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The Earth we think we have is ending - article by Jon Sumby

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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:25 PM
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The Earth we think we have is ending - article by Jon Sumby

The Earth we think we have is ending. The next few decades will see global and regional ecosystems, the varied richness of wild nature, swept away by a tidal wave of environmental change that we cannot stop or avert. The world of our children will be poorer, less diverse and full of weedy, invasive, species that thrive amongst the degradation we cause. There will be feral cats but there will be no Tasmanian devils.

But this is not news. In 1997, the journal Science devoted an issue to what they called human-dominated ecosystems. There is nowhere on Earth that we have not degraded, be it by pollution, the chainsaw, or fishing net. The most recent satellite imagery reveals that more than a third of the Earths surface has been converted to animal pasture or cropland. The oceans are being depleted and degraded at an ever faster rate with current research indicating a global fisheries collapse within the next forty years. On top of that the amount of carbon dioxide in the air right now means that the oceans will acidify for the next few centuries, greatly changing the entire ocean environment. The Great Barrier Reef will disappear and this cannot be stopped because the carbon is in the air now. You will watch it on your lounge room TV.

From all points of the globe, research is coming back that paints the same picture and it is a grim one. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which collated and synthesised much of this research, is as important a document as the global warming reports issued by the IPCC. Yet it remains largely ignored. This is simply because it documents and discusses the damage we are doing to the environment that sustains us, the environment that we profit from, while the IPCC reports document changes that threaten us and our consumer lifestyle. One discusses the damage we do, which our culture largely ignores in the rush for profit and lifestyle, and says we must stop. This plea is carried on by a very few who are generally mocked and reviled as greenies because they are crying out Stop the destruction!. The other is paid far more attention because it threatens our profit and lifestyle, even when the only way to minimise that threat is to make significant changes to that lifestyle something we are not willing to do, if it were even possible.

full article /

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:26 PM
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1. I think I need a glass of wine after reading that....

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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Ha
I think it is the truth. We are in a development craze.
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brokensymmetry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Less a craze than an addiction.
We cannot cut back, because we are so heavily
committed to the current arrangement. Agriculture
depends on chemicals and mechanization - to do
otherwise would cut crop yields and lead to problems.
We cannot cut back on business activity, because
the entire structure rests on a foundation of

And addicts don't end well....

K&R, by the way...
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:37 AM
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7. The use of chemicals and mechanization is designed to increase profit, not to grow more food.
The plantation model of agribusiness has decimated the land and reduced the ability to grow crops. Agribusiness has diverted land from growing crops for food to growing corn for ethanol production which is more profitable. This has reduced the supply of corn products for food and caused the increased prices for products such as milk, cheese, and eggs.

The overuse of chemicals and the use of genetically modified organisms is reducing the fertility of the soil and eliminating "naturally evolved" plants. Fertile soil in the U.S. is being paved over to build shopping malls and suburban housing developments, and producing huge pollution problems at the same time.

I, "we", had nothing to do with this agenda. This, like the mortgage meltdown, is due to the corporate incessant drive for more profits at the expense of the quality and sustainability of life on this planet. Our governments have sold out to the corporate lobbyists and the only solution is to take back our government and rein in the greedy corporate elite.

Unfortunately, it may take another depression like in the 1930's to get the government to do anything about these problems. Hopefully, when that happens, and looking at the economy, it may come sooner, rather than later, we will have those in power who will follow Franklin Roosevelt's policies, rather than the German model of the 1930's.
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progressive_realist Donating Member (669 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Your last sentence is the reason why this may, in fact
Be the most important election of our lifetimes.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:52 PM
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3. From the article:
Sustainability is a myth. A comfortable story we tell ourselves. One that says we can live in our McMansions, eat our McDonalds, watch nature documentaries on our home theatres, chat on FaceBook, and fly away on holiday paying a token extra for fake offsets so we are sustainable. The predicate of sustainable is lifestyle which, living in the developed world, we see as what we enjoy now.

I know some who are understanding of Global Climate Destabilization but can't quite wrap their heads around the myth of sustainability.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:21 PM
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5. Kick
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. a bout of Natural selection should do the trick...
I think Mother Earth is going to shake off some of the parasites...whoever's left will have no choice but to live in accordance with NATURAL law...
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. The problem is that this country already has reverted to a feudal system form of government.
Mother Earth will shake off some of the parasites as you so poetically put it. However, there is no guarantee that the survivors will live in accordance with "natural" law. There were a lot fewer people in the Middle Ages and conditions were not very good for people during those times. There was a small elite that ruled a society of uneducated serfs that lived on the edge. Poverty, disease, superstition, and corruption were quite prevalent. The land and natural resources were abused.

The only occurrence that can solve the problems we face is if we get a competent government in place that puts the common good above the narrow interests of a small corrupt elite.
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