Evidence of impending tipping point for Earth uncovered

Jun 06, 2012
The Earth may be approaching a tipping point due to climate change and increasing population. Credit: Cheng (Lily) Li

A prestigious group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.

"It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point," warns Anthony Barnosky, professor of at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a review paper appearing in the June 7 issue of the journal Nature. "The data suggests that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations."

The Nature paper, in which the scientists compare the biological impact of past incidences of global change with processes under way today and assess evidence for what the future holds, appears in an issue devoted to the environment in advance of the June 20-22 United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The result of such a major shift in the biosphere would be mixed, Barnosky noted, with some plant and animal species disappearing, new mixes of remaining species, and major disruptions in terms of which can grow where.

The paper by 22 internationally known scientists describes an urgent need for better that are based on a detailed understanding of how the biosphere reacted in the distant past to rapidly changing conditions, including climate and human population growth. In a related development, ground-breaking research to develop the reliable, detailed biological forecasts the paper is calling for is now underway at UC Berkeley. The endeavor, The Berkeley Initiative in , or BiGCB, is a massive undertaking involving more than 100 UC Berkeley scientists from an extraordinary range of disciplines that already has received funding: a $2.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a $1.5 million grant from the Keck Foundation. The paper by Barnosky and others emerged from the first conference convened under the BiGCB's auspices.

"One key goal of the BiGCB is to understand how plants and animals responded to major shifts in the atmosphere, oceans, and climate in the past, so that scientists can improve their forecasts and policy makers can take the steps necessary to either mitigate or adapt to changes that may be inevitable," Barnosky said. "Better predictive models will lead to better decisions in terms of protecting the natural resources future generations will rely on for quality of life and prosperity." could also lead to global political instability, according to a U.S. Department of Defense study referred to in the Nature paper.

"UC Berkeley is uniquely positioned to conduct this sort of complex, multi-disciplinary research," said Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley's vice chancellor for research. "Our world-class museums hold a treasure trove of biological specimens dating back many millennia that tell the story of how our planet has reacted to climate change in the past. That, combined with new technologies and data mining methods used by our distinguished faculty in a broad array of disciplines, will help us decipher the clues to the puzzle of how the biosphere will change as the result of the continued expansion of human activity on our planet."

One BiGCB project launched last month, with UC Berkeley scientists drilling into Northern California's Clear Lake, one of the oldest lakes in the world with sediments dating back more than 120,000 years, to determine how past changes in California's climate impacted local plant and animal populations.

City of Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, chair of the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee, said the BiGCB "is providing the type of research that policy makers urgently need as we work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the Bay region to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. To take meaningful actions to protect our region, we first need to understand the serious global and local changes that threaten our natural resources and biodiversity."

"The Bay Area's natural systems, which we often take for granted, are absolutely critical to the health and well-being of our people, our economy and the Bay Area's quality of life," added Bates.

How close is a global tipping point?

The authors of the Nature review – biologists, ecologists, complex-systems theoreticians, geologists and paleontologists from the United States, Canada, South America and Europe – argue that, although many warning signs are emerging, no one knows how close Earth is to a global tipping point, or if it is inevitable. The scientists urge focused research to identify early warning signs of a global transition and an acceleration of efforts to address the root causes.

"We really do have to be thinking about these global scale tipping points, because even the parts of Earth we are not messing with directly could be prone to some very major changes," Barnosky said. "And the root cause, ultimately, is human population growth and how many resources each one of us uses."

Coauthor Elizabeth Hadly from Stanford University said "we may already be past these tipping points in particular regions of the world. I just returned from a trip to the high Himalayas in Nepal, where I witnessed families fighting each other with machetes for wood – wood that they would burn to cook their food in one evening. In places where governments are lacking basic infrastructure, people fend for themselves, and biodiversity suffers. We desperately need global leadership for planet Earth."

The authors note that studies of small-scale ecosystems show that once 50-90 percent of an area has been altered, the entire ecosystem tips irreversibly into a state far different from the original, in terms of the mix of plant and animal species and their interactions. This situation typically is accompanied by species extinctions and a loss of biodiversity.

Currently, to support a population of 7 billion people, about 43 percent of Earth's land surface has been converted to agricultural or urban use, with roads cutting through much of the remainder. The population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2045; at that rate, current trends suggest that half Earth's land surface will be disturbed by 2025. To Barnosky, this is disturbingly close to a global tipping point.

"Can it really happen? Looking into the past tells us unequivocally that, yes, it can really happen. It has happened. The last glacial/interglacial transition 11,700 years ago was an example of that," he said, noting that animal diversity still has not recovered from extinctions during that time. "I think that if we want to avoid the most unpleasant surprises, we want to stay away from that 50 percent mark."

Global change biology

The paper emerged from a conference held at UC Berkeley in 2010 to discuss the idea of a global tipping point, and how to recognize and avoid it.

Following that meeting, 22 of the attendees summarized available evidence of past global state-shifts, the current state of threats to the global environment, and what happened after past tipping points.

They concluded that there is an urgent need for global cooperation to reduce world population growth and per-capita resource use, replace fossil fuels with sustainable sources, develop more efficient food production and distribution without taking over more land, and better manage the land and ocean areas not already dominated by humans as reservoirs of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

"Ideally, we want to be able to predict what could be detrimental biological change in time to steer the boat to where we don't get to those points," Barnosky said. "My underlying philosophy is that we want to keep Earth, our life support system, at least as healthy as it is today, in terms of supporting humanity, and forecast when we are going in directions that would reduce our quality of life so that we can avoid that."

"My view is that humanity is at a crossroads now, where we have to make an active choice," Barnosky said. "One choice is to acknowledge these issues and potential consequences and try to guide the future (in a way we want to). The other choice is just to throw up our hands and say, 'Let's just go on as usual and see what happens.' My guess is, if we take that latter choice, yes, humanity is going to survive, but we are going to see some effects that will seriously degrade the quality of life for our children and grandchildren."

Explore further: New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment

Related Stories

Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived?

Mar 02, 2011

With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, from frogs and fish to tigers, some scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that occurred only five times ...

Study shows loss of 15-42 percent of mammals in North America

Dec 17, 2009

If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according ...

Recommended for you

Pharmaceuticals and the water-fish-osprey food web

15 minutes ago

Ospreys do not carry significant amounts of human pharmaceutical chemicals, despite widespread occurrence of these chemicals in water, a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Baylor University study finds. ...

User comments : 137

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
Jun 06, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (47) Jun 06, 2012
They lied once before. It was called "Limits to Growth".
How did the 'prestigious group of scientists' collect their data and how did they analyze that data?

Oh, they don'y REALLY know. What a surprise!
"although many warning signs are emerging, no one knows how close Earth is to a global tipping point, or if it is inevitable."
foolspoo
3.3 / 5 (31) Jun 06, 2012
careful now... if you venture too far off the coast you might fall of the earth rygygeskgjons2
LariAnn
2.1 / 5 (24) Jun 06, 2012
IMHO, imbalances in a previously balanced dynamic system are corrected over time. This will not depend upon human participation. If excessive human population is an imbalance, a balancing natural event or events will take place to reduce the human population burden back to a sustainable level. Will it be a novel pathogen that takes out several billion before it can be stopped? Will an unknown asteroid impact and take out a few billion worldwide before the dust finally settles? Your guess?
joefarah
2.1 / 5 (30) Jun 06, 2012
43% of the land use for agriculture or urban purposes - Here's the first lie that's very easy to disprove. Probably missing a decimal point between the 4 and 3. At least 4.3% would be a lot more accurate.

But I agree. As the population approaches 2 trillion, we earthlings will have to start spreading our wings to terraform other planets. I wouldn't wait though. I'd get going on this project as soon as we hit 200 Billion.
Eikka
3.5 / 5 (24) Jun 06, 2012
Here's the first lie that's very easy to disprove.


Take a look at Google maps and scroll around North America and Europe, and China/India... etc.

