Saturday, July 21, 2007

The World Without Us

The World Without Us, written by Alan Weisman, shows just how transient humanity is save for the fact certain persistent man-made chemicals would still remain viable 200,000 years after our disappearance along with a 2 million year life span for Nuclear. In reading this excellent book, one is struck by the tremendous impact man has had on the environment and, additionally, just how much effort is needed to keep civilization functioning at acceptable levels, something most people take for granted until a component breaks down like the steam pipe burst in Midtown Manhattan. (Interruption of the pumping of water would render parts of NYC uninhabitable in 48 hours)

Another thought one takes from this book is recognizing the extent of the mass extinction of life that's happening all over the world because of the encroachment of civilization and the efforts being made to try to halt this "Big Killing" that indirectly threatens the existence of man.The Rewilding Institute, for example, proposes to repopulate the Great Plains with large predator/prey populations similar to what existed 20,000 years ago with the intent that this area would become a “self-willed land” or self-regulating ecosystem."
In the west, efforts to save the wild salmon is gathering steam whereby (4) dams would be blown up to enable salmon to make their annual trek to their spawning grounds, thus ensuring their continued existence on planet earth. Ironically, the Revenue Stream argument is the main reason why this radical idea of dam busting is beginning to take off.

All over the globe, people are finally becoming aware of climate change and the increasing impact it's having on society. At the same time, tech, in one way a culprit, in another, a possible white knight, is being used to show how climate change works and what can be done to deal with this serious situation.Seed, the nonprofit educational program from Schumberger, enables kids to learn about the environment through interactive science experiments like these while MIT and other institutions are spending millions to better understand the mechanics of climate change and what can be done about it before it's too late.When is it too late? As articulated by Foreign Policy, 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the tipping point before Earth starts to become Venus. Go here to see FP's 21 Solutions to Save the World. It's a good read.

"Party on dude!" - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

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