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STAR DATE 53474.64.2 EARTH SECTOR 5

4.5 Billion years of geologic history on planet Earth has produced an interesting branch of the evolutionary tree of life called homo-sapiens.  This warlike, tool using bi-pedal creature possesses five key senses with which to understand their world, and rudimentary reasoning powers that allow for occasional altruistic thoughts and behaviors, and some limited discoveries of scientific nature.

 

The very short life span of these creatures often causes confusion about events that occur on an epochal scale.  For example, their own study of the planets fossil records has shown Earth has alternately undergone comparative hot-house conditions, and has often been locked in ice.  Yet, the commonly held belief by short lived homo-sapiens is that their planet’s climate and environment should, at all times remain in a steady-state.

 

Homo sapiens as a species often view themselves as the center of their perceived universe, though in recent centuries scientific knowledge has made some inroads on these perceptions.  Most of the current population on the planet, however, still clings to beliefs that are contrary to known facts or that are not provable with scientific methods.

 

The religion of Global Warming, for example, is a widely held belief that CO2 emissions (the result of burning complex hydro-carbon deposits know as fossil fuels) are somehow heating the planet.  While there is much correlative and anecdotal “evidence” that has been produced to support this belief, no “causative evidence” has been as yet produced that proves Global Warming is caused by a rise in atmospheric CO2 levels. 

In a recent visit to this planet, we found it exceedingly difficult to reason with one thousand test subjects that currently adhere to the Global Warming faith.  Showing these subjects their own science that proves CO2 levels were much lower in their planets Mesozoic era, while Oxygen levels were higher was uniformly met with a glazed look of incomprehension.  Pointing out the logical dissonance that their planet was once much warmer during the Mesozoic period (in spite of much lower CO2 levels) does not fundamentally change beliefs that rising CO2 levels somehow cause warming of their planets climate.  [Note: the level of overall percentage increase driving this CO2 warming faith is in the hundredths of a percent range!]   Even when explaining rudiments of the planetary gaseous balancing relationship between plants and animals to these subjects does nothing to sway beliefs that their planet's climate is somehow in imminent danger from waste products related to the burning the remainder of their fossil fuel reserves over the next 100 years. 

We did note some widespread limited comprehension among test subjects when speaking slowly and telling them “you and other animals use Oxygen, and exhale Carbon Dioxide, while plants use Carbon Dioxide and exhale Oxygen - does this suggest anything to you?”.  We found, however, that only 3 out of our selected 1000 Global Warming religious subjects were prepared to question their faith in Global Warming at this point in our tests.

 

Our conclusion is that it is unsafe to visit planet Earth at this time due to a lack of critical thought processes within an overwhelming majority of the planet's dominant species.  This assessment will remain in place until overall intelligence and scientific reasoning progress to a point that unproven faiths such as Global Warming no longer exist among Homo sapiens on a widespread basis. An automated outpost will be left on this planets moon to monitor media publications for signs of intelligence.   Any widespread mention by this planets media that the star in this planetary system is variable in energy output, or that climate changes have happened independent of the acquisition of fire by humans will automatically trigger a another assessment.

 

Until further notice, Do Not Visit Earth for any reason.

 

XZorg5, Field Supervisor, Sector 5

First Contact Bureau SSN (Sentient Species Network) 

Comments

Norton Louis Added May 14, 2015 - 7:22pm
Homo Sapiens Commentator Rules of Conduct. 
 
Please control your warlike tendencies.  Those exhibiting excessive aggression that includes name calling may have their comments deleted.  Proscribed words of aggression include but are not limited to  "a$$hole, moron, stupid, idiot & proboscis".
 
Comments or links deemed unrelated to the discussion may also be deleted.   Prohibited comments or links include but are not limited to Monty Python movies, selecting a proper hamster cage and the myriad health benefits of eating seaweed.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added May 15, 2015 - 5:23am
Norton
 
your article begins really promising:
 
4.5 Billion years of geologic history on planet Earth has produced an interesting branch of the evolutionary tree of life called homo-sapiens.  This warlike, tool using bi-pedal creature possesses five key senses with which to understand their world, and rudimentary reasoning powers that allow for occasional altruistic thoughts and behaviors, and some limited discoveries of scientific nature. 
The very short life span of these creatures often causes confusion about events that occur on an epochal scale
 
I like your style, occasional twinking eye.....I was a bit disappointed that it continues with global warming, and not more generally as a humoristic outlook at Homo Technologicus.
 
