Humans Are Approaching a State Shift In the Earth’s Biosphere
I keep plugging away at this, because this is serious stuff (versus the absolute insanity of the daily media garbage), but widely ignored.
Humans Are Approaching a State Shift In the Earth’s Biosphere
The news is NOT good (how COULD it be – nothing has changed). Warning signs are screaming from the sidelines WORLDWIDE and yet, the world continues to fixate on absolutely STUPID SHIT that has no meaning or relevance or importance.
A “state shift” is a abrupt change to the planetary biosphere – which humanity requires and is now facing due to human-induced impacts upon the planetary environment.
The sum total of this impact is absolutely staggering.
A short summary:
The inability to model the complex interactions will be insufficient to characterize the full range of likely biological changes in the future.
Critical transition thresholds effects are likely to occur. This will lead to climatic “state shifts”, which abruptly override trends and produce unanticipated (and undesirable) biotic effects.
Although most previous work on threshold-induced state shifts has been theoretical or concerned with critical transitions in localized ecological systems over short time spans, planetary-scale critical transitions that operate over centuries or millennia have also been postulated. Here we summarize evidence that such planetary-scale critical transitions have occurred previously in the biosphere, albeit rarely, and that humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience.
Two conclusions emerge:
First, it is essential to improve biological forecasting by anticipating critical transitions that can emerge on a planetary scale.
Second, to prevent a global-scale state shift, or at least to guide it as best we can, it will be necessary to address the root causes of human-driven global change and to improve our management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.In the context of forecasting biological change, the realization that critical transitions and state shift scan occur on the global scale well as on smaller scales, is of great importance.
It remains unfathomable to me, that humanity can be this incredibly, willfully, suicidally stupid.
Self-extermination? On purpose? By way of simple denial and hubris? To destroy an entire planet / biosphere out of sheer arrogance? How can that be?
I cannot answer that question, although I have repeatedly tried (and cried). The recent media-flamed frenzy is apparently the ONLY thing (Americant) humanity is interested in. Which is beyond absurd.
We are losing the PLANET people. Doesn’t this MATTER? Will I be the one of the only voice in history that records what is happening??!! Where the HELL are you people? Hello? Planet Earth? Is humanity even LISTENING to anything of importance?
The planet was never “ours”, so contrary to the link above, the notion that we control any of this is quite ridiculous. Primarily because we won’t stop CAUSING this. It’s not being allowed. We are affecting the outcome of ALL LIFE ON EARTH in a major way now, as the primary contributors to planetary destruction, but we are not in control and never will be.
The Earth history contains many examples of “state-shift” in the past with devastating effects:
Very short geological time scales were at work in the past – just 1600 years. However, this must be put into context with the current rate of extinctions now taking place on the planet. The biotic hallmark for each state change was, during the critical transition, pronounced change in global, regional and local assemblages of species. Previously dominant species diminished or went extinct, new consumers became important both locally and globally, formerly rare organisms proliferated, food webs were modified, geographic ranges reconfigured and resulted in new biological communities, and evolution was initiated in new directions.
All of the global-scale state shifts noted above coincided with global-scale forcings that modified the atmosphere, oceans and climate.
The present extinction rate is 10,000+ times the “normal” rate. Perhaps this is a strong enough SIGNAL that something is SERIOUSLY AMISS? The positive forcings on atmosphere, oceans and climate are well-documented facts globally. There is ZERO evidence anywhere in the entire WORLD that the human impact is “improving” the biosphere anywhere.
Present global-scale forcings
Global-scale forcing mechanisms today are human population growth with attendant resource, consumption habitat transformation and fragmentation, energy production and consumption and climate change. All of these far exceed, in both rate and magnitude, the forcings evident at the most recent global-scale state shift, the last glacial–interglacial transition, which is a particularly relevant benchmark for comparison given that the two global-scale forcings at that time—climate change.
An inordinate amount of energy now is routed through one species, Homo-sapien. Humans commandeer 20–40% of global net primary productivity (NPP) and decrease overall NPP through habitat degradation.
