World will fail unless climate and nature crises are tackled together, says major report "77 per cent of the world’s land and 87 per cent of its oceans have been degraded by humans – putting more species at risk of extinction than at any other time in human history"

World will fail unless climate and nature crises are tackled together, says major report "77 per cent of the world’s land and 87 per cent of its oceans have been degraded by humans – putting more species at risk of extinction than at any other time in human history"


Technology enabled humanity to bloom and exceed earth support systems. We fucked up so many systems, the planet needs a factory reboot. Going to be a hell of a ride...


Earth is overdue for an extinction event if you look at the timeline, I honestly view this as a natural occurrence. Eventually, a planet develops a dominant lifeform like us and we kill off 99% of species. Sad to think how long it will take to recover though.


You might like reading about the Medea Hypothesis, if that's up your alley. It basically suggests that complex life as a whole is actually suicidal and that many extinction events are attempts for the Earth to return to a state in which microbial life dominates. The hypothesis conveniently provides an answer to the Fermi Paradox as well. Microbial life may be the most common life in the galaxy because complex, intelligent life is doomed to self-destruction. Extinction, like you said, is not only a natural occurrence in the Universe and on Earth, but quite frankly speaking, *the norm.* Note also that this isn't the first time humans have caused a mass extinction on planet Earth. The Quaternary Extinction that happened a few million years ago was brought about both by climate change and overhunting by early humans. So we're merely repeating the actions of our past. Regarding whether life may or may not recover from our devastation, I've got some bad news for you: in less than a billion years, the Sun will increase its luminosity by 10%, which will make the surface of Earth increasingly uninhabitable and slowly boil the Earth's oceans, until the planet becomes a barren hellhole where the only life that could survive would be at the poles or underground. This means that by the time life slowly manages to recover or arise again post-humanity, it will find itself having to contend with increasingly difficult living conditions, until eventually it won't be able to survive. In addition, it will be pretty much impossible or at least extremely difficult for a new civilization comparable in technology to ours to arise after ours, since we've used up so many natural resources that any future civilizations will probably get stuck in the pre-industrial age. So life will probably be doomed to never leave Earth even as the planet is slowly being cooked as the Sun nears its lifespan. If you look at Wikipedia's Timeline of the Far Future ([https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline\_of\_the\_far\_future](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future)) , you'll see that it takes several million years for the Earth to recover from past extinction events, and in between that time of recovery, the likelihood of life on Earth being destroyed by *another* extinction event actually increases over time. An asteroid strike is almost certainly inevitable, due to for instance, a nearby star passing through the Oort Cloud of the Solar System, or simply random chance. A supervolcanic eruption will also occur at some point in the future, because it's occurred in regular intervals in the past, further preventing life from fully recovering, should it arise after us. This will make intelligent life much more improbable after us, and if it does arise, much less likely to survive in the long-term, as it will be stuck on a dying planet where food sources become more and more scarce. In only 500 million years, carbon dioxide levels may be so low that plants may start dying off, one by one.


Welp. This is heavy.


I can only think of one other extinction event that was caused by one life form dominating to such an extent that its by-products (ie pollution) killed off a significant portion of all life. That other event was caused by a microbe, not a complex form. Other extinction events were caused by external things, like asteroids, geological events. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. That medea hypothesis sounds like one of the dumber things I've heard in a while.


One such occurrence was the Great Oxidation Event. Which, as the name implies, plowed the road of ancient Earth and put enough oxygen into the atmosphere to kill almost everything that existed. It also allowed life as we know it to begin to evolve. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great\_Oxidation\_Event](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxidation_Event) Also the comment up above underestimates the precociousness of life. Extinction events fuck things up for a long time, but a billion years is a LONG time. After our 'human extinction event' aka Holocene extinction, one could reasonably expect life to rebound and evolve again within the generous context of 100 million years. It would still be 100s millions of years after that before the Sun started to get too hot to support life as we know it (current estimates \~1 billion years). For example, the Cretaceous extinction occurred *only* about 65 million years ago. So we've gone from dinosaurs to us in less than 1/10th of the time it will take for the Sun to get all angry.


Right, the oxidation event is what I was referring to as the only example I know where life basically nearly killed itself off.


It's inevitable


Great post and such an interesting theory, it almost sounds to me like biological life is like fire. It "wants" to spread out in every direction as fast as possible, but no matter how far it gets, its ultimate destiny is to burn out when all of the fuel sources near it are used up. Right now our species is on the cusp of smothering itself, the only way we keep expanding is if we fully evolve into a space-age civilization and begin consuming our solar system's resources. Who knows how long that could sustain us for, maybe millions of more years. It took us millions to go from nothing to consuming the Earth I guess.