Global warming being a global worn-out subject, nature is nature, so what. Either we adopt to what we create (or do not, who cares), or we're in deep shit.
 
Fact is no matter what we'll do, our species will NOT last for long anyway, hilarious counting in millions of years (I don't even dare talking of BILLIONS).
 
David E. Added May 15, 2015 - 7:57am
Norton, I am absolutely with SEF on his point. You built a perfect frame to mount the canvas... an artwork for the unnamed era; The Anthropocene!! Cast into a ridiculous layer of rocks before it was officially named. Oppps... forgot, spoiler alert. https://youtu.be/fvgG-pxlobk
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 10:44am
Cynthia, thank you for the compliment.  I agree, Global Warming is politicized......the reason being is that most homo sapiens do not think critically, therefore they need to be polarized into an opinion to support something.  This is true whether a political candidate or to take actions to save themselves.
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 10:51am
Stone Eater.  The messiah Al Gore created the religion of Global Warming to help you.  The carbon credit system he proposes is intended to help usher in a new world government that will be better able to help humans survive the coming depletion of fossil fuels.  You do not have sufficient alternative energy sources at this time to feed your world's billions.
 
Critical thinkers are beginning to understand that there has not been a causative link established, which gives hope that humanity may someday truly earn the label of sentient.
Jamie Colley Added May 15, 2015 - 11:01am
Re: "You do not have sufficient alternative energy sources at this time to feed your world's billions." 
 
You're obviously overlooking the value of harvesting seaweed. I've got a LOT to say on the issue if you're interested, just hit my beeper digits. 
 
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 11:40am
Jamie....seaweed is a prohibited subject in this discussion.  Leave the seaweed on your planet alone to pursue its own evolutionary path.  
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 1:32pm
David E.  The link you provided was most entertaining......The Antropocene or "Epoch of Humanity" will no doubt be characterized by a massive wave of what Darwin referred to as the "survival of the most adaptable".   I'm betting humanity will not pull pull it's primary sensory cluster orb out of its collective waste elimination orifice soon enough to ensure most of the planets billions will survive the exhaustion of fossil fuels.....
 
With the correct Messiah however, the people may yet be let towards collective salvation.  Al Gore almost got it right.  Think of a flock of your earth sheep requiring a shepherd to herd them away from danger.
 
Or you can control your own genetics to get smarter....this is what we recommend.  Sheep eventually get led to the slaughter.
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 2:02pm
Tony from planet Oz.....yes it would seem that living in harmony with the environment of your planet would be the wisest course of action.  You may have noticed that the traits that brought the human race to this point in development on your planet often interfere with this goal.  Greed, envy and violence are traits your strongest ancestors used to help them survive and reproduce.  The human race is approaching a critical nexus where it must choose to let go of this genetic programming, or descend back into the mud from which it came.  You will not be allowed to escape your planet to contaminate other worlds with your warlike tendencies.   
mark henry smith Added May 15, 2015 - 3:23pm
Norton, Okay, we know the planet is warming. All we have to do is look at the rising temperatures in our polar regions and the early springs and later falls to see just how rapid it will be shortly. The studies of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere show some effect on this process. Let's call it carbonation, because equally troubling is the acidification of the oceans causing some calcium carbonate shell producing organisms to have problems getting enough carbonate to form strong shells and dying off. What puzzles me is anyone who doesn't think the tons of pollutants we put into the environment on a daily basis around the globe don't have any detrimental effects that we need to worry about.
 
The one human quality that has made us so successful, made us the top of the food chain, is our unmatched ability to kill and the ingenuity we apply to this pursuit. We have not found many living things on this planet that we can't kill, and if we do, start finding microbes we can't kill that have deleterious health consequences, we're in big trouble because our immune systems have become much less robust.
 
Our war-like nature is the nature of all successful hunters. To kill what we need for food, and whatever gets in our way of getting our way, having our way, is much the human way. What happens when we can't get out of our own way will be the test of our survival.
 
