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Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions

Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions

Preface. Below are excerpts from Cardoso, P., et al. 2020. Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions. Biological Conservation.

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Highlights:

  • We are pushing many ecosystems beyond recovery, resulting in insect extinctions.
  • Causes are habitat loss, pollution, invasives, climate change, and over exploitation.
  • We lose biomass, diversity, unique histories, functions, and interaction networks.
  • Insect declines lead to loss of essential, irreplaceable services to humanity.
  • Action to save insect species is urgent, for both ecosystems and human survival.

Abstract

Here we build on the manifesto ‘World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, issued by the Alliance of World Scientists. As a group of conservation biologists deeply concerned about the decline of insect populations, we here review what we know about the drivers of insect extinctions, their consequences, and how extinctions can negatively impact humanity.

We are causing insect extinctions by driving habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, use of polluting and harmful substances, the spread of invasive species, global climate change, direct over-exploitation, and co-extinction of species dependent on other species.

With insect extinctions, we lose much more than species. We lose abundance and biomass of insects, diversity across space and time with consequent homogenization, large parts of the tree of life, unique ecological functions and traits, and fundamental parts of extensive networks of biotic interactions. Such losses lead to the decline of key ecosystem services on which humanity depends. From pollination and decomposition, to being resources for new medicines, habitat quality indication and many others, insects provide essential and irreplaceable services.

1. Introduction

Insect extinctions, their drivers, and consequences have received increasing public attention in recent years. Media releases have caught the interest of the general public, and until recently, we were largely unaware that insects could be imperiled to such an extent, and that their loss would have consequences for our own well-being. Fueled by declining numbers from specific regions, concern over the fate of insects has gained traction in the non-scientific realm.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How much oil left in America? Not much

How much oil left in America? Not much

Preface. If you think we have no worries because we can get arctic oil, think again. We can’t because icebergs mow drilling platforms down in the ocean. On land, massive amounts of expensive new drilling rigs, roads, rail lines, platforms, buildings and other infrastructure need to be built, and maintained every year as permafrost soil bucks and heaves like a bronco trying to shake infrastructure off.

In the first two oil shocks in the 1970s, many intelligent people proposed we should buy oil from other nations to keep ours in the ground for when foreign oil declined. But hell no, Texas, Oklahoma, and other oil states said that we need jobs and CEO/shareholder profits more than national security. Over half of all remaining oil is in the Middle East, which China, Russia, and Europe are much closer to than the U.S.

What saved the U.S. and the world, from conventional peak oil and natural gas decline since 2005 is fracking. But fracking began to decline as early as 2020 according the first report below. The second article is about oil discoveries in the U.S. declining.

This just in: John Hess, CEO of Hess Corporation, told his audience that “key U.S. shale fields are starting to plateau” and will not the next Saudi Arabia. U.S. shale oil production has been a major driver in the growth of world oil supplies. Last year the United States accounted for 98% of global growth in oil production. Since 2008 the number is 73%. so a slowdown or decline in U.S. oil production growth would mean trouble for the whole world. With 81 percent of global oil production now in decline, even a plateau in U.S. production would likely result in a worldwide decline (Kobb 2020).

Peak Fracking in the news:

2020 U.S. Shale Oil Production – All That’s Left Is The Permian And That Won’t Last Forever Either.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Escape to Mars after we’ve trashed the Earth?

Escape to Mars after we’ve trashed the Earth?

find-another-planet-climate-change

The idea that we can go to Mars is touted by NASA, Elon Musk, and so many others that this dream seems just around the corner.  If we destroy our planet with climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, aquifer depletion and more, no problem!  We can go to Mars.

Though not if peak oil arrives, which it may have in October 2018, there won’t be fuel to get there, and certainly none to return to Earth.

But as Ugo Bardi points out in his book Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet we already have gone to another planet by exploiting Earth so ruthlessly that we have changed our planet into another world.

