Omnicide: the killing of everything
Earth's sixth mass extinction of life
"Great biological diversity takes long stretches of geologic time ... The richest ecosystems build slowly over millions of years. It is further true that by chance alone only a few species are poised to move into novel adaptive zones, to create something spectacular and diversity. A panda or sequoia represents a magnitude of evolution that comes along only rarely. It takes a stroke a luck and a long period of probing, experimentation, and failure. Such a creation is part of deep history, and the planet does not have the means nor we the time to see it repeated."
-- E. O. Wilson, "The Diversity of Life"
"Extinction is not something to contemplate. It is something to rebel against."
-- Dr. Helen Caldicott
Pollution hot spots
The solution to pollution is elemental:
learning to live without part of the periodic table
The solution is "elemental" - stop using certain elements in the periodic table:
- the halogens chlorine and bromine
- heavy metals
- everything above number 83 (the radioactive elements).
- Add - no fossil fuels and habitat protection.
Voila - a clean planet.
Getting to this goal would be much more difficult than merely outlining some of the biggest parts of the problem.
Industrial use of chlorine and bromine create ultrahazardous dioxins and other poisons that are the root cause of most of what is considered toxic waste. Mixing is based on mixing chlorine (and/or bromine) with petroleum derived feedstocks. This combination creates new chemicals based on the carbon - chlorine bond, a type of chemistry not found in mammalian biology
radioactive poisons: leave uranium in the ground, ban creation of more radioactive waste (includes elements above 83 on the periodic table)
Nature's sequestered pollutants from ancient, warmer times
protect natural habitat
complex biodiversity allows homo sapiens to survive
the scale of the problem: learn to live lightly
overpopulation: six billion miracles is enough
overfishing: eat lower on the food chain
soil degradation: organic farming, permaculture and other restorative practices are needed
water scarcity / desertification
factory farming creates new diseases and wastes resources
It is mostly a function of making compounds that shouldn't have been made.
Much of the toxins are based on the carbon chlorine bond.
Teflon is solidified chlorofluorocarbons.
There are some petrochemicals that don't use chlorine that are also problematic.
The chemical industry would have a hard time switching to less / non toxic compounds since they'd be tacitly admitting guilt, and they'd have lawsuits that would be in the trillions.
Some of the poisons can be broken down with natural processes (esp. fungi).
World War with nuclear weapons would probably bring down the rest of the biosphere with the exiting human race.
If we go extinct, or technological civilization collapses (without all of us going extinct), who will baby sit the stockpiles of nuclear waste for millennia to keep it out of the biosphere?
Davies, et al. "Phylogenetic trees and mammalian biodiversity. "
Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Aug. 12, 2008. Eight pages.
"One secure prediction is that future environmental conditions will almost certainly differ from those in the past."
"Returning to our original question, should conservation goals consider the long-term evolutionary future? We sound two notes of caution. First, although we have restricted our focus to mammals, they are only a tiny branch on the Tree of Life, and many of the major limbs, from ciliates to Chlamydia, may be better insulated from anthropogenic disturbances (10). The evolutionary future of life on Earth is therefore unlikely to be in serious jeopardy. Second, anthropogenic environmental change and extinctions are occurring on the order of tens to hundreds of years, but times to speciation are frequently estimated in thousands to millions of years (87), and recovery times after previous mass extinction events were perhaps 5–10 million years (12). These time scales are too great for practical management. Diversity will almost certainly rebound after the current extinction event; however, it may be composed of species descended from a different, as yet unknown, subset of lineages from those that dominate now, and humans will likely not be included among them."
"I am become death, shatterer of worlds."
-- J. Robert Oppenheimer, head of the Manhattan Project, quoting the Bhagavad-Gita, after the explosion of the first atomic bomb
"Many people are concluding on the basis of mounting and reasonably objective evidence that the length of life of the biosphere as an inhabitable region for organisms is to be measured in decades rather than in hundreds of millions of years. This is entirely the fault of our own species. It would seem not unlikely that we are approaching a crisis."
-- G. Evelyn Hutchinson, Scientific American, September 1970
"Our challenge is not to learn to control nature more effectively but rather to learn self-control and restraint.