But perhaps, some enlightened creature will come down from the stars, or up from the depths, and teach us how to live in balance with ourselves. Let's hope. Marko (-:)>+  
 
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 4:20pm
Marko....over geologic epochs, polar ice caps have often extended nearly to the planet's equator.  Likewise, they also barely existed at one time during the Mesozoic era.
 
If earth were to warm, this would provide more arable land for things to grow.  Increased CO2 levels would only aid in this growth.  Oxygen as a waste product from plants would increase, helping fauna to flourish.  Franky I am having difficulty seeing a net downside to this possibility.
 
If the Global Warming faithful are correct in their beliefs and you are forced to retreat from the shores of your continents, it will mean trading shoreland for longer growing seasons and much more arable land over much of your cooler hemisphere.
 
As long as humans do not eliminate plants faster than they increase, Earth is in little danger of reaching an environmental tipping point.
 
If I were you, I'd be more worried about feeding 10 billion people in 75 years when your easier to reach fossil fuels will be mostly depleted.
Utpal Patel Added May 15, 2015 - 6:27pm
Really well written article.
 
Regarding your response to Marko, I wouldn’t be so cavalier about thinking everything would be good if the earth were to warm.  The alarmists/believers think it’s warming at a faster rate than Mother Nature intends.  If man is responsible for a rapid increase in temperature, it would be a safe bet that things would not get better.  Thankfully there is no evidence the Earth is warming or that man is responsible for any change in climate.
 
As it relates to fossil fuels, we’re finding more ways to extract them thanks to hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling and less ways to use them thanks to fuel efficient technology in our homes and cars.  
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 6:55pm
Hi Utpal.....yes my attempt with the last comment was to illustrate the need for human adaptability and an open mind when living on a planet that frequently heats up and cools down..........(rather than come across as cavalier about the possibility of global warming).  As to "warming" happening at a faster rate, this is often conflated with an uptick in CO2 content happening at a faster rate than previously measured in nature.  Yet again, it takes a leap of faith to connect this uptick in CO2 that is in the hundredths of a percentile to global warming.
 
One poster on another blog said "we have not seen this level of Greenhouse Gas for over 1 million years".  A ridiculous statement on the face of it, because the last time earth was a greenhouse, oxygen levels were at 30% (not 21% as today) and CO2 levels were actually lower than today.
 
Fracking provided a bump in the bell curve of fossil fuels, but has not changed fundamental conditions of population growth vs. a finite resource.  For a great video on math vs. the folly of the human mind, take a look as Professor Al Bartlett illustrates the bell curve on fossil fuels well even before fracking was placed into widespread use.  He famously said "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY  

The above is part 1 of 8....the other 7 [arts of this can be found on youtube as well.  This 60 minute lecture is often billed as the most important video you'll ever see.....(thanks to David E. for originally posting this link).  You'll be glad you watched it....still topical today though recorded I think in the late 90s.
David E. Added May 15, 2015 - 8:10pm
Excellent and entertaining comments. Curious, we need this combination to dig through the really deep sh!#. I learned this early when George Carlin did his words you can't say on Television... started me down the road of questioning government. Comedians constant make questioning ourselves, acceptable.
 
Thanks for the credit. "The most important video you will ever see" lives up to it's name. I merely found it some 12 years ago and kept enough people interested to keep replacing it when it was removed.
David E. Added May 15, 2015 - 8:21pm
Another film from WAY back that might bring our collective cognative dissidence in focus is
Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
http://www.hulu.com/watch/27800
 
There is an updated version that includes some stark images of more recent history. You may recognize some of the music score as it was used in the famous movie "The Watchmen". ;-) enjoy...
Norton Louis Added May 15, 2015 - 8:49pm
In two words....population explosion.
Mike Haluska Added May 15, 2015 - 9:55pm
Too bad your alien buddy didn't "encounter" George Carlin:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4
Leroy Added May 16, 2015 - 5:17am
Beam me up, Scottie!  No intelligent life among the global warming crowd.
Mike Haluska Added May 16, 2015 - 9:55am
Molly - your statement:
 
"I tell my third grade music class to take harmonicas they've only had in their hands briefly, to go away on their own for fifteen minutes and come back with a song they've composed."
 
requires some clarification.  What musicians call a "song" requires some knowledge of harmony, melody, tempo, etc.  What children call a "song" is a bunch of random notes strung together in no particular order.
 