“The planet has been plundered to the utmost limit, and what we will be left with are only the ashes of a gigantic fire. We are leaving to our descendants a heavy legacy in terms of radioactive waste, heavy metals dispersed all over the planet, and greenhouse gases—mainly CO2—accumulated in the atmosphere and absorbed in the oceans. It appears that we found a way to travel to another planet without the need for building spaceships.  It is not obvious that we’ll like the place, but there is no way back; we’ll have to adapt to the new conditions. It will not be easy, and we can speculate that it will lead to the collapse of the structure we call civilization, or even the extinction of the human species”.

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Go to Mars?  Really?  Been there, done that on Earth, and it didn’t work out: Biosphere 2

Remember the $250 million 3.14 acre sealed Biosphere 2 complex near Tucson, Arizona?  It was built to show how colonists could survive on Mars and other space colonization but they only made it for 2 years ON EARTH.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell trucks a waste of energy and money

Heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell trucks a waste of energy and money

FCEV Heavy truck: PEM hydrogen fuel cell on-board reforming. U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program, Estimated for 2020. Source (DOE 2011).
Figure 1. FCEV Heavy truck: PEM hydrogen fuel cell on-board reforming. U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program, Estimated for 2020. Source (DOE 2011).

Preface.  Hydrogen fuel cell trucks are incredibly inefficient. Turning hydrogen back into electricity with a fuel cell is only 24.7 % efficient (.84 * .67 * .54 * .84 * .97) as shown in figure 1. There are multiple stages where energy is lost due to inefficiencies at each step: Natural gas upstream and liquefaction, hydrogen on-board reforming, fuel cell efficiency, electric motor and drive-train losses, and aerodynamic/rolling resistance.

Since fuel cell electric trucks are terrible at acceleration, they always have a second propulsion system, usually a battery, making them orders of magnitude more expensive than an equivalent diesel truck, $1,300,000 versus $100,000 respectively.

Hydrogen is not a renewable, since 96% of hydrogen is made from natural gas using natural gas, but at least it can be made cheaply around the clock that way.

Hydrogen generated with solar power could only be made 10 to 25% of the time (the capacity factor) when the sun is up, and electrolysis of water is so expensive it is only made for applications that require extremely pure hydrogen, mainly NASA.  The amount of space rebuildable contraptions like solar and wind take up is a problem as well. To use wind power to produce 700 Terrawatt hours of hydrogen would require wind turbines taking up 40,154 square miles (Ford 2020).

Hydrogen pipelines are too expensive to build at length, since they are corroded and embrittled by hydrogen.  Yet delivery would require a $250,000 canister truck weighing 88,000 pounds (40,000 kg) delivering a paltry 880 (400 kg) of fuel, enough for 60 cars and just a few trucks. A diesel truck can carry 10,000 gallons of gas, enough to fill 800 cars. The hydrogen delivery truck cannibalize much of its energy: over a distance of 150 miles, it will burn the equivalent of 20% of the usable energy in the hydrogen it is delivering (Romm 2005).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Phosphate: All hopes rest on Morocco with 75% of remaining reserves

Phosphate: All hopes rest on Morocco with 75% of remaining reserves

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is phosphorous-conveyer-belt-61-miles-long.jpg

Source: The world’s longest conveyor belt system. This record setting conveyor belt system can even be seen from space. atlasobscura.com. A winding system of interlinked belts, the extra-long conveyance system transports phosphate ore from a mining operation 61 miles to the sea.

Preface. Phosphate is absolutely essential for high agricultural production, one of the “big 3” nutrients that boosts maximum crop growth (along with nitrogen and potassium).

It’s estimated that Morocco has of 75-85% of phosphate reserves that might last for 300-400 years.  But that may not be correct, as Walan (2014) points out in the paper below.  And even if true, Moroccan extraction can be disrupted by war, lack of water, energy shortages, and the difficulty of removing cadmium which is very toxic to plants.

