Thursday, November 01, 2012

In the blink of an eye

During the 24 hours of the earth's history, the 77 seconds of "humanity" include only 4 seconds of anatomically modern homo sapiens sapiens, 1 second of behaviourally modern homo sapiens, 0.23 seconds of agriculture and less than 0.04 seconds since Christ.

And in the last 0.001 seconds we have deforested half the world's tropical forests, dammed or diverted more than 80% of the world's major rivers, sent tens or hundreds of thousands of species extinct, killed more than one third of all wild vertebrates, altered the energy balance of the planet (melting more than 75% of summer Arctic sea ice), shifted the chemistry of the oceans (30% more acidic), removed roughly 90% of marine apex predators, dumped tens of millions of tonnes of plastic into the oceans, degraded more than 50% of coral reefs, introduced thousands of novel chemical compounds, disrupted the nitrogen cycle and caused dozens of other dramatic impacts.


Anonymous said...

Very sobering indeed. And yet the techno-optimists tell us that things have never been better and are advocating more of the same ratcheted up by many degrees.
Meanwhile are you familiar with this website.