The end of the world as we know it is fast approaching, according to some scientists, and it may be close enough now that millions of people already alive will live to see it happen:
(Live Science) — The results are difficult to predict, because tipping points, by their definition, take the planet into uncharted territory. Based on past transitions, Barnosky and his colleagues predict a major loss of species (during the end of the last glacial period, half of the large-bodied mammal species in the world disappeared), as well as changes in the makeup of species in various communities on the local level. Meanwhile, humans may well be knotting our own noose as we burn through Earth’s resources.”These ecological systems actually give us our life support, our crops, our fisheries, clean water,” Barnosky said. As resources shift from one nation to another, political instability can easily follow.
Pulling back from the ledge will require international cooperation, Barnosky said. Under business-as-usual conditions, humankind will be using 50 percent of the land surface on the planet by 2025. It seems unavoidable that the human population will reach 9 billion by 2050, so we’ll have to become more efficient to sustain ourselves, he said. That means more efficient energy use and energy production, a greater focus on renewable resources, and a need to save species and habitat today for future generations.
It’s frightening listening to people who think Young Earth Creationism is a plausible alternative to every branch of physical science make bold predictions about human influence on a system as complex as climate. It reminds me eerily of a line in the sci-fi remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still when Keanu Reeves character was discussing the fatal impact of human activity and whether or not to smoke the entire human race with another alien in human form: “They seem to sense it, but they can’t do anything about it.“