Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bantering with terms like "Mass Extinction"

"If the current actions contributing to a multifaceted degradation of the world's oceans aren't curbed, a mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming, an expert panel of scientists warns in an alarming new report." This is the opening paragraph in the story on Huffington Post that is linked to the title above.

Here is some more of that story:

"The scientific panel concluded that degeneration in the oceans is happening much faster than has been predicted, and that the combination of factors currently distressing the marine environment is contributing to the precise conditions that have been associated with all major extinctions in the Earth's history.
According to the report, three major factors have been present in the handful of mass extinctions that have occurred in the past: an increase of both hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen that creates "dead zones") in the oceans, warming and acidification. The panel warns that the combination of these factors will inevitably cause a mass marine extinction if swift action isn't taken to improve conditions."

So, I sit here and wonder how much more dire things have to get....before we wake-up. If I open up a news-site and read that a large asteroid has been detected on a collision course with Earth, due to arrive a year from now, will my day go on as previously planned? Maybe I will just short-out and act as if nothing new has come up. Or maybe I will just snicker that those idiots with the big telescopes are full of crap. What do they know? I have too many plans, hopes, dreams for the future to get sucked-in by all this 'Chicken Little" nonsense, anyway. I mean, you could spend all of your waking life worrying about one thing or another and what would it accomplish in the end, right? So, to hell with all those doomsayers; I plan to just continue on with my life as if nothing is happening.

And, if you just nodded your assent to the above line of thinking....then you are fiddling while Rome is burning. Here is something that is an indisputable fact: IF THE OCEANS DIE....SO DO WE. The oceans of this planet are the source of life. The vast majority of photosynthesis takes place...not in forests, but in the oceans. It is the tiny little blue-green algae who carry the bulk of the responsibility for absorbing carbon-dioxide and off-gassing oxygen. If that process is stopped, or even if it is significantly as we know it will be unable to continue. This is the WATER PLANET, dear friends. It took some billions of years for it to evolve into a stable mechanism, as delicately balanced as a jeweled watch movement, providing all that is necessary for life to flourish.

And now we are actively destroying that balance. What I find so utterly agonizing, even worse than merely being stupid....we are doing this intentionally and denying it as we do so. All the truly conservative candidates that want to run for Big Kahuna--to become The Decider--deny that Global Warming is either real, or man-made. They want to believe that it is a conspiracy, cooked up by people like Al Gore to serve their own greedy purposes. What we are doing to our host planet is indeed VERY INCONVENIENT....but, that is all it is to these people.

So, if you read this article and note the reminder that we must act and act effectively and with great will also possibly say to yourself: "Yeah, what are the chances of that?"

In listening to the public discourse on the subject of our own mass extinction becoming ever more must hear the denial, the hopelessness, the inability to comprehend that we're really looking at the end of life as it presently exists....and still find a way to keep hoping that somehow, some way, some time...we will reach the critical mass referred to as 'the tipping point' by Malcom Gladwell. This is the point at which one might say, 'an idea's time has come'. But, if that doesn't happen we, and our children and our grandchildren will be forced to witness what is already being referred to by some scientists as the Sixth Great Extinction.....our own, and the first one to be brought about by one of the species that will be extinguished.

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