China is the world’s largest producer of phosphate rock (48% of the world’s supply in 2013). It also uses a large amount of phosphorus to sustain its growing population. But China’s reserves of phosphorus, a key element for growing food, could be exhausted within the next 35 years if the country maintains its current production rate (Liu 2016).

Inevitably, the combination of rising cost and declining oil will force phosphate production to peak and then decline, even in Morocco (Bardi 2009).

Peak Phosphorus in the news

Jaere. 2020. ‘Peak phosphorus’ is upon us, and sewage is valuable muck. Phys.org

Mohr S.H., et al. 2013. Projections of future phosphorus production. Philica Article number 380.

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Walan, P., et al. 2014. Phosphate rock production and depletion: Regional disaggregated modeling and global implications. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 93: 178-187. 

Excerpts:

Table 1. Main features of previous studies on phosphate rock depletion and production.
* Most countries’ reserves will be depleted in less than 100 years.
** Reserve base is included in the highest reserve estimations

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nuclear powered airplanes, cars, and tanks

Nuclear powered airplanes, cars, and tanks

Preface. After all the research I’ve done on rebuildable, not renewable wind and solar, hydrogen, batteries, and other Green dreams of an endless future of growth based on them, I’ve come to see them as just as likely as nuclear airplanes and cars. Not going to happen.

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Nuclear Airplanes

Fuels made from biomass are a lot like the nuclear powered airplanes the Air Force tried to build from 1946 to 1961, for billions of dollars. They never got off the ground.  The idea was interesting – atomic jets could fly for months without refueling.  But the lead shielding to protect the crew and several months of food and water was too heavy for the plane to take off.  The weight problem, the ease of shooting this behemoth down, and the consequences of a crash landing were so obvious, it’s amazing the project was ever funded, let alone kept going for 15 years (Wiki 2020).

Although shielding a plane enough to keep the radiation from killing the crew was impossible, some engineers proposed hiring elderly Air Force crews to pilot nuclear planes, because they would die before radiation exposure gave them fatal cancers. Also, the reactor would have to be small enough to fit onto an aircraft, which would release far more heat than a standard one. The heat could risk melting the reactor—and the plane along with it, sending a radioactive hunk of liquid metal careening toward Earth (Ruhl 2019).

Nuclear powered Cars

In 1958, Ford came up with a nuclear-powered concept, the Nucleon car that would be powered by a nuclear reactor in the trunk.

In the 1950s and 1960s, there was huge hype around nuclear energy. Many believed it would replace oil and deliver clean power.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can Geothermal power make up for declining fossil fuels?

Can Geothermal power make up for declining fossil fuels?

Preface. Geothermal power plants are cost justified only in places where volcanic or tectonic activity brings heat close to the surface, mainly in “ring of fire” nations and volcanic hot spots like Hawaii.   Even then drilling can only be done where the rocks below are fractured in certain ways with particular chemistries.  A great deal of heat needs to be fairly close to the surface as well, since drilling deeply is quite expensive.

The reasons drilling is so difficult and expensive are:

  1. You have to remove all the rock you’ve cut from the hole which gets harder and harder as the hole gets deeper
  2. Drilling erodes the drill bit and pipe so you have to keep replacing them
  3. Drilling heats the rock up, so it has to be cooled down to keep the equipment from getting damaged
  4. The deeper you go, the hotter it gets, and the more expensive the drilling equipment gets using special metallurgy
  5. the fluids wreak havoc on boreholes by destroying their liners and concrete plugs, and are very corrosive,  it’s scary stuff (Oberhaus 2020)
  6. Pipes have to be thick and heavy to survive pumping pressures, about 40-50 pounds per foot. A deep well might have a million pounds of piping.  Just its own weight can break it if not well made, and at some point it’s hard to find hoisting equipment with enough power to lift it
  7. If the rocks aren’t stable, the hole may collapse
  8. There are often pressurized fluids that want to flow up the hole that can cause a dangerous blowout
  9. Some deep rock leaches toxic or radioactive materials, which increases costs to dispose of them and can make the drilling equipment hazards to touch

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants

Preface. This is nuts. Sea level rise threatens many nuclear power plants and drought has shut plants down since they need cooling to operate.

