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World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction pt. 2

World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 17:26:15

dohboi wrote:As predicted, denialists continue to deny.

Yes, I deny the Sixth Great Extinction. I deny hysterical attention-starved grandstanding. It does not good for the cause of conservation, stewardship and ecological restoration. Just get folks depressed. I like science better.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:00:37

pstarr wrote:
dohboi wrote:As predicted, denialists continue to deny.

Yes, I deny the Sixth Great Extinction. I deny hysterical attention-starved grandstanding. It does not good for the cause of conservation, stewardship and ecological restoration. Just get folks depressed. I like science better.


Since the juggernaut freight train of human overshoot has its built in momentum we all know that stopping it or slowing it down cannot happen fast enough to prevent accelerated extinctions.

Even without full scale biosphere collapse, even without cascading tipping points of climate change, even without ocean acidification and melting tundra methane farts, even without all the other tipping points that are postulated here we still will have an unprecedented historical extinction level event; the first time that this was caused mainly by a single dominant species.

The Great Biotic Exchange that is well advanced and shows no signs of slowing down is the cause of this sixth great extinction. This real time event happening right now is devastating enough without speculating about other potential tipping points and claims of biosphere collapse.

So I don't think you can deny the 6th great extinction Pstarr. On the other hand in regards to ecological restoration there is no cascading biosphere collapse happening to prevent this and given the opportunity nature is still incredibly resilient to recolonize former human habitat as soon as peak Kudzu Ape passes and we move into serious population decline and correction.

Nature is resilient still. Our biosphere is resilient still. There is no cause to get depressed over the state of our biosphere. Our species is in very very precarious territory. Some might find this depressing. I find 7 billion plus humans frankly depressing.

Without a drop of misanthropic blood in my body how I yearn and worship the Overshoot Predator to get up off his lazy ass and get the ball rolling.

I have talked to many christians who gave up their faith because they said that it occurred to them one day that there was no god out there listening to their prayers.

I have far more faith than these fallen christians in regards to the Overshoot Predator being out there ......even if he stubbornly continues to ignore my pleas. Which of course is just like him.... not giving a damn what us Kudzu Apes want or wish for....

Science ultimately grounds my faith as well.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:59:34

The alarmist among us are missing a few key points. As agriculture gets more machine and chemical dependent the less land is profitable for big Ag. The first tractors pulled the same implements that the horses they replaced had pulled and could farm land that was just level or on the same plane six to eight feet wide. As tractors and the implements they pulled got bigger they got wider and the lands they were profitable on had to be flatter and wider and have less rocks or other obstructions in it. As a result a lot of field margins and steeply sloped uplands that used to be tilled and harvested have been reverted to grazing land or allowed to go all the way back to forest. Grazing land seldom has any chemicals sprayed on it and forest land almost never does. That means these less or unprofitable lands are more suitable for a diverse ecosystem then they were in say 1945. I have considerably more wildlife and variety on my property today then when I was a boy in the 1960s.
The woods will not miss us when we are gone and just a few pockets of surviving species will quickly repopulate former Ag and suburban areas very shortly after we are gone.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 20:12:44

pstarr wrote:Nothing in the article concerning extinction, just reduced numbers. Wildlife rebounds rather quickly in the absence of human depredation and habitat disruption. See the wolves here in Northern California and the wolves that returned to Chernobyl after the humans left. Same with sea turtles when we learned to protect their nesting beaches etc.

The article's thrust, that invertebrates are good shtick is tiring. Good invertebrates are wiped out, and an equal number of bad invertebrates are also wiped out. They will all return as we demise.


Wouldn't "predators" give similar arguments, i.e., since nature rebounds easily, then there's no point in trying to protect the environment?
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 20:14:33

Damn, Ibon, that was some apocalytic, and passive, and genocidal stuff. I understand the source of black thoughts, but suggest that you temper them with happy or at least optimistic thoughts.

Whenever we have one of these threads, I think half the people participating are in a stupor, awaiting an extinction "event". Even the OP for the thread used the words "on brink of", as if the world had not begun to die about 200 years ago when the humans passed the one billion population milestone.