It's pretty much field after field after city after field.
Feldagast
2.2 / 5 (30) Jun 06, 2012
Good thing we did what they said to do in the 80's and they predicted an impending ice age. Really are we going there again, oh no doom gloom if you don't stop wearing underwear. You will go blind if you keep doing that. Your face will freeze that way if you keep making faces. Just among many of the predictions that should be thrown in with screw up your economy by shutting down all fossil fuel power facilities, spend all your money on solar and wind, scrap your cars, and follow us to mecca for tea.
Frank_Lowe
1 / 5 (10) Jun 06, 2012
It is to late not even a wordwar wil change a ting.How can God help us if we keep on what we are doing and we all no what is wrong.Breeding and more breedig.It is OK God will help us???
axemaster
3.9 / 5 (33) Jun 06, 2012
You know, it's hard to express how depressing all of this is. I'm going to have to live through the whole thing, and to heap insult on injury, I have to read all the morons telling me how it ain't gonna happen. The worst part is that as a physicist myself, I actually have the technical skills to know it probably is going to happen. Ugh...

Well, at least it's likely that you'll all be dead by then. I guess you've got nothing to worry about, huh? Good job boys!
StillWind
1.8 / 5 (35) Jun 06, 2012
You know, it's hard to express how depressing all of this is. I'm going to have to live through the whole thing, and to heap insult on injury, I have to read all the morons telling me how it ain't gonna happen. The worst part is that as a physicist myself, I actually have the technical skills to know it probably is going to happen. Ugh...

Well, at least it's likely that you'll all be dead by then. I guess you've got nothing to worry about, huh? Good job boys!


God, what an idiot...
axemaster
4.3 / 5 (34) Jun 06, 2012
God, what an idiot...

Yeah, I'm an idiot. Wait, what was it you said recently?

Actually, in the "reality based community", we know that CO2 doesn't really affects Venus, either. Those who suggest that it does, really just ignores how any body is heated in space.

Uh huh... You're clearly a scientific mastermind on the level of Rush Limbaugh (i.e. totally ignorant, but very talkative).
wiyosaya
1.4 / 5 (20) Jun 06, 2012
It will never happen. God said he would never smite the Earth again.

Wait, did God ever say that he would prevent man from smiting the Earth?

How convenient is is to ignore what is not said and also ignore what is said especially if it is contrary to one's own view of God.

Interestingly, the conclusion of this article is predicted in another spot that is selectively ignored. King James: Amos 7.17.

Some, it appears, like to ignore the whole "Free Will" part.
mememine69
1.7 / 5 (29) Jun 06, 2012
Should we allow phys.org to issue these CO2 death threats to our children?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (33) Jun 06, 2012

Interestingly, the conclusion of this article is predicted in another spot that is selectively ignored. King James: Amos 7.17.
What, this?

17 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
Your wife will become a prostitute...'

-What does this have to do with ecology? I think you are off topic.
IMHO, imbalances in a previously balanced dynamic system are corrected over time. This will not depend upon human participation. If excessive human population is an imbalance, a balancing natural event or events
What is 'balance'? Mars once had a thick atmosphere and running water. No reason it couldnt happen here. If mankind desires balance then 'it' will have to create it for itself.

Rest assured, 'it' will not let the flood of unrestricted humanity ruin the earth once again. 'God' made a pact with moses remember? Nie wieder. We have Shepherds now.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (31) Jun 06, 2012
Noah. I meant noah.

"11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.

-The flood of course being humanity itself. The noahic priesthood rides the waters, carrying with it the great store of knowledge, humanity's most prized possession.

Lo! There is ararat over yonder, and the dove returns even now etc.
Mike_Massen
2.6 / 5 (22) Jun 06, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian barked:
God will protect us as long as we live free under his loving dictates.
Surely this must be sarcasm :-)

But afresh on a new page without anyone keeping track of your 'debating' history how can anyone know for sure and in that case why leave a discontinuous useless comment at all, it just adds to the noise/confusion level and makes you appear as a troll, is that what you want ?

Surely this is not a shout box or IRC channel, we offer reasoned observations and/or enquiries after truth - not idle immature distraction...

Can we all keep the noise level down please and the useful opinion as fortuitous data/comment/question/critique on the up side ?

Chaos theory has application, the key seems to be to observe and realise islands of stability may be illusory as they may only be another level of chaos with illusion of predictability and comfort leading to the complacency and arbitrary comments offered by Vendicar_Decarian, can we lift our game Please ?

(sigh)
Lurker2358
3.1 / 5 (20) Jun 06, 2012
43% of the land use for agriculture or urban purposes - Here's the first lie that's very easy to disprove. Probably missing a decimal point between the 4 and 3. At least 4.3% would be a lot more accurate.

But I agree. As the population approaches 2 trillion, we earthlings will have to start spreading our wings to terraform other planets. I wouldn't wait though. I'd get going on this project as soon as we hit 200 Billion.


We produce a 0.1 PPM CO2 per Billion people per year, just by humans breathing.

The plants and stuff converts about 2 or 3 PPM per year back to oxygen. The ocean sequesters the remaining 1 or 2 PPM per year, and another 2 PPM per year goes to the atmosphere.

If all of our technology was "carbon neutral" then 20 Billion humans BREATHING would be the maximum you could have without employing some form of artificial air recycling technology which would need to be more efficient than plants or alga.
Deathclock
1.5 / 5 (15) Jun 06, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian barked:
God will protect us as long as we live free under his loving dictates.
Surely this must be sarcasm :-)

But afresh on a new page without anyone keeping track of your 'debating' history how can anyone know for sure and in that case why leave a discontinuous useless comment at all, it just adds to the noise/confusion level and makes you appear as a troll, is that what you want?


Yes, that is what he wants. If he actually is Vendicar Decarian and not just someone using his handle he has a long history of internet trolling on many different websites and on IRC and on usenet... he might just be the worlds oldest living troll.
Lurker2358
2.9 / 5 (19) Jun 06, 2012
If there were a trillion people on Earth, nevermind how they'd live, but they'd make about 1000 PPM CO2 per year just by breathing, and you'd need to artificially recycle 998 PPM worth of that per year in order to maintain stable atmosphere...
wiyosaya
2.7 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2012

What, this?

17 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
Your wife will become a prostitute...'

-What does this have to do with ecology? I think you are off topic.


Typical time-pressed, bible thumping, internet dufus. Does not even bother to continue to read. Just seeing what you think you want to see, irrelevance - IMHO.

So, read a bit further, OH, I forgot, you don't have time. Here then, is what you choose to miss:

"and thou shalt die in a polluted land:"
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (26) Jun 06, 2012
What's new?
"According to Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts (1979), an Assyrian clay tablet dating to approximately 2800 BC was unearthed bearing the words "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common." This is one of the earliest examples of the perception of moral decay in society being interpreted as a sign of the imminent end."
http://www.abhota...end1.htm
"1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.
"
http://www.religi...wrl2.htm
Nephrops110
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 06, 2012
Lurker2358 - isn't the co2 breathed out by people the result of us eating carbon based food which ultimately comes from plants metabolising atmospheric co2? ie co2 out, co2 in
axemaster
3.9 / 5 (9) Jun 06, 2012
Lurker2358 - isn't the co2 breathed out by people the result of us eating carbon based food which ultimately comes from plants metabolising atmospheric co2? ie co2 out, co2 in

Yeah, you're probably right that humans just living are carbon neutral. Actually, any technology that gets its energy from a non-sequestered source is carbon neutral. That includes biofuel (usually). It's the fuels external to the carbon cycle that are causing global warming, namely oil and gas, because they take sequestered carbon and inject it back into the atmosphere when it normally would have stayed underground.
jnjnjnjn
1.8 / 5 (17) Jun 06, 2012
We should ask an economist. Growth is the answer to all problems.
Never mind extinction of all other species and the obliteration of our natural environment; the ultimate goal is to live in huge flat blocks in endless rows, high in the black sky surrounded by concrete as far as we can see.
'Stand on Zanzibar' does ring a bell.