As nuclear reactor age, they require more intensive monitoring and preventive maintenance to operate safely. But reactor owners have not always taken this obligation seriously enough. Given that older reactors require more attention from the regulator, not less, it is perplexing that the NRC wants to scale back its inspections of the aging reactor fleet and its responses to safety violations. Six years ago, the US Government Accountability Office pointed out that “NRC’s oversight will soon likely take on even greater importance as many commercial reactors … are reaching or have reached the end of their initial 40-year operating period.” (Lyman 2019).

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Natter, A. 2020. The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants. Bloomberg.


In December federal regulators approved Florida Power & Light Co.’s request to let the facility’s twin nuclear reactors remain in operation for another 20 years beyond the end of their current licenses. By that point they’ll be 80, making them the oldest reactors in operation anywhere in the world.

“That’s too old,” said Rippingille, a lawyer and retired Miami-Dade County judge who was wearing a blue print shirt with white sea turtles on it. “They weren’t designed for this purpose

With backing from the Trump administration, utilities across the nation are preparing to follow suit, seeking permission to extend the life of reactors built in the 1970s to the 2050s as they run up against the end of their 60-year licenses.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Human over-consumption causes far more biodiversity loss than climate change

Human over-consumption causes far more biodiversity loss than climate change

Preface.  Human ancestors began reducing biodiversity 4 million years ago, when large carnivores in Africa began disappearing, probably due to our ancestors stealing food predators had caught, starving them to death and eventually driving some of them extinct (Faurby, S., et al. 2020. Brain expansion in early hominins predicts carnivore extinctions in East Africa. Ecology Letters.)

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2016-8-13. Climate change isn’t the biggest danger to Earth’s wildlife, our thirst for natural resources is even more damaging

2016-8-10 “Biodiversity: The ravages of guns, nets, and bulldozers” Nature)

Even though climate change is going to have a very powerful impact on plants and wildlife world-wide, climate change has also become a scape-goat, with a “growing tendency for media reports about threats to biodiversity to focus on climate change.”

But scientists have found that over-exploitation, including logging, hunting, fishing and the gathering of plants is the biggest single killer of biodiversity, directly impacting 72% of the 8,688 species listed as threatened or near-threatened by the IUCN. Agricultural activity comes second, affecting 62% of those species, followed by urban development at 35% and pollution at 22%.  Species such as the African cheetah and Asia’s hairy-noes otter are among the 5,407 species that find themselves threatened by agricultural practices, while illegal hunting impacts several populations such as the Sumatran rhino and African elephant.

Climate change on the other hand comes in on a surprising, if somewhat unimpressive, 7th place in the 11 threats identified by the team. Even when you combine all its effects, it currently threatens just 19% of the species on the list, the team reports. Species such as the hooded seal, which the team reports has seen a population decline of 90% in the northeastern Atlantic Arctic over the past few decades as a result of declining ice cover, are part of the 1,688 species directly impacted by climate change.

Oil consumption of containerships

Oil consumption of containerships

Preface.  Since 90% of international goods move by ships, I was curious about how much fuel they burned.  It’s a lot: The very large container ship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin above, which can carry 18,000 20-foot containers, carries approximately 4.5 million gallons of fuel oil, which takes up 16,000 cubic meters (FW 2020).  As much fuel as 300,000 15-gallon tank cars.

But these ships can carry 200,000 tons of goods, so they end up being more energy efficient than 300,000 cars (Stopford 2010, UNCTAD 2012).

Pound for pound and mile for mile, today’s ships are the most energy-efficient way to move freight. Table 1 shows the energy efficiency of different modes of transport by kilojoules of energy used to carry one ton of cargo a kilometer (KJ/tkm). As you can see, water and rail are literally tons and tons—orders of magnitude—more energy efficient than trucks and air transportation.

