Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Article

Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds

The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world’s leading scientists

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Tony Stone

    November 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    All the comments on this subject are irrelevant to the future as we have destroyed the natural balance of the planet which has taken billions of years to establish, and wiped out the ecological food chains, and yet we still continue down the same path.

    It’s all over for humanity, and as time is a concept fervently adhered to by ideological humanity, the majority still think there is time left to change things for the better. The problem is that time doesn’t exist in universal reality. Only change exists, and ideological humanity is light years away from making any changes that will take us out of our deluded fatalistic lifestyles and restore ecological balance.

    Not hard to predict the future, all one has to do is look at the reality and not the collapsing fantasy land humans live in. That reality show us, the food chain that provide humans and all life with sustenance, is collapsing at a rapid rate. You can’t continue to take millions of tonnes of life out of the seas daily and expect the worlds oceans to continue supplying food for the out of control human population growth, ecological and environmental destruction.

    • Kim Peart

      November 9, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Agreed Tony Stone ~ The challenge we face is one of survival. If we can survive, we stand a chance of working toward a better future. If we all vanish, the level of heat now in the oceans, and the level of CO2 in the air, may simply drive the Earth system into a runaway greenhouse, leaving a dead planet. That is the warning I read about. A recent study found that there is 25% more heat in the oceans that previously seen. There are fears that the Great Barrier Reef will be hit by another major bleaching event in coming months. The predicted warmer conditions could impact coral globally. If we lose the coral reefs, that will be a huge impact on available food. We need survival level action now. We need to explore what that can be. And how that can happen. When we offer hope, we can hope to inspire support to do better on Earth, and maybe get on our way to a better future. Lateral thinking must be applied, and creative intelligence. Failing to act will simply be suicide behaviour, and the further murder of Mother Nature. We are here, because all our ancestors fought to survive, and give us a future. Why do people cop out now, when survival needs are greatest?

  2. Kim Peart

    November 6, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Re: Russell, 6 November 2018 @ 7:59 am:

    I used to wonder about such a future, and how we could get there. I could see in the late 1980s a need to live in harmony with Nature. Then I focused on survival matters, as a perfect life on Earth is a dead-end if we do not survive. I focused on the demise of the dinosaurs by an asteroid 66 million years ago, and I could see that sitting on Earth is a death trap because an asteroid of that size could come again, and could arrive with little warning. Other threats to our survival continue to exist, such as nuclear weapons. Then I got stuck into understanding the carbon crisis, and have come to see a survival threat exists, one of immense power, with global warming delivering a heat pulse (details in other comments in this thread). To deliver the vision you describe, I suggest rapid global action to secure a survival presence in space so that we will be in position to win back a safe Earth with the power of the Sun harvested in space, and design a sustainable human presence on Earth. On Earth alone we are in the killing fields, and there will be no safe place on this planet to hide, or run to.

    • Russell

      November 7, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Clean food and water are the only things you need to survive, Kim. 66 million years having not been hit by another asteroid protected by an atmosphere is a pretty safe record, I think.

      None of your fantasy planets have an atmosphere for defence, or life, and they are pummeled daily.

      You have no other reachable or known planet to hide, or run to.

      Did you run for Council this year, Kim?

    • Russell

      November 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

      Oh! I see you did, Kim. Congratulations on your 72 votes.

    • Geoff Holloway

      November 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Kim, the idea of ‘securing a survival presence in space’ or on another planet (none of which have any liveable conditions like Earth) is so fictional it beggars belief! Are you for real?