But seriously, economics is a pseudo science at best and can be compared with astrology.
The damage done by corrupting peoples mindset and giving governments and emperors of the past wrong advice is immeasurable.

It's also alarming to read, time and time again, that we must do our best not to make a mess of it 'because of our children'.
I can tell you, that doesn't motive people without children, the same people we should thank because they contribute the best that can be done in the current situation.
In short: the given motivation is a contradiction and that tells a lot about the quality of the scientist voicing it.

J.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (18) Jun 06, 2012
RyggTard is correct. There are no limits to growth. The world is infinite in size and perfect for farming because it is absolutely flat so the rain won't run off the edges.

Anything those evil scientistie people tells you that is different is by definition a lie.

"They lied once before. It was called "Limits to Growth"." - RyggTard

Beyond the Limits to Growth

http://www.postca...mits.pdf

RyggTard is living on borrowed time.
MikPetter
3 / 5 (6) Jun 06, 2012
A comparison of The Limits to Growth with 30 years of reality - Graham M. Turner
Global Environmental Change
Volume 18, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 397411
"This paper focuses on a comparison of recently collated historical data for 19702000 with scenarios presented in the Limits to Growth. The analysis shows that 30 years of historical data compare favorably with key features of a business-as-usual scenario called the standard run scenario, which results in collapse of the global system midway through the 21st century. The data do not compare well with other scenarios involving comprehensive use of technology or stabilizing behaviour and policies. "
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (21) Jun 06, 2012
they contribute the best that can be done in the current situation.
In short: the given motivation is a contradiction and that tells a lot about the quality of the scientist voicing it.

That is why Adam Smith was correct. The motivation must be self interest. EVERY individual's self interest and the only this can be accomplished is when govts only have the power to protect every individuals property and do NOT have the power to project ONLY the govt's interest. The Govt's interest is seldom in the best interest of the individual.
EverythingsJustATheory
3 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2012
As Hawking has pointed out, if population growth continues at its current rate, by the year 2600 the entire planet will be covered by human beings standing shoulder to shoulder and electricity use will make the Earth glow red-hot.
EverythingsJustATheory
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2012
Adam Smith straightforwardly supported the principle underlying progressive taxation: "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state."

Nor was Smith a proponent of the minimal state. Government has the duty of "erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works which may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society," but which "are of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals."
Osiris1
2.7 / 5 (14) Jun 06, 2012
Smith was right, in 1725 or so when he wrote this 'masterwork of royalist economics'. Consider that under this the nobles and corporations would have to submit to taxation in proportion to their abilities, interpreted as the level of wealth of theirs that enjoys the protection of their government. That idea was truly radical for its time, considering that the French Revolution was necessary in order to break the power of those nobles and corporations who were the one percenters and less of their day, and just like the tea partiers of today refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. The tea partiers of today are like Marie Antoinette of 1789 who told the long suffering French: "Let them eat cake!" and refuse to give up the idea of noblesse oblige for the rich even though few of them ARE rich themselves. These tea party fit the definition of 'useful fools' described by the late J. Edgar Hoover in his book: "Masters of Deceit". We know what the French people did to Marie Antoinette!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (26) Jun 06, 2012
We should ask an economist. Growth is the answer to all problems.
Not according to jared diamond
http://www.youtub...=related

'Overpumping had caused the ground to sink and fracture...The ground under some of our biggest cities had sunk by some 30 feet.'

'Water wars...'
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (20) Jun 06, 2012
the French Revolution

And the French are STILL socialist. How has that worked out for them?
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (14) Jun 06, 2012
It is readily apparent that it has worked out quite well for them.

"And the French are STILL socialist. How has that worked out for them?" - RyggTard

But not nearly as well for Capitalist Americans.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.8 / 5 (10) Jun 06, 2012
As always the denialist - JoeSchmoe in this instance - is blisfully ignorant about the world around him.

https://docs.goog...acFYyNGM

"43% of the land use for agriculture or urban purposes - Here's the first lie that's very easy to disprove." - Joe Schmoe

"It's pretty much field after field after city after field. " - Eikka

Correct.
elephants_are_soft_and_squishy
3 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2012
"And the French are STILL socialist."

You have no idea what you're talking about.
kaasinees
2.3 / 5 (15) Jun 06, 2012
Why is socialism such a dirty word in America?(besides countries like Cuba)
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (9) Jun 06, 2012
Oh man... This Tard can't even get the decades straight in his delusions.

"Good thing we did what they said to do in the 80's and they predicted an impending ice age." - FullofGast

Tard boy, you denialist tards claim that it was the 70's in which there were warnings from the scientific community about an impending ice age, not the 80's.

And it didn't even happen in the 70's.

No doubt the next crop of Denialist Tards will insist that warnings about impending ice ages were issued by the scientific community in the 1990's.

ziphead
1.9 / 5 (13) Jun 06, 2012
As always the denialist - JoeSchmoe in this instance - is blisfully ignorant about the world around him.


Our inner monster may yet save the planet.

Before we totally run out of Earths resources I hope we will start world war over whatever is left and hopefully self-eradicate.

We owe this much to the Earth

Vendicar_Decarian
3.8 / 5 (10) Jun 06, 2012
It is impossible to say. Who can make sense of the delusional mind?

"Why is socialism such a dirty word in America?" - Kaasinees

I don't know how many times I've seen American Conservatives claim that Liberalism = Socialism = Communism.

They are just one giant ball of ignorance and deceit.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (10) Jun 06, 2012
I strongly suggest you develop a taste for blood and revenge.

"The worst part is that as a physicist myself, I actually have the technical skills to know it probably is going to happen." - Axemaster

It will keep you alive and motivated.

ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (19) Jun 06, 2012
Why is socialism such a dirty word in America?(besides countries like Cuba)

Socialism destroys the inherit rights of the individual forcing them to be slaves to the state.
Slavery is not a dirty word in Holland or wherever you live?
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (16) Jun 06, 2012
"And the French are STILL socialist."

You have no idea what you're talking about.


The French Revolution replaced the tyranny of the crown with the tyranny of the mob, then the tyranny of emperors and then tyranny of the mob.
The common feature is tyranny. That is what socialism is, tyranny.
Bastiat, from France, agreed.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (19) Jun 06, 2012
Why is socialism such a dirty word in America?(besides countries like Cuba)

It's not just a dirty word in the USA:

"As well as slashing public sector wages, the government responded to the 2008 crisis by raising the pension age, making it harder to claim health benefits and reducing job protection all measures that have been met with anger when proposed in Western Europe. "
"Estonia is booming. The economy grew 7.6 percent last year, five times the euro-zone average.

Estonia is the only euro-zone country with a budget surplus. National debt is just 6 percent of GDP, compared to 81 percent in virtuous Germany, or 165 percent in Greece. "
"Estonia has also paid close attention to the fundamentals of establishing a favorable business environment: reducing and simplifying taxes, and making it easy and cheap to build companies."
http://www.cnbc.c.../page/2/
Tewk
2 / 5 (12) Jun 06, 2012
The consequences of lying. People have been stung too many times by the lies. I simply can't believe anything these people say. I believe the pursuit of power is what motivates these people. And now they are going for broke "Abandon all your rights, including your right to live, to us. WE know what to do. Otherwise human's go extinct.".
Well I know these types, these Obama supporter types....I prefer human extinction.
mountain_team_guy
1.9 / 5 (14) Jun 07, 2012
Maybe you progressive-types can come up with a plan to social engineer the world and abrogate the biological necessity to reproduce, in order to save earth from impending ecological doom and the climatic apocalypse I've been hearing so much about for the past 20 years. But, first can you solve the lesser problems like war and poverty?
blazingspark
5 / 5 (8) Jun 07, 2012
Why is this turning into a political debate?
I don't think either side will work 100% in all cases. Capitalism has its flaws, and so does socialism.

Allot of countries that are well off aren't too extreme in one direction and have a combination of the two and they can make it work quite well.