Lasting peace and security are not to be found in continued refinements of the technology of death
When humanity has vanished from this earth and the memory is only a strange atomic glittering in the dust of a poisoned planet, it will not make the slightest difference whose fault it was or why we did it. It will be the fault of all of us who continue to support the military in any way, shape or form, and continue to build a wholly non-sustainable and unjust economy."
-- Bayard Harlow McConnaughey, "Our Coming Extinction"
New Map Shows Human "Footprint" Covers Most Of The Earth
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2002) — NEW YORK (OCT. 22, 2002) –-
Human beings now directly influence more than three quarters of the earth's landmass, according to a state-of-the-art map of the world produced by a team of scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). Published in the latest issue of the scientific journal BioScience, the map should serve as a wake-up call that humans are stewards of the natural world, whether we like it or not – something that should be viewed as an opportunity, the authors say.
The map adds together influences from population density, access from roads and waterways, electrical power infrastructure, and land transformation such as urbanization and agricultural use. It reveals that 83 percent of the land's surface is under human influence, while a staggering 98 percent of the area where it is possible to grow rice, wheat or maize is directly influenced by human beings. At the same time, wide swaths of land still remain wild, including: the northern forests of Alaska, Canada and Russia; the high plateaus of Tibet and Mongolia; and much of the Amazon River Basin.
The Greatest Dying
By Jerry Coyne and Hopi E. Hoekstra
The New Republic
Monday 24 September 2007
A fate worse than global warming.
Two hundred fifty million years ago, a monumental catastrophe devastated life on Earth. We don't know the cause - perhaps glaciers, volcanoes, or even the impact of a giant meteorite - but whatever happened drove more than 90 percent of the planet's species to extinction. After the Great Dying, as the end-Permian extinction is called, Earth's biodiversity - its panoply of species - didn't bounce back for more than ten million years.
Aside from the Great Dying, there have been four other mass extinctions, all of which severely pruned life's diversity. Scientists agree that we're now in the midst of a sixth such episode. This new one, however, is different - and, in many ways, much worse. For, unlike earlier extinctions, this one results from the work of a single species, Homo sapiens. We are relentlessly taking over the planet, laying it to waste and eliminating most of our fellow species. Moreover, we're doing it much faster than the mass extinctions that came before. Every year, up to 30,000 species disappear due to human activity alone. At this rate, we could lose half of Earth's species in this century. And, unlike with previous extinctions, there's no hope that biodiversity will ever recover, since the cause of the decimation - us - is here to stay.
To scientists, this is an unparalleled calamity, far more severe than global warming, which is, after all, only one of many threats to biodiversity. Yet global warming gets far more press. Why? One reason is that, while the increase in temperature is easy to document, the decrease of species is not. Biologists don't know, for example, exactly how many species exist on Earth. Estimates range widely, from three million to more than 50 million, and that doesn't count microbes, critical (albeit invisible) components of ecosystems. We're not certain about the rate of extinction, either; how could we be, since the vast majority of species have yet to be described? We're even less sure how the loss of some species will affect the ecosystems in which they're embedded, since the intricate connection between organisms means that the loss of a single species can ramify unpredictably.
But we do know some things. Tropical rainforests are disappearing at a rate of 2 percent per year. Populations of most large fish are down to only 10 percent of what they were in 1950. Many primates and all the great apes - our closest relatives - are nearly gone from the wild.
And we know that extinction and global warming act synergistically. Extinction exacerbates global warming: By burning rainforests, we're not only polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas) but destroying the very plants that can remove this gas from the air. Conversely, global warming increases extinction, both directly (killing corals) and indirectly (destroying the habitats of Arctic and Antarctic animals). As extinction increases, then, so does global warming, which in turn causes more extinction - and so on, into a downward spiral of destruction.
Why, exactly, should we care? Let's start with the most celebrated case: the rainforests. Their loss will worsen global warming - raising temperatures, melting icecaps, and flooding coastal cities. And, as the forest habitat shrinks, so begins the inevitable contact between organisms that have not evolved together, a scenario played out many times, and one that is never good. Dreadful diseases have successfully jumped species boundaries, with humans as prime recipients. We have gotten aids from apes, sars from civets, and Ebola from fruit bats. Additional worldwide plagues from unknown microbes are a very real possibility.
