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The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: Panchito ()
Date: August 02, 2017 12:43PM

human growth kills

[www.independent.co.uk]

Quote

Earth Overshoot Day: Mankind has already consumed more natural resources than the planet can renew throughout 2017


Humans have already used up their allowance for water, soil, clean air and other resources on Earth for the whole of 2017.

Earth Overshoot Day is on 2 August this year, according to environmental groups WWF and the Global Footprint Network.

The date, earlier this year than in 2016, means humanity will survive on “credit” until 31 December.


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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: August 02, 2017 08:54PM

Time is running out, But why worry about the envirment, it will go away
Yes we can stick our heads back in the sand global warming just hot air.

More bad news for the world's oceans: Dead zones—areas of bottom waters too oxygen depleted to support most ocean life—are spreading, dotting nearly the entire east and south coasts of the U.S. as well as several west coast river outlets.

According to a new study in Science, the rest of the world fares no better—there are now 405 identified dead zones worldwide, up from 49 in the 1960s—and the world's largest dead zone remains the Baltic Sea, whose bottom waters now lack oxygen year-round.

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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: RawPracticalist ()
Date: August 03, 2017 04:06AM

But there is great hope.

The same humans who have destroyed the environment can restore it.
Technology will help achieve that goal.

1. Renewable Energy

2. Going Digital (Businesses and individuals are using way less paper than in years past, thanks to computers, smartphones and cloud storage)

3. Environmental Monitoring

4. The Sharing Economy

5. Electric Cars ( Britain to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040)
(Tesla now has more than 400,000 pre-orders for its smaller, more affordable sedan, and more specs about the long-awaited electric car are beginning to come out.)

6. Smarter Homes

[blueandgreentomorrow.com]

[www.popularmechanics.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2017 04:47AM by RawPracticalist.

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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: August 03, 2017 04:47AM

Panchito there is still hope, but with leadership from the likes of Donald Dump we may be doomed to the dump.
The Paris acord was hope snuffed by Trump.
Shane on you Trumputins! No respect for Mother Earth!
It makes me sick to see people so ignorant they can back this sick president.
even some raw foodest on this site support the dump. I would think raw food people to be a little smarter but not so it seems.

Science News


Reversing Ocean Acidification

February 25, 2016

by Molly Michelson

What happens when you try to reverse the effects of ocean acidification?

Approximately one-quarter of our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are absorbed by the oceans, leading to oceans becoming more acidic. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to this ocean acidification process, because reef architecture is built by the accretion of calcium carbonate (a process called calcification), which becomes increasingly difficult as acid concentrations increase and the surrounding water’s pH decreases. (For more on this process, check out thisvideo.)

Ocean acidification is one of several threats to coral reef ecosystems, but separating its effects from other factors is difficult. Experiments in the lab to determine the consequences of higher acidity on corals don’t take other environmental factors into consideration, and experiments in the field prove just as challenging for the opposite reason: it’s difficult to isolate the effects of ocean acidification from other contributing factors, such as temperature, coastal pollution, and overfishing.

But Rebecca Albright of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford and her colleagues found three isolated lagoons at One Tree Reef in the southern Great Barrier Reef where they could determine ocean acidification’s effects quite clearly. At low tide, two of the lagoons become effectively cut off from the ocean. For several days, the scientists added sodium hydroxide to the seawater of one lagoon to increase its alkalinity (and its pH), and then measured the change in alkalinity as the seawater flowed across the reef into the other lagoon.

In essence, the team brought the reef’s pH closer to what it would have been in the pre-industrial period based on estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the era. After measuring the reef’s calcification in response to this pH increase, they found that calcification rates under these manipulated pre-industrial conditions were higher than they are today.

“Our work provides the first strong evidence from experiments on a natural ecosystem that ocean acidification is already slowing coral reef growth,” Albright says. “Ocean acidification is already taking its toll on coral reef communities. This is no longer a fear for the future; it is the reality of today.”

The recent Paris Agreement could provide a glimmer of hope. “The only real, lasting way to protect coral reefs is to make deep cuts in our carbon dioxide emissions,” says Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira, a co-author on the study, published yesterday in Nature. “If we don’t take action on this issue very rapidly, coral reefs—and everything that depends on them, including both wildlife and local communities—will not survive into the next century.”

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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: August 03, 2017 04:57AM

Guardian Environment Network

Technology as our planet's last best hope

The concept of ecological modernism, which sees technology as key to solving big environmental problems, is getting a lot of buzz these days



Fred Pearce for Yale Environment 360, part of the Guardian Environment Network

Monday 15 July 2013 15.38 BST First published on Monday 15 July 2013 15.38 BST

There is a new environmental agenda out there. One that is inimical to many traditional conservationists, but which is picking up kudos and converts. It calls itself environmental modernism – which for many is an oxymoron. Wasn't the environmentalism of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Greenpeace's warriors against industrial whaling and the nuclear industry, and efforts to preserve the world's last wild lands, meant to be the antithesis of the modern industrial world?