I think it's a good idea to have publicly owned healthcare and education. Education should be freely available to everyone. Most countries currently have shortages in skilled labour.
Jonseer
1.3 / 5 (11) Jun 07, 2012
Really this is an utter waste of brainpower for one simple reason, successfully changing the path of mankind in this regard is virtually impossible.

The requirements to succeed are another dimension that makes preventing this from coming to pass impossible.

No one has yet figured out how to make the nations of the world sacrifice their own self-interest for the good of the whole, the benefits of which overwhelmingly benefit the developed nations which are most responsible for these changes. Yes, today China and India are very responsible, but that's a recent addition. For most of the time since the industrial revolution the West has been overwhelmingly responsible for the dramatic changes and reaped the benefits.

A much better focus for all this brainpower would be to figure out how mankind can adjust rapidly and most efficiently to the soon to come rapid change.
Parsec
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2012
43% of the land use for agriculture or urban purposes - Here's the first lie that's very easy to disprove. Probably missing a decimal point between the 4 and 3. At least 4.3% would be a lot more accurate.

But I agree. As the population approaches 2 trillion, we earthlings will have to start spreading our wings to terraform other planets. I wouldn't wait though. I'd get going on this project as soon as we hit 200 Billion.


Sources for total land use:
http://news.natio...map.html

Yes, the total amount of land used for crops is about 50%. If you think its 4.3% you need to provide evidence.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 07, 2012
Capitalism destroys the inherent rights of the individual forcing them to be slaves of their corporate masters.

"Socialism destroys the inherit rights of the individual forcing them to be slaves to the state." - RyggTard

It is funny to wee a wage slave like RyggTard tell me that I am a slave to my government.

I walk the streets at night free from harassment. I often leave my home unlocked when away. I travel unimpeded and without Fascist Americans feeling my genitals. I pay my taxes on time and with pleasure as those taxes pay for the government services I receive.

In the Capitalist state of America where cannibalism has been in the news multiple times over the last week, the wage slave population are not permitted to have those freedoms.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2012
Because Conservatives and Libertarain/Randites like RyggTard insist on imposing their political ideological rhetoric in place of reality.

"Why is this turning into a political debate?" - Blazingspark

They don't exist in the reality based community.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 07, 2012
Then kill yourself.

The world has no use for you.

"I prefer human extinction." - Tewk
Parsec
4 / 5 (8) Jun 07, 2012
The consequences of lying. People have been stung too many times by the lies. I simply can't believe anything these people say. I believe the pursuit of power is what motivates these people. And now they are going for broke "Abandon all your rights, including your right to live, to us. WE know what to do. Otherwise human's go extinct.".
Well I know these types, these Obama supporter types....I prefer human extinction.

Let me get this straight. Scientists want to take away all your rights, including your right to live? Since almost all doctors are medical scientists, I guess this would make you a little leery about going to the doctor.

In my experience, scientists are usually underpaid and highly educated people whose main motivation to solve mysteries, not to delude anyone. They make mistakes like everyone else, except when they do those mistakes are broadcast in the most embarrassing possible way. This makes them very careful about what they publish.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.2 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2012
From RyggTard's own reference...

Estonias achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider that it was one of the countries hardest hit by the global financial crisis. In 2008-2009, its economy shrank by 18 percent. Thats a bigger contraction than Greece has suffered over the past five years.

"Estonia is booming. The economy grew 7.6 percent last year, five times the euro-zone average." - Ryggtard

In other words Estonia's economy is still 11.8 percent in the hole.

Adam Smith had it right long ago. Governments should spend during recessions and save during boom years.

Estonia manages to cope with austerity because it has a whopping population of 1.3 million people.

If some company comes in and hires 1,000 people due to lower Estonian wages then that is the equivalent in that economy to a boost in employment in the U.S. by 261,000 people.

What Libertarians like RyggTard are really demanding are lower American standards of living and lower American wages.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (10) Jun 07, 2012
Libertarians hate Democracy (the mob), and often refer to it as "Mob rule".

"tyranny of the crown with the tyranny of the mob" - RyggTard

Libertarian ideology is a perpetual failure, and has been immensely damaging to America.
chris_h
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2012
We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Natures inexhaustible sources of energy sun, wind and tide. Id put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we dont have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

~Thomas Edison
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (10) Jun 07, 2012
It is 2am. I am on vacation, and I just walked 2 miles to a local variety store.

I left my house unlocked.

"The common feature is tyranny. That is what socialism is, tyranny." - RyggTard

What were you saying about being a slave to tyranny?

Ahahahahahahahahahah......... Blather on Tard boy. Show the world how spaced out and lunatic Libertarian/Randites are.
plaasjaapie
1.9 / 5 (18) Jun 07, 2012
All this "article" is is a commercial for UCBerkeley to get a pot of research money. What nonsense!
kris2lee
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2012
Some parts of the world lost their minds after 1950. Here is the proof http://www.china-...mall.jpg

This is not enough to say what the problem is. It is important to add where the problem is.

There is no need for population to grow that fast. What is happening is just plain insanity.
RobPaulG
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 07, 2012
'Nature' has turned into a laughingstock.
Nephrops110
5 / 5 (6) Jun 07, 2012
mountainteamguy
Maybe you progressive-types can come up with a plan to social engineer the world and abrogate the biological necessity to reproduce, in order to save earth from impending ecological doom and the climatic apocalypse I've been hearing so much about for the past 20 years. But, first can you solve the lesser problems like war and poverty?

Its been shown that education naturally causes a drop in birth rates. For example, most western european nations have negative population growth if you remove immigration. So, teach everyone on Earth to read and write, allow them to control their own fertility (Pope Benedict I'm looking at you) and population will decrease naturally.

Nephrops110
4 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2012

Socialism destroys the inherit rights of the individual forcing them to be slaves to the state.
Slavery is not a dirty word in Holland or wherever you live?


A fine example of a logical fallacy though I can't quite decide which particular style it is http://rationalwi...fallacy. Socialism is clearly not slavery. I seem to recall that actual slavery was practised in modern times by profoundly capitalist societies. Unrestrained capitalism is just as bad as unrestrained socialism; both are disastrous for the environment and the populace. The UK has the NHS based on the socialist principle of universal health care, it may not be the best but its damn good and it protects everyone. The USA on the other hand went hysterical at the suggestion that the poor and vulnerable should receive care. In the richest nation on Earth you can die of a treatable condition because you are too poor but hey, at least socialism has been kept at bay. So why the reaction to socialism?
ccr5Delta32
1 / 5 (6) Jun 07, 2012
Prosperity at any cost
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (22) Jun 07, 2012
Socialism is clearly not slavery

Of course it is.
Socialism must plunder, also known as taking by force, the wealth from some and redistribute to others. This means those who are working to earn wealth are slaves to the socialist state. They are being forced by the state to toil for the benefit of others against their will.
What happens when those state slaves, who are working for themselves and the state decide to stop working for the state and switch sides to be state dependents or move away (if the state allows them to leave)? The state then runs out of other people's wealth to steal and them must force ALL to be state slaves.
Sweden tacitly acknowledges this as they ended the wealth tax in an attempt to attract wealthy Swedes back.
Under socialism, the individual has no inherent right to property. Your property, including your labor and intellect, are state property and the state tells you how much of that you can keep. You are a slave to the socialist state.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (21) Jun 07, 2012
No one has yet figured out how to make the nations of the world sacrifice their own self-interest for the good of the whole

Yes they have. It is called communism and results in the death of millions.
And that is exactly what many here demand, fewer people.

"Voters furious at spending cuts that have led to reductions in pensions and salaries and ever increasing taxes p"
http://finance.ya...xjvQtDMD
This is what happens when the state runs out of OPM.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (19) Jun 07, 2012
Another example of state slavery:
"SACOM also said that workers are forced to sign up for a company-controlled union without knowing what that entails. They must also endure "humiliating" disciplinary action like the writing and reading of confession letters and manual labor like toilet cleaning."
http://www.pcmag....2,00.asp
How all you Apple users appreciate the slave labor.

