In 2011, a Nature Geoscience study found humans are spewing carbon into the atmosphere 10 times faster now than 56 million years ago, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a time of 10°F warming and mass extinction. Some 200 million years ago, an increase in atmospheric CO2 caused acidification of the oceans and global warming that killed off 76 percent of marine and terrestrial species on Earth. Now researchers at MIT, Columbia University and elsewhere have determined that these eruptions occurred precisely when the extinction began, providing strong evidence that volcanic activity did indeed trigger the end-Triassic extinction. So what is the connection between what happened in the End-Triassic Extinction and our current mass extinction? Morgan Schaller, a research associate in earth systems history at Brown University, has previously published work in Science showing that these massive eruptions led to a doubling of carbon dioxide levels from 2,000 parts per million to 4,400 ppm. Although researchers are not sure how quickly this doubling occurred, it could have been within a period as short as 1,000 years. Cousteau was in tears returning to devastated marines after being away for several decades.
Edward Hoagland has eloquently captured the terrifying unconsciousness of humans in this rapidly declining natural world we are destroying.
That could suggest that a preponderance of sulfur dioxide cooling, greater than the CO2 warming effect, occurred. This is a truly astonishing to imagine, as Schaller et al found the huge up-shoot in CO2, as Joe cited. What I’d feel safe to take away from the geologic research is that the most recent previous mass extinction involved severe temperature flux (and by inference climate pattern flux) and ocean acidification.
That much we have in common with the previous extinction, but other factors can differ significantly, such as direction of temperature flux, rate of flux, and possibly the chemical composition of ocean acidification. What gives the Earth life and beauty as we find it, 3.18 billion years down the road from much simpler beginnings, is its deep and balanced complexity.
If there is a human crime against the creativity of whatever Creator anyone fancies, surely it is the ignorant and now intentional destruction of the complexity that resulted in a self-organizing planet and its fledgling attempt, through us, at consciousness.
However hopelessly far behind we think we are in the business of waking up the public – and whether we think it’s better to tell them about local climate impacts rather than the evolution of complexity – we are at the tipping point where our continued non-response to right wing propaganda in all its forms will bury, IMHO, the best chance we have to cause a meaningful shift in the public and policy. What most impresses me is how those with the power, the power that caused this omnicide and the power to avert it, so transparently do not give a stuff. It does bring to mind the question of what a technologically advanced alien species that exists to protect and encourage life on planets would do were it to come here and look at us at this point.
The zoos in 7213 CE will have several exhibits of different species of skeptics, deniers, and industry shills. I sometimes wonder what the greenhouse gas emissions of a 100 year mass extinction might look like. Looking on the bright side, human ingeniuity could engineer the mass deployment of pyrolysis furnaces in order to convert all the corpses back to biochar which could then be used to supplement our coal fired power plants making them more sustainable. I imagine that a really humane such species would treat the robopaths of the Right for their spiritual diseases. With $300 million in the pool people will be lining up to place their bets, and then calling Wash to demand passage.

Before I became a scientist, I posited the same assumption that we’d be succeeded by something more intelligent.
I got a quick riposte from a biology teacher who pointed out that natural selection affects every aspect of evolution. David is there a way to look at the daily readings for Mauna Loa CO2 levels that everyone can access? What makes our period unique compared to other global warming events of the past is the rate of GW gas concentration increase and the albedo change. Mulga, as often, agree to a large extent but think the critique needs tweaking: we would have a huge, huge problem indeed if what we faced were monsterous people in power doing monsterous things. We do not have illogical pathological humans at the head of a sane system; we have an insane, maximize-(short-term!)profits-at-all costs system that (almost) forces even sane people at the top, to act in insane omnicidal ways. Doris & Dicky, the new boutique-hotel booking site, is giving you the chance to win a trip to Naples. Sign up to our newsletter to receive industry insights, news and listings as they are published. More than 50 Bernie Sanders supporters detained outside DNC - Democracy 2016 Story --> --> You are using an outdated browser. This sudden release of gases into the atmosphere may have created intense global warming and acidification of the oceans that ultimately killed off thousands of plant and animal species. My heart hurt as I read his exquisitely vivid words of clarity, deep compassion, rare intelligence and insight into what so many of us ignore, pretend is not real. What happens to our wonderful gift of self awareness when the beauty and complexity it has evolved from becomes a smoking, rotting, blood-soaked corpse at our own hands? This is not an online-only fight and civil disobedience will not saturate deep enough, soon enough. They are, in truth, the servants of Death, faithful, loyal, hard-working, doing His Business every second of every day, with exemplary single-mindedness. It was the root of my hatred of the global system, and the genesis of my belief that radical evil had triumphed in the human world into which I had been flung.
A more intelligent species would take our place, and they will be sure to keep us locked in our cages. In my opinion public education about climate through alternate media is the best course, to include product boycotts of fossil media outlets’ advertisers. Amongst other qualities, what I appreciate most of Joe’s writing is his copious references to primary and secondary sources. The sell out continues to today because capitalism is the lowest common denominator process par excrescence. Some might prove intractable to even the most advanced remedies, and would need to be removed to a far distant planet, where they could be set free, with minimal technology, to prey on one another. In his example, if the biggest selection pressure was from a nuclear war, it would be organisms like cockroaches that have a high tolerance for radioactivity that would survive. It seems to have achieved only a sort of hollow victory when Obama postponed Keystone, but even in that case the reason had nothing to do with climate change but rather possible water pollution in Nebraska.

An already warm world does not have ice loss, our current state combines the feedback effect of rapidly decreasing snow and ice cover, thus decreasing albedo and increasing the rate of temperature rise. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you.
We need more speakers, writers, criers in the technological wilderness like this author to scream from the rooftops in every neighborhood, pound the halls of Congress and articulate harsh, sobering Truth to all of us before it is too late. It’s tipping point time for big green and other actors to take on serious strategic media planning to counter the growing success of the dark side. Needless to say, that belief has grown, inexorably, from horrid insinuation to cold, hard, conviction.
And the crime of destroying the beauty of Creation, God’s or otherwise, is the sin for which there is no forgiveness. In a balanced ecosystem, when one organism dies it is essentially replaced by another organism, but would such a balance exist during a mass extinction event?
I would give credit to the activists in Nebraska on that one, not which claimed credit anyway. Ironically, his words gave me hope to find at least a few conscious human beings still out there trying to stop this madness. Wealthy and well meaning donors don’t know yet that they need to look outside the Green groups.
In contrast, the Sierra Club, which has far more resources, is engaged in an almost endless list of environmental issues as are the other major green organizations. This would fund an address to the nation by climate scientists, crank up the networking efficiency of the climate community, buy support for climate progressive candidates in critical House districts, buy TV ad space..
To win the climate battle I think we may need all the environmental organizations and then some. We came through the last ice age despite our numbers decreasibng to less than 100,000, and the number of breeding pairs decreasing to less than 10,000. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., march during a protest in downtown on, Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia, during the first day of the Democratic National Convention.
If, however we fail the upcomming test, I’d reckon several bacteria and viruses will do quite well in our stead. With Sanders out of the race, some of them were backing Green Party candidate Jill Stein.Tensions rose when about 50 marchers sat down on Broad Street and refused to move unless the Mississippi state flag with the Confederate emblem was taken down from a lamppost. A heavy police presence and fewer than expected protesters helped authorities maintain order.

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