Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Terradeforming

So here we are on a habitable planet, making it less habitable. Instead of terraforming, we are terradeforming. O_O

My thoughts on the points cited ...


1) Climate change -- we're fucked. Even if we started NOW and made huge improvements, we would still be stuck with the negative effects of previous foolishness which will continue to worsen. We are making only trivial improvements, and still doing a lot of things which exacerbate climate change. That is almost certain to continue for some time. We don't even have the technology to fix all the problems we're causing. We are therefore unlikely to avoid the extreme consequences.

2) Biodiversity -- falling, but we could stem the loss at any time. That won't bring back species we've already flushed, just stop the problem from getting worse.

3) NItrogen -- too high, but another one we could feasibly stop. There are plenty of agricultural methods that don't rely on massive chemical application. They just take more manpower. We have lots of manpower. What we lack is the economic willpower to prioritize planetary health and human survival over profiteering.

4) Deforestation -- rising, but easy to fix. Just stop cutting trees, and plant new ones. Triple word score!!! Planting trees also assists in buffering climate change and boosting biodiversity. This is probably the highest EROEI for anything we could do.

5) Aerosols -- not great, but there are other emergencies deserving more attention. Just try not to make this one worse and keep an eye out for alternatives.

6) Ozone depletion -- we actually fixed this, it's just taking time to recover.

7) Ocean acidification -- listed as green on this scale, but I note that we already have serious and growing problems in this area such as coral reef bleaching. Climate change causes warmer temperatures and ocean acidification. Those two things cause coral bleaching. I wouldn't call this green. I'd call it a perfect storm. 0_o

8) Freshwater use -- globally, nowhere near our budget limit. The problem is regional and local. Quite a large amount of inhabited area has people living outside the water budget where they're at. This is a huge and growing problem, exacerbated by climate change. Water is one of the leading bottlenecks on carrying capacity in an environment. No water, no civilization, no life. No exceptions in human history. Forget telling people to take shorter showers. Agriculture in the wrong places is by far the worst culprit, soaking up 70%. Industrial use hogs another 23% for things like fracking and manufacturing. Domestic use is a measly 7%. You won't solve this problem pushing on the short end of the lever. We must find ways of food production that don't rely on massive irrigation.

9) Pollutants -- listed as unknown. However, there are countless examples of problems being caused by pesticides, depleted uranium, plastics, fracking, etc. Given the observed damage, this has to be in the yellow zone at least. The sonofabitching bees would put it in the yellow because they're supporting a third of the human food supply. Since several streams of this pollution exceed our technological ability to clean up, I suspect that "we're fucked" will apply in at least some regards.
Tags: environment, news, safety
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