And by no means is the Chinese govt NOT socialist and its corporations enjoy the protection of the state. But the workers are NOT protected by the state. They are exploited BY the state.
Moebius
2.2 / 5 (13) Jun 07, 2012
God will protect us as long as we live free under his loving dictates.


LOL How much evidence does it take to prove that God is an absent caretaker at best? If you believe in god it's because you NEED to, not because you really do. If he exists he's an insane sadist. Which is why it's obvious he doesn't exist. Even if he does, given the choice of going to hell or having to associate with people like you while kissing HIS ass, I'll take hell.
rubberman
2.4 / 5 (14) Jun 07, 2012
All this "article" is is a commercial for UCBerkeley to get a pot of research money. What nonsense!


Total dollars named - 4 million. Number of scientists participating - 100. If it was only paid in wages (and not used to cover any of the other costs associated with a study of this magnitude) that is 40,000 per scientist over the duration of the study.....think about it.

"Prosperity at any cost"

Isn't that the title of the capitalist manifesto?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (28) Jun 07, 2012
Socialism must plunder, also known as taking by force, the wealth from some and redistribute to others.
But capitalism as practiced is plunder by deception. Taking by trickery. Competition sooner or later forces people to cheat as populations grow, commodities become scarce, and escalation ensues.

Capitalism is inherently corrupt because it forces competitors to misrepresent their products or to collude to fix prices and rig the game. What you call socialist plunder is only a more honest and direct form of this.
Howhot
3.9 / 5 (11) Jun 07, 2012
When I was reading through this article, I could see how easily biology could be impacted by climate change (among other human activities). Whole ecosystems are impacted by the alteration of the Arctic and Antarctic climate patterns.

You know, these are obvious. They are in plane sight an we can observe the impact of 100,000 years of consistent climate being disrupted by global warming by the reduction of biology in the Arctic and Antarctic. The effects of smaller fish stocks, migration patterns, and extinctions of species.

No economic systems will replace that.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (28) Jun 07, 2012
The only way for capitalism to avoid collapse into despotism is with new markets. It's false prosperity drives unnatural population growth even as it seeks to grow and expand elsewhere. Competition and the quest to convince people to buy things they don't need, are inherently wasteful.

Capitalism can never achieve a steady state and survive. It is based upon the edict 'fill up the earth'. Well the earth is full.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (25) Jun 07, 2012
I walk the streets at night free from harassment. I often leave my home unlocked when away. I travel unimpeded and without Fascist Americans feeling my genitals. I pay my taxes on time and with pleasure as those taxes pay for the government services I receive.
This reminds me of the irrational fearlessness and compulsive risktaking symptomatic of toxoplasma gondii. Do you own a cat? Perhaps you should put it to good use:
http://www.latime...56.story
wealthychef
2 / 5 (10) Jun 07, 2012
I'm no climate change skeptic, but this seems very speculative and alarmist to me. They seem to use the word "tipping point" to mean "irreversible change," when I think it's usually meant in terms of a huge context change into a new regime. I'm sure we're heading for tough times ahead due to climate change, but is the article's title implying new evidence for a "tipping point" really warranted? I don't see it.
EverythingsJustATheory
3.1 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2012
God will protect us as long as we live free under his loving dictates.


LOL How much evidence does it take to prove that God is an absent caretaker at best? If you believe in god it's because you NEED to, not because you really do. If he exists he's an insane sadist. Which is why it's obvious he doesn't exist. Even if he does, given the choice of going to hell or having to associate with people like you while kissing HIS ass, I'll take hell.


You had no way of knowing unless you've seen his posts before, but VD was being sarcastic.
jose421
5 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2012
"leaving it up to god" == "leaving it"
jonnyboy
1.8 / 5 (15) Jun 07, 2012
The endeavor, The Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, or BiGCB, is a massive undertaking involving more than 100 UC Berkeley scientists from an extraordinary range of disciplines that already has received funding: a $2.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a $1.5 million grant from the Keck Foundation.

The important thing is that they continue to get funding.
Shelgeyr
1.9 / 5 (18) Jun 07, 2012
Evidence of impending tipping point for Earth uncovered

The use of the word "uncovered" in the headline is unjustified to a near-fraudulent degree. "Uncovered" implies "discovered", and this is nothing more than an opinion screed.

The paper by 22 internationally known scientists describes an urgent need for better predictive models...

I am quite certain that there are many gamblers, extreme sports competitors, and stock brokers who feel exactly the same way, provided the models are proprietary ones...

"Tipping point"... Heh. Calling these people a bunch of whining alarmists is nothing more than an accurate description.
Tewk
1.4 / 5 (10) Jun 07, 2012
Then kill yourself.

The world has no use for you.

"I prefer human extinction." - Tewk


I see you speak for the world now. And I suppose "the world" has a use for you ? Care o explain that use?

Would you mind giving your definition of "fascism" ?
Buckelew
2.5 / 5 (11) Jun 08, 2012
More junk science for cluttered minds. This article makes phys.org look like a rag bent on mis-informing its readers.

Indeed, we can always become better stewards of our home, but yielding to fear pumped out by those seeking control of you and your whims is worse than doing nothing.

Guarantee liberty, freedom, property; or forget it!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (29) Jun 08, 2012
Guarantee liberty, freedom, property; or forget it!
Three meaningless words. You only think you need what 'property' you have because unscrupulous capitalists convinced you of this. You only think you need more freedom because they convinced you that you don't have near enough.

You say these things only because it feels good to say them. If pickup trucks did not exist you would not miss yours one bit. You have no idea what you want. You are a dupe.
Abouttime4
1 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2012
I need some fresh air after reading these comments. Reckonthatis.com
Undergraduate
1.9 / 5 (9) Jun 08, 2012
For all of those concerned about, and convinced that the earth is in dire peril and approaching a tipping point because of global warming, please, please do the right thing. Off yourself and cease contributing to the problem.
SteveL
3.2 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2012
Until my government stops supplementing procreation via the tax code I'll know it is not serious about resource sustainability and population control.

I also know it won't significantly change that tax code until the concept of working taxpayers being required to pay for the services and support of the retired taxpayers is changed to a pay as you go system like a US tax code 401k. Under the present system a continuious stream of new workers are required as resources to pay for the goods and services used by all. This is counter to any significant ability to inact significant resource sustainability efforts.
whotwo
1.8 / 5 (10) Jun 08, 2012
100 UC Berkeley scientists from an extraordinary range of disciplines that already has received funding: a $2.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a $1.5 million grant from the Keck Foundation.

UC Berkeley is uniquely positioned to conduct this sort of complex, multi-disciplinary research," said Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley's vice chancellor for research. "Our world-class museums hold a treasure trove of biological specimens dating back many millennia that tell the story of how our planet has reacted to climate change blah, blah blah

or in other words if you give us money we crank this Pseudo Science crap out all F-ing Day.
aruanan
2.5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2012
They certainly know that there were many periods in earth history, some recent, when warming was greater than the modest increase ending in 1998, sometimes much, MUCH greater and there was no "point of no return," but a return to colder, sometimes much, MUCH colder climates.

They also know that there were many periods in earth's history where CO2 levels were many times greater than they are now and there was no "point of no return," but an overall trend to lower and lower levels of atmospheric CO2 until we are where we are now--in a period of unprecedented low levels of CO2.

Since they know that both of these things are without dispute, and since they continue to promote something that is completely contradictory to natural history, it's not unreasonable to wonder what their real objective is since it's obviously not science.
aruanan
2 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2012
"The paper by 22 internationally known scientists describes an urgent need for better predictive models that are based on a detailed understanding of how the biosphere reacted in the distant past to rapidly changing conditions, including climate and human population growth."

Yeah, because their models have worked SO well up to this point.

GIGO, baby!
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (11) Jun 08, 2012
They have actually. They preform remarkably well.

