MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note: My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Climate Change and the Population Bomb
Existential Threat to All Life on Earth
Perhaps another synchronicity in that today 04/30/2018, is my 90th birthday and I'm creating another webpage to feature an update to the Gaian Realization Webpage I published six years ago.
In the intervening time, my personal commitment to the gaian ethos has vacillated (coincidently starting with my quitting our local Audubon Society when a number of senior administrators suspected me of swiping some petty cash) and later as a result of the threats to our national security due to conservationist policy curtailing our fossil fuel production.
The current maturation of the existential threat to all life on Earth by man-caused climate change and overpopulation has reawakened an urgency for my coming to terms with that reality - in the context of my advanced old age. My instinctive, personal strategy is to simply detach from this looming crises and try to maintain a sense of equanimity, as I won't be around to experience the worst effects. As an early pioneer of skin and scuba diving in the Florida Keys in the early 1950s, I've already a unique perspective as witness to the formally pristine, luxuriant coral reefs - teaming with an endless array of sealife - that have become mounds of lifeless rubble caused by rising sea temperatures in just the past half-century.
Still, for present and future generations who will increasingly face this grim reality, I'm presenting a list of resources that helped me understand the inevitability of this debilitating evolutionary process. Even in the unlikely event of a spontaneous global awakening arising in the next few years to try to stop the effects - the inertia of Earth is a gazillion times greater than the Titanic trying to steer clear of the iceberg.
The Existential Threat of Existential Threat Rhetoric by Gregory Foster, 2019 Opinion Trite. Hyperbolic. Alarmist. These are the words that come most readily to mind every time I hear another policy pontificator characterize something as an "existential threat." The term has become such a mind-numbingly pervasive part of the lingua franca of national security affairs that it, well, numbs the mind – and, in the process, deadens the intellect.
Decoding The Weather Machine NOVA video - aired April 18, in commemoration of Earth Day, 2018 - Presents hard, scientific evidence for the greatest threat already underway to all life on planet Earth - caused by human industry. Disastrous hurricanes. Widespread droughts and wildfires. Withering heat. Extreme rainfall. It is hard not to conclude that something's up with the weather, and many scientists agree. It's the result of the weather machine itself - our climate-changing, becoming hotter and more erratic. In this two-hour documentary, NOVA will cut through the confusion around climate change. Why do scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, and that human activity is causing it? How and when will it affect us through the weather we experience? And what will it take to bend the trajectory of planetary warming toward more benign outcomes? Join scientists around the world on a quest to better understand the workings of the weather and climate machine we call Earth, and discover how we can be resilient - even thrive - in the face of enormous change.
Thomas Robert Malthus (13 February 1766 - 23 December 1834) was an English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography. In his 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus observed that an increase in a nation's food production improved the well-being of the populace, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, mankind had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the "Malthusian trap" or the "Malthusian spectre". Populations had a tendency to grow until the lower class suffered hardship and want and greater susceptibility to famine and disease, a view that is sometimes referred to as a Malthusian catastrophe. Malthus wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. He saw population growth as being inevitable whenever conditions improved, thereby precluding real progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man"
Enlarge rendition of mid-Miocene life in Spain by Mauricio Antón
Climate Change - Wait, There is Hope! "What's past is prologue"- Shakespeare's The Tempest by Howard Lee June, 2018 - What happened last time it was as warm as it's going to get later this century? Kids today will be grandparents when most climate projections end - does the past have more hints? The year 2100 stands like a line of checkered flags at the climate change finish line, as if all our goals expire then. But like the warning etched on a car mirror: it's closer than it appears. And yet, the climate won't stop changing in 2100. Even if we succeed in limiting warming this century to 2 degrees C, we'll have CO2 at around 500 parts per million. That's a level not seen on this planet since the Middle Miocene, 16 million years ago, when our ancestors were apes. Temperatures then were about 5 to 8 degrees C warmer not 2 degrees, and sea levels were some 40 meters (130 feet) or more higher, not the 1.5 feet (half a meter) anticipated at the end of this century by the 2013 IPCC report. Why is there a yawning gap between end-century projections and what happened in Earth's past? Are past climates telling us we're missing something? Howard Lee is a freelance science writer focusing on climate changes in deep time. MG Comment: Lee's presentation of detailed paleontology evidence from the Miocene is a powerful argument for global action to stop the production of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately - the political reality of the world's major polluters is unlikely to result in any meaningful mitigation of the existential threat to our planet. End Comment
The Green New Deal
fails to account for China's non-compliance -
retaining power to attain global hegemony.
