HUMANS ARE A "FORCE OF NATURE"...
WE'VE "DEVELOPED" SO RAPIDLY OVER THE PAST CENTURY THAT IT HONESTLY BOGGLES THE MINDS WHEN WE LOOK AT TECHNOLOGICAL/INDUSTRIAL ADVANCES AND SEE THE WAY EARTH'S POPULATION HAS EXPLODED, REQUIRING MORE AND MORE RESOURCES TO SUSTAIN US ALL.
WHETHER ONE AGREES WITH CLIMATE CHANGE OR NOT, IT'S ONLY COMMON SENSE THAT SHOULD MAKE US WANT TO READ ABOUT EVERYTHING GOING ON AROUND US.
AFTER READING, AFTER LEARNING, WE CAN ALL CERTAINLY CHOOSE WHAT TO BELIEVE, BUT TO NOT READ SOMETHING WHICH WE DISAGREE WITH SEEMS THE ACT OF A COWARD TO ME.
WHAT'S TO FEAR?
WE JUST READ.
GOOD FOR THE MIND, YES?
FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:
07 JAN 2015
"A group of 24 geoscientists on Thursday released a bracing assessment, suggesting that humans have altered the Earth so extensively that the consequences will be detectable in current and future geological records. They therefore suggest that we should consider the Earth to have moved into a new geologic epoch, the “Anthropocene,” sometime circa 1945-1964.
The current era (at least under present definitions), known as the Holocene, began about 11,700 years ago, and was marked by warming and large sea level rise coming out of a major cool period, the Younger Dryas.
However, the researchers suggest, changes ranging from growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to infusions of plastics into marine sediments suggest that we’ve now left the Holocene decisively behind — and that the proof is already being laid down in polar ice cores, deep ocean sediments, and future rocks themselves.
The paper was published Thursday in the journal Science and was led by Colin Waters, a geologist with the British Geological Survey.
“Quite unlike other subdivisions of geological time, the implication of formalizing the Anthropocene reach well beyond the geological community,” the authors conclude. “Not only would this represent the first instance of a new epoch having been witnessed firsthand by advanced human societies, it would be one stemming from the consequences of their own doing.”
The new paper certainly doesn’t mean geology textbooks will be rewritten — that would require numerous further scientific steps, and assent extending far beyond the current 24 authors. But it makes a strong case that they ought to be.
“The scale is incredible,” said Waters of the geological changes that the “Anthropocene” has brought on. But he also admits that defining a new epoch, even as we’re observing its beginning, is a rather tricky affair — and one that will inevitably be shaded not only by how we think in the present, but also by how generations in the far future think of us.
The concept of the “Anthropocene” was originally suggested by Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winning atmospheric chemist who is also part of the “Anthropocene Working Group,” in the year 2000.
After all, humans started deforesting vast landscapes, and causing species extinctions, thousands of years ago. The industrial revolution, meanwhile, began around 200 years ago and represented a major step in how we influence the environment and consume Earth’s materials — as well as the kickstart to global warming.
However, the new study homes in on the middle of the last century as the likely marker for when the geologic “Anthropocene” truly began. The authors suggest that around this time, a confluence of major trends — population explosion, new technological advances, and booming rates of consumption — triggered changes that will be unmistakable in geologic records.
We began the 1900s with 1.65 billion people on Earth and ended them with 6 billion, according to the United Nations. But the majority of the growth was in the second half of the century — the world population did not reach 2 billion until 1927 and 3 billion until 1960.
Over the same broad period we managed to design nuclear weapons and warm the climate. And along with technological leaps and the population boom has come dramatically more uses of resources and transformations of natural environments — which, in turn, has affected the sediment layers that have been formed recently, or are being formed right now.
These are likely to feature unprecedented levels of aluminum, concrete, plastics, and black carbon, the study asserts.
Humans have also dramatically changed the sedimentary processes of river systems — look what we’ve done to the Mississippi River and its wetlands, for instance.
Soil levels of nitrogen and phosphorous have also exploded, the study asserts, from use of fertilizers. Perhaps the most distinctive change of all, however, may be the unmistakable signature of thermonuclear weapons testing, which began in 1952, and leaves a clear geological record of plutonium 239 that, the paper said, “will be identifiable in sediments and ice for the next 100,000 years.”
And then, well, there’s the record of human caused climate change.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have grown at an extraordinarily rapid rate, roughly 2 parts per million per year of late, and this will be distinctly recorded in the air bubbles contained in polar ice cores, one key type of geologic record.
“Modern rates of atmospheric C emission … are probably the highest of the Cenozoic era,” or the last 65 million years, the study says.
Atmospheric methane levels have shown a similar rapid burst.
And sea levels are surging rapidly upward, at least when viewed in geological context. They are probably higher now than they have been in the past 115,000 years, the paper said.
It’s all of these changes, at roughly the same time, that mark the onset of the Anthropocene, the authors suggested.
“It’s not just carbon dioxide, and it’s not just in Europe and the United States,” said Harvard’s Oreskes. “It’s this whole set of things that reflect human economic activity basically since World War II.”