I applaud your encouragement and caring for your students, but don't give them a false sense of accomplishment.  Take what they have created with little understanding and practice and show them what they could accomplish by actually studying music, working hard and being persistent.
Norton Louis Added May 16, 2015 - 10:43am
Molly...really enjoyed many things about your comment.  Could not agree more that should conflict from our daily challenges to war suddenly be replaced with true peace, most of us would miss the conflict on some level....that is the nature of humanity.
 
Most war is due to competiton for resources.  Humanity also has a warrior problem.  Young adult males lack critical brain development until around the age of 27, and testosterone fuels aggressive behavior,  Think of the images in the recent Baltimore riots.  Young warriors without much hope of benefitting from the system are lashing out in frustration.
 
At its heart, war is a survival mechanism. A majority of us carry genetic material from the conqueror of the them known world Genghis Kahn......need I say more?
 
The question before us is do we like being a warlike race, or should we begin making changes to our genome to increase intelligence and decrease aggression?  
mark henry smith Added May 16, 2015 - 11:22am
I met a biologist at a B+B in Bisbee, Az, one of the people who worked on the first billion-dollar drug, it was one of those drugs for ulcers, the first one that didn't work by neutralizing acid, but by turning off production, now we know many ulcers are caused by H Pilori bacteria. Do we capitalize the names of bacteria?
 
The dude was English, and when I started talking about psycho active drugs and how they can expand consciousness, he said, "Don't monkey with the mechanism. That's what you learn when you study bio chemistry. When you tinker with one system, it affects a dozen you didn't think about."
 
What great talks we had. Anyway, the point is that we've been monkeying around with the mechanism since we came down from the trees. It's what we do. And yes, the global warming will open more efficient shipping lanes, and make some areas more productive agriculturally, but the movement of people from coastal areas will be a massive migration on an unprecedented scale in human history.
 
I'm an optimist. I think we're ingenious enough to find solutions to our monkeying around. Lots of people will probably die in the process from some evolutionary extermination. That's what nature does. And as my brother says, then the greatest pollutant won't be fossil fuels, or radioactive waste, it will be dead bodies. If we have a epidemic on the scale of the last great flu outbreak in the early 1900s, that's what I'm talkin' about. Marko (-:)>+      
Norton Louis Added May 16, 2015 - 12:05pm
Mike Haluska...finally found time to watch the George Carlin video you recommended above.....what a genius that guy was.  He was our Einstein for social commentary  Frankly, as a first contact with an alien race, we probably could not do better than to have George Carlin represent us.
 
Mark....the operative term in your comment is "monkey".  We need to increase our intelligence as a race to rise above our monkey atavistic behaviors.  If we aspired to be at least as smart and perceptive as George Carlin, we would be much better off as a race.
 
Tell me, what is the scientific basis upon which you base your belief in global warming?  To be clear, I am not speaking of measurements and correlation, but actual science that proves an increase of CO2 in the hundredths of one percent range has a magnifying effect on the energy of the sun in our atmosphere. 
 
Not a fair question, because even the best answer to this is one theory of many about the behavior of CO2 in the troposphere.  Personally, I think that you, like me, chose to believe the "evidence" in the form of correlative measurements and supposition on Global Warming placed in front of you, and since that time you have not been thinking critically about the subject.  I was in the same place until doing some research and thinking about it on a deeper level. 
 
Choosing to believe something without supporting evidence is an act of faith, not science......an act of superstition if you will.  
Norton Louis Added May 16, 2015 - 1:13pm
Molly...one more thing that might be interesting to you in relation to your comment on chickens in every pot:
 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs 
 
We always fail at societal level at self-actualization as a race.....whether from ancient Rome to the US today.   When a society is wealthy enough to provide for lower tiers of Maslow's Heirarchy (food/shelter, love, safety & esteem) the human race primarily  will choose indolence, excess and apathy over self improvement.  Self actualization is not a programmed survival characteristic. 
 
 
mark henry smith Added May 16, 2015 - 1:15pm
Norton, I'm not certain that CO2 is the culprit. I don't think it really makes any difference at this point because we're not turning away from fossil fuels to any significant degree. Is methane a worse greenhouse gas? Technologies will change. As batteries become more efficient, able to hold more power, all cars will be battery powered, it's just a simpler, more efficient mechanism. As nuclear fusion becomes applicable, we'll have power in ways we never imagined. The evidence I see for global warming, rising oceans, isn't correlative, it's seen in changing temperatures in the polar regions, a warming trend that appears to be accelerating. In greater storms and flooding Miami. Rapid changes in our climate have happened repeatedly over the millenniums, from ice ages to warm ups, due to volcanic activity, solar activity, celestial objects striking the earth, and as a result we've had massive extinctions. Now we create massive extinctions with our appetites. We're a force of nature, right?
 
