There is also a mass microbial extinction occurring right now: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2094423-microbial-mass-...
I'm exhausted of this consumer society that quashes all appreciation for the dynamic, the non-linear, the relationships of the micro to the macro, of the individual to the mass, of ecologies.
Words can't express my irritation for the blindness of techno-utopians who think we should aim to be happier on Mars. Get a clue! This is our chance to terraform earth back to health! If we can't do that now, there really isn't a chance in hell we could do it with Mars. We need to fall in love with earth again, with all of its creatures, including humans, and even mosquitoes. By perpetuating that live-in-space fantasy, you're sealing the fate of peoples' hearts, crushing the precious seeds of hope and trust in earth's fragile life system, and in humans' potential to bond with earth sustainably.
(Sometimes I do wish ignorant power mongerers and unrepentant rapists would go take a long time-out in the void of space. Maybe that would catalyze the spiritual realization we desperately need them to have. The risk, of course, is alienation.)
Okay... So everything you and I do and say right now matters tremendously. We are at a critical point. It's all that ever has mattered but it especially matters now.
I saw someone below talking about rewilding some spent grazing land. That's real stuff, thank you.
I used to work as a microbiologist / geneticist. One of the standard exercises that beginning microbiology students perform is to
* take a small number of bacteria
* inoculate the bacteria into a sterile container of liquid "food"
* measure bacterial growth in the container versus time
Once the bacteria get going, there's an exponential explosion in their growth. "Exponential" growth continues until they begin to exhaust their resources (food). I used to think about that a lot ("How dumb the bacteria are. They can't plan for the future. They're unaware of how they fit into the larger picture and they just 'race' w/ each other until they deplete their own resources.").
Collectively, I'm not sure we are much different.
I'm sure we're not. Individually we can recognize the a problem. However the problem is there's a lot of people and they all have different ideas about what the problem is, how serious the problem is, how immediate or drastic any action needs to be taken etc. Not to mention those who deny there's even a problem at all. Or people believe we don't need to do anything because the big brains will magic the problem away with some science if we throw enough money at the problem. Try to get anything meaningful done with that mish mosh of characters running the show.
Scaling things down and making them really sustainable is not nearly as obvious and easy task as some people make it out to be.
The only thing I can recommend without reservation: try not to eat meat, unless you need it for health reasons. Most people can easily do that and it does have a significant impact on a lot of things.
I dont share that view of the modern history of agricultural development - that it is the best that could have happened and as good as it gets. Without having the time to refute that outlook, I'm just noticing that your appeal to not forget it made or linked no cases to support it.
Mars surface area : about 144.8 million km²
Earth Desert area* : about 44 million km²
[*] including Antarctica & Arctic
I dunno about that, but I agree with everything else: we could easily end up “terraforming” the deserts (including Antarctica) just to prove the tech for a Mars colony is viable. Putting a full city, complete with self-sustaining farms, on the top of Mt Everest or at the south pole is technically easier than Mars, though perhaps not politically.
No, not what you say (it has all been said before), only what you do.
So what are you doing? Hacker News is full of angry comments about the environment but the only discussions of action are in regards to what other people or the government should do.
Isn't it telling that all we can muster is angry internet posts?
The typical HN reader probably has a disproportionately negative impact on the environment while simultaneously being disproportionately vocal about the need for change...