True. The only way we can continue spreading is through space colonization, because we've reached Earth's ecological carrying capacity and are trying to push the planet past its biological-ontological limits. However, I am much less enthusiastic about space colonization compared to a few years ago, because I've come to the conclusion that we humans don't deserve to land on other planets and set up base. Not only is space travel and living offworld extremely difficult, but there's a good chance we will probably repeat the same mistakes we've made on Earth on other worlds. We can barely take care of ourselves on Earth, so how the hell are we supposed to take care of ourselves, one another, and other planets with fragile environments, or environments so dangerous the only things keeping us alive are our space bases and astronaut suits? By spreading to other planets, we'll be carrying our greed, selfishness, and war-like tendencies into the stars, which could have disastrous effects upon our species. Maybe, if I was alive in 1972 I would have told you we should totally colonize space, since back then we actually had a fair shot of reversing or greatly mitigating climate change. But after '72 we not only stopped going to the Moon, but continued destroying the planet and using fossil fuels for profit. And even back then, the Space Race didn't happen out of a common concern for the human species, but because of Cold War era politics.


Evolution selects for consumption of energy. Colonization is searching for more resources to take and consume.


Yep, feels like the universe is rapidly trying to kill itself by any means necessary and stars weren't getting the job done fast enough so it made us, that's fun


Millions of years ignored the implications of exponential growth. The 2nd planet will be consumed a lot faster than the first, and the 3rd one consumed faster than that.


> that many extinction events are attempts for the Earth to return to a state I object strongly to the anthropomorphism happening in this argument. This Earth isn't "attempting" to do anything since, afawk, the Earth as a system has nothing approaching "agency" or "desire." I agree that complex life is probably unsustainable in the long-run, but this can be understood as being essentially for physical/thermodynamic reasons and doesn't require hypothesizing some kind of agentic causation that "prefers" bacteria or anything.


[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea\_hypothesis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea_hypothesis) True (hence, why the Medea hypothesis is a hypothesis, not necessarily an established fact). Technically, according to the Medea Hypothesis, all multicellular life acts as a kind of superorganism, so as far as its "desires" and "preferences" are concerned, its only objective is to survive, which is common to all life and isn't necessary anthropomorphic. The hypothesis assumes that the world itself is living, but not in way we could necessarily understand.


> its only objective is to survive, Is life's objective to survive, or is it just that life that doesn't have that objective dies faster and so is out-competed by the more proactive life? Like, why do we need the teleology at all? It's not like anyone told life "your goal is to survive", it's just a generalization of the ideas put forth by Darwin and Wallace. You can make simulations where blue balls duplicate faster then red balls, and (on long enough timescales) blue balls will dominate. It's a statistical branching process.


dude honestly we're already extinct we just can't accept it. We came into the world dead and we will all end in the world dead. the only real thing is being dead, extinction, annihilation, nirvana etc. it honestly makes me feel okay. like nothing really matters anyway why get so worked up about it?


Right? It's the essence of optimistic nihilism. The world's already screwed regardless of whether we're going to destroy it or not, and nothing really matters in the grand scheme of things, so why fret about the inevitable? I've only recently come to accept that since extinction is the norm, and could honestly happen any day now (literally any day--there's thousands of asteroids that could kill us that NASA can't detect, nuclear war could start tomorrow, etc), it is important to live every day as if it were your last. Death is the inevitable conclusion of life, and if the Medea Hypothesis is true, and we take in the reality of the twilight of our species and our civilization, death is also the inevitable conclusion of life on a mass scale, if not complex intelligent civilization as well. Humanity has always tried to cheat death or dominate or rise above Nature in some way, or rise above suffering and hardship, but no matter how hard we try, we always inevitably overreach and destroy ourselves. It was true for the Mongolians, for the Romans, and for other civilizations, who thought themselves mighty but fell apart because of plague and drought and natural disaster, as it is for our modern civilization.


Humans have only been around for 100,000 years


Modern humans have been around for a few hundred thousand years, yes. But early hominids and proto-humans (various homo species, of which we are the last surviving species) were around for at least 2 million years before that, right out of the last Ice Age.


>Medea Hypothesis I had to read this from [wiki](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea_hypothesis) numerous times to make sure I was understanding Medea Hypothesis: "The Medea hypothesis is a term coined by paleontologist Peter Ward for the ***anti-Gaian hypothesis*** that multicellular life, understood as a superorganism, is suicidal." Your explanation is better. Ernst Mayr came to mind when I read, "intelligent life is doomed to self-destruction" Care to share your favorite book?