Previous reasons for geological demarcations, the researchers note, include changing solar cycles or major volcanic activity — but also sometimes stark and sudden events.
For instance, the famous K-T event or K-T boundary, which marked the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, features a global layer of the element iridium in rock, the signature of a major asteroid impact.
It’s perhaps only fitting, then, that the current paper hints that something much bigger than a mere shift into a new geologic epoch may be afoot. Epochs, after all, are relatively short periods in the grand geological scheme of things, when compared with larger units of time like eons, eras, and periods.
More momentous geological demarcations have often been based upon major changes in the composition of life on Earth — the Cambrian explosion, say, or the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, the paper notes that there are also signs that we may be at the beginning of what some have termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” in all of Earth’s history.
“Current trends of habitat loss and overexploitation, if maintained, would push Earth into the sixth mass extinction event (with ~75% of species extinct) in the next few centuries, a process that is probably already underway,” the paper said.
So, yes — we don’t formally, officially live in the Anthropocene yet.
On the other hand, when you look at what we’ve done to the planet, saying that we still live in the Holocene seems to really miss something pretty important."
AND, AS ALWAYS, PEOPLE TAKE SIDES...
SOME ARM THEMSELVES AGAINST PROVEN FACTS AND PLUG THEIR EARS AND HUM LOUDLY, OTHERS COVER THEIR EYES OR JUST REFUSE TO LOOK, WHILE STILL OTHERS WILL "LOCK AND LOAD" AND GO OFF TO MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY, STOP THE IDEA THAT MAN CAN HAVE ANY EFFECT AT ALL ON ANYTHING...
DON QUIXOTE BATTLED WINDMILLS...SOME ALWAYS WILL.
BUT, ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE THOSE WHO DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE TIME NOR MAKE THE EFFORT TO EXPLAIN THINGS IN TERMS THE MAJORITY WILL UNDERSTAND.
THE VERY PHRASE "SCIENTIFIC STUDY" CONJURES UP VISIONS OF CHARLATANS TRYING TO MAKE US ALL DO WITHOUT THINGS IN ORDER TO "SAVE THE EARTH", MAKE US RECYCLE, USE LESS FUELS, USE LESS, PERIOD, CLEAN UP THE ENVIRONMENT... THINGS FEW ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING TO DO.
BETTER TO RIDICULE ALL THAT INTO OBLIVION SINCE NO ONE CAN 'DO THE TRANSLATION' AND SEE IT ALL IN EVERYDAY TERMS.
WHO DO THOSE GUYS THINK THEY ARE?
WHO PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF TELLING US WHAT TO DO?
TO HELL WITH ALL THAT, RIGHT?
THAT'S COMMON REACTION.
Here’s how scientific misinformation, such as climate change doubt, spreads through social media...
[AHHH, SOCIAL MEDIA. THE GATHERING OF THE HERD, THE FLOCK, THE COLLECTIVE, THE HIVE....WHATEVER.
THE WONDERFUL ABILITY TO POST ON ONE'S "WALL" THAT A 15TH COUSIN, THRICE REMOVED, KNOWS A GUY WHO KNOWS AN "EXPERT" WHO SWEARS TO GOD THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS OF THE DEVIL.
OR, MERELY, THAT DONALD TRUMP SAYS IT AIN'T SO?
AND "OUR PEOPLE", "FACEBOOK FRIENDS", BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR FRIENDS AND THINK MUCH AS WE DO, CAN THEN REPOST THAT TO THEIR WALLS AND SO THE "PROOF", WHICH IS NOT PROOF, MERELY HEARSAY AT BEST, AND MADE-UP MALARKEY AT WORST, SPREADS ACROSS THE GLOBE.
MOST ARE TOO LAZY TO GO LOOK FOR PROOF THEMSELVES, OR MAYBE ARE LACKING IN BOTH BASIC READING SKILLS AND READING COMPREHENSION, OR ARE NOT THE LEAST INTERESTED IN ANY FORM OF "FURTHER INVESTIGATION", SO, LIKE THOSE WHO WRITE DOWN EVERY 'GOLDEN' WORD SOME WHACKO WITH A TV TALK SHOW UTTERS AND MAKE THAT THEIR "BIBLE", SO GROW THE SOCIAL MEDIA "FACTOIDS", TAKEN AS 'FACT' BY MILLIONS, AND CONTINUING, AS IF ON AUTOPILOT, THE DUMBING-DOWN OF AMERICA. ]
SAY...THERE'S A "STUDY" ON THAT!
"The researchers conclude that the diffusion of content generally takes place within clusters of users known as “echo chambers” — polarized communities that tend to consume the same types of information. For instance, a person who shares a conspiracy theory online is typically connected to a network of other users who also tend to consume and share the same types of conspiracy theories.
This structure tends to keep the same ideas circulating within communities of people who already subscribe to them, a phenomenon that both reinforces the worldview within the community and makes members more resistant to information that doesn’t fit with their beliefs.