"Yeah, because their models have worked SO well up to this point" - aryannation

You are just too stupid to know it.
Jack_J_Smith
1.8 / 5 (15) Jun 09, 2012
Another "Green Apocalypse" White towered libs, who hate large families and industry. All they have is fear. They want to take away our freedom. Make us eat one lump of Tofu a day, live in a 5' x 5' home, and walk to work.
Mike_Massen
1.9 / 5 (13) Jun 09, 2012
aruanan is missing a crucial point with this ill-considered flakey conclusion
Since they know that both of these things are without dispute, and since they continue to promote something that is completely contradictory to natural history..
All the previous periods of "point of no return" did not include our current and growing population *and* our current and growing industrial infrastructure (which is too slow to move to reduce CO2 and waste heat) *and* historical changes already made.

Factor those rather significant issues comparatively with the previous periods where the Earth (with negligible input from humans) returned from "the point of no return" then you might barely appreciate you have missed a massive issue !

Science is "The disciplined acquisition of knowledge", you aruanan are missing the main cause of our current climate dilemma and you should not be spreading such stupid propaganda based on missing key facts, shame on you, you Naughty Negligent Nincompoop.!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (26) Jun 09, 2012
Why is socialism such a dirty word in America?(besides countries like Cuba)
-The result of ongoing PR. the mob was created to keep it out of the unions you know?
Another "Green Apocalypse" White towered libs, who hate large families and industry. All they have is fear. They want to take away our freedom. Make us eat one lump of Tofu a day, live in a 5' x 5' home, and walk to work.
Another scratching knee-jerk fundy who loves large families and overheated economies, the results of which force us to eat one lump of Tofu a day, live in a 5' x 5' home, and walk to the unemployment office. All they have is fear-mongering. They certainly have no freedom.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (16) Jun 09, 2012
See the propaganda for yourself:
"Workforce Fairness Institute, an organization focused on employee/management relations, is releasing a series of videos chronicling left-wing intimidation, including tactic of showing up at peoples houses to harass them and their families, according to Erick Erickson of RedState.

The videos document a growing trend in American civic discourse the use of intimidation against private citizens to punish dissent, Erickson adds."
http://www.thebla...g-video/

Intimidation IS the socialist way.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (9) Jun 10, 2012
Oh lookie, RyggTard found itself another dishonest Conservative Blog.

"according to Erick Erickson of RedState." - RyggTard

Filth.
GogogoStopSTOP
1.7 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2012
The "scientists" suggesting we're at the "sky is falling point," are the same dudes that suggest that we have a disaster ahead of us in the loss of species. However, there own websites annotate the last 10 species to disappear in the last 500 years. EXCEPT, when you read the list of 10 who supposedly had disappeared you find out that not all are gone!

These same guys predict 1,000 of species will be gone soon, like tomorrow as a result of our past. But it's all hype. It's all "contribution hype," they are like the Sunday pastor raving about repentance as the End approaches... in one breath, while in the next, asking for larger & larger donations.

All these "scientists" want is another grant to keep them in large SUV's, more abundant super computers & larger classrooms & laboratories... all driven by the same fossil fuel they abhor!
Mike_Massen
1.9 / 5 (13) Jun 10, 2012
GogogoStopSTOP shows considerable immature anti-intellectual propagandising
..All these "scientists" want is another grant to keep them in large SUV's, more abundant super computers & larger classrooms & laboratories... all driven by the same fossil fuel they abhor!
Your opinion is not just unintelligent, it sounds like its shouting some US republican conservative type drunken spastic dummy spit, ugh.

You wouldn't have HACCP, cars, electronics, satellites, phones, medical advances etc etc if it wasn't for science & scientists & their continued involvement during the processes of fabrication & implementation.

Science is "The discipline of the acquisition of knowledge", your pathetic rant GogogoStopSTOP is more like the fear of a paranoid bipolar drug addict suffering some neurological disability...

Very few scientists are focussed on material wealth to anything like the degree you claim, good luck to them though when they enter corporate life.

Go away GogogoStopSTOP please.
F Juice
not rated yet Jun 10, 2012
Time to pull out the old loin cloth. Back to the jungle everyone
Mark_Richardson
1 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2012
So, UC Berkeley is trying to duplicate the now nearly 3 year old research findings of the University of Stockholm's Stockholm Resilience Center. In September of 2009, after an exhaustive study by more than 30 PHD-level scientists including American Bill McKibben of our Post-Carbon Institute, their report, entitled "Planetary Boundaries" made a whole number of critical findings, such as the finding that the increasing acidification of our oceans would kill almost all commercial ocean seafood within 40-50 years. Now that might not make for a great degree of angst in the midwest, until we realize that ocean seafood is the staple diet of 1/3rd of the world's population.

Scientific American and Nature Magazine both printed abridged versions of the Planetary Limits piece shortly thereafter. The original document is 33 pages with a 22-page supplement, and is available here:

stockholmresilience.org/research/researchnews/tippingtowardstheunknown/thenineplanetaryboundaries

ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2012
ncreasing acidification of our oceans would kill almost all commercial ocean seafood within 40-50 years.

Of course ALL the variables in the model used to make this prediction are KNOWN and the model has been validated?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2012
"Marine organisms appear to be safe from ocean warming. Similarly, most of these organisms are very likely to be safe from the supposed effects of possible ocean acidification."
http://joannenova...ication/
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2012
kill almost all commercial ocean seafood

Who would have thought 'progressives' were so concerned about commerce?

"If there is a harsher place to live than a hydrothermal vent, it hasn't been found yet. Pitch darkness, poison gas, heavy metals, extreme acidity, enormous pressure, water at turns frigid and searing"
"Yet amazing communities of life exist at hydrothermal vents and the so-called "black smoker" chimneys that, given the right conditions, rise above them like erupting stalagmites. Blind shrimp, giant white crabs, and a variety of tubeworms are just some of the more than 300 species of vent life that biologists have identified since scientists first blundered upon this otherworldly community two decades ago. More than 95 percent of these species are new to science."
http://www.pbs.or...yss.html

How to survive: improvise, adapt, overcome. All eschewed by central planners.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2012
"Hydrogen sulfide reacts spontaneously with oxygen, so as soon as vent fluids come into contact with seawater, a swift reaction occurs, releasing energy. All that energy would go to waste if it were it not for the microbes. They harness that reaction and use carbon dioxide to make organic compounds that tubeworms, for example, need to live."
"Vents and smokers also release a bevy of heavy metals. Besides being toxic substances, these particles can clog mouthparts and gills. Biologists are still trying to figure out exactly how vent animals cope with these. "
"The pH of waters coming out of black smokers can be as low as 2.8, making it more acidic than vinegar. Biologists have seen "naked" snails around hydrothermal vents that could not form their calcium carbonate shells because the water was too acidic."
http://www.pbs.or...yss.html
Mark_Richardson
1 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2012
In addition to the work of the Stockholm Resilience Center, and time-honored books such as Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb" in 1968 and the Club of Paris "Limits to Growth" in 1972, there is also the "Limits to Growth - 30-Year Update", and the Int'l Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook, published annually in November.

In fact, according to the World Energy Outlook, just 13 years from now, our world is facing a 50% increase in oil demand as the 3rd world modernizes, with its attendant increase in CO2 release, and by 2035, 80% of all known existing world oil reserves will be depleted, with all but full depletion occurring by 2050 also, just 38 years from now.

In my recent work in the logistics of urban sustainability, it would seem that critical resource depletion will get us first. The Post-Carbon Institute's Senior Research Fellow Richard Heinberg's 2011 book "The End of Growth" offers many rather stark conclusions. Chapters are here:

postcarbon.org/end-of-growth-chapters/
Mark_Richardson
3 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2012
Yes, I am rather dismayed at the beliefs of some of the more radical Smart Growth and environmental science colleagues of mine, who believe that huge high-density cities with walk-to homes, jobs, small-scale services, and small-scale shopping can have their supply needs met from entirely within the range of a small electrically-powered 6-wheel truck, or even within the same range of an electrically-powered railroad too.