But it isn't just the destruction of the rainforests that should trouble us. Healthy ecosystems the world over provide hidden services like waste disposal, nutrient cycling, soil formation, water purification, and oxygen production. Such services are best rendered by ecosystems that are diverse. Yet, through both intention and accident, humans have introduced exotic species that turn biodiversity into monoculture. Fast-growing zebra mussels, for example, have outcompeted more than 15 species of native mussels in North America's Great Lakes and have damaged harbors and water-treatment plants. Native prairies are becoming dominated by single species (often genetically homogenous) of corn or wheat. Thanks to these developments, soils will erode and become unproductive - which, along with temperature change, will diminish agricultural yields. Meanwhile, with increased pollution and runoff, as well as reduced forest cover, ecosystems will no longer be able to purify water; and a shortage of clean water spells disaster.
In many ways, oceans are the most vulnerable areas of all. As overfishing eliminates major predators, while polluted and warming waters kill off phytoplankton, the intricate aquatic food web could collapse from both sides. Fish, on which so many humans depend, will be a fond memory. As phytoplankton vanish, so does the ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. (Half of the oxygen we breathe is made by phytoplankton, with the rest coming from land plants.) Species extinction is also imperiling coral reefs - a major problem since these reefs have far more than recreational value: They provide tremendous amounts of food for human populations and buffer coastlines against erosion.
In fact, the global value of "hidden" services provided by ecosystems - those services, like waste disposal, that aren't bought and sold in the marketplace - has been estimated to be as much as $50 trillion per year, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of all countries combined. And that doesn't include tangible goods like fish and timber. Life as we know it would be impossible if ecosystems collapsed. Yet that is where we're heading if species extinction continues at its current pace.
Extinction also has a huge impact on medicine. Who really cares if, say, a worm in the remote swamps of French Guiana goes extinct? Well, those who suffer from cardiovascular disease. The recent discovery of a rare South American leech has led to the isolation of a powerful enzyme that, unlike other anticoagulants, not only prevents blood from clotting but also dissolves existing clots. And it's not just this one species of worm: Its wriggly relatives have evolved other biomedically valuable proteins, including antistatin (a potential anticancer agent), decorsin and ornatin (platelet aggregation inhibitors), and hirudin (another anticoagulant).
Plants, too, are pharmaceutical gold mines. The bark of trees, for example, has given us quinine (the first cure for malaria), taxol (a drug highly effective against ovarian and breast cancer), and aspirin. More than a quarter of the medicines on our pharmacy shelves were originally derived from plants. The sap of the Madagascar periwinkle contains more than 70 useful alkaloids, including vincristine, a powerful anticancer drug that saved the life of one of our friends.
Of the roughly 250,000 plant species on Earth, fewer than 5 percent have been screened for pharmaceutical properties. Who knows what life-saving drugs remain to be discovered? Given current extinction rates, it's estimated that we're losing one valuable drug every two years.
Our arguments so far have tacitly assumed that species are worth saving only in proportion to their economic value and their effects on our quality of life, an attitude that is strongly ingrained, especially in Americans. That is why conservationists always base their case on an economic calculus. But we biologists know in our hearts that there are deeper and equally compelling reasons to worry about the loss of biodiversity: namely, simple morality and intellectual values that transcend pecuniary interests. What, for example, gives us the right to destroy other creatures? And what could be more thrilling than looking around us, seeing that we are surrounded by our evolutionary cousins, and realizing that we all got here by the same simple process of natural selection? To biologists, and potentially everyone else, apprehending the genetic kinship and common origin of all species is a spiritual experience - not necessarily religious, but spiritual nonetheless, for it stirs the soul.
