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Planet on the Brink of a Dinosaur-Scale Mass Extinction

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OwlAccording to experts, we’re speeding up the natural rate of extinction of plant and animal species by up to 10,000 times. That’s us, humanity, you and me.

Researchers at Duke University discovered that the planet may be on the verge of a dinosaur-scale mass extinction. The research team concluded that the pre-human extinction rate was 0.1 per year per 1 million. Today, the rate of extinction is 1,000 times bigger than the 0.1 figure at 100 extinctions per year per million species. That rate, however, might actually be closer to 1000 per 1 million.

The extinction rate is due to a variety of reasons, but the number one reason is habitat loss due to human expansion. The second, climate change… caused by human activity… See a pattern?

For example, the white-tip shark was once one of the most prevalent predators on earth, but now, thanks to hunters, they are rarely seen in nature. Other high risk species include the Sumatran rhinoceros, Amur leopard, and mountain gorilla.

One of the biggest keys to stopping this rapid rate of extinction is identifying species in danger in the first place. Applications like iNaturalist can help laymen like you and me find species in trouble, allowing biologists to jump in to save habitats and use captive breeding to save a species.

Lest you lose hope, there is one success story so far. The Golden lion tamarin was once believed to be extinct due to habitat loss. A few were found and bred in captivity by biologists. Now, there is an abundance of tamarins, saved from extinction.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. beepee Your right about the money power and influence it’s what makes the world go round or so some would believe. I think parallel implementation is a great idea and will happen if given time. However seems like when ever the government gets involved they ruin it. Around 2000 there was a big push to start using hydrogen and utilizing fuel cells because of the non-carbon and generally clean nature of the product, and there is still some development in the area however the push fell away a long time ago. Hydrogen is a excellent energy carrier but it takes energy to produce it. The cost of making it was deemed greater than the benefit of using it. My company spent a lot of time producing a method to make hydrogen cost less to produce, practically making it the best option for energy production. We presented our findings to the DOE (our solution) and we’re basically turned away because it represented a solution and not   an area that could be studied for years. 

    The oil age will end just as the stone age did and it won’t be because we run out of oil. People can be lead down a path to better solutions but no one likes to be pushed. I just don’t like the thinking or the current mode of operation it fails the logic test. For example lawless people use guns for violence so the government generates new regulations for the law abiding people. This will never have any influence on the lawless. Second example will be to impose tighter regulations on your own energy production putting your national security at risk but having no real impact on the problem. It’s like punishing a spectator who watched a crime. How would punishing the spectator have any influence on those who did the crime?

    It’s just backwards thinking. What ever happened to common sense?

  2. @J Matthis It’s not about CO2, New Mexico Solar Grids, or the rule of “useless” carbon, it’s about money and oil.  By doing nothing, the Govt is protecting the best interest of the very free enterprise systems that are all, in some ways, related to oil and money.  Remember, everything you say is true.  Yet it appears to sound revolutionary – they know, trust me, they know.  That makes it a conscience decision to ignore what you say and what they already know.  The U.S. has never had an absolute Democracy, an absolute free enterprise system, nor absolute capitalism.   It’s always been a “modified” Democracy, free enterprise and capitalism, all modified in a way that would recognize a problem, then step away, evaluate, and take a corrective approach to improvement – the latter part of it is what they don’t know, because they’ve lost their collective compass.  Remember, the Reclamation Act of 1902 did exactly that, they stepped away, and made some new rules for the benefit of all America (a great decision forged by great men),

    With what we know of low voltage DC, diesel engine/motors and generators, 100% veggie diesel fuel, and solar DC power grids, there is no reason why a graduated parallel implementation can’t at least be implemented (even on a trial basis).

  3. If the technology and structure were in place to make such a leap away from fossil fuels I would say go for it. However I do not believe it is ready and for all practical purposes we are confused about how to address the problem. First there is lots of data on how much CO2 is being added to the carbon cycle but there is absolutely none on how much is being removed. We must examine all the factors before declaring that there is a man made problem. I’m not saying there is or there isn’t because there hasn’t been an honest representation of the facts. Here is why I say this: We know per the “Cosmos Series” that CO2 rises and falls with the seasons. Plants absorb CO2 during the growth cycle and absorb less during the winter season. Now look up the figures for forest growth and harvest on a global scale. Now understand that a lot of this harvested forest is converted into products that represent sequestered carbon dioxide. Everything from 2x4s to paper products to coffee tables represent sequestered carbon. Now according to the figures I have seen in the past the forests grow in excess to what is harvested by a lot but this is not the point the point is what is sequestered a figure which is conveniently looked over in every study to date. You know that pair of old jeans you still have represents sequestered carbon. Granted it’s not out of the carbon cycle forever but it is in the short run. Billions of tons of carbon dioxide is sequestered every year some is in our land fills some is in the textiles we produce from plants, some is also sequestered in the life forms that eat the plants. That’s us. 