Furthermore, since electrically-powered trucks and trains need large amounts of steel, aluminum, composite materials, concrete, and roadbase to even exist, along with a large supply of electricity, and some method of manufacturing, charging, quickly changing-out, and recycling batteries, steel, aluminum, and plastics, and high-yield farming demands phosphorus and tractor fuel too, both of which our world is almost out of too, the challenges involved in planning the logistical needs of sustainable cities will become increasingly more difficult as the years go by too.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (13) Jun 10, 2012
logistics of urban sustainability, i

What a surprise, you have a horse in this race.

Ever here of vertical farming?
http://www.verticalfarm.com/

Ever read "I Pencil"?
http://www.econli...cl1.html

If free market entrepreneurs are allowed by the govts to meet the needs of their customers, your 'End of Growth' will be pure fiction. Your support of central planning guarantees your dire predictions. Is that why so many 'scientists' support central planning?

Ever read "Models of Doom"? Quite a contemporary indictment of the "Limits to Growth".
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (10) Jun 10, 2012
Alfalfa is a great crop. Rabbits really like to eat alfalfa. Rabbits like to reproduce, grow fast and are high in protein. Rabbits create manure in which earth worms love to eat and crap fertilizer. And earthworms can be harvested for meat as well.
And all this can be performed in a very small footprint.

Instead of whining about problems with centrally planned solutions, why not propose decentralized solutions?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2012
If a mold growing on an orange could think and had an IQ under 5, it would probably think the same though as RyggTard just before it ran out of room and resources.

"If free market entrepreneurs are allowed by the govts to meet the needs of their customers, your 'End of Growth' will be pure fiction." - RyggTard

RyggTard believes that with finite resources exponential growth is perpetually sustainable.

He must have left his schoolzen behind before he reached grade 7.

I have often had Libertarians insist that perpetual growth is possible because as resources diminish growth reduces to zero. So to them perpetual growth is possible because growth stops.

It is complete self contradictory insanity of course. But that is Libertarianism in a nutshell - Self Contradictory Insanity.

Vendicar_Decarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
In every way, Americans are now materially worse off than they were two decades ago.

Food prices are higher.
Oil prices are higher.
Metal prices are higher.
etc. etc.. etc...

Green energy prices however - are lower.
But RyggTard and his fascist Libertarian brethren demands none of that.

"Quite a contemporary indictment of the "Limits to Growth"." - RyggTard

The Limits to growth programs are still running, and the global economy is evolving along computed lines.

Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2012
In Australia, rabbits are a serious mammalian pest and invasive species. They were introduced in the 18th century with the First Fleet, and became widespread after an outbreak caused by an 1859 release. Rabbits cause millions of dollars of damage to crops. Various methods in the 20th century have been attempted to control the population. Conventional methods include shooting and destruction of warrens, but these had only limited success. In 1907, a rabbit-proof fence was built in western Australia in an attempt to contain the rabbits.

"Alfalfa is a great crop. Rabbits really like to eat alfalfa. Rabbits like to reproduce, grow fast and are high in protein." - RyggTard
Mike_Massen
1.7 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2012
ryggesogn2 (maybe) got 5% of an idea
Alfalfa is a great crop. Rabbits really like to eat alfalfa. Rabbits like to reproduce, grow fast and are high in protein. Rabbits create manure in which earth worms love to eat and crap fertilizer. And earthworms can be harvested for meat as well.
And all this can be performed in a very small footprint.
Just how 'small' is this footprint ? What area do you need to sustain what number of rabbits ? # Rabbit to area ratio please ?

Isn't alfalfa rather a high user of water, show me how your tenuous idea has any substance with an overall thermodynamic/biological sustainable & cost calculation ?

Have you eaten earthworms? What sort of proteins? Do they have the right mix of essential amino acids? How would one prepare them? How do you clear the gut? Any chance they might ever become as accepted as prawns?

Something even 5% beyond a vague idea might lend you some credibility but, given your odd history such a loan would be called in very quickly !
Mark_Richardson
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 10, 2012
I am well aware of proposed year-round vertical hydroponic farming, and yet, that endeavor will also require huge amounts of steel, wire, concrete, fertilizer, and electricity too. Furthermore, since the combined square mileage of just California's produce and fruit growing regions equal an area larger than the State of Ohio, (200 miles square equals 40,000 square miles) your vertical farm will have to be a mighty large building too in order to supply the needs of any huge and growing high-density city.

Figure maybe 100 stories by 5 miles square each, 25 sq. miles per floor, (or 2500 square miles) and a plausible life-span of 200 years maximum, with the grow lights and pumps averaging considerably less of a life-span too. Good luck with that, eh! Another question that I have concerns grain, dairy, and meat production and supply too, let alone TP, paper towels, and office paper too.

Where will you locate a building of that size so that its workers can walk to work?
Mark_Richardson
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
Not only that, but buildings of that scale raise other logistical questions, such as where do you get that much phosphorus locally, that much power locally from too, or, just how many little electrically-powered 6-wheel trucks, with an effective range of 50 miles between battery charges, will it take to distribute that much produce to all of those small-scale walk-to stores that urban smart growth types so rant about too, since those trucks wont be able to carry more than 3 or 4 tons each, and any amount of hill-climbing involved will also greatly reduce their range too?

As the end result looks to me, as someone with 30 years of experience in urban consumables logistics, is that the streets of such a large, high-density, sustainable city will be clogged into a gridlocked mess every day by hordes of small electric trucks, electric cars, and streetcars too, which will mean some amount of lost productivity too!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Jun 10, 2012
Hey Mikey and Marky, it's a good thing entrepreneurs act instead of fretting.
That is the problem with central planning, no one can have ALL the data.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Jun 10, 2012
"Worms taste like dirt, but you can purge them
by soaking them in water overnight. Then they taste like worm, which isnt
a big improvement."
http://www.madsci...o.r.html
Tewk
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2012

But RyggTard and his fascist Libertarian brethren demands none of that.



"Fascist Libertarian..." ? What new level of blithering idiocy are we exploring here ?
You really should donate your "brain" to science (immediately).
Is your hobby running into concrete walls ? You appear to be suffering from repeated concussions occurring over a long period of time.

And seriously, though you are among the most prolific poster here...I've yet to anything you've written with any gleaming of intelligence or substance.

Also, socialism has a bad name because those in power of socialist/commie systems inevitably become monsters.
Mark_Richardson
2 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2012
Look at it this way: Today metro-Denver, an urban area of 2.5 million people, consumes the same physical size and weight of almost entirely non-locally supplied food, beverages, and other consumables (not including fuel or drinking water) as the size and weight of 3 or 4 aircraft carriers every week. Translate that figure to the New York City region and the logistical supply requirement increases by a factor of almost 10, which will be really tough without any fuel left other than hydrogen distilled from water, which is a much less-efficient fuel based on fuel tank size than oil-based fuels or even natural gas are.

Not only that, but if America has to power all of its vehicle mileage off of our remaining natural gas reserves, as well as absorb the home heating requirements of millions of homes in the northeast presently heated by home heating oil, our natural gas reserve will last far less than half as long as the current 100-year projection too.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2012
The marketplace doesn't have all of the data either.

"That is the problem with central planning, no one can have ALL the data." - RyggTard

And that is why most businesses fail.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2012
I understand that some Americans in Appalachia love the taste of the sweet soil around them. Some grow addicted to eating the stuff.

"Worms taste like dirt" - RyggTard

Mark_Richardson
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2012
Say, take a minute to think of where the closest major appliance, auto, or HVAC industrial plant is to where you live currently? What is the average life span of major appliances or building HVAC units? How many refrigerators or rooftop air-conditioners can you get into a small electrically-powered truck? How about washers and dryers, commercial ranges, or water heaters? Who do you know is going to want a paper, steel, or lead recycler, a slaughterhouse, or a sewage treatment plant within walking distance of their house?

