert -released in 2015- is excellent, and the link with climate change is also very well articulated

Yes, really laid out how bad things will be when the mix of climate change, ocean acidification, fishery collapse, deforestation all to come to a head.
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
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Sleepy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2018, 06:11:24 AM »
How ironic, last night I watched a show on tv and thought I'd download it later. Came in here this morning and here's a discussion about exactly that part I reacted to, malaria. :)

Here's the section I cut out from The Great Human Odyssey about malaria and the Sepik people in Papua New Guinea.
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2018, 07:44:49 AM »
Re population growth, the total number of births worldwide rose until the late 1980s, and since then has been a bit up and down around the 130 million babies per year mark https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-number-of-births-by-world-region.

Meanwhile the net reproduction rate (daughters per woman) is, at 1.1, only a smidgen above replacement.

This has led to the current world population pyramid being roughly rectangular for people aged under 30, and steeply sloping after that:



Over the next 60 years or so, if these trends more or less continue (this is a big if) we can expect continued, but gradually slowing population growth until people who are 30 today get to about age 90. The precise point is a tad dependent on how far life expectancy rises worldwide; currently it's at 72 and rising, but the modal age of death in rich countries is in the late 80s. Still, I'd expect population growth to be approximately flat in the 2080s. The primary problem is limiting the damage from the foreseeable growth in that time.

EDIT: All of this is not to say that bringing down the worldwide fertility rate a notch more would not be beneficial, expecially if done via the big three of promoting female education, workplace participation, and access to contraception, plus improving child mortality, promoting child spacing, reducing child mortality, discouraging teenage pregnancy and respecting gay rights.  Luckily, it really is just a notch that's needed now.

But then, as we all know from the sea ice polls, it'a foolish to think we can predict the future...
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 08:56:52 AM by Paddy »

TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2018, 08:02:05 AM »
Sleepy
I've always considered it an inter generational thing where those without immunity to measles, the plague or malaria simply died. Only those who had some immunity survived and their offspring inherited this from both parents.
A new disease is introduced and the cycle repeats itself.


I raised millions? of generations of enzyme producing bacteria and increased their survivability by slowly making their lives more difficult one way or another.


Brutal as hell if you're attached to a particular strain of bacteria, but the survivors were really hard to kill.
Terry

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2018, 09:00:20 AM »
Yeah well, evolution has never cared about any specific creature. It just is. Humans are not as hardened as some other species that have evolved over millions of years, but we obviously have people today that can live with malaria.

The real problem today is when people like Bill Gates posts graphs (World's deadliest animals, posted above) that swamps the Internet for years on end and people just buys it. He is not an authority here.

There are real experts out there and they do not agree with wiping out mosquitos at all, or any other species. They propose smarter ways and we really do need to be smart and stay well away from the same attitude that put us were we are today.
We do know our own history and we depend on Nature and can't rule over it. Everytime we try, it bites us in the ass. Same thing with mosquitos. Very few of those species are harmful to us. What else out there depends on mosquitos and what other effects would an extinction produce?
The answer is that noone knows.

Regarding the video I posted above. Haven't had time to dig into this further but the interesting question here for me is; what makes the Sepik people immune?
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2018, 11:03:53 AM »
What humans need more than anything else right now is limits--to be limited. Mosquitoes are one of the few creatures effectively putting limits on us.

It would be my great preference if they mostly culled from the top 1% rather than the poorest, but we should still think twice before eliminating one species that is helping to keep our numbers in check, until we are better able to keep our own numbers in check.

We are like deer plotting to rid their island of the last wolves, not realizing that the wolves actually keep the whole population healthier.
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2018, 12:16:47 PM »
What humans need more than anything else right now is limits--to be limited. Mosquitoes are one of the few creatures effectively putting limits on us.

It would be my great preference if they mostly culled from the top 1% rather than the poorest, but we should still think twice before eliminating one species that is helping to keep our numbers in check, until we are better able to keep our own numbers in check.

We are like deer plotting to rid their island of the last wolves, not realizing that the wolves actually keep the whole population healthier.
It would be my great preference if they mostly culled from the top 1% rather than the poorest,

Having had malaria more than once, including cerebral malaria, and certainly at the time being one of the 1%, (I was located in the bush in a very poor part of the world),  I am not sure how to react to that comment.

I am personally very grateful for having survived, even if that is against the interests of the planet.

One should remember that population is not just a statistic - death or the prospect of death through diseases such as malaria is a painful experience for the individuals involved.
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2018, 01:42:27 PM »
I really disliked the bolded statement, though I'm obviously biased. I don't see anything inherently moral in consuming less due to being poor, and am pretty sure a majority of poor people would prefer to consume more if they could. Taking a systemic view, I'd much rarher humanity found a (humane) path to 1 billion people with a high and equal standard of living, rather than 10 billion all hoping for such living standards but most failing due to inequality and limited available resources (even when exceeding sustainable limits).
The "sharp birth slowdown" I suggested could be a right step to such an outcome.

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2018, 01:56:59 PM »
The world's human population has been growing rapidly since the rise of sanitation in the second half of the 19th century. Unless your "cull" factor is such that a significant proportion of people die before reproductive age, it's not going to make much of a dent in further growth. The main thing thst would help is reducing fertility rates a notch further, and, as I said before, that's mainly done by increasing female access to education, the workplace and contraception.

Malaria, meanwhile, is principally just a cause of misery. We don't need it.

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2018, 02:00:39 PM »
The question is: Do mosquitoes as a species have to go extinct for that?
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gerontocrat

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2018, 04:06:56 PM »
The world's human population has been growing rapidly since the rise of sanitation in the second half of the 19th century. Unless your "cull" factor is such that a significant proportion of people die before reproductive age, it's not going to make much of a dent in further growth. The main thing thst would help is reducing fertility rates a notch further, and, as I said before, that's mainly done by increasing female access to education, the workplace and contraception.

Malaria, meanwhile, is principally just a cause of misery. We don't need it.
In the so-called developing world, the main event was post World War II with the mass production of vaccines against the under-five killers (now subject to dumb adverse publicity in the UK and USA - measles is coming back)

The immensely cheap programs mostly run by the UN drastically reduced infant mortality (and still are effective) but not the birth-rate. One / two generations later the consequence was inevitable.
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miki

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2018, 05:12:51 PM »
The question is: Do mosquitoes as a species have to go extinct for that?

Indeed, that is the most worrisome part.