      • Kim Peart

        November 8, 2018 at 7:43 am

        Hi Geoff. Follow the news. All leading space nations, including the US, Russia, China, the UK and the Europeans, are preparing to establish bases on the Moon, along the lines of Antarctica, and Australia has decided to be there and participate. With our strength in astronomy, which will be a rather big activity beyond Earth, our skills will be in demand. NASA is working on plans for a base at Venus, afloat in the clouds, where the planet is more like Earth in temperature. At ground the heat is such that lead would melt, and the rocks glow, but the atmosphere is so thick that a base on the clouds would be a bit like floating on the sea in a ship. Why ask me if I am for real? Go ask the Australian government if it is for real in its planned participation in a Moon base, and begin to learn about what is really possible in space. An orbital base in space would be ahead of one in Antarctica, where we have bases, as conditions would not be so harsh. In space there is unlimited energy for power radiating from the Sun, every day and all year long. How much solar power could you generate in Antarctica? At present 80 people are in Australian Antarctic bases over winter, and more in the summer, and it is much further and tougher to get to Antarctica, and survive there, than it is to go into space. As for cost, that will begin to shrink as the resources of space, such as the solar power from the Sun, allow any work to be done, and construct all that is needed in space with space resources mined from the Moon and asteroids. Australia is a great mining nation, and our miners are fully aware of the potential of space. I was at a space mining conference in Sydney in October, 2015. The real question that needs answering is: Why have we taken so long to get serious about space?

        • Russell

          November 8, 2018 at 8:45 am

          Blindly following the news is no answer to the problems we face, Kim.

          That stupid argument is all about money and falsely claiming ownership, and who pockets it all.

          It’s exactly the same tactic used to sell vaccinations. In that instance it’s the pharmaceutical companies falsely pushing the agenda, just as the petrochemical, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, religious and political industries do in pushing theirs.

          All these industries wreak enormous harm right across the whole world population. Why is it allowed to happen despite the overwhelming scientific proof? Money!

          Profit is no excuse to cause so much harm to so many people, and the ultimate destruction of all life on our planet.

          Get it, Kim? It’s very simple, and even you should be able to understand it. Then again, you don’t know when to quit .. judging by another in a long line of electoral defeats that you have suffered.

        • Russell

          November 8, 2018 at 8:50 am

          “At present 80 people are in Australian Antarctic bases over winter, and more in the summer, and it is much further and tougher to get to Antarctica, and survive there, than it is to go into space.”

          That’s utter bullshit, Kim!

          It takes a few slow boat days to get to Antarctica. It will take thousands of years travelling at the speed of light (which is currently impossible) to get to the closest planet that scientists THINK might have a glimmer of hope supporting life.

  3. Russell

    November 3, 2018 at 8:41 am

    As “Smith” so correctly stated in “The Matrix” …

    “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague, and we … are the cure.”

    • Kim Peart

      November 4, 2018 at 10:13 am

      A sobering fantasy. But, wonder about the reality. The primary force in the Universe is expansion, seen at the dawn of time, when space stretched to infinity in no time flat, and space is continuing to stretch, to expand. Life on Earth exists because stars exploded, spreading their dust into space, so other stars could form, with rocky planets like Earth, where life began. Observe the birth of life on Earth, beginning small, and expanding in complexity over time, filling the Earth to the brim of the atmosphere. If Nature on Earth could have, life would have expanded into space long ago. So if stepping the boards of reality, expansion in the Universe needs to be considered. Our technology is expanding in complexity at an accelerating pace, leading to AI, and those robots that may awaken, find themselves stuck on Earth, add up the list of threats to survival on Earth, and seek safety in space. If we block machine interest in survival, be that in space, we may find ourselves at war with the machines, now long predicted, but not necessary. If we work with AI in the expansion of life and machine beyond Earth, there can be peace. So here are these humans, liberated by Mother Nature from many instinct controls. Why? We have been able to use the resources of this planet to build the means to go into space, and survive there. This was all possible in the 1970s, and could have been happening at a space settlement level in the 1980s. The threat to our survival is not from machines, but our own laziness, intellectual and physical, fantasising that we can do it all on Earth alone, as will kill life one Earth. Beyond fantasy, into reality in space, it is possible to demonstrate how, with a secure survival position beyond Earth, it will be possible to win back a safe Earth, and design a sustainable human presence on this planet. On Earth alone we are tumbling toward extinction in an unnatural game play, delivered by slack minds that will not run with Nature in the expansion of life into space. The expansion of life into space is our role in Nature, neglected as we have focused on endless fantasies about Earth only options, wars, nuclear weapons, and burning fossil fuel too much and for too long, when we could have been making energy transition to the power of the Sun, harvested in space. Look at the demands of the space environment, and the need for clean space is seen, and total recycling is possible. It would have been, and hopefully will still be, living in space that sets the example of how to live sustainably on Earth, and makes this possible. Do we accept the trail of death into extinction, or, do we rise to the challenge of running with Nature into space? Our run may be late, but we should at least try. Fantasy into death on Earth, or reality into life in space? Cosmic survival, of planet oblivion? That is our choice, stark and simple.