The story of coal in the 21st century, in one amazing map also animated.gif showing increase since 2000 to 2017 - then future prediction - for China, India, U.S.
The Dark Mountain Project This is a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilization tells itself. We see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unraveling, and we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it. The Earth is currently undergoing what has been called, accurately, an ecocide. Industrial humanity is in the process of destroying much of life on Earth in order to feed its ever-advancing appetites. As it does so, it also destroys itself. We don't believe that responses to this global reality can be confined, as they currently are, to the political, scientific or technological: they need to be cultural too. This is not a luxury, but a necessity. It might also be useful to explain what Dark Mountain is not. It is not a campaign. It is not an activist project. It does not seek to use writing or art to 'save the planet' or stop climate change. Rather, it is a creative space in which people can come to terms with the unraveling of much of the world we have all taken for granted, and engage in a conversation about what the future is likely to hold, without any need for pretense or denial.
We're Doomed The Guardian, 2018 by Patrick Barkham - 'We're doomed': Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention. The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it. Hillman says: "Our continuing uneconomic growth makes us complicit in a process that is triggering an ecological catastrophe for our children and generations beyond them. They will justifiably sit in judgment on our failure to have prevented its devastating consequences knowing that we chose to look the other way."
Climate Change Is Forcing a New Manifest Destiny Time Magazine April 18, 2016 We can't achieve a meaningful global consensus on global warming because not everyone loses equally or at the same rate. The urgency exhorted by the Pacific Islands isn't truly shared by Canada and Russia, about half of whose territory is covered in permafrost and almost totally depopulated...the thawing permafrost of Russia's Siberia and Canada's Northwest Territories has made the world's northern latitudes a giant bog that releases five or more million tons of methane (a greenhouse gas) per year, accelerating the demise of ecosystems lying to their south. The face of global warming will no longer be belching Chinese factories or the congested highways of Los Angeles but the endless tundra of Canada and Russia. According to New Scientist magazine, a 4 degree Celsius rise in global averages temperatures would decrease agriculture yields in today's other leading states such as the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Australia. Meanwhile, Canada and Russia's ramp'ed up industrial farming industries could be the breadbaskets for the planet. They are the hydro and food superpowers of a dry and thirsty planet. Adapted from Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization
Whatever Happened to the Ozone Hole? Twenty-five years later, the lingering "hole" over Antarctica is close to closing - and that may not be entirely a good thing. by Brian Handwerk National Geographic News May 7, 2010 See video of 25-year record of ozone hole.
The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol is a Poster Child for how Green New Deal propositions would severly handicap U.S. industry to compete with China.
Three Reasons Kigali Amendment Favors China over America Ben Lieberman March 5, 2019 - Beginning in the 1970s, many policymakers became concerned that the refrigerants used in most air conditioners and refrigerators were leaking into the air and depleting the Earth's ozone layer. This led to the negotiation and signing of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 United Nations treaty phasing out the use of these chemicals. Since then, a class of ozone-safe substitutes called HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) have been developed and are now used in most residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. However, governments and environmental advocacy groups are now targeting HFCs for phase-out because of their alleged role as contributors to global warming. In 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, the parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to a treaty amendment restricting production of these second-generation refrigerants. U.S. ratification of the Kigali Amendment requires it to be submitted by the president to the Senate for a vote and receive approval of a two-thirds majority, but President Trump has not yet said whether he will do so.