Folks, there never will be a perceptable "event". The world has been dying for a couple of centuries, and will continue on for at least that long, absent the Little Fat Man building nuclear tipped ICBMs, or the Muslim extremists getting nuclear explosives to smuggle into cities.

The Sixth Great Extinction is an eyeblink in geological time. Centuries of real climate chaos occurred after the Chicxulub impact ended the "good times" for the dinosaurs. Somewhere between 900-1300 years of environmental chaos is the best estimate. Then the after-impact world was very different from the world before, with an estimated 70-80% of all prior species extinct, and 95% of all the biomass sterilized on land and sea both. Just as the world will be very different after mankind. whether that is via the bang of nuclear war, or the whimper of a massively collapsing ecology.

Here's the only point where KJ the technologist differs from most of you: I am hoping that before the overshoot predator does his thing, we escape this planet and colonize space, complete with off-world seed banks and DNA banks to preserve most if not all species remaining on Earth. Because you see, I think that Man and his digital slaves can manage a planet as well as a space habitat. After all, we have centuries of experience observing Gaia/God/Budda/whomever fail to manage the Kudzu Apes that trashed the world.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 21:18:05

KaiserJeep wrote:Damn, Ibon, that was some apocalytic, and passive, and genocidal stuff. I understand the source of black thoughts, but suggest that you temper them with happy or at least optimistic thoughts.


I reread what I wrote after your comment here to try to understand where you thought I was pessimistic. I am anything but. I am quite optimistic we are heading sooner rather than later to the back slope of human overshoot where the Great Biotic Exchange starts swinging back in favor of Mother Nature.

I did express of course some impatience. But optimistic I remain.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 21:35:44

OK, :-D

You are happy for the planet, and I measure everything by its effect upon humans. That explains the difference.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 21:56:00

KaiserJeep wrote:OK, :-D

You are happy for the planet, and I measure everything by its effect upon humans. That explains the difference.


Yes but ultimately I am also optimistic for humanity,

Remember a concept I wrote awhile back. When a species is within carrying capacity what is good for the individual is good for the species as a whole. When a species is in overshoot there is a decoupling between what is good for the individual and good for the species.

When the Great Biotic Exchange swings back in favor of Mother Nature it ALSO swings back in favor of the long term resiliency of Homo Sapiens. Please note that in this context I do not use the term Kudzu Ape.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 22:38:50

ralfy wrote:
pstarr wrote:Nothing in the article concerning extinction, just reduced numbers. Wildlife rebounds rather quickly in the absence of human depredation and habitat disruption. See the wolves here in Northern California and the wolves that returned to Chernobyl after the humans left. Same with sea turtles when we learned to protect their nesting beaches etc.

The article's thrust, that invertebrates are good shtick is tiring. Good invertebrates are wiped out, and an equal number of bad invertebrates are also wiped out. They will all return as we demise.


Wouldn't "predators" give similar arguments, i.e., since nature rebounds easily, then there's no point in trying to protect the environment?

In my lifetime we have come a great way in protecting the environment. Ibon's biosphere reserve is an example. We now create wildlife corridors to connect animal populations and keep the gene pools fresh.
the Paséo Pantera (also known as the MesoAmerican Biological corridor or Paséo del Jaguar)

the Eastern Himalayan Corridor

China-Russia Tiger Corridor

Tandai Tiger Corridor[8]

the European Green Belt

The Siju-Rewak Corridor, located in the Garo Hills of India, protects an important population of elephants(thought to be approximately 20% of all the elephants that survive in the country).This corridor project links together the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rewak Reserve Forest in Meghalaya State, close to the India-Bangladesh border. This area lies within the meeting place of the Himalayan Mountain Range and the Indian Peninsula and contains at least 139 other species of mammal, including tiger, clouded leopard and the Himalayan black bear.

the Ecologische Hoofdstructuur is a network of corridors and habitats created for wildlife in the Netherlands[9]
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 20 Oct 2017, 17:18:42

Ib wrote:

Since the juggernaut freight train of human overshoot has its built in momentum we all know that stopping it or slowing it down cannot happen fast enough to prevent accelerated extinctions.

