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.

Rare Earth Hypothesis: Why intelligent life is rare in the Universe

Wiki has an article about the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which argues that the origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently, human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical … 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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Why we might not go extinct from fossil fuel emissions

Peak Fossils means Peak Emissions and the lowest to medium IPCC projections at worst This is an overview, other posts in this category contain peer-reviewed papers that show why this is true.  The heart of the problem is that the … Continue reading

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Peak Coal already happened or likely soon, so worst IPCC scenarios may never happen

[ The good news is that The IPCC has greatly exaggerated the amount of coal reserves we actually have The scientists below find that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has greatly exaggerated coal reserves, so the IPCC scenario … Continue reading

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20% of Invertebrate species threatened with extinction.

Brendan Borrell. Sep 3, 2012. One Fifth of Invertebrate Species at Risk of Extinction. Freshwater snails and reef-building corals are among the threatened groups. Nature & Scientific American. One in five of the world’s invertebrate species are threatened with extinction, … Continue reading

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