I have not heard of Ernst Mayr before. Thanks for linking me to him. I can't really tell you what my favorite book is since I have so many I like, but the first one that came to my mind is Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. For me it was a fantastic read and a truly paradigm shifting experience. It really solidified my pessimistic outlook as it beautifully argues the idea that it may have been better if human beings never existed to begin with. Sentience and complex life are goddamn aberrations that should have never come to pass. In a similar vein, Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation also changed my way of thinking for me.


It’s happened before. Probably more than we will ever know.


[It happened before, it will happen again](https://youtu.be/N3nyn_yZQ98) Don’t judge me too harshly


i was expecting a battlestar galactica reference




>Eventually, a planet develops a dominant lifeform like us and we kill off 99% of species. Sad to think how longerrs 1+¹ it will take to recover though. Recover to what? I agree with you. (Well, mostly, agree) You wrote: "Eventually a planet develops..." as if a species like ours must inevitably arise. What puts us in our present situation, however, is a combination of traits. And, those traits are the same ones that made us so successful as a species. (It can be argued that sapiens are simply a case of "too much of a good thing."


Sure, for recovery I just meant it's interesting to imagine how many millions of years it will take for Earth to replenish life from a 99% drop.


Thanks...many seem to think that a new life form will rise in our place--probably a primate. Hopefully, we won't take out 99%. High tech needs to go away. How many life forms need to be gone before that happens, who knows.


Well it took humans about 3 million years to get to where we are.


And we look to the very cause of the problem to be its solution.


We're too far down the road, with too many people for technology not to be part of the solution. We can fix earth and build back better.


You forgot the /s tag.


Climate change and the nature crisis can't be "tackled" like you are saying let's get active. We have to be passive, we have to reduce our activity, our numbers, our self-entitlement. Nothing is going to change if we continue with the same behavior. We are a plague, for our impact to be negligible we have to give back the lands we have taken. The economy is the enemy of the biosphere. People always move towards reducing fear, increasing security, manipulating uncertainty. The opposite is the only way we are going to find sustainability. No one will accept this and we are not going to fix shit unless we do.


Wait, I've got it. I know how we can solve this. Let's make 3 billion more humans. If that doesn't fix it then I just don't know what will.


Finally, someone who thinks outside the box!


4 billion?


Ha! I used to call myself a pessimist and now I'm just a realist. We will continue calling for the rape of the natural world and the increasing enslavement or disenfranchisement of the poor among us in order to feed our voracious consumer appetites. I also used to ascribe moral neutrality but the system is clearly evil. Any child born into the system is born into evil and impressed into a life of doing evil into others. Don't have kids, kids.


Amen to that! I see little kids and I get so sad wondering what their future will look like.


The world’s climate and nature crises cannot be solved unless they are tackled together, scientists have warned in a major report. Global temperatures are already nearing levels deemed unsafe by climate scientists, while 77 per cent of the world’s land and 87 per cent of its oceans have been degraded by humans – putting more species at risk of extinction than at any other time in human history, according to the analysis. To address the escalating crises, the world must end deforestation, rewild vast stretches of the land and sea and rapidly switch to plant-based diets, says the report, which is published by more than 50 of the world’s leading climate and nature scientists. However, countries must ensure that the solutions they pursue address both crises effectively or risk committing environmental “epic fails”, the scientists said. They pointed to tree-planting with just a single species as an example of a solution that does little to tackle the decline of nature or the climate crisis in the long term. “Even in areas where tree-planting is the right thing to do, \[single-species\] plantation forests are a disaster,” Professor Camille Parmesan, a report author and ecologist at Plymouth University, told a press briefing held on Wednesday.


— at this point it seems to me that it is a lot easier to keep the degradation happen than solve 10% of what we have done collectively. Just imagine the scale of the problem humanity is facing. Close to 80% of land is utterly destroyed. Biodiversity is lost. Mass extinction of so many animals that humans depend on directly and indirectly. In order to at least have very bumpy ride in the future we all must switch the entire living system of ours, the most dominant species. But majority of humans (that includes a family of three kids, two cars where a dad or mom just got a raise and they are shopping for new house) will deny anything credible undeniable science will throw at them because “government will figure it out. Everything will be ok”. Of course, no one in their right can blame these niche community because the denial is the most powerful tool that has been used over and over again by those in control. To finish it on perhaps the most sad part. Misinformation. There were human beings who literally made others beings unable to believe. Some selective individuals made so many of us to believe in a lie which affected lives as a result. People played with the fabric of reality if I may. If my opinion ever mattered I would strongly lean on the fact that we are not even fucked at this stage. The entire system needs a factory reboot.