Even without full scale biosphere collapse, even without cascading tipping points of climate change, even without ocean acidification and melting tundra methane farts, even without all the other tipping points that are postulated here we still will have an unprecedented historical extinction level event; the first time that this was caused mainly by a single dominant species.

The Great Biotic Exchange that is well advanced and shows no signs of slowing down is the cause of this sixth great extinction. This real time event happening right now is devastating enough without speculating about other potential tipping points and claims of biosphere collapse.

So I don't think you can deny the 6th great extinction...


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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 20 Oct 2017, 17:36:14

dohboi wrote:Ib wrote:

Since the juggernaut freight train of human overshoot has its built in momentum we all know that stopping it or slowing it down cannot happen fast enough to prevent accelerated extinctions.

Even without full scale biosphere collapse, even without cascading tipping points of climate change, even without ocean acidification and melting tundra methane farts, even without all the other tipping points that are postulated here we still will have an unprecedented historical extinction level event; the first time that this was caused mainly by a single dominant species.

The Great Biotic Exchange that is well advanced and shows no signs of slowing down is the cause of this sixth great extinction. This real time event happening right now is devastating enough without speculating about other potential tipping points and claims of biosphere collapse.

So I don't think you can deny the 6th great extinction...


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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 20 Oct 2017, 19:59:41

pstarr wrote:
In my lifetime we have come a great way in protecting the environment. Ibon's biosphere reserve is an example. We now create wildlife corridors to connect animal populations and keep the gene pools fresh.
the Paséo Pantera (also known as the MesoAmerican Biological corridor or Paséo del Jaguar)

the Eastern Himalayan Corridor

China-Russia Tiger Corridor

Tandai Tiger Corridor[8]

the European Green Belt

The Siju-Rewak Corridor, located in the Garo Hills of India, protects an important population of elephants(thought to be approximately 20% of all the elephants that survive in the country).This corridor project links together the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rewak Reserve Forest in Meghalaya State, close to the India-Bangladesh border. This area lies within the meeting place of the Himalayan Mountain Range and the Indian Peninsula and contains at least 139 other species of mammal, including tiger, clouded leopard and the Himalayan black bear.

the Ecologische Hoofdstructuur is a network of corridors and habitats created for wildlife in the Netherlands[9]


But following your arguments, can one also point out that those ecosystems are so resilient that they can bounce back easily no matter what damage takes place?
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 20 Oct 2017, 21:48:10

Specify the ecosystem and the damage level. It depends. On one hand, a strip mined mountain in West Virginia will not heal in a thousand years as not only is the top soil been removed but the underlying rock has been pulverized. But a tall grass prairie? Perhaps a few decades?
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 08:54:33

pstarr wrote:Specify the ecosystem and the damage level. It depends. On one hand, a strip mined mountain in West Virginia will not heal in a thousand years as not only is the top soil been removed but the underlying rock has been pulverized. But a tall grass prairie? Perhaps a few decades?


What a load of BS. Your statement implies, intentionally or not, that the reshaped West Virginia will be like a desert for many generations before slowly returning to its former condition. Nothing could be much further from the truth. In reality the landscape of West Virginia that has undergone mountain top removal and reshaping is forever changed, but change is not death. It will never again be the virgin forest it was in 6,000 BC when we were at the Holocene Climate Optimum, but that is a far cry from being a lifeless desert or even a thriving robust desert like West Texas. The forest has been removed, the rock was pulverized and processed, the land was reshaped. All of those are true. Once it was reshaped the government required the extraction companies to plant the reshaped land with species that can bind the soil and prevent rapid erosion of the reshaped land. For the most part this is done though with any process you can find violations. However it takes about 20 years for an open field to revert to scrub brush and about 50 for it to revert to early forest when it has been reduced to grassland by any event that removes the wood mass whether that is clearing or severe fire event that kills the soil. So many hypocrites rush to take pictures of mine sites that are either still active or freshly planted with grass species and proclaim they are a restoration failure because there is no longer a lush climax forest growing on that location.

