Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Consequences => Topic started by: Reallybigbunny on April 19, 2018, 09:27:38 PM

Title: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Reallybigbunny 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Reallybigbunny 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on September 15, 2018, 11:02:33 AM
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start sticking extinction symbols (http://www.extinctionsymbol.info/) 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 (http://www.extinctionsymbol.info/):
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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Forest Dweller 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: jacksmith4tx 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?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bluesky 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: jacksmith4tx 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy on September 18, 2018, 10:08:32 AM
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start sticking extinction symbols (http://www.extinctionsymbol.info/) 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/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890461/)

Less is beautiful.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2305.0;attach=108300;image)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bluesky 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: jacksmith4tx 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Human Habitat Index 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Alison on September 19, 2018, 03:15:19 AM
”Organisms at the edge of life”, then? :)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Human Habitat Index 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili 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?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on September 20, 2018, 10:49:28 AM
We can make them Green, Lurk! /sarc  ;)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM 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

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy 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/ (https://www.gapminder.org/)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren 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...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bbr2314 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)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy on September 22, 2018, 07:31:49 AM
Cool.  :)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: jacksmith4tx 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on September 25, 2018, 03:30:08 AM
Mosquitoes are human killers. I have no mercy for them.

(https://www.gatesnotes.com/-/media/Images/Articles/Health/Most-Lethal-Animal-Mosquito-Week/BiggestKillers_final_v8_no-logo.jpg)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele 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 ?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid 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. 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on September 25, 2018, 04:20:57 AM
You think there is no difference between a mosquito and a human?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM 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



Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Paddy 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:

(https://www.indexmundi.com/graphs/population-pyramids/world-population-pyramid-2016.gif)

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...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy 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?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Paddy 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on September 25, 2018, 02:00:39 PM
The question is: Do mosquitoes as a species have to go extinct for that?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: miki 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.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on September 25, 2018, 05:51:07 PM
... It would be my great preference if they mostly culled from the top 1% ...

There's a slippery slope somewhere there ...

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d9/14/b1/d914b15c06b1b472a5a6216bcf4c2479.gif)

Maybe, just all of the enablers - accountant, lawyers, bankers, crooked politicians, talking heads, propagandists, etc.

But then your left with a species population that will exceed its resource limits in one generation. Alas.  :(

The question is: Do mosquitoes as a species have to go extinct for that?

I think mosquitoes will do OK.

Mosquitoes constitute the family Culicidae. There are 41 genera of mosquitoes, containing approximately 3,500 species. Human malaria is transmitted only by females of the genus Anopheles. Of the approximately 430 Anopheles species, while over 100 are known to be able to transmit malaria to humans only 30–40 commonly do so in nature. Mosquitoes in other genera can transmit different diseases, such as yellow fever and dengue for species in the genus Aedes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mosquito_genera

The technique, called gene drive, was used to selectively target the specific mosquito species An. gambiae.  The CRISPR–Cas9 target genes they chose is specific to each species. Unless the gene was conserved across multiple species it could not be passed on to a different mosquito species.

It would also require inter-species sexual reproduction which is usually a non-starter.

Humans on the other hand ...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on September 25, 2018, 05:53:22 PM
Humans can’t make mosquitoes extinct, even if they try. We can however warm the world to point were mosquitoes proliferate.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: jacksmith4tx on September 25, 2018, 05:57:29 PM
The question is: Do mosquitoes as a species have to go extinct for that?

Indeed, that is the most worrisome part.
About 15 years too late to be asking this question. Killing off a few species of bugs is collateral damage. This won't be last either.
https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/european-genes-found-in-wild-atlantic-salmon-cause-alarm
Quote
European genes found in wild Atlantic salmon cause alarm
Allan Lynch
September 25, 2018
A study into the wild Atlantic salmon population of Canada’s Inner Bay of Fundy is raising alarm among conservationists concerned about the impact the local aquaculture industry may be having on the species.

A newly released study that reviewed data collected over the past 15 years found a breed of hybrid salmon have taken root in the waters of the Inner Bay of Fundy.
Of course the fish harvesting industry sees this differently.

https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/new-genetic-research-shows-the-legacy-of-fish-farm-escapees/
Quote
New Genetic Research Shows the Legacy of Fish Farm Escapees
...
“Once it happens,” he adds, “there’s not much you can do.”

What we absolutely don't want to do is screw up the plankton and zooplankton populations. Protecting the base of the food web should a #1 concern to civilization but that will require a global commitment. A one world government?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 15, 2018, 10:36:53 PM
Mammals Cannot Evolve Fast Enough to Escape Current Extinction Crisis 
https://m.phys.org/news/2018-10-mammals-evolve-fast-current-extinction.html

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/800/2018/mammalscanno.jpg)

Humans are exterminating animal and plant species so quickly that nature's built-in defence mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. An Aarhus-led research team calculated that if current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct during the next five decades that nature will need 3 to 5 million years to recover.

If mammals diversify at their normal rates, it will still take them 5 to 7 million years to restore biodiversity to its level before modern humans evolved, and 3-5 million years just to reach current biodiversity levels, according to the analysis, which was published recently in PNAS.

Matt Davis el al., "Mammal diversity will take millions of years to recover from the current biodiversity crisis," PNAS (2018).
www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1804906115
____________________________

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/science/2018/10/15/hyperalarming-study-shows-massive-insect-loss/
https://m.phys.org/news/2018-10-degrees-decimated-puerto-rico-insect.html

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.

In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees had decreased by 45 percent. In places where long-term insect data are available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting. A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves.

The latest report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this startling loss of insect abundance extends to the Americas. The study’s authors implicate climate change in the loss of tropical invertebrates.

Between January 1977 and January 2013, the catch rate in the ground traps fell 60-fold.

The finding supports the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warnings of severe environmental threats given a 2.0 degree Celsius elevation in global temperature. Like some other tropical locations, the study area in the Luquillo rainforest has already reached or exceeded a 2.0 degree Celsius rise in average temperature, and the study finds that the consequences are potentially catastrophic.

"Our results suggest that the effects of climate warming in tropical forests may be even greater than anticipated" said Brad Lister lead author of the study and a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "The insect populations in the Luquillo forest are crashing, and once that begins the animals that eat the insects have insufficient food, which results in decreased reproduction and survivorship and consequent declines in abundance."

Bradford C. Lister el al., "Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web," PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1722477115
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 30, 2018, 01:48:05 PM
The Living Planet report 2018 is out:
https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2018

Some of the more striking figures:

- Populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have, on average, declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year with available data.

- 83% decline in rivers, lakes, estuaries.

- 89% decline in Central and South America particularly.

Considering this is just about a 44 year period since 1970, i'm sure the real percentages must be significantly higher still.
So i guess that means in South America for example more than 9 out of 10 animals are gone?
Maybe new president Bolsonaro in Brazil can destroy the rest and go for the full 100%?
Truly shocking.... :-[

Also in the news today, it seems China has lifted the ban on rhino horn and tiger products.
What a bright idea.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 30, 2018, 02:13:07 PM
What is worst, when compared against prior WWF Living Planet reports, the rate of biodiversity loss is accelerating.

We don't have another 40 years
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Forest Dweller on October 30, 2018, 03:36:00 PM
Concerning rates of extinction i believe they are also under estimated.
We don't fully know to begin with, and many species are more or less artificially kept around in minute numbers, in ridiculously small remaining parts of the original habitat by all sorts of measures, volunteers and so on.
Or even just in zoos, private collections.
The well known remark about tigers for instance is how there are more in captivity than in the wild.
If we look at a species such as Javan rhinoceros yes there are still around 50-60 in Ujong Kulong NP.
So they are not officially extinct, but their tiny safe peninsular remaining habitat is still besieged and lucky to be an easily protected geographical feature.
To all intents and purposes they are extinct apart from that.
Their relatives in Vietnam (R. S. Annamiticus) had no such luck of course and the last one was poached April 30, 2010 in spite of being the main conservation poster child inside the Cat Tien NP.
We keep a lot of those poster childs symbolically and even fail at that.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 30, 2018, 04:38:12 PM
Exactly; species bottlenecks and broken ecosystem connections.

And now that we've decimated the vertebrates we're starting to eyeball the invertebrates.

Cephalopods could become an important food source in the global community (https://phys.org/news/2018-10-cephalopods-important-food-source-global.html)

Quote
Among chefs and researchers in gastronomy, there is a growing interest in exploring local waters in order to use resources in a more diverse and sustainable manner, including using the cephalopod population as a counterweight to the dwindling fishing of bonefish, as well as an interest in finding new sources of protein that can replace meat from land animals.

"We know that wild fish stocks are threatened and we are finding it difficult to establish new aquaculture because of problems with pollution. At the same time, the global cephalopod population (including squid, octopus and cuttlefish) is growing, which is why we have investigated whether there may be grounds for getting people to eat cephalopods in those parts of the world where there is no widespread tradition for it," says Professor Ole G. Mouritsen from the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH FOOD) in Denmark.

One of the reasons given against eating cephalopods : Some cephalopods (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalopod_intelligence) are supposed to be intelligent creatures (https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/so-you-think-youre-smarter-cephalopod)

What goes unsaid in this article is the reason the global cephalopod population is growing is because we've killed off all their predators.

What's next? Jellyfish (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jellyfish_as_food)?

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Jellyfish_sesame_oil_and_chili_sauce.jpg/220px-Jellyfish_sesame_oil_and_chili_sauce.jpg)
Jellyfish prepared with sesame oil and chili sauce

or maybe ...

(https://images.complex.com/complex/images/c_limit,w_680/fl_lossy,pg_1,q_auto/hvhiomvdtmt4xw8kvsmm/non-sequitur)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 30, 2018, 06:11:38 PM
What is worst, when compared against prior WWF Living Planet reports, the rate of biodiversity loss is accelerating.

We don't have another 40 years

No. Combined with the dramatic loss of insects, we are totally fucked.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren on October 30, 2018, 10:50:59 PM
When you fill up the planet with one species way above the carrying capacity, no wonder all the rest find themselves kicked out.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Human Habitat Index on October 31, 2018, 01:30:30 AM
In the near future, people will stop buying 30 year bonds.

That will be the moment.......
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: DrTskoul on October 31, 2018, 03:28:06 AM
In the near future, people will stop buying 30 year bonds.

That will be the moment.......

You mean members of the 0.1%? The 99.9% does not buy them now...nothing will change for them...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bluesky on November 12, 2018, 10:44:11 PM
"Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds"
Vojtěch Kubelka et al November 2018, Science

"No longer a safe haven
Many biological patterns have a latitudinal component. One long-recognized pattern is that predation rates are higher at lower latitudes. This may explain why many migratory birds travel thousands of miles from the tropics to the poles to breed. Looking across thousands of records, Kubelka et al. found that climate change seems to have altered this fundamental pattern. In shorebirds, at least, predation rates on nests are now higher in the Arctic than in the tropics."

Abstract:
"Ongoing climate change is thought to disrupt trophic relationships, with consequences for complex interspecific interactions, yet the effects of climate change on species interactions are poorly understood, and such effects have not been documented at a global scale. Using a single database of 38,191 nests from 237 populations, we found that shorebirds have experienced a worldwide increase in nest predation over the past 70 years. Historically, there existed a latitudinal gradient in nest predation, with the highest rates in the tropics; however, this pattern has been recently reversed in the Northern Hemisphere, most notably in the Arctic. This increased nest predation is consistent with climate-induced shifts in predator-prey relationships."


Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bluesky on November 12, 2018, 10:49:10 PM
"Compositional response of Amazon forests to climate change"
Adriane Esquivel‐Muelber et al
Global Change Biology November 2018

Abstract
"Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate‐induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of intact lowland Amazonian forests have been changing by evaluating records from 106 long‐term inventory plots spanning 30 years. We analyse three traits that have been hypothesized to respond to different environmental drivers (increase in moisture stress and atmospheric CO2 concentrations): maximum tree size, biogeographic water‐deficit affiliation and wood density. Tree communities have become increasingly dominated by large‐statured taxa, but to date there has been no detectable change in mean wood density or water deficit affiliation at the community level, despite most forest plots having experienced an intensification of the dry season. However, among newly recruited trees, dry‐affiliated genera have become more abundant, while the mortality of wet‐affiliated genera has increased in those plots where the dry season has intensified most. Thus, a slow shift to a more dry‐affiliated Amazonia is underway, with changes in compositional dynamics (recruits and mortality) consistent with climate‐change drivers, but yet to significantly impact whole‐community composition. The Amazon observational record suggests that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is driving a shift within tree communities to large‐statured species and that climate changes to date will impact forest composition, but long generation times of tropical trees mean that biodiversity change is lagging behind climate change. "


full article
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.14413


Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on November 18, 2018, 11:48:30 AM
That extinction symbol I posted about a while ago has become a lot more visible recently thanks to the Extinction Rebellion (https://xrebellion.org/) (UK site here (https://rebellion.earth/)) which has grown rapidly over the past few weeks.

Yesterday 5 major bridges in central London were all blocked simultaneously with around 100 arrests (see my photos), and of course the wonderful Greta Thunberg in Stockholm:

https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1063777869053247489
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Red on November 26, 2018, 11:27:20 AM
While this beast of a model is probably one of the most ecologically realistic, global-scale networks yet built, it is still of course a gross simplification of how life interacts on the planet. That said, the structure allowed us to address the very question posed to us in the rejection letter of our first comment — how much do co-extinctions play a role in global extinction rates?
                                                             
                                                                       [snip]

The results were striking. While expected, we didn’t really think the global warming scenario would be so bad; but extinction rates including co-extinctions were up to over ten times higher than those based only on exceeding heat tolerances. In the planetary cooling trajectory, however, the median bias was ‘only’ about twice as high. This difference arose because plants tend to drop out faster in the warming trajectory, thus leading to many more extinctions up the food web from herbivores to carnivores.

https://conservationbytes.com/2018/11/25/global-warming-causes-the-worst-kind-of-extinction-domino-effect/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 09, 2018, 03:27:00 PM
Quote
The world’s seabirds are being pushed to the brink of extinction by the fishing industry which is competing with them for food, a new study has warned.

Populations have dropped by up to 70 per cent since the middle of the 20th century, experts said.


https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/seabirds-decline-population-fishing-industry-pollution-climate-change-birds-puffins-a8670736.html?fbclid=IwAR24zLjsrjlVPxdgCsDYZ4KtMdkQW7kXzDqfzwacpVBAeIhkFr4JoIn95Ew
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wdmn on December 10, 2018, 12:20:22 AM
Quote
The world’s seabirds are being pushed to the brink of extinction by the fishing industry which is competing with them for food, a new study has warned.

Populations have dropped by up to 70 per cent since the middle of the 20th century, experts said.


https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/seabirds-decline-population-fishing-industry-pollution-climate-change-birds-puffins-a8670736.html?fbclid=IwAR24zLjsrjlVPxdgCsDYZ4KtMdkQW7kXzDqfzwacpVBAeIhkFr4JoIn95Ew

Nearly half of the world's fishing fleet is comprised of Chinese vessels: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-30/china-super-trawlers-overfishing-world-oceans/10317394

Quote
The Chinese government has given $28 billion in subsidies over the last four years to its fishing fleet....

China's super trawlers are targeting the seas in North West Pacific, South America and Western Africa.

Not only are they destroying fish stocks, but they are also wiping out poorer subsistent communities...

There is little awareness of sustainability in China's public and conservationists say education campaigns are desperately needed.

Human overpopulation is an assault on every component of the earth's systems.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 10, 2018, 07:31:38 AM
That extinction symbol I posted about a while ago has become a lot more visible recently thanks to the Extinction Rebellion (https://xrebellion.org/) (UK site here (https://rebellion.earth/)) which has grown rapidly over the past few weeks.

Yesterday 5 major bridges in central London were all blocked simultaneously with around 100 arrests (see my photos), and of course the wonderful Greta Thunberg in Stockholm:

https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1063777869053247489

Of course, those people still believe something can be done to stop it, but they are waking up to what's coming at them like a freight train.

That is unfortunate.  Better they had remained oblivious until it was over, since there is nothing that can be done.  Now they have to face the end awake with all the grief they have not had the opportunity to process.

These people are demanding that those who would have remained blissfully ignorant wake up, when all it will do is subject them to grief and sorrow before the end.  These people need to get a clue that it's over and leave the blissfully ignorant alone, instead of ruining what's left of their lives.

All they are accomplishing by demanding others wake up, is accelerating the end of civilization.

Wouldn't you rather have food in the stores as long as possible? Water coming out of your tap as long as possible?

They are just accelerating the time when that will end.

Do you have a solution?  No you don't.  None of you do.  You are all just hoping that, if you can wake everybody up, somehow, someway, ... that will fix it.

Well it won't.  It will just bring an end to the deliveries of all the necessities of life to your communities that much quicker.  And how many of you are prepared for that?

 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 12, 2018, 07:12:50 PM
and of course the wonderful Greta Thunberg in Stockholm:

Here's an interview with her and Kevin Anderson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19aiK__yo0k
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 13, 2018, 11:28:39 AM
@Cid_Yama

" These people are demanding that those who would have remained blissfully ignorant wake up, when all it will do is subject them to grief and sorrow before the end.  These people need to get a clue that it's over and leave the blissfully ignorant alone, instead of ruining what's left of their lives.

All they are accomplishing by demanding others wake up, is accelerating the end of civilization."

If this holds true, then what's the purpose of this forum? I mean, it's an open frorum, so everyone can read it and therefore wake up instantly. I'm extremely happy to have woken up decades ago and therefore did not procreate and avoided to believe in endless consumption, I lived my own life away from the usual propaganda of capitalism. Other than that I've learned a lot about the political system we live in, extremely interesting things. I think the fossil fuel industry would love your comment. Sure, we all die one way or another rather quickly, but I never wanted to go ignorant into the good night. Quote:

"... blissfully ignorant..."

(War is peace, freedom is slavery), ignorance is bliss? Sounds somewhat familiar. Btw, your signature says quite the opposite:

"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Reallybigbunny on December 14, 2018, 12:26:24 AM
Where did the sharks go?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/14/queensland-shark-numbers-down-by-90-per-cent-in-55-years-for-some-species
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 14, 2018, 12:54:11 AM
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49574/i-wanted-to-overthrow-the-government-but-all-i-brought-down-was-somebodys-wife
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 14, 2018, 01:13:45 AM
There's no need to overthrow the government (Empire) as it will fall by it's very own hand.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 14, 2018, 12:31:37 PM
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49574/i-wanted-to-overthrow-the-government-but-all-i-brought-down-was-somebodys-wife

Haha, awesome. Had to think of Bukowski last Sunday, because there's a local singer here with the same last name, and I saw a placard, while driving through a village.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat on December 14, 2018, 01:15:37 PM
I've had the odd thought a few times that this thread would be better named as The Anthropocene Extinction.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 14, 2018, 01:43:02 PM
Nemesis,

There is a difference.  By being here, you DECIDED you wanted to know, you made a choice. 

Forcing those that did not make that choice merely disillusions those that would otherwise be about the business of keeping everything going.

Forcing others to see will not fix anything, and will be detrimental to the systems necessary to maintain the supply of necessities to keep everyone fed and warm and clothed for as long as possible.

I'm not in a hurry to trigger the collapse of all that.  It will come soon enough.     
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 14, 2018, 03:11:44 PM
@Cid_Yama

You know, I tried to force these "blissfully ignorant" kind of people for decades, because I grew up in the streets, in the basement of capitalism and therefore had to suffer all that systemic "blissful ignorance" all my life. I was succesful in one single case only, I only forced my nephew to realize the facts and he woke up. I failed in all other attempts. Now I'm sick and tired, I don't try to force anyone anymore. BUT:

I got nothing to lose as I lived all my life trying to let go, no hoarding of funny money, no procreation, nothing. Therefore I can afford to be completely relaxed. But ever more people can't stay relaxed in the face of endless "blissfully ignorant" politics any longer, they got something to lose, foremost their resp their childrens future. So I got lot's of understanding for those who try to force these "blissfully ignorant", if I'd had anything to lose, I'd do exactly the same. Anyway, "blissful ignorance" will be anihilated as soon as these "blissfully ignorant" will be hit hard by some hurricane, extreme drought, flooding, water and food shortages, social unrest ect ect. And THEN chaos and anarchy will rule. "Blissful ignorance" ruled us for centuries, it's the main cause for the desaster we're in and it comes with a high price:

Extinction.

Sure, you and me, we profit from these "blissfully ignorant" for now. But it's a very double-edged profit, isn't it? Btw, I like your nickname :)

And Yama said:

" Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind.

The Hereafter never reveals Itself to a person devoid of discrimination, heedless and perplexed by the delusion of wealth. "This world alone exists", he thinks, "and there is no other." Again and again he comes under my sway." "

- Katha Upanishad
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 14, 2018, 04:51:53 PM
"Katha Upanishad"

My favorite one! Opens with a little boy persistently asking his dad difficult theological questions, to the point where is dad tells him to go to hell, so he does just that, and had a nice long philosophical discussion with the king of the underworld, Yama.

(By the way, one theory is that 'Yama' is the linguistic and mythological cousin of Old Norse Ymir, the giant hermaphroditic first creature in Norse creation myth.)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on December 14, 2018, 06:05:41 PM
Mountain Birds De­clin­ing in Europe; On 'Escalator to Extinction' as Planet Warms
https://phys.org/news/2018-12-mountain-birds-declining-europe.html

Quote
According to the new article, the abundance of European mountain birds has declined in line with climate change projections. The recently released study examined the population trends of 44 bird species in the 2000s in the mountain and fell regions of Fennoscandia, Great Britain, the Alps and the Iberian Peninsula. A decline was seen in 14 of the observed species, while eight of them saw significant increase.

"On average, population decline among the species studied was 7 percent over the 13-year research period, making the situation of mountain birds distinctly worse compared to, for example, European forest birds, whose numbers did not change during the same period," explains Aleksi Lehikoinen, an Academy of Finland research fellow at the Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus (part of the University of Helsinki), who headed the study.

The situation is the direst for species that only inhabit mountain regions and are unable to live in other European environments. For these species, known as mountain specialists, the numbers dwindled by as much as 10 percent during the monitoring period.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Nature/Bird-Watching/i-73pH2rw/0/63aa87bd/S/_M3_5711-S.jpg)

Open Access: Aleksi Lehikoinen et al, Declining population trends of European mountain birds (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.14522), Global Change Biology (2018)
------------
Quote
Surveys of more than 400 species of birds on a mountainside in Peru in 1985 and then in 2017 have found that populations of almost all had declined, as many as eight had disappeared completely, and nearly all had moved to higher elevations in what scientists call "an escalator to extinction."

"Once you move up as far as you can go, there's nowhere else left," said John W. Fitzpatrick, a study author and director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. "On this particular mountain, some ridgetop bird populations were literally wiped out."

Benjamin G. Freeman el al., "Climate change causes upslope shifts and mountaintop extirpations in a tropical bird community (https://www.pnas.org/content/115/47/11982)," PNAS (2018).
Quote
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cartoonistgroup.com%2Fproperties%2Fpett%2Fart_images%2Fcg54e2bc493bdd1.jpg&hash=b9ce10db739db2555f272e1d6e185e05)

(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/09/82/1f/09821f28e5d17cd7838e04d327137510.jpg)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: magnamentis on December 14, 2018, 11:45:45 PM
There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see

and then there are those who try to omit what they see because it's not for their own benefits and who fight everything and everyone who wants to show to more people what they see, as opposed to those who want to show to as many others as possible what they see or help them open their eyes.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 15, 2018, 12:38:25 AM

Forcing others to see will not fix anything, and will be detrimental to the systems necessary to maintain the supply of necessities to keep everyone fed and warm and clothed for as long as possible.

I'm not in a hurry to trigger the collapse of all that.  It will come soon enough.   

I'd put it a little differently.  Truth is, when civilization goes to hell in a handbasket, there will be no shortage of folks who say:

"Why didn't the people who saw this coming warn us?"
   "We tried, we were shouted down by deniers."
"What do you mean?  The rest of us should have been informed! 
You should have shouted them down!"
   "We figured you didn't want to know, and understanding the
   approaching doom would have ruined your happiness,
   in the time you had left."
"You should have let *us* decide how to handle the knowledge."

So I see it as a matter of rights, of respect for autonomy.  Understanding the potential doom might be destructive to individual happiness, to functioning of society, but people have a right to the truth, in my view.

Still, people who decide "if it's that bad, I don't *want* to know" should also have their choice respected.  The golden mean may be in correcting all the public bullshit of the deniers, but not push the undecided too hard.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 03:01:21 AM
@wili

My favorite Upanishad as well :) Interesting bit there about Yama and Ymir.

@Cid_Xama

Excellent quotes there. Yama resp Death teached me a lot, he visited me in my dreams when I was a little child: He appeared as a black silhouette at the doorstep, waving his arm, saying "Come to work" with a quite demanding voice. But most of the time Yama teaches through complete silence :) I trust in Yama, he is within myself, he became part of myself, he always were part of myself. In fact, Death is part of ourselves, Death is part of Life itself:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Picture_puzzle.jpg)

@SteveMDFP

I appreciate your comment.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 03:21:54 AM
and then there are those who try to omit what they see because it's not for their own benefits and who fight everything and everyone who wants to show to more people what they see, as opposed to those who want to show to as many others as possible what they see or help them open their eyes.

It's not like there isn't an abundance of opportunities to know, if you want to know.  You almost have to engage in brain pretzeling, not to know.

So you can stop with the bringer of truth to those deprived of the knowledge.

Sounds like there are those more interested in vengeance, and recruiting others to that cause.

To those in that camp, without the engines of civilization, the civilization you enjoy, would never have existed.  The planet would never have been able to sustain a population greater than about a billion, and most of you would never have existed.

The acceleration of GHGs began with the advent of agriculture and water management.  We left the track of following the normal glacial cycle thousands of years ago.  The extinction will result from geological processes that started thousands of years ago.

We only recognized this after the turn of this century.  Way too late to do anything about it.

There is not a person alive today responsible. 

It's not fair, but sometimes, what is, just is.

     
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 03:28:35 AM
@Cid_Yama

" There is not a person alive today responsible."

I leave that to Iustitia. Anyway, nobody might be responsible, but some got a lot to lose.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 03:47:48 AM
We ALL will lose everything.  Job one is now keeping it all going as long as possible, keeping the wolves at bay.

There will be no justice.  Only the end of civilization, and a massive die-off, when our efforts fail.

 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 03:56:39 AM
Yama is the deity of justice, there will be death, there will be justice.

We ALL lose everything all the time (see "Blüthe und Verwesung" above), we live and die all the time, it's a zero-sum situation altogether, Sunyata. But don't try to tell that the orange man.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wdmn on December 15, 2018, 04:08:06 AM
https://youtu.be/tKoGQpEkpO0
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 10:31:21 AM
Yama is the deity of justice, there will be death, there will be justice.

It's like you thought you woke up, but are still dreaming.

If you think a massive die-off is justice, see a therapist.  It's what happens to a species when they overshoot available resources, or, in this case, when the resources stop coming.

 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 02:16:24 PM
@Cid_Yama

" If you think a massive die-off is justice, see a therapist."

Ouch, maybe you better read what I said more carefully as I never said shit like that. Your nickname is "Cid_Yama", you talk about Yama so you should know that Yama is the deity of justice, just like Nemesis. You should also have heard about Karma, the law of Karma/Vipaka is justice, not worldly justice in the first place, but cosmic justice.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 02:30:17 PM
Like I said, Yama, the deity of Death is also the deity of Justice:

" Yama is the deity of justice in Hinduism."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yama_(Hinduism)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 15, 2018, 03:23:28 PM

 

Just a note to say that I really really liked that reply. There's a lot in it. Really worth reading several times imho.

Not worth the effort to read it once.

We have at our disposal, the knowledge, the technology and the resources to avoid the worst of the catastrophe that is rapidly approaching. What we lack is the political will.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on December 15, 2018, 03:56:41 PM
Hi Cid,

I know what you're saying, but I disagree (mostly). How can we know exactly how bad things will get, or how much of a difference can be made?

Your argument works if we are 100% sure of complete and total disaster, I mean like zero humans left, scorched earth type of thing. I don't think we are in that situation (although don't get me wrong, I'm very sure that there is a hell of sorts approaching). What we know for sure is that changing nothing guarantees disaster. Trying to change things might help a bit. It might not, but it might. It won't save everybody, but it might save some.

The truth is coming whether people like it or not - to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

There's maybe a stronger argument to be made that having civilization burn out faster is better in the long run, but actually I'm not convinced by that either. Since the ideal result for me would be a new and non-destructive civilization rising out of the ashes; and the sooner the collapse, the less thought has gone into how that might happen.

Anyway, for me the main point is that we don't know exactly how any of this is going to play out. We can see something terrifying approaching, but we don't know what's on the other side.

Finally though I want to reiterate that I think I do understand your line of thinking, and certainly there's an extent to which blind optimism or hope is totally unrealistic (not that hope has to be realistic, in my view).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Wherestheice on December 15, 2018, 08:09:58 PM
Hi Cid,

I know what you're saying, but I disagree (mostly). How can we know exactly how bad things will get, or how much of a difference can be made?

Your argument works if we are 100% sure of complete and total disaster, I mean like zero humans left, scorched earth type of thing. I don't think we are in that situation (although don't get me wrong, I'm very sure that there is a hell of sorts approaching). What we know for sure is that changing nothing guarantees disaster. Trying to change things might help a bit. It might not, but it might. It won't save everybody, but it might save some.

The truth is coming whether people like it or not - to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

There's maybe a stronger argument to be made that having civilization burn out faster is better in the long run, but actually I'm not convinced by that either. Since the ideal result for me would be a new and non-destructive civilization rising out of the ashes; and the sooner the collapse, the less thought has gone into how that might happen.

Anyway, for me the main point is that we don't know exactly how any of this is going to play out. We can see something terrifying approaching, but we don't know what's on the other side.

Finally though I want to reiterate that I think I do understand your line of thinking, and certainly there's an extent to which blind optimism or hope is totally unrealistic (not that hope has to be realistic, in my view).