Increasing NPP regionally through atmospheric and agricultural deposition of nutrients (for example nitrogen and phosphorus) does not make up the shortfall. Second, through the release of energy formerly stored in fossil fuels, humans have substantially increased the energy ultimately available to power the global ecosystem.
Already observable biotic responses include vast ‘dead zones’ in the near-shore marine realm, as well as the replacement of 40% of Earth’s formerly biodiverse land areas with landscapes that contain only a few species of crop plants, domestic animals and humans. Worldwide shifts in species ranges, phenology and abundances are concordant with on going climate change and habitat transformation. Novel communities are becoming widespread as introduced, invasive and agricultural species integrate into many ecosystems.
As can be reasonably be expected, human population is having a tremendous impact upon the biosphere that sustains life.
Over 30% of the Earth is experiencing rapid climate change in excess of the adaption of plant species. Rapid climate change shows no signs of slowing (this is accelerating).
Climates found at present on 10–48% of the planet are projected to disappear within a century, and climates that contemporary organisms have never experienced are likely to cover 12–39% of Earth. The mean global temperature by 2070 (or possibly a few decades earlier) will be higher than it has been since the human species evolved.
I am truly at a loss for words. Try SURVIVING THAT PEOPLE. You simply CAN’T. Nobody will. The inability for species adaption in such incredibly short time periods and the corresponding wet-bulb temperature has been well documented.
The staggering impacts of what we have done will only be realized when it is far, far too late. The science and the evidence already exists – we are losing the entire PLANET due to human hubris.
Every dream, every fiction, every fantasy of a utopian techno-future envisioned by industry, artists and science fiction writer is completely and FOREVER shattered as a pure fantastical illusion that will NEVER be realized.
Do you realize what this means? Virtually EVERYTHING that industry, government, business and house mom has been fixated on, is an ABSOLUTE LIE THAT WILL NEVER MATERIALIZE.
It is more then dreams that have been destroyed – it is the very fabric of the future and what it will mean to life itself. I cannot convey the importance of this concept with any greater urgency.
The future will NEVER hold ANY of the assumed “promises” we’ve seen portrayed in books, Hollywood or by industry. None of them will come true. IT’S ALL SHEER FANTASY. There isn’t that much time left.
“Sledgehammer effects” trigger critical transitions over regions larger than the directly affected area, as has been shown both empirically and theoretically.
A 2″ x 4″ blow to the side of the head of humanity would NOT get this critical information THROUGH the incessant lies and deceptions being promoted by media, government, pundits and brain-dead sycophants. We have been BETRAYED by the very ones who were tasked with protecting us.
Goddammit all to hell. The future is going to be pure HELL for humanity and survival and the ENTIRE biosphere because of IGNORANCE and DENIAL by hordes of IGNORANT HOMO-SAPIENS (and their leaders) fixated on absolutely stupid shit.
This news is not unexpected. Not when you consider the malfeasance, arrogance, denial and hubris being expressed by global leaders and industry, and the levels of documentation of denial, disbelief and disconnect that has been a hallmark of this blog. They DON’T FUCKING CARE and never did. They don’t expect to live that long, so why care?
Do I seem angry? Perhaps I am trying to convey the EXTREME URGENCY of the planetary situation, being WIDELY IGNORED AND DENIED by the governments of the world, industry and the media? The righteous ANGER I am attempting to express is mean to stir you to ACTION.
It’s time to take down the perpetrators of planetary destruction. There is absolutely NO QUESTION about this need. It is the survival of your family, your children, and your grandchildren that is at stake. There will be NO humanity of any kind in the future if we do not act now. Our ability to feed ourselves, to raise our families and to have a habitable world is very literally at stake now. How can we continue to ignore this global crisis?
I simply cannot believe that we would do this ourselves. To even allow this to happen. It is so hard to fathom, the reasons, the hubris, the arrogance, the denial, the ongoing levels of incredible stupidity and pandering by politicians, industry and pundits, the willful desire to point fingers at everyone but ourselves, while it all continues to turn to shit all around us.