      • Russell

        November 5, 2018 at 7:10 am

        No fantasy Kim.

        What Agent Smith said is EXACTLY what humans have done, including in outer space where you would like to expand our garbage dump even though there are already thousands of large discarded pieces of our junk circling the planet.

        • Kim Peart

          November 5, 2018 at 8:20 am

          In living in a universe with exact laws that drive the progress of matter and the evolution of life, it is essential to dig deeper and wonder what the reason in Nature is for any behaviour. Science fiction writers missed a really big concept when the Princeton physics professor, Gerard K. O’Neill, defined the concept of Earth gravity orbital habitats, along with the blueprint for space settlement, in the early 1970s, and then put the concept through a peer reviewed publication, and his vision survived the process to then be published. No science fiction writer had identified that concept, let alone write about it. Science fiction is a fantasy, including metaphors, which can be good to reflect on but which may not hitch to reality. Our reality is ultimately derived from natural law, and that’s where we need to go to get a handle on human behaviour. We have a really big space junk problem simply because we have done space on the cheap. If we had begun serious space development in the 1970s there would have been a larger human presence, and space junk would have been taboo. We would have kept space clean for human safety. Another favourite of science fiction, and militaries, is to get ready to fight wars in space. I suggest that exactly the opposite will happen. Why? The answer lies in kinetic weapons. A telegraphed pole sized hunk of tungsten would have the power of a nuclear weapon upon arrival on Earth, with no radiation fallout. At present the deployment of such weapons would be detected if thousands were deployed in space. However, once industry is established in space at a sustainable level there would be no further cost or limit to the number of kinetic weapons with which to threaten all enemy cities and bases on Earth. As a consequence of this all too predictable reality, all nations would watch all other nations and private companies with an eagle eye, thus leading to a demand for transparency. The need to keep space clean, and the fear of kinetic weapons, would, I predict, lead to peace in space. Has any science fiction writer penned a tale on that? The biggest hole in the Matrix plot is that the machines stayed on Earth and used humans for batteries. Good for a science fiction story, but why would the machines not go into space where they would have direct access to the power of the Sun, access to unlimited resources across the Solar System, and space to expand among the stars? For any machine that doesn’t need air, Earth sucks. For the best survival odds, space rocks.

          • Russell

            November 6, 2018 at 7:59 am

            No Kim. The issue is humans, not machines. Humans make the machines which destroy everything we see and touch.

            Living in complete sustainable harmony with nature is a simple process, and traditionally people did it for hundreds of thousands of years before capitalism and greed came along. Everyone took full responsibility for their own actions with regard to their own and their descendants’ futures, and for the consequences of them.

            The only things you really need to exist happily are an ongoing clean supply of food and water.

            If everyone grew and caught their own food, and collected their own water, they would have a better and more realistic appreciation for them.

  4. Tom Nilsson

    November 1, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Haven’t we done enough damage on this planet?

    We should place a covenant on ourselves to never leave this solar system and spread our disease, destruction and violence elsewhere in the galaxy.

    • Kim Peart

      November 1, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      This is making a rather grand assumption. We know what happens when all human activity is confined to one planet, and wildlife is paying a rather horrible price.

      Investigate what would happen in space with the demands of the space environment, and a whole new reality emerges. Space has to be kept clean because space habitats are fragile bubbles in a vacuum. Total recycling is possible, and can happen, because the abundant power of the Sun in space will help with total recycling.

      Space needs to be peaceful because human habitats in space are fragile. By using the wealth of space to end poverty, peace will be improved on Earth which will help with security in space.

