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Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 707: Is This the End of the World?

http://rt.com/news/242441-earth-facing-human-extinction/

A Swedish scientist claims in a new theory that humanity has exceeded four of the nine limits for keeping the planet hospitable to modern life, while another professor told RT Earth may be seeing an impending human-made extinction of various species.
Environmental science professor Johan Rockstrom, the executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, argues that there are nine “planetary boundaries” in a new paper published in Science – and human beings have already crossed four of them.
Those nine include carbon dioxide concentrations, maintaining biodiversity at 90 percent, the use of nitrogen and phosphorous, maintaining 75 percent of original forests, aerosol emissions, stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, fresh water use and the dumping of pollutants. RT

It's hard to answer the question of "where is the line?", or "how much is too much?" in terms of what the earth can take before it becomes inhospitable to humanity (ie we all die). It's not like the earth comes with a user manual. It's not like we are born with the innate knowledge of exactly how many hits (and what kind) the planet can take before conditions deteriorate past our ability to survive.

So how do we know when we've crossed the line?

Why the hell are we even putting ourselves (and so all life on earth) in this position of having to ask this question in the first place? Why are we risking the safety of our planet at all? What possible reason could justify ending all life on earth?

I suppose some people believe that our actions will have no effect...

I suppose some people believe that our real lives begin after death in "heaven" or "the promised land".

I suppose some people just don't care that much.

I suppose some people care only about a select few things.

I suppose some people are too afraid to speak up in a meaningful way that could make a difference.

I suppose some people are just too pre-occupied.

I suppose some people just don't know what to do, so do nothing.

I suppose some people prefer being wealthy over implementing systems that protect life over personal profit.

I suppose some people think that someone else will fix everything.

I suppose...

While all of this goes on, nothing changes. How bad must it get before our survival instincts kick in and rebuild our society in a sustainable way? We have already experienced bizarre and severe weather changes. We have already committed genocide over and over - not just people - how many species must still go extinct before we change our ways?

Is this the end of the world?

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