But the prophets of ecological modernism believe technology is the solution and not the problem. They say that harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship can save the planet and that if environmentalists won't buy into that, then their Arcadian sentiments are the problem.

The modernists wear their environmentalism with pride, but are pro-nuclear, pro-genetically modified crops, pro-megadams, pro-urbanisation and pro-geoengineering of the planet to stave off climate change. They say they embrace these technologies not to conquer nature, like old-style 20th century modernists, but to give nature room. If we can do our business in a smaller part of the planet — through smarter, greener and more efficient technologies — then nature can have the rest.

While many mainstream environmentalists want to make peace with nature through the sustainable use of natural resources, the modernists want to cut the links between mankind and nature. So the modernists are also the proponents of rewilding, the restoration of large tracts of habitat and the reintroduction of the species that once lived there. Rewilding is a popular theme in modern environmentalism. But the modernists say that without technology, it can only be done by culling humanity. With technology, they say, we can more painlessly usher in the return of the wild, because more land can be liberated.

This is deeply heretical for many mainstream environmentalists. So the question is how we should respond. Should we condemn the modernists for hijacking and subverting environmentalism in the name of capitalist and consumerist greed? Or do we concede they may have a point. The one certainty, I think, is that we cannot ignore it. The debate has to be joined.

The tension about how far technology can solve our environmental problems and how far it exacerbates them is not new. Didn't the automobile stop our cities being knee-deep in horse manure? But the emergence of an agenda harnessing technological advance to the restoration of nature is newer.

It emerged prominently with the 2009 publication of Stewart Brand's book Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands and Geo-engineering are Necessary. Holed up on his houseboat in Sausalito, California, the 1960s hippie guru who founded the Whole Earth Catalog, has morphed into a techno-optimist.

But pre-dating Brand by a couple of decades was Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University. An early advocate of action to fight climate change in the 1970s, he decided in the 1980s to start seeking solutions to our rising tide of environmental problems. He talked to technologists, and after supping with the devil, he emerged to call for a "great restoration" of nature by packing us all into high-density cities and intensifying farming. There is plenty of scope to do this with existing technology. As he told me a few years ago: "If all the world's farms could meet US farmers' current yields, we would need only half as much farmland."

Others have followed the leads of Ausubel and Brand. Notable is the philosophical U-turn of the British environmental writer Mark Lynas in his 2011 book, The God Species. The environmental modernists now have their own organisations too, such as the Breakthrough Institute, run by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, who gained prominence a decade ago with their critique of the green movement, "The Death of Environmentalism". And this thinking has reached into the heart of some of the most hallowed conservation groups. The Breakthrough Institute's fellows include Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, who was an active participant at the institute's conference last month in Brand's Sausalito back yard.

The conference, titled Creative Destruction, embraced the ideas of the early 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter, which are currently undergoing a revival. Schumpeter argued that capitalism is driven not, as Adam Smith said, by incremental efforts to cut costs and boost profits in a competitive market, but by the pursuit of game-changing technological transformations. Nitrogen fixing for fertiliser, the invention of the automobile, the Green Revolution, the Internet, and the microcomputer have all transformed the world, tearing down old orders and making huge profits for those who started it.

Schumpeter's ideas are a kind of economists' version of the biologist Stephen Jay Gould's take on evolution as happening mostly in transformational leaps, which he called punctuated equilibrium, rather than through gradual, incremental change. Of course, the modernists see green technologies as the game-changers of the 21st century. In their view, all the planet needs is eco-versions of Steve Jobs.

A central agenda of the modernists is how to do conservation of nature. Existing conservation strategies simply do not work, they say. Human activity spreads inexorably. What is needed is to use the land we take more intensively, so that more can stay unfenced. The institute's Linus Blomqvist argues that, even as the world's population continues to grow, and as consumption rises, "land use can peak out in the next two decades".

All environmentalists would applaud that. But to achieve it, Blomqvist says, requires a lot of things they are conventionally less keen on, such as the further spread of large-scale industrial agriculture, accelerated urbanisation, and a switch out of using "renewable" biological resources. Shellenberger says that harvesting nature "is neither profitable nor sustainable" – it cannot alleviate poverty and leads to environmental degradation.

The modernist approach to conservation is to seek out technological substitutes for crops. We should, they say, give up cotton in favour of polyester or whatever else the chemists can come up with to clothe us. We should turn our noses up at wild fish and embrace aquaculture instead. Farmers should discard organic fertiliser in favour of chemicals.