That we're headed into a period of serious difficulty doesn't appear to me to be an intellectual stretch. There's just not a lot of wiggle room left on this planet. I remember the cartoon my ex-wife kept on the fridge, a rowboat teeming of rabbits, with the lead rabbit saying, "We have to practice restraint." Good luck with that. Marko (-:)>+ roll the r      
Norton Louis Added May 16, 2015 - 1:57pm
Marko...I laughed out loud at the rabbit analogy.  
 
I too think that we are creatures on a planet that is variable by nature, and naturally we are a part of that variability.
 
It is crazily human-centric to think that most of us want to blame  a culprit like so called greenhouse gases for our problems.  "Gosh if we only stopped burning fossil fuels and breeding cows that fart like rocket engines, everything would be OK".   Like somebody that does not want to remove their hand from their face after being shot, humanity refuses to want to see that the root of most difficulties on a planetary scale are related to over-breeding.   When you and I were young, there were less than 4 billion on the planet.  Today that number is 7 billion.  According to the UN, the populaton number will be 10 billion in the second half of this century.  This increase will happen in spite of some relative stability in population seen in many first-world countries.
 
Human beings cannot expect to continue doubling poplulation every 75 years without creating catastrophe.  We need to either get smarter or suffer the consequences of any animal population that exhausts the resources in its environment.  
 
The planet will still be here traveling around a varible-in-intensity sun whether we survive as a race or not.  If we manage to screw the place up a little, Earth will balance itself out over time.  4.5 billion years and counting...........and still serving life.  Billions and billions and billions served.
 
 
Norton Louis Added May 16, 2015 - 5:41pm
John "who knows if population will increase anywhere near the straight line analysis of the zero polulation group. recently i saw that an analysis of mexico's population growth had been reduced by 60% due to woman entering the work force and less children".
 
Answer.  The United Nations....
 
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45165#.VVe3jye9KSM 
 
Africa alone is expected to grow from 1 billion to 4 billion people by 2100.  Citing one data point in Mexico is illogical when making assumptions about total world populations.  If there is an area that the UN is expert in, it's collating and understandIng data on world population trends.
mark henry smith Added May 17, 2015 - 2:12pm
Beautiful Noelle,
so here's a little open post poetic interlude.
The Uncertain Ones
 
Will we make the mountains in the morning?
Or will the rising and the warming
that has left us all so irascible
make the road up ahead impassable?
Will we be flying high today, tomorrow?
Or are we next in line for the fall into sorrow?
Are we really just shadows on life's curtain?
Were we always doomed to be uncertain? 
 
A twist on a ill-fated love poem. Marko (-:) roll the r 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added May 18, 2015 - 4:02pm
Norton
 
You do not have sufficient alternative energy sources at this time to feed your world's billions.
 
We don't even have that for 8 billions, in fact. That's why some propose limiting earths population as of now by making women infertile, easily possible, ask Monsanto, or some little Ebola-like virus, there are viruses like this:
 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/exclusive-controversial-us-scientist-creates-deadly-new-flu-strain-for-pandemic-research-9577088.html
 
We don't need a nuke war, Africa is growing in population at a VERY fast rate.
 
Global warming is peanuts compared to that, no matter where it comes from.
Norton Louis Added May 18, 2015 - 5:25pm
SEF.....indeed.  We seem to have our priorities skewed.  All of this misdirection about global warming assumes things will always more or less be as they have been.  The real calamity we spend little time talking about is upcoming nexus of world population vs. available resources......the scarcity of resources is going to win in some way - guaranteed.   
 
We must control our populations, or the planet will do so for us.  Birth control is more palatable than war, plague and starvation, don't you think?
Robin the red breasted songster Added May 19, 2015 - 6:51am
Just FYI we are successfully starting to control our populations.   It is a piece of good news that is generally passed over.
 