Table 1 Energy efficiency of transportation in kilojoules/ton/kilometer (Smil 2013), Ashby 2015)

(A) ……………Transportation mode
50……………. Oil tankers and bulk cargo ships
100–150….. Smaller cargo ships
250–600….. Trains
360………….. Barge
2000–4000 Trucks
30,000…….. Air freight
55,000…….. Helicopter

(A) Kilojoules of energy used to carry one ton of cargo one kilometer Transportation mode

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Further details

Fuel consumption by a container ship is mostly a function of ship size and cruising speed, which follows an exponential function above 14 knots. So an 8,000 TEU container ship consumes 225 tons of bunker fuel per day at 24 knots, but at 21 knots  consumption drops to 150 tons per day, a 33% decline. While shipping lines would prefer consuming the least amount of fuel by adopting lower speeds, this advantage must be mitigated with longer shipping times as well as assigning more ships on a pendulum service to maintain the same port call frequency. The main ship speed classes are (Notteboom 2009):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

11 Nations that Collapsed because of Drought

11 Nations that Collapsed because of Drought

Preface. Recently it was discovered that Assyria collapsed in the 7th century BC.  Jeff Masters list ten more civilizations that failed from drought.

We may be next, as Lynn Ingram, a professor at U.C. Berkeley discusses  in her  book: The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow.  Since 2000, California has had the worst drought in 1,200 years.

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Sinha, A., et al. 2019. Role of climate in the rise and fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Science Advances.

New research suggests it was drought that led to the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (whose heartland was based in today’s northern Iraq)—one of the most powerful civilizations in the ancient world.  Neo-Assyria was the first super power in the history of the world. The Neo-Assyrian empire (912-609 BC) was the third and final phase of Assyrian civilization. It was by far the largest empire in the region up to that time, controlling much of the territory from the Persian Gulf to Cyprus. The Assyrians were basically like the Empire in Star Wars, they are the all-devouring machine.

They also had incredible skill as hydro-engineers. The Assyrians were largely responsible for the way that the Tigris River Basin drainage now works, they completely remade the natural water flows of that landscape using aqueducts and other hydraulic infrastructure. Some of these features are still functioning today.

Today Iraq is water challenged, with a low level per capita of fresh water, and until a deluge in the winter of 2019, very little rain since 1988.

Jeff Masters.  March 21, 2016. Ten Civilizations or Nations That Collapsed From Drought.  wunderground

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nuclear waste will last a lot longer than climate change

Nuclear waste will last a lot longer than climate change

Preface.   One of the most tragic aspects of peak oil is that it is very unlikely once energy descent begins that oil will be expended to clean up our nuclear mess.  Or before descent either.  Anyone who survives peak fossil fuels and after that, rising sea levels and extreme weather from climate change, will still be faced with nuclear waste as a deadly pollutant and potential weapon. 

According to Archer (2008): “… there are components of nuclear material that have a long lifetime, such as the isotopes plutonium 239 (24,000 year half-life), thorium 230 (80,000 years), and iodine 129 (15.7 million years). Ideally, these substances must be stored and isolated from reaching ground water until they decay, but the lifetimes are so immense that it is hard to believe or to prove that this can be done”.

Below are summaries of two articles on nuclear waste.

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Ro, C. 2019. The Staggering Timescales Of Nuclear Waste Disposal. Forbes.

This most potent form of nuclear waste needs to be safely stored for up to a million years. Yet existing and planned nuclear waste sites operate on much shorter timeframes: often 10,000 or 100,000 years. These are still such unimaginably vast lengths of time that regulatory authorities decide on them, in part, based on how long ice ages are expected to last.

Strategies remain worryingly short-term, on a nuclear timescale. Chernobyl’s destroyed reactor no. 4, for instance, was encased in July 2019 in a massive steel “sarcophagus” that will only last 100 years. Not only will containers like this one fall short of the timescales needed for sufficient storage, but no country has allotted enough funds to cover nuclear waste disposal. In France and the US, according to the recently published World Nuclear Waste Report, the funding allocation only covers a third of the estimated costs. And the cost estimates that do exist rarely extend beyond several decades.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

climate-change-frog-jumping

Preface. This is a summary of the National Research Council 2013 study of abrupt changes of climate change.