The simple fact is. Humans can’t live on a dead planet. And the amount of species that will go extinct in the future and the fact that human animals will lose habitat is everything. Keeping civilization going will make matters worse.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 08:25:55 PM
Quote
Keeping civilization going will make matters worse.

But stoping civ from going will make matters worse too. It's not like civ against Nature, civ is part of Nature, there's nothing but Nature. Btw, how do you want to end civ? There's no way to end civ, there' only some chance to change civ for better.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 15, 2018, 08:47:58 PM
The problem is that this is not the narrative that civ has told itself. It has placed itself always as against and other than nature. If you just say that nature = everything, then don't bother with the word nature.

But the words 'nature' and 'civilization' both have histories, histories that have very extreme consequences.

But yes, ideally we would be able to re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature. That works constantly to live within its bounds, that could truly be sustainable over the very long term. But that would be a very, very different civilization than the one we have and than the one most here seem to be imagining.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 08:59:48 PM
@wili

I second everything you just said. That departure from Nature got a lot to do with christian history, materialist/physicalist science combined with modern technology and materialist economy.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 09:15:08 PM
Quote
It's what happens to a species when they overshoot available resources, or, in this case, when the resources stop coming.

You want the truth, there it is in spades.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 15, 2018, 09:15:40 PM
Yes, those and many more.

The biggest proximate cause is the 'discovery' of fossil-death-fuels, which put all the worst propensities already inherent in pre-industrial* culture into hyperdrive. (Asterisk, because there were many elements of industrial society in place before coal and then oil and gas super-charged them.)

I have a friend who thinks we were doomed once we learned to reliably control fire. I would like to think there were some at least small scale cultures (post control of fire) that were essentially sustainable. But control of fire certainly set the stage for cultures thinking...if we can control this very power aspect of nature, maybe we can control others...

(We also may not be the only animal that has learned to use fire to our benefit, though we have tamed and domesticated it like no other, as far as I can see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJQh22sCTZI )
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 15, 2018, 09:33:59 PM
Re: " re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature"

As usual, Wendell Berry has put it well here:

"It is a sort of betrayal, then, that our version of domestication has imposed ruination, not only upon “wilderness,” as we are inclined to think, but upon the natural or given world, the basis of our economy, our health, in short our existence."

" the conventional perspective of wild and domestic will be reversed: we, the industrial consumers of the world, are the wild ones, unrestrained and out of control, self-excluded from the world’s natural homemaking and living at home."

"they falsely and impossibly consign Nature to the “wilderness areas,” forgetting that all the world is hers"

Wendell Berry is a treasure. Read the whole thing at

https://orionmagazine.org/article/wild-and-domestic/

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wdmn on December 15, 2018, 10:33:49 PM
@wili

I second everything you just said. That departure from Nature got a lot to do with christian history, materialist/physicalist science combined with modern technology and materialist economy.

And @ sidd

Give a wo/man a chance to rest and s/he'll almost always take it. I have no patience for this holistic moralizing. Civilizations have overshot many times before, and it had nothing to do with christianity or materialism, just as it has nothing to do with either when a population of ungulates on a predator free island overshoot.

The idea that we lost some sort of holistic harmonious state of being in the world is bullshit. If it weren't for the agricultural revolution which added co2 to the atmosphere (and which lead to desertification), it's quite possible we would have started spiralling into a snowball earth in the 13th century.

If we insist on depicting "nature" -- whatever it is we mean by that -- as a mother, she's one genocidal mother who has murdered off very large portions of her children several times in the past.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 10:44:01 PM
@wili

" Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of control of fire by a member of Homo range from 1.7 to 0.2 million years ago..."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans

If the real problems began that early, then the problems began without human conscious intentions, people back then could never have foreseen any implications leading to the global desaster we see today. Is the desaster we see today really some unconscious, innocent accident dating back 1.7 to 0.2 million years ago? What about the crimes of multinational corporations, the oil industry ect ect? They did (and still do) these crimes consciously, willingly for sheer funny money...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 10:55:55 PM
Quote
It's what happens to a species when they overshoot available resources, or, in this case, when the resources stop coming.

You want the truth, there it is in spades.

Let me put this another way.  In the words of Hal Moore, "If the choppers stop coming, we all get slaughtered."

Never was this more true for the civilian population.  When the resources stop coming, it's all over.

I understand, Intellectualization is a defense mechanism.  It keeps your mind away from 'where the metal meets the meat.'
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 10:59:15 PM
@Cid_Yama

What's your opinion on this one:

" And Yama said:

" Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind.

The Hereafter never reveals Itself to a person devoid of discrimination, heedless and perplexed by the delusion of wealth. "This world alone exists", he thinks, "and there is no other." Again and again he comes under my sway." "

- Katha Upanishad
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 15, 2018, 11:03:06 PM
I rest my case.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 11:08:32 PM
" Some of these souls enter into the womb, in order to embody again into organic beings,
others assemble unto what is Sthānu (immovable things),
according to their karma, according to their shrutam (श्रुतम्, knowledge, learning)."

— Katha Upanishad, 2.5.7
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 15, 2018, 11:44:38 PM
Follow up to wili's comment about the Fire:

The Fire in itself is neutral, neither good nor bad in itself, the outcome of it's usage solely depends on it's usage. You can warm up yourself at a fire and you can burn down the planet too, it depends on it's usage.

Fire is life, fire is death, fire is light, fire is hell, it depends on it's usage. There isn't any place nor time where fire wouldn't be present, fire is omnipresent, it's within the atom, it's within our body, it enlightens our mind or it destroys our mind, depending on it's usage. Fire is everywhere, everytime, even in ashes there is still fire, cosmic fire.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 16, 2018, 12:02:49 AM

Fire is life, fire is death, fire is light, fire is hell, it depends on it's usage. There isn't any place nor time where fire wouldn't be present, fire is omnipresent . . .

Reminded me of some music.

We Didn't Start The Fire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p3DzUwxI0o (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p3DzUwxI0o)

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 16, 2018, 12:14:51 AM
Re: "If it weren't for the agricultural revolution which added co2 to the atmosphere (and which lead to desertification), it's quite possible we would have started spiralling into a snowball earth in the 13th century."

Snowball earth hasn't happened in a few billion years. Even Ruddiman doesn't go that far, his strongest claim is that the next glaciation should have begun then. Perhaps you have a cite for the Snowball claim ?

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 12:30:29 AM
I like that song from Billy Joel, reminds me of another one:

https://youtu.be/OlfblmgOaYE (https://youtu.be/OlfblmgOaYE)

" There is Agni (fire), the all-seeing, hidden in the two fire-sticks, well-guarded like a child (in the womb) by the mother, day after day to be adored by men when they awake and bring oblations. This is that."

" From terror of Brahman fire burns, from terror the sun burns, from terror Indra and Vâyu, and Death, as the fifth, run away.
If a man could not understand it before the falling asunder of his body, then he has to take body again in the worlds of creation."

- Katha Upanishad
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tor Bejnar on December 16, 2018, 03:49:46 AM
Quote
Snowball earth hasn't happened in a few billion years.
Plus or minus being a "true" snowball, the late Precambrian is sometimes considered to have hosted snowball Earth conditions about 650 million years ago - Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth).  A previous long-lived snowball earth happened 2.something billion (American billion) years ago.

Another one would doom human existence, but I don't expect the Holocene ever held any promise for such an extreme!
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wdmn on December 16, 2018, 06:33:52 AM
I maybe should not have used the term "snowball earth." My understanding of this is limited to what I read in the "Early Anthropocene" thread.

Quote from Jai Mitchell (reply #2 in that thread):

Quote
What the paper doesn't consider is that periodic volcanic eruptions in a world without Neolithic agriculture would have plunged into another ice age subsequent to the massive 1258 volcanic eruption.

after a decade of ice sheet accumulation and subsequent albedo increase, vast portions of north America would be made uninhabitable if methane was still 450ppb and CO2 was 245ppm.

http://www.wired.com/2012/02/the-mysterious-missing-eruption-of-1258-a-d/

in this view, then, the date of the anthropocene should be at least 1250, when we prevented this ice age driven negative feedback.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on December 16, 2018, 12:26:33 PM
The simple fact is. Humans can’t live on a dead planet. And the amount of species that will go extinct in the future and the fact that human animals will lose habitat is everything. Keeping civilization going will make matters worse.

But yes, ideally we would be able to re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature. That works constantly to live within its bounds, that could truly be sustainable over the very long term. But that would be a very, very different civilization than the one we have and than the one most here seem to be imagining.

I think my answer to your point WhereIsTheIce is the hope that we can make something like this part of Wili's reply. I don't doubt that civilisation as it exists now is completely unsustainable and is going to go away one way or another - but I hold out some hope that part of the process of it collapsing might either become a transformation into a better civilisation, or at least set the seeds for that to happen afterwards.

Rupert Read has done a very good talk about this; he too holds no illusions of false hope. He sees movements like Extinction Rebellion, if I understand him correctly, as a necessary attempt to try for the best outcome - even if it might not be likely to succeed. He does also advocate planning for failure as well - which is entirely wise. Deep green adaptation is a big focus of this talk:

n.b.This is not a happy and smiling talk; I don't know how to stop the forum previewing the video like this!

This Civilisation is Finished: So What is to be Done?
This Civilisation is Finished: So What is to be Done? (https://youtu.be/uzCxFPzdO0Y)

So yes, I wouldn't say I expect efforts to transform our current disaster of a civ into a nature-compatible one will be successful, but its about the only hope there is of avoiding complete (human) catastrophe and maybe that's worth a try. Perhaps it is only postponing the inevitable, but it might lay the groundwork for the future. Perhaps it will cause more devastation by prolonging a broken model. Or, on the other hand perhaps it will save us from our doom.

Who knows. Best to try, hey? Humans are complicated beasts; we don't have to live in the destructive way so many of us do now.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 01:37:43 PM
Meanwhile the money/tech elite is in panic mode, surprise, surprise, their only hope is to escape into some beautiful luxury bunker or to cosy Mars:

" How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

... For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape...

It’s a reduction of human evolution to a video game that someone wins by finding the escape hatch and then letting a few of his BFFs come along for the ride. Will it be Musk, Bezos, Thiel … Zuckerberg? These billionaires are the presumptive winners of the digital economy – the same survival-of-the-fittest business landscape that’s fueling most of this speculation to begin with...

Thus, we get tech billionaires launching electric cars into space – as if this symbolizes something more than one billionaire’s capacity for corporate promotion. And if a few people do reach escape velocity and somehow survive in a bubble on Mars – despite our inability to maintain such a bubble even here on Earth in either of two multibillion-dollar biosphere trials – the result will be less a continuation of the human diaspora than a lifeboat for the elite."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity

What a Wonderful World  :)

https://youtu.be/OtsXjHk2ZsI (https://youtu.be/OtsXjHk2ZsI)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2018, 04:05:35 PM
I posted this on the Food thread but thought I would repost here in response to all of those here who say there is nothing we can do.

Anyone who knows me here is aware that I have a fascination for data. This springs from my 30 year career in manufacturing where everything is measured and these data are then used to identify the source of a problem and implement practical solutions. The more effective you are at drilling down into the data, the closer you can get to identifying root cause and when you eliminate a root cause, you discover that you can improve multiple problems simultaneously.

This approach can be remarkably simple and clear as the data reveals itself. Fortunately, there is no lack of data that can be used to identify problems and root causes and fashion solutions. Here are some data that serves to reveal a solution.


•   50% of the world's habitable land has been converted to agriculture.
•   33% of agricultural land worldwide is used solely for livestock feed production.
•   Agriculture is responsible for a staggering 80 percent of deforestation.
•   Worldwide, forests serve as the habitat for over 80 percent of the world’s animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/livestock-feed-and-habitat-destruction/

•   60% of land dedicated to agriculture is used for grazing.
•   In total, 93% of agricultural land or 47% of all habitable land is dedicated to raising livestock.


http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5304e/x5304e03.htm


•   31% or 9.9 billion acres of the earth's's land surface are covered by forest.
•   4.7 billion acres have been lost since the advent of industrialization.
•   18 million acres of forest are lost worldwide each year.

http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C56/forests_2012


•   Our current industrial agricultural model is heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2005-04-01/why-our-food-so-dependent-oil/


•   People in the developing world eat 32 kilograms of meat a year on average.
•   People in the industrial world eat 80 kilograms.
•   Livestock account for an estimated 18 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, producing 40 percent of the world’s methane and 65 percent of the world’s nitrous oxide.
•   An estimated 11 percent of deaths in men and 16 percent of deaths in women could be prevented if people decreased their red meat consumption to the level of the group that ate the least.

This data, easily accessible on the internet, highlights the health crisis that is meat production and consumption. It also vividly drives home the concept of root cause as meat consumption affects the health of our forests, most species, the overall health of the planet and, finally, human health.

If someone were to approach you today and tell you that you could dramatically impact the existential crisis that is climate change by adopting a few simple practices in your kitchen, what would you say or do?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 05:01:51 PM
There's truly a lot to do. To begin with personal responsibility:

I don't drive a car for 30 years (no, not even electric, I love my bike), I don't fly, I stay away from overconsumption (the less I consume, the more I am free), no extra consumption around funny christmas and shit ect ect. We just need to tell all the solutions the funny elite (who got the biggest eco-footprint by far) as well ;)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 16, 2018, 05:19:15 PM

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products. These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.  And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.  Similarly, you can not solve the fossil fuel problem by simply asking people to drive less. Nor can you solve the suburban housing problem by asking people to live in apartments.  The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us. And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

The pistachio wars are a perfect case study
https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/12/04/pistachio-wars-how-the-resnicks-snack-food-fortune-is-fueling-the-assault-on-iran/

A billionaire, who has far more wealth than he needs or will ever need, is sucking California dry by growing cash crops harvested by poor workers in appalling conditions. Not only that, he is literally calling for armed warfare against his main competitor. Excuse my pun, but this is capitalism in a nutshell. Environmental destruction, labour abuse, imperialism. The pistachio wars have nothing to do with personal responsibility of consumers. It has everything to do with greed and power of the wealthy. This is the root problem. This is capitalism.

And when I said surgically removing, I mean you must remove it completely. You do not call it quits when you’ve only removed 60% of a tumour, nor do you stop taking antibiotics when you’re still oozing puss.  You must completely destroy it or else it will come back stronger and faster.

This is one of the biggest issues with dealing with climate change, is that most people can’t make the final hurdle of identifying the actual problem. Everything else is delaying the inevitable. 

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 05:59:52 PM
@zizek

You nailed it perfectly. The endless ignorance and greed of a global minority is the root cause of the mess we face.

" The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us. And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism."

Oh how I love your suggestion :) Question is:

HOW could they be removed? I got some kitchen knife and a broomstick, but that's not enough force to remove any of em I guess...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 16, 2018, 06:20:41 PM
with a few extra broomsticks and a little creativity you got yourself a guillotine.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 06:33:35 PM
I see^^ Who shall I behead first? Trump? Putin? Warren Buffet? The Koch suckerz? "grabbing popcorn"...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 06:35:23 PM
Some lovely song comes to my mind...

https://youtu.be/1pMVfpKBuyI (https://youtu.be/1pMVfpKBuyI)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 16, 2018, 07:08:20 PM
The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself.

What needs to be done first, is putting a cap on how much an individual can own. The system then has the chance to change accordingly.

A guillotine will get you nowhere, only back to square one of the vicious cycle (concentrated wealth doesn't care, rich people can be replaced). But I understand the sentiment.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 07:27:13 PM
@Neven

Don't worry, I will not behead Trump, Putin, The Kochs et al, as they will behaed themselves rather quickly I bet :)

" The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself."

The rich might not be the problem, but their strategy might be a problem:

" How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

... For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape..."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity

Doesn't sound like they are trying to "change the system accordingly", does it?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 16, 2018, 07:53:38 PM
The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself.

What needs to be done first, is putting a cap on how much an individual can own. The system then has the chance to change accordingly.

A guillotine will get you nowhere, only back to square one of the vicious cycle (concentrated wealth doesn't care, rich people can be replaced). But I understand the sentiment.

You're suggesting the impossible though. Here are some of the many obstacles you have to overcome:

1) Get widespread public support. This is the easiest part. But it's still monumentally difficult since the ideology of capitalism has poisoned most of the western world. People continue to vote for people like Trump when it's clearly against their best interests. These people would gag at the idea of a wealth cap (this includes centrists like the Democrats).

2) Get politicians on board. Either convince existing ones or voting in new ones. During this electoral process the rich and their supporting institutions (which includes politics itself) are going to react. Lobbying, media, threats, violence, are all powerful tools the rich currently control, and will use them with great effectiveness against any threats to their position in society.

3) Enforce a wealth cap, worldwide. The financial system has been completely globalized. A wealth cap doesn't mean anything when you can just move wealth to wherever you please, especially with the banks helping you along the way.


A wealth cap or something similar would require a widespread transformation in our society, and such a transformation would likely be the result of revolutionary action. If we are in such a stage of society, why settle for so little? why not just go directly for the system that caused this concentration of wealth in the first place? Because once again, you're trying to solve a symptom, not the problem.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 16, 2018, 08:15:41 PM
I just don't understand it. Whenever I'm talking to environmentalists, activists, and climate change scientists, they always call for bold and transformative action.  I just don't think they understand what it means to be "bold". I'm not convinced that a carbon tax or tax incentives are what I would call "bold". It sounds like trying to tackle climate change without rocking the boat. I think cowardly is a better term for it.

We're facing an extinction. Why can't we be creative and start talking about a radically different world? And I'm not going to deny that capitalism may be too resilient to ultimately defeat. But we need to start exposing its contradictions, its exploitation, and its destructive properties. It's incredibly difficult to do that when you're still endorsing the system by promoting half-measures like wealth caps and carbon taxes.

It's time we try something else.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 16, 2018, 09:00:30 PM
Zizek, I can sit here on my couch and write about foraging, or farming and suggest difficulty and hard labor as at least a minimum for our just desserts. Hard work, every day till you run out of energy. You will get old like me someday. We want many things but almost universal is some desire for ease, comfort, warmth . Ultimately we burned the oil for an easy life. Change that desire for ease( a free lunch ) and you can save the rest of the life on this planet. Simple. At least I talked myself into going outside for awhile.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 16, 2018, 09:42:28 PM
I just don't think they understand what it means to be "bold". I'm not convinced that a carbon tax or tax incentives are what I would call "bold".

It all depends on the specifics.  Suppose with a carbon tax, it cost $1000 to fill the tank of an ICE vehicle, but only $10 to charge an EV?

Suppose agricultural land were subject to a steep property tax if it were being used to feed livestock?

While implementing such measures requires political will and courage, far more will and courage would be needed to end capitalism, or institute a wealth cap, or other proposed prerequisites for the necessary widespread societal change.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 10:04:27 PM
@zizek

Maybe it's not so much about changing the system, but more about changing oneself? Capitalism looks really quite like Samsara, driven by craving, hatred and ignorance, doesn't it? Just go meditating at the boneyard, the final goal for every single one of us, no matter what. Or meditate some years or decades into the climate future and you know what I'm talking about. There's no way to change the root of Samsara nor to get rid of it in total outside of yourself, there is only a chance to change oneself within resp liberate oneself from craving, hatred and ignorance, wich are the root causes of suffering. The rich are chained to craving, hatred and ignorance and they seem to enjoy Samsara for short term profit and high cost material pleasures, so... :)

" Lobbying, media, threats, violence, are all powerful tools the rich currently control, and will use them with great effectiveness against any threats to their position in society."

You name it. Therefore they will beat down any revolutionary activities, no matter what the cost may be as they are in deep fear about losing their samsaric privileges. I don't see any chance to change that, so I concentrate on my own liberation while teaching very few people around me about the overall situation. The rich don't want to be teached, they don't want to be saved, they prefer Samsara, craving, hatred, ignorance. You can't force anyone to be saved from that.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat on December 16, 2018, 10:20:50 PM
It's late, some incoherent thoughts ..........

Those of you who are familiar with Isaac Asimov's "Foundation and Empire" series of books will already know the direction I am heading in..

In the books, the social scientist Hari Seldon believes that the Galactic Empire is doomed to collapse and that cannot be stopped. But he also believes that hidden (in his books) social engineering can reduce the period of that collapse so a new, better and democratically inclined "Empire 2.0" can emerge.

Applying that to humankind and our damaged biosphere today, one can see the inevitability of the societal collapse that is on the horizon and rapidly approaching. In the sense that it is used even by the UN, there is no such thing as "sustainable economic growth" (see quote below), and no such thing as "sustainable finance" ( a fairly new growth industry being exploited by Cambridge and Oxford Universities, amongst others) . (I've just made myself unemployable again). 

For me, the question is whether enough remnants will remain to allow civilisation to survive and adapt and avoid a long period of decline and decay of our species. The phrase "adapt or die" comes to mind. Or maybe homo sapiens will lose the sapiens bit and in a few million years a different intelligent life form may emerge.. 

For any chance of a less painful transition, efforts to develop renewable energy, farming systems that enhance soil fertility and efforts to limit the damage to the web of life must continue. Perhaps most important of all is the preservation and pursuit of knowledge. The Trump Administration's efforts to wipe climate knowledge from the Government websites is really scary. To give up is to invite collective suicide, differently from that of the Trumps of this world merely in method.

The scientific community has always had those who wonder if our knowledge-based technical society will survive. In the search for extra-terrestrial life some have said it may be a waste of time, as maybe all intelligent life wherever it has emerged in the Universe is has within it its goodbye date. I have seen an estimate of 3? 5? million years date-stamped for our species inside our DNA. But 5 million years is a bit better than 50 years.

So every time an advance in renewable energy is made I raise a faint cheer. Every time another example of a community succeeding in implementing genuinely sustainable farming I raise another faint cheer.

Meanwhile, COP24 has been a bit of a damp squib. From the latest Guardian article:-
Quote
Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank chief economist and author of a seminal review of the economics of climate change, said: “It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate, given the scale and urgency of the risks we face. The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising. A much more attractive, clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction is in our hands.”

Sustainable economic development rules, OK?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/16/un-climate-accord-inadequate-and-lacks-urgency-experts-warn
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 16, 2018, 10:30:16 PM
Follow up to my recent comment:

Just try to hold your breath for three funny minutes, feel the burning craving, the terror of the infinitely burning Fire for just one breath:

After just 1 - 2 minutes you are willing to give all your money, all your wealth (if you have any), your house, yacht, private jet, maybe even your wife and children for JUST ONE BREATH. And when you got that single breath, you must get rid of it after a little, little while, you must breathe out again and on and on until you end up on the boneyard, just like everyone of us.

Add the hurting pain being chained to hunger, thirst ect ect all your life and you know what I'm talking about. Samsara is terror, sometimes like cosy, comfortable terror in some costly private jet, clothed in silk, owning billions of funny money, until Yama cuts you down like a tiny, dry blade of gras just like the loser in the gutter you always felt sorry for- that's the mean thing about Samsara, it feels cosy if you are rich.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 16, 2018, 11:42:54 PM
sis and nev, here are at least two politicians who want to put a cap on wealth:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21114/maximum-wage-keith-ellison-jeremy-corbyn-income-ceo-pay
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2018, 11:59:32 PM

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products.


And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.

These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.

And so we choose to be willing dupes, allowing ourselves to be the cause of our own demise as if we do not freely choose to eat meat from factory farms. 

And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

Shoot every last one of them and destroy their businesses and someone will step up and take their place if the demand for such products persist. (See Columbia drug cartels)

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us.

No one is holding a gun to our heads insisting that we consume meat.

And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 17, 2018, 12:05:29 AM
sis and nev, here are at least two politicians who want to put a cap on wealth:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21114/maximum-wage-keith-ellison-jeremy-corbyn-income-ceo-pay

Thanks, wili. It's very rare to read such articles.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 17, 2018, 12:10:49 AM
Quote
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 12:18:39 AM
@Shared Humanity

" And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them."

Let me put that into some more specific context:

" Fossil fuels are the problem, say fossil fuel companies being sued

... The oil companies seem poised to argue that those who bought petro-products are just as responsible as those who sold them. And they will almost certainly argue that those suffering the ravages of climate change should try to fix things by passing laws rather than suing businesses. That’s a position even the most liberal members of the Supreme Court have held in the past."

https://grist.org/article/fossil-fuels-are-the-problem-say-fossil-fuel-companies-being-sued/

And now let's get even more specific:

https://smokeandfumes.org

The fossil fuel industry only supplied the people with what they wanted, but the people didn't want to be fucked from behind like described at https://smokeandfumes.org , right?

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-company-lawsuits-timeline-exxon-children-california-cities-attorney-general

Greta Thunberg et al, the children of the globe will not be satisfied with this I'm sure:

" And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.... You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism."
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 12:28:21 AM
Sure, everyone on planet Earth is part of Samsara, but not everyone is such an ignorant, greedy, criminal bastard like the fossil fuel industry resp the military-industrial complex. Just ask the children, ask Greta Thunberg and alike.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 17, 2018, 01:11:31 AM

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products.


And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.


These products are only profitable because the costs don't include negative externalities. Doesn't matter what it is, from food to cars to phones to air travel, the actual costs don't reflect the real costs. And that is by design, these companies know full well the damage their products do. So unless you're willing to educate every single person about the real costs on every single product in the hope that they'll voluntarily boycott, maybe it's time to think of a different model.

These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.

And so we choose to be willing dupes, allowing ourselves to be the cause of our own demise as if we do not freely choose to eat meat from factory farms. 

Have you ever met anybody? Like, I mean, have you ever gone out and interacted with people outside of your circle of friends and family? People don't go to the grocery store and analyze every single product they purchase. They buy the food and leave. And even if they wanted to make the ethical choice, it's pretty difficult. Where I live, factory farmed pork and beef is often cheaper than fresh produce. People here are poor as fuck, and they're going to buy food that tastes good and is cheap. Factory Farmed Meat.

And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

Shoot every last one of them and destroy their businesses and someone will step up and take their place if the demand for such products persist. (See Columbia drug cartels)
What is this? Can you not imagine an alternative to profit motivated agriculture. You cannot even fathom food that's grown and distributed by the state or cooperatives?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/28/organic-or-starve-can-cubas-new-farming-model-provide-food-security

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

Oh right. It's that simple.
How many people on this forum still eat meat? I bet it's a pretty uninspiring number. How the hell are you going to convince billions of people when the people who give a shit can't stop eating meat.

The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us.

No one is holding a gun to our heads insisting that we consume meat.

No. But there is marketing. There are subsidies. There are profits. There are lobbyists. There are a lot of ways to convince people to make bad decisions without pointing a gun. Why do I have to explain this to you?

And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism.

Of course we are. It is impossible to separate ourselves from an all-encompassing economic system, but that doesn't mean we can't criticize it, that we can't think of alternatives. People like me and you are educated and privileged to make a difference. As a result, it has become our responsibility to push for progress. Your strategy is to put the burden of climate change on the individual. That is not progress. That is laziness.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bbr2314 on December 17, 2018, 04:05:30 AM
The current ebola outbreak has now reached 617 confirmed / probable / suspected cases with 300+ deaths, making it the second-largest by far. There have been approximately 47,000 ring vaccinations to date, out of a current stockpile of 300,000 doses.

The transmission data is interesting as it seems containment continues to be eluded DESPITE the massive vaccination campaign. I think this hints that Ebola is now changing into an STD, especially as rates have soared for young women (males with multiple partners evidently)?

In any case, this epidemic feels different from all previous including West Africa as it has taken a bit longer to reach this state, but containment efforts seem to be failing in spite of greater overall available resources (i.e. a vaccine whereas there previously was none, even if DRC is war-torn).

I would think the next doubling will occur in a shorter timeframe than the last. The US just ordered evacuation of all family / non-military personnel in DRC.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on December 17, 2018, 09:06:35 AM
Asimov's trilogy thrilled me half a century ago. Samsara opened my senses to sights, sounds and emotions I'd not experienced - but the impact is lessened each time the disk is played.


Bruce's infrequent missives from the front lines, where hirsute porcine acornivours vie with organic produce to win the seal of approval from those who ultimately control the fields, the wallows, and access to the market, give hope that some few of my species - abetted perhaps by their suid companions, might escape the winnowing that follows.

Hope, even unrealistic hope, if untainted by miracles wrought by gods or technology, might allow some tiny minority to search out the hard knowledge they'll need to survive the bottleneck that will strangle their peers.


Neither mysticism nor mechanical marvels will save our species. Work, sweat and empathy might spare a few.
Hope!
Terry

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 12:24:26 PM
The desperate need for air every few seconds, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, the cooking pot of Nature is real just like flesh and bones are real, no mysticism involved.

I don't need hope, hope fooled a lot of people and hope still fools a lot of people (it fooled me too when I was a child). I stick with harsh and bloody reality as it never ever fooled me for a second, I trust in the Laws of Nature 24/7.

" Abandon hope all ye who enter here "

- Dante's Divine Comedy
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on December 17, 2018, 02:04:12 PM
Wealth is not the problem. Unchecked greed is. The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for.

Ending civilization can't possibly solve climate change, because climate change is only a problem because it ends civilization. If we simply give up and let civilization end the result is the same as if we let climate change run it's course.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions. Capitalism without Socialism becomes anarchy and implodes. Socialism without Capitalism is impossible because the leaders and the "party" end up rich while the people suffer scarcity.  It is always a spectrum. Things like transparency and accountability goes a much longer way than any Capitalist or Socialist utopic dream.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 02:23:03 PM
@Archimid

" The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for."

Exactly, Nature will show capitalism the bloody limits of growth imposed by Nature dead seriously, just like the Club of Rome already acknowledged the natural limits of growth roughly 50 years ago(!).

Btw, I'm not some funny, harmless socialist nor communist. Like I said:

I solely stick to the uncorruptable, bloody Laws of Nature 24/7.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 17, 2018, 02:24:42 PM
Asbestos
Thank you for these.

Just to add to that. Johnson and Johnson knowingly selling baby powder with asbestos in it. For decades. And what's their punishment going to be? reduced stock prices? Some fines? Maybe white-collar jail time if they can figure out how to pin it on someone. Which is unlikely considering J&J have some of the most talented lawyers in the world.

There is never any justice in our system. Every single industry, so long as you meet a certain threshold of influence and power, gets away with anything they want. Climate change and pollution is no exception. The fossil fuel industry is going to get away with everything, hell, they might even come out of it even more powerful if they play their cards right with renewables.

