“If you think we’ll adapt, think again.” — Nature Bats Last 

Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of natural resources, ecology, and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, predicts human extinction — and human-caused extinction of life — on Earth sometime between 2030 and 2040. In this interview with Thom Hartmann, he argues that we have passed the point of no return. It is not for the faint-hearted. In 2010 Australian biologist Frank Fenner wrote, “We are going to become extinct. Whatever we do now is too late.” Done deal.

Even if industrial society collapses, which it will, we have put into play self-sustaining feedback loops beyond our control.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in December 2013: “The history of climate on the planet — as read in archives such as tree rings, ocean sediments and ice cores — is punctuated with large changes that occurred rapidly, over the course of decades to as little as a few years.”

Runaway global warming with dire implications for the continuation of life on earth is predicted by a growing number of scientists studying Arctic sea ice, such as Peter Wadhams, Ph.D., head of the University of Cambridge Polar Ocean Physics Group, who has, since 1976, accurately measured Arctic ice thickness by way of submarines.

And for the religiously inclined, the Bible predicts extinction in Isaiah 24:4-6: “The earth dries up and withers … the exalted of the earth languish … for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt.”

McPherson says that humans' fatal flaw is man thinking in linear terms instead of understanding exponential, sudden and irreversible changes that characterize nature and the planet. People seem to think, “So what if the earth warms a few degrees?” McPherson points out that Earth is not in the center of a habitable zone for life to exist as we know it, but is very close to the edge. Small changes that trigger massive changes are intolerable for this life. He explains, “On a planet 4 C hotter than baseline, all we can prepare for is human extinction ... humans have not been present at 3.5 C above baseline. ... When there is no ability to grow food or secure water, humans will exit the planetary stage.”

Runaway climate change has been triggered with the melting of the Arctic Ice Cap. Scientists, ever cautious in their projections, at first thought the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2070. Now, as changes speed up, a U.S. Department of Energy research project has predicted that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer months in 2016.

Arctic Sea ice is all-important in protecting life on planet Earth. A more in-depth understanding of this can be seen in the video “Arctic Death Spiral and the Methane Time Bomb.” 

According to Natalia Shakova, who heads the Russia-U.S. Methane Study at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is a very tenuous ice overlay of hundreds to thousands of gigatonnes of methane trapped precariously in the shallow and melting ice. According to Shakova, Earth’s atmosphere currently contains 5 gigatonnes of methane. Even a 1 percent release of the methane in the permafrost would double the amount of methane in the atmosphere. According to her, “anomalous, shaky conditions throughout ESAS (the Siberian Arctic Shelf) may bring on extremely dangerous conditions within only a matter of decades.”

Interviewed in 2012, she said, “To destabilize 1 per cent of this methane pool — it is not much effort needed with the state of methane and permafrost currently involved. What divides this methane from the atmosphere is a very shallow water column and ... permafrost which is losing its ability to seal. ... It is not a matter of thousands of years. It is a matter of decades. ... Where the ice should be about 2 meters thick, it is 30 centimeters thick (1 foot) which means that all the processes that serve stabilization of everything — the sea ice, the currents and movement of water beneath the sea, everything looks anomalous given our experience of 10 years. And this is what is making me think the worst thing might happen.”

Methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent in warming as CO2.

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The Greenland ice sheet is also on its way out. According to glaciologist Jason Box, writing in January 2013, “We’ve locked in 69 feet — 21 meters — of sea-level rise.” 

The fatal human flaw is lack of reverence for life.

Will we celebrate the extraordinary beauty of the birds, beasts, plants and trees, oceans and rivers, fish and whales? Lions, tigers, bears? Will everyone on Earth plant trees to regenerate the rain forests we have so wantonly destroyed for soybeans to feed “live”stock? Will we end the slaughterhouses that a study by the respected Worldwatch Institute says contribute 51 percent of greenhouse gasses? End the recreational slaughter of wildlife? End trapping? End lab animal torture? End poverty? Will we end the tar sand mining in Canada? End fracking? Will we stop overpopulating the earth and paving it over with plastic and concrete? 

All these things will end, but not by decisions of the "wise" apes. Where there are humans there has always been war.

Shouldn’t we mobilize every effort for survival?

Sign this petition against allowing trophy hunters to kill two black rhinos to finance rhino "conservation."

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. madravenspeak@gmail.com or www.wiwildlifeethic.org