The Kigali Amendment would raise the cost of air conditioning and refrigeration. Some manufacturers of Kigali-compliant refrigerants and equipment stand to benefit from the amendment. They have joined forces with environmental pressure groups to lobby for the Kigali Amendment's ratification, and in so doing have made a great many false assertions, including claims that this environmental mandate would generate American manufacturing jobs.
In an attempt to appeal to President Trump, Kigali lobbyists have also asserted that failure to ratify would give China an advantage over the U.S. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. China wins big if America makes the mistake of ratifying Kigali, for the following reasons:
1. China gets more lenient treatment under Kigali. The United Nations classifies China as a developing nation under the Montreal Protocol, and as such it enjoys several advantages over the U.S. and other developed nations. For one thing, China is eligible for millions of dollars in aid, paid for by the U.S. and other developed nations through a UN fund, to assist it in transitioning to new refrigerants and equipment. But most significantly, China and other developing nations were granted longer deadlines under Kigali. The bottom line is that, under Kigali, China can continue with large-scale production and use of low-cost HFCs for many years after the U.S.
2. China cheats. Even after the extended deadlines are reached, China will likely cheat and manufacture whatever it wants, while the U.S. will be stuck complying with Kigali's legal constraints regardless of the costs to consumers. The decades-long history of the Montreal Protocol shows many instances of non-compliance by China (as well as Russia and other rogue nations). Most recently, scientists have documented atmospheric increases of two chemicals banned under the Montreal Protocol, trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) and carbon tetrachloride, both emanating from China. Kigali would provide China with lucrative new opportunities to cheat in the future by making, illegally, the products that America can no longer make legally if it ratifies this agreement.
3. American companies lobbying for Kigali are creating jobs in China. It is far from clear that the Kigali Amendment will be a net jobs creator among American companies in the air conditioning and refrigeration sector. More likely, the jobs making the new refrigerants and equipment will just replace those making the old. But it is also far from clear how many of these jobs will actually be located in the U.S., rather than other nations, given the extent of outsourcing by this sector. In all likelihood, many more products would be manufactured in China and shipped to the U.S. than the other way around.
AWellFedWorld Plant-Based Food - Disentangling our food system from its dependence on livestock is a critical part of solving the world's most persistent and destructive problems. Fortunately, the plant-based foods that promote health and well-being are the same foods that conserve resources to better feed the world, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment. Historically, the transition process has been hindered by entrenched habits, nutrition misconceptions, and vested interests, but there is increasing awareness in the positive change made possible by a shift towards plant-based foods and agriculture. To give one example, it takes 25 pounds of grain to yield just one pound of beef - while crops such as soy and lentils produce, pound for pound, as much protein as beef, and sometimes more.
The Population Bomb 1968 - Author Paul R. Ehrlich - The Population Bomb is a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968. It warned of mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth. Fears of a "population explosion" were widespread in the 1950s and 1960s, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience. Speculations of overpopulation grew once America was aware of food crisis. Under the too many people section of Paul's book he explains, "Americans are beginning to realize that underdeveloped countries of the world face an inevitable population-food crisis". The book has been criticized since its publishing for its alarmist tone, and in recent decades for its inaccurate predictions. The Ehrlichs stand by the basic ideas in the book, stating in 2009 that "perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future" and believe that it achieved their goals because "it alerted people to the importance of environmental issues and brought human numbers into the debate on the human future."