And yet, we still find ourselves continually endorsing the system that created these monsters. And even better yet, we shift blame from them to the individual. "We're all a part of the system, we all deserve the responsibility".

The rich and powerful are causing an extinction event. And they know it. If it continues this way, they may just be responsible for destroying the only intelligent society in the universe.

What is our response to this?
"Let's take away some of their power"
"Let's tax them some more"
"Let's give them incentives to do something better!"
"Let's beg them to develop new technology to save us"

It's all so pathetic. None of this is going to age well. 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: zizek on December 17, 2018, 02:40:56 PM
Wealth is not the problem. Unchecked greed is. The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for.
This doesn't mean anything. You are just saying things that sound pleasant to you. None of this is rooted in reality. You need to pick up a book and read some history and theory.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions.
More gobbledygook. Our political economy is the foundation of how our society is structured. It is the core of every single interaction and decision we make.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions. Capitalism without Socialism becomes anarchy and implodes. Socialism without Capitalism is impossible because the leaders and the "party" end up rich while the people suffer scarcity.  It is always a spectrum. Things like transparency and accountability goes a much longer way than any Capitalist or Socialist utopic dream.
This cold-war propaganda bullshit on this forum is so tiring. It doesn't matter how much evidence I produce describing the inherently exploitative and destructive nature of capitalism, my arguments are always dashed away with this grade school "communist only works on paper, not in practice  heeyuck heeyuck" bullshit.  It's amazing how many users claim they use logic, reason, facts, science to make arguments. But when it comes to political economy, they just spew garbage they heard from Reagan and Thatcher and that's good enough for them.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 02:45:31 PM
@zizek

Excellent comments of yours. You named some beautiful facts why I abandoned all hope decades ago.

Btw, you mentioned Johnson & Johnson:

Intelligent James Wittenborn „Jamie“ Johnson, the son of James Loring Johnson, made two excellent and eyeopening documentaries about Johnson & Johnson resp the funny and sick One Percent at the top of the capitalist pyramid (and faced a lot of hate therefore), lots of intimate psychological and political insights in it, highly recommended:

"The One Percent - Documentary"

https://youtu.be/IK35cxb3rkA (https://youtu.be/IK35cxb3rkA)

"Jaimie Johnson: Born Rich,  Children Of the Insanely Wealthy"

https://youtu.be/km_JmxnzTvc (https://youtu.be/km_JmxnzTvc)

Says it all.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 17, 2018, 04:47:36 PM
You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

Oh right. It's that simple.
How many people on this forum still eat meat? I bet it's a pretty uninspiring number. How the hell are you going to convince billions of people when the people who give a shit can't stop eating meat.

I don't necessarily disagree with you here. It is very hard to stop consuming something if you have a taste for it, even when it is not good for you.

But the facts remain the same.

The raising of livestock for food is responsible for 18% of anthroprogenic greenhouse gases. This does not even take into account that, absent meat consumption, large tracts of land currently used to raise livestock could be converted back to forests etc which will increase the planet's capacity of CO2 uptake. We focus on the fact that wealthy nations are responsible for the lion share of emissions and it is not a coincidence that meat consumption is far higher in these nations. Factory farms for livestock, extensive monocultures of corn and soybeans etc. exist in order to meet this demand and it is currently highly profitable to do so. The demand could not be met using familiar, family farm, husbandry methods of the late 19th or early 20th century agriculture just as the demand for fish could not be met without the brutally destructive methods of fishing that are prevalent today. So long as this high demand for meat exists, there will be producers to satisfy that demand. The term "demand" is perfectly apt in capitalism. We, as consumers, don't ask for products. We demand them and so long as we do, there will be a supply.

Regarding the issue of tasty food or the need for meat protein. Undeveloped nations get by quite nicely with diets that consist primarily of legumes and rice or some other grain, a diet that is quite affordable. As wealthy western consumers, we may long for a stable climate but don't you dare let that get in the way of my juicy steak. We would like to pretend that our choices as wealthy consumers are not driving us to the brink. We use arguments like our personal consumption has no measurable impact so how can my stopping the consumption of meat change anything. This is simply an example of a consumer driven "Tragedy of the Commons". Talk about hypocrisy.

Our profligate appetites will be the death of us all.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 05:27:46 PM
VERY soon we will all be equal when we will beautifully meet at the boneyard, rich and poor alike.

I love the Laws of Nature, they never fail.

Meanwhile I let go, let go, let go, I don't need funny, ridiculous wealth on the way to the boneyard, I do not need, I do not want that kind of burdon, that kind of responsibility.

https://youtu.be/u5BdG0NmP74 (https://youtu.be/u5BdG0NmP74)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: dnem on December 17, 2018, 06:04:34 PM
Sorry SH, thinking that consumer choice has any hope of avoiding, or even much delaying, the coming unraveling is a fantasy.  Humans have been so fully indoctrinated by consumerism that it is literally not worth even discussing "voluntary simplicity" or whatever you want to call it as a solution.  Yeah, folks outside of the rich global north make do fine on less, but they almost ALL want more meat in their diets, more a/c in their homes, more, more, more and the corporate hegemony is salivating to sell it all to them.  No bottom up approach is going to touch this.

I've been amused listening to the most progressive members of the new incoming US congress talk about their idea for a "Green New Deal."  It's a massive jobs and infrastructure program to shift to renewables, electric cars, re-engineer the grid, etc.  Every single one of them sells it on the promise that it will "create millions of great new high-paying jobs."  What are all these folks gonna do with their great high paying jobs?  Why, consume more unsustainable shite they don't need. 

One more observation: I often hear people say things like "leisure air travel is low hanging fruit.  It should be banned tomorrow."  Kevin Anderson doesn't fly and says no one should (or hardly ever).  Just try and picture the knock-on effects if everyone took that advice tomorrow.  The massive economic upheaval would utterly destabilize the global finance system within days.

No, I think Terry is right.  The only hope is through creative destruction.  I think human extinction is very unlikely (unless that whole grid failure->mass nuclear meltdowns thing is really a thing) and the real game will be how humans go about rebuilding a smaller, sustainable and functional future.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: dnem on December 17, 2018, 06:17:13 PM
Please watch.
https://youtu.be/HzeekxtyFOY
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 07:15:45 PM
Quote GretaThunberg:

"... You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is to pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burdon you leave to us children. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the suffering of the many wich pay for the wealth of the few... You are saying that you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes..."

That's exactly my point all my fuckin life. I was just roughly 3 years older than Greta Thunberg when I started to tell the very same uncomfortable facts Greta Thunber tells 35 years later. And STILL nothing changed since then. Quote Greta Thunberg:

" Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the suffering of the many wich pay for the wealth of the few..."

That's exactly what I (and others) said in my recent comments. You got no political power when you are poor, the real power is fuckin always where the fuckin money is- it's for a reason that it is being said: " Funny money makes the world go round." Quote Greta Thunberg:

" You are saying that you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes..."

Let that sink deep into your brain, mind, heart, dear folks of wealth and power:

You kill (not just) your very own children for the benefit of funny money.

I am glad to have seen shit coming decades ago and therefore did not procreate.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on December 17, 2018, 08:42:46 PM
Quote
The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself.

But every time the rich theoretically have a choice but the choice is almost never to use their wealth for the good of men (m/f).

The reason our current capitalism is so out of control is also because the rich used to buy up the media, the universities etc. When you get really rich retaining or growing that wealth gets you involved in meddling with large scale politics (transferring labor from west to China brings down labor costs in the west etc).

Quote
What needs to be done first, is putting a cap on how much an individual can own. The system then has the chance to change accordingly.

I think it is a good idea but all modern developments go the other way.
If you have a contest between what the people want and what the rich with their lobbyists and corporate concerns want the latter win because they have more bribes/interesting career prospects for people voting their way.

Sometimes i wonder if our current situation is greed gone too far or a plan progressing splendidly.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 17, 2018, 09:09:55 PM
One more observation: I often hear people say things like "leisure air travel is low hanging fruit.  It should be banned tomorrow."  Kevin Anderson doesn't fly and says no one should (or hardly ever).  Just try and picture the knock-on effects if everyone took that advice tomorrow.  The massive economic upheaval would utterly destabilize the global finance system within days.

And what is it about this statement in the IPCC summary suggests that this need not be the case?

 Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would
require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure
(including transport and buildings), and industrial systems. These
systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms
of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of
mitigation options and a significant upscaling of investments in those options.


Your statement sounds like something written by the editor of Forbes magazine.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 17, 2018, 09:32:08 PM
But every time the rich theoretically have a choice but the choice is almost never to use their wealth for the good of men (m/f).

Absolutely, and that's because concentrated wealth (which owns them, not the other way around) poisons their minds, and more.

Which is why, of all the people in the world, the rich need to be saved most. I know it's counterintuitive, but we need to save the rich.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 17, 2018, 09:47:08 PM
" Which is why, of all the people in the world, the rich need to be saved most. I know it's counterintuitive, but we need to save the rich."

Hahaha, excellent statement. I thought exactly the same over the recent years  :D The rich are the poorest people on the planet, they just don't realize it yet. Look at Paradise: Burned down to ashes within a flash.

Samsara feels comfortable for the rich for a little while, that's the mean thing, the trick about Samsara.

Yes, the rich need to be saved more than anyone, but not by funny money I swear  8)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 18, 2018, 06:28:07 AM
Quote
And in spite of all the mastery we've attained, we don't have enough mastery to stop devastating the world.. or to repair the devastation we've already wrought.
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

If you cannot tell, my favorite book. I read recently that individual species extinction events has reached critical levels where we will shortly experience cascading ecological collapses. I will attempt to find said article and post it, or at least the important aspects of it.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: dnem on December 18, 2018, 04:59:10 PM
SH, I don't really see the relevance of your IPCC quote.

As for my comment sounding like something from Forbes magazine, that's almost my point.  Look, we live in a fantastically complex global economy.  Its systemic stability depends on growth.  Without growth, it will become catastrophically unstable. That's why the hegemony gets so worked up about a recession that might cause a 1 or 2% GDP contraction for a fiscal quarter or two.

If you pulled the plug on leisure air travel tomorrow, the effects would ripple out catastrophically through the economy.  Think about the dependent industries: the airline industry, everyone that works in airports, the businesses the surround airports and depend on them, the supplies chains that feed them, and so on.  And that does not even BEGIN to consider the hundreds of millions (billions?) of people around the world whose very livelihood depends on tourism income.

I am a huge promoter of degrowth.  But the machine cannot accommodate it.  That's fine: we're utterly f*cked if we just roll on under BAU. So bring it on, I guess (hey the only dip in emissions came during the 2008/9 fiscal crisis). But don't delude yourself that it will be anything other than catastrophic. 

We might want to live in a system that can accommodate degrowth and a rapid transition. But we don't.  We live in a global system that will fail if and when we do what needs to be done (pull Greta's emergency brake).  And when it fails, billions of people all over the world will be unemployed, bewildered, bereft, and scared.  That's what we are facing.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 19, 2018, 04:42:06 AM
And this is exactly what the IPCC statement says is needed. The system needs to change with CO2 emissions dropping by 45% in 12 years and carbon neutral in 32. Airline travel will be the least of the gut wrenching disruptions that are needed if we are to survive.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bbr2314 on December 19, 2018, 07:13:49 AM
The Ebola outbreak in DRC continues to worsen.

Today's sitrep shows 542 confirmed cases, 96 suspected cases, and 319 deaths.

That is a weekly increase (12/10->12/17) of 44 confirmed cases, 23 suspected cases, and 34 deaths. Or, +67 versus one week prior.

So, we are at approximately 636 total cases and 319 deaths, with a weekly increase of 67 cases and 34 deaths.

11/19: 444 / 217
11/26: 495 / 241 (+51 / 24)
12/03: 516 / 260 (+21 / 19)
12/10: 569 / 285 (+53 / 25)
12/17: 636 / 319 (+67 / 34)

At the same stage of the West African outbreak, the below numbers were occurring -- a weekly increase of +137 cases, and 94 deaths.

6/22: 567 / 350
6/29: 704 / 444

However, there are several major differentials between the current outbreak and the 2014 outbreak.

1) We have an effective vaccine, albeit in limited supplies. Out of an estimated 300,000 total doses, almost 49,000 have now been used.

2) The current outbreak is in a single nation, and seems to be more geographically contained (for now). However, it is also an active war zone with ongoing civil strife that has repeatedly hampered medical efforts.

Considering these two factors, it is apparent that if not for the vaccine, the current outbreak would be easily outpacing 2014's numbers. Unfortunately, even WITH the vaccine, this is now the second largest outbreak on record, the largest in DRC's history, and is spreading within urban areas. The number of new cases and deaths each week, WITH vaccine, are still rising exponentially.

Archived reports:

https://us13.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=89e5755d2cca4840b1af93176&id=aedd23c530

This is a very bad situation. The week-over-week increases in new cases have been sustained for the past month after briefly dropping at the end of November. I would imagine there are higher numbers than what are being reported as well due to the fact that guerilla rebels have actively been attacking Ebola clinics and kidnapping patients (.... not the brightest bunch).

At the current pace of the epidemic, there will be over 1,000 cases by 2/1. And if it accelerates in the next few weeks, that number could be reached by 1/15. I would anticipate Western media fervor over the epidemic to begin ratcheting upwards at that point. By the time we reach 2/1, the vaccine supply will likely be substantially exhausted, with ~150,000 doses remaining

So, buying stock in MERCK is probably a good bet, as they are the only producers of the current vaccine, and there is likely to be substantial media hysteria as the current outbreak seems to be spreading even WITH the substantial containment efforts. And as weekly new case counts potentially surpass 100+ (we are now 2/3 of the way there), the number of contacts / vaccinations will also increase exponentially.

On a final note: I am beginning to suspect Ebola is now behaving much more like an STD than it has traditionally. Rape and pillaging are still the norm in parts of the DRC where the outbreak is spreading wildly, and it would not surprise me if there are infections occurring in the latency period AFTER symptoms have abated for some of those infected with the virus. This is very troubling and potentially allows a much higher r-naught compared to areas where rape and pillaging are not the norm. Beyond the civil strife, perhaps this is the confounding variable influencing the current trajectory of the disease? Because nothing else really makes sense at this point.

Monthly numbers, BTW:

08/17: 103 / 50
09/17: 148 / 66 (+45 / 16) +43%
10/17: 234 / 109 (+86 / 43) +58%
11/17: 432 / 214 (+198 / 115) +84%
12/17: 636 / 319 (+204 / 105) +47%

vs. West Africa 2014

3/29: 103 / 66
4/29: 248 / 157 +140%
5/29: 309 / 204 +24%
6/29: 704 / 444 +127%
7/29: 1323 / 729 +87%
8/29: 3116 / 1607 +136%

It appears we are currently at a "make or break" moment for transmission. We shall see what happens next. It is interesting to note that the monthly numbers in the West African outbreak experienced an up-and-down see-saw from month to month. DRC's outbreak has seen lower overall spread but more consistent growth, which is potentially more alarming in the long-term if containment is not achieved. The West African "see-saw" would also argue that January is probably going to be a very bad month.

Also re: vaccine -- after doing more digging it appears stockpile is now running out rather quickly in the outbreak region.

On 12/5, there were 4,290 doses available. After delivery of 2,160 new doses, the stockpile still decreased to 4,060 doses. This is down from 4,530 doses available as of two weeks ago, and in the past week alone, there have been 4,421 vaccinations.

Week 49 report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/276677/OEW49-0107122018.pdf

Week 50 report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/277186/OEW50-0814122018.pdf
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: dnem on December 19, 2018, 01:23:28 PM
Airline travel will be the least of the gut wrenching disruptions that are needed if we are to survive.

Ok, I guess we're on the same page after all.  My point was just that plucking just that one little thing - airline travel - that everyone points to as low hanging fruit, will be incredibly gut wrenching.  Essentially untenably so. Damned if we do. Damned if we don't.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 19, 2018, 08:24:38 PM
Airline travel will be the least of the gut wrenching disruptions that are needed if we are to survive.

Ok, I guess we're on the same page after all.  My point was just that plucking just that one little thing - airline travel - that everyone points to as low hanging fruit, will be incredibly gut wrenching.  Essentially untenably so. Damned if we do. Damned if we don't.

It is why I posted the analysis of meat production and consumption upthread. Nearly 20% of anthropogenic emissions are due to meat production. No way we get where we need to without drastic reductions in the consumption of meat. Arguing about this point is futile.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on December 19, 2018, 09:22:06 PM
Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/opinion/human-extinction-climate-change.html

Quote
... what I am asking here is simply whether it would be a tragedy if the planet no longer contained human beings. And the answer I am going to give might seem puzzling at first. I want to suggest, at least tentatively, both that it would be a tragedy and that it might just be a good thing.

To make that case, let me start with a claim that I think will be at once depressing and, upon reflection, uncontroversial. Human beings are destroying large parts of the inhabitable earth and causing unimaginable suffering to many of the animals that inhabit it.  ... there is no other creature in nature whose predatory behavior is remotely as deep or as widespread as the behavior we display toward what the philosopher Christine Korsgaard aptly calls “our fellow creatures” in a sensitive book of the same name.

But there is more to the story. Human beings bring things to the planet that other animals cannot. For example, we bring an advanced level of reason that can experience wonder at the world in a way that is foreign to most if not all other animals. We create art of various kinds: literature, music and painting among them. We engage in sciences that seek to understand the universe and our place in it. Were our species to go extinct, all of that would be lost.

... suppose a terrorist planted a bomb in the Louvre and the first responders had to choose between saving several people in the museum and saving the art. How many of us would seriously consider saving the art?

So, then, how much suffering and death of nonhuman life would we be willing to countenance to save Shakespeare, our sciences and so forth?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bbr2314 on December 19, 2018, 11:08:10 PM
Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/opinion/human-extinction-climate-change.html

Quote
... what I am asking here is simply whether it would be a tragedy if the planet no longer contained human beings. And the answer I am going to give might seem puzzling at first. I want to suggest, at least tentatively, both that it would be a tragedy and that it might just be a good thing.

To make that case, let me start with a claim that I think will be at once depressing and, upon reflection, uncontroversial. Human beings are destroying large parts of the inhabitable earth and causing unimaginable suffering to many of the animals that inhabit it.  ... there is no other creature in nature whose predatory behavior is remotely as deep or as widespread as the behavior we display toward what the philosopher Christine Korsgaard aptly calls “our fellow creatures” in a sensitive book of the same name.

But there is more to the story. Human beings bring things to the planet that other animals cannot. For example, we bring an advanced level of reason that can experience wonder at the world in a way that is foreign to most if not all other animals. We create art of various kinds: literature, music and painting among them. We engage in sciences that seek to understand the universe and our place in it. Were our species to go extinct, all of that would be lost.

... suppose a terrorist planted a bomb in the Louvre and the first responders had to choose between saving several people in the museum and saving the art. How many of us would seriously consider saving the art?

So, then, how much suffering and death of nonhuman life would we be willing to countenance to save Shakespeare, our sciences and so forth?
It would only be sad if the stupid liberals like the writer of this article were the ones that survived.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Red on December 20, 2018, 11:15:11 AM
This is how civilized peoples work! Looks like they want their cake and eat it too.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/20/japan-to-resume-commercial-whaling-after-leaving-iwc-report
“Japan’s official position, that we want to resume commercial whaling as soon as possible, has not changed,” the official told the Guardian. “But reports that we will leave the IWC are incorrect.”
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Red on December 20, 2018, 12:07:39 PM


In an oxbow lake along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, a breathy sigh pierces the surface stillness as one of China’s most endangered animals comes up for a gulp of hazy air.

A slick black back with no dorsal fin arches briefly above the water line before plunging back down.

Such glimpses of the shy Yangtze finless porpoise, the only aquatic mammal left in China's longest river and known in Chinese as the "smiling angel" for its perma-grin, are increasingly rare.

Pollution, overfishing, hydroelectric dams and shipping traffic have rendered them critically endangered, worse off even than China's best-known symbol of animal conservation, the panda.

China's government estimates there were 1,012 wild Yangtze finless porpoises in 2017, compared to more than 1,800 giant pandas, which is no longer endangered.

https://news.yahoo.com/smiling-danger-china-finless-porpoise-fights-survive-042244641.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Red on December 20, 2018, 12:13:31 PM
https://www.sciencealert.com/shark-numbers-off-the-coast-of-australia-are-falling-and-there-s-little-sign-of-recovery

"We were surprised at how rapid these declines were, especially in the early years of the shark control program. We had to use specialist statistical methods to properly estimate the declines, because they occurred so quickly," says Brown.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 20, 2018, 05:40:50 PM
Nearly 20% of anthropogenic emissions are due to meat production.

I'd love to see the several credible sources with the data this 20% is based upon - and over what time frames it's applying to.

Every source of emissions as well as every cause of land use that results in compromised carbon sinks needs changing. There is plenty of evidence that on a global scale transformation of forests into pasture results in reduced terrestrial carbon sink capacity. Farming rice results in increased methane sources .
Cement production , transportation, electric production , every source needs radical transformation.
Re. Meat consumption, I would suggest price is what controls most people's meat consumption rate.
Governments subsidies for commodities like corn , soybeans, and other crops largely fed to livestock ,as well as fossil fuel subsidies ,results in cheap meat, cheap grains, overpopulation and overconsumption.
Vegetables are Not subsidized and compete against government manipulated markets. I suggest we end all government manipulation of energy and food production. Meat prices will spike, people will eat less of it. Food prices should reflect the true costs of production and transport costs. 
 SH would argue that some people will starve. I would argue that too many people is too many people.
I said radical change and yes if they can't feed themselves there will be less people. We will have to accept plenty of misery and death as a result of our greed and lack of self control over over human reproduction. This is the rub, we want to maintain our "humanity" even if it means killing the planet.
If we could ask all the species we are driving into extinction about whether they believe humans concept of humanity is a failed and false rationalization for our actions what do you think they'd say.
 Lurk, I imagine SH has you blocked so he can see your post and answer your query . Vegetarians get kinda righteous and although a lot less meat consumption is undoubtably a good thing it is but a small portion of how we collectively need to change .   
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 20, 2018, 07:14:01 PM
 
 SH would argue that some people will starve. I would argue that too many people is too many people.


??????? 93% of agricultural land is used to raise livestock. Drastically reducing meat consumption would free up enough land to easily feed everyone on the planet.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 20, 2018, 07:58:00 PM
SH, Do you think 97% of the Salinas valley is used for livestock? The Calif. Central Valley ? No
Nevada deserts , well yes but it won't produce much anything else. Ditto a large portion of the Southwest .
 I agree we need to cut back on meat consumption , we could do it by charging people for the true costs of their bad habits. You don't have any idea about how to get people to make any change.
People aren't going to quit drinking milk in the U.S. Forget it. They might change their food habits if they are forced to pay more for the meat and milk they consume.
 You keep dropping claims without sources. Religious conviction isn't much of an arguement .
I could live without cars or planes or ff heating in my house. I could live without computers or phones.
I am getting ready even if the day never comes. I have doubts about living without meat or eggs if I had to live off what I could produce. How close are you to living without all the above, how close are your children or grandchildren to living off the grid ? I assume you are well off and comfortable. 
 There has to be a bridge between the past where we lived without fossil fuels and the future where they are gone. I don't believe technology will be of much use . The earth is going to be a brutish, hot and unpredictable. Wishful thinking ain't getting us out of paying the piper.
 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 20, 2018, 09:10:35 PM
"although a lot less meat consumption is undoubtably a good thing it is but a small portion of how we collectively need to change"

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/14/15963544/climate-change-individual-choices

Certainly smaller than some others, but not insignificant--one of the top six in the first chart at this article. And has the advantage of being relatively easy to do, and immediately healthful for your body (unless you do 'vegan junkfood diet'! :)

But yeah, as the article says, not being rich is the over all best chance to contribute less. Even in the US, the homeless folks I work with every day hardly contribute anything--no car, definitely no flying (and we serve them hearty vegetarian...usually vegan...soups, with most of the veggies being saved from the dumpster from the local groceries, that is the stuff that I don't grow in my urban farm! :) )

Having one kid--or better, NO kids--is really big, especially if they grow up to live the standard high consumption lifestyle of most Americans. (My solo child moved to the Netherlands, so hardly ever is in a car, and definitely eats plant based, with an occasional fish thrown in. But if she continues to have an annual flight to visit Dad, that a bunch of that will be canceled out! :/ )

Then travel, now the biggest overall contributor, over electric power generation, tho that's obviously still important...we technically get all wind, and have helped local businesses get solar roofs.

As to how much corn goes into cows: "Nearly half (48.7 percent) of the corn grown in 2013 was used as animal feed." That doesn't count the leftovers from ethanol production that goes to cattle, so I think we can say well more than half. Feeding that and soybeans directly to people would definitely allow those calories and nutrients to go much, much further (not to mention saving lots of water).

But when I promote plant-based diets, I always say, "If you're raising or hunting all or most of your own meat sources, give yourself a pass." We couldn't all do that, of course, but most wouldn't want to anyway. For the rest, committed meat eaters who give anything close to a flying f about the earth and climate change...they should all be the biggest chearleaders for veganism and vegetarianism, since that allows more of the relatively small quantity of meat that can sustainably be grown for them! :)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: magnamentis on December 20, 2018, 09:31:15 PM
just consider all that not all of us share the same metabolisms.

if meat would be reduced by law i'd have to get a prescription for it because anything sugar (carbo hydrates)make me ill within 3 days and not just a bit but seriously and i'm not alone by far.

i have to stick to proteins including eggs and vegetables while vegetables don't provide sufficient energy. further after a good portion of past i get hungry and after a good portion of protein i can stay 16-20 hours without food without any issues.

whoever is really interested should read about such things before making claims to deprive many people of the only digestible and healthy energy providing food.

this does not mean i can't do with a nice spaghetti, pizza or bread which  i love a lot but only once in a while and a big siesta will follow suit due to an immense energy drop during digestion.

and don't think something's wrong, it's just about different metabolisms and there are many of this kind (blood group 0+ mostly) while many are not even aware that they eat "poison" and it's a bit worse when aging, meaning that the impact is more hammer like than 40-50 years ago when i was young.

one thing that helps against fatigue and muscle rigidity would be an extended walk or any other kind of medium strong activity but that only helps against the immediate consequences while long term consequences will not be avoided much through sport.

what i'm trying to tell form first hand experience is that as usual things are not so easy and the real problem is not that people eat meat but that there are too many people populating this planet and too few of them have access to natural products and depend on industrialized production proteins in too high quantities.

there is more to this which would go beyond the scope of this place, was more meant like making people who have no issues with carbos that there are others and they are many, albeit less in number.



Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 20, 2018, 10:10:44 PM
US annual farm subsidies are about $20 billion a year and a lot of the commodities produced support cheap meat.
US annual fossil fuel subsidies are about $20 billion a year and agriculture is benefited by that largess.

I don't know how other parts of the world subsidizes their commodity producers but I am sure they do.
Eliminating those subsidies would have many knockdown effects but reduced meat consumption would surely be one of them. 
Carbon emissions would go down. That is the goal IMO. It would include painful downsides, all options will.
This thread has been moved to a place like other politics have been moved. I think it affords some leniency. I would prefer that talk about extinction ( ours or others ) to be pursued with solutions in mind. Maybe my ideas are harsh but it is a brutal subject. Think of how many other species are going extinct as a direct affect of subsidized agriculture.
 I spent several years trying to make a living growing vegetables. Everything about commodities and fuel subsidies make that near impossible on small acreage. There is a reason most CSA ( community supported agriculture )operations fail but competing with subsidized corporate agriculture is large among them.
 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on December 20, 2018, 11:06:37 PM
We might want to live in a system that can accommodate degrowth and a rapid transition. But we don't.  We live in a global system that will fail if and when we do what needs to be done (pull Greta's emergency brake).  And when it fails, billions of people all over the world will be unemployed, bewildered, bereft, and scared.  That's what we are facing.

I suspect you may be right, but this really makes me think. Why is it that we are so seemingly incapable of working out how to carry on the basics of "mass survival" even though millions of people (billions globally of course) are no longer employed?

What is it about our way of doing things that is so set in its ways that we expect billions of people to die rather than be able to work out a more sensible way of surviving on this planet?

I don't doubt that there is probably a terrifying bottleneck looming but it frustrates me so much that it doesn't have to be this way, if it wasn't for our own pigheaded approach to change and systems thinking. We have the resources; population, yes, is sky high - but with proper planning and people actually engaging in a systems-thinking approach, it can be reduced. I see no reason why the population should necessarily be rapidly reduced (by which, remember, we are talking about mass death and suffering on a huge scale) to whatever the carrying capacity of Earth really is all over the course of a few years or decades. (But the way we're going...)

It seems to me that we have the potential to undergo managed decline and avoid the most horrific outcomes. Call it the physical potential if you want. Yet it all seems so impossible because we have the system we have, people aren't thinking outside the confines of that system, and what thought people have for the future has been warped within the system too; retirement somewhere in the sun, and all the rest of it.

It's depressing. Deeply so.

But also, at least for me right now, its incredibly frustrating and verging on comedically ridiculous. Humanity can do so much better, can we not? What are we playing at?