But, whether or not one is moved by such concerns, it is certain that our future is bleak if we do nothing to stem this sixth extinction. We are creating a world in which exotic diseases flourish but natural medicinal cures are lost; a world in which carbon waste accumulates while food sources dwindle; a world of sweltering heat, failing crops, and impure water. In the end, we must accept the possibility that we ourselves are not immune to extinction. Or, if we survive, perhaps only a few of us will remain, scratching out a grubby existence on a devastated planet. Global warming will seem like a secondary problem when humanity finally faces the consequences of what we have done to nature: not just another Great Dying, but perhaps the greatest dying of them all.
Jerry Coyne is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. Hopi E. Hoekstra is John L. Loeb Associate Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and curator of mammals at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_extinction - good summary of threats that humanity is causing to itself and the biosphere
nuclear and biological warfare, overpopulation, climate change, toxic pollution
www.ourstolenfuture.org toxics harm human reproduction
www.purefood.org pesticides & genetically tampered phood www.mad-cow.org
www.eces.org Earth Crash Earth Spirit
www.carbohydrateeconomy.org (biomass substitutes for petrochemicals)
Nature, the most highly respected of scientific journals, has published a study indicating that we're likely to lose 1/4 of the world's species due to human-caused global warming...this editorial is a response to that paper
The Independent (London) January 8, 2004
The Sixth Great Extinction is avoidable - if we act now
08 January 2004
Five times in the past half-billion years, the fossil record shows us, living things have been wiped out over much of the earth. Catastrophic changes in climate, or the impact of an asteroid or a comet, are the likeliest causes for the five great extinctions which geologists and palaeobiologists have identified, ranging from the Ordovician-Silurian extinction, of about 439 million years ago, to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction of 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.
They were all cataclysms, these five vast events that brought life itself to the edge: in the worst, the Permian extinction of 251 million years ago, it is thought that 95 per cent of all living things died. And now we face a sixth.
The significance of today's report on how terribly global warming may ravage the world's wildlife lies in the fact that it is the first time that such a wide-ranging and in-depth assessment has been attempted. It is based on computer predictions of how the global temperature may increase over the next 50 years, and one can doubt them if one wishes, but it is already clear that global temperatures are rising rapidly: the hottest 10 years in the world temperature record, which goes back to 1858, have all occurred since 1990. The fact that more than 1,000 species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and insects were individually evaluated against possible climatic changes to their habitat gives a great deal of credence to the report's broader and dire conclusion - that more than a million species could die out as a result of global warming.
And it is not an asteroid that will have caused this, of course: it is us. The Sixth Great Extinction will be an entirely human achievement. To our widespread destruction of forests and other natural habitats, we are now adding the effect on the atmosphere of two centuries of burning coal, gas and oil on an ever-increasing scale.
There is still time to take action against climate change, and some world leaders, notably Tony Blair, are committed to doing so; but the continuing reluctance of George Bush and his administration to take the threat seriously can only bring closer the day when humankind - the only animal species that can control its environment - goes too far and drives it to extinction.
Revealed: how global warming will cause extinction of a million species
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
08 January 2004
A quarter of known land animals and plants, more than a million species, will eventually die out because of the global warming that will take place over the next 50 years, the most important study of its kind has concluded.
International scientists from eight countries have warned that, based even on the most conservative estimates, rising temperatures will trigger a global mass extinction of unprecedented proportions.
They said global warming will set in train a far bigger threat to terrestrial species than previously realised, at least on a par with the already well-documented destruction of natural habitats around the world.
It is the first time such a powerful assessment has been made and its conclusions will shock even those environmentalists accustomed to "worst-case" scenarios.
Professor Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist from Leeds University who led the research team, said only the "immediate" switch to green technologies and the active removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could avert ecological disaster. "It will be a surprise to a lot of people," he said. "For some years scientists have said climate change may lead to some extinctions but until now there's been no numerical analysis of how big this is likely to be.
We had no idea of whether it would lead to the extinction of a few species or a really substantial number. This study suggests the latter and it's extremely worrying.
"If the projections can be extrapolated globally, and to other groups of land animals and plants, our analyses suggest that much more than a million species could be threatened with extinction as a result of climate change."
The study, in the journal Nature, investigated 1,103 species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, butterflies and other insects living in six areas - Europe, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica.
