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Are Humans Destroying Earth?

Discussion in 'The Living World' started by TurkeyOnRye, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. TurkeyOnRye

    TurkeyOnRye Well-Known Member

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    2,398
    Are humans in the process of destroying Earth, or are we merely altering it? Is this a natural process, or is something wrong? What opportunities are there, and what are the difficulties or problems to overcome? What are its implications to you?
     
  2. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

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    15,067
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    Human are altering the earth by destroying the natural environment.
     
  3. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification Staff Member Premium Member

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    26,289
    Religion:
    Buddhism, Anti-Theism
    We have already destroyed lots of species and quite a few human ethnies and natural environments. Many mineral reserves have been depleted or are about to be, as well.

    I don't think that is quite the same as destroying Earth, but it sure doesn't bode well for humanity itself.

    It is natural IMO. What is wrong is to expect that situation to be sustainable.

    The main challenges are putting population growth and material greed on check so that a new level of sustainable living and education can be consolidated. We are simply not trying to do that with any dedication.

    IMO, we will unavoidably face major economic, military, social and political turmoil from a couple of generations on. Our current paths are essentially self-destructive, perhaps more so than in the early 20th century.
     
    Lvcifer Invictvs likes this.
  4. chinu

    chinu S T O I C

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    8,650
    Religion:
    means "re-union" with from where we all started the journey of life in the beginning.
    One day i was seeing some ants going inside and coming out from the hole in the wall, some were carring the parts of leaves, some were carring some food, some were doing some another works, some seems to be kissing each others, And then i saw some more ants in another corner, they were also going somewhere and some were coming from somewhere, than i thought why don't they join the ants of that hole.

    Finally i decided nothing and said let them do what they want, I don't care.

    May "God" be thinking about we peoples like this.

    Anyhow, ants are smart enough but asfaras, for the human processes i think they are cutting the same branch of the tree on which they are sitting.:D

    _/\_ Chinu.
     
  5. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    12,171
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    The world's human population has tripled within a single lifetime. At the same time our resource usage and waste generation per person has increased as well. Obviously this trend isn't sustainable.

    The biosphere on which life depends is a complex of interconnected systems which we're only beginning to understand. Our species is currently degrading all these systems. This can't help but have a negative effect.
     
  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

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    Isn't the goal to have as many humans as possible covering the globe?
     
  7. tarasan

    tarasan New Member

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    2,006
    Indeed so that all the men can start a gaint war?

    wouldnt that be sweet
     
  8. TurkeyOnRye

    TurkeyOnRye Well-Known Member

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    I'd be interested to hear from people who believe in climate change.
     
  9. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Life will prevail via evolution. Whether man prevails is another story.
     
  10. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    16,003
    Religion:
    Post-Anarchism
    It would take one big explosion to destroy the Earth. More seriously though, I don't know. If we end up destroying the Earth, than yes, we are in the process. If not, than no.

    Could it be anything other than natural? Not to say there isn't something wrong with most things.

    I've heard the planet will be at a fresh water shortage in 30 years. If so, I would be really thirsty.
     
  11. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    12,171
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    To hear what?
    And who, besides a few right wing Americans, doesn't believe in climate change?
     
  12. EtuMalku

    EtuMalku HH☿D

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    H☿D
  13. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    If we're extracting resources faster than they can be replenished how's the planet going to cope with that?:confused:

    Look around you. Does the planet seem to be coping? Extinctions, species depletion, desertification, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution, &c, &c.
    This is coping?:shrug:
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification Staff Member Premium Member

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    26,289
    Religion:
    Buddhism, Anti-Theism
    I assume you are kidding, but I guess some people do take that as a goal. It is insane, but there is obviously not a lot being done to avoid it.
     
  15. EtuMalku

    EtuMalku HH☿D

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    H☿D
    You didn't watch the video, did you? LOL!
     
  16. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    He seems to me to be seriously underestimating our impact, Etu. He doesn't seem to realize we're the modern equivalent of the K-T asteroid.
     
  17. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    Actually I would disagree with that. How do we know we are extracting at that scale compared to the resources available and hidden in the earth, and how exactly is extraction verses replenishment even determined? I personally think we are prohibited and red-taped from looking for resources elsewhere creating a false crisis.

    All of this has been recorded as happening before in the earths history. Some without mans help at all like climate changes invoking ice-ages and recessions, the extinction of dinosaurs all from effects of climate and topography including interstellar influences. I think ATM we do need to look at the chemistry involved by human interaction in way of handling our waste products and such, but I don't think the situation is all that dire as it is made out to be. I just don't think we are big and capable enough to negatively terraform the entire planet just yet.
     
  18. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    26,289
    Religion:
    Buddhism, Anti-Theism
    Earth is big, but not too much of it is accessible, much less in the scale that our numbers demand, and particularly with this ever-growing craving for new resources.

    We do not know which resources exist, but that is sort of the point. Existing and being available are two very different situations. There is no need for red tape, even assuming the will for creating one, because economic unavailability is very much a reality.

    Quite a few resources, particularly petrol and minerals, are essentially unreplenishable. That, in and of itself, makes planning a necessity, and a cap for Earth's population unavoidable.

    We can wreak havoc at our own susteinance quite decisively while still falling far short of terraforming, you know. And IMO we have gone a good way towards doing that already.
     
  19. Seyorni

    Seyorni Well-Known Member

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    12,171
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Our current resource extraction is already causing environmental devastation, NM. Any remaining resources are in increasingly difficult, dangerous, expensive and environmentally sensitive places. Consider some obvious examples:

    Oil: Non renewable. Pollutes the air, generates CO2. We're drilling now hundreds of miles offshore where a single spill could be disastrous -- and we've got thousands of these expensive, high-tech wells. We're drilling in the Amazon -- We've already deforested and polluted vast regions, not to mention the displaced native populations and animal extinctions.
    Now we're set to dig up Alberta and drill pristine Alaska tundra.

    Coal: Non renewable. Has polluted inland waterways and the ocean itself with mercury &al. Your fish is now toxic. Generates acid rain that's deforested vast regions and 'sterilized' lakes across the Northeast US and southern Canada. Major source of air pollution throughout the world. Usually dangerous and/or environmentally damaging to mine (think mountaintop removal).

    Bauxite (aluminum ore). Non renewable. Generates huge amounts of a toxic "red sludge" rarely contained safely. Mining's deforesting and polluting rainforest in the Amazon and, shortly, Vietnam.

    And how about forests for timber? Potentially "manageable" but not being managed. How about the millions of acres of rain forest being felled for cattle ranches, soybean and oil palm production?

    The simple fact is, our impact is increasing and it's unsustainable.

    Oh but we are. Every natural system is in decline! I don't think you're really aware of the suddenness and magnitude of our impact.The problem is the speed of our impact and the totality of the systems affected. Nothing remotely comparable has happened in the last 65M years and the few times there have been catastrophes of a similar magnitude it took Nature tens of millions of years to recover.
     
  20. TurkeyOnRye

    TurkeyOnRye Well-Known Member

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    That's fairly rudimentary logic, Kilgore. I know you can do better than that.
     
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