Apologies - I don't have the depth of thought or understanding as many of the other posters here. I'm very grateful for this discussion. For now, for me, the dark comedy of humanity's current predicament shall take hold - and I'll drink another cider! Or not; there is an Extinction Rebellion event tomorrow in my local area  :o
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on December 21, 2018, 01:16:56 AM
If climate change is dangerous because it threatens food supplies, intentionally lowering food supply is not a solution to climate change. There must be ways to get food without emitting CO2 or agricultural runoff. This is a solvable problem. The only thing needed is the will to do it.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 03:00:26 AM
 "This is a solvable problem."  I have lived off of the food I produced without fossil fuel . So at least at an extremely individual level yes it can be done .  Feeding those 20 million souls that live a hundred miles south of here without CO2 emissions or fossil fuel use is Not even close to possible . Nobody even talks about the difficulty of the task. Everybody here knows we need to get to zero carbon, correct ? We don't currently have the technology to feed the current population without emissions and the future declines in agricultural production from climate change will only exacerbate our dilemma .
 So this is where I say our humanity is screwing with the goal. The goal is to get to zero or insure a damn big extinction event. We have no idea how to feed ourselves without BAU and BAU is death. So saying you are more worried about how many people any system can support , or worried how we can feed 8 or 10 billion souls is totally getting the wagon in front of the horse. How do you feed ANY of us with zero carbon emissions ? You gotta have some idea how to feed yourself and several other people first, a small village next, and then maybe a city or two. Claiming this is possible without any way to maintain modern agriculture is just wrong.  Well it's wrong when nobody is trying anyhow. I doubt is is possible at the scale  necessary  but that doesn't stop me from working at it at least on one small farm.
I haven't really even had any interest in how I can farm without  fossil fuel . Strange the future we see coming and the disconnect with current preparations. Faith , religion, or optimism just don't get us where we need to go. Better start getting scared cause reality is going to be vicious.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 21, 2018, 04:37:18 AM
Bruce wrote: "Nobody even talks about the difficulty of the task. Everybody here knows we need to get to zero carbon, correct ? We don't currently have the technology to feed the current population without emissions and the future declines in agricultural production from climate change will only exacerbate our dilemma .
 So this is where I say our humanity is screwing with the goal. The goal is to get to zero or insure a damn big extinction event. We have no idea how to feed ourselves without BAU and BAU is death. So saying you are more worried about how many people any system can support , or worried how we can feed 8 or 10 billion souls is totally getting the wagon in front of the horse. How do you feed ANY of us with zero carbon emissions ? You gotta have some idea how to feed yourself and several other people first, a small village next, and then maybe a city or two. Claiming this is possible without any way to maintain modern agriculture is just wrong.  Well it's wrong when nobody is trying anyhow. I doubt is is possible at the scale  necessary  but that doesn't stop me from working at it at least on one small farm.
I haven't really even had any interest in how I can farm without  fossil fuel . Strange the future we see coming and the disconnect with current preparations. Faith , religion, or optimism just don't get us where we need to go. Better start getting scared cause reality is going to be vicious."

For the record, I pretty much agree with all of this. We are in what can only be called a predicament, now. Getting to some remotely good place without tons and tons of absolute misery and death is now out of reach. I am ready to head to the next world or the void or whatever at any time, but in the mean time, I do to some extent try to get the low hanging fruit--divert some of the vast waste of our culture to sustaining some of the people least responsible for our current catastrophe, and start the long, difficult process of trying to learn how to raise food on relatively small bits of urban land. But I know as I go past blocks and blocks of high rises full of people that it will always be impossible for even a fraction of them to follow my example.

Also for the record, I am more deeply impressed by Bruce's efforts than nearly anything else I have ever heard of. I hope he keeps reporting on both progress and setbacks, as both are highly valuable and interesting.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 06:10:13 AM
Wili, Thanks . Not sure I deserve it . I have to get more info up as the annual start to my food challenge approaches . I got about three acres worked with the pig bio tractor this summer. There is a nice cover crop growing on it right now.  We have had a little rain and it's nice with everything green.
Squirreled away potatoes , dried corn, acorns, amaranth, dried summer squash, spelt and winter squash. I will put in a winter garden soon with what's left from last years compost pile. Really the only thing different from fifty years ago is the bio and the solar power. Otherwise very retro.
 Cannibus legalization has presented itself as a temptation . I think I will resist the money temptation but there is crazy big money going down around here. On good information over a million per acre in profit. I always thought that pot was for fun and any time it was for something else trouble was near.
Anyway I have my task ahead of me and getting rich isn't necessary to prove what I am trying to prove. What I am doing would easily scale to village scale food production. Cities are just such an incredible food challenge. Although I can't quite rap my brain around feeding the cities I still think feeding millions of small towns is a viable tragectory.
 Sorry if I get all dark sometimes. There is still a lot we can do for our part. I am sure planting my garden is part of what I need . I need to know one man can produce 20,000 lbs. food without fossil emissions . I need to know what I am doing will scale. On those fronts things are rosy . You'd think it would temper my dark inclinations but one day in LA traffic and reality sinks in.
 
 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 21, 2018, 06:22:13 AM
Mr Steele, how do you winnow the amaranth ? Have you a tractor attachement or ...?

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 07:14:21 AM
Sorry Sidd but I am very primitive in my technique. I harvest wild red stem pigweed aka. Amaranthus.
Plants in a field don't ripen evenly and easily scatter so wild amaranth lends itself to hand harvest.With some good thick gloves I go out with a big paper bag, put it over the ripe plant, push the plant and bag horizontal then beat the hell out of it. Pour the seeds and chaf into a container and repeat on next plant. Dry the chaf and seed.
I winnow with a bowl on windy days. It is the easiest seed to winnow because the chaf is very light.
The biggest problem is grinding amaranth. The seed is very small and surprisingly hard. I use a small electric coffee grinder but I already went through my first one cause it wasn't really meant to crank on amaranth for minute or two.
Ground Red stem pigweed seed makes a beautiful purple gravy that goes well with baked potatoes .

Rather far afield .
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 21, 2018, 07:45:17 AM
Neat. That's how i harvest a number of seeds myself. I use transparent plastic bags so i can sorta see whats going on.

Is pigweed an annual or a perennial ?

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on December 21, 2018, 09:09:58 AM
My harvesting of amaranthus was into paper bags. I brought them home and within a few days found I'd hatched an amazing crop of flies.
That was ~10 years ago, and it damn near cost me a perfectly serviceable, and well loved wife. She convinced me to leave the weeds alone, and to leave the marketing in her more experienced hands.


I fear that we apartment dwellers will be simply swarm out of our unusable abodes, and after stealing whatever food is available locally we'll spread to rural areas like a famished plague of locust. We'll probably provide a bit of protein for any better armed brigands, but thousands will succeed long enough to kill all your livestock and pillage your fields and stores.


In the American South West for thousands of years the Anasazi not only practiced cannibalism, they dried and preserved their feces as a "second harvest". The Anasazi were agriculturalists with a deep understanding of how to survive without fossil fuels, refrigeration or modern technology.


By the time the Spanish arrived the Paiute lived in isolated family groupings, having lost all knowledge of tribal life, agriculture, clothing, or architecture. For a thousand years they had even forgotten how to make or use bows and arrows. The Spanish knew them as the rat eaters, though in fairness they certainly feasted on lizards from time to time.


We'll have none of the advantages of the Anasazi. How many generations before we end up in circumstances similar to the early Paiute, living naked under piles of brush?
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 21, 2018, 10:17:40 AM
I fear that we apartment dwellers will be simply swarm out of our unusable abodes, and after stealing whatever food is available locally we'll spread to rural areas like a famished plague of locust. We'll probably provide a bit of protein for any better armed brigands, but thousands will succeed long enough to kill all your livestock and pillage your fields and stores.

This seems to be the most likely scenario. Once stockpiles run dry in cities, the populace will expand. I would hazard a guess that deer populations will be decimated within weeks of collapse.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 21, 2018, 10:19:40 AM
Let's not have The Road-type discussions (referring to that horrible post-apocalyptic movie).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on December 21, 2018, 01:14:06 PM
Let's not have The Road-type discussions (referring to that horrible post-apocalyptic movie).
OK - But, eliminating the discussion won't do a thing to mitigate a situation that a number of our children may be faced with. If not Road Warriors, certainly cherishing "Second Harvests" carefully preserved for sustenance in the lean times.


It's horrible to contemplate, but it's fairly recent history that will be repeated on a much broader scale.
Contritely Yours
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on December 21, 2018, 02:04:22 PM
Changing our meat consumption would help to feed a lot more people:

Current global food production is sufficient to meet human nutritional needs in 2050 provided there is radical societal adaptation

The current production of crops is sufficient to provide enough food for the projected global population of 9.7 billion in 2050, although very significant changes to the socio-economic conditions of many (ensuring access to the global food supply) and radical changes to the dietary choices of most (replacing most meat and dairy with plant-based alternatives, and greater acceptance of human-edible crops currently fed to animals, especially maize, as directly-consumed human food) would be required. Under all scenarios, the scope for biofuel production is limited. Our analysis finds no nutritional case for feeding human-edible crops to animals, which reduces calorie and protein supplies. If society continues on a ‘business-as-usual’ dietary trajectory, a 119% increase in edible crops grown will be required by 2050.

https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.1525/elementa.310/

So it would both save the planet and a lot of human suffering.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 03:37:35 PM
Kassy , I would like to repeat my point. Yes we can feed the world but it takes enormous amounts of energy to do so. BAU. If we are going to try to get to zero emissions then we have to figure out how to produce food without burning fossil fuels. Just that simple. So we get to choose between feeding 8-10 billion people and cooking the planet. Any ideas on how you propose to cure the dilemma ?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 21, 2018, 05:00:52 PM
Thanks again, Bruce. Over a million per acre, wow! I assume that comes with increase risks of theft. Probably not a lot of people lurking around trying to steal your acorn mast :)

 "feeding millions of small towns is a viable tragectory"

That's what many of us have been talking about for quite a while, but there doesn't seem to be much of a trend in that direction yet. Back a bit, Astyk had a book called '5 million farmers' calling on a return to the land. Again, not many harkening to that call.

One more question, and sorry if it's been already discussed to death. Around here, there is now quite a bit of wind electricity generated in the middle of good farm land, and more every year. I have seen some examples of electric farm equipment, but haven't kept up with developments on that front. Is this one way that zero or near zero emissions farming could be accomplished on a largish scale?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 21, 2018, 05:34:50 PM
1.3 billion tons of food (that's roughly 1/3 of global food production) is wasted every single year and the trend is rising: By 2030 foot waste is expected to rise up to 2 billion tons per year. Interesting facts about gigantic food waste:

https://feedbackglobal.org/knowledge-hub/food-waste-scandal/

Reminder:

Almost 1 billion people globally suffer from malnutrition. Hail capitalism and multinational corporations, the *only* savior! Merry xmas.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Nemesis on December 21, 2018, 05:38:21 PM
Example Canada:

"Food waste: How much food do supermarkets throw away?"

https://youtu.be/QLqkV8cP4xs
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 06:12:40 PM
Wili, I have seen large battery /electric tractors in the R and D phase . I haven't seen prices attached or hours of use between charging. I imagine a big assed power cable might work also something like overhead power for electric trains.
 I use a very small wheel hoe cultivator that is battery /electric and love it. Quiet and nimble for getting close to young plants or drip tape. Scale is a very real issue however. Tillage takes lots of power that my little tool can't deliver.
I think "trajectory" is going the wrong way re. a return to land movement. One downside to legal Cannibus is that it is syphoning young talent away from food production but the wine industry does the same thing. We have been losing farmers with talent as they retire due to age. We have not been adding young farmers at even a replacement rate so there are less farm stands and local ag ( food )production than 20 years ago, at least locally.
 My buddy farming Cannibus is harvesting two crops a year of 1,000 lbs. per crop. His profit is over a million and that is after the state takes it's $300,000 tax cut. It is no wonder young farmers are tempted to change focus. Beats my wages which are much closer to minimum wage.Property taxes are 1% here so that one Cannibus operation is paying the same taxes as 30 million dollar mansions. I think the money is good enough to hire full time security guards and you can see them sitting in their cars at the gates for the larger operations . Just Santa Barbara county alone has over 400 acres in Cannibus hoop house production. There is a small backlash from vintners or the otherwise rich residents but the tax monies involved have government siding with the new industry. Getting high enough or drunk enough to ignor our collective environmental concerns may be the new trend.  In the words of Cyndi Lauper " money changes everything." The lack of money changes everything too and I am sure the Mexican drug cartels are trying to figure their way into new "legal" opportunities. If trump wanted to pay for his wall he should have cut a deal to nationally legalize weed and tax it  to the hilt. Anyway I live at the center of the new Cannibus trade operations here in California .
 During fall harvest season the smell of skunk weed is so strong I can't smell the pigs on my own farm. 
There is a thirty acre operation about a mile away upwind.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 21, 2018, 06:31:22 PM
Nearly 20% of anthropogenic emissions are due to meat production.

I'd love to see the several credible sources with the data this 20% is based upon - and over what time frames it's applying to.

 Lurk, I imagine SH has you blocked so he can see your post and answer your query . Vegetarians get kinda righteous and although a lot less meat consumption is undoubtably a good thing it is but a small portion of how we collectively need to change .

I only have a couple of people blocked and Lurk is not one of them. I'm struggling to find the link to the 20% but here is a link that suggests it is more like 14%.

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/

I will continue to search for the source that supports the higher number and will post it if I can find it.

Why am I focused on meat? First, full disclosure.... I am not a vegetarian.

I am, however, absolutely convinced that the latest IPCC report which stated that we need to reduce our GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change is real.

Lurk...If your argument is with the IPCC report conclusions, then there is really no need for further discussion.

How in the world are we supposed to do this?

All...if the answer is we can't so don't worry about it, then there is really no need for further discussion.

Whatever methods we choose will be highly disruptive to our current state, BAU path.

All...if the answer is that climate change will mostly wreak havoc on the poor and vulnerable (nations and individuals alike) and you're a resident of a wealthy country that can adjust with a minimum of difficulty so relax, then there is really no need for further discussion.

So why meat, you ask?

Most methods to drastically reduce anthropogenic emissions (renewable energy, electric cars , trucks, trains and planes etc.) will require enormous investments and a great deal of time, the latter we have very little of left.

What about meat? How do we cut meat consumption by 80%. What investments are needed to hit this target. Simply stop eating it. This is in my old manufacturing career terms, low hanging fruit. Easily implemented with no investment of scarce resources, simply a change in behavior.

And if the answer is you cannot expect human beings to change their behavior then there is really no reason for further discussion as every single method to reduce emissions so quickly and dramatically will require changes in behavior.

Oh...and then we truly are fucked.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 21, 2018, 06:48:39 PM

There is a thirty acre operation about a mile away upwind.

You always want to be upwind from a cannabis farm.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 21, 2018, 07:54:08 PM
SH, I find different agricultural emissions numbers ranging from 9% to 17% for the US. I think we are energy hogs with agriculture contributing less here than other parts of the world only because we fly, and drive and live in big houses with big appliances .
 From the EPA ,agriculture contributes 9% with cattle contributing one third of the total . Even if total agriculture is more like 20% I would think the one third from cattle is probably a fair assessment . I keep saying I agree that reducing meat consumption is a good idea but it is far from enough.
 I have sincere doubts about livestock utilizing 93% of arable land however. Maybe part of the discrepancy of emission figures has to do with assigning an emissions number for the farming emissions from livestock feed production.
 My biggest disagreement is with your premise that meat is low hanging fruit.  No hamburgers, no milkshakes, and abject poverty for vast swaths of middle America.  I think food prices would be a potential disincentive that far exceeds volunteerism . Subsidies cause distortions in food choices and they are intended to do so. Keeping the public fat and happy may be a contributing factor. Again I am proposing a radical shift and telling farmers they need to forego 20 billion in subsidies is radical. Keeping those middle American republican votes requires the subsidies to be maintained and Trump threw an additional 5 billion to farmers yesterday to compensate for his trade war damage. At the same time he is shutting down the government to get a similar 5 billion dollar wall number. So democrats are willing to cooperate on ag subsidies ,not on a wall.
 None of this addresses the damage that subsidized commodity dumping has on artisanal farmers in the third world . Like I said earlier it sucks for vegetable operators also.
Dump the fuel and energy subsidies
Dump the agriculture subsidies
Wait for the chaos that follows to crash the GDP and resulting in meaningful reductions in emissions.

Yes I realize the fact that I can feed myself probably affects my suggestions but more people need to take up the challenge of feeding themselves. That to me is the real low hanging fruit but it is probably necessary to load the scales in people's decision matrix. Pain and hunger are big motivators..


https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions#agriculture
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 21, 2018, 09:03:22 PM
Thanks again, Bruce. Interesting about cannabis, but also about vineyards. I was just trying to brush off my Latin with Cato the Elder's De Agri Cultura (~160 BC) and noted that his advise to new farmers was that of all the use you could put farms to, grape vines was his first choice. Mast orchards (glandaria ) were fifth or sixth, about the same as orchards combined with grape vines. Grain was pretty far down, too, probably because they were already getting lots of cheap grain from North Africa by then.

Anyway, I, at least, do appreciate your updates.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Archimid on December 22, 2018, 02:58:41 AM
If we are going to try to get to zero emissions then we have to figure out how to produce food without burning fossil fuels.

  We know how to produce food without burning fossil fuels. If the world was powered by 100% renewables then all the infrastructure required to grow food on a massive scale would be emissions free, by definition. That reduces a very significant amount of agricultural emissions.

  The problem that remains is actually growing the food. I'm not entirely clear what is the net atmospheric CO2 change of the global average crop. If growing the world's food supply is carbon negative then we must grow more food. If growing the world's food supply is significantly Carbon positive then the problem must be examined further.

The consensus seems to be that meat is significantly carbon positive. I can see that being true. Animals are more energetic beings than plants. But there are ways to reduce animal emissions. The low hanging fruit would be to feed animals only emissions negative food. If that can be done, then the emissions from the animals will be at least partially offset.

We know how to do it. We just got to do it.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: oren on December 24, 2018, 07:53:47 AM
Well said SH (the whole post). Meat is the low hanging fruit indeed.
There is one other low hanging fruit as humanity prepares (not) for the 2050 catastrophe: less and late reproduction. If all women globally would each have a maximum of only one baby, and no earlier than at the age of say 27, so many resources will be saved that can be diverted to fixing the predicament we are in and will be in by 2050. Starvation is a terrible fate I do not wish on anyone, but not being born is not a tragedy, and having only one kid is not a tragedy.
I am not optimistic of course, none of this would get done, but from a systemic point of view this is the obvious humane solutions that can make so many other partial solutions much more viable, as it buys them time and reduces their overall requirements..
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 24, 2018, 10:17:41 AM
I would like to point out that carbon neutrality, once again, is only a piece of the puzzle at this point. We know that there has been significant soil degradation, requiring more fertilizers, which in turn cause more degradation and damage to the local ecosystems. Soil viable for farming is estimated to run out (at current rate of use) by the 2050s.

Some interesting reading I found regarding climate change and soil, among other things.
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5694c48bd82d5e9597570999/t/5979f38ad2b857fc87921632/1501164439392/GLO_Part_2_Ch_6.pdf (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5694c48bd82d5e9597570999/t/5979f38ad2b857fc87921632/1501164439392/GLO_Part_2_Ch_6.pdf)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on December 24, 2018, 10:31:31 AM
Quote
recent evidence suggests the public is growing largely indifferent to this and other environmental problems

Excellent reading on the current crisis for amphibians. And above, the root of all our environmental and climate change related problems.


 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_in_amphibian_populations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_in_amphibian_populations)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on December 26, 2018, 05:34:50 PM
Bruce; you may be aware of this site already - but it's a good resource for sustainable grain seed, etc.

https://www.sherckseeds.com/seeds/grains/

p.s. I'd go with sorghum, millet, or upland rice. Maybe camelina as an oil crop

https://www.sherckseeds.com/seeds/special-use-garden-plants/camelina/

Good luck.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 26, 2018, 09:20:00 PM
Re: camelina as oil crop

I have grown and crushed camelina. The seeds are tiny, smaller than canola, have to change out speeds, feeds and filters on the crusher, might take more than one pass. In my experience, canola is easier, and higher yield. Another thing i noticed was that the fraction of waste in camelina crop (non camelina seed debris) coming out of the seed cleaner was larger also, perhaps this can be alleviated with better setting on the combine.

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 27, 2018, 04:31:01 AM
Vox, Thanks for the link to the seed source. Also appreciate all of Sidd's experience with farming and oil crops. Wish there was somewhere that would serve as a primer to others interested in small scale bio production and could offer up working examples. Because I approach farming from a micro scale that uses very little equipment I doubt I have much to offer most farmers but I probably could educate someone like a gardener ramping up to feed dozens. Sidd uses oil seed crops and oil presses for bio feedstock to power equipment .I let lard hogs ( they are different than meat hogs ) do what they do best ,eat and get fat. So my bio feedstock is self propelled and biologically motivated to replicate.
 Anyway extinction and all the damage currently taking place should inspire more ideas about how we can individually and collectively move forward. Counterintuitively  it has a tendency to cause people to bury their heads which is just one more tragedy . I have younger relatives who refuse to read up on the subjects that are everyday discussed here on the ASIF. They make it clear they would prefer to Not hear. For me problems are challenges looking for solutions but for others they are threats to their preferred lifestyles. This is where I am conflicted . Yes reality is profoundly sad but that is no reason to give in . I am not a wreaking ball however . I hope to make a farm that works to both feed and educate
people not yet ready to walk back their expectations . If there were multiple examples of others farmers and their working farms I think it might find an audience. Sidd and his efforts are one example , I am another. There must be many others but I couldn't point anyone to a place where our separate but similar experiences and farms can be showcased. A serious media effort isn't my forte but I suppose I need to up my game. Someone needs to search out good examples... for the living things passing.
 



 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: sidd on December 27, 2018, 05:47:18 AM
Re: oilseeds

Don't get me wrong. You can get oil outta corn or soy. Canola has more oil than either. But you got to localize, do you need meal or oil ? you get more meal and less oil outta soy. But that might be a plus for you.

And in the larger picture: sure running lard hogs is not as efficient in terms of oil production as crushing seed straight into oil, but thats not counting the ancillary (and large) benefits that animals on a farm contribute. No farm is complete without animals. Wendell Berry, Gene Logsdon, Michael Pollan have all pointed that out more eloquently than I can.

Re: "There must be many others"

Yes. Not as many, yet, as we would hope, and far from enuf. But they are around. I was talking to a friend i hadnt seen in a few years at a xmas party. He runs 3-4 hundred acres tillable and a bunch more wooded, came into  some unexpected money that might let him get outta corn soy rotation. Already stringing fence to put a third of it in pasture, wants to do some oil, lotsa vegetables in row covers and greenhouses. 

He is fortunate more than monetarily, he has at least one son who wants to continue farming. But farming is a risky business, and he is small enuf that he might be wiped out at a faraway banker's whim.

There are many, many farmers who hate the treadmill of debt and risk in current agricultural practice in the USA. But they are trapped, and their children have left, no one left to carry on. Selling and moving to Florida looks attractive when you are sixty, seventy and the winter and the snow and the ice gets hard to handle.

sidd
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 28, 2018, 05:43:41 AM
I don't know when we will ever look this in the eye and not be driven ,well , a bit crazy.
Curtis Deutsch is one of the brightest minds I have ever had the privilege to hear in person. There are other great minds , some of them are on the forum . The rest of us try to follow along. Following along can lead I suppose to glimpses at madness. With some luck not our own but that is in the eye of the beholder.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/global-warming-today-mirrors-conditions-during-earths-largest-extinction-event-uw-study/


Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on December 28, 2018, 06:09:57 AM
Yes, good and sobering article. Thanks, Bruce.

One question. The article says, "As temperatures climbed toward the 10-degree mark, the model’s oceans became depleted of oxygen, a trend scientists are evaluating in today’s oceans, too."

So does the heating itself cause the oxygen depletion directly? Or does acidification or some other intermediary play the crucial role?

Is it just the issue that gas passes more easily from water into the atmosphere at higher temperatures?

(ETA: Ah, I see I missed this a bit below the sentence I quoted: "But warm waters can’t contain as much dissolved oxygen, which means less was available to them.")
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 28, 2018, 07:58:53 AM
Wili, A hotter ocean is less able to hold it's oxygen . Remember also that 50% of emissions go to the atmosphere , 25% into terrestrial sinks and the rest into the ocean. That ratio has been maintained even though atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppm to ~410 ppm. Co2 fertilization allows extra biological production . In the ocean this production sinks to where it is bacterially reduced. This bacterial activity
( remineralization ) releases the CO2 at depth and consumes oxygen.   So the oxygen minimum areas are expanding.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 28, 2018, 08:24:48 AM
Wili, A hotter ocean is less able to hold it's oxygen . Remember also that 50% of emissions go to the atmosphere , 25% into terrestrial sinks and the rest into the ocean. That ratio has been maintained even though atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppm to ~410 ppm. Co2 fertilization allows extra biological production . In the ocean this production sinks to where it is bacterially reduced. This bacterial activity
( remineralization ) releases the CO2 at depth and consumes oxygen.   So the oxygen minimum areas are expanding.

Indeed, as water temperature increases, maximum dissolved oxygen decreases.  Oxygen is only incorporated at the surface (from atmosphere and/or photosynthesis).  Oxygen at depth can't ever be higher than at the surface (essentially), only lower.  Lower the oxygen content at the surface (from warmth), and animal life below dies. 

Warmth magnifies the problem more than this, because as surface waters warm, they stratify and mix less with low-oxygen water below.

Other stresses will devastate humanity, but planetary ocean hypoxia is a bell tolling for the extinction of our species.   
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 28, 2018, 01:59:41 PM
Also as the oceans warm organisms use extra oxygen . Those animals that are currently living in areas with higher levels of dissolved oxygen are less able to adapt than those that currently are adapted to oxygen minimum zones .

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6419/eaat1327
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: bbr2314 on December 28, 2018, 02:01:38 PM
I highly recommend The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier). It is pertinent to many issues highlighted in this thread in an overarching way. A must-watch but not for the faint of heart.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 28, 2018, 04:45:29 PM
During the early Triassic, oxygen depleted oceans produced hydrogen sulfide which swept across land at sea level.  Oxygen depletion at elevation made mountain ranges barriers to migration.

Much like fish kills today where depths are oxygen depleted and waters near the surface are too warm, the zone of habitability narrows and in places disappears.

Early Triassic proxies show that soils were oxygen depleted and dead in places.

We, of course, will be long extinct before any of this stuff happens this time.  So no need to worry about it.       
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 28, 2018, 05:43:32 PM
ASLR has posted on ocean deoxygenation today from a different source. This thread is about extinction,not necessarily our own. We are already dealing with fish kills driven by anoxia in the Calif. Current ecosystem. There is a very long lag time between when we finally hit peak emissions and when the ocean systems begin to recover.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 28, 2018, 06:14:04 PM
We, of course, will be long extinct before any of this stuff happens this time.  So no need to worry about it.       

You may well be right.  But my sense is that the human species is remarkably tenacious, and that ocean hypoxia is progressing rather quickly.  There certainly won't be many humans left as the oceans transition to a Canfield state, having died from other causes.   But an H2S-laden atmosphere might be the final nail in the coffin.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on December 31, 2018, 10:52:59 AM
A comment from a new member:

Millions of other species destroyed environment only for food........Industrial man has destroyed environment for food, clothing, shelter PLUS thousands of consumer goods and services........The planet is dying and gasping for last breath.........If you want to see human and other life on earth in future you have to stop production of thousands of consumer goods immediately.

"Food Searching Species" did not destroy environment in millions of years........"Food Producing Society" destroyed very little environment in 10,000 years........"Consumer Goods Producing Society" has destroyed the planet in just 100 years.

Urban jobs and professions have destroyed the planet.
The entire urban population of industrial society is criminal.
The crime goes unchecked because 50% of world population is now urban.
The crime goes unchecked because urban population is running the system.

For hundred years the urban population of industrial society has been fooling the non-urban population with figures and terminologies.......Progress, Development, Growth Rate, Economy Rate, GDP.

If Urban Society stops its supplies to Rural Society it will live forever.
If Rural Society stops its supplies to Urban Society it will die within a month.
That is the worth of Urban Jobs, Consumer Goods, Growth Rate, Economy Rate and GDP.

Industry has destroyed forests, rivers, oceans and atmosphere........Industry has decimated millions of land and marine species........The farmer is not running industry........The non-farming population is running industry........Urban population is running industry........Billions of university graduates are running millions of industries and corporations that have destroyed this planet.........Billions of Scientists, Engineers, MBA's, Economists, Business and Finance Graduates are running millions of industries and corporations that have destroyed this planet.

You can never save this world without stopping urban jobs and professions.......You can never save this world without closing down the universities.

Stop Education.........Close down Universities.
Stop Urban Work..........Close down the Cities.

Industrial governments are criminal........Industrial politicians are criminal........Industrial citizens are criminal.......Urban jobs and professions are criminal.

Industrial governments are governments of urban people, by urban people, for urban people.......Urban people run corporations........Industrial governments are governments of corporations, by corporations, for corporations.

Industrial governments have destroyed farmers and tribals.......Industrial governments have destroyed forests, rivers, oceans and atmosphere........Industrial governments have decimated millions of land and marine species.

Industrialization was the biggest crime on earth......This planet was non-industrial for millions of years.......Millions of other species lived in a non-industrial world for millions of years........Man lived in forests for hundreds of thousands of years.......In agrarian society for 10,000 years......Industrial society has barely existed for hundred years.......Industrial revolution began 250 years ago but most of the world became industrialized only in the last 100 years.......This planet was non-industrial for more than 99.99% of the time life has existed on it......Hundred years of industrial activity has destroyed what was created by nature in millions of years.
.
.

You can never escape from chaos, madness and destruction once you have created extra jobs and professions.........Industrial society has done just that........Industrial society has created hundreds of extra and destructive professions for its urban population which is not producing food which was the main occupation for thousands of years before industrialization.
.
.

For millions of years there was just one main activity / occupation on earth - "Searching for Food" / "Producing Food"..........Urban population of industrial society is the anomaly that is producing consumer goods and services.

For millions of years, both adults and the offspring of millions of animal species "searched for food".

For 1 million years in hunter_gatherer society both adults and children "searched for food".

For 10,000 years in agrarian society, most of the adults and children "produced food"

In industrial society which has only existed for 100 years, urban adults are producing consumer goods and services in industries and corporations..........Their children go to schools and universities where they learn how to produce and sell consumer goods in future.
.
.

What would happen to your home if 1000 people entered and started working non-stop, picking up all the things lying in your home, breaking them up to produce new things out of them?

Your home will get ruined in one day.

This is exactly what has happened to the planet in the last 100 years.......Billions of urban people worked non-stop in millions of industries and corporations producing thousands of consumer goods which has led to the destruction of forests, rivers, oceans and atmosphere........It has led to the decimation of millions of land and marine species.
.
.

This planet is very small........Just 40,000 km in circumference.

