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Earth's 'vital signs' worsening as humanity's impact deepens

24 Comments
By Patrick GALEY

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These consisted of "a significant carbon price", a global phase-out and ban of fossil fuels, and the development of strategic climate reserves such as restoring and maintaining carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.

That is all fine and good, but meaningless if only a few virtue-signalling Western countries do it. As usual, the article is long on describing problems and short on solutions.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Have fewer children. Start from there.

Give people tax breaks for not reproducing.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

But we're creating a huge amount of wealth today, tomorrow, who cares ...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

JimizoToday  12:36 pm JST

Give people tax breaks for not reproducing.

I doubt any government would say okay to not receiving those "precious taxes".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"have already crossed" a number of climate tipping points.

I think it's too late now too. It's only gonna get worse from here. All that for "greed is good".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s time for us to be shaken off the back of the Earth…

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It’s like the comedian George Carlin once said, “When the planet has had enough of people, it’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. “

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Its not till we cut down the last tree, catch the last fish,poison the last river that we’ll realize that you can’t eat money.

a native American saying

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Give people tax breaks for not reproducing.

I'm not sure about that. As childless people get older, it is other people's kids that will supply their food, health services, house repairs, etc. We still need children.

There are various estimates, but many predict that world population will peak at around 10 billion and then slowly drop. So perhaps we should worry less about population and focus more on how we manage the earth's resources.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don’t see the problem. If the Earth is like a human body, with vital signs, then what’s the problem with just exploiting it for money? It’s like when I wanted a new car, so I sold my left kidney for $10,000. When I need a car again, I’ll just sell another kidney, and another, and another, and so on.

I am a free-market economist by trade, by the way.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's the natural cycle of the world, get hot, get cold, get hot get cold. Accept

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

they found that 18 hit record highs or lows.

So which is bad?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Greenland and Antarctica both recently showed all-time low levels of ice mass

Really? Who kept track of these things before the dawn of mankind?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The rate of change is the problem

The global temperature is rising faster than ever in Earth's post-fireball history (the previous record-holder was 55 million years ago, when it took 10,000 years what it's taking only a few centuries now)

It's rising faster than Earth's flora and fauna could adjust - that's how mass extinctions happen (when the Earth's environment changes faster than organisms could adjust, like what happened with the dinosaurs - a large meteorite impact causes a big change quickly)

Everybody needs time to adjust

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The earth will be fine, these vital signs are measures mostly for humanity. In a few hundred million years someone else can have a go.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The earth will be fine

Well, depends on what happens. If too much C02 leads to runaway greenhouse effect, the Earth can become like Venus (where there is runaway greenhouse effect and the hottest planet in the solar system, hotter than Mercury closest to the sun, hotter than the gas giants with radioactive storms)

Do people consider Venus fine? After all, everything happened there naturally

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That is all fine and good, but meaningless if only a few virtue-signalling Western countries do it. As usual, the article is long on describing problems and short on solutions.

There isn’t much interest in solutions to match the level of hysteria generated by this group. There is a ready science based solution to the worlds energy problems that emits zero CO2. Nuclear power based on the science of some of the world’s greatest minds is the only way to produce the energy the world needs without having to reverse the gains in the number of human beings raised out of poverty. The Earth’s “vital signs” can return to normal with a huge nuclear energy push. Or the scientists can continue to advocate for limiting human freedom and more socialist control over human behavior. Politics.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As usual, the article is long on describing problems and short on solutions.

There are plenty of solutions. Just none that are palatable to conservatives and corporatists who make billions off of things staying the way they are. Just look at the opposition to everything from shutting down oil drilling to building wind farms. They don’t give two sh*ts about wildlife when they’re trying to drill in an arctic wildlife preserve, but suddenly they’re all devoted ornithologists, worried about all those poor birdies getting whacked, when someone tries to build a wind farm. Bring up reducing the use of coal in power plants and suddenly their hearts bleed for all the coal miners who might have to find a new job outside an utterly fossilized and increasingly irrelevant field that, one way or another, will go the way of the fletcher and the farrier.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ocus more on how we manage the earth's resources.

I garee. But in a world controlled by predatory capitalists whose first concern remains this term's profits, it's likely we'll just see the resource extractors and ilk continue to determine how resources are managed. See forests and seas for examples.