If this is “what we are” and the best we are capable of, then humanity does not deserve to exist. Not by any definition of human ethics or moral code, the standards by which we hold ourselves as being ethical, responsible, compassionate and concerned. We exhibit a staggering lack of compassion, concern, attention and restraint – the absolutely ESSENTIAL requirements for the dominant species with the capability of wiping out everything else.
Let’s take a deep breath. Let’s bring this down to earth for a moment for a “perspective“. Lest you think I am “overreacting”, consider these questions:
Does ANYONE think the planetary / environmental “news” is going to improve or get better in any way? If so, how? If not, what do you suppose this means to the future with so much biodiversity loss and increasing pressure from humanity?
And if not, do you suppose it is possible that we would reach a critical threshold of human impacts upon the planetary environment, upon which point, we would trigger catabololic collapse?
What would the future actually “be” should we fail to address these critical issues as we are now, in time? There are various models and projections which can be readily utilized to address this question – many which have been referenced right here. Which project any improvement? None? Why? More importantly, what does this then mean for humanity? Can we indeed continue to cling to diminishing hope that we have either time or reason to hope?
I am not trying to convey hopelessness. I am trying to convey ACTION – even if you think it is FUTILE (because nobody knows the future). ACTION IS ALL THAT IS LEFT!!!
The future is indeed grim. Science admits to the shocking catastrophe / conclusion that lies ahead. We would do damn well to finally listen.
6 thoughts on “Humans Are Approaching a State Shift In the Earth’s Biosphere”
1) in the know and conscientious about trying to ‘walk the talk’;
2) in the know but in denial (things will get better); and
3) clueless (too busy watching American Idol or whatever).
The #1’s are most likely doing a.most all they can and this group is truly small.
The #2’s will never change until their comfort level changes and by then it will be true catastrophe-in-action. These people really can “talk the talk” but when you analyze their lives, they’re ultimate consumers.
The #3’s will remain clueless till the end. If something negative affects them, they say “it’s God’s will” or “the Lord works in mysterious ways”, and when something seemingly positive happens, again, “it’s God’s will” or “the Lord works in mysterious ways”.
The #1’s probably represent a tiny fraction of a percent of the population, perhaps 0.01% of 7 billion? 700,000 it is, and that might be too high an estimate.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a second crop of beets to plant this morning…..
Then you have some climate scientists pushing for geoengineering and offering it as a solution when they have no idea what impact such a solution may cause not to mention that the technology has never been effectively used.
Then there’s the technocrats/futurists saying we can use technology to solve this problem using “alternative energy” solutions like cold fusion that don’t yet exist, or wind and solar (even though the energy inputs in creating these “products” are enormous).
The only way I see us addressing the issue is if markets/the industrial economy collapses and noone has anything left (i.e. deferred stock compensation worthless/company is bankrupt and can’t pay its employees) because then they may care about protecting the land and the environment because they will finally need it for survival (even though in reality, they already do of course!!! – they take it for granted now).
We have to have a slow/managed decline in world population in order to wind down this industrial economy. A collapse would more than likely mean extinction, as who is going to decommission the nuclear plants safely? They would likely meltdown and then it is really over. We may need our last remaining energy resources to keep those spent fuel rods cooled by water.
It is not pretty out there.
I get called an “angry white male” by my mom-in-law, even though she understands resource depletion, overpopulation and environmental destruction. I am told by such wise people that:
“you only have one life,” and you should just learn to accept it!
Don’t get angry about drones killing children.
Don’t work yourself up into a lather over the fact that our politicians are sociopaths -after all, it’s always been that way!
Don’t poison your child’s mind with the truth!
I actually agree that meditation and some kind of spiritual practice is necessary to maintain sanity, have a rich, meaningful life. But there is a place for anger and justice in most spiritual traditions… there is a time and place for justice and the defense of innocent life, children, the environment.
I have come to the conclusion that the main hope, if there is any, is the collapse itself. It won’t be pretty, but what other negative feedback loops is really available?
Maybe we’re in that same process over the looming death of our beautiful Mother Planet.