Millions of other species destroyed environment only for food.

Forest man destroyed environment only for food.

Agrarian man destroyed environment for food, clothing and shelter.

Industrial man has destroyed environment for food, clothing, shelter PLUS thousands of consumer goods and services.

Industrial man has destroyed Exponential Extra Environment.

EXPONENTIAL EXTRA ENVIRONMENT.

It is the urban population of industrial society that has destroyed exponential extra environment.

The collective work of human society must be limited to food, clothing and shelter.........Millions of other species only get food from earth.

Millions of other species have already been decimated by industrial activity.......More than 99% of collapse has already happened......Man is next on the list.......Human collapse will come with lightning speed now.
..
http://www.envirolink.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2915
Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on December 31, 2018, 05:06:26 PM
I take issue with the comment on education.  Since the 1970's, Education has been systematically destroyed.  First was the attack on general distribution, the destruction of a Liberal Arts education, which impaired critical thinking.  Then the emphasis on trade schools, preparing cogs for the machine, rather than thinking individuals.

Financial aid, primarily grants and low interest education loans were targeted and defunded to prevent the general population from being able to get an adequate education.   

It is the lack of critical thinking, and the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff, that has dumbed down the population.

The 1960's and early 70's gave TPTB a glimpse of what having an educated and thinking general population would mean, and they immediately reversed course.

They have demonstrated that they can fill necessary roles (for the corporations) without actually educating the cogs.  All they need from them is the specialized knowledge, not actual thinking individuals.

Not that it really matters.  We were already too far down the road before we even discovered there was a problem.  A problem that has been barreling down on us for thousands of years.

Forcing everyone to go Luddite won't fix anything.  It's too late.

             
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on January 01, 2019, 05:13:45 AM
Tim
I see that the appropriately named one closed the "Immortality" thread and I wanted to let you know that I read your recommended "Ishmael" this afternoon.
I found it a bit on the pedantic side, and might argue with the gorilla's take on the known history of the ANE, but I didn't feel that my time had been wasted.
He seemed on firmer footing (pawing?) when exploring the interactions between migrant bands/tribes and sedentary civilizations than when excogitating meaningful messages from Genesis.


I'll follow your suggestion and read the followup, but not at this time.


Are you familiar with "The Razor's Edge", or perhaps "The Giles Goat Boy"?
Two very different reads that may each be seen as probing the Zen imploration to kill the true Buddha if you should meet him on the road.


Perhaps either could act as a fitting response to Ishmael's rather heavy handed harangue?


Have a great 2019
Terry

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on January 15, 2019, 03:10:12 AM
Quote
The International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita reported in 2017 that there were just 30 vaquita left...

My current sources confirmed to me that we are now talking about a dozen vaquitas left in the Sea of Cortez.

https://news.mongabay.com/2018/03/only-12-vaquita-porpoises-remain-watchdog-groups-report/


A decline of more than 50% in a span of 12 months and 98% decline since 1997. Perhaps extant to extinct by 2020?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on January 15, 2019, 03:20:36 AM
The River And The Wall

A film on the ecological impacts (and more) building a 1200 mile border wall will have from El Paso, Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. Coming 2019.

http://theriverandthewall.com/ (http://theriverandthewall.com/)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on January 18, 2019, 01:48:25 AM
An article on the same subject ...

The Ecological Disaster that is Trump’s Border Wall: a Visual Guide
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/4/10/14471304/trump-border-wall-animals

Quote
... According to internal documents recently made public by the conservation non-profit Defenders of Wildlife through the Freedom of Information Act, US wildlife officials have been raising red flags about the new construction. They think it will further degrade habitat for wildlife, including endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, and further restrict their movement.

 “The Service is concerned the levee wall in Hidalgo County could be subject to catastrophic natural flood events, leaving terrestrial wildlife trapped behind the levee wall to drown or starve,” a regional director of the Fish and Wildlife Service wrote in a 2017 letter to a branch chief of the Customs and Border Protection division of DHS. Ecotourism in the region will suffer, they warn.

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/thrgX-Vbsl2NRnuzRLNhKG8Fci0=/0x0:1200x988/1120x0/filters:focal(0x0:1200x988):format(webp):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13692450/RIO_GRANDE_BORDER_WALL__1_.jpg)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on January 18, 2019, 09:52:19 PM
How awesome and fitting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch-fed2_swY
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on January 19, 2019, 05:18:30 PM
‘A sad day’: two more B.C. mountain caribou herds now locally extinct

...

Human disturbances, including clear-cut logging, mining and oil and gas development, have given natural predators like wolves easy access to caribou whose habitat has been destroyed or fragmented right across the country, with disastrous consequences for once-robust herds.

...

Thirty of B.C.’s 54 caribou herds are at risk of local extinction, and 14 of those herds have fewer than 25 animals.

https://thenarwhal.ca/a-sad-day-two-more-b-c-mountain-caribou-herds-now-locally-extinct/

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on January 19, 2019, 09:20:43 PM
Quote
George, a Hawaiian tree snail—and the last known member of the species Achatinella apexfulva.
George was born in a captive breeding facility at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in the early 2000s, and soon after, the rest of his kin died.

For over a decade, researchers searched in vain for another member of the species for George to mate with, to no avail.

..The same thing is happening to other snails on the other islands. “Stuff is just blinking out,” she laments. “This entire taxonomic group is about to fall off the face of the planet.”


https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/01/george-the-lonely-snail-dies-in-hawaii-extinction/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: b_lumenkraft on January 20, 2019, 10:17:26 AM
Animals across the planet are being paralyzed and dying from a Vitamin B1 deficiency and researchers are stumped. Fish and birds especially seems to be affected, as worldwide seabird populations have plummeted by 70%, while fish populations are also collapsing. The cause of the deficiency is unknown

Link >> https://www.pnas.org/content/115/42/10532

Quote
“We found that thiamine deficiency is much more widespread and severe than previously thought,” Balk says. Given its scope, he suggests that a pervasive thiamine deficiency could be at least partly responsible for global wildlife population declines. Over a 60-year period up to 2010, for example, worldwide seabird populations declined by approximately 70%, and globally, species are being lost 1,000 times faster than the natural rate of extinction (9, 10). “He has seen a thiamine deficiency in several differ phyla now,” says Fitzsimons of Balk. “One wonders what is going on. It’s a larger issue than we first suspected.”
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 20, 2019, 02:38:49 PM
From article...

"But researchers need not invoke a pollutant to explain thiamine deficits, says Sergio Sañudo-Wilhelmy, an environmental biogeochemist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Imbalances in phytoplankton and bacteria, both of which are primary producers of thiamine and other B vitamins, could account for the problem (15).

Sañudo-Wilhelmy has measured very low levels of B vitamins, including thiamine, in coastal waters around California. Other researchers have estimated similar scarcities in some areas of the open ocean (16). Warming waters due to climate change could explain the seawater vitamin scarcity, he says. Warmer temperatures speed bacterial growth, making the microbes consume more B vitamins than they produce—gobbling up the vitamins before the phytoplankton can take their share."
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 20, 2019, 05:24:34 PM
Here is a open sourced paper by Sanudo- Wilhelmy
https://www.pnas.org/content/109/35/14041?ijkey=880ea6dcae7d169b03e4fb8ac431413970823346&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

From the paper
"Furthermore, it appears that concentrations of B vitamins are maximal in the upper mesopelagic zone. Hence, climate-driven changes in water-column stratification (34) and ocean circulation (35) could reduce vitamin input from the mesopelagic zone to the surface ocean and cause changes in bacterioplankton biogeography, respectively. This climate shift might disrupt ecosystem function via important vitamin-dependent biological processes, such as primary production and associated carbon export in the ocean."
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: SteveMDFP on January 20, 2019, 11:38:32 PM
Here is a open sourced paper by Sanudo- Wilhelmy
https://www.pnas.org/content/109/35/14041?ijkey=880ea6dcae7d169b03e4fb8ac431413970823346&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

From the paper
"Furthermore, it appears that concentrations of B vitamins are maximal in the upper mesopelagic zone. Hence, climate-driven changes in water-column stratification (34) and ocean circulation (35) could reduce vitamin input from the mesopelagic zone to the surface ocean and cause changes in bacterioplankton biogeography, respectively. This climate shift might disrupt ecosystem function via important vitamin-dependent biological processes, such as primary production and associated carbon export in the ocean."

It's an interesting line of inquiry, possibly relevant beyond marine environments.  I do recall reading of Florida alligators dying from brain damage from thiamine deficiency:
Gizzard shad thiaminase activity and its effect on the thiamine status of captive American alligators Alligator mississippiensis
https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gizzard-shad-thiaminase-activity-and-its-effect-on-Ross-Honeyfield/d1ef1e01088de1fc6dbf6c3b7eb2549e5af39b05 (https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gizzard-shad-thiaminase-activity-and-its-effect-on-Ross-Honeyfield/d1ef1e01088de1fc6dbf6c3b7eb2549e5af39b05)

Now that problem seems to have been mostly from dietary consumption of thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine.
Still, I wonder if something like that could be a factor in global insect and bird declines.  I note that insects have a dietary requirement for thiamine.  In some cases, their gut bacteria produce thiamine:
Vitamin supplementation by gut symbionts ensures metabolic homeostasis in an insect host
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4213650/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4213650/)

Possibly antibiotics widely used in livestock might persist in the environment long enough to affect insect gut flora, and thus lead to thiamine deficiency.

I wonder if insects in areas with a marked decline (most of the world, it seems) might be shown to have low stores of thiamine, or other essential nutrients.  Shouldn't be too hard to get an initial indication.  Dump a measured mass of some species of bug into a blender, then measure concentration of essential nutrients.  Biggest problem might be finding a control group where insect levels *haven't* declined.

Then the challenge would be figuring out how to get honey bees to swallow vitamin pills.   ;-)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on January 24, 2019, 11:57:02 AM
Since 'extinction' and 'abyss' strike me as similar, I thought I'd put this here. We so often get wrapped up in technical issues, whether about ice or cars or politics. This paragraph, to me, sums up the deeper and even more urgent need to re-examine our priorities:

Quote
We’re told, often enough, that as a species we are poised on the edge of the abyss. It’s possible that our puffed-up, prideful intelligence has outstripped our instinct for survival and the road back to safety has already been washed away. In which case there’s nothing much to be done. If there is something to be done, then one thing is for sure: those who created the problem will not be the ones who come up with a solution. Encrypting our emails will help, but not very much. Recalibrating our understanding of what love means, what happiness means – and, yes, what countries mean – might. Recalibrating our priorities might.

An old-growth forest, a mountain range or a river valley is more important and certainly more lovable than any country will ever be. I could weep for a river valley, and I have. But for a country? Oh, man, I don’t know…

Roy and Cusack.  "Things that can and cannot be said"

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/28/conversation-edward-snowden-arundhati-roy-john-cusack-interview
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on January 25, 2019, 09:55:10 AM
Tiny killer threatens giant clam, aquatic emblem of the Med

...

French marine biologist Nardo Vicente, of the Paul Ricard Institute of Oceanography, has monitored a field of noble pen shells off the coast of Corsica since the early nineties.

Nestled on the seabed between 26 and 40 metres underwater, the clams are around 30 years old and have grown to around 80 cm.
"In 2017 the field was in perfect health," he said.
"This year, everything was dead, absolutely a hundred percent!"

Tiny assassin

The parasite, found in the digestive systems of several of the dead noble pen shells, is from the haplosporidium genus, blamed in the United States for the mass die-off of oysters in Delaware Bay in the 1950s.

It is not yet clear what brought the tiny killer to the Mediterranean or how it is spreading so fast, although it could have arrived on the hulls of merchant ships.

But the disease appears to thrive in warming waters.

Vicente said global warming was acting to stimulate "a bunch of germs, viruses and parasites" that had lain dormant but "act fully with the rise in temperature".

The waters around the Corsican field he monitored were 20 degrees C even at 40 metres, when normally they would be 13 or 14 degrees C.

"It's completely abnormal," he said.

https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-killer-threatens-giant-clam.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 29, 2019, 12:55:10 AM
Kassy, I spent most of my life as a fisherman. The disease issues with the pen shells are IMO directly related to stress caused by the extraordinary heat they are being exposed to. I watched seven species of abalone suffer very large dieoffs starting in the 82-83 and 97-98 El Niño events due to a rickettsial infection. Purple urchins also experienced dieoffs during those two El Niño events and those dieoffs have expanded to Red Sea urchin populations in the 2015-16 El Niño. Heat is the stressor and disease is the opportunistic kill mechanism. Starfish are another example.
 I believe the oyster problems on the US east coast are also being driven by heat stress. Lobster populations are also susceptible to disease in hot water and their east coast populations have moved north as a result. 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 31, 2019, 06:08:45 PM
Here is an article on some the issues of disease associated with increased ocean heat. The dieoff of starfish that started during the "blob" of 2013 has resulted in a population bloom of purple sea urchins.
The sea urchins have overgrazed the kelp beds resulting in starvation of herbivores like abalone. The abalone fisheries have closed as a result. Disease events for abalone in Southern Calif. started in the 82-83 El Niño and the commercial fishery closed there a couple decades ago. Red abalone have recovered in Southern Calif. and the starfish dieoff hasn't resulted in as large a problem for kelp beds there because there are several other predators for urchins in Southern Calif. compared to Northern Calif. also purple urchins suffer dieoffs 25C and those temperatures aren't reached in Northern Calif. but they are in the south. There are numerous other herbivores in the nearshore reef habitats that are also in steep decline but we don't see numbers on them because to a large degree nobody is keeping track.

https://tech2.org/this-is-shocking-an-underwater-pest-is-destroying-a-key-oceanic-species-science/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on January 31, 2019, 07:16:52 PM
Bruce
In recent years, at least here in Canada the price of lobster has crashed. I assume this is due to large commercial hauls.


Is this a localized phenomena?


Are warm waters helping the lobsters by killing their predators, or do lobsters simply prefer the new warmer temperatures?


Probably totally unrelated, but the last time I was at Bras d'Ore in Nova Scotia it looked like jelly fish soup. Is this also the result of warmer water? Is there any way to end this kind of infestation?


Bras d'Ore is one of the most beautiful places on earth, but I wouldn't stick a toe in the water while wearing a wet suit.


Thanks
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 31, 2019, 09:11:58 PM
Terry, The crash in cod is one factor resulting in a relaxation of predatory pressure on lobster. The Atlantic lobsters however have had population declines in the southern end of their range due to hot water and an associated shell disease. Another example of water temperatures associated with disease. I believe the change in water temperatures are forcing the lobster populations north.
 In reading the full paper on the starfish disease it appears the same densovirus killing West Coast starfish is also killing starfish on the East Coast of North America. Not all starfish are equally susceptible and I don't know if starfish are a primary urchin predator on the East Coast but if they are kelp may be threatened there as well. Shipping live seafood around the world and keeping them in seawater tanks that circulate ocean waters is a recipe for more problems .
 Although I have read about blooms in jellyfish around the world we haven't experienced large increases in jellies here in Southern Calif.  I don't know what drives various jellyfish population blooms.

For those interested here is the full paper on the starfish dieoff.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5700558/SeaStars-ScienceAdvancesJan302019.pdf
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on February 01, 2019, 03:28:47 AM
Jeez!


"Diseased sea stars develop progressively worse dermal lesions , arms detach from the central disc, and gonads spill from fully reproductive stars and individuals die, often leaving white piles of ossicles and disconnected limbs"

I'm eternally grateful for not being susceptible to this particular disease!
.......


Strange that they're tracking temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures. I would have thought that the delta between Alaskan waters and S.California water would exceed the difference in anomalies at either location.


You mention jellyfish blooms, does this indicate that they typically go through boom/bust cycles, that the masses I encountered might in a short time die off?
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 01, 2019, 05:01:32 AM
Terry, I am no expert on the life cycle of jellyfish. When I refer to jellyfish blooms that is because where I spent the forty years of my fishing career they always showed up during the spring upwelling season when nutrients are at their maximum. Cnidarians have a complex lifecycle with a hydra stage that is connected to the bottom, it asexually produces polyps that then become free swimming jellyfish that sexually reproduce. After the sexual process is completed the jellies expire. So yes the jellies you saw may have completed their lifecycle, or maybe the wind drove them onshore. By early summer most of the jellyfish are gone but some species live several months around here. This is a generalization but there are undoubtably exemptions I wasn't paying attention to. What happens to jellyfish is an example of a life form that we just don't pay enough attention to to recognize population crashes that climate change might precipitate. 
 Many of the jellies in the spring bloom were very small and being in the bloom was kinda like swimming in a soup of them. I had to change my focus to that which was only inches in front of my eyes to see them , many were very beautiful with spinning rainbow colors along their sides. Some swam like little butterflies ,others pulsed like the larger jellies, and others were cylindrical and rotated with cilia . Paying too much attention to all the various life forms that surrounded you resulted in bottom time that wasn't producing sea urchins so you tend to focus on what was paying the bills but there was enough time swimming back to the boat or decompressing to take in the show on occasion .

 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 01, 2019, 06:24:19 AM
Chris Martenson usually charges for his posts but here is a sobering one that is free for the reading.
You might want to take a strong drink first. Collapse is upon us

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114741/collapse-already-here?utm_campaign=weekly_newsletter_373&utm_source=newsletter_2019-01-26&utm_medium=email_newsletter&utm_content=node_link_114741
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Rodius on February 01, 2019, 12:24:09 PM
The Chris Martenson article mentions the fish die off in NSW, Australia, which was very bad.
Sadly, another one happened this week.
While the heat certainly played a part, and the Govt is pleading ignorance or attempting to say they couldnt do anything about it, that is an outright lie.

While the river is in bad shape and heat is killing everything in it, upriver a few thousand km there are super huge cotton plantations and mines that are siphoning off entire rivers. The scale is huge.
So, given the approval by Govts for the excess water usage, the heatwave and ongoing drought (that they still dont call a drought), what is happening is a combination of events and decisions that is now going to be rather difficult to fix mostly because the politicians refuse to believe it is their fault.

I wont even get started on entire towns running out of water......

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/29/menindee-fish-kill-nsw-water-minister-says-hes-not-downplaying-latest-deaths

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on February 01, 2019, 01:54:05 PM
Chris Martenson, now there's a guy I learned a couple of things from, back in the day (10-12 years ago).  :)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Cid_Yama on February 01, 2019, 11:20:01 PM
Sulfur Dioxide has continued to increase in our atmosphere, which settles and dissolves in water as sulfidic anions—specifically, sulfites and bisulfites.  Sulfites cleave thiamine at its methylene bridge, causing its destruction.

Thiamine is one of the most unstable of the B vitamins and naturally degrades rather rapidly at pH at or above 7, in the presence of sulfites.

Recent studies of thiamine degradation at ambient temperatures has shown that increasing temperatures accelerate the degradation.

The wastewaters from many of our industries contain sulfites.  Herbicides, pulp and paper, food processing (preservatives), oil recovery, mineral processing, textiles (dyes), and, surprisingly, flue gas scrubbing.  All of this runoff reaches the oceans.

One more way we are contributing to our own extinction.  Destroying an essential (cannot be synthesized by our body) vitamin in our environment, which, because it is water-soluble, is not retained by the body, and must be constantly replenished through our diet.

   

   



     

 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 02, 2019, 03:30:40 PM
Chris Martenson usually charges for his posts but here is a sobering one that is free for the reading.
You might want to take a strong drink first. Collapse is upon us

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114741/collapse-already-here?utm_campaign=weekly_newsletter_373&utm_source=newsletter_2019-01-26&utm_medium=email_newsletter&utm_content=node_link_114741

I would just like to say that this is quite likely the most disturbing thing I have ever read. Many of the individual stories I am aware of but to have it all gathered in a single read is....
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 02, 2019, 05:03:38 PM
I only missed this which is pretty frightening:

If you recall, we’ve also recently reported on the findings showing that phytoplankton levels are down 50% (these are a prime source for thiamine, by the way).

Thanks Cid_Yama for the additional info on this problem.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 02, 2019, 05:58:34 PM
Kassy, I would like to see better documentation of the Phytoplankton declines . I do not believe these declines are global and some explanation as to causes of purported local declines would be appreciated.
Sources please.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 02, 2019, 06:09:53 PM
The quote was from the Martenson piece.

his source:
http://www.roperld.com/science/peakfish.htm#phytoplankton

The Nature article is here:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/45424431_Global_phytoplankton_decline_over_the_past_century
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 02, 2019, 06:13:27 PM
The precipitous declines in insectivore birds and insect populations has me worried. Climate warming and insecticides are undoubtably implicated but it seems to me the declines seem to be intensifying and I wonder if the microwave radiation may be a contributing factor.

https://ehtrust.org/science/bees-butterflies-wildlife-research-electromagnetic-fields-environment/

The swallows here on my farm have been in decline for several years and this is the first year the local phoebes have disappeared as well as mountain bluebirds that usually overwinter here. I have also noticed a total absence of any butterflies and I have been looking at the radiators of people's vehicles that are completely clean. Nada, zilch .
 Kassy, Thanks I will have some reading to do this morning.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 02, 2019, 09:25:43 PM
Kassy, The graph that Martenson based his Arctic phytoplankton decline upon is flawed I believe. Due to a decline in Arctic sea ice NOAA shows 20% increase in Arctic phytoplankton rather than the 50% decline Martenson claims.

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/sea-ice-declines-boost-arctic-phytoplankton-productivity

The Boyce et al 2010 paper is also flawed due to satellite data missing a substantial portion of Southern Hemisphere chlorophyll . If there were anywhere near the phytoplankton decline Boyce claims there would be multiple ecosystem declines that just haven't happened. The ocean carbon sink has increased as the atmospheric CO2 concentration has gone from 280 to 408 otherwise the relative portions of atmosphere 50% ocean 25% and terrestrial 25 % uptake rates would have changed. They haven't.
 I am as worried as anyone here about some of the problems in the Martenson paper but the phytoplankton declines he claims are IMO overstated although long term acidification will be taking a toll on some forms of phytoplankton. Here is a discussion paper on Boyce that also covers some of the longer term issues I alluding to.


https://www.declineoftheempire.com/2013/09/science-is-hard-time-is-short.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: magnamentis on February 02, 2019, 10:09:27 PM
nobody is keeping track.

https://tech2.org/this-is-shocking-an-underwater-pest-is-destroying-a-key-oceanic-species-science/

thanks a lot for this link, bookmarked for further distribution,

(un) fortunately i got rid of morons in my life and the real friends i kept around me are already aware and alert.

nevertheless, each single person that can be provided with such information is an important gain of momentum, will do my best.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 03, 2019, 09:51:23 PM
Bruce thanks for your reply and the link.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on February 07, 2019, 12:09:18 AM
Humans Are Eating Most of Earth's Largest Animals to Extinction   
https://amp.livescience.com/64697-humans-meat-eating-megafauna-extinction.html

Quote
...  In new research published today (Feb. 6) in the journal Conservation Letters, scientists surveyed the populations of nearly 300 species of megafauna around the world, and saw some troubling trends emerge. According to the authors, at least 200 species (70 percent) of the world's largest animals are seeing their populations dwindle, and more than 150 face the risk of outright extinction.

The primary threat in most of these cases appears to be human meat consumption.

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/74464665-3af5-4351-bab8-0dd2b85ef987/conl12627-fig-0003-m.jpg)

"Direct harvest for human consumption of meat or body parts is the biggest danger to nearly all of the large species with threat data available," lead study author William Ripple, a professor of ecology at the Oregon State University College of Forestry, said in a statement. "Our results suggest we're in the process of eating megafauna to extinction."

Open access: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12627   
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Klondike Kat on February 07, 2019, 07:01:41 PM
Humans Are Eating Most of Earth's Largest Animals to Extinction   
https://amp.livescience.com/64697-humans-meat-eating-megafauna-extinction.html

Quote
...  In new research published today (Feb. 6) in the journal Conservation Letters, scientists surveyed the populations of nearly 300 species of megafauna around the world, and saw some troubling trends emerge. According to the authors, at least 200 species (70 percent) of the world's largest animals are seeing their populations dwindle, and more than 150 face the risk of outright extinction.

The primary threat in most of these cases appears to be human meat consumption.

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/74464665-3af5-4351-bab8-0dd2b85ef987/conl12627-fig-0003-m.jpg)

"Direct harvest for human consumption of meat or body parts is the biggest danger to nearly all of the large species with threat data available," lead study author William Ripple, a professor of ecology at the Oregon State University College of Forestry, said in a statement. "Our results suggest we're in the process of eating megafauna to extinction."

Open access: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12627   

I have read that over hunting / fishing is the second leading cause, after habitat destruction.  Either way, both of these are serious issues that are likely to push many species to (over) the brink.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on February 10, 2019, 08:40:07 PM
Plummeting Insect Numbers 'Threaten Collapse of Nature
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

Quote
“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

(https://previews.123rf.com/images/victorass88/victorass881406/victorass88140600005/28937992-macro-shot-of-a-group-of-dead-insects-isolated-on-white.jpg)

The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.

“If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the review with Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

The 2.5% rate of annual loss over the last 25-30 years is “shocking”, Sánchez-Bayo told the Guardian: “It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.”

One of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” he said. Such cascading effects have already been seen in Puerto Rico, where a recent study revealed a 98% fall in ground insects over 35 years.

Quote
... “When you consider 80% of biomass of insects has disappeared in 25-30 years, it is a big concern.”

The new analysis selected the 73 best studies done to date to assess the insect decline.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718313636
Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers 
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 19, 2019, 02:52:54 PM
Great Barrier Reef rodent becomes 1st official ‘climate change extinction’

Australia’s government has declared the Bramble Cay melomys extinct, making it what is believed to be the first mammalian casualty directly attributed to man-made climate change.
The official declaration on Tuesday by Australia’s Environment Ministry was long-expected, as a wide-ranging survey of the critter’s habitat in 2014 found no traces of the species. The rat was last seen by fisherman almost a decade ago with no officially registered sightings since.

https://www.rt.com/news/451805-australia-rat-climate-change-extinction/

Just for the record...
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on February 19, 2019, 08:04:05 PM
Quote
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported last week that in 2018 it issued so-called "emergency" approvals to spray sulfoxaflor—an insecticide the agency considers "very highly toxic" to bees—on more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees.


https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-epa-pesticides--2629292283.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 20, 2019, 10:50:45 AM
Ocean acidification harms cod larvae more than previously thought

...

The previously published paper by these scientists has shown that due to ocean acidification less cod larvae survive, which means less individuals mature and reproduce. "So far, we liked to believe that at least the larvae that survived would be able to deal with these conditions," says Dr. Martina Stiasny from GEOMAR, first author of this study, "and could have across generations allowed the species to adapt". The results of the new study defeat this hope.

It shows that even the surviving larvae have significant organ damages and developmental delays. "Especially the development of the gills is worrying. Compared to the body size, they are underdeveloped," explains Dr. Catriona Clemmesen, corresponding author of the study and leader of the larval ecology group at GEOMAR. Gills, like the lungs in humans, are an extremely important organ, which not only regulates the oxygen uptake, but in fish is also responsible for the adjustment of the internal pH. Underdeveloped gills are therefore likely to negatively affect the individuals throughout their development and following life stages.

Another paper, published last year in Scientific Reports, has already shown that the acclimation of the parental generation to high carbon dioxide concentrations only yields a benefit to the offspring, if prey concentrations are very high. "These ideal situations are very unlikely to be encountered by the larvae in nature", says Dr. Clemmesen. In more realistic food conditions, exposing the parental generation to acidification lead to an even worse health status of the larvae.

...

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/hcfo-oah021819.php
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2019, 02:31:50 PM
More on the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys.

RIP to the First Mammal Officially Killed by Climate Change
Quote
The extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys was marked by little fanfare. An announcement about its extinction is tucked away in a release issued on Monday by Melissa Price, who serves as Australia’s Minister for the Environment. The release classifies the endangered status of 11 Australian plants and animals, including the Bramble Cay melomys, which was transferred from the “endangered category” to the “extinct category.” It is only mentioned in a reference table at the bottom of the page.

More importantly, despite the fact that climate change has been implicated in the decline, and possible extinction, of the tiny mammal several times in the past, the phrase climate change is completely absent from the release. ...
https://www.inverse.com/article/53411-rip-bramble-cay-melomys-the-first-mammal-killed-by-climate-change
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on February 20, 2019, 07:08:45 PM
The first Global Amphibian Assessment was completed in 2004 and reported the believed extinction of 168 species in the past 30 years, as well as at least 43% (~2470) of amphibian species in decline.
The 2nd Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA2) was completed in December 2018. GAA2 will update us on the state of amphibians (duh) world wide.

If I had to guess, we will see reports of a continued decline in amphibian populations, and likely an upgrade (meaning more at risk) of many species on the IUCN red list.

The major causes of amphibian collapse currently are chytrid fungus (affecting 30% of amphibian species), habitation destruction and fragmentation, environmental degradation and exposure to human activity (toxins), invasive species, increased noise levels, and of course, climate change.


I, for one, am very interested in reading the GAA2 report when it is made available.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on February 22, 2019, 03:07:21 PM
Botswana Mulls Using Elephants for Pet Food
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47330414

A report by cabinet ministers in Botswana has recommended lifting a four-year hunting ban and the introduction of elephant culling.

After months of public meetings and consultations, the report by ministers also recommends the "establishment of elephant meat canning" for pet food.

With an election due in October, the government has to balance lifting the hunting ban to win rural votes, against the impact it may have on Botswana's international reputation as a luxury safari destination.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on February 23, 2019, 06:11:07 AM
Amended threatened species list set to grow as Wet Tropics suffers through extreme heat events

Official recognition that the spectacled flying fox is now an endangered species was bittersweet for those who lobbied for its change in status.

...

CSIRO monitoring showed a 50 per cent loss between 2004 and 2017 and heatwaves this summer have further decimated the remaining population by an estimated 30 per cent.

"After the heat event, the species is probably closer to 'critically endangered'," CSIRO ecologist David Westcott said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-23/flying-fox-decline-signals-dire-warning-for-health-of-tropics/10838580
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on March 01, 2019, 01:19:48 PM
The Shells of Wild Sea Butterflies Are Already Dissolving

This long-predicted outcome of ocean acidification experiments has started showing up in the wild.