And given the increasing powers far rightists have and their belief that greed is good, and that compassion is a virtue, in their worldview virtues are a sign of weakness. And their belief that conservation is associated with something 'liberals' do, therefore a negative. Expect the planet to continue to be ravaged.

It's pretty hard to imagine the rulers in US, Russian and Chinese empires among others like Iran and Turkey snd former empires like France and the UK shifting away from predatory capitalism controlled by a handful of those born to wealth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Have fewer children. Start from there.

Give people tax breaks for not reproducing

I have some news for you. The total fertility rate of most nations, and especially the developed nations of the world is already well below replacement. Many of the world's most developed nations are facing population declines. China in particular is facing an epic reduction in its population in the coming decades. It is even worse in South Korea and Singapore. Even the US would see its population decline were it not for immigration from abroad. Among the three dozen OECD members I believe only France has a total fertility rate at or above 2.0 and I believe France's is right at 2.0, barely replacement. In another generation the world will see populations declining in most nations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's pretty hard to imagine the rulers in US, Russian and Chinese empires among others like Iran and Turkey snd former empires like France and the UK shifting away from predatory capitalism controlled by a handful of those born to wealth.

In case you haven't noticed, China has taken a lead in pollution reduction and zero carbon energy technologies. Why would they you ask? Primarily polluted cities and undrinkable water cast the CCP in a negative light and cause the public to resent them. The CCP is exquisitely sensitive to anything that could lead to social unrest and pollution is one of those things that could cause an upheaval that could threaten the CCPs grip on power.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are plenty of solutions. Just none that are palatable to conservatives and corporatists who make billions off of things staying the way they are. 

I think business are more flexible than you give them credit for. They are going to go where the demand is. In democracies it is the public at large that is resistant to change. Telling older people like myself with back and knee problems that I need to walk or bicycle places instead of drive isn't going to get listened to. And if our governments try to push this down our throats we are not going to have any part of it. Offer some solutions that don't make my home and working life more miserable or that cost me more. I dare you. Telling me I have to ride public transportation when I live 140 km from the nearest sizeable city is a complete laugh. We have a bus that runs twice a day three days a week and you expect me not to drive? Bull___ ! If the solutions are pie in the sky they are not going to have broad public acceptance, and stuff that works in the big city doesn't always work for outlying places like where I live. By the time the battery warmers deplete the batteries an electric car won't take me very many places in the winter where I live so spare me the foaming over electric vehicles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think business are more flexible than you give them credit for. They are going to go where the demand is. In democracies it is the public at large that is resistant to change. Telling older people like myself with back and knee problems that I need to walk or bicycle places instead of drive isn't going to get listened to. And if our governments try to push this down our throats we are not going to have any part of it. Offer some solutions that don't make my home and working life more miserable or that cost me more. I dare you. Telling me I have to ride public transportation when I live 140 km from the nearest sizeable city is a complete laugh. We have a bus that runs twice a day three days a week and you expect me not to drive? Bull___ ! If the solutions are pie in the sky they are not going to have broad public acceptance, and stuff that works in the big city doesn't always work for outlying places like where I live. By the time the battery warmers deplete the batteries an electric car won't take me very many places in the winter where I live so spare me the foaming over electric vehicles.

So. Let me get this straight. You're 'open to solutions', so long as those solutions do not inconvenience - or even change your life minutely - in any way? Then you aren't really open to solutions, are ya? If things are going to get better, people like you are going to have to accept that your way of life is built on systems that are no longer sustainable. Your home and working life are no longer sustainable. And yeah, did you ever stop and wonder WHY there isn't any public transit near you? It couldn't possibly be that the elderly have absolutely refused to grant the necessary funds to make public transit available on a wider scale?

*Offer some solutions that don't make my home and working life more miserable or that cost me more.*

Here it is. The 'no free lunch' crowd wants solutions for free. At the end of the day, THIS is the reason we're in the situation we're in - a level of self-entitlement, a 'fck you, I got mine' attitude that prioritizes your own personal, present comfort and convenience over the basic wellbeing of the generations that come after you. You know, the generations that are going to have to live with the consequences* of your selfishness. Because you'll be dead before you see the worst of it. So what do you care?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's the natural cycle of the world, get hot, get cold, get hot get cold. Accept

Previous cycles took millions of years while we experience a strong climate change in 50 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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