Humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 'planetary boundaries'

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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:17 am

An international team of researchers says climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a "safe operating space."
Civilization has crossed four of nine so-called planetary boundaries as the result of human activity, according to a report published today in Science by the 18-member research team. Among them is Steve Carpenter, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology and the only U.S.-based researcher on the study.

The report, an update to previous studies, is titled "Planetary Boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet," and will be discussed next week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
It should be a wake-up call to policymakers that "we're running up to and beyond the biophysical boundaries that enable human civilization as we know it to exist," says Carpenter.
For the last 11,700 years until roughly 100 years ago, Earth had been in a "remarkably stable state," says Carpenter. During this time, known as the Holocene epoch, "everything important to civilization" has occurred. From the development of agriculture, to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, to the Industrial Revolution, the Holocene has been a good time for human endeavors.
But over the last century, some of the parameters that made the Holocene so hospitable have changed.



http://www.sciencecodex.com/humanity_has_exceeded_4_of_9_planetary_boundaries_according_to_researchers-148999

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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:28 am

Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists:


Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found.

Two major new studies by an international team of researchers have pinpointed the key factors that ensure a livable planet for humans, with stark results.

Of nine worldwide processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change and the high level of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the oceans due to fertiliser use.

Researchers spent five years identifying these core components of a planet suitable for human life, using the long-term average state of each measure to provide a baseline for the analysis.

They found that the changes of the last 60 years are unprecedented in the previous 10,000 years, a period in which the world has had a relatively stable climate and human civilisation has advanced significantly.

Carbon dioxide levels, at 395.5 parts per million, are at historic highs, while loss of biosphere integrity is resulting in species becoming extinct at a rate more than 100 times faster than the previous norm.



http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/15/rate-of-environmental-degradation-puts-life-on-earth-at-risk-say-scientists



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Post by nicko on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:55 am

Would any one agree that the rate of human reproduction on this planet is the cause of most of our concerns?
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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:02 pm

nicko wrote:Would any one agree that the rate of human reproduction on this planet is the cause of most of our concerns?

I think there is more to this than just the population rise Nicko, but yes it is a grave concen to some, but feel that for many they may say it is but just carry on with their lives doing little about this ( I do not mean you by this or others here, just many people in general just to clarify). Sadly I think it will go well beyond the tipping point where it will far too late before anyone wakes up and starts to do something about it.

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Post by nicko on Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:10 pm

Am I correct in thinking that the Roman Catholic Church still prohibits the use of contraception, although some of the more "enlightened" turn a blind eye?
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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:14 pm

nicko wrote:Am I correct in thinking that the Roman Catholic Church still prohibits the use of contraception,  although some of the more "enlightened" turn a blind eye?


It does still promote this Nicko.
To be honest this is where religions need to wake up tot he dangers here.

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Post by Ben Reilly on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:32 pm

Overpopulation is part of the problem, but I think there are ways that we could manage the current population we have better, or maybe one a bit bigger. We're not just a big population, we're a "big-living" population (at least in the West).

There are a few things that are cheaper than they should be -- living space, high-calorie food and clean drinking water. If the market were to price a luxurious 1,000-square-foot apartment for one person in a way that reflected its true cost (not just the cost to the consumer and owner, but to the environment as well), far more people would learn to live with 400 or 500 square feet of living space (and there are already plenty of people who do just fine with quite a bit less).

Food production is a huge one as far as environmental impact, obviously. And we have this ridiculous situation in which you can drive up to a restaurant and get more calories than your body needs for the entire day in one meal, which you might pay 15 minutes of your salary or less to obtain.

Lastly, the water Americans use to flush their toilets is cleaner than what a lot of Africans, Asians and South Americans get to drink.

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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:50 pm

so lets have a war...a nice big non nuclear nation trashing war....followed by a viscious epidemic

no? well something will get us sooner or later

environment
epidemic
meteor
whatever...

some will survive.....
some will survive long term


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Post by stardesk on Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:36 pm

Here you go, Brasidas. I've copied it from the other topic and pasted here, more apropriate, hey?

Hi folks. Having read some of the above I, as a bird watcher and nature lover, feel the need to comment on the rights to live and survive, ie:
Surely everything that exists has a right to that existance, basically because it exists in the first place. Just because we humans are aware of our own individuality as opposed to group/herd instincts, that doesn't give us the right to kill whatever we don't like. I believe that at the last count there are as many as 30,000,000 (thirty million) species of life on our planet, how desolate and boring it would be if we killed off eveything we didn't like.

But, sadly, we humans are an exception to the natural rule. We kill each other, not for food or territorial protection, but because someone somewhere believes in something different to ourselves. This is counter-productive to an advancement of all the human species. I know my comments may be seen as somewhat negative but I have to say we are an anomaly, we don't conform to that basic, natural rule, the natural scheme of things, we have placed ourselves over and above nature and think we can change it to suit ourselves, but as seen with places like the Amazon jungles, and other deforestation, the now rare species of fish, birds and animals, we are ruining the planet and will ultimately pay the price.

BTW, someone said in another topic about plants and trees communicating with each other, I believe it was some years ago when this was poved, that yes they do, there is some kind of signal between one plant/tree and another, so talking to your plants and flowers may not be so daft as it looks.

Footnote to Darkness' comment above: Brasidas may remember that some time ago I said the day would come when there's an outbreak of disease for which we have no cure, and what has happened? Ebola has killed thousands, and there will be many more yet.

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