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Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth

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avatar Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 06, 2012 02:34PM
ScienceDaily (June 6, 2012) — A group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120606132308.htm
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 09, 2012 04:03AM
Wired has a slightly different report on the same journal article which apparently examines about 100 studies dealing with recent human impact on the earth and lists some startling observations:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/earth-tipping-point/#more-114597


"Human activity now dominates 43 percent of Earth’s land surface and affects twice that area. One-third of all available fresh water is diverted to human use. A full 20 percent of Earth’s net terrestrial primary production, the sheer volume of life produced on land every year, is harvested for human purposes. Extinction rates compare to those recorded during the demise of dinosaurs and average temperatures will likely be higher in 2070 than at any point in human evolution."



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 07:53AM
What reduction in population numbers would you be comfortable with?
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 08:26AM
Quote
Vince
What reduction in population numbers would you be comfortable with?
A few billion or so. But only by natural means. No wars, no genocides, no killing fields, no forced sterilizations, just nature taking it's course. Of course a bit of help with one child campaigns, free birth control, and such.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 09:44AM
I don't think such radical means are necessary, Dave, we're smart enough to support everyone but we lack the political leadership to do it and I'm afraid there's no hope.

Thursday night on PBS: David Attenborough hosts a one-hour special, "How Many People Can Live On Earth?" Fits in with this thread
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 10:16AM
Quote
Vince
I don't think such radical means are necessary, Dave, we're smart enough to support everyone but we lack the political leadership to do it and I'm afraid there's no hope.
All too often the question you asked is a trap. The hyperbolic response to any talk of reducing our population is to start wars or kill off large portions of a given population. I was avoiding that trap by answering the way I did. Most, if not all, of our current problems, climate change, wars, tensions, shortages, etc, could be solved by simply not breeding so much.

Quote

Thursday night on PBS: David Attenborough hosts a one-hour special, "How Many People Can Live On Earth?" Fits in with this thread
I'll try and set my dvr.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 10:41AM
Full article appears to be publicly available here:

http://www.ecoearth.info/shared/docfeed/biosphere_state_shift_nature.pdf



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 10, 2012 10:53AM
The one problem that I have with many reports on climate change is the tendency for the press to describe the impending catastrophic condition. Upon closer review, the issues will likely take 20-50 yrs to become significant. Now, while I would like to see some seriousness on the part of government to deal with these likely events, it just does not seem like there is the political will or capacity for average adults to assimilate the information . I doubt that increasingly strident rhetoric will be likely to change the political landscape and it runs the risk of creating a class of adults who view it a exaggerated alarmist rhetoric. Are we going to be hearing as frequently about global warming for the next 30 years?

I would prefer to see a more stealthy campaign directed at the young rather than efforts to convince entrenched adult deniers. Seat belts, drunk driving, littering, pollution, tobacco programs really have had little impact on adults but seem to only have become important public health and political events as children who were exposed to the information have grown up.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 11, 2012 07:33AM
I have some random questions and observations about this topic:
Not breeding so much. How large is the average American family?
I have 2 boys. Is that too much breeding?
Shouldn't any anti-breeding campaign take place in third-world countries?
How is that working out in China? I just read that there is a lot of resistance to that in China, some riots and such. This result, of course, could control the population if people die. I don't have any research in front of me, but just from observation, I would say that white Europeans and Americans are not the cause of any over-population. (Not to say that this was brought up by anyone; just my observation.)

Does a "stealthy campaign directed at the young" present both sides of any argument? Or only a one-sided view?

Is free birth control really free?

Do you folks have any children? If so, and if you have more than one, which one would have declined to have brought into this world?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2012 01:44PM by snorkus.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 11, 2012 09:16PM
Quote
snorkus
I have some random questions and observations about this topic:
Not breeding so much. How large is the average American family?
I have 2 boys. Is that too much breeding?
Shouldn't any anti-breeding campaign take place in third-world countries?
How is that working out in China? I just read that there is a lot of resistance to that in China, some riots and such. This result, of course, could control the population if people die. I don't have any research in front of me, but just from observation, I would say that white Europeans and Americans are not the cause of any over-population. (Not to say that this was brought up by anyone; just my observation.)

Does a "stealthy campaign directed at the young" present both sides of any argument? Or only a one-sided view?

Is free birth control really free?

Do you folks have any children? If so, and if you have more than one, which one would have declined to have brought into this world?

The point of the review article was to suggest that speed and significance of global climate change effects will/can depend on the condition of the earth due to local human related factors. A smaller world population, less land use needed for food production, and different uses of energy will affect both how much and how fast the global temperature changes will occur and how much impact on human existence the changes will have. Essentially, biologic systems with "mono-cultures" (plants, animals, humans) rather than more diverse systems will tend to be more sensitive to climate changes.

Regarding world population, I am not interested in discussing religious objections to birth control. However, one reasonable method for world population control is merely to improve the education, health, and economic power of women worldwide which apparently has a significant impact on birth rates . Alternatively, Jonathan Swift made some modest proposals on this matter some time ago.

Any education regarding science should involve actual science and public health, not alternative pseudoscience rationalizations.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 13, 2012 06:36AM
Then there is the political type solution just approved by the North Carolina legislature. When the science is inconvenient, just create a legal end around. As some of you may have seen on the Colbert Report, NC just legislated scientific forcasts of rising sea levels to the purview of a Coastal Developement Group because the real science was predicting up to 39" of sea level rise by 2100. The developers and area concerns about potential dropping of real estate values now dictates that 8" of sea level rise by 2100 is more acceptable! They choose to rely on a linear projection of sea level rise based on the past rather than accept the more frightening facts unfolding in Greenland and the two huge ice shelfs in Antartica that indicate a progressive increase in sea levels.

So, as Steven Colbert said, "If you don't like the new science, just outlaw it! And yes, it's a Republican dominated legislature.

"The diffrence between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits", Albert Eistein.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 14, 2012 10:52AM
I'm saddened that anyone gets their news from the Comedy Channel.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 16, 2012 08:20PM
Quote
Vince
I'm saddened that anyone gets their news from the Comedy Channel.

It's more accurate than where you've been getting your news, Vince.
avatar Re: Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth
June 17, 2012 08:26AM
Quote
Vince
I'm saddened that anyone gets their news from the Comedy Channel.

It also made the national news but I understand how progressively rising rising sea levels may not be of too much concern to you, Vince. The Nevada seashore is safe.
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