The scientists calculated the effect of rising temperatures on each species using the three future scenarios proposed by the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) which has predicted minimum, mid-range and maximum global average temperature increases of between 0.5C to 3C by 2050.
Based on the knowledge of the relatively gradual onset and aftermath of an ice age - and of the past 30 years of dramatically rising temperatures - the scientists were able to assess whether the expected climate change would result in a species shifting to a cooler region, or not.
A warmer world would push most species towards the poles or higher up mountains but for many this would be impossible. The home territories of those that could move might be so reduced as to make a breeding population unviable.
The study found:
* Of Australia's more than 400 butterfly species, of which nearly 200 are unique to the continent, all but three might not survive in the present home ranges. More than half could be wiped out.
* Brazil's unique savannah grassland the Cerrado faces disaster with some 45 per cent of the endemic plants - some 2,000 species - facing extinction.
* In Europe, the study predicts a 25 per cent extinction rate for birds under the maximum temperature scenario of the IPCC.
* In Mexico's Chihuahuan desert, extinction would be particularly high because threatened species would have to travel long distances to reach cooler climates.
* In South Africa's Cape Floristic region, the scientists believe between 30 and 40 per cent of the Proteaceae, a family of flowering plants that includes South Africa's national flower, the king protea, will die.
* In Costa Rica's Monteverde cloud forests, warmer temperatures would increase the altitude at which clouds form and even prevent their formation.
Lee Hannah, a senior fellow at the Centre for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International in Washington DC, said the combination of habitat loss and global warming would mean that there would be no safe havens even for some of the most-protected species.
"This study makes it clear that climate change is the most significant new threat for extinctions this century," Dr Hannah said. "The combination of increasing habitat loss, already recognised as the largest single threat to species, and climate change, is likely to devastate the ability of species to move and survive."
Corporations have opened not one but thousands of Pandora's Boxes over the last 50 years, and while American corps may be the worst, it's not only happening here.
The precautionary principle has been not just abandoned but obliterated.
Whereas 150 years ago everything was organic. Soon nothing will be.
Why? Because of continually increasing pollution of our soil, air and water and contaminating pollen drift from GMO/GE crops.
When airborne toxic pollution comes down on our organic farms via not only the air but the rainfall, polluting our topsoil everywhere.
When the water with which we irrigate our organic crops, four fifths of which originates in the headwaters of national forests, is increasingly polluted by both logging and industrial ag interests with their many aggregate applications of toxic herbicides, fungicides and pesticides.
And, thanks to dishonest and corporate seed producers' behavior, ie., their sneaky shipment of GMO, GE seeds to global customers and the calculated attack on organic farms via aggressive "pollen drift" from many miles away.
How can we possibly protect our crops and organic standards from this ongoing assault?
The question for all of us is what can we do? Is it a war for survival? Global genocide?
Just something to think about for all of us.
If you have any suggestions please let me know.
Many blessings and best wishes,
Tim Hermach, Native Forest Council
The Politics of Extinction
By: Captain Paul Watson
We are at the present time living in an age of mass extinction. Each year, more than 20,000 unique species disappear from this planet forever. This represents more that two species per hour,
Species extinction is the fuel that supports the ever increasing progress of the machinery of civilization. The human species, reproducing with the malevolent design of a cancer cell is mindlessly pursuing growth for the sake or growth alone.
Individual humans are for the most part insulated from the reality of species loss. Alienated from the natural world, wrapped in a cocoon of material pleasures, guided by anthropocentric attitudes, the average human being is unaware and non-caring about the biological holocaust that is transpiring each and every day.
The facts are clear. More plant and animal species will go through extinction within our generation than have been lost thorough natural causes over the past two hundred million years. Our single human generation, that is, all people born between 1930 and 2010 will witness the complete obliteration of one third to one half of all the Earth's life forms, each and every one of them the product of more than two billion years of evolution. This is biological meltdown, and what this really means is the end to vertebrate evolution on planet Earth.