We have reached "peak child" now.   This means that there will never be any more children in the world than there are today.
 
However lengthening life spans and improved mortality for the young means that there will still be growth from around 7 billion today to "top out" at around 11 billion.
 
This success is due to social health and medical programmes which have reduced infant mortality.  It is also due to improved social security measures.  These have led to those in deprived areas no longer seeing the need to have lots of kids in order to ensure they have support in their old age.
 
However there is a big problem still in the use of resources.  Generally we reckon that we are using about 2.5 planet's worth of resources.   In other words we are using up the earth's resources much faster than it can replenish them.
 
The vast majority of these resources are today used by about 5% of the population.  It's an exponential curve.
 
If the other 95% decides it wants to use resources at the same rate as the 5% then we are truly buggered (to use a technical term).
 
Since the USA is the largest using of global resources and shows no intention of becoming more frugal, then we can hardly expect others to be restrained in their use.
 
It is the "Commons Dilemma" on a global scale.
 
The USA is technologically brilliant but socially blind.   So there is not really much hope.
Robin the red breasted songster Added May 19, 2015 - 6:57am
If there is hope, it lies in us re-educating ourselves to accept that there can be a good life, a very good life, without burning up resources at such a rate.   But first we need to go cold turkey.
Norton Louis Added May 19, 2015 - 9:32am
Robin, So we are going to add 4 billion people to the planet...as many as existed in 1980 and that is population slowing?  
 
There really is no way to conserve limited resources under that kind of growth- even if the US were to go "cold turkey" as you say, those 4 billion would offset those resource savings.  The fundamental flaw in humanity is the widespread inability to understand the exponential factor in relation to resource consumption. Resources are limited, and unrestrained growth (peak child or no) consumes limited resources at an exponential rate.  We will be out of fossil fuels for all intents and purposes in this century.
 
The looming disaster is Africa.  The UN predicts a 3 billion increase from 1 to 4 billion on this continent by 2100.  If we tear down enough jungle and rain forest, we'll affect the carbon/oxygen exchange cycle; perhaps to our detriment.  Eight of the top ten hungriest countries today are on the African continent.....people worried about eating will not be mindful of the environment.  Already most big game is endangered due to its ability to provide income.
 
Our future as a race lies in how we preserve the last frontier in Africa with healthy growth.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added May 19, 2015 - 11:54am
Just to be clear, population will stabilise at about 11 billion.
 
That is, I think, 1 billion in Europe, 2 billion in the Americas, 4 billion in Africa and 4 billion in Asia.
 
You are quite right about the need to conserve the jungle and rain forest.
 
Big game has already become extinct in Zimbabwe, mainly due to mismanagement by the Mugabe regime.
 
However Africa is truly huge and has tremendous resources.   It ought to be able to feed itself and then some without destroying the environment.   However they will be in trouble if every African aspires to drive a Humvee rather than ride a bicycle.   An outbreak of McDonald restaurants would also be hard to cope with...
 
Africa's problem is ineffective and corrupt Governments combined with extensive rape of the place by global corporations.
 
But it can get better.  There are glimmers of hope.
 
I was in Sierra Leone three years ago.  They had just held their first democratic elections after years of civil war and instability.  There was no violence and a general feeling of optimism
Norton Louis Added May 19, 2015 - 1:42pm
China is buying Africa right now with an intent to create a manufacturing base to help convert their own manufacturing economy into a consumer economy.
 
Take a look at the manufacturing in China today to see what is in store for Africa tomorrow......
 
Humanity has an opportunity to apply lessons learned about pollution and environmental damage in Africa.  If there were an alien culture observing us, I feel how we caretake the last large pristine landmass on the planet as we move in to exploit it's resources is going to go in humanity's final report.
Charlie Raiche Added May 21, 2015 - 6:39am
China has made significant investments (they aren’t buying Africa) in Africa but it’s mostly in raw materials to feed China’s manufacturing infrastructure.  As the Chinese economy develops it will surely become more of a consumer economy, but it came from a very low place so it still has a lot of growing to do. 
 
