Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/574 ... z2wdnDacGu
A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."
The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... scientists
http://inthesetimes.com/article/17137/t ... of_history
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
2017: For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way. See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2017 time of the Doomsday Clock.
http://www.livescience.com/57641-doomsd ... -2017.html
Every day, it seems, brings with it fresh new horrors. Mass murder. Catastrophic climate change. Nuclear annihilation.
It's all enough to make a reasonable person ask: How much longer can things go on this way?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... 75fa98e42f
3.0% GDP growth will only hasten climate change that will doom us all
Women are getting mauled by powerful white men -- oh, wait, hollywood is liberal -- so forget that.
Our highest levels of Government are colluding with the Russians for personal gain and jeopardizing our national secruity and allowing nuclear proliferation -- oh, wait, that was Obama and Clinton...
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK's Chief Medical Officer, has warned that without swift global action we could see the "end of modern medicine" as our antibiotics become useless against drug-resistant strains of bacteria." read more:
http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... e-by-2050/
On July 27, stargazers across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the southern parts of North and South America will be treated to a double dose of astronomical events: the blood moon and a total lunar eclipse. According to some religious leaders and doomsday preppers, though, stargazes should be prepping their underground bunkers rather than digging out their telescopes.
The encroaching apocalypse theory was originally made famous by Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, who point to the tetrad, or four consecutive lunar eclipses beginning in 2014 with six full moons in between, and two passages in the Bible as evidence that the end is near, according to the Mirror.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord, Acts 2:20 reads.
The second indicator of the apocalypse lies in passage 6:12 of Book of Revelation, the only book in the New Testament canon that is an apocalyptic document.
I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood, the passage reads.
While the biblical passages do seem to align with the astronomical events set to happen next month, astronomers and other experts promise that no tragic event will come as a result of the blood moon, claiming that the theory is simply a myth.
This is far from the first time that occurrences in the sky have seemingly spelled doom for humanity. Months ago it was rumored that the world would meet its demise on April 23, when a nonexistent planet dubbed Nibiru was set to crash into the Earth, according to David Meade.
Speculation of the apocalypse stemmed from Book of Revelation passage 12:1-2, which a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 star would appear in the sky. The woman was thought to be Virgo, and on April 23, the sun and moon were positioned inside Virgo constellation.
Ultimately, the theory proved to be another apocalyptic dead end, though late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking painted another picture, one that is much more realistic, of how the world would end. According to Hawking, by the year 2600, less than 600 years from now, the world as we know it could possibly cease to exist, as global warming would cause a global temperature of 482 degrees Fahrenheit, along with sulphuric acid raining from the sky.”By Allison Shonter
The coasts are gone. The waves crash high into what were once mountains. Many have perished, for food is scarce, and the deadly heat is inescapable.
This bleak future scenario – called a "Hothouse Earth" – could be realised sooner than we think, scientists warn, if the planet breaches a pivotal climate threshold from which there may ultimately be no coming back.
The worst part? Scientists say we could exceed this threshold even if we meet the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement – and manage to keep global temperatures to 2°C above pre-Industrial levels.
Achieving that goal would be a global success story. But it might not be the end of the story.
"Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth," says Earth system scientist Will Steffen from the Australian National University.
"Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2°C may trigger other Earth system processes, often called 'feedbacks', that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases."
In a new perspective study, Steffen and an international team of researchers outline a number of these 'positive feedback' systems that exist on Earth and can "amplify a perturbation and drive a transition to a different state".
In science, negative feedback systems maintain equilibrium in a given setting, but positive feedback systems do the opposite – exacerbating changes that are already underway.
One example is permafrost thaw. As the world gets hotter due to heat-trapping carbon emissions, there's worrying evidence that melting permafrost soils are releasing even more carbon into the atmosphere – making a bad situation potentially catastrophic.
That's just one example the new study looks at, in addition to several others, including the loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, and increasing bacterial respiration in the oceans.
None of these trends are looking good, and the team says as the world gets hotter, hitting 2°C could well be the point where it becomes difficult or impossible to reverse these dangerous feedback loops.
"These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes," explains co-author Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden.
"Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another… Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if 'Hothouse Earth' becomes the reality."
797 hothouse earth 1
(Stockholm Resilience Centre)
The researchers are eager to emphasise that it's impossible to say for sure whether a global temperature rise of 2°C above pre-Industrial levels is the exact point we'd pass the threshold – as we're in uncharted territory here.
But the study is designed to point out that the less-optimistic goal of the Paris Agreement may not be the safe haven or environmental 'truce' many assumed it was – as by then it may already be too late, with human activity having triggered numerous runaway effects beyond our control.
"We note that the Earth has never in its history had a quasi-stable state that is around 2°C warmer than the pre-Industrial and suggest that there is substantial risk that the system, itself, will 'want' to continue warming because of all of these other processes – even if we stop emissions," one of the team, Katherine Richardson from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, told The Guardian.
So what's the answer? Well – apart from more holistic research to refine our understanding of where and when this threshold to catastrophe is located – nothing short of a complete reimagining of our role on (and relationship to) Planet Earth.
"Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilise it in a habitable interglacial-like state," the authors explain in their paper.
"Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System –biosphere, climate, and societies – and could include decarbonisation of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioural changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."
Okay, so they're asking for a lot, but is the alternative preferable: a stabilisation of extreme environmental conditions where temperatures increase up to 5°C hotter than pre-Industrial temperatures? Bringing with it sea level rises of 10–60 metres, in turn destroying coastlines, agriculture, our ability to govern, and ultimately to survive?
It's not all bad news, though.
"Some signs are emerging that societies are initiating some of the necessary transformations," the researchers write.
"However, these transformations are still in initial stages, and the social/political tipping points that definitively move the current trajectory away from Hothouse Earth have not yet been crossed, while the door to the Stabilised Earth pathway may be rapidly closing."
The researchers don't pretend to have all the answers, and they acknowledge that their 2°C threshold is a largely hypothetical marker.
But in light of everything we're learning about the perilous state the world is in – again and again and again – it should come as a surprise to precisely nobody at all that the stakes are this terrifyingly high.
"In the context of the summer of 2018, this is definitely not a case of crying wolf," climate researcher Phil Williamson from the University of East Anglia, who wasn't involved in the study, told The Guardian.
"The wolves are now in sight."
The findings are reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
https://www.facebook.com/623502165/post ... 318517166/
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.