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Old 03-20-2019, 08:12 PM   #1
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The Anthropocene

While people debate if we're still in the Holocene or have moved into the Anthropocene (where the dominant force for ecological change on Earth is Humanity) future fossil evidence of our impact is accumulating.

Chris Jordan photographs of dead Albatross chicks with stomachs full of plastic items:

Chris Jordan - Midway

Juvenile whale starves to death with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/e...c-philippines/

Such fossils (and other evidence) found above a layer of nuclear bomb testing fallout in the geologic record should be ample evidence of a major change.

Sigh...

On a brighter note, I'm confident Life on Earth will prevail despite whatever short term (geologically speaking) impacts we may be generating. Even if we fried the whole surface of the planet there are organisms between crystals in rocks and around deep sea thermal vents.

So I'm optimistic for Life, but sometimes not so much for us.

Sorry for being a downer, but the whale story made me remember the albatross photos and it bummed me out. Think I'll take a walk with the dog and enjoy an awesome early spring day
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #2
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While people debate if we're still in the Holocene or have moved into the Anthropocene (where the dominant force for ecological change on Earth is Humanity) future fossil evidence of our impact is accumulating.

Chris Jordan photographs of dead Albatross chicks with stomachs full of plastic items:

Chris Jordan - Midway

Juvenile whale starves to death with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/e...c-philippines/

Such fossils (and other evidence) found above a layer of nuclear bomb testing fallout in the geologic record should be ample evidence of a major change.

Sigh...

On a brighter note, I'm confident Life on Earth will prevail despite whatever short term (geologically speaking) impacts we may be generating. Even if we fried the whole surface of the planet there are organisms between crystals in rocks and around deep sea thermal vents.

So I'm optimistic for Life, but sometimes not so much for us.

Sorry for being a downer, but the whale story made me remember the albatross photos and it bummed me out. Think I'll take a walk with the dog and enjoy an awesome early spring day
The ubiquity of plastic in the environment is a major threat to the ecosystem, IMO. I don't know what the answer is, but we most certainly need to do something to dramatically reduce that waste stream.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
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Itís always what you donít see that kills you. I would imagine something surprising will be our demise
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:51 PM   #4
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If humans vanished from the earth, it would be a much better place.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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If humans vanished from the earth, it would be a much better place.
How would we know?
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:33 PM   #6
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The plastic straws could give the whales gas. The whale farts could kill us all, and the cows.


If a whale farts in the sea and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a smell? … err, I mean a sound?


Yeast drowning in their own waste may be an applicable model.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:55 AM   #7
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If humans vanished from the earth, it would be a much better place.
It was a much better place when there were less humans. More humans means more load on an already overloaded planet. I`m not about flourishing a "Beware the End is Nigh", sign but, human nature being what it is, I regard the downward spiral as irreversible.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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Perhaps we just need to invent a cousin to the dredded Pollyester mite.

A roach that eats plastic?

A simple solution to turn plastic into a clean burning fuel to produce power might be a easier world wide answer.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:35 AM   #9
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It wasnít that long ago that gasoline was a bi product and dumped into rivers because it was to flammable to use
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:21 AM   #10
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Itís always what you donít see that kills you. I would imagine something surprising will be our demise
It will probably be our children (younger generations in general). Too many people snd not enough resources. Smartest species on the planet figured out how to beat mother nature's population controls so it could kill itself and most everything else in the process.

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Old 03-21-2019, 01:52 PM   #11
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A simple solution to turn plastic into a clean burning fuel to produce power might be a easier world wide answer.
There was an article back in the late 70s or early 80s, maybe in Scientific American, that told of a plasma incinerator, they called it a sand fire, in Asia. The issue was at the elemental level. You can only break plastic down to the elements and the nasty little things recombine to make other nasty things.

There is a lot of modern information out there on plasma gasification but I'm not sure where it's going.


There have been wars fought over a lot less. Progress is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:32 PM   #12
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"Reduce, reuse, recycle." My wife and I have been doing it for forty years. It's not that hard.


My biggest frustration is that nowadays, it seems like the people who whine the loudest and longest that the government is not doing enough for the environment, themselves do almost nothing to reduce, reuse, recycle.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:54 PM   #13
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"Reduce, reuse, recycle." My wife and I have been doing it for forty years. It's not that hard.


My biggest frustration is that nowadays, it seems like the people who whine the loudest and longest that the government is not doing enough for the environment, themselves do almost nothing to reduce, reuse, recycle.

That seems like a pretty broad generalization.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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There are glimmers of hope, despite the worst we are doing.

African Elephants are becoming tuskless in areas of heavy poaching, going from 2 to 3 percent of the population to 30 percent. This might buy them some time until we smarten up?!!?

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...havior-change/
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:43 PM   #15
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There are simply too many people on this planet. Unfortunately there are a number of derogatory epithets for any politician (or anyone else) with the balls to raise the issue and suggest a means of dealing with it.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:47 PM   #16
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How many drink water from a plastic bottle?
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:53 PM   #17
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How many drink water from a plastic bottle?
Not me. We have awesome water from surrounding mountains
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:03 PM   #18
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There are simply too many people on this planet. Unfortunately there are a number of derogatory epithets for any politician (or anyone else) with the balls to raise the issue and suggest a means of dealing with it.
Here's an idea for you.

How about, once we get a tad more advanced at slicing and dicing genes, we inject the 'altruistic tendency' gene of Bonobo's to override the warmongering gene we seem to share with Chimpanzee's.

If we get lucky, we may even adopt the same social stress relieving strategy most favoured by Bonobo's, and we'll actually start to Make Love - Not War
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:36 PM   #19
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How many drink water from a plastic bottle?
Another question, do you refill them? Easy to do,no quality issues most places.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:10 PM   #20
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How many drink water from a plastic bottle?
Most every day. The water would slosh out of a glass on my bicycle. While there is nothing wrong with refilling plastic drinking bottles, periodically they do need to be resanitized.

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