Category Archives: Extinction

Our system is so interdependent that a electromagnetic pulse from the sun or nuclear weapon that knocks out the grid also knocks out transportation and the financial system. Oil decline will eventually lead to the end of transportation and fall of civilization as I explain in my book “When Trucks stop running: Energy and the Future of Transportation (Springer 2016). When you add in declining resources (especially phosphorous which is essential for agriculture), corrosion of infrastructure, climate change caused food reduction and rising oceans plus all the other factors in decline and collapse, it wouldn’t take much to turn a gradual into a fast collapse. My gut feeling is that there will be a fast crash that would take years at worst (EMP or nuclear war), and decade(s) at best. Certainly not centuries.

Scientific American: Peak oil and coal may keep catastrophic climate change in check

[ Since conventional oil, 90% of supply, peaked in 2005-6 we’ve been on a plateau.  Since the rate of conventional oil decline exponentially decreasing, and population is still exponentially increasing, it is unlikely unconventional oil like shale “fracked” oil, tar … Continue reading

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Humans driving species to extinction 1,000 times the natural rate

[ According to a paper published in Science the current rates of extinction are 1000 times the background rate. This estimate is higher than previous estimates is due to a more sophisticated analysis. Other extinction news: 2017-1-18 World’s primates facing … Continue reading

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Dennis Coyne predicts world coal production peak in 2025-2030

See Coyne’s article at: Dennis Coyne. March 11, 2016. Coal Shock Model. peakoilbarrel.com [ The IPCC has not invited geologists to estimate fossil reserves, and sides with the “no limits to growth” economists.  The IPCC believes that too expensive or … Continue reading

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E. O. Wilson to save humanity from extinction, get rid of religion

[ Below is an excerpt, out of order, from New Scientist’s 21 Jan 2015 interview with E.O. Wilson “Religious faith is dragging us down“. The extinctions we cause will kill us too, says the sociobiology pioneer – the best thing … Continue reading

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Peak fossil fuels limits climate change to low-to-medium outcomes in IPCC report

Excerpts from 24 page:  Höök, M., Tang, X. 2013. Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change: a review. Energy Policy, 52: 797-809 Conclusion of paper: Fossil fuel constraints will limit anthropogenic climate impact towards the low-medium outcomes presented by … Continue reading

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Earth’s Magnetic Flips May Have Triggered Mass Extinctions

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/06/10/earths-magnetic-flips-may-triggered-mass-extinctions/#.U5oyJ41dVXu Earth’s Magnetic Flips May Have Triggered Mass Extinctions At several times in Earth’s history, mass extinctions have come close to wiping life out altogether. The reasons for these catastrophes are still unclear – they’ve been blamed on everything from asteroid impacts to cosmic … Continue reading

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Without a Trace ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert

Review by Al Gore Feb 10, 2014. New York Times. Over the past decade, Elizabeth Kolbert has established herself as one of our very best science writers. She has developed a distinctive and eloquent voice of conscience on issues arising … Continue reading

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People are devouring the earth: 83% of land, 60% freshwater runoff, 40% of plants, 35% of productivity of oceanic shelf, 98% of land that can grow rice, wheat, corn

Hillary Mayell. October 25, 2002. Human “Footprint” Seen on 83 Percent of Earth’s Land. National Geographic News. There is little debate in scientific circles about the importance of human influence on ecosystems. According to scientists’ reports: Humans use 83% of … Continue reading

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We’ve taken over too much of the planet for pasture and crops

In the article “Primeval planet: What if humans had never existed?” by Christopher Kemp in NewScientist, these charts of increasing intensity of pasture and crop land from 5000 BC (18,000,000 population) until 2000 (6,150,000,000 people) show that humans are laying … Continue reading

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Phytoplankton have declined 40%: they provide food and oxygen for all creatures on Earth

This article from NewScientist discusses how phytoplankton are disappearing — and they provide half of the food animals both in the ocean and on land depend on, plus produce a great deal of the oxygen we breathe. Throw in overfishing, … Continue reading

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