Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Plague on Earth


Melencolia I  ~ engraving, Albrecht Dürer 1514


This astonishing film could have been made in any number of places around the world, and still provided a breathtaking indictment of the fiasco that humans have wrought on this planet.  We will continue to destroy other creatures and their habitat until there is nothing left, all the while oblivious to the selfishness and shortsightedness and self-destructiveness of our behavior.  In less than a half-hour this documentary reveals exactly what a merciless plague species looks like.

10 comments:

  1. I just finished reading Dan Brown's new thriller, Inferno. I was quite surprised to see overpopulation integrated as the plot mechanism--a genius develops a gene-modifying virus that somehow renders one-third of the earth's population infertile. The protagonists are left to decide at the end of the book whether to try to do something to "fix" it, or just let nature take its course. The "evil" genius is treated sympathetically. The issues of growth and population have re-entered the mainstream after 40 years--I guess we can't ignore them anymore.

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    1. Funny david attenborough who believes we are a plague species also says we have stopped evolving. Natural selection no longer applies since 90 - 95% of babies survive due to modern medevine and hygiene. Interesting thought! We really have stepped outside if nature in so many ways.

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    2. Modern medicine and hygiene are supported by many increasingly complex layers of transformed energy. Healthcare as we know it in western medicine is quickly becoming a privilege for the wealthy rather than a common right as energy production/input turns down. We're supported by fossil fuels outside of nature, yes, until we aren't anymore. We are at that point now, where delays in natural selection begin to catch up with us. Do we want that process to be thoughtful and considerate or haphazard? In Brown's book, he chose a very gentle way of population control (reduced fertility), considering the much harsher alternatives of the four horsemen for a high-tech society in overshoot.

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  2. Someone came in the rental office the other day with her husband and 3 yr old child and they wanted to rent a 3 bedroom apt. The woman was pregnant. Asked her how many it was for and she said her future family of 4 and her sisters five children which she now has custody of. (sister in prison) BTW she was the only one with a job. Of course we couldn't rent to her as we have limits on population in our little apt complex. On Eaarth there's no limit.

    Lived in Philippines when it was primarily a small indigenous culture. Manilla was an elegant city then. Everyone was Catholic of course and the Vatican will have no birth control. What an evil organization.

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  3. Hi Mary! I too enjoyed Brown's latest, and thought it fabulous that he went "real" on us! Population IS the problem - and it isn't going to increase for much longer and once it stops, the slide down will be steep and dramatic, probably to extinction, what with climate change, resource depletion and the rest of our ills quickly overcoming our ability to sustain "civilization."

    Hey Gail: do you find it strange that the dull leaved trees are taking their good old time falling even though it's November?

    Tom

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  4. hi Tom, like Gail has explained before, it takes strenght for the leaves to fall. They do not just quit the branch. But they do not have that strenght anymore and it makes it that much hazardous for the first heavy snow that will pile on the dead leaves and bring branches down. So before, it was the leaves falling. This time, it will be branches and whole trees. And the trees will not come back in a long time, if only considering it takes them so many years to grow (when the conditions are good). There is no coming back. This is all so difficult.

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    1. In recent years a noticeable number of trees kept their leaves very late. Or until they finally dried and withered. This year, at least outside my window here in Chicago, most all of the trees are still in leaf. Many are still quite green. Just the past few days we are finally getting vivid reds oranges and yellows. Or at least some trees are. Green and brown predominate. In Chicago leaves should mostly be down before Halloween.

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    2. I just went to south Jersey today where trees are at peak. Some of the colors are quite amazing, actually, but strange. The oaks are bright orange and red, where as usually they are nothing much. The maples are yellow/brown but there are some brilliant reds - mostly the youngest trees. And leaves are wilted and limp, in general. All very bizarre, which is what you might expect when things fall apart and collapse.

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  5. Thanks Michele - due to the ever increasing pollution I was already convinced that we won't be seeing many more tall trees after those existing now succumb to the pollution, rot and bugs that climate change enables. My "silent spring" fear is materializing.

    Tom

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  6. http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/11/02/Dull-leaf-hues-called-climate-change-omen/stories/201311020069

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