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Chris in Chicago

Every problem we face from environmental to economic can be traced to one cause that nobody seems to want to touch.


It's like the third rail in our society and around the world.The earth has a certain amount of humans it can handle and when you go over it it's the same as when the population of deer in a given area
exceed it's ability to sustain them. Starvation.

The thing is,humans like to think were so smart,but they can't come to grips with such a basic concept.

Why is that?


Yep, unfortunately I have to agree: it ain't gonna happen voluntarily. Like Chris in Chicago, all I can see in the chart above is war and mass starvation. Once that happens, we'll achieve equalibrium all right. Who knows, maybe it will be in time to save the fish.

I've been in the 'sustainability' business for over 10 years now and I can assure you that NONE of my clients have ever been willing to modify their behavioral patterns because it was 'the right thing to do.' We had to use 'return on investment' to sell the green revolution and gave them third party verification systems so they could brag about it, but in the end, it won't do much good.

As JM Greer once wrote to a commentor on his blog: 'hope you like camping.'

Edward  Boyle

I just hate hearing about the environment.It makes me feel so totally helpless. All that methane stuff and now this. PO I can accept. So what about a massive die off due to lack of fuels but like extinction of all life and like totally inevitable really sucks. This sounds like the meteorite in Armageddon/Deep Impact. Everybody stick your head between your legs and kiss your a** goodbye. I pray for a miracle and then go buy an end time bomb from Dr. Strangelove to speed it all up and to save something for the cockroaches in the hope at least they will evolve back to intelligent life.


As Oppenheimer thought upon seeing the bomb tested:

"...now I am become Death [Shiva], the destroyer of worlds..."

Exact quote from Bhagavad Gita:


If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty one...
I am become Death,
The shatterer of Worlds.


This should be the level of the awe we are feeling about all this but we just muddle through unable to do anything and it just gets worse every day. This discovery is certainly on a par or worse than the discovery that CFCs were destroying the ozone layer which would also bring about a quick end to life on earth. Industrial life seems to be the culprit. Humanity itself is not evil. I only hope there is a God and that he means well by us. I just can't take all this guilt on me. The burden is too much to bear. This is
the obvious root of the denial noted by the noted bloggers.

Chris in Chicago

I have seen the same thing as you mention JB about sustainability. I am a residential rehabber and have read,watched,heard and talked to manufacturers who are all pushing green products and energy efficiency,but i see no interest in it at the residential level outher than a few wealthy people who are concerned about the environment and don't care about how much they spend and wont get back.

Realisticly though,if you are just getting by,you can't expect the average person to throw tens of thousands of dollars into there home to make it energy efficient that they are not going to recoup.

Robert H

There is a more immediate and stunning, perhaps terrifying, concern about the destruction of the ocean's phytoplankton. Close to half of the Earth's atmospheric oxygen is produced by phytoplankton. How long can you hold your breath?

Guy Archer

Paul Krugman wrote: "If you want to understand opposition to climate action, follow the money. The economy as a whole wouldn’t be significantly hurt if we put a price on carbon, but certain industries — above all, the coal and oil industries — would. And those industries have mounted a huge disinformation campaign to protect their bottom lines." Do you disagree? The U. S. tax code has for many years promoted business and industry with a variety of tax dodges. Now we urgently need tax incentives to save the planet!


This is what I think:

Anyone (like the economist/magical thinker McArdle) who doesn't realize that if true it means DOOM, capital letters, serious problems staying alive DOOM, is utterly ignorant that we live on an ocean planet, and is ignorant about basic biology and ecology. A decline of 40% of phytoplankton will noticeably affect the ability of humans to survive on this planet.

I think more research is needed right now, and we need to see if other people back up this result. To me, so far this study is bringing more questions than answers. If true, disaster. But I'm not going to accept one paper as absolute proof. That's not scientific illiteracy; that's a recognition that science requires confirmation.

Still, even if it's not nearly as bad, we need to change our approach to the oceans drastically, and yesterday. This is not a joke, or just another piece of bad news. This is the bell tolling.

Jonny Mnemonic

Hate to be a doomsday guy, but I don't see us fixing this. We lost 40% of the phytoplankton in the last 60 years. But the trend is accelerating, so I'm guessing 40 years left before the other 60% are gone. Long before that we will see the food chain breaking down. In fact, we probably already are - that would explain the waves of large numbers of sea mammals washing ashore dead of starvation. That's a sign that the food chain is compromised and deteriorating rapidly, top to bottom. Human civilization may not have longer than 2 or 3 decades left, and that's nowhere near long enough to address this problem in time to make a difference. Game over, man. Prepare yourselves for rioting, a breakdown in law and order, loss of services and utilities, anarchy, starvation and cannibalism. Got kids? That's their future. Younger than 40? That's probably YOUR future too. On the plus side, we won't need to worry much about Social Security or Medicare running out - the human race is going to run out first.

Bustin J

Yes, the only solution is the hardest. You've got to rein in the fishermen. You've got to say, Global Warming is upon us, and your occupation is the first to go. Then you have to popularize living like its the 1940s. I would suggest sitting Justin Beiber down and having a serious talk. Likewise with Hollywood.

I think we'll have to force this change popularly. That means blocking roads with overturned cars- our own cars- and having a mini-Tahir square event outside every state capitol building.

I think the best we can hope for is a new priority for the US, its military used to unilaterally enforce an ecological set of laws. Global communism is another possibility.

Fantastical ideas. Change impossible without a mass global movement, a massive sea change in basic value systems.

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