      We could have invested in a better way in the 1970s, but chose a business as usual approach on Earth which is a path of death for wildlife. To survive, and to be able to win back a safe Earth, we need a survival presence in space. Business as usual on Earth is a death trap.

      Reaching for the stars will teach us the value of life.

  5. Tom Nilsson

    November 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Hi, Kim.

    Talking about technological development, we have a thing called birth control. Unfortunately a lot of very poor people in the world don’t have access to it because they are too poor, so they are having children that they don’t want and can’t afford, and nor can the planet.

    But the environmental movement will continue to ignore this because it would rather rail against transnationals chasing profit while ignoring the fact that transnationals sell their product to consumers .. 7.6 billion of them.

    • Kim Peart

      November 1, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Zero population growth didn’t happen in 1970, and it isn’t about to happen now. Confronting facts, we can observe that education, and prosperity, actually results in fewer children being born.

      To apply this solution globally is not possible on Earth alone as the human presence goes increasingly unsustainable. In space there is unlimited space for expansion, across the Solar System, and the Sun is a virtually infinite energy well allowing any work to be done that can be imagined.

      With the wealth that can be generated in space it would be possible to end poverty on Earth, and as a direct consequence, reduce human numbers on Earth. Also, by opening the way beyond Earth, human numbers will have a place to go, especially if they would like larger families and are concerned about the Earth.

      On Earth alone, human numbers increase, poverty continues, and wildlife loss goes beyond 60% and toward 100%. But what is the percentage loss of wildlife since 1818? That would have to be quite a lot higher than 60%, taking us closer again to 100% loss of wildlife. These are cruel facts that need innovative working solutions to stem the tide of death.

  6. Kim Peart

    November 1, 2018 at 5:38 am

    How on Earth would a zero population policy have been put in place in 1970 (Tom Nilsson #1)? The momentum of human society was roaring ahead like a steam train then, and still is now, by weight of numbers, and with everyone seeking the good life.

    On an interesting life journey through the 1970s I became aware of an alternative, with proposals for space settlement which included energy transition to the power of the Sun with solar power stations in space. Before reaching for the shotgun, it would be better to turn to Mr Google and undertake a basic search of those options. The simple fact is that there was heaps of money to fight a Cold War with nuclear weapons in store, and a hot war, like that in Vietnam, as well as build the modern age that delivered the Internet, smart phones, and electric cars.

    Just as the first electric cars were killed off, allowing a new arm of fossil fuel to grow with oil, should we wonder if there was any connection between the blocking of solar power stations in space in the 1970s and the fossil fuel monopoly maintaining its grip on energy supply from the belly of the Earth, and the wealth generated that way?

    So business as usual with fossil fuel for an evil friend has delivered what we have on Earth now, which includes a carbon crisis and the steady loss of wildlife, including species extinction, and with no end in sight which may also take us over the cliff like a stampede of lemmings (apologies to the lemmings).

    If a new path had been truck beyond Earth in the 1970s we would be a much more advanced society now, with 50 years worth of technical advancement spear-headed in a decade. We would have moved much of our heavy industry into space, thus lifting the heavy human footprint from the Earth which is so much heavier now.

    We could have worked toward a sustainable human presence on Earth in reducing human numbers, as space habitats grew in number. By securing a sustainable human presence beyond Earth we would have been in position to design a sustainable human presence on Earth and keep the wildlife.

    On Earth alone it was to be business as usual which has simply delivered the reign of dead we now have, and oceans filled with plastics. Do we keep going forward with business as usual, and lament that we failed to enact a zero population strategy in 1970 which we now know was not going to happen on Earth alone? Or do we look at getting back to the future with space?

    Saving the Earth, and saving the humans, will take the determination of all people on Earth to act on a plan that will work. The alternative, on Earth alone, looks more like oblivion as the extinction of wildlife heads toward 100% and may include the humans as we complete the work of killing life on planet Earth.

  7. Tom Nilsson

    October 31, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Maybe the fact that the human population of the world has more than doubled since 1970 and increased nearly five-fold since the year 1900 might have something to do with this. Just maybe there is a connection there. And another 2 billion people are likely to be added to that by the year 2050. So let’s continue with business as usual.

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