The same processes that have done an excellent job of restoring the forest around Mount St. Helen's in Washington since 1981 are in effect in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Maryland where the mountain top removal has been most practiced. Just because the instant gratification generation sees grass where there was forest they label this a failure instead of understanding that forest ecosystem restore themselves in stages. First is the grassy meadow, then scrub brush from seeds dropped by birds sprout and and grow, then tree seedlings sprout and grow in the shade of the bushes and 100-300 years down the road you have a climax forest right back where there was a forest that was removed by man or nature. The volcanic deposits from Mount St. Helen's were as close to sterile dead as you get in nature but now they are in all stages of recovery to forest. In Yellowstone with the big out of control fires took place in the 1988 some areas the blaze was so intense it literally did sterilize the soil left behind. Is that land sterile today, or covered with seedling forest restoring the land to its former glory?

Nothing ticks me off more than hypocrisy and it doesn't matter if it is a political promise or a so called environmentalist claiming doom. Nature does not do instant gratification when something disrupts the ecosystem, but she is a persistent task mistress and works from start to finish to produce as much biomass in any location as conditions in that location allow.

Nature is about change and balance, not static existence. Ecosystems are continuously shifting as weather, climate, nutrition and events influence that balance. The redwoods of California were not 'always there' though they did exist for a long time on the human scale. During the last ice age nearly all of what was Redwood forest in 1820 was not forest at all. It was too cold or too wet or too dry or any combination of factors. But there are a group of self selected individuals that claim we should ignore the fact that as climate conditions shifted so did the boundaries of the Redwood Forest. What Europeans mapped in the 1820's was not the same redwood forest that existed in 2020 BC because the climate was different then so the range where the forest existed was also different.

But you can bank on this, if you take away the human influence and just observe nature the redwoods will return to whatever range they can live in today, and they will keep existing there into the future so long as those conditions prevail. The exact same phenomenon is in play in Washington where Mount St. Helen's wiped out centuries old climax forest and buried it under hundreds of feet of volcanic fill. It is also fully active in Yellowstone where the fires burned so hot they sterilized the soil of all life, and it is active in the eastern woodlands where small farms are abandoned and returning to forest and it is in effect where 'evil' coal companies blew apart mountains to get out the coal and then reshaped the landscape when they were finished.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby GHung » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 09:38:16

Tanada said; "However it takes about 20 years for an open field to revert to scrub brush and about 50 for it to revert to early forest when it has been reduced to grassland by any event that removes the wood mass ..."

Indeed, here in the Appalachians, ecosystems can recover faster than that in some sense. Several acres of my land that was worn out cattle pasture 15 years ago is now vigorous young forest with trees over 30 feet. That said, the forests below these mountain-top removal sites will probably never look like this again.

Image

Many of these areas, isolated for eons in one of the oldest mountain ranges in North America, are truly unique and will become something else after they are supposedly reclaimed. Probably doesn't matter at all to gridweenies hundreds of miles away who feel entitled to low electric rates and have no intention of paying the full costs of their consumption.

The area of Copperhill, TN was strip-minned for copper in the early 20th century and was largely closed to mining about 60 years ago. That ecosystem was forever changed and may never support the vibrant hardwood forests it once did. I went hiking there a couple of years ago and the watershed still looks eroded and poor compared to untouched adjacent areas, despite reclamation efforts. Mostly still scrub pine with little topsoil to support the former diverse plant life due to greatly increased soil acidification. Just sayin'......

You can spot the mining areas to the southeast and the logged but not destroyed forests to the northwest. The Burra Burra Mine extracted over 15 million tons of copper ore during its 60 years of operation between 1899 and 1959: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.0970909 ... a=!3m1!1e3
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 09:41:31

I think Pstarr's point that it depends on the ecosystem is correct as is your critique that forest succession happens in stages. The practice of planting non native grasses to bind the loosen rubble has resulted in forest succession taking more time but still in relevant terms of ecological restoration the forest will recover within a century. Water quality, toxicity etc. with hilltop mining does have longer time consequences in terms of aquatic ecology.