Martin Lewis of Stanford University, a prominent environmental modernist, calls for the "de-ecologisation of our material welfare". Environmentalism has been taken over by "Arcadian sentiment" and has "become its own antithesis", he says. "Only technology can save nature."

Agro-ecologists who would have farmers sharing the land with nature in the name of "sustainable development" are wrong, say the modernists. Rather than "sharing" the land we should be "sparing" it by maximising yield on the bits we choose to use.

The prize in all this is Ausubel's "great restoration". This rewilding of nature will see American bison roaming across new "buffalo commons" on the Great Plains, as well as wolves reconquering Europe, and – if Brand's hopes for using genetic technology to recreate the animals we drove to extinction come true – then a de-extinction, too. Imagine passenger pigeons filling the North American skies once more, and woolly mammoths roaming across a vast Pleistocene park in Siberia.

Is this a green utopia or a nightmare?

In truth, some degree of environmental modernism is part of the worldview of all but the most fundamentalist greens. Whether driving a Prius, putting solar panels on our roof, or installing a low-flush toilet, we are buying into a version of the eco-modernists' call for environmental efficiency to be a watchword of conservation. Likewise, the idea of "decoupling" economic growth from resource use and pollution is a common aspiration, which only technology can achieve.

I have previously argued here that too many environmentalists have gotten stuck with some cosy nostrums that they are reluctant to take a long hard look at. Many turn their face against technologies such as GM crops and nuclear energy out of sheer revulsion rather than any rational analysis of what they might deliver in terms of protecting land or taming climate change.

Modernists have plenty to say on this theme. They argue, for instance, that only wishful thinking leads ecologists to argue that ecosystems with maximum biodiversity deliver more "ecosystem services" like flood protection, soil conservation, carbon capture, and nutrient cycling. Actually, biodiversity has little to do with it, says Blomqvist. "The basic functioning of the biosphere relies largely on photosynthesis."

Many ecologists would contest that. And there is much else that can be criticised in the modernists' playbook.

Technology often doesn't deliver even its own prospectus. Some say the Green Revolution, which doubled global food production in the late 20th century, has now stalled. And it may not just be the Green Revolution. Canadian futurologist Vaclav Smil, speaking at the Sausalito event, argued that "all the essential technologies" of modern life are at least a century old. He noted, for example, that the basic process of manufacturing nitrogen fertiliser from the air "hasn't changed since 1894."

And if mainstream environmentalists have a weakness for Arcadian myths, then the modernist agenda too has its own blind spots and contradictions. A strict effort to rewild nature and to cut our use of nature for ecosystem services would surely rule out using forests as carbon sinks. Do the modernists really oppose that? And if they make an exception here, then where does the boundary lie? And how do they answer the concern that, whatever the claims about rewilding, one result of their blueprint is likely to be the commodification of nature.

That issue was raised in Sausalito by Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden, a manifesto for a reassessment of alien species. Maybe they are not so bad, she says. She was awarded the Breakthrough Institute's Paradigm Award and is clearly regarded by environmental modernists as one of them. But how so? Defenders of alien species – and the value of novel mixtures of natives and non-natives that dominate many modern ecosystems – see the boundaries between the wild and the rest as largely in our imaginations. And in a world of climate change, they think going back is a physical impossibility.

If we cannot set nature free from the impact of humans, then the modernist case for doing so starts to come unstuck. For instance, we may be able to recreate the woolly mammoths, but remaking their habitat might be beyond us.

Others argue that more intensive land use will not save what is left so much as poison it and that the modernist agenda lacks a social and political compass. Critics say it fails to address what the existing farmers and other occupants of the planet's rural landscape might think. They won't all go and live in cities. Instead, they seem likely to become victims of the mother of all land grabs, whether for industrial agriculture or rewilding.

But that is not to condemn the modernist enterprise. By raising questions about why mainstream environmentalists buy into some aspects of modernism and some technologies, while resisting others, the modernists force us to ask exactly what we want. And how we think we can get it. They may even light the path to a way out of the environmentalists' constant catalogue of failure in the face of the relentless advance of what their enemies call "progress". We cannot and should not duck this argument.

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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: Panchito ()
Date: August 03, 2017 11:49AM

It is not a scientific problem. Why not an economic problem? It is an infestation problem. It is an ape problem. The problem is inside the apes not outside. Apes are animals like any other. Picture 11 billion desperate cows and see the problem.


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Re: The Earth in red numbers running on credit
Posted by: RawPracticalist ()
Date: August 03, 2017 06:05PM

Either

the glass is half full
or
the glass is half empty

I tend to believe that the glass is half full.

So much progress in the last 100 years

1. Electricity
2. Education
3. Heath care (end of smallpox and other epidemics)
4. Internet
5. Globalization

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