No offense but it sounds like you got your image of Africa from watching animal shows on the National Geographic channel.  It’s not a pristine landmass, much of Africa is impoverished, over-populated, war-torn, etc.  More manufacturing and investment would be a welcomed change whether you’re an environmentalist or not.  Tourism and a higher effort to get the people to leave the fields and enter factories and other urban-like professions is what will save whatever pristine land remains.  
David E. Added May 21, 2015 - 8:50am
RTRBS, Precisely, well said. I have thought long and hard on this and I think it distills into a simple lack of human quality... gratitude, or gratefulness. If just spend just 5 minutes everyday, being thankful for something in my life... and meaning it! Condition the awareness; https://youtu.be/n4cqujPMXLI ...of the challenge... to be aware... to be cognizant, of the answers to the really important questions, I find myself... bringing harmony to everyday survival and stay focused on what really matters. The war on love https://youtu.be/kzHHj1cBDJk [.] Burried in knowledge...https://youtu.be/j0U1fTNB9X4
Norton Louis Added May 21, 2015 - 10:41am
Charlie my point exactly on Africa.  1/3 of Africa is arid desert, and 8 of the top ten starving countries in the world are in Africa.  With the UN telling us they will go from 1 to 4 billion this century, the ecosystems are bound to suffer.  
 
Africa is bad now to be sure.....but as industry moves in (and it will as China converts to a consumer economy), we'll see Africa change much more dramatically as their ability to exploit natural resources improves.
 
Its sobering to think of how big Africa is as a landmass...it would hold the US, China, Europe, Mexico, India and more inside its borders.  It is in this respect (population density) I think that mistakenly may have conveyed the "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" perspective to you.
 
4 billion with the technological ability to exploit the African continent will change Earth dramatically in this century.
 
http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/original-size/20101113_WOM943.gif 
mark henry smith Added May 21, 2015 - 11:01am
Charlie, as you point out, people want to preserve the past, or their image of it. Africa as a game park is done. All the large wild animals will be hunted to extinction or kept in zoos. The only question about Africa is who should own it. Should the Chinese own Africa for their benefit, the way we once owned the Americas? The new trade agreements appear to pave the way for economic imperialism, giving corporations more rights over the land they invest in than the citizens who supposedly own the land.
 
I don't think this is wrong. In the new world, efficient use of land will be more important than ever. Are corporations any worse at developing an equitable society than corrupt governments? I think not. At least they offer the opportunity of a rising tide that raises all ships.
 
But in the best of all possible worlds, the citizens and the corporations would share more of the profits. Maybe that's the best game plan, to make laws that keep some percentage of corporate profits in the country of origin to be reinvested in community development. Marko (-:)>+ roll the r.    
Norton Louis Added May 21, 2015 - 11:37am
We can debate the details, but the bottom line is that we'll have close to 10 billon on the planet within the next 35 years- barring plague, war and starvation.  This means those fossil fuels reserves that we have been told would last for hundreds of years will be exhausted by the end of this century. (Exponential growth means exponential use of resources).  Currently the human race relies heavily on fossil fuels to feed itself.  Factory farming, fertilizers and transportation are directly dependent on energy dense fossil fuels.
 
We have anywhere from 35 to 50 years before the wheels start falling off of our fossil fuel economy.  Doing nothing to control population today, or force the acquisition of an alternative energy infrastructure (while we still have the ability to produce it on a mass scale) means we are probably choosing a massive dieback of the human race instead.  
 
Is is that what we want to happen?  
 
With regard to Africa, I have a picture in my head of Wyle E. Coyote with a napkin around his neck, a knife in one hand, and a fork in the other preparing to eat the last Road Runner.   It's no Mutual of Omaha' Wild Kingdom any longer, but in terms of population density, it is still relatively pristine.  Once it is fully westernized, we'll then be "all in" with our current policies of growth and exploitation.
 
Good luck with that.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added May 21, 2015 - 2:14pm
Norton
 
I'm not replying on wars in Africa, that would lead too far as a comment.
 
Birth control is more palatable than war, plague and starvation, don't you think
 
True, but how to achieve that ? First of all what we need in Africa is investment and jobs. You'd be surprised how eager to learn and how high the general standard of education is with West African students - from Senegal right to Cameroon. They surpass by far our European gadget playstation youth, especially in business, history, management etc. You know why ? Because they want to come to Europe for jobs ! 
 
