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Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’

Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’ | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries,” including carbon dioxide levels and the extinction rate.
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«The Earth has faced shocks before, and the biosphere has always recovered. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the planet apparently froze over — becoming “Snowball Earth.” About 66 million years ago, it was jolted by a mountain-sized rock from space that killed half the species on the planet, including the non-avian dinosaurs. Life on Earth always bounced back. “The planet is going to take care of itself. It’s going to be here,” Richardson said.

“There’s a lot of emotion involved in this. If you think about it, the American ethic is, ‘The sky’s the limit.’ And here you have people coming on and saying, no it isn’t, the Earth’s the limit,” she said.

Technology can potentially provide solutions, but innovations often come with unforeseen consequences. “The trends are toward layering on more and more technology so that we are more and more dependent on our technological systems to live outside these boundaries,” Pierrehumbert said. “. . . It becomes more and more like living on a spaceship than living on a planet.”«

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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another strong flare, an M6-class eruption on March 9th at 0358 UT. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection almost directly toward Earth. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will arrive on March 11th at 0649 UT (+/- 7 hr). NOAA forecasters say the odds of a strong geomagnetic storm at that time is 50%.

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Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt

Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data – and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions.
Artur Alves's insight:

«“Is Earth F**ked?” (full title: “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”).

Standing at the front of the conference room, the geophysicist from the University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response. When pressed by a journalist for a clear answer on the “are we f**ked” question, Werner set the jargon aside and replied, “More or less.”

There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it “resistance” – movements of “people or groups of people” who “adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture”. According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups”.

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He isn’t saying that his research drove him to take action to stop a particular policy; he is saying that his research shows that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to ecological stability. And indeed that challenging this economic paradigm – through mass-movement counter-pressure – is humanity’s best shot at avoiding catastrophe.

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