    All I’m asking for is what is the net increase in carbon emissions with all the factors figured in. Once we know the truth then we can take action, but just spouting what you believe to be truth and or fact without proof to back it up will always fall on deaf ears. Also if your credibility has been brought into question because you have lied in the past in order to advance a political agenda and or a social agenda to redistribute wealth and power for the benefit of a select few…… no one will take you seriously.

    There are energy solutions…clean abundant and free, some are in our past and some are in our future. This area also has been neglected. Change hardly ever comes by choice there has to be a trigger or catalyst. People are lazy and are much like water and electricity they take the path of least resistance.  This isn’t going to change over night. Our government the masters of wasting money and funds could have recently changed the course of energy production. A 10 square mile area in New Mexico covered by solar panels is estimated to produce enough energy to power the country. Did they embark on such a solution? No they threw the money down a hole by backing several crony companies that failed to produce any solutions. Oh well wasn’t their money…..it was ours! 

    Here’s the kicker, clean up the planet… well at least our part of it cause the world has other plans. Are you willing to go to war over emissions from other countries? Our sec of state recently said China’s emissions were equivalent to weapons of mass destruction. The point is no matter what you do if your not in it for the human race then when we’re gone who will care.

  4. In keeping with J Mathis’ thought,
    Humans have relied on ancient “interpretations” that, though not
    necessarily “factually” accurate (i.e. Christmas, Easter), do lend
    themselves to basic logics such as “to much of a good thing” or “nothing lasts
    forever”.   
    Example:  Penicillium cures
    infection, but too much, becomes worse than the infection itself.  As the
    Human evolutionary process involves discovery, evolution can never rest because
    improvement involves change.
    Example:
     Money and monetary systems is an invention of Humans.  Money does
    good things, but usually in an effort to cure problems caused by money itself.
     The internal combustion engine was a wondrous evolutionary step forward.
     But as it allowed Humans to progress from convenience to necessity, the
    cost including money and indirect impact (or in today’s world direct impact) on
    the planet should be obvious – but it’s still not.  Part of Human
    evolution should be to, not just “tell where we’ve been”, but to explain
    “how” we got there, and ultimately avoid future pitfalls (based on
    “lessons learned”).
    The
    business pursuit of vast, vast sums of money absolutely drives interest in
    transportation, gasoline and automobile production, directly while abandoning Human instinct for survival.  But this
    very same “innocent” pursuit can lead to Earth’s demise, because the
    indirect impact is felt worldwide through its effect on all plants, animals, and natural resources by compromising the internal structure of the Planet.
    I know it’s
    an oversimplification, but moving away from fossil fuels uses (as we know them
    today) could literally save the Planet and its animals, plants and resources.
    AND, there are alternatives (and for those who need motivation – there is also
    some money to be made).

  5. Ya know I’m all for having clean energy and a clean world, we can do things better. However if we are trying to preserve the natural order of things then we must first admit that human beings are a part of the natural order. For better or worse we are here and our existence has an impact on everything around us. The same can be said of every living thing on the planet. Only one planet and we are all here for the ride. Lets face it folks the system is being disrupted by people thinking they know better than nature. Artificially breeding animals in captivity is as much against nature as anything humans have done to destroy any number of species. But it makes you feel better. 

    The very same people who think they can save every species that ever lived are the same people who think they have control over the climate. 

    The study sited above can’t be real science because there’s to much to factor in and to much is unknown. How many species lived prior to humans? How many died because of natural selection? How many survived? How many existed when man started controlling the climate? How many species have went extinct since the dawn of man? How many species can you say for sure 100% man has caused the extinction of? You may actually come close on a couple of these but still you don’t have enough information to state a fact, it’s just what you believe. Say it all you want doesn’t make it true.

    It all sounds pretty good until you examine the facts. The strong survive and the weak perish, the adaptive survive and the status quo perish, this is the natural order of things. This is the engine of evolution, changing conditions cause adaptation and the climate and the conditions there of, are always changing. Trying to stop climate change is like trying to stop the continents from drifting, or the moon from drifting away from the earth, or perhaps we can speed up the rotation of the earth. 

    Lets face it folks you can’t have it all, you can’t live in the 21st century and leave the same impact as a caveman.

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