Smithsonian Magazine March 2018 Letters: Exploding Populations: Charles C. Mann's apparent conclusion Back When the End Was Near - Jan, 2018 is that Paul Ehrlich was a foolish prophet of doom who has been proven wrong by our wonderful scientific progress. Rather than an "outlier," as Mann dismissively suggests, Ehrlich's prediction that we are rapidly destroying the planet with too many souls has been validated by the increasingly obvious evidence of a global climate change. And this does not evn touch on the secondary effects: desertification, habitat loss and extinctions resource depletion, pollution, population migrations, and political fallout such as wars and anarchy. Ehrlitch may have been imprecise about the time scale and how the effects of populations would manifest themselves, but the thrust of his analysis is unassailable. Unfortunately, discussions of the impact of swelling populations are either ignored or considered taboo due to religious traditions. - Carl Mezoff, Stamford, Connecticut
Civilisation's Collape Near-Certain The Guardian by Damian Carrington 22 Mar 2018 - Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book The Population Bomb, biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge. The toxification of the planet with synthetic chemicals may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change. A shattering collapse of civilisation is a "near certainty" in the next few decades due to humanity's continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, says Ehrlich.
Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction Accelerated Modern Human-Induced Species Losses Science Magazine 19 Jun 2015 Gerardo Ceballos1, Paul R. Ehrlich, et al - The oft-repeated claim that Earth's biota is entering a sixth "mass extinction" depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the "background" rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
Lord Man A guide to the anthropocene problematique in images Oct 31, 2019 by Eric Lee, Sue Lee - Most of the images and quotes come from the book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot. See also Global Population Speakout 'Of all the fantasies indulged in by a society speeding toward self-destruction, none is as consequential as the idea that continuing growth - both in size of population and size of economy - has a happy-ever-after ending.' - Craig Durian. 'For the first time in history a conviction has developed among those who can actually think more than a decade ahead that we are playing a global endgame. Humanity's grasp on the planet is not strong. It is growing weaker. Our population is too large....' - Edward O. Wilson, Half Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life 2016
Population Bomb Has Been Defused Sample of an extensive public forum debating whether the population bomb has been defused. Some of the most spectacularly wrong predictions in history have been made by those who claim that overpopulation is going to swamp the planet. Thomas Malthus, a British economist writing in the late 1700s, is the most famous of these. Extrapolating past trends into the future, he predicted that population growth would inevitably swamp available food resources, leading to mass starvation. That didn't happen - we continued to develop new technologies that let us stay ahead of the reaper. Why are people so eager to point out that Malthus was wrong all the time? As far as I can tell he was not. He said if population growth continued as in the past, then we would starve, not that we necessarily will. I also think it is wrong to say we engineered us out of starvation, at best it bought us some time to get the fertility rate down. As the article admits, exponential population growth can never be finally solved by technology.
Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event under way, scientists warn Researchers talk of 'biological annihilation' as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades. Opinion: You don't need a scientist to know what's causing the sixth mass extinction.
The Population Bomb PBS 8 min video aired: 02/27/18 - Is overpopulation real? Is Earth filling up with too many humans? How many people can Earth hold, anyway? As our species approaches 8 billion, human overpopulation is a major concern for many people. How can we reduce poverty and our impact on the environment? Do we need a forced one-child policy or something? Maybe not, because when we look at the science and history, populations seem to be in control.
Climate Change & Other Existential Risks Transcending Our Existential Risks with Collective Intelligence by Paul Hughes, 2018 - ...there has been talk about a new take on climate change that predicts we may have less than 10 years before global civilization collapse. It's a very sobering read, and it's definitely made a dent on my otherwise sunny disposition. The main argument behind it is that because our climate and civilization are so complex, they are increasingly subject to 'non-linear' disruptions. Such disruptions have the potential to precipitate various cascade effects, resulting in very rapid phase transitions. This is self-organized criticality at work. It's a fundamental of how most complex systems work, and we're starting to see such effects in the climate and our fragile food system. Given the fragility of our civilization's supply chains, the argument goes, it won't take much of these types of disruptions to destabilize our civilization off a cliff. A quick review of some of these existential threats shows what we are up against. These include growing political fracturing and instability, financial and economic collapse, accelerating climate instability, species and biodiversity loss resulting in ecological collapse, depletion of natural resources such as top soil, ocean fisheries, and asymmetrical technological threats such as garage engineered superbugs, killer drones, and run away AI. All of the above support systems are so deeply interconnected with each other, that should one collapse, others are likely to soon follow. Our extremely 'complicated' built system is becoming increasingly fragile and ill-equipped to deal with the increasingly 'complex' challenges of the 21st century.
