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Posted Sun Sep 26 2010: from Anthony Doerr, in The Morning News, via OnlyInItForTheGold:
Planet Zoo and the Cliff
During my sophomore year, 1992, 1,500 scientists, including more than half the living Nobel laureates, admonished in their Warning to Humanity: "A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated." So what have we done? Not much. From 1992 to 2007, global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels rose 38 percent. Emissions in 2008 rose a full 2 percent despite a global economic slump. Honeybees are dying by the billions, amphibians by the millions, and shallow Caribbean reefs are mostly dead already. Our soil is disappearing faster than ever before, half of all mammals are in decline, and a recent climate change model predicts that the Arctic could have ice-free summers by 2013. Unchecked, carbon emissions from China alone will probably match the current global level by 2030.... Sure, it's socially acceptable nowadays to compost your coffee grounds and turn off your thermostat and grow strawberries on the porch, but it's still considered uncool to suggest that the American capitalist system is untenable.... Maybe even more astounding, they've found antibiotic-resistant E. coli in French Guiana, in the intestines of Wayampi Indians--people who have never taken antibiotics.... Eventually the ice caps will resolidify; new species will arise, the forests will teem once more. It's Homo sapiens we need to worry about. Some geologists have taken to calling the past 8,000 years or so the Anthropocene Period -- a time when we've burned coal, impounded rivers, and reconfigured ecosystems. And now, in our lifetimes, we're learning that perhaps this period is untenable, and like billions of species before us, we are not immune to extinction.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, koyaanisqatsi, holyshit, geoengineering, plastic gyre, unintended consequences]

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'Doc Jim says:
In zoos, primates fling their shit everywhere. We try telling them not to, but it doesn't do much good.
Really a beautiful synopsis of the converging emergencies. We 'Docs confirm his facts, and sadly, confirm his conclusions. His final summation is bittersweet and somewhat wise. Worth reading in its entirety.

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  • (Planet Zoo and the Cliff)
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