Nature is under siege on a global scale. Biotopes, i.e., environmentally distinct regions, from tropical and temperate rain forests to coral reefs and coastal estuaries, are disintegrating in the wake of human onslaught. The destruction of forests and the proliferation of human activity will remove more than 20 percent of all terrestrial plant species over the next fifty years. Because plants form the foundation for entire biotic communities, their demise will carry with it the extinction of an exponentially greater number of animal species -- perhaps ten times as many faunal species for each type of plant eliminated.
Sixty-five million years ago, a natural cataclysmic event resulted in extinction of the dinosaurs. Even with a plant foundation intact, it took more than 100,000 years for faunal biological diversity to re-establish itself. More importantly, the resurrection of biological diversity assumes an intact zone of tropical forests to provide for new speciation after extinction.
Today, the tropical rain forests are disappearing more rapidly than any other bio-region, ensuring that after the age of humans, the Earth will remain a biological, if not a literal desert for eons to come.
The present course of civilization points to ecocide -- the death of nature. Like a run-a-way train, civilization is speeding along tracks of our own manufacture towards the stone wall of extinction. The human passengers sitting comfortably in their seats, laughing, partying, and choosing to not look out the window. Environmentalists are those perceptive few who have their faces pressed against the glass, watching the hurling bodies of plants and animals go screaming by. Environmental activists are those even fewer people who are trying desperately to break into the fortified engine of greed that propels this destructive specicidal juggernaut. Others are desperately throwing out anchors in an attempt to slow the monster down while all the while, the authorities, blind to their own impending destruction, are clubbing, shooting and jailing those who would save us all.
Civilized humans have for ten thousand years been marching across the face of the Earth leaving deserts in their footprints. Because we have such short memories, we forgot the wonder and splendor of a virgin nature. We revise history and make it fit into our present perceptions.
For instance, are you aware that only two thousand years ago, the coast of North Africa was a mighty forest? The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians built powerful ships from the strong timbers of the region. Rome was a major exporter of timber to Europe. The temple of Jerusalem was built with titanic cedar logs, one image of which adorns the flag of Lebanon today. Jesus Christ did not live in a desert, he was a man of the forest. The Sumerians were renowned for clearing the forests of Mesopotamia for agriculture. But the destruction of the coastal swath of the North African forest stopped the rain from advancing into the interior. Without the rain, the trees died and thus was born the mighty Sahara, sired by man and continued to grow southward at a rate of ten miles per year, advancing down the length of the continent of Africa.
And so will go Brazil. The precipitation off the Atlantic strikes the coastal rain forest and is absorbed and sent skyward again by the trees, falling further into the interior. Twelve times the moisture falls and twelve times it is returned to the sky -- all the way to the Andes mountains. Destroy the coastal swath and desertify Amazonia -- it is as simple as that. Create a swath anywhere between the coast and the mountains and the rains will be stopped. We did it before while relatively primitive. We learned nothing. We forgot.
So too, have we forgotten that walrus once mated and bred along the coast of Nova Scotia, that sixty million bison once roamed the North American plains. One hundred years ago, the white bear once roamed the forests of New England and the Canadian Maritime provinces. Now it is called the polar bear because that is where it now makes its last stand.
EXTINCTION DIFFICULT TO APPRECIATE
Gone forever are the European elephant, lion and tiger. The Labrador duck, giant auk, Carolina parakeet will never again grace this planet of ours. Lost for all time are the Atlantic grey whales, the Biscayan right whales and the Stellar sea cow. our children will never look upon the California condor in the wild or watch the Palos Verde blue butterfly dart from flower to flower. Extinction is a difficult concept to fully appreciate. What has been is no more and never shall be again. It would take another creation and billions of years to recreate the passenger pigeon. It is the loss of billions of years of evolutionary programming. It is the destruction of beauty, the obliteration of truth, the removal of uniqueness, the scarring of the sacred web of life
To be responsible for an extinction is to commit blasphemy against the divine. It is the greatest of all possible crimes, more evil than murder, more appalling than genocide, more monstrous than even the apparent unlimited perversities of the human mind. To be responsible for the complete and utter destruction of a unique and sacred life form is arrogance that seethes with evil, for the very opposite of evil is live. It is no accident that these two words spell out each other in reverse.