For more information on the differences between complicated versus complex systems, please review the Cynefin framework of Dave Snowden. By my reckoning we are about 20–30 years away from reversing global warming. On the timescales of human history, this is mere seconds before reaching the finish line. Some took issue with my assessment, saying that even 50 years is not enough time to get our act together. I disagree, as I will now elaborate below.
Half Earth Our Planet's Fight for Life Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.
Why E. O. Wilson Is Wrong About How to Save the Earth (AEON) 01 March, 2016 by Robert Fletcher, associate professor and Bram Büscher, professor and Chair at the Sociology of Development and Change Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Edited by Brigid Hains - A contrary view to E. O. Wilson's technological approach to defusing the overpopulation bomb.
Can We Prevent the End of the World? TEDTalks presentation by Sir Martin Reese 2014, A post-apocalyptic Earth, emptied of humans, seems like the stuff of science fiction TV and movies. But in this short, surprising talk, Lord Martin Rees asks us to think about our real existential risks - natural and human-made threats that could wipe out humanity. As a concerned member of the human race, he asks: What's the worst thing that could possibly happen?
World-Population Humans are Doing Nothing to Stop Their Own Self-Destruction by Paul B. Farrell - The human race is in a suicidal rush to self-destruction. We can't blame some grand conspiracy of climate-science deniers, Big Oil, Koch Bros, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, GOP governors and Congress. We are the problem. You. Me. Too many of us. Population is out of control worldwide. Seven billion today. Ten billion by 2050, in one generation. Too many babies. Too many old folks. An out-of-control civilization committing mass suicide. We are responsible for destroying the planet. See also: The Supra-Intelligent Design The Union of Science and Religion - Reflexive-Emanation - Panendeism - Why-Is-REP-Necessary? - Meta-Religion - Cosmotheology - The-Natural-Truth - Symmetry - Evolution - Atheism - Intellectual-Immortality - Primitive-Thinking - World-Population - Selector-Theory - Entheogens - Environment - SARAS.
As of April 30, 2020 I've turned 92 and joined the growing percentiles of America's productive aging population. I'm hoping some younger writer who has a panendeism/philosophical turn of mind and finds my samadhi chronicles of value and ideologically compatible could continue to build the Anthropic Trilogy WebBook in partnership with me until I go eternally non-dual and then have it as their own production. Although my writings are exclusively from the perspective of my Samadhi revelations I feel they are a unique contribution to the body of evidence for the Brahman/Gaian Paradigm and should not be lost after I'm gone. Anyone interested can Email me at smalltownsATusaDOTcom and enter anthropic trilogy as subject. (I've funded an account with orders to automatically renew the annual fees for hosting my four websites that contain over 100 of my Maya-Gaia pages and the evolution-involution.org slideshow and other webpages. I have provided auto-funding to at least 2023.
Cybernetic Immortality - from Principia Cybernetica Web: The successes of science make it possible for us to raise the banner of cybernetic immortality. The idea is that the human being is, in the last analysis, a certain form of organization of matter. This is a very sophisticated organization, which includes a high multilevel hierarchy of control. What we call our soul, or our consciousness, is associated with the highest level of this control hierarchy. This organization can survive a partial --- perhaps, even a complete --- change of the material from which it is built. Most of the knowledge acquired by an individual still disappears at biological death. Only a tiny part of that knowledge is stored outside the brain or transmitted to other individuals. It is a shame to die before realizing one hundredth of what you have conceived and being unable to pass on your experience and intuition. (The only sticker is that the data has to be installed on a site that will stay online in perpetuity- but see update above- ef)