Optimistic twist, the Pareto principle, from UX design, suggests that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes


Sounds about right. It's time we make the switch to a Resource Based Economy


> 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes less than 20%: end the human right to life, start rewarding people for mxxxxr basically [the purge](https://transcripts.fandom.com/wiki/The_Purge) all day, every day: > America was collapsing. A quadruple dip recession followed by a full market crash. A skyrocketing debt, multiple wars and a significant dollar devaluation... All precipitating the worst economic disaster in the history of the United States. Crime and poverty rose exponentially, and the New Founding Fathers, just months after being elected came up with this audacious notion, the **decriminalization of murder** for one night. \- > denial is the most powerful tool so this will fail on step zero: "admit there is a problem", or "admit that your solutions can only solve some problems"


Less murder, more marx friend


I believe these people, of whom you speak, were human only in the strict sense of the word and better described as mammalian parasitoids, albeit nonetheless destined to kill the planetary host that they infected. Asian breeders turning wolves into dogs discovered a key for a tribal Covenant involving excruciating pain that caused their neonates to develop alpha allegiances. However, unlike wolves who kept their stock of prey healthy, the greed of Homo Homini Lupus has already made Earth into a dead planet spinning.


Arguably, the flair for this post should be `Ecological` as biodiversity and land/ocean degradation is discussed more than climate. But not a surprise though since we collectively conflate all environment challenges under *climate* (while bisophere integrity is in the [dire red](https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/347/6223/1259855/F1.large.jpg)). Image from this [paper](https://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/1259855). I have yet to hear any Net Zero targets for habitat and biodiversity loss!




So you’re saying we need more humans?


This should probably read humanity will fail, the world's gonna be just fine without us.


Yeah. I'm totes sure now that the problem has gotten wildly of control and the chance of success is slipping by the day that *now* is the time these assholes will come to their senses and decide to take capitalism out behind the chemical shed and shoot it. Yup, totes sure.


But this time it's different!


TIL communists are immune from greed.


You do know there is more than two choices, right?


There is a difference between a society that systematically rewards and idolizes greed and one which is designed to prioritize other instincts in the human being.


Humans as a species suck at long term planning. People will deny the problem until it is impossible to do so. By then it will be too late.


You have to at some point wonder if these articles will still be written when the shit is literally on fire and millions have perished. It's a big part of the insanity from my view that every article isn't a guide to full-on hedonism to enjoy what time is left.


But...but they are. Shit is literally on fire worse than last year in the western U.S. we've lost, basically, 4 million with more deaths this year than last (official covid tallies). Until the news is over, the articles will just keep coming, saying the same shit. SSDD at this point


What else is new


TLDR, the world will fail...


I have a theory that what will happen is humanity will be driven completely to extinction (or very damn well near it) and the world will start to heal from there. Life on Earth in the future will probably be unrecognizable. Nature is going to have to adapt to a lot of things that are hard for us to understand with things as they are now; such as the possibility of abandoned nuclear waste facilities and nuclear missile silos that eventually break down and become part of the environment. There will be a lot of horrible stuff that washes into the sea from abandoned factories and other production facilities. This is also heavily assuming that nature will be able to adapt back to living in the ocean all over again, since it's almost inevitably the sea level rise will contribute to a complete change in the land/sea ratio. I also have a feeling the planet will become unbearably hot. There's a possibility that sea ice as it exists right now is one of the only forces helping to regulate temperature across the planet. This is SPECULATIVE, mind you. At the moment we can only speculate what a planet without any remaining sea ice would be like, but we do know that it would be mostly ocean. So basically imagine that, plus miles of waste washing out to sea, and crumbling infrastructure eventually succumbing to decay and washing away as well. There will very likely be factors we did not account for. And that's only the stuff we KNOW about. But most of humanity won't care because we will likely be killed by the extreme circumstances. It's very depressing.


"Unless", that's adorable, as if it can be stopped under capitalism.


Whats going to to happen is terrible, first of all not a lot is going to change we will fuck ourselves, could of change happend yes, a lot of the people in power and with money could of made a diffrence but they will not humans will continue to fuck ourselves until it is too late billions will die many will suffer, and what will be left is a wolrd rid of modern day humans of a modern day world, if any of us our left will be eating eachother and being forced to be hunter gatherers and maybe a few of us will have litte farms yet while this is possible for the north regions and colder places it would only work with a drástic decrease in population ah what a time it will be and what a fucked up time it will be i only hope for those who are on the edge of surival will live a more simple life.


Let's say we face a dozen dire situations right now. I think it will be a *miracle* if we successfully address one of them. So it'll just be the other 11 that get us.


>unless I feel like the inclusion of this word nearly guarantees that we will not.


Important, especially for my many colleagues in climate change education who think that everything will be solved if we only we could get the planet to stop using fossil fuels.