You know one thing that high-density urban smart growth could be really good for on down the road after local resources become depleted either through overuse, natural disaster, or a flood of resource or climate refugees show-up hungry?

Just put a fence around the city and it could be turned into a huge version of the Warsaw ghetto overnight, most likely after a few wealthy types are secretly called away on business!

Ha, ha, that joke was really funny, eh?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
"What new level of blithering idiocy are we exploring here ?" - Tewk

Fascism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Fascism.

It is all very clear.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
My Cat holds the same opinion of me. Perhaps this is because it is barely intelligent enough to remember it's name.

"And seriously, though you are among the most prolific poster here...I've yet to anything you've written with any gleaming of intelligence or substance." - Tewk

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2012
Yes, that can happen when you don't elect your leaders, even when unelected, they seldom torture and murder as many people as George Bush Jr. has done.

Neither do they tend to fund terrorists like Ronald Reagan did.

"Also, socialism has a bad name because those in power of socialist/commie systems inevitably become monsters." - Tewk

I'm sure you agree.
Stuart21
5 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2012

ryggesogn2 said "They lied once before. It was called "Limits to Growth"."

Is the earth capable of being measured?

If so, it is finite.

If it is finite, there are Limits to Growth.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2012

ryggesogn2 said "They lied once before. It was called "Limits to Growth"."

Is the earth capable of being measured?

If so, it is finite.

If it is finite, there are Limits to Growth.


Any limits are large they are really not worth considering. The ONLY challenge is energy. The sun provides nearly unlimited energy so until it dies their are no practical limits. By then humans will have moved on to other solar systems.
So until we build a Dyson sphere around the sun, the only limits are in the minds of the central planners.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
A sustained growth rate of 10% produces a doubling period of 7 years. 70 years of growth represents 10 doubling periods or 1024.

If that 70 years is growth in consumption, and all of history to that period had consumed 1 unit of resources, then at the end of the 70 year period, the total amount of material resources consumed will be 2048 times the amount consumed before the 70 year period.

If the growth rate is maintained for 140 years then the rate of consumption will be magnified to 1 million times it's original rate, and the total consumption will be 2 million times that which was consumed prior to the 140 year period.

"Any limits are large they are really not worth considering." - RyggTard

RyggTard is spectacularly ignorant.

Libertarians/Randites always are.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
Fools often get their science from fairy stories.

"So until we build a Dyson sphere around the sun, the only limits are in the minds of the central planners." - RyggTard

Sorry Tard Boy. But you are foncusing childish nonsense for the world around you.
Tewk
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 11, 2012
"What new level of blithering idiocy are we exploring here ?" - Tewk

Fascism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Fascism.

It is all very clear.


You are a walking far Left bumpersticker.
It ISN'T clear to anyone that isn't slobbering and chewing cud.
It's really a shame.....not much to save in this case...yes...it's terminal. For crying out loud in socialist/commie systems you're force what to buy through the process of elimination....meaning only products produced by lapdogs to Dear Leader are offered.
In a Libertarian system you can/or not buy any dang thing you please.
You are a cow...a glue sniffing cow that's had a lobotomy. Because it's simply impossible to link fascism w/Libertarianism with a healthy intellect.
Elmo_McGillicutty
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 11, 2012
There is no evidence and there is no tipping point. This is not science. This is political propaganda. Liberals have perverted science like everything else they get involved with. Freedom, education, justice, government and culture have all been perverted by liberals. Their goal is to destroy the human spirit. That's the plain simple truth. Elmo
Vendicar_Decarian
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2012
"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

"You are a walking far Left bumpersticker." - Tewk

Fascism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Fascism.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2012
"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

"You are a walking far Left bumpersticker." - Tewk

Fascism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Fascism.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2012
In the Socialist nation that I live in, there are no meaningful restrictions on what I can purchase.

Tewk is quite delusional.

"For crying out loud in socialist/commie systems you're force what to buy through the process of elimination....meaning only products produced by lapdogs to Dear Leader are offered." - Tewk

Now there are restrictions on what some nations like Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc. can purchase. But not because of socialism. But because America has an economic blockade of those nations and has done it's best to force other nations to comply with it's economic brutality.

America is a Corporate slave state, and is rapidly becoming a Fascist slave state.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2012
Like Drugs, Child labour, Child pornography, abortion, prostitution, inside information on stock trades, terrorist weapons, judges, politicians, jury testimony, etc. etc. etc.

As some of my Libertarian acquaintances have said. If the child is willing it can't be claimed to be illegal.


"In a Libertarian system you can/or not buy any dang thing you please." - Tewk

How about Child labor?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2012
Through your own comments, you just did.

"Because it's simply impossible to link fascism w/Libertarianism" - Tewk

Fascism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Corporatism

Libertarianism = Fascism.

It is all very clear.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2012
Another one of ParkerTard's sock puppets.
member since June 11, 2012, 12:24 am - the time of the post.

"There is no evidence and there is no tipping point. This is not science" - ElmoParkerTard

Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system

"We critically evaluate potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system under anthropogenic forcing, drawing on the pertinent literature and a recent international workshop to compile a short list, and we assess where their tipping points lie." - PNAS Nov. 21, 2007

http://www.pnas.o...86.short

ParkerTard is mentally diseased.
slayerwulfe
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2012
life will always find a way on this blue and green dirt ball. 90% of all life that existed is now extinct life will find a way. i'm glad these scientist that are getting their share of the 4 million were not around for the lizard extinction, don't want them to P themselves.
FastEddy
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 11, 2012
One thing for sure: never in the history of science, in the history of mankind, in the history of the world, has increasing taxes and subsidizing any grants ever, ever changed the weather.
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (7) Jun 12, 2012
Sub: Utthista- Wake-up- Sensitive Index
Basic concepts of Environment, Earth Planet, Life Support are not evolved as Scientists move away from Nature and Philosophy. Obviously, the avowed goals are wrong. At this rate Where does Science end up ?
Mike_Massen
1.8 / 5 (10) Jun 12, 2012
FastEddy stated the obvious non sequitir but missed so much with
One thing for sure: never in the history of science, in the history of mankind, in the history of the world, has increasing taxes and subsidizing any grants ever, ever changed the weather.
Yeah well, so what !

Your above statement also applies to smart phones, cancer cures, 3D printing, internet & especially so to satellites.

Note: We CAN actually put up satellites.

More corporations & countries are able to put up more hardware. We can already put up nuclear reactors, one has gone to Jupiter.

Dont you think its feasible that not only can satellites gather rather more data of all sorts that it is also conceivable satellites could be put in orbit to moderate certain aspects of weather, such as probabilistic beginnings of storm fronts either by injecting energy or dropping chemicals to dissipate the early part of the chaotic start of a cyclone or hurricane etc ?

Even high flying drones might do that too !
Mike_Massen
1.8 / 5 (10) Jun 12, 2012
vidyunmaya waffled prosaically with
At this rate Where does Science end up ?
Science is "The disciplined acquisition of knowledge"

Where is your discipline, in the arts perhaps, nothing wrong with that but is it relevant here vidyunmaya as clearly it is the use and misuse of knowledge (Science) that is the issue - are you in a position to moderate that implementation and influence the politicians and entrepreneurs to use this knowledge which we have toiled over rather more wisely than those that have gone before ?
Howhot
5 / 5 (3) Jun 12, 2012
Furthermore, since electrically-powered trucks and trains need large amounts of ... Electricity


Trucks, Trains, and Jets need to be run exclusively on Bio-fuels. They are carbon neutral and pack a lot of green energy per mass volume.
tpb
not rated yet Jun 13, 2012
If there were a trillion people on Earth, nevermind how they'd live, but they'd make about 1000 PPM CO2 per year just by breathing, and you'd need to artificially recycle 998 PPM worth of that per year in order to maintain stable atmosphere...

0.1ppm/billion people = 100ppm/trillion people, assuming your 0.1ppm/billion is correct.