The main point here though is that as long as we preserve refuge populations and refuge intact ecosystems the ability and resiliency of nature to recolonize former human landscapes is in most cases quite impressive. Here in Totumas we have lots of rainfall and pretty fertile volanic soils. In only 7 years after removing livestock from some of our upper pastures there are pioneer tree species already 30 feet tall and we are quickly moving into the next stages of succession with tree seedlings in the under story that represent climax primary forest species. BIrd diversity has sky rocketed since pioneer species of trees and shrubs are big fruit and seed producers.

Tanada wrote:Nothing ticks me off more than hypocrisy and it doesn't matter if it is a political promise or a so called environmentalist claiming doom.


It is not good to get ticked off over hypocrisy where ever it occurs on the political spectrum. The reason is that it is so prevalent that if it ticks you off you will end up being in a perpetual state of being ticked off. This is not healthy.

I prescribe withdrawal....... this morning I was pinning insects trapped from last nights bug trap documenting the insect biodiversity here at Totumas. While engaged in this activity hypocrites are relegated to the dungeon of irrelevancy where they belong :)
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 09:42:56

This is a harmful activity which in itself surely must be contributing to species dieoff as natural habitat is lost.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 10:01:35

GHung wrote:Tanada said; "However it takes about 20 years for an open field to revert to scrub brush and about 50 for it to revert to early forest when it has been reduced to grassland by any event that removes the wood mass ..."

Indeed, here in the Appalachians, ecosystems can recover faster than that in some sense. Several acres of my land that was worn out cattle pasture 15 years ago is now vigorous young forest with trees over 30 feet. That said, the forests below these mountain-top removal sites will probably never look like this again.

Image

Many of these areas, isolated for eons in one of the oldest mountain ranges in North America, are truly unique and will become something else after they are supposedly reclaimed. Probably doesn't matter at all to gridweenies hundreds of miles away who feel entitled to low electric rates and have no intention of paying the full costs of their consumption.

The area of Copperhill, TN was strip-minned for copper in the early 20th century and was largely closed to mining about 60 years ago. That ecosystem was forever changed and may never support the vibrant hardwood forests it once did. I went hiking there a couple of years ago and the watershed still looks eroded and poor compared to untouched adjacent areas, despite reclamation efforts. Mostly still scrub pine with little topsoil to support the former diverse plant life due to greatly increased soil acidification. Just sayin'......

You can spot the mining areas to the southeast and the logged but not destroyed forests to the northwest. The Burra Burra Mine extracted over 15 million tons of copper ore during its 60 years of operation between 1899 and 1959: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.0970909 ... a=!3m1!1e3


Thanks for the link. You are correct, not all places will recover to what I would consider a fully healthy ecosystem, or the process of doing so will take far longer than a human lifespan. Other places if you take away the humans in a century you would be hard pressed to know they had ever been present. You do not have to be a fan of change to understand it is a part of the natural world and always has been.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 11:26:52

Tanada wrote:
pstarr wrote:Specify the ecosystem and the damage level. It depends. On one hand, a strip mined mountain in West Virginia will not heal in a thousand years as not only is the top soil been removed but the underlying rock has been pulverized. But a tall grass prairie? Perhaps a few decades?


What a load of BS. Your statement implies, intentionally or not, that the reshaped West Virginia will be like a desert for many generations before slowly returning to its former condition. Nothing could be much further from the truth. In reality the landscape of West Virginia that has undergone mountain top removal and reshaping is forever changed, but change is not death.
Why the anger and hatred? The pulverizing of the substrate destroys complex surface structures, rocky outcrops that hold water and ponds. Replaced by homogenous layer of rubble that can no hold a surface aquifer. Complexity is reduced. Highly complex local ecosystem destroyed until the rubble moves back down the mountainside. But that tragedy is only local.

I contrasted that with a more pliable less vulnerable ecoystem, the prairie. It is homogenous to begin with. Neither adds up to Sixth Great Extinction. These changes are not cumulative. The Earth Abides.
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Re: World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 21 Oct 2017, 13:36:08

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