For more than a decade, laboratory studies and models have warned of the vulnerability of pteropods—tiny sea snails also known as sea butterflies—to ocean acidification. Now those predictions have escaped the lab. From the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea to the Beaufort Sea, scientists are finding pteropods with dissolved shells. Nina Bednarsek, a biogeochemist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, recently presented some of these findings at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

...

The pteropod Bednarsek studies, Limacina helicina, is more than just the proverbial canary in the coal mine. One of only two species of pteropod to live in high-latitude waters, this particular species is abundant and critical to Arctic food webs, often dominating zooplankton communities and feeding everything from pink salmon to whales.

Pteropods can patch their damaged shells, but at a cost, Bednarsek explains. “The pteropods are a bit more physiologically compromised—not really feeling very well.” More acidic water triggers stress responses in the pteropods, as well as sucking energy to rebuild their shells. Stressed out pteropods accumulate free radicals, which decompose their lipids and fatty acids. And since these lipids and fatty acids are essential nutrients for juvenile fishes, corroded pteropods make a poor meal, compromising the health of other animals in the food chain.

...

https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/the-shells-of-wild-sea-butterflies-are-already-dissolving/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on March 01, 2019, 05:24:21 PM
Catastrophic Outlook for African Savannahs Due to Rise in CO2 Levels
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-catastrophic-outlook-african-savannahs-due.html

A ground-breaking research study looking at modern and ancient landscapes has discovered African plants could be facing mass extinction faster than once thought.

Scientists from the Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University, looked at chemical fossils, with special emphasis on plant vegetable oils preserved in ancient sediments.

The fossils revealed almost 8,000 sub-tropical African plant species from an estimated total of about 23,000 species could become extinct within the next few decades.

The worrying figure amounts to 33 per cent of Africa's contemporary plant diversity, affecting basic ecosystems worldwide.

Academics also claim, the magnitude of biodiversity loss projected for southeast Africa over the next 100 years will be more significant than anything seen in the last 15,000 years or more.
Quote
... "Our study informs us of a possible catastrophic outlook for plants and diversity in this African region and the magnitude of biodiversity loss will be especially pronounced for sub-tropical regions, such as savannahs."

The trend was discovered after researchers looked into the widespread rapid decrease of (sub) tropical biodiversity, including plants during the most recent large-scale global warming event (deglaciation amid 10,000 to 18,000 years ago) that followed the Last Glacial Maximum.

They discovered the decline was due to rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels which affected the ability of plants with specialised traits, to complete with more cosmopolitan and faster growing plants like weedy grasses.

Open Access: Clayton R. Magill et al. Isotopic variance among plant lipid homologues correlates with biodiversity patterns of their source communities (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0212211), PLOS ONE (2019).

-----------------------------------

Population Increases and Climate Change Point to Future US water Shortages
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-population-climate-future-shortages.html#ms

Climate change plus population growth are setting the stage for water shortages in parts of the U.S. long before the end of the century, according to a new study in the AGU journal Earth's Future.

The new study finds climate change and population growth are likely to present serious challenges in some regions of the U.S., notably the central and southern Great Plains, the Southwest and central Rocky Mountain States, and California, and also some areas in the South and the Midwest.

Even efforts to use water more efficiently in municipal and industrial sectors won't be enough to stave off shortages, say the authors of the new study. The results suggest that reductions in agricultural water use will probably play the biggest role in limiting future water shortages.

Simulations show that major additions to storage capacity are ineffectual in the most vulnerable basins due to a lack of water to fill the reservoirs.

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/5370fbc4-5409-4a4e-be01-c2108cbd5389/eft2519-fig-0002-m.png)
Past and projected annual water yield and demand by basin. (a) Water yield in past period (Bm3). (b) Percent change in water yield from past period to mid future period, mean of 14 futures. (c) Water demand in the past period (Mm3). (d) Percent change in water demand from past period to mid future period, mean of 14 futures. Time periods: past (1985–2010) and midfuture (2046–2070).

Open Access: Thomas C. Brown et al, Adaptation to Future Water Shortages in the United States Caused by Population Growth and Climate Change (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018EF001091), Earth's Future (2019).

----------------------------------------

Forests, Carbon Sinks, Cannot Make Up for Delays in Decarbonizing the Economy
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-forests-carbon-decarbonizing-economy.html

"Natural climate solutions are not enough" (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6430/933) Science (2019).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on March 05, 2019, 05:14:34 PM
Due to Humans, Extinction Risk for 1,700 Animal Species to Increase by 2070
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-due-humans-extinction-animal-species.html

As humans continue to expand our use of land across the planet, we leave other species little ground to stand on. By 2070, increased human land-use is expected to put 1,700 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals at greater extinction risk by shrinking their natural habitats, according to a study by Yale ecologists published in Nature Climate Change.

"Our findings link these plausible futures with their implications for biodiversity," said Walter Jetz, co-author and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and of forestry and environmental studies at Yale. "Our analyses allow us to track how political and economic decisions—through their associated changes to the global land cover—are expected to cause habitat range declines in species worldwide."

The study shows that under a middle-of-the-road scenario of moderate changes in human land-use about 1,700 species will likely experience marked increases in their extinction risk over the next 50 years: They will lose roughly 30-50% of their present habitat ranges by 2070. These species of concern include 886 species of amphibians, 436 species of birds, and 376 species of mammals—all of which are predicted to have a high increase in their risk of extinction.

These projections and all other analyzed species can be examined at the Map of Life website (https://mol.org/species/projection/landuse).

"Losses in species populations can irreversibly hamper the functioning of ecosystems and human quality of life," ... "While biodiversity erosion in far-away parts of the planet may not seem to affect us directly, its consequences for human livelihood can reverberate globally. It is also often the far-away demand that drives these losses—think tropical hardwoods, palm oil, or soybeans—thus making us all co-responsible."

Global habitat loss and extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates under land-use-change scenarios (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0406-z), Nature Climate Change (2019)

-----------------------------------

Adders are Facing Near Extinction in Britain
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-adders-extinction-britain-national-adder.html

The adder could all but disappear from the UK countryside by 2032, according to new research conducted with the help of citizen scientists.

The findings, published in the Herpetological Journal, are the culmination of 11 years of nationwide monitoring and showed that 90 percent of adder populations surveyed were declining. Experts warn that, if these trends continue, within just 10-20 years adders could be restricted to just a handful of sites in the UK

This is not just bad for adders. Adders are an indicator species. If adders are in serious decline, this suggests many other species who depend on the same habitats are likely to be suffering too. So why are so many adder populations in decline and what can we do about it? The study also identified key threats currently affecting the adder sites. Top of the list was public pressure through disturbance.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on March 15, 2019, 08:22:01 PM
Quote
Conservationists say they have found a dead vaquita porpoise, a critically endangered marine animal of which only about 10 remain in the world, in a fish net off the coast of Mexico.

A report published by the IUCN on March 6 states that only about 10 vaquitas remained alive in 2018, as per an acoustic monitoring program conducted in the Gulf, though there is a 95% chance they number between 6 and 22.

“Without immediate, effective action on the part of the Government, the vaquita is doomed to extinction,” the report adds.

http://time.com/5552189/sea-shepherd-vaquita-porpoise-endangered-mexico/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on March 18, 2019, 01:30:54 PM
The 12 Signs That Show We're in The Middle of a 6th Mass Extinction

https://www.sciencealert.com/these-12-signs-show-we-re-in-the-middle-of-a-6th-mass-extinction

Nothing new but a convenient list.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Gray-Wolf on March 19, 2019, 08:47:42 PM
We rightly condemn the senseless waste of life that 'haters' cause in their attacks and radicalisation of others and all that brings yet when thousands blink out because of a natural disaster we do not join together and pledge our solidarity against the folk who 'augmented' that disaster making it so deadly?

Maybe " you can't say AGW caused it!" is no defence as , in a warming world, every weather event has 'some' AGW in it. So how many in Africa died because of the AGW 'portion' of that Cyclone???

10%, 5%?

Both would return numbers bigger than the horror in Christchurch cost us yet the paid deniers that allowed us here,with little mitigation,just go about their days as if they have not a care in the world but us 'catastrophists'
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Neven on March 27, 2019, 11:32:34 PM
Comment from new member:

The Conversation No One Knows How to Have


Interesting to see how abrupt climate change is entering the common discussion without being called what it is.

Today, my fiance and one of my son's teachers were discussing the flooding disaster here in Nebraska. One of them were talking about how bad it was and that people outside of Nebraska and Iowa just do not understand the significance of the damage to food and agriculture that had occurred from the flooding.

This seems to be true. And it may be even non-farmers living in this region do not fully appreciate how bad it is (although it's easier to pay attention and know someone who does). But this sh*t is bad. From the mass destruction of infrastructure and private equipment to the losses of grains both stored from last year sitting out and spoiling in polluted water and more rain. And parts of the region may see more snow and rain Friday-Saturday. But the inability to plant this year as well...eroded soils, polluted soils, soil covered in sand from rivers. In many cases, because of melting of the previously frozen soil with the mass melting and runoff, has now turned to muddy mush. And this is literally one part of the world. Let's not forget all the recent and current disasters impacting our world.

People who say that "this has happened before" because water happened to rise over the bank of a river which flooded before anger me. "The climate is always changing" others say. "We don't know whether this is climate change".

There's denial...blaming our increasingly energetic, steroid-juiced destabilizing climate with more and more explosive extremes on "poor infrastructure" or "building in the wrong places" or "variability"...and then there's simply the equivalent of looking at a terminally ill patient straight in the eye and telling them to get over it, take some meds and walk it off. It's to the point of like..."what??" When we call the variability of a cataclysmic sh*tshow right before our very eyes killing our fellow peoples and species normal, we've gone from denial and bargaining to plain absurdity in the face of the climate and ecological destruction monsters we have released...

Read the rest here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/25635061
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on March 28, 2019, 02:53:11 PM
In Ancient Oceans that Resembled Our Own, Oxygen Loss Triggered Mass Extinction 
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-ancient-oceans-resembled-oxygen-loss.html

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth's Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world.

At around the same time, a global die-off known among scientists as the Ireviken extinction event devastated scores of ancient species. Eighty percent of conodonts, which resembled small eels, were wiped out, along with half of all trilobites, which scuttled along the seafloor like their distant, modern-day relative the horseshoe crab.

Now, for the first time, a Florida State University team of researchers has uncovered conclusive evidence linking the period's sea level rise and ocean oxygen depletion to the widespread decimation of marine species. Their work highlights a dramatic story about the urgent threat posed by reduced oxygen conditions to the rich tapestry of ocean life.

... The experiments revealed significant global oxygen depletion contemporaneous with the Ireviken event. Compounded with the rising sea level, which brought deoxygenated waters into shallower and more habitable areas, the reduced oxygen conditions were more than enough to play a central role in the mass extinction. This was the first direct evidence of a credible link between expansive oxygen loss and the Ireviken extinction event.

Only about 8 percent or less of the global oceans experienced significantly reducing conditions with very little to no oxygen and high levels of toxic sulfide, suggesting that these conditions didn't need to advance to whole-ocean scale to have an outsized, destructive effect. 

Seth A. Young et al. Geochemical evidence for expansion of marine euxinia during an early Silurian (Llandovery–Wenlock boundary) mass extinction (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X19301207), Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on March 29, 2019, 01:29:49 AM
Mass Amphibian Extinctions Happening Now Globally
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-mass-amphibian-extinctions-globally-fungal.html

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fscience.sciencemag.org%2Fcontent%2Fsci%2F363%2F6434%2F1459%2FF1.medium.gif&hash=72aab1c9afca72872e73429fb7851f04)

An international study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found a fungal disease has caused dramatic population declines in more than 500 amphibian species, including 90 extinctions, over the past 50 years.

Lead researcher Dr. Ben Scheele said the team found that chytridiomycosis is responsible for the greatest loss of biodiversity due to a disease.

... "Humans are moving plants and animals around the world at an increasingly rapid rate, introducing pathogens into new areas."

... Dr. Scheele said the team's work identified that many species were still at high risk of extinction over the next 10-20 years from chytridiomycosis due to ongoing declines.

Open Access: B.C. Scheele el al., "Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity," (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6434/1459) Science (2019)

-----------------------

Action Demanded After 1,100 Dead Dolphins Wash Up in France   
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-dolphins-french-shores-year.html

------------------------

New England Seeing a Huge Spike in Beached Sea Turtles 
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-england-huge-spike-beached-sea.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: xraymike79 on March 30, 2019, 04:01:46 PM
I first discovered the writings of Meteorologist/geoscientist Nick Humphrey with his brutally honest essay The Conversation No One Knows How To Have and since then have followed his posts and comments. He has been featured or quoted in a number of publications such as Mother Jones, New York Times, Washington Post, and Science Alert. Few scientists will publicly tell you how dire things are, but Nick Humphrey is not one to shy away from the truth. What follows is a Q&A interview I held with him on a variety of questions concerning humanity’s future.

Excerpt from interview...

ML: What is the most disturbing aspect of anthropogenic global warming that you are seeing today and what are its implications for the future?

NH: To me, the most disturbing aspect is the destruction of ice on the planet. It is commonly discussed among climate scientists that the planet has a high “inertia”. This means in natural climate change, there is typically a significant lag between what is happening in the atmosphere (rise in greenhouse emissions) and climate response (warming of the planet), forcing a more gradual temperature rise.

There are two very important components of Earth’s inertia.
1) Water (which can gain/lose a huge amount of heat with a gradual temperature change) and 2) Ice.
Ice, in my view, is the biggest climate regulator because it can do two things:
1) In the process of melting and freezing, heat is latent or “hidden”. Meaning it does not contribute to temperature, but to melting (heat gain) or freezing (heat loss) of ice.
2) Ice is white, so as a result, it is a high reflector of visible light, preventing absorption of heat at the surface. So it has a double impact. As the planet loses ice because of warming temperatures, there is less total ice to melt and more heat goes into warming the oceans, land and atmosphere. It takes nearly 80 times more heat to melt ice than to warm the same amount of liquid water by 1 degree C/1.8 degrees F. The less ice there is, the lower the planetary albedo, resulting in more heat entering the climate system, creating a feedback loop to destroy ice faster and accelerating planetary heating. The loss of sea ice in the Arctic is a planetary catastrophe.

The entire interview is here:
https://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2019/03/29/concerning-humanitys-future-interview-with-nick-humphrey-climatologist-and-geoscientist/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on April 01, 2019, 01:42:14 PM
Butterfly numbers fall by 84% in Netherlands over 130 years – study


Butterflies have declined by at least 84% in the Netherlands over the last 130 years, according to a study confirming the crisis affecting insect populations in western Europe.

Researchers analysed 120,000 butterflies caught by collectors between 1890 and 1980 as well as more recent scientific data from more than 2 million sightings to identify dramatic declines in the country’s 71 native butterfly species, 15 of which have become extinct over the last century.

“We are quite sure that the real decline must be much larger,” said Chris van Swaay, of Dutch Butterfly Conservation and one of the co-authors of the study.

...

According to Van Swaay, the main reason for the declines in the Netherlands is modern industrial farming – as carried out across the lowlands of western Europe – that leaves little space for nature.

He said: “Before 1950 or so, grasslands in the Netherlands very much resembled what we now only have left in some nature reserves – they were wet, they had lots of flowers, were lightly grazed and mown only once or twice a year. This was very low-intensity farming.

“In two decades after the 1950s, the countryside was rebuilt – land was drained and planted with one species of grass, large amounts of fertiliser was put on the land, and it was mown six times a year. There is no room for butterflies except on road verges and nature reserves. The countryside is more or less empty.”

and more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/01/butterfly-numbers-fall-by-84-in-netherlands-over-130-years-study
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on April 04, 2019, 09:05:48 AM
Great Barrier Reef: Mass decline in 'coral babies', scientists say

89% since unprecedented bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, scientists say.

The events, which damaged two-thirds of the world's largest reef system, are now being blamed for triggering a collapse in coral re-growth last year.

"Dead corals don't make babies," said lead author Prof Terry Hughes, from Queensland's James Cook University.

...

"Across the length of the Great Barrier Reef, there was an average 90% decline from historical [1990s] levels of recruitment," co-author Prof Andrew Baird told the BBC.

'Nothing left to replenish the reef'
Prof Baird said the "pretty extraordinary" decline was unexpected. It was most likely the reef's first re-growth problem on a mass scale, he added.

"Babies can travel over vast distances, and if one reef is knocked out, there are usually plenty of adults in another reef to provide juveniles," Prof Baird said.

However, the bleaching in 2016 and 2017 affected a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef.

"Now, the scale of mortality is such that there's nothing left to replenish the reef," Prof Baird said.

The study also found that the mix of baby coral species had changed. It found a 93% drop in Acropora, a species which typically dominates a healthy reef and provides habitats for thousands of other species.

The researchers said coral replenishment could recover over the next five to 10 years if there were no future bleaching events.

However, given current estimates, this likelihood was "almost inconceivable", said Prof Baird.

"We've gotten to the point now where local solutions for the reef are almost pointless - the only thing that matters is action on climate change," Prof Baird said.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-47809500
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Reallybigbunny on April 13, 2019, 10:13:30 PM
2026 The year all wild animals will be gone.
What's your thoughts?
Follow link below.

https://www.facebook.com/SustainableMan/videos/2173813656273954/

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on April 15, 2019, 02:24:10 AM
While frightening, extrapolating forward from data points are not a guarantee. Although I have little faith in anything being turned around, I doubt that there will be zero vertebrates, other than humans and their food, on the planet by 2026.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Klondike Kat on April 15, 2019, 02:44:41 PM
While frightening, extrapolating forward from data points are not a guarantee. Although I have little faith in anything being turned around, I doubt that there will be zero vertebrates, other than humans and their food, on the planet by 2026.

Extrapolating from two data points?  Not good science.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on April 15, 2019, 03:27:09 PM
No doubt. I would not even call it science.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on April 18, 2019, 03:08:53 PM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fthecomicnews.com%2Fimages%2Fedtoons%2F2015%2F0506%2Fenvironment%2F04.jpg&hash=abd6f58dbc739e5853934a360c71127c)

The only place you'll see them is in animal crackers.
Title: Re: The Anthropocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat on May 03, 2019, 04:28:19 PM
Perhaps this thread needs renaming to "The Anthropocene Extinction".

My evidence for this suggestion is from a major study about to be released - next Monday.

Climate crisis is about to put humanity at risk, UN scientists warn
Quote

The world’s leading scientists will warn the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity when they release the results of the most comprehensive study of life on Earth ever undertaken. Up to 1m species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, according to a leaked draft of the global assessment report, which has been compiled over three years by the UN’s leading research body on nature.

....the overview of the state of the world’s nature is expected to provide evidence that the world is facing a sixth wave of extinction. Unlike the past five, this one is human-driven.


...an environmental emergency for humanity, which is threatened by a triple challenge of climate, nature and food production.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/03/climate-crisis-is-about-to-put-humanity-at-risk-un-scientists-warn
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 03, 2019, 04:55:18 PM
The "Anthropocene" is a political construct, whereas the "Holocene" is a geological one.
Anthropocene: what (or who) is it for?  (https://wileyearthpages.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/anthropocene-what-or-who-is-it-for/)

With apparent human influence on climate dating back 8,000 - 10,000 years (https://www.livescience.com/6675-humans-altered-climate-10-000-years-study-claims.html), what's the point of an "Anthropocene" that covers the same time span as the Holocene?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: josh-j on May 05, 2019, 01:11:22 PM
With apparent human influence on climate dating back 8,000 - 10,000 years (https://www.livescience.com/6675-humans-altered-climate-10-000-years-study-claims.html), what's the point of an "Anthropocene" that covers the same time span as the Holocene?

On the other hand, most of this thread is really about the massively escalated rate of extinction that started much more recently than 10,000 years ago. There are probably good arguments on both sides as to whether that is "separate" (nothing is truly separate in these things but at least different enough to be looked at separately) or part of a continuum of human influence on the rest of the planet.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on May 05, 2019, 07:23:00 PM
Of course it is part of a continuum. With industrialization we kicked it into high gear and now we have all kind of satellites and other measures showing us things are getting out of hand and we are still too shallow to stop any of it.

Paul Crutzen proposed the Anthropocene as a term for geology but i guess they are still bickering about the actual demarcation line (the fall out from atmospheric nuclear tests could be one, or soils full of microplastics).

A-Team made a fun geologic ages graph long ago which included it with subdivisions as ´The dumbassic´ which could be now...

Anyway it is all extinctions in the current age.

BBC did an article which has nothing new for followers of this thread but could be interesting to show people rather new to this.

Nature's emergency: Where we are in five graphics
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48104037
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat on May 06, 2019, 08:48:56 PM
UN Extinction Report

The BBC (on-line and on the gogglebox) have made quite a splash on the UN Extinction report. 
Even makes it onto page 1 of Sky News

New York Times have got it on page 1 of their on-line version.
Not on Bloomberg News - not even on their "Climate Changed" section. Disappointing.
Not on Fox news - what a surprise!

You can find the summary report here:-
https://www.ipbes.net/news/ipbes-global-assessment-summary-policymakers-pdf

Presumably a huge report will come out later
______________________________________________________
Quote from Tor...
Quote
The "Anthropocene" is a political construct, whereas the "Holocene" is a geological one.
The Anthropocene Age was suggested by some geologists who calculated that in many ways man was causing greater geological change than natural processes - e.g. man was shifting more rock, sand and earth around the planet than natural processes of erosion. In later geological ages, the rock strata being formed today will have the imprint of mankind in it.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tony Mcleod on May 07, 2019, 07:15:48 AM

Quote
Quote from Tor...
Quote
The "Anthropocene" is a political construct, whereas the "Holocene" is a geological one.
The Anthropocene Age was suggested by some geologists who calculated that in many ways man was causing greater geological change than natural processes - e.g. man was shifting more rock, sand and earth around the planet than natural processes of erosion. In later geological ages, the rock strata being formed today will have the imprint of mankind in it.

Not only has the Holocene already ended, but so has the Quaternary and the Cenozoic. Welcome to the rather cheerfully titled Thanatozoic.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 07, 2019, 03:47:01 PM
From an inter-tube search (https://allpoetry.com/poem/13267145-A-Brief-History-of-Earth-by-Oneforallseasons) I see a poetic construct:
Quote
Thanatozoic - (invented) - the death of all life
(although I did find a 2011 reference (https://hourslips.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/biology-of-the-nigh/) that suggested a different definition)
Humans are powerful, for sure, but we will be unable to put an end to all life!

Next, we'll see an accountant's name for the current geological epoch. ??? ::) :P :'(
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 07, 2019, 06:41:41 PM
From an inter-tube search (https://allpoetry.com/poem/13267145-A-Brief-History-of-Earth-by-Oneforallseasons) I see a poetic construct:
Quote
Thanatozoic - (invented) - the death of all life
(although I did find a 2011 reference (https://hourslips.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/biology-of-the-nigh/) that suggested a different definition)
Humans are powerful, for sure, but we will be unable to put an end to all life!

Next, we'll see an accountant's name for the current geological epoch. ??? ::) :P :'(

All extinct and soon to be extinct species are "sunk costs" and should be ignored when making decisions about the future.

"Sunk Cost Age" has a certain panache to it.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 07, 2019, 06:53:08 PM
Oh my! LOL  :'(
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sleepy on May 09, 2019, 07:11:50 AM
˅
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on May 09, 2019, 02:00:33 PM
The Holocene Extinction could end up being worse than the Permian:
http://globalwarming.berrens.nl/globalwarming.htm
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: magnamentis on May 09, 2019, 02:04:16 PM
˅

i disagree, we cannot fix it in time but of course we can reduce cause, impact and effect.

this is important because if we use our financial resources to repair something that won't work we shall have less resources available for things that would make a significant change. (efficiency)

on a small scale this appears to be easy while this is way too complicated which is why not much orchestrated action happens and that will probably change once things get a lot easier to analyze which is:

once we're all in deep shit

has been like this in the past and won't change much.

unfortunately IMO the greatest chance to act once a  certain point is reached will be
countries/system that are ruled from upside down like china, russia etc.

democracies will have a hard time to implement changes without revolution-like events and/or wars.

i predict that democracies are not able to deal with the tasks at hand and will fail.

one problem with democracies is that the "voters" are average at best and that's not enough
to take on such complicated tasks, hence we shall see more elite and/or absolutisticly run governments which we all know how they end once the problem is resolved.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on May 15, 2019, 10:34:38 PM
Many species could be even more likely to go extinct than we realise
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-species-extinct-realise.html

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that some methods for measuring a species' generation time might underestimate the likelihood that some species will die out.

... The challenge of accurately assessing extinction risk begins with a lack of data on endangered species. Even for mammals and birds – which are the most well studied groups – population data covers a mere 4.4% of the 1,079 threatened mammals and 3.5% of the 1,183 threatened birds. To bridge the gaps, scientists often rely on assumptions regarding survival, reproduction and generation time.

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/800/2019/1-manyspeciesc.jpg)

We found that in some risk assessment models that rely on these assumptions, errors can emerge. This is because population reduction in some of the assessed models is measured on the scale of three times a species' generation time. If a species is believed to mature and produce offspring in five years, then how much its population has declined will be measured over a 15-year interval.

But if a species' generation time is underestimated, population reduction is measured over a much shorter time period. It therefore underestimates how much the population is shrinking and, in turn, the threat status of the species. This can lead us to believe that the species is less endangered than it really is.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on May 23, 2019, 01:38:27 PM
Study Predicts Shift to Smaller Animals Over Next Century
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-shift-smaller-animals-century.html

Researchers predict the average (median) body mass of mammals specifically will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century. This decline represents a large, accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent body size reduction observed in species from 130,000 years ago (the last interglacial period) until today.

In the future, small, fast-lived, highly-fertile, insect-eating animals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, will predominate. These 'winners' include rodents, such as dwarf gerbil—and songbirds, such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver. Less adaptable, slow-lived species, requiring specialist environmental conditions, will likely fall victim of extinction. These 'losers' include the tawny eagle and black rhinoceros.

... "The substantial 'downsizing' of species which we forecast could incur further negative impacts for the long-term sustainability of ecology and evolution. This downsizing may be happening due to the effects of ecological change but, ironically, with the loss of species which perform unique functions within our global ecosystem, it could also end up as a driver of change too."

Findings are published in detail in the journal Nature Communications. 

Open Access: R. Cooke, et.al., Projected losses of global mammal and bird ecological strategies (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10284-z), Nature Communications (2019)

Quote
... The future defaunation explored here also shows parallels to historic extinction events, such as the late Quaternary extinctions, which likely disrupted species interactions, reduced long-distance seed dispersal, and fundamentally restructured energy flow and nutrient cycling through communities. Moreover, a growing number of studies support the hypothesis that the late Quaternary extinctions had cascading effects on small vertebrates and plant community biodiversity and function, resulting in ecosystem shifts comparable in magnitude to those generated by climatic fluctuations   
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: gerontocrat on May 24, 2019, 06:56:39 PM
Whoops.

Homo sapiens goes extinct because their sperm drowns?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/24/toxic-america-sperm-counts-plastics-research
Quote
Sperm counts are on the decline – could plastics be to blame?
 
Research suggests that sperm counts have dropped by half in the last 50 years or so and that a higher percentage are poor swimmers.

A recent study that tested both men and dogs added to concerns that chemicals in the environment are damaging the quality and quantity of sperm
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on May 28, 2019, 07:41:14 PM
Domino Effect of Species Extinctions Also Damages Biodiversity
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-domino-effect-species-extinctions-biodiversity.html

The mutual dependencies of many plant species and their pollinators mean that the negative effects of climate change are exacerbated. As UZH researchers show, the total number of species threatened with extinction is therefore considerably higher than predicted in previous models.

Evolutionary biologists at the University of Zurich, together with ecologists from Spain, Great Britain and Chile, have now quantified how much more of an impact climate change has on biodiversity when these mutual dependencies between the species are taken into account. To this end, the researcher team analyzed the networks between flowering plants and their insect pollinators in seven different regions of Europe.

... Jordi Bascompte gives a specific example to illustrate the results of the study: "In one of the networks situated in southern Spain, the sage-leaved rock rose has a 52 percent predicted probability of extinction caused by climate change in 2080. Should this happen, one of its pollinators, the small carpenter bee, would face a risk of co-extinction as a consequence of losing one of the resources it depends upon. Because the small carpenter bee also pollinates the myrtle, the latter is also under threat of extinction." Thus while the predicted extinction risk of the myrtle considered in isolation is 38 percent, the risk rises to around 62 percent when taking into account the network of interactions.

Open Access: Jordi Bascompte et al, Mutualistic interactions reshuffle the effects of climate change on plants across the tree of life (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/5/eaav2539), Science Advances (2019).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on May 29, 2019, 08:36:54 PM
Biodiversity loss extreme crisis:
https://www.salon.com/2019/05/27/biodiversity-loss-is-the-very-real-end-of-the-world-and-no-one-is-acting-like-it_partner/

EDIT: Also http://strangesounds.org/2019/05/nature-dangerous-decline-unprecedented-specie-extinction-rate-accelerating.html

EDIT 2:
Insect sperm damaged by heat waves...could this be the camel's straw?
https://theconversation.com/climate-change-effect-on-sperm-could-hold-key-to-species-extinction-107375

EDIT 3:
Mass death of puffins from warming oceans?
https://www.sciencealert.com/the-climate-crisis-could-be-behind-the-death-of-thousands-of-puffins-in-the-north-sea
and https://www.newscientist.com/article/2204764-hundreds-of-puffins-are-starving-to-death-because-of-climate-change/

EDIT 4:
Marine species more vulnerable than terrestrial ones:
http://dailynexus.com/2019-05-30/marine-species-more-vulnerable-to-global-warming-than-terrestrial-species/
Tasmanian kelp forests dying from AGW:
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/climate-change-killing-giant-kelp-forests-in-tasmania/11160160
Domino effect worsens extinctions:
https://www.futurity.org/species-extinction-biodiversity-2072852
Bees struggle to survive AGW weather:
https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/29/bees-struggling-survive-extreme-weather-caused-climate-change-9722289/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 29, 2019, 08:59:30 PM
Biodiversity loss extreme crisis:
https://www.salon.com/2019/05/27/biodiversity-loss-is-the-very-real-end-of-the-world-and-no-one-is-acting-like-it_partner/

"...humanity has now painted ourselves into a corner where our continued existence can only be met through “transformative” changes to our economic, social, and political systems."