Related:

2019-12-6. Research reveals past rapid Antarctic ice loss due to ocean warming.  “…the sensitive West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed during a warming period just over a million years ago when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were lower than today.”

2015-8-5. The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here.  The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected. Rolling Stone.

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NRC. 2013. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating surprises. National Research Council, National Academies of Sciences press.

“Abrupt climate change is generally defined as occurring when some part of the climate system passes a threshold or tipping point resulting in a rapid change that produces a new state lasting decades or longer (Alley et al., 2003). In this case “rapid” refers to timelines of a few years to decades.

“Abrupt climate change can occur on a regional, continental, hemispheric, or even global basis. Even a gradual forcing of a system with naturally occurring and chaotic variability can cause some part of the system to cross a threshold, triggering an abrupt change. Therefore, it is likely that gradual or monotonic forcings increase the probability of an abrupt change occurring.

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the last million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in Earth’s atmosphere for a very long time.

It is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future is also partly uncertain—there is considerable uncertainty about how we will arrive at that different climate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will covid-19 delay peak oil?

Will covid-19 delay peak oil?

With global demand having fallen by about 29 million barrels per day from a year ago, it seems like this pandemic might delay peak oil production while the pandemic and consequent depression lasts, since so much less oil is being consumed. Since storage is getting full, many oil producers are being forced to shut down wells, since there’s nowhere to put the oil or demand for it.

Shut down wells may produce less oil after being restarted

Shutting in wells can reduce oil production when restarted, but that doesn’t happen every time.  Sometimes you get lucky.  More often though, the sub-surface gremlins in the reservoirs are going to get you.  The net effect will likely be less oil and gas than there was before.

With prices so low and storage so full, some producers are shutting down wells. But the problem with that is it can have long term consequences, damaging the reservoir so that in the future not all of the oil can be produced (Brower 2020).

In addition to reservoir problems, especially tar sands, conventional and other wells face restart issues with the pipes, valves, separators, pumps, pipelines, older wells, and so many other technical problems that at least about 10-20% plus a loss of ability to reopen marginal projects.  Depending how the game is played by the industry, the damage can be twice that, easily, especially in offshore and ultra-deep offshore wells, where methane hydrates will form immediately in seafloor pipelines and plug them. These wells could be 100 times more difficult to restart than a shale well (Patzek 2020).

Operations in the Gulf of Mexico will likely shut last, since the miles of pipelines that carry the oil along the sea floor to processing facilities on shore can clog if shut off for too long.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Were other humans the first victims of the 6th mass extinction?

Were other humans the first victims of the 6th mass extinction?

Preface. This article makes a good case that we did indeed wipe out other hominids. “…Yet the extinction of Neanderthals, at least, took a long time—thousands of years. While Neanderthals lost the war, to hold on so long they must have fought and won many battles against us, suggesting a level of intelligence close to our own.”

I seriously doubt we’ll drive ourselves extinct, though carrying capacity of the earth is at best 1 billion (pre-fossil fuels) or less (topsoil erosion, deforestation, pollution, climate change, etc).

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Longrich, N. 2019. Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction? The conversation.

Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa.

Several short, small-brained species survived alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis (“hobbits”) in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave People in China. Given how quickly we’re discovering new species, more are likely waiting to be found.

By 10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there’s no obvious environmental catastrophe—volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact—driving it. Instead, the extinctions’ timing suggests they were caused by the spread of a new species, evolving 260,000-350,000 years ago in Southern Africa: Homo sapiens.

The spread of modern humans out of Africa has caused a sixth mass extinction, a greater than 40,000-year event extending from the disappearance of Ice Age mammals to the destruction of rainforests by civilisation today. But were other humans the first casualties?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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