We’re doooooooooooooooooooooomed. Or something. It’s another in a long line of tipping points that never seem to actual happen
(Science Agogo) Based on an evaluation of more than 1,000 previous studies, a new meta-review by an international group of 18 scientists suggests the Earth is perilously close to a tipping point where resource consumption, ecosystem degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss and population growth will trigger massive changes in the biosphere.
“The last tipping point in Earth’s history occurred about 12,000 years ago when the planet went from being in the age of glaciers, which previously lasted 100,000 years, to being in its current interglacial state. Once that tipping point was reached, the most extreme biological changes leading to our current state occurred within only 1,000 years. That’s like going from a baby to an adult state in less than a year,” explains Arne Mooers, professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University and one of the paper’s authors. “Importantly, the planet is changing even faster now. The odds are very high that the next global state change will be extremely disruptive to our civilization.”
And the ultimate answer to stop yet another pronouncement of doom?
Mooers is more blunt, saying that “society globally has to collectively decide that we need to drastically lower our population very quickly. More of us need to move to optimal areas at higher density and let parts of the planet recover. Folks like us [developed nations] have to be forced to be materially poorer, at least in the short term. We also need to invest a lot more in creating technologies to produce and distribute food without eating up more land and wild species. It’s a very tall order,” he concludes.
There you go: population reduction. For other people, of course. Everyone move to cities. How dare any of you live in the countryside communing with nature. Being forced to live in squalid 10th century conditions.
(H/t to Tom Nelson, who has lots of tipping point posts today)