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"when people start talking about making policymakers aware of the problem in the expectation that something will actually be done about it, I can't take that seriously at all"

Well, no - BUT it might lead to the researchers having their emails hacked and finding dead animals left on their doorstep - which the media and we "media consumers" seemt to find entertaining. So there's a bright side!


Of course the policymakers don't care (or really anyone else for that matter) about the on-going Holocene extinction. Well, not to any degree greater than how it will affect humans and the prospects for the Human Imperative you described in a prior post.

That's the problem... current society promulgates a purely anthropocentric viewpoint on the world. And it's been costing us bigtime. Who knows how many more species can be lost out of the biotic web until it falls apart completely.


John D

I'm wondering if the sudden increase in invasive species due to globalization is also as large a problem as loss of biodiversity. Asian stinkbugs, giant prawn, ash borers, kudzu and carp are wreaking havoc on our biosystems in the US.


I think you have answered the question of why things will not change and the environment will continue to go down the tube...the economy is all that matters. And what is the economy?... CAPITALISM. Capital and the accumulation of it are all that we strive for. This means anything and everything will be commercialized, commodified, and harvested until the fields are barren, the forests are denuded, and the oceans trawled empty. Our ethos is based on this never-ending exploitation, not the environment. We don't appreciate and respect the fact that the very foundation of life is based on having a healthy ecosystem, rather we base it on the growth of profit and a healthy balance sheet. $$$ is our God and from it all else springs.


What sad fucking state of affairs.


The best thing to do would be to tell people the truth on the widest possible scale so people can prepare themselves mentally and emotionally. Or would that be a bad thing?

Dave Cohen


Why would that be a bad thing? After all, that's what I'm doing.

Only a few people are going to listen in any case.

And I should warn you ahead of time -- you're not going to be very popular among normal folks.

-- Dave


I just came back from picking up some produce at the local organic co-op in hopes of improving my health. On the other hand, I wonder why I bother. I'm in Pennsylvania, where they are fracking all around me (I can hear the sound of machinery as I type).

We had the warmest winter in ages, and last year we had 50-yr, 100-yr and 500-yr floods all at once. I still haven't recovered and still don't have the money to fix some of the damage. The entire area is depressed, except for the gas workers, and they are the only ones who can afford the jacked-up rents.

So while things are in chaos locally, I read about the demise of the rest of the planet and I am not surprised. Most people in this world are too stupid, too greedy, too happy to purposely remain ignorant, and too busy just trying to survive. It will not get better, it will only get worse. What a shame--this planet was paradise.


Oh c'mon, you guys...when we can build a powerful enough computer, filled with enough useless data such as which muffin I ate for breakfast (mmmm, yummy) or what TV show I "like", our technology will be so advanced that the machine will figure it out for us. In the meantime, I hear there's a new iphone w/ a larger screen coming out! You all think too much.




Or why not watch the NBA playoffs? Heat are down 2-1 to the Pacers (I couldn't make that up), OKC has Kobe and the Lakers down 2-0, and the Spurs are up over the Clippers 2-0. No need to think at all! Just ignore everything and partake in the digital soma that is the NBA playoffs.


A quick glance at the headlines and I am Reaffirmed of our demise. The top headline on Google News is this:

"Facebook IPO: A look at early investors who sold shares in the social network"

The real world disintegrates as billions of humans waste time online posting idiotic, useless information, but it must be important since Obummer touted it in his 2012 Dysfunctional State of the Union.

We live in our own detached, narcissistic world still transfixed and 'lit up by the American Hologram' which is just as all-pervasive and omnipresent as when Bageant wrote the essay.


When I read that something, like, uhm, mass extinction might happen 240 years from now, my only thought was why did they bother writing this paper.

If the shite ain't happening in the next 20 nanoseconds, it does not concern me/us. Sure, I'll/we'll be gone and it will be somebody else's problem - people who I'll never know. Screw them.

But the punch line was worth it: policy makers should recognise the danger and should react responsibly.

Scientists as comedians. Entertainment never stops in the modern world.


One word: Easter Island.

Sorry, that's two words.

Mike Roberts

Dave, no-one cares about this stuff. Of course, when I say "no-one", I mean "effectively no-one". I care, you care, a few others care. But, effectively, no-one will care until it bites them on the butt. I've tried to drive this sort of message with my family. They don't care. That's hard to take but if I can't instil my own family with some concern about what we're doing to our own habitat, I have no chance with others. I can only hope (sorry, had to use that word) that others might take the same journey that I did (a dozen years ago, I didn't care, either) as our environment implodes. What then would happen with that realisation, I have no idea.

By the way, I don't think there is any harm in humans caring more about humans than other species. The problem is that they really don't know that what's good for them is good for our ecosystem.

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