When I first wrote about anthropogenic species extension, we were extincting about 50 species per day and losing a huge amount of arable land to clear cutting and desertification.
By now we are driving ~150 species per DAY to extinction. They are all in the food chain at some point. So when we kill off a species, we kill off everything that is specialized to predate it. Or if we use chemically treated GMO seeds and kill off our bees, we will nave no pollinators and our food chain will crash as well. That is happening.
We will lose and not replace 5 million hectares of forest this year alone. We will lose over 6 million hectares to soil erosion. Eleven million hectares of arable land will turn to desert this year. If the population didn't increase at all, we would be completely out of arable land in about 260 years. But that does not take into account increasing populations, the lessening availability of potable water, none of which will be available for irrigation in fifty years, and it does not take into account the fact that the temperature of earth is increasing for whatever reason.
It does not factor in Fukushima and the 100% likelihood of further disasters just like it. It does not include calculations for nuclear war and a nuclear winter – which will simply cause us to burn fossil fuel at an even greater rate. I do not include the possibility of pandemics, either natural or some escaped biological experiment, solar eruptions, earthquakes or other natural disasters – which will increase as the weight of the ice caps decreases from melting and allows the tectonic plates to move freely.
I do not take into account an asteroid impact – also 100% probable – the only unknown is when, or that the melting ice caps may release trillions of tons of Methane and CO2 now locked in permafrost, or the potential that enough fresh water will be released into the oceans to create a halo-cline which may inhibit or even stop the atlantic conveyor – as well as flooding population centers less than about 100 feet above present sea-level. The cessation of the Atlantic conveyor will stop 'weather' and the oceans will bloom algae and scum over.
Once we jump the shark with our planet, and we have, we can no longer rectify – or even mitigate the damage we have set in motion and we wouldn't anyway. We WILL burn the last drop of oil and the last lump of coal. Now consider that there are many extant and rapidly evolving bacteria and viruses which are completely impervious to ANY treatment that exists. Most of them are transmitted patient-to-patient in hospitals. A million people die in hospitals every year from infection contracted in the hospital of from simple, avoidable medical mistakes, or from pharmacists mis-readin prescriptions.
NOW let us consider that the economy is supposed to be getting better, but it isn't. T-Mobile is laying off a huge workforce. Hewlett-Packard is too. The numbers are only improving because so many people have simply stopped looking for work. The world's aggregate debt, WITHOUT considering Credit Default Swaps, which AMERICA is on the hook for because Goldman and JP Morgan/BofA wrote most of them but cannot cover them, is more than the TOTAL POTENTIAL GDP OF ALL NATIONS COMBINED. Therefore it is impossible that they can be paid, ever. ALL of the checks and balances built into our democratic republic have been removed and we, like every democratic republic before us, are falling into anarchy. The mean lifespan of a democratic republic is 200 years.
Everyone in the upper echelons of government and finance seem to understand that so they are grabbing what they can get and screw you. It doesn't matter who gets elected, the fix is in.
Taking these points individually, most people agree with SOME of them – many don't, of course. But taken together, NO ONE can consider the possibility, even for a moment, that this is upon us and even if MOST of the rest don't happen, the result is inevitable anyway. The proximate cause is that more people need more food which requires more energy which allows more people to have more children which need more food which requires more energy. That isn't going to stop, especially if medical science keeps advancing….or, rather, STARTS advancing.
If ONLY the first two paragraphs are only HALF accurate (and I believe they are very accurate), and NOTHING else happens and we just keep going like we are now, and discounting ANY anthropogenic factors, we are witnessing the beginning of the Venus syndrome. We can see it happening. Yes, the earth HAS been much hotter than this in the past. And when it was, mammals didn't exist. It was too hot for mammals to live.
None of these things will affect me, so they don't concern me. My 'use by' date will have come and gone before this peaks in 2034. I think 2013 to 2020 will see a major change in the world and herald events I am just as happy to miss. The record tells us that there have been five massive extinction events on earth and possibly twenty lesser ones. None were anthropogenic in nature – but ALMOST 99% of ALL life that ever existed on earth is now extinct.
The Quaternary mass extinction event is still in progress. The Quaternary era is divided into three epochs: the Pleistocene, the Holocene and now, much more frequently, the period since 1800 his being called the Anthropocene. 'Anthropocene' is the name most likely to be formally accepted as the beginning of the next great extinction event.