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Sun Mar 17, 2019, 02:17 AM

"A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change"

I hope DU community takes this in. We need to formulate a vision for 2020 that comes to terms with so many things now: White Nationalist terrorists, police brutality, global warming, the decline of our schools.... and now this. But WE MUST BE VIGILANT and not defeatest. ("The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." )

Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change

A three-year UN-backed study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has grim implications for the future of humanity.

By John Vidal, Huffpost
https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5c49e78ce4b06ba6d3bb2d44

Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark.

The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the rapid decline of the natural world. The felling of forests, the over-exploitation of seas and soils, and the pollution of air and water are together driving the living world to the brink, according to a huge three-year, U.N.-backed landmark study to be published in May.

The study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), expected to run to over 8,000 pages, is being compiled by more than 500 experts in 50 countries. It is the greatest attempt yet to assess the state of life on Earth and will show how tens of thousands of species are at high risk of extinction, how countries are using nature at a rate that far exceeds its ability to renew itself, and how nature’s ability to contribute food and fresh water to a growing human population is being compromised in every region on earth.

14 replies, 2540 views

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 02:22 AM

1. We need a vision of one planet + one humanity united to save our ecosystem

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 03:24 AM

2. Thank you! Was hoping this would get more attention.

Posted that in this informative thread...
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1127124950
Post #22

These issues must get more attention.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 04:08 AM

3. This is devastating and I don't even have kids.

How can anyone, especially those with kids, ignore this?!?!? We have killed the innocent planet in record time. People are unbelievable.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 08:05 AM

4. The human species is on a self-destructive path that will self-limit...

but only after many millions die. Because of our relatively short life span, self-interest and short-sightedness, few people really care. Political climates around the globe are heading in the exact opposite direction of what's needed to even slow this process.

We have been warned for decades. Biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich, a wonderful scientist at Stanford, has summarized this far better than I can and I would point those interested to this frightening interview from 2018:

Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades'
Damian Carrington 22 Mar 2018

Red more here: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/22/collapse-civilisation-near-certain-decades-population-bomb-paul-ehrlich

(snips - emphases mine)
The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change.

Ehrlich also says an unprecedented redistribution of wealth is needed to end the over-consumption of resources, but “the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen”.
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“Population growth, along with over-consumption per capita, is driving civilisation over the edge: billions of people are now hungry or micronutrient malnourished, and climate disruption is killing people.”
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“It is a near certainty in the next few decades, and the risk is increasing continually as long as perpetual growth of the human enterprise remains the goal of economic and political systems,” he says. “As I’ve said many times, ‘perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell’.”

It is the combination of high population and high consumption by the rich that is destroying the natural world, he says. Research published by Ehrlich and colleagues in 2017 concluded that this is driving a sixth mass extinction of biodiversity, upon which civilisation depends for clean air, water and food.

The solutions are tough, he says. “To start, make modern contraception and back-up abortion available to all and give women full equal rights, pay and opportunities with men. “I hope that would lead to a low enough total fertility rate that the needed shrinkage of population would follow. [But] it will take a very long time to humanely reduce total population to a size that is sustainable.”

He estimates an optimum global population size at roughly 1.5 to two billion, “But the longer humanity pursues business as usual, the smaller the sustainable society is likely to prove to be. We’re continuously harvesting the low-hanging fruit, for example by driving fisheries stocks to extinction.”
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He treats this risk with characteristic dark humour: “The first empirical evidence we are dumbing down Homo sapiens were the Republican debates in the US 2016 presidential elections – and the resultant kakistocracy. On the other hand, toxification may solve the population problem, since sperm counts are plunging.”

Paul's original book from the 60s may have missed the mark with some of his predictions, but his overall thesis on where we're headed is spot-on. I haven't read all of his old book, but intend to investigate his more recent publications.

The stats cited in that HuffPo article should shake the world into reality today, but this will just be another Sunday as usual on earth......

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 09:46 PM

12. +1

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 04:14 PM

5. This really is a crisis and I'm so glad to see so many DU members here (38 recs and counting)

It would be nice to see more environmental stories like this lifted into "Trending" (especially when they are actually trending).

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 05:28 PM

6. There used to be a word for all of this

Pollution! CO2 emissions are one form of pollution. Pesticides are another. Petrochemicals like insecticides, PCB's and herbicides are again, pollution. Plastics and toxic metals - you guessed it - pollution. Global warming, ecocide, endocrine disruptions and lead poisoning are all the results of pollution. Unfortunately, we've let the powers that be divide and fracture the discussion. Pollution combined with the mindless extraction of resources like lumber, factory farming and fishing have all taken their toll, and our planet is responding.

We are fully capable of growing our food and producing our energy (and yes - storing it too) in a sustainable way. But, and this is perhaps just as important - we must strive to repair the damages already done to the greatest extent possible. 800 million don't have enough to eat today, and 1 billion of us are overweight. And while we dither about herr drumpf and his tweets - China and India are moving rapidly towards fixing this problem. What's holding us back? The fawning corporate media and our politics. We need to wake up (some already have) and take the lead on these problems.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 05:29 PM

7. not to worry as it will be ignored by most people

 

When will our party take climate change seriously??

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 06:12 PM

8. Folks have been screaming about the 6th mass extinction for at least seven years.

If they weren't listening then why now?

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 08:41 PM

9. Now we have 43 reccommendations! Go DU members!

DU editors? Are we trending yet?

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 08:49 PM

10. Wow! We are trending WAY ahead of ALL OTHER DU POSTS!!! But...

...the editors don't want to acknowledge we are actually trending...

Here's the recs for those claimed to be "Trending":

30, 28, 20, 15, 13.

So why isn't our 43 included? It should be at the top of the list! Why isn't the hapless human war on the planet considered important enough? How are Democrats going to save the country if they don't acknowledge the VERY REAL problem at hand?

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 09:34 PM

11. This should be the number 1 issue that we grapple with.

Look at the cost of endless war, greed and sloth. The sociopaths running the endless shit shows are killing us.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2019, 11:43 PM

13. Yes, and this post about our greatest crisis has now reached 50 recs!

It still isn't deemed "Trending"???

The ones cureently "trending" have only 39, 35, 31, 21, 17.... and they have the advantage of being on the "Trending" list.

Given those numbers, is it fair to state, objectively and empirically, that the label "trending" as it is actually applied on DU, is misleading?

Shouldn't the editors be honest and relabel their front page "editors' picks"?

While the planet burns and dies, advertising priorities rule the underground?

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 10:06 AM

14. Because we humans set ourselves apart from nature rather than be a part nature, we've destroyed it.

It only takes the time of a work project to release all the carbon captured by thousands of years of oceanic and forest life.

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