Pretty much says it all.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Reallybigbunny on June 03, 2019, 02:53:34 AM
Thanks Tom for all those great articles! Makes it very very clear how really truly fucked we are!
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on June 03, 2019, 08:12:50 AM
Truly fucked. I agree.

A personal view:
You will think I am a 'doomer' or fatalistic but I think I'm a realist.

The way I follow the effects of AGW and mass extinction etc. is like some disaster tourist watching a train go over the cliff and taking pictures. But I don't enjoy it at all, waiting for the inevitable, and I feel a bit detached because the whole thing is almost unfathomable; we all are on that train. I understand enough to be convinced there's no escape. The proverbial iceberg has already been hit. I don't think there is a future.
It has been difficult to get that reality into my head because it affects everything; no more goals; nothing to plan.
I am not depressed and am in mint condition, had a full life (even at age 53), answered all my life questions and much more and managed to become 'complete'. I've planned euthanasia sometime in the next 10 years.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 03, 2019, 01:00:58 PM
Now we've got extinction deniers:
https://therevelator.org/extinction-deniers/

EDIT: Solenodon extinction worse than polar bear extinction:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/01/save-the-solendrons-endangered-species
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: be cause on June 03, 2019, 01:07:51 PM
I 'died' a few years ago . While dead I found myself looking down on a train . It derailed as it went round a slight bend .. . I then looked ahead to see a wall to the sky between 2 mountains. I looked over the wall and into the Void . At some stage I thought ' am I dead? ' I found myself looking down on my body and the room in panic . After prolonged discussion with my 'maker' about changes I wanted to make to existence , I was given an opportunity to return to life in a body . my return was as shocking to those around me as had been my earlier death .. 
  we are all on the train .. it is derailing as we watch . My 'way out' is in work I do beyond the physical .
btw Nanning .. death is not the end of anything .. b.c.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on June 03, 2019, 07:44:34 PM
Thanks for sharing that b.c.

I've been following what other travelers to that plane have seen during their life review. We're all here to teach or be taught. And if we're lucky; to discover the true meaning of life.

This one struck me as prescient ...

Quote
... I saw the earth cleansing itself with massive storms and waves in areas where too much dark matter had collected. I saw mass amounts of people were beginning to awaken to things from their past lives even though they had not experienced an NDE. I saw the fall of government systems as we know them. There was a return to innocence, only after the earth purges herself of a vast number of dark energies. The world population was greatly diminished.
...

https://www.nderf.org/Archives/NDERF_NDEs.html

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts ...

W. Shakespeare - As You Like It - Act II Scene VII
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 04, 2019, 05:54:57 PM
Pennsylvania facing tree extinction:
https://www.inquirer.com/science/climate/pennsylvania-trees-birch-maple-climate-change-20190603.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on June 05, 2019, 04:00:33 AM
Human Civilization Faces "Existential Risk" by 2050 According to New Australian Climate Change Report 
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/new-climate-change-report-human-civilization-at-risk-extinction-by-2050-new-australian-climate/

(https://video-images.vice.com/articles/5cf55060c020060007ffa4f0/lede/1559582858518-GettyImages-1015903012.jpeg)

A new report by Australian climate experts warns that "climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat" to human civilization. In this grim forecast — which was endorsed by the former chief of the Australian Defense Force — human civilization could end by 2050 due to the destabilizing societal and environmental factors caused by a rapidly warming planet.

The report (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a1406e0143ac4c469196d3003bc1e687.pdf), entitled "Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach," lays out a future where society could collapse due to instability set off by migration patterns of billions of people affected by drought, rising sea levels, and environmental destruction.

"Climate-change impacts on food and water systems, declining crop yields and rising food prices driven by drought, wildfire and harvest failures have already become catalysts for social breakdown and conflict across the Middle East, the Maghreb and the Sahel, contributing to the European migration crisis," the report said.

The new policy briefing is written by David Spratt, Breakthrough’s research director and Ian Dunlop, a former senior executive of Royal Dutch Shell who previously chaired the Australian Coal Association. Retired Admiral Chris Barrie—Chief of the Australian Defence Force from 1998 to 2002 and former Deputy Chief of the Australian Navy—endorsed the report and wrote a forward to it.

"After nuclear war, human induced global warming is the greatest threat to human life on the planet," Barrie wrote.

Using a worst-case scenario existential risk analysis, Spratt and Dunlop depict humanity falling into ruin under an additional 2 degrees Celsius of warming — a threshold scientists say the world is heading towards if current trends continue. In their scenario, "tipping points" occur when humanity fails to institute carbon emission reforms in the 2020s and 2030s. This creates a "hothouse" effect on Earth, leading to rapidly rising sea levels set off by melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and "widespread permafrost loss and large-scale Amazon drought and dieback."

As a result, the authors say, some of the world's most populated cities — Mumbai, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Lagos, Bangkok and Manila — would have to be abandoned due to their location in the tropical zone.

The assessment ends with a harrowing conclusion: "More than a billion people may need to be relocated and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end."

The report also paints a grim picture in terms of national security, with extreme climate conditions and the disruption of huge populations placing "the internal cohesion of nations ... under great stress."

"The flooding of coastal communities around the world, especially in the Netherlands, the United States, South Asia, and China, has the potential to challenge regional and even national identities," the report warns. "Armed conflict between nations over resources, such as the Nile and its tributaries, is likely and nuclear war is possible. The social consequences range from increased religious fervor to outright chaos."

https://www.breakthroughonline.org.au/papers
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 05, 2019, 05:12:42 PM
Our extinction and the Permian:
https://www.npr.org/2019/06/04/729341362/the-great-dying-nearly-erased-life-on-earth-scientists-see-similarities-to-today?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=science

PLUS: The insect apocalypse
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-a-global-look-at-a-deepening-crisis/

MORE: Many plant species endangered:
https://theconversation.com/many-plant-species-at-risk-of-extinction-and-were-blind-to-danger-this-poses-to-life-on-earth-118208
and efforts to stop Mass Extinction 6 inadequate:
https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2019-06-06-environment-crisis-rapidly-approaching-a-tipping-point/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on June 07, 2019, 08:01:52 PM
Rapid Change in Coral Reefs Prompts Global Calls for a Rethink
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-rapid-coral-reefs-prompts-global.html

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/19f1c81e-0e93-4754-bba4-27de0825687b/fec13374-fig-0001-m.jpg)

Coral reef experts from around the world are calling for an urgent re-evaluation of our climate goals in the light of increasing evidence of unprecedented speed of change to these fragile ecosystems.Coral reefs, which have functioned relatively unchanged for some 24 million years, are now going through profound changes in their make-up.

Writing in a special feature of Functional Ecology, some of the world's leading coral reef experts are asking searching questions about the priorities for reef conservation and reef ecology in the face of these recent and rapid changes, which have far exceeded predictions.

The scientists address issues such as how we should actually define what comprises a functioning coral reef in the Anthropocene, an era where humans are the dominant force of planetary change.

Open Source: Gareth J. Williams et al, Rethinking coral reef functional futures (https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2435.13374), Functional Ecology (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 11, 2019, 03:28:36 PM
Talking about the Holocene Extinction, what finished off the poster child for it, Ectopistes migratorius? From the descriptions of the flocks, it couldn't have been overhunting...you would have had to give a Gatling gun to every man, woman, child, dog and cat on the continent. You would not be able to dig up a spadeful of dirt without getting a handful of bullets.
Was it habitat destruction of some small breeding area? Something else?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sebastian Jones on June 11, 2019, 05:58:46 PM
Talking about the Holocene Extinction, what finished off the poster child for it, Ectopistes migratorius? From the descriptions of the flocks, it couldn't have been overhunting...you would have had to give a Gatling gun to every man, woman, child, dog and cat on the continent. You would not be able to dig up a spadeful of dirt without getting a handful of bullets.
Was it habitat destruction of some small breeding area? Something else?
Extinction ecology- if there could be such a thing- is an interesting field. We commonly find it hard to accept that we can have as large an effect as seems to be required to drive major extinction events, such as the one you point to. Imagine if you will what it was like for the first people when they arrived in the Americas, a land teeming with gigantic animals. I'm quite certain that the last thing on the minds of these people was the imminent danger of their driving dozens of species and several entire genera extinct. Nonetheless, it happened. For an examination of how, and of extinction theory in general, you can do a lot worse than to read Dr. Peter Ward of the University of Washington. His theories do explain how passenger pigeons could be driven over a cliff, once certain tipping points are reached. Similar to climate effects, these tipping points are rarely visible except in retrospect. To a certain extent, many on this forum- think ASLR- are mostly concerned with seeing these tipping points before they happen.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 11, 2019, 07:15:11 PM
Great Insect Dying:
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-the-tropics-in-trouble-and-some-hope/

EDIT: AGW reducing sealife by 17%:
https://apnews.com/fe2276572a3a4a2f9eb36d27ef401d22
and Europe's sealife by 30%:
https://www.dw.com/en/europes-seas-to-lose-almost-a-third-of-life-due-to-climate-change-report/a-49024909
and since it should be here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48584515

EDIT 2:
Large arctic invertebrates threatened:
https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2019/06/17/Warming-waters-threaten-large-invertebrates-in-the-Arctic/1051560776474/

EDIT 3:
Oceans to lose 17% of species from AGW:
https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/scientists-say-ocean-warming-may-greatly-reduce-sea-life/4956682.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: BornFromTheVoid on July 10, 2019, 12:15:51 PM
Breaching a 'carbon threshold' could lead to mass extinction

Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics and co-director of the Lorenz Center in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has found that when the rate at which carbon dioxide enters the oceans pushes past a certain threshold—whether as the result of a sudden burst or a slow, steady influx—the Earth may respond with a runaway cascade of chemical feedbacks, leading to extreme ocean acidification that dramatically amplifies the effects of the original trigger....

...What does this all have to do with our modern-day climate? Today's oceans are absorbing carbon about an order of magnitude faster than the worst case in the geologic record—the end-Permian extinction. But humans have only been pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for hundreds of years, versus the tens of thousands of years or more that it took for volcanic eruptions or other disturbances to trigger the great environmental disruptions of the past. Might the modern increase of carbon be too brief to excite a major disruption?

According to Rothman, today we are "at the precipice of excitation," and if it occurs, the resulting spike—as evidenced through ocean acidification, species die-offs, and more—is likely to be similar to past global catastrophes.

"Once we're over the threshold, how we got there may not matter," says Rothman, who is publishing his results this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Once you get over it, you're dealing with how the Earth works, and it goes on its own ride.


https://phys.org/news/2019-07-breaching-carbon-threshold-mass-extinction.html

The Paper itself

Characteristic disruptions of an excitable carbon cycle

The history of the carbon cycle is punctuated by enigmatic transient changes in the ocean’s store of carbon. Mass extinction is always accompanied by such a disruption, but most disruptions are relatively benign. The less calamitous group exhibits a characteristic rate of change whereas greater surges accompany mass extinctions. To better understand these observations, I formulate and analyze a mathematical model that suggests that disruptions are initiated by perturbation of a permanently stable steady state beyond a threshold. The ensuing excitation exhibits the characteristic surge of real disruptions. In this view, the magnitude and timescale of the disruption are properties of the carbon cycle itself rather than its perturbation. Surges associated with mass extinction, however, require additional inputs from external sources such as massive volcanism. Surges are excited when CO2 enters the oceans at a flux that exceeds a threshold. The threshold depends on the duration of the injection. For injections lasting a time ti≳10,000 y in the modern carbon cycle, the threshold flux is constant; for smaller ti, the threshold scales like ti−1. Consequently the unusually strong but geologically brief duration of modern anthropogenic oceanic CO2 uptake is roughly equivalent, in terms of its potential to excite a major disruption, to relatively weak but longer-lived perturbations associated with massive volcanism in the geologic past.

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1905164116
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 13, 2019, 07:23:44 PM
Coral reefs being destroyed by AGW:
https://bangordailynews.com/2019/07/11/news/midcoast/coral-reefs-are-vanishing-from-tropical-to-more-temperate-waters-climate-change-is-to-blame-maine-researcher-finds/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on July 17, 2019, 12:25:35 PM
Joshua trees facing extinction

...

 In the best-case scenario, major efforts to reduce heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere would save 19 percent of the tree habitat after the year 2070. In the worst case, with no reduction in carbon emissions, the park would retain a mere 0.02 percent of its Joshua tree habitat.

The team's findings were published recently in Ecosphere. Project lead Lynn Sweet, a UCR plant ecologist, said she hopes the study inspires people to take protective environmental action. "The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands," she said. "Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us."

...

They found that Joshua trees have been migrating to higher elevation parts of the park with cooler weather and more moisture in the ground. In hotter, drier areas, the adult trees aren't producing as many younger plants, and the ones they do produce aren't surviving.

Joshua trees as a species have existed since the Pleistocene era, about 2.5 million years ago, and individual trees can live up to 300 years. One of the ways adult trees survive so long is by storing large reserves of water to weather droughts.

Younger trees and seedlings aren't capable of holding reserves in this way though, and the most recent, 376-week-long drought in California left the ground in some places without enough water to support new young plants. As the climate changes, long periods of drought are likely to occur with more frequency, leading to issues with the trees like those already observed.

An additional finding of this study is that in the cooler, wetter parts of the park the biggest threat other than climate change is fire. Fewer than 10 percent of Joshua trees survive wildfires, which have been exacerbated in recent years by smog from car and industrial exhaust. The smog deposits nitrogen on the ground, which in turn feeds non-native grasses that act as kindling for wildfires.

As a partner on this project, the U.S. Park Service is using this information to mitigate fire risk by removing the invasive plants.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190716073719.htm
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on July 22, 2019, 09:55:22 AM
After combing through the IUCN redlist, I have a minor update on the Global Amphibian Assessment 2:

Quote
Best estimates of percentage threatened species (with lower and upper estimates) for each group are: amphibians 40% (32-53%).

9 species of amphibians were confirmed to have become extinct, or extinct in the wild, since the 2004 assessment.

According to my own quick maths, since GAA1 in 2004: there has been a 1.6% increase in the number of amphibian species listed as vulnerable (from 628 in 2004 to 638 in 2019); a 29.5% increase in amphibian species listed as endangered (from 729 in 2004 to 944 in 2019); and a 39.2% increase in amphibian species listed as critically endangered (from 413 in 2004 to 575 in 2019).

Additionally, 137 of the critically endangered species are in a subcategory of CR(PE), or critically endangered (possibly extinct).


All data available from: https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/summary-statistics#Summary%20Tables
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 24, 2019, 06:05:35 PM
Monkey species goes extinct:
https://therevelator.org/red-colobus-extinction/
EDIT: AGW hurting fish
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2019/07/24/fewer-fish-may-reach-breeding-age-climate-change-skews-timing-reproduction-food
and birds et al.:
https://www.wired.com/story/many-animals-arent-adapting-fast-enough-to-survive-climate-change/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 29, 2019, 10:10:36 PM
Pacific salmon pushed towards the brink:
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29072019/pacific-salmon-climate-change-threat-endangered-columbia-river-california-idaho-oregon-study
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Sebastian Jones on July 30, 2019, 09:54:07 PM
Pacific salmon pushed towards the brink:
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29072019/pacific-salmon-climate-change-threat-endangered-columbia-river-california-idaho-oregon-study
While this article is concerned with the American West coast, salmon in Canada and Alaska are also being affected.
Here in the far north, we did not expect salmon to be killed by water conditions similar to those in California.
But they are dying in the rivers before they get to spawn.
Salmon are vital everywhere they exist naturally, but in the nutrient poor north, salmon runs provide a critical flush of nutrients to the interior of Alaska and the Yukon.
It is not only bears, birds, and humans that depend on the salmon. Stream ecology exists on the back of spawned out salmon and the very forests themselves need to be fertilized by carcasses dragged into the woods by bears.
Without salmon we are facing an imminent ecological collapse.
I don't want to sound hyperbolic, but it is really, really bad.
And so, so sad.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on July 31, 2019, 06:23:39 PM
9 and Counting: Vaquita Porpoise About To Go Extinct
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-vaquita-porpoise-extinct.html

The vaquita porpoise, one of the world's most endangered animals, could become extinct within a year if fishing nets continue being used illegally, a university in Scotland warned on Wednesday.

(https://66.media.tumblr.com/a4195c1964da7a19c98fcf2847b8d014/tumblr_pcaxwv9QjN1tl99ig_540.jpg)

Numbers of the vaquita, which only lives in the upper Gulf of California in Mexico, may now have dropped to fewer than 10, according to research by the University of St Andrews published in Royal Society Open Science.

The dolphinlike vaquita ("small cow" in Spanish) is the world's smallest cetacean, with females measuring 55 inches (140 centimeters) and males 53 inches (135 centimeters) on average. The vaquitas, which are gray or white, have a tall dorsal fin and long flippers.

The global vaquita population was estimated at 30 in 2016, the University of St Andrews said.

Gillnets—nets that hang vertically and catch fish by their gills—kill vaquitas as a bycatch.

The nets are used by fishermen to capture totoabas, another endangered species. The swim bladder of the totoaba is believed by the Chinese to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties.

Totoaba fishing is illegal and Mexico has also banned the gillnet, but unlawful fishing has nevertheless continued.

(https://royalsocietypublishing.org/cms/attachment/d334df24-6304-41a7-a051-4efa7d4d6ce5/rsos190598f04.gif)
Estimated mean number of clicks per day predicted by the geostatistical model for the 46 numbered sampling sites with data for at least 1 year.

Quote
... Projecting forwards from the estimated population size in 2015 without accounting for the minimum count data, the posterior median estimate of population size in autumn 2018 (i.e. the end of the acoustic monitoring period) was just four animals. However, accounting for the seven animals seen in 2017 and six in 2018, the estimated population size was around nine (posterior mean 9, posterior median 8, 95% CRI 6–19).

... the overall conclusion of a catastrophic long-term decline is unchanged

Open Access: Armando M. Jaramillo-Legorreta et al. Decline towards extinction of Mexico's vaquita porpoise ( Phocoena sinus ) (https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.190598), Royal Society Open Science (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on July 31, 2019, 06:35:39 PM
Currently putting the finishing touches on an essay regarding the vaquita. Extending trend lines, it has until 2030. But in actuality, 2020-2021 is my bet for extinction.

The IUCN, CIRVA, and CITES have all made their recommendations. Even the IWC weighed in here. The US, Mexican, and Chinese governments have attempted to halt trading of the totoaba to prevent gillnet use. The captive breeding program - VaquitaCPR - has failed.

This cetacean is going to follow the baiji into the stars.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 02, 2019, 01:25:54 AM

Animals can't adapt to AGW fast enough:
https://www.futurity.org/climate-change-adaptations-2121762/
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 06, 2019, 10:58:32 PM
Right whales hit by AGW:
https://www.mainepublic.org/post/scientists-say-more-right-whales-are-dying-canada-climate-change-disrupts-food-sources
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on August 07, 2019, 04:07:14 PM
Even fire specialists are threatened by the new normal.

Fire is central in the world of black-backed woodpeckers, to the point that the birds pick cavities in recently burned trees to make their nests. But new research suggests that even these fire enthusiasts aren’t able to handle the inferno climate change is already dishing out.

...

The birds also prefer to raise their babies in snags—the blackened, skeletal remains of scorched trees—which is metal as hell, and a potential source of conflict with humans, since these burned forests are subject to salvage logging. To figure out what kinds of burned areas should be prioritized for the woodpeckers’ conservation, Stillman and his colleagues collaborated with the Institute for Bird Populations and the U.S. Forest Service to study the birds’ breeding habitat needs.

...

The team found that, as expected, the woodpeckers strongly preferred to nest in “high-severity” patches—places were all or nearly all of the trees had perished in the fire. But surprisingly, the birds targeted the edges of these habitats, often quite close to a stand of living trees. The black-backed woodpecker’s whole thing is roasted timber, yet the birds seem to need less crispy areas, too. Stillman and his colleagues think the living trees provide young birds better protection from predators because they can hang out there while their parents deliver them meals.

...

“We might expect that mega-fires could benefit fire-specialists like the black-backed woodpecker,” Stillman said. “However, it seems that the landscapes created by extra large, intense mega-fires are too extreme. Even fire-associated species need variation in habitat and access to both live and dead trees.”

https://earther.gizmodo.com/not-even-a-fire-loving-bird-can-handle-climate-changes-1836904281
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on August 08, 2019, 06:11:26 PM
Climate Change Could Wipe Out California's Joshua Trees by End of Century
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-climate-california-joshua-trees-century.html

Joshua trees, an iconic species of the arid southwestern United States, may totally disappear by the end of the century because of climate change, according to a new study.

According to the team's modeling, in an optimistic scenario whereby humanity is able to limit greenhouse emissions to a degree, the trees' cover would retreat by about 80 percent by end of the 21st century.

But under a "business as usual" scenario, the modeling indicates the complete elimination of a species that dates to the Pleistocene era.


Lynn Sweet, the study's lead author told the Los Angeles Times that under their pessimistic scenario, the park could see average hot temperatures in summer rise by about five to nine degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 5 degrees Celsius) and three to seven inches (7.5 to 18 centimeters) less rainfall.

"If Joshua trees could survive those conditions, they would already be in them," said Sweet.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/3788/12525782865_73f08ec2e4_b.jpg)

Open Access: Lynn C. Sweet et al, Congruence between future distribution models and empirical data for an iconic species at Joshua Tree National Park (https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ecs2.2763), Ecosphere (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on August 08, 2019, 09:06:09 PM
An 88 Percent Decline in Large Freshwater Animals
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-percent-decline-large-freshwater-animals.html

Rivers and lakes cover just about one percent of Earth's surface, but are home to one third of all vertebrate species worldwide. At the same time, freshwater life is highly threatened.

Scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and international colleagues have now quantified the global decline of big freshwater animals: From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent—twice the loss of vertebrate populations on land or in the ocean. Large fish species are particularly affected.

"The results are alarming and confirm the fears of scientists involved in studying and protecting freshwater biodiversity," says Sonja Jähnig, senior author of the study and expert for global change effects on river ecosystems at IGB.

From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent, most notably in the Indomalaya (by 99 percent) and Palearctic (by 97 percent) realms—the former covering South and Southeast Asia and southern China, and the latter covering Europe, North Africa and most of Asia. Large fish species such as sturgeons, salmonids and giant catfishes are particularly threatened: with a 94 percent decline, followed by reptiles with 72 percent. ...

Fengzhi He et al, The global decline of freshwater megafauna (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.14753), Global Change Biology (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: DrTskoul on August 09, 2019, 12:34:20 AM
We are eating the planet alive....
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Ktb on August 09, 2019, 05:21:22 AM
I would say we have already eaten the planet, and now we are scrounging for any remaining scraps
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on August 10, 2019, 09:49:43 AM
Giant river animals on verge of extinction, report warns

Populations of great freshwater species, from catfish to stingrays, have plunged by 97% since 1970

Some freshwater megafauna have already been declared extinct, such as the Yangtze dolphin, and many more are now on the brink, from the Mekong giant catfish and stingray to India’s gharial crocodiles to the European sturgeon. Just three Chinese giant softshell turtles are known to survive and all are male. Across Europe, North Africa and Asia, populations have plunged by 97% since 1970.

The killing of the animals for meat, skins and eggs is the cause of the decline, along with humanity’s ever growing thirst for freshwater for crops, its many dams, as well as widespread pollution. The scientists assessed 126 species, covering 72 countries, and found numbers had plunged by an average of 88%.

etc

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/10/giant-river-animals-on-verge-of-extinction-report-warns
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 10, 2019, 08:01:07 PM
California oysters threatened by AGW. More rain drops salinity, warmer water hold less oxygen, dissolved CO2 making sea more acidic:
https://www.kqed.org/science/1946249/study-suggests-new-climate-threats-to-californias-oysters
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on August 17, 2019, 09:23:03 AM
The water in Alaska is so hot it is kiling salmon

Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon. ... They looked for signs of lesions, parasites and infections, but came up empty. Nearly all the salmon they found had "beautiful eggs still inside them," she said. Because the die-off coincided with the heat wave, they concluded that heat stress was the cause of the mass deaths.

...

The water temperatures have breaking records at the same time as the air temperatures, according to Sue Mauger, the science director for the Cook Inletkeeper.
Scientists have been tracking stream temperatures around the Cook Inlet, located south of Anchorage, since 2002. They've never recorded a temperature above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Until now.
On July 7, a major salmon stream on the west side of the Cook Inlet registered 81.7 degrees.
Mauger said she and her team published a study in 2016, creating models outlining moderate and pessimistic projections for how climate change would drive temperatures in Alaska's streams.
"2019 exceeded the value we expected for the worst-case scenario in 2069," she said.

https://us.cnn.com/2019/08/16/us/alaska-salmon-hot-water-trnd/index.html
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on August 17, 2019, 11:48:51 AM
"2019 exceeded the value we expected for the worst-case scenario in 2069," she said."
 :o
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: DrTskoul on August 17, 2019, 02:08:09 PM
The missed the spread of the probability distribution..
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on August 17, 2019, 04:41:32 PM
Cold Climate Lizards Face Rapid Extinctions in Next 60 Years
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-lizards-cold-climates-rapid-extinctions.html

Lizards that produce live young are significantly more likely to be driven to extinction through climate change than those that lay eggs, new research suggests.

... Researchers investigated how strategies for reproduction that live-bearing (viviparous) or egg-laying (oviparous) modern lizards evolved in the past can affect their chance to survive ongoing climate change caused by humans.

As part of the work, the team argue they have confirmed the emerging 'cul-de-sac' theory, which suggests that live-bearing reproduction evolved in lizards that colonized cold climates, such as high elevations and latitudes.

This adaptation, however, is dragging them to extinction.

... Reproducing live young is not very effective in hot environments, and once reptiles evolve in this way, they remain 'trapped' in cold areas.

As climate warming rapidly progresses towards higher elevations and latitudes, the 'suitable' cold climates where live birthing species live will be pushed towards mountain tops and continent edges until lizards run out of space and are eventually wiped out.


"This phenomenon would apply to other reptiles, such as snakes, anywhere in the world."

... "Our results highlight the extent of the extinction crisis that modern biodiversity is currently facing. By 2080, more than half of the current 'cold lands' in the area we investigated in South America will have become warm, leading current resident species to extinction.

Open Access: Manuel Jara et al. Alternative reproductive adaptations predict asymmetric responses to climate change in lizards (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-41670-8), Scientific Reports (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on August 17, 2019, 06:18:18 PM
I wonder how salamanders are doing. When I lived here ~60 years ago you'd find them under about every old cluster of leaves.
Haven't seen a single one in the 15+ years I've been back. Don't know if they moved north with the mayflies, ate too much pesticide or decided it was just too damn hot.


They were great for evoking screams from the little girls we were trying to impress.
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on August 17, 2019, 06:51:06 PM
On a similar topic - that of causing little girls to scream.


Is anyone aware of the carved and varnished rays that Mexican fishermen used to sell at flea markets?


I had one hanging in a rather dark hall near my bedroom at one time. The head looked like some strange alien with sunken eyes, a very long nose, a scowling mouth and a pointed pate. His arms were crossed at his chest, his legs looked a little disjointed, and his sharp whiplike tail was wrapped around to provide a false illusion of modesty.


Stumbling into him after a night on the town would evoke a quick intake of air, followed by a loud GOD DAMN IT!


A few years later after having taken the cure I was assured that it I didn't find my own "Higher Power", I'd be drunk before the sun came up.
I wasn't into religion at all, but took my (newfound) sobriety seriously.
The beasty was still hanging in the hallway, and he rapidly became Goddamnit - best higher power a man could hope for.


Oh -  the few females I could lure through that hall and into my bedroom all reacted much as the little girls had when being chased with a salamander.
A very high pitched squeal, often followed by loudly invoking his name - which I'm sure any higher power would appreciate. None successfully fled my shed. 8)  But their hearts were racing before we reached the bedroom.
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 17, 2019, 07:43:17 PM
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on August 17, 2019, 08:06:10 PM
Terry, It is amazing how much a few miles can mean different lizards or amphibian habitats . Horney toads, newts, skinks, various snakes ,and all things a young boy pays attention to are sign posts for where you live. When just a few miles matters you gotta wonder what parts of your childhood interests are already just memories , if you went back they would already be gone forever. . The little creeks , ponds and ditches were always rare habitats here in the desert Southwest ,the Great Basin, or  in so.Cal.  The large dry parts mean these species will have a difficult time trying to follow a clinal shift north. If the 81 degrees in that Alaskan river is any indication ,better habitats available further north may be another delusion we like to entertain.
 I keep watching to see if the murder of crows returns but as the weeks/months pass I think they are gone . My resident pair of crows showed up again with a couple fledglings. There were between 100-150 crows that flew by twice a day for the twenty years I've lived here , but something went wrong.
 The nearshore reef system has changed as fast or faster than the local terrestrial habitats IMO. The starfish dieoff in the 2013 ocean heatwave resulted in major changes that are still accumulating. A large starfish named " twenty rayed star " may be a candidate for an endangered species designation.
They used to be common and a keystone species.
 Epitaph 


Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on August 18, 2019, 04:00:17 AM
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?


GODDAMIT was a girl!


I didn't know he had a name, but that's definitely a mug shot of him.
Can I ask where you ran into such an unlikely creature?


Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 18, 2019, 04:26:38 AM
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?


GODDAMIT was a girl!


I didn't know he had a name, but that's definitely a mug shot of him.
Can I ask where you ran into such an unlikely creature?