And yet, a reporter in California recently told me that "all the redwoods in California are not worth the life on one human being." What incredible arrogance. The rights a species, any species, must take precedence over the life of an individual or another species. This is a basic ecological law. It is not to be tampered with by primates who have molded themselves into divine legends in their own mind.
For each and every one of the thirty million plus species that grace this beautiful planet are essential for the continued well-being of which we are all a part, the planet Earth -- the divine entity which brought us forth from the fertility of her sacred womb.
As a sea-captain I like to compare the structural integrity of the biosphere to that of a ship's hull. Each species is a rivet that keeps the hull intact. If I were to go into my engine room and find my engineers busily popping rivets from the hull, I would be upset and naturally I would ask them what they were doing.
If they told me that they discovered that they could make a dollar each from the rivets, I could do one of three things. I could ignore them. I could ask them to cut me in for a share of the profits, or I could kick their asses out of the engine room and off my ship. If I was a responsible captain, I would do the latter. If I did not, I would soon find the ocean pouring through the holes left by the stolen rivets and very shortly after, my ship, my crew and myself would disappear beneath the waves.
And that is the state of the world today. The political leaders, i.e., the captains at the helms of their nation states, are ignoring the rivet poppers or they are cutting themselves in for the profits. There are very few asses being kicked out of the engine room of spaceship Earth.
With the rivet poppers in command, it will not be long until the biospheric integrity of the Earth collapses under the weight of ecological strain and tides of death come pouring in. And that will be the price of progress -- ecological collapse, the death of nature, and with it the horrendous and mind numbing specter of massive human destruction.
And where does that leave us, dear reader? Do you intend to remain in you seat, oblivious to the impending destruction? Have you got you face pressed up against the window, watching the grim reapings of progress? Or are you engaged in throwing out anchors, sacrificing the materialistic pleasures of civilization and risking your all, that your planet and your children may live? The choice is unique to this generation. Future generations will not have the chance and those that came before us did not have the vision nor the knowledge. It is up to us -- you and I.
Remain a parasite OR become an Earth Warrior. Serve your Mother and prosper OR serve the anthropocentric interests of humanity and besmear yourself with the filth and guilt of ecocide.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was created to help protect the world's oceans by helping enforce international conservation law.
The Earth is Dying: World Ruination Is at Hand
Ecological Sustainability Matter of Life and Death - Are you Ready?
April 11, 2005
By Dr. Glen Barry, http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com
The Earth is dying, and most of her species, including humans, are heading towards extinction. Species dying. Biological life arrayed in complex ecological splendor that set the conditions for life is threatened as never before. Forever gone. World ruination is at hand.
So what you may say, everything dies - right? I would argue that the most basic instinct of any species is self-preservation of its kind, and humans are failing in this regard, taking the Earth and all her inhabitants down with their crazed procreation and endless desire for more.
Sizzling climate, mutilated forests, toxic waters, dead oceans - crass, violent, short-sighted and shocking ecological behavior and resultant change. Living as if the Earth has no value is the norm.
The Earth is being slaughtered by surging population and consumption.
Threatened. As resource extraction outstrips the natural regenerative powers of natural ecosystems, the basic conditions of life can no longer be assured for much of humanity. Suffering. Soon it will be all of us.
Whole species dead.
Just because the Earth's prognosis is full of doom and gloom does not mean it is wrong or should be disregarded. For once put aside the God thing and try to view you and the Earth. Truth can be hard to accept - especially if brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh and other reactionary idiots. I have hinted in earlier writings about elements of global ecological collapse, which is pending and inevitable given continuation of current trends. But now let us get specific with examples. Our whole way of feeding, housing, transporting and employing ourselves is dependent upon oil.
Peak oil is expected in no less than thirty years. Despite our best intentions, we are running out of cheap energy. In an energy starved, searing and polluted Planet, with inadequate water, unproductive lands and military resource grabs; something must and will give.
First to go will be civilization as we know it. Much of the bloated population is going to be unable to subsist and there will be large-scale movement of ecological refugees; as we see massive panic, looting, starvation, chaos, and pandemics. Would you like some ebola with those tropical timbers?