The researchers conducted their study by examining the diffusion of content on Facebook, examining the spread of both conspiracy theories, or “alternative, controversial information, often lacking supporting evidence,” and scientific news.
They found that highly segregated communities, or echo chambers, existed around each type of content, and then content tends to circulate only within its own community.
“I would say that in the spreading of misinformation, online confirmation bias is the driver,” said the study’s senior author, Walter Quattrociocchi of the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Italy.
Confirmation bias is the tendency of individuals to pay attention to or believe information that confirms the personal values and beliefs they already hold, rather than allowing their beliefs to be changed by new information.
It’s a powerful force that many researchers have suggested plays a key role in the persistence of phenomena such as climate doubt.
[OR DOUBTING THAT EARTH REVOLVES AROUND THE SUN, AS ABOUT 25% OF AMERICANS DO?]
With an overwhelming abundance of evidence pointing to the existence of anthropogenic climate change, for instance, many scientists have questioned why skepticism continues to be pervasive in society.
Sociologists have suggested that the reason has to do with the fact that it’s difficult to change an individual’s worldview simply by presenting new information.
Confirmation bias, rather, leads people to seek out evidence — however small or poorly supported — that supports their existing personal beliefs. "
NOPE, IT'S NOT ENTIRELY THAT!
AND, LET'S JUST CALL IT AS IT IS, DON'T THE "EXPERTS", THE "SCIENTISTS" DO THE SAME BLOODY THING?
AND DON'T THEY 'CRUCIFY' ANY OF THEIR OWN WHO DISAGREE WITH THE MAJORITY OF THEM?
ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES CLIMATE CHANGE SUPPORTERS MAKE, BESIDES 'LANGUAGE', IS BLAMING ALL THIS ENTIRELY ON HUMANS.
IT ISN'T ENTIRELY HUMAN FAULT.
THE EARTH HAS GONE THROUGH 'CLIMATE CHANGE' FROM DAY 1.
SINCE WAY BEFORE MAN WAS A POSSIBLE CAUSE, SEAS ROSE, SEAS FELL, ICE FORMED, ICE MELTED, AREAS WARMED, AREAS WENT FRIGID.
ADMIT THAT, CHANGE THE LANGUAGE, MAKE IT SIMPLE, DON'T REQUIRE A HIGHER EDUCATION TO INTERPRET THOSE "RESEARCH STUDIES" AND IT JUST MAY BE THAT MOST WOULD THEN AGREE...
THE CLIMATE, SHE IS CHANGING, REALLY!"
GAZING OUT MY WINDOWS, I SEE THE CLIMATE CHANGING AS I HUNT AND PECK OUT THIS OFFERING...
IT WAS 52 DEGREES AND OVERCAST, BUT NOW IT'S IN THE LOW 40s AND I SEE RAINDROPS.
IS THAT HUMANS' FAULT?
BUT THAT ASH THAT BLEW OVER THE OTHER DAY FROM A NEIGHBOR'S OUTDOOR BURN AND LANDED ALL OVER THE FRESHLY-WASHED DOGGIE BEDDING I HAD HUNG OUT WAS HUMAN FAULT!
JUST LIKE THE CRAP FROM EVERY DIRECTION FROM OTHER STATES USED TO DRIFT IN, ACCUMULATE IN MY MOUNTAINS BACK IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, BECAUSE THE BLUE RIDGE CHAIN THERE FORMED A "BOWL" THAT TRAPPED ALL THAT JUNK.
IT WAS KILLING A LOT OF LIFE AND WE COULD SEE THAT VERY CLEARLY.
WHAT WE COULD NOT DO WAS MAKE THE OTHER STATES STOP SENDING IN SO BLOODY MUCH.
THEY DIDN'T WANT TO "SEE" THAT AS A PROBLEM.
SOME OF US SAID, "WELL, LET'S ALL GO OVER THERE AND URINATE, EN MASSE, ON THE CARPETS OF THEIR LEGISLATURES, SEE IF THAT SHOWS THEM WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT."
DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?
I HOPE SO.
YES, AS ALWAYS, FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.
ALL MAN'S FAULT?
BUT WE HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO IT IN MAJOR WAYS.
COMMON SENSE, NOT SO MUCH SCIENCE, PROVES THAT TO ANYONE WILLING TO APPLY IT.
DO BILLIONS OF HUMAN BODIES, THE BODIES OF ANIMALS RAISED TO FEED US, ALL HUMAN ACTIVITY , DOES ALL THAT GENERATE ANY HEAT?
DOES IT CAUSE AN UPTICK IN CARBON DIOXIDE?
CAN WE SLOW THAT DOWN?
YES, BUT TOO FEW WANT TO.
WELL, THE OLD EARTH WILL NOT MISS US WHEN WE'RE GONE.
IT WILL REBOOT AND ROLL RIGHT ON.
AND ITS CLIMATE WILL STILL CHANGE FROM TIME TO TIME.
BUT WE WON'T SEE IT.