Terry


I just like to "collect" weird things. For example, about 25 years ago I was monitoring spy number stations on shortwave. It's a quirk of my mind.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on August 18, 2019, 04:46:33 AM
Terry, It is amazing how much a few miles can mean different lizards or amphibian habitats . Horney toads, newts, skinks, various snakes ,and all things a young boy pays attention to are sign posts for where you live. When just a few miles matters you gotta wonder what parts of your childhood interests are already just memories , if you went back they would already be gone forever. . The little creeks , ponds and ditches were always rare habitats here in the desert Southwest ,the Great Basin, or  in so.Cal.  The large dry parts mean these species will have a difficult time trying to follow a clinal shift north. If the 81 degrees in that Alaskan river is any indication ,better habitats available further north may be another delusion we like to entertain.
 I keep watching to see if the murder of crows returns but as the weeks/months pass I think they are gone . My resident pair of crows showed up again with a couple fledglings. There were between 100-150 crows that flew by twice a day for the twenty years I've lived here , but something went wrong.
 The nearshore reef system has changed as fast or faster than the local terrestrial habitats IMO. The starfish dieoff in the 2013 ocean heatwave resulted in major changes that are still accumulating. A large starfish named " twenty rayed star " may be a candidate for an endangered species designation.
They used to be common and a keystone species.
 Epitaph
Here in Southern Ontario there were lots of changes in the 40+ years I was gone. The river experienced a marvelous cleanup and now supports game fish instead if the suckers and carp that used to be all that could survive it.


Raptors and Canadian Geese have made unimaginable comebacks, so all hasn't been dark here. The salamanders were a surprise. The trees are still standing, the soils still loose and moist, but the little critters seem to have vanished.
We are - or were - the north end of the Carolinian Forest. Magnolias, Tulip trees, lots of things you'd expect to see far to the south. The woods extend north from here and I hope the beasties have migrated rather than died.


Unrelated, but I found that Swift Current Saskatchewan plays host to a small community of kangaroo rats. Your probably familiar with them from the Mojave Desert. Cute little things that look a bit like emaciated hamsters.
Anyway they're acclimated to the driest hottest deserts. They never drink water, it's only recently been discovered that they do pee on special occasions, and here they are in the middle of the Canadian Prairies.
Obviously a rump population long separated from their southern cousins.


In 50 years perhaps these furry critters will find a Saskatchewan that (again?) resembles their Death Valley ancestral home.
Hope your crows have found a place to their liking.
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on August 18, 2019, 07:22:59 AM
" the little critters seem to have vanished."

This is my observation as well, together with a general observation of disappearing microorganisms. Extremely worrisome. Stuff doesn't seem to rot like it did. Doesn't get 'cleaned up'.

How many of those critters did surreptitiously go extinct?

Crows are having a difficult time in the rural place where I live now (northern Netherlands, Fryslân). In the big city they were/are numerous and I noticed they behave a bit different there. Will those crows be able to adapt once human activity stops in the cities?

As a child I spend many days outside in the fields with my polsstok (https://polsstokkopen.nl/), leaping over the ditches around the fields and loved the songs and calls of birds, frogs and life in the ditches, the smells, the buzzing of insects, the beautiful well-formed clouds, the quiet of low windvelocity, no ICE noise, flowers in the fields, airplane-free skies. There were also many features in the landscape that have gone. Little ponds and islands and trees. Lot's of small pieces of uncultivated 'wild' land.
40 years later, those fields are now forbidden to enter and many (most) are monoculture ryegrass. All have been sprayed with toxins year-in year-out. All the ditches are routinely dug out and all life and habitat removed, the whole biotope gone! (many flying insects have their larval stage in water) Everywhere! Because most ditches and waterways are connected, the toxins run-off from the fields get everywhere. I can only speculate about what happened to the life in the poisoned soils.

For children today it is Impossible to experience the wondrous healthy outside childhood I've had. They'll think this is normal.
The cattle are inside under fluorescent lamplight, on concrete slabs between thick metal bars, non-grazing. They'll think this is normal.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 18, 2019, 11:50:03 PM
I watched pole vaulting (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pole+vaulting&&view=detail&mid=EA0C8C55A82AF575DEEAEA0C8C55A82AF575DEEA&&FORM=VRDGAR), but never polsstok-ing (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=polsstokken&&view=detail&mid=EE467276E94DB469CB18EE467276E94DB469CB18&rvsmid=33FDCE0E38CEA8FE255333FDCE0E38CEA8FE2553&FORM=VDQVAP) or for beginners (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=polsstokken&&view=detail&mid=33FDCE0E38CEA8FE255333FDCE0E38CEA8FE2553&&FORM=VRDGAR).  How useful in wet-ditch-rich country!
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on August 19, 2019, 03:19:45 AM
^^
Ramen!
Would have been a blast!
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on August 19, 2019, 07:46:47 AM
<snip>
How useful in wet-ditch-rich country!

Great video's you've found, I had a laugh, thanks.
"polsspringen" in Frisian is "Ljeppe" in English "to Leap". The sports competition variant, with fixed pole, is called "fierljeppe".

It can go wrong when your 'pols' breaks in mid-leap:
https://www.destentor.nl/harderwijk/slootje-springen~af5425e5/101533647/ (https://www.destentor.nl/harderwijk/slootje-springen~af5425e5/101533647/)

Recent competition (22sec in Frisian):
https://www.omropfryslan.nl/nijs/902134-marrit-van-der-wal-wint-earste-wedstriid-nasjonale-fierljepkompetysje (https://www.omropfryslan.nl/nijs/902134-marrit-van-der-wal-wint-earste-wedstriid-nasjonale-fierljepkompetysje)

I got my first pols from my grandfather ('pake') when I was about 6. It was not used in a very long time and when I was leaping, right above the ditch it broke and I got to see the wonderful ditch biotope from close up. I have been In ditches hundreds of times  ;D
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on August 22, 2019, 08:17:15 PM
Shocking Rate of Plant Extinctions in South Africa
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-extinctions-south-africa.html

Over the past 300 years, 79 plants have been confirmed extinct from three of the world's biodiversity hotspots located in South Africa—the Cape Floristic Region, the Succulent Karoo, and the Maputuland-Pondoland-Albany corridor.

According to a study published in the journal Current Biology this week, this represents a shocking 45.4 percent of all known plant extinctions from 10 of the world's 36 biodiversity hotspots. Biodiversity hotspots are areas that harbor exceptionally high numbers of unique species, but at the same time they are under severe threat from human disturbance.

The main drivers for extinctions in South Africa were found to be agriculture (49.4 percent), urbanization (38 percent) and invasive species (22 percent).[/b]

... The researchers emphasize that biodiversity loss and climate change are the biggest threats confronting humanity: "Along with habitat destruction, the effects of climate change are expected to be particularly severe on those plants not capable of dispersing their seeds over long distances," they conclude.

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30943-1?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982219309431%3Fshowall%3Dtrue
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on August 23, 2019, 05:27:48 AM
Thanks vox_mundi.
Some words don't do a good job of giving meaning, of describing the true situation. Words too nice and concealing.

I read "human disturbance" but I'm thinking "technological mass destruction" to get a better picture.

I read "agriculture" but I'm thinking "deforestation, pesticides and monoculture GM crops" to get a better picture.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 25, 2019, 02:05:35 PM
Sea turtles at risk as Trump weakens protections of animals endangered by climate crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/23/groups-sue-trump-weakening-animals-protections-climate-crisis
Quote
So a coalition of environmental groups has launched a federal court lawsuit to halt the Trump administration’s new interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, America’s bedrock conservation law. The changes will, among other things, limit consideration of threats to species to the “foreseeable future” and make it harder to place protections on important habitat.

Conservationists say this new regime is likely to disregard the looming long-term danger posed by climate change to creatures such as the Canada lynx, which is deemed likely to be largely wiped out by 2100, as well as the Florida key deer, a diminutive endangered deer, and the Florida mole skink, a five-inch-long lizard, both of which reside in Florida Keys, an area acutely vulnerable to sea level rise.

I'm sure that Key West deer, Canada lynx and sea turtles are not the only ones endangered by AGW. Why, if it gets bad enough it could also wipe out mongooses!  ;)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on September 05, 2019, 08:40:40 PM
Breakdown in Coral Spawning Places Species at Risk of Extinction
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-breakdown-coral-spawning-species-extinction.html

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that the highly synchronized, iconic spawning events of certain reef-building corals in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea, have completely changed over time and lost their vital synchrony, dramatically reducing chances of successful fertilization.

Since both the eggs and the sperm of corals can persist only a few hours in the water, the timing of this event is critical."

According to the research, led by Prof. Yossi Loya and Ph.D. candidate Tom Shlesinger of TAU's School of Zoology and published in Science on September 6, the breakdown in coral spawning synchrony has led to a dearth of new recruits and stagnant aging populations, creating circumstances for extinction.
https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/video/2019/5d7124a12b3b0.mp4

... "Although it appeared that the overall state of the coral reefs at Eilat was quite good and every year we found many new corals recruiting to the reefs, for those species that are suffering from the breakdown in spawning synchrony, there was a clear lack of recruitment of new juvenile generations, meaning that some species that currently appear to be abundant may actually be nearing extinction through reproductive failure," says Shlesinger.

"Several possible mechanisms may be driving the breakdown in spawning synchrony that we found," Prof. Loya concludes. "For example, temperature has a strong influence on coral reproductive cycles. In our study region, temperatures are rising fast, at a rate of 0.31 degrees Celsius per decade, and we suggest that the breakdown in spawning synchrony reported here may reflect a potential sublethal effect of ocean warming. Another plausible mechanism may be related to endocrine (hormonal) disrupting pollutants, which are accumulating in marine environments as a result of ongoing human activities that involve pollution."

T. Shlesinger el al., "Breakdown in spawning synchrony: A silent threat to coral persistence (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6457/1002)," Science (2019).

N. Fogarty    el al., "Coral spawning, unsynchronized (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6457/987)," Science (2019).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 07, 2019, 12:51:33 AM
Another Blow for the Future of Corals
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/great-spawning-corals-becoming-undone/597466/
Quote
“It’s definitely the case that the probability of fertilization goes way down if they don’t spawn at the same time, and really at the same time,” says Nancy Knowlton, a coral researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. There’s a huge evolutionary pressure for them to be synchronized, “so to not be synchronized is a really big thing.”

Shlesinger first realized something was wrong when he and Loya tried to rear some well-known coral species in large outdoor aquariums. To their surprise, some didn’t spawn at the expected times—an abnormality that Shlesinger initially blamed on his setup. “It took me two or three years to realize that things are completely off,” he says.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on September 11, 2019, 04:58:45 PM
  I never thought I'd see the Australian rainforest burning.
  What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?

  by Joëlle Gergis

 Dr Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer based at the
 Australian National University. She is a lead author of the United Nation’s
 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report, and an
 expert advisor to the Climate Council
.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/10/i-never-thought-id-see-the-australian-rainforest-burning-what-will-it-take-for-us-to-wake-up-to-the-climate-crisis


 Quotes:
"The extreme events that our community has been talking about for decades are now becoming part of our lived experience, season after season, year after year across the entire planet. What we are seeing play out now is much faster than many of us ever imagined."

"Barely a week after sweltering through an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author meeting discussing the UN group’s sixth global climate assessment report during an unseasonable European heatwave, it’s been surreal to return home to find much of Australia’s eastern seaboard engulfed in unprecedented bushfires crisis. In spring."

"What we expect to see in our future climate is playing out right now, not decades in the future. As we begin to drift away from the safe shores of historical variability, the only certainty is that life in the “new normal” will be outside the range of human experience."
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 11, 2019, 08:57:48 PM
Loss of Madagascar’s biodiversity is a loss for Earth, Pope says
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/09/loss-of-madagascars-biodiversity-is-a-loss-for-earth-pope-says/
Quote
On a visit to Madagascar this weekend, Pope Francis denounced the “excessive” forest loss in the country.
He was speaking at the presidential palace, during a courtesy call to President Andry Rajoelina.
The pope also visited Mozambique before arriving in Madagascar, where he addressed the ecological disaster faced by the African nation after it was hit by two back-to-back cyclones this year.
His seven-day tour which includes a day trip to Mauritius on Monday comes to a close on Tuesday.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on September 12, 2019, 08:50:07 PM
Controversial Insecticides Shown to Threaten Survival of Wild Birds
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-controversial-insecticides-shown-threaten-survival.html

New research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows how the world's most widely used insecticides could be partly responsible for a dramatic decline in songbird populations.

A study published in the journal Science on Sept. 13 is the first experiment to track the effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on birds in the wild.

The study found that white-crowned sparrows who consumed small doses of an insecticide called imidacloprid suffered weight loss and delays to their migration—effects that could severely harm the birds' chances of surviving and reproducing.

"We saw these effects using doses well within the range of what a bird could realistically consume in the wild—equivalent to eating just a few treated seeds," said Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow in the USask Toxicology Centre and lead author on the study.

Although the toxic effects of neonicotinoids were once thought to affect only insects, most notably pollinators such as bees, there is growing evidence that birds are routinely exposed to the pesticides with significant negative consequences.

"Our study shows that this is bigger than the bees—birds can also be harmed by modern neonicotinoid pesticides which should worry us all," said Stutchbury.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-d-gNZaGrfRc%2FUHmmcpBSVFI%2FAAAAAAAABhw%2FIXarl2zqOK8%2Fs400%2FBP%2BWhite%2Bcrowned%2BSparrow%2B10%2B13%2B12%2BA.jpg&hash=a50d6f27f64c1377357f052a33804cb3)

... results seem to be associated with the appetite suppression effect of imidacloprid. The dosed birds ate less food, and it's likely that they delayed their flight because they needed more time to recover and regain their fuel stores,"

Because the researchers used controlled dosing, they were able to confirm a cause and effect between neonicotinoid exposures and delayed migration, not just a correlation that is more typical of field studies.

... In North America, three-quarters of bird species that rely on agricultural habitat have significantly declined in population since 1966. The results of the new study show a mechanism by which pesticides could be directly contributing to this drop-off.


M.L. Eng el al., "A neonicotinoid insecticide reduces fueling and delays migration in songbirds (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6458/1177)," Science (2019)
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on September 17, 2019, 01:01:39 PM
Bogong moth tracker launched in face of 'unprecedented' collapse in numbers

Every spring, 4.4 billion bogong moths migrate up to 1,000km to the alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales ahead of the summer heat.

But for the past two years, the number of moths that have made the journey to those areas from breeding grounds in Queensland, NSW and western Victoria has crashed to almost undetectable levels and scientists are turning to the community for help.

...

Last year, scientists monitoring the mountain pygmy possum late in the breeding season in Victoria found that between 50% and 95% of the animals had lost their full litters of young. Analysis found the animals had starved to death without their main food source. (Only 2000 of them are alive)

...

They (possible causes) are the ongoing drought in south-eastern Australia, changes in agricultural practices such as spraying of crops or flooding of areas for cotton and rice production, and light pollution in urban areas that diverts the moths away from their migration path.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/17/bogong-moth-tracker-launched-in-face-of-unprecedented-collapse-in-numbers
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 18, 2019, 07:31:05 PM
What we lose when animals go extinct
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/09/vanishing-what-we-lose-when-an-animal-goes-extinct-feature/
Quote
One way to think of a species, be it of ape or of ant, is as an answer to a puzzle: how to live on planet Earth. A species’ genome is a sort of manual; when the species perishes, that manual is lost. We are, in this sense, plundering a library—the library of life. Instead of the Anthropocene, Wilson has dubbed the era we are entering the Eremozoic—the age of loneliness.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on September 20, 2019, 02:25:07 PM
Nearly 3 Billion Birds Have Vanished In The Last 50 Years In The United States And Canada

The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 2.9 billion since 1970. In a mere half-century, 29 percent of avian populations have vanished from our skies, including birds in every ecosystem – from backyard birds and meadowlarks to songsters and swallows. The study was conducted by researchers from seven institutions and published in Science.

...

"The results even stunned those of us who were doing the research. We knew some bird species populations were declining – some drastically – but we thought that increases in other species would balance everything out overall. That’s not the case at all," lead author Ken Rosenberg, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy, told IFLScience.

...
https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/nearly-3-billion-birds-have-vanished-in-the-last-50-years-in-the-united-states-and-canada/

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on September 21, 2019, 04:17:58 AM
Kassy, I have been seeing problems with local bird populations, I am not sure what to do. Many local problems , competition with non-natives like Asian doves that both carry new diseases and are fierce
competitors, swallows abandoning nests two years now. Zero hatched in my eaves this year but again lots of competition with english sparrows but there has been competition for a long time so why are the swallows giving in and letting ( or losing ) their nests to competitors? We humans must be dull asses because we just don ‘t even know what’s going wrong. There are so many things wrong that we can’t pick through the stressors and triage what we can save. That’s where we are but again we are just dumb asses and most people don’t even pay enough attention to notice . I am watching the birds, the insects, the amphibians and there are plenty of problems in our oceans too.
 When you posted the bird numbers this morning I thought I should cry but I am getting hard although a good cry would be a good thing I think.
 It’s strange sometimes being a farmer , a fisherman, on a science blog. I don’t keep a log and whatever I say can be written off as anecdote but watching and watching closely are all I have. But when you have put Year’s in and something disappears the loses are close to the heart , it hurts, it’s not numbers, it is the living things I share my world with , some birds  ( the crows and I am sure others are with me for decades ) and as they go I am diminished. It isn’t numbers... and yes it is hard to write and not cry a little too.
   
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on September 21, 2019, 06:19:38 AM
Thank you very much for your heartfelt experiences Bruce. During the summer our local woods were eerily quiet. Unsettling. Recently there are songbirds returning from migration that make me shout WELCOME BACK and almost bring tears to my eyes. Most people notice nothing. Without daily observations outside, everything still looks normal I guess.
I share your cry.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on September 21, 2019, 01:26:41 PM
At least it is a rather big number and thus abstract which helps. A vivid description of a colony of arctic seabirds failing to breed is worse in that respect for me.  :-\

I think long sets of local observations are important. The world is changing so quickly that a generation later gets a new normal which for them is the baseline.

I am not sure there is anything you can do Bruce. Don´t know if you know anyone local who is a birdwatcher. They might or might not know a little more about the situation or if anyone is looking into it whom you could support with limited data gathering.

I think that is about it.

The whole problem needs to be solved on the grand scale. People need to wake up to the fact that we actually depend on the planet and that we are running out of all kinds of resources (including beautiful creatures) but that is hard if you are in consumer paradise or just surviving paycheck to paycheck hell.

PS: Nanning any specific birds missing? Not sure if you know. I like just listening but i usually
don´t know which birds belong to the songs because i am not a birdwatcher.

Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: nanning on September 21, 2019, 05:05:48 PM
Thanks for your personal post and your question kassy..

Upfront I want to say that I am by no means an expert in this.
I live on an elevated sandy soil ground. The ground-water level here is very low right now. I hardly any see beetles. Only flying insects if there is warm direct sunshine. The ponds and ditches are dead because of fertilizer/biocide run-off I think.

I also can't recognize all birds by their verbal communication yet, but I'll find out :) . And I know and understand far too little of living nature. About all living nature and interactions, down to the micro-organisms. Alas.
I have accepted that I have to do with just my observations in a less informed context. Maybe I'll find new things :) .

Some blackbirds have returned but are not singing yet.  :(

I miss packs of crows here, they seem to be stressed from what I pick up.

kassy, are you living on elevated grounds? Do you live in the Veluwe-area perchance? Anything to add in missing birds?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on September 22, 2019, 09:42:13 PM
Thanks. That is consistent with other reports about the higher areas in the north and east.

And no, i live in the city so i don´t have much direct reports myself (just that the ducks are having new chicks in september which is a little later then usual).
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 24, 2019, 07:56:30 PM
Study: Bird populations plummeting in US and Canada
https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/09/20/us-canada-bird-population-decrease-weir-intv-ebof-vpx.cnn
Quote
Bird populations in the United States and Canada have dropped by almost three billion since 1970, according to a new study. CNN's Bill Weir reports.Source: CNN

Hawaii coral show signs of stress amid record-setting heat
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/hawaii-coral-show-signs-stress-amid-record-setting-65808774
Quote
Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed nearly half of this coastline's coral, federal researchers are predicting another round of hot water will cause some of the worst coral bleaching the region has ever experienced.

"In 2015, we hit temperatures that we've never recorded ever in Hawaii," said Jamison Gove, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "What is really important — or alarming, probably more appropriately — about this event is that we've been tracking above where we were at this time in 2015."
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on September 30, 2019, 11:08:00 PM
Vox-mundi, I thought your latest post belonged here as well. Some of the birds listed, blue birds and olive sided flycatchers are here on my farm and I noted earlier a decrease in the blue bird numbers. I think roadrunners are also in decline and the highway serves as a very long term chronic mortality source.
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/olive-sided-flycatcher

Re: Heatwaves
« Reply #381 on: Today at 10:45:32 PM »
Collapse of Desert Bird Populations Likely Due to Heat Stress from Climate Change
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-collapse-bird-populations-due-stress.html

As temperatures rise, desert birds need more water to cool off at the same time as deserts are becoming drier, setting some species up for a severe crash, if not extinction, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.

... The researchers' latest findings, part of UC Berkeley's Grinnell Resurvey Project, come from comparing levels of species declines to computer simulations of how "virtual birds" must deal with heat on an average hot day in Death Valley, which can be in the 30s Celsius—90s Fahrenheit—with low humidity. These temperatures are, on average, 2 C (3.6 F) hotter than 100 years ago. The birds that the model predicted would require the most extra water today, compared to a 100 years ago, were the species that had declined the most in the Mojave Desert over the past century. The desert straddles the border between California and Nevada.

The most threatened turn out to be larger birds, and those that have an insect or animal diet.

The team calculated that larger birds, like the mourning dove, require 10% to 30% more water today to keep cool because of the 2 C increase in Mojave Desert temperatures over the last 100 years.



According to the UC Berkeley analysis, birds that eat insects or other animals are more threatened by changes in evaporative water loss because they typically get all of their water from the moisture in their food. They seldom, if ever, drink from surface water sources. A 30% increase in water requirement could mean that larger birds have to catch an extra 60 to 70 bugs per day to survive the increased heat. If those bugs are even around, the birds still have to expend extra energy and time to find them.

The American kestrel, prairie falcon and turkey vulture, all large and carnivorous, have declined, as have large insect-eaters like the white-throated swift, violet-green swallow, olive-sided flycatcher, Western meadowlark and Western bluebird.

Smaller birds that eat seeds or are omnivores are less threatened, according to the model.

Vegetarian birds, such as seedeaters, face a different problem. Because they can drink from surface water sources—springs and pools in desert oases, they can supplement the water they get from their food. But that's only if water is around.

... According to Beissinger, the team's conclusions about these California and Nevada desert birds may apply to species in other regions of the world.

Eric A. Riddell el al., "Cooling requirements fueled the collapse of a desert bird community from climate change," PNAS (2019)
 Logged
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 01, 2019, 01:24:09 AM
Thanks, Bruce  :)

Here on the East coast the survivors seem to be omnivores, seed and fruitovores. That said, the bird population here has crashed. Some days, I can count the number of birds I see in one day on one hand.

Fortunately, we have plenty of water.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 03, 2019, 06:45:38 PM
Booming Demand Driving Tuna to Extinction, Researchers Find
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/03/booming-demand-for-tuna-driving-unsustainable-level-of-fishing-report

Scientists have warned that existing levels of tuna fishing are unsustainable after researchers found that global catches have increased more than 1,000% over the past 60 years.

A study in the journal Fisheries Research estimated that about 6m tonnes of tuna are now caught annually, a rate that “risks driving tuna populations to unsustainable levels and possible extinction”.

... The decline of tuna populations could threaten food supply chains and jobs around the world, as well as potentially destabilising the underwater food web, Coulter said. “Tuna are both predators and prey. They eat smaller fish and invertebrates and are a food source for larger marine life, such as sharks and whales.

“If we lose tuna due to overexploitation, we break those links in the food web and disrupt the function of the ecosystem. This means that the survival of other species in the ecosystem is also threatened,” she said.

(https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0165783619302346-gr3.jpg)
Fig.3: Global catches of tuna and other large pelagic fishes from 1950 to 2016 as assembled and harmonized from the five separate tuna RFMO datasets, by a) ocean basins; b) major taxa (156 additional taxa are pooled in ‘Other’); and c) important taxa beyond the 12 major target species covered in the FAO Atlas of Tuna and Billfish Catches (144 additional taxa are pooled in ‘Other’).

AngieCoulter, et.al., Using harmonized historical catch data to infer the expansion of global tuna fisheries (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783619302346)Fisheries Research, 2020
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: TerryM on October 03, 2019, 11:53:02 PM
Vox
You might want to run some of these overfishing stories past Bruce. He's an excellent source of 1st hand information regarding the oceans & fishing. Sometimes the explanations aren't quite as one sided as they might at first appear.
Terry
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 04, 2019, 12:20:18 AM
Thanks Terry

I think, though, tuna (and related species) are seriously stressed, especially bluefin. And we're working down the food chain.

As a keystones species it's having ripple effects in the rest of the ecosystem.

I do recall reading of a aquaculturist, possible in Australia, who had successfully farm raised bluefin. I haven't heard anything more, so that may have been a one shot wonder.

These meta-studies have the advantage of giving a systems level view of the subject that may not be obvious at the regional level.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Bruce Steele on October 04, 2019, 06:43:10 AM
Terry, There are lots of different tuna and different stocks around the world and I am no expert. I did fish albacore for a couple months out by the 200 mile line on a 38 ft. jig boat. Land was days away.
Not all the stocks are in bad shape . You might keep in mind that there hasn’t been a single fish species driven to extinction by commercial fishing. So I get a little put off when “ extinction “ is in the title. I did read the article ( part way )but it seemed solely based on fish landing data, kinda boring...My scientific review.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: kassy on October 04, 2019, 11:09:28 PM
Climate change pushes Italy beekeepers to the brink

https://phys.org/news/2019-10-climate-italy-beekeepers-brink.html

Black year for European beekeepers

This year has been a black one for many European beekeepers, particularly in France and Italy, where unpredictable weather has produced what are being termed the worst honey harvests ever.

https://phys.org/news/2019-10-black-year-european-beekeepers.html

Of course the weird weather also influences all kinds of less monitored wild species.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 09, 2019, 01:53:31 PM
Botswana Rhinos Risk Wipeout as Poaching Rises
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-botswana-rhinos-wipeout-poaching.html

Nine Botswana rhinos have been poached since April, the government said Wednesday, an unprecedented rate of one per month that could see rhinos wiped out in the southern African country by 2021.

... Sold for up to 55,000 euros ($60,300) per kilo on the black market, rhino horn is used in traditional medicine or as a symbol of wealth and success.

Botswana's neighbour South Africa lost more than 7,100 rhinos over the past decade, including 769 in 2018.

Namibia has also recorded recent incidents of rhino poaching, which leaves the animal bleeding to death after its horn is hacked off.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 10, 2019, 06:35:11 PM
Two-Thirds of Bird Species in North America Could Vanish in Climate Crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/10/bird-species-extinction-north-america-climate-crisis

Continent could lose 389 of 604 species studied to threats from rising temperatures, higher seas, heavy rains and urbanization

Bird extinctions are yet another face of the human-caused biodiversity crisis threatening up to a million animal and plant species. A related study from Cornell University last month found the US and Canada lost one in four birds – or 3 billion total – since 1970.

“Birds are indicators of the health of our environment, so if they disappear, we’re certainly going to see a lot of changes in the landscape,” said Brooke Bateman, the senior researcher who wrote the report. “If there are things changing with birds we have to understand that the environment is changing for us as well.”
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Hefaistos on October 12, 2019, 06:56:00 PM
OTOH:
The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago.
"Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

“But, now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” Nemani said. “This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.”

The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago, as shown on this map, where areas with the greatest increase in foliage are indicated in dark green. Data from a NASA instrument orbiting Earth aboard two satellites show that human activity in China and India dominate this greening of the planet."

More greens assumedely counteracts the "extinction". Or maybe it's all mono-culture greens where nothing else lives?
In any case, this is a real carbon sink.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/human-activity-in-china-and-india-dominates-the-greening-of-earth-nasa-study-shows
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: wili on October 12, 2019, 07:08:01 PM
I don't follow.

If this is mostly from ag products, where is the carbon sink. Maybe in the areas converting to no-till it could be, but where they are practicing traditional modern ag practices, there will be very little if any carbon sink...more likely carbon loss from degraded soils.

But perhaps I'm missing something here?
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Darvince on October 13, 2019, 04:19:25 AM
This... has basically nothing to do with the thriving of, especially, wild animal species. If I'm a farmer in north-west India and I plant a small garden of fruit trees outside my house, that means leaf area has increased, but it doesn't mean biodiversity has increased.

And, from your article:
Quote
The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. The consequences for sustainability and biodiversity in those ecosystems remain.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: Hefaistos on October 13, 2019, 03:57:30 PM
I don't follow.

If this is mostly from ag products, where is the carbon sink. Maybe in the areas converting to no-till it could be, but where they are practicing traditional modern ag practices, there will be very little if any carbon sink...more likely carbon loss from degraded soils.

But perhaps I'm missing something here?
Forestation might be considered a carbon sink, no? From the article:
"China’s outsized contribution to the global greening trend comes in large part (42%) from programs to conserve and expand forests. These were developed in an effort to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution and climate change. Another 32% there – and 82% of the greening seen in India – comes from intensive cultivation of food crops."

The rest apart from forestation is more correctly describes as carbon sequestration. Assumedly it will be more intense if it's land that is exploited for ag production with multiple cropping.
Title: Re: The Holocene Extinction
Post by: vox_mundi on October 22, 2019, 01:20:27 AM
Dozens of Elephants Die in Zimbabwe Drought
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-dozens-elephants-die-zimbabwe-drought.html

At least 55 elephants have died in a month in Zimbabwe due to a lack of food and water, its wildlife agency said Monday, as the country faces one of the worst droughts in its history.

... An adult elephant drinks 680 litres (180 gallons) of water per day on average and consumes 450 kilogrammes (990 pounds) of food.

... Africa's elephant numbers have dropped from around 415,000 to 111,000 over the past decade, mainly due to poaching for ivory, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

... More than five million rural Zimbabweans—nearly a third of the population—are at risk of food shortages before the next harvest in 2020, the United Nations has warned.

----------------------

Drought Causes More Than 100 Elephant Deaths in Botswana
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-drought-elephant-deaths-botswana.html

More than 100 elephants have died in two months in Botswana's Chobe National Park due to drought, which has also affected wildlife in other countries in the region, the government said Tuesday.