is headed for a mass extinction, along with many other species
clinging to Earth, and there's probably nothing to be done about
according to one scientist. Frank Fenner, a much-lauded and awarded
scientist hailing from Canberra, Australia, doesn't see much hope for
humans in the future. Between rampant pollution, ecological
destruction, overpopulation and over-consumption, the planet is
already past its tipping point -- it's not a question of if, but when
this mass extinction will occur.Where one might see this view
as the ramblings of a crackpot, Fenner is certainly no such thing.
His contributions to science over the last 60+ years are just as
staggering as his proclamation. An Australian Academy of Science as
well as Royal Society fellow, Fenner holds credits in everything from
eradicating smallpox and helping Australia with victories in New
Guinea by dealing with malaria among their troops to wild rabbit
population control with the myxomatosis virus. He has contributed to
nearly 300 papers and book chapters as well as written or co-written
22 of his own books. In 1973 he established the Centre for Resource
and Environmental Studies. Still active in science and education,
until recently he was still showing up for work every day at the John
Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU (which he directed from 1967
to 1973) and will be opening a symposium at the Australian Academy of
Science titled Healthy Climate, Planet and People next week to help
connect environmental science and environmental policy.Fenner
likens the current global situation to the devastation
of Easter Island. The Rapanui, the Polynesian settlers of Easter
Island, found a pristine mote of land and in the next millennium or
so proceeded to completely devastate its ecosystem by cutting down
nearly every tree on the island. Entire species disappeared and
shortly after, so did most of the Rapanui. They had driven the island
into an unsustainable ecological disaster."We'll undergo
the same fate as the people on Easter Island," Fenner told The
a recent interview. "Climate change is just at the very
beginning. But we're seeing remarkable changes in the weather
already."The Aborigines showed that without science and
the production of carbon dioxide and global warming, they could
survive for 40,000 or 50,000 years. But the world can't. The human
species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that
we've seen disappear."Homo sapiens will become extinct,
perhaps within 100 years. A lot of other animals will, too. It's an
irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express
that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting
it off," he explains.Fenner is not alone in his belief.
Many other scientists feel that humanity has driven the world over
the edge with no hope of rectifying the situation before we meet our
bitter end, taking many other species along for the one-way trip. But
others, including some of Fenner's colleagues, believe it isn't too
late. However, the time in which to address the issues is rapidly
coming to an end.Stephen Boyden, retired ANU professor and
friend and colleague of Fenner's claims "Frank may be
right, but some of us still harbour the hope that there will come
about an awareness of the situation and, as a result, the
revolutionary changes necessary to achieve ecological
sustainability."That's where Frank and I differ. We're
both aware of the seriousness of the situation, but I don't accept
that it's necessarily too late. While there's a glimmer of hope, it's
worth working to solve the problem. We have the scientific knowledge
to do it but we don't have the political will."
quote: A species can pop back with a fairly small population.
quote: Now I live in a suburb. The roads are all paved. And well maintained due to the heavy traffic. When it snows it gets plowed. If there is a fire a professional and full time fire fighter will put it out. There are public green spaces (aka parks). Zoning rules are drafted and enforced. Economic development is actively courted.
quote: Education was once all private. We once had to do everything for ourselves. Taxes were low, but we were also very poor. (FYI - the rich back then did pay a lot of taxes, but when averaged with the masses the tax load was very small) Now we are rich, and taxes are high because of all of the public offerings we enjoy.
quote: The Conservative ideology of reducing taxes to 'starve the beast' is designed to create a deficit. The beast can't be starved until it has hit a limit to borrowing.
quote: Economic growth is fueled by government spending
quote: High taxes on the rich ensure those services are properly funded, creating economic growth.
quote: Globally, the growth rate of the human population has been declining since peaking in 1962 and 1963 at 2.20% per annum. In 2009 the estimated annual growth rate was 1.1%
quote: How ironic. Obama's first year deficit was 5 times Bush's largest, but you know, it's all Bush's fault by the media.
quote: Can you answer me why factually, average human lifespan is much greater now with 6.8 billion people than it was 200 years ago with far less?
quote: For bonus points take your simplistic bogus argument and learn how our government actually functions. The vast majority of the debt was accrued under congressional control by the democrat party. In case you missed it our government is not only run by our president. To make it extra clear just filtering debt by president doesn't cut it in the real world. High functioning retard is likely what you are. I say likely on the notion that you are online and may actually pay bills. Although this may be an incorrect assumption.
quote: And I wonder who created the travesty that is our national debt....
quote: Blame the best legislature that money can buy.
quote: Well, I forget not all the Daily staff is liberal, there's Asher I think
quote: Till the start of the 1800s population was in a equilibrium whit nature and till then there ware about 1B people for the last +10.000 years on earth, and diseases and the amount of food kept population in check.
quote: The Population Bomb was a best-selling book written by Paul R. Ehrlich in 1968. It warned of the mass starvation of humans in 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation and advocated immediate action to limit population growth
quote: I'll start off by saying that its tiring hearing most of you who the doom-and-gloom people "liberal".
quote: Does that scare anyone else?
quote: - steadily increasing population
quote: - decreasing food sources
quote: - decreasing species
quote: - increasing damage to the environment
quote: slow to execute any change