Now let us examine the ecology of emergent diseases. Bird flu, Ebola, Lyme disease, West Nile and other until recently mostly unknown diseases are indicative of a ravaged, collapsing global ecosystem trying to throw off the human sickness.
Such diseases are a direct manifestation of ecosystem destruction. Entering a previously relatively untouched natural habitat and destroying it releases disease organisms onto landscapes that because of their fragmentation and ecological damage are prone to spread.
To be alive in the 21st century - particularly if one is blessed with an ecological eye - is to suffer. Neurosis, depression, addiction and abuse are endemic and directly caused by distance from nature, shock at the carnage, toxics, over-crowding, etc.
We are electronically connected in unimaginable ways but ultimately are alone and isolated as ever. Does your brain hurt? It should from the savagery that has become modern life.
Our current global trajectory of mass mayhem like universal development of natural ecosystems will continue to lead to intensifying and non-discriminatory suffering and death. Still the college kids party obliviously, when they should be the acolytes of Gaia. Hard to blame them.
The superstitious kooky fascist right including our fearless emperor insist they are for a "culture of life". In practice this appears to mostly be limited to white, faithful, rich business folks. If you are poor, not American - or god forbid another species - you need not apply. The culture of life is perilously circumspect. Forget about the slaughter of large natural wildernesses behind the curtain, today is the age of Disney's cartoon nature. Patriotism? How about a calling to a higher truth like global interdependence and unity; and the need for equity, justice and sustainability for all?
"Modern" governments and industries, and their leaders, have totally lost track of the fact that we are utterly dependent upon natural ecosystems for our needs. What are we doing to our children's future? Ravaging it. The global growth machine's ecological violence - leaving a world bereft of potable water, dependable climate and fertile lands - is tantamount to slaughtering our children. Might as well load up school buses and bury them.
The status quo political and business systems careen wildly towards the unknown future of resource scarcity, environmental change and catastrophically collapsing ecosystems and societies. The growth machine controls everything, a few tenths of a point of economic growth are traded for forests daily, and there is a bounty on free green or any other kind of thinkers. The rich think they are immune - they are not.
Just as we speak of individual human death and the extinction of other species, we can speak of the Earth dying. Gaia - the sum of all Earthly ecosystems - can reach a point where it dies. Just as a heart fails, nutrient cycling and climate maintenance within a narrow range can stop. This is happening now.
Are you going to do anything about it and your complicity in the affair? What are the options? Resist, defy, simplify and disobey. Organize, organize, organize. Seek personal, social and Earth redemption. Become a cog in the new world order stinking growth machine.
My best heartfelt advice - head for the hills! If you do not have land, tools and seed from which to subsist, you are living on the bubble economy of the Earth's rape. What goes up is gonna come down. There is going to be hell to pay when the eco-bubble bursts. Back to the Land. Quick! Clean your own mind and atone for your sins against others and the Earth. Love and live with a piece of land. Revel at sunrises and sunsets, and other natural passings. Stop to smell, feel and see the Earth. Raise your children to value life - all life, every species, every toad, and every bug. Love it all because cumulatively it makes us able to live. And because it is their Earth too.
Band together with like minded folks into anarchistic green self-sufficient communities - for self defense, a rousing social life and green production. Teach your children to connect deeply with the Earth and her webs, not sanctimonious egoistic exhibitionism.
What is so wrong with growing up to be both a global and bioregional citizen, nurturing parent, lover of the land and part of Earth's creation? Live lightly on the land and watch the sky, Earth and water for guidance. Pray to your gods but do not foist them upon others.
The demise of the environmental movement has been greatly exaggerated. Strength. Our movement is a matter of life and death, and we can not afford to fail. Unity. Despite recent assertions to the contrary, environmentalism is not dead. Greenery. If it is, so are we and our Earthly habitat. Life. A bright green vision is your and the Earth's best bet right now. Truth.
We must will sustainability into being, a new way of living with the Earth, that is sane and logical, while being sacred, gentle and lovely. Know, love, study and worship the Earth - logically, spiritually and scientifically or any other way you know how. As goes the Earth shall go mankind (and women, golden retrievers and other species too).
Networked by Dr. Glen Barry, gbarry at forests.org