These investments would lift general standard of living. Along with education and wealth awareness of nature and resources will rise. 
 
One of the main reasons for families having many children is the fact that the government pays a small sum for each child each month, and when you have 10 kids that cash will be equal to a monthly wage when the father would have a job, which he of course hasn't...so the kids will actually feed the family! I know that from my own family in Mali.
 
Another reason is religion, the forbidden use of contraceptives, at least concerning Christian countries such as Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and the whole South of Africa.
 
Plague and starvation would be diminished by the same, easy action: Invest and create. That would erase the refugee problem to a large degree, would allow to improve sanitation. And kick out Monsanto and the like, they enforce starvation by their monocultures and "food for fuel" bullshit!
 
These facts are well-known for decades, but as long as exploitation is the main interest, why change ? These measures would make it more difficult with a mature population.
Norton Louis Added May 21, 2015 - 3:59pm
Stone..."investment and jobs"  The human race is addicted to growth.  The fundamental rule of exponentiality is as follows:  Take any rate of growth, and divide it into the number 70, and you will find out how many years it will take to double anything.
 
 
1% annual population growth 70/1% = 70 years to DOUBLE
3% annual population growth 70/3% = 23.33 years to DOUBLE
7% annual population growth 70/7% = 10 years TO DOUBLE
 
 
Perhaps more importantly, look at what happens to our fossil fuel reserves as demand increases:
 
5% annual increase in fossil fuel usage 70/5% = 14 years to DOUBLE DEMAND
10% annual increase in fossil fuel usage 70/10% = 7 years to DOUBLE DEMAND
 
So when you say " all they (Africans) need is investment (growth) to get good jobs, you now are part of the growth problem.  As we initiate more of the third world into the  wonders of toasters and hair dryers, we are doubling our energy consumption in ever shorter periods of time.
 
The human race cannot continue to expect unlimited growth......our energy resources at this time are limited.  Like it or not, we support life on this planet primarily with a fossil fuel economy, and it does not look like that is going to change in any substantive way soon.  
 
In microcosm, look at how Phoenix Arizona has drawn from its own aquifer to the point that the elevation has dropped 23 feet in some places.  Eventually Phoenix will run out of water.  Similarly, the human race will eventually exhaust it's resources under the current exponential increases in demand.  
 
What you had yesterday and what you have today is no guarantee of what your children will have tomorrow....that is unless the human race checks its growth and makes a concerted effort to invest in alternative energy sources beginning NOW.  
 
The allegation of Global Warming is the sideshow to the main event.  Now you know  the real reason why your leaders wanted to create a worldwide carbon credit system......the "carbon" they want to trade represents civilization and life. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added May 21, 2015 - 5:34pm
Norton
 
The human race is addicted to growth
 
I didn't say that because it should be obvious to the most retarded that this doesn't work on a planet with fixed size ;-)
 
Selling air will probably come one day, of course. Everything that can be sold one way or another will be sold.
 
Carbon certificates ? What a joke. Pay your fine and keep on wasting the planet. The rule "money rules in every aspect" is also a rule the moet retarded knows.
 
Our world can be explained in a few phrases but we write books about it.
 
No oil means middle ages again, and since Africans are humans as well they just want their share of what we have since 50 years at least. Understandable somehow...
 
So when you say " all they (Africans) need is investment (growth) to get good jobs, you now are part of the growth problem
 
They see what we do wrong, but they are not in a position to refuse. They HAVE to compete, we force them to. We destroyed their nature oriented culture, as we've done with others elsewhere, addicted them to materialism, and now we want to tell them, nope, no good for you, globalisation rules, we'll go down together.
Norton Louis Added May 21, 2015 - 6:29pm
Stone - you are right of course....what's good for the goose is good for the gander, or Africa in this case.  Didn't you once say that you live in Ghana? You have a unique perspective living on the African continent no doubt.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added May 21, 2015 - 6:33pm
Norton
 
I live partly in Switzerland, and partly in Cameroon now, but plan to emirate in a few years. Retirement in Africa, so to say ;-)
Norton Louis Added May 22, 2015 - 12:12pm
Cameroon looks like an extraordinarily beautiful place.  You are a lucky man!  What an adventure to actually be able to live there...... 

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