Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are We Riding Out The Sixth Mass Extinction?

The oceans are rising up
A message is being generated from many, many different origins of information.

The message now being generated is that the Sixth Mass Extinction is strongly under way, furthermore, we are all on the ship of petroleum-civilization that is currently going down.

Regular readers know that the Ecocosmology Blog and Dredd Blog have mentioned that particular species of scientific data for years now (e.g. The Damage Cannot Be Undone?-2009, Shadow of Time Governs The Earth-2009, What Do You Mean - World Civilization?-2009, Confusing "Civilization" With "Species"-2010, Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future-2010, Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4).

This debate and discussion is spreading around the Internet:
The point is simply this: you are welcome to analyse the scientific evidence for yourself and make your own assessment of the timeframe and the degree of severity of the threat. Perhaps human extinction will not occur until next century. But whether we define ‘near term’ as 2030, 2040 or even next century, human extinction is now a distinct possibility. And after 200,000 years of our species, calling this ‘near term’ seems reasonable.

So is near term human extinction inevitable?

In my view, human extinction is the most likely outcome. But not simply because we are inflicting too many insults on the planetary environment. Extinction is inevitable because of human fear and, specifically, unconscious fear: The fear in ourselves and others that is not experienced consciously but which often drives three capacities that are vitally important in any context: the focus of our attention, our capacity to adequately analyse the evidence (if we get our attention focused on it) and our behaviour in response to this analysis. For example, if you do not know that your fear is making you screen out unpalatable information, then you won’t even notice that you have turned your attention elsewhere and have now forgotten what you just read. Or your fear might prevent you adequately analysing the evidence and/or responding intelligently to it. See ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

So, if you are one of the people still reading this article, you are probably less frightened than most people. The others gave up before they got to this paragraph. So let me now tell you the primary problem with the fear. It distorts the mental focus, capacity for analysis and the behaviour of national elites, that is, corporate owners and their political, military, media, bureaucratic, academic and judicial lackeys.
(Why is Near Term Human Extinction Inevitable?, or here or here). There are scores of papers and books that inform us of the dangers we face:
The Current Mass Extinction:

Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. (For details see links below.)

Scroll Down For Hundreds Of Links:

This website began on April 22, 1998 with the posting of the article below. (The article is still here to provide historical context.) Following the article are more than 300 links to recent authoritative reports and updates about the current mass extinction. New articles are added regularly. (Most recent update December 13, 2014.)
(Mass Extinction Underway, emphasis added). There is no doubt in the consensus of scientists that current human civilization faces what all others before it have faced:
Historically, self-destruction is the common denominator for past human civilization, culture, and society:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). As regular readers know, I have posted Sigmund Freud's writings where he indicated that psychoanalysis of groups, including civilization itself, would not prove unproductive ...
(Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch - 4). The difference is that we humans ourselves are causing this the Sixth Mass Extinction.

The tenets of Ecocosmology would have us avoid this predicament by our always having carefully taken care of the Earth (Tenet Three Basics).

How do you say ...

1 comment:

Randy said...

"The Totten Glacier [Eastern Antarctic Ice Shelf] alone contains an amount of ice equivalent to 6 metres [~20 ft.] of global sea level rise."

It was thought not to be melting until very recently (link)