The Human Extinction

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Once upon a time there was a population of
organisms which became very poisonous by releasing an enormous quantity of toxic gas into the
atmosphere rendering it unsustainable for most of life on the planet at the time. They were responsible for the end of thousands
if not millions of life forms. What was the harmful gas? Oxygen. Somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 billions years
ago there was a burst of oxygen released in the early atmosphere that killed most of anaerobic
bacteria, these organisms cannot live in the presence of oxygen. This event caused the first mass extinction
that the Earth has ever saw. Over 90% of the living things on Earth were wiped out. Although is still unclear why exactly this
happened the main theory is that around that time a particular kind of bacteria, called
cyanobacteria, figured out a way to obtain energy from sunlight and carbon dioxide, but
with a downside, the creation of a very poisonous waste product: oxygen. Photosynthesis was born. Without this crucial event, life would have
never rearranged the metabolic strategies to then put itself to an oxygen breathing
path towards complexity. We wouldn’t be here if this didn’t happen. These cyanobacteria were then swallowed whole
by some other bacterium, in a process called endosymbiosis, creating the ancestors of plant
cells and the cyanobacteria became what we know today by the name of chloroplasts, the
energy producing parts of these cells. This event is now known in biology as the “Great Oxidation Event” or “Oxygen Catastrophe”. And it is likely to have caused the first
and longest ice age, which lasted several hundreds million years. This is because oxygen is not a so called
“greenhouse gas”, unlike CO2, which was the major component of the atmosphere at the
time. A greenhouse gas, by the way, is a gas that
traps heat into the surface of the planet. A similar change in the atmosphere is happening
right now, but in reverse. Human beings exists on this planet since some
250.000 to 100.000 years and in the past 150 years or so we released enormous quantities
of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. “Because it puts rich conditioners in your hair as you spray, and holds better than ever” These gases include Chlorofluorocarbons, Nitrous
Oxide, water vapour and of course Methane and Carbon Dioxide. The major problem with these molecules is
that they prevent the heat that would normally be reflected by the surface of the Earth to
exit into space, creating a sort o blanket over the Earth, and this is a very big problem. Some parts of the world are already experiencing
the effects of global warming, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, South Asia floods and East
Africa droughts are just some of the examples, not to mention some previously uncontaminated
habitats and ecosystems around the world that are changing drastically. Human induced climate change is creating a
plethora of ecosystem problems. First of all is warming the Earth of course,
plants are growing further north because they are now able to sustain life there, migration
patterns of countless species under and above water have shifted, sea levels are rising
everywhere with the risk of submerging a lot of places in the next few hundred years, sea
currents are rearranging, and oceans themselves are becoming warmer and more acidic rendering
them impossible to sustain life for a lot of species that are becoming extinct or that
are on their way to do so. According to WWF’s recent report, reptiles
and amphibia were reduced by a whopping 60% between 1970 and 2014 by human behaviour alone. Seaweed that produce 80% of the oxygen we
breathe is slowly but incessantly dying, along with corals that are crucial for the submarine
ecosystems. And global warming is not the only issue,
human pollution extends beyond just air pollution; microplastics for example are really tiny
bits of plastic that are literally in the food we eat. In a very recent study we found out that nearly
90% of the salt we eat contains microplastics and the worst part is that we don’t even
know how harmful for us or other organisms they really are. Another problem is meat consumption. I love meat along with many other people and
animals, but the mass production of meat for humans is the cause of nearly 20% of our contribution
in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere Don’t worry, though. There are solutions to this problem: for instance
some scientists were recently been able to multiply cells taken by lambs creating
the same meat without hurting any animal and reducing CO2 emissions by 99%. But until this research becomes more popular
and adopted by the biggest food companies around the world, the problem will persist. Remember when we used to say that pollution
is going to destroy the planet? Well, it is happening right now, right here. And it is not really much about the planet at all, the planet is fine, the planet saw rivers of lava, incredible meteorites showers, the planet is fine. What we are talking here is us. Global warming is going to destroy us, is going to end humans. A very recent estimation by the IPCC says that in about 11 years the global average temperature will
rise for about 1.5° C globally. You think 1.5° is a not that much, huh? Well, think again. In 1816 following very powerful volcanic events
that happened around the world, substantial amount of atmospheric dust built up rendering that year the coldest year in
recent history, it is now known as “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death” or more famously
“The year without a Summer”. An intense wave of famine and disease followed
this event because the cold killed most of the crops and 200.000 people died as a result. That year global average temperature dropped
by… 0.7° C. The raise in temperature of 1.5° is gonna be disastrous and it is the least pessimistic
scenario, by the way the same report says that in about 80 years the temperature will be 3° C greater. So Obama’s talking about all of this… with the global warming and all that and a lot of it is a hoax it’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money making industry, ok? It’s a hoax. In the meantime some of the world’s most
powerful right wing leaders are denying the human involvement in climate change and some
of them are even denying that climate change is even real, when in fact it is of course. Some of them do this for economic interests
while some just don’t understand the implications and the possible consequences of their foolish, foolish statements. Jair Bolsonaro, the new elected president
of Brazil, is determined to exploit the Amazon forest despite environmental protection and
was even determined to backtrack from the Paris agreement, before changing his mind
after a backlash from his own electorate. In Italy far-right minister of the interior
Matteo Salvini never expressed himself on the subject except when he confused climate
change migration phenomenon with immigration. In the United States many republicans are
denying the human involvement in global warming and the president Donald Trump tweeted skepticism
about it more that 100 times, before publicly announcing his will to withdraw from the Paris
agreement as soon as he can do that, in 2019. This is crazy, denying climate change in 2018
is like not believing AIDS exists. It’s just stupid and dangerous. And again, is also economically convenient
for some people that thrives by selling fossil fuels. In the modern developed world some 80 of all
the electricity is created by the burning of fossil fuels. Transforming heat into electricity is a very
ineffective way to create energy, because heat spreads out pretty quickly, rendering
it useless. For example, here in Italy, 60% of the energy
is created by the burning of coal. While around the world, renewable sources are accounted for around 20% of the energy output. Which is a bit weird if you think about it, since there’s an actual giant nuclear power station right there, free for everybody to use. If we were able to take all the Sun’s energy
released on land in one second, turn it into current and put it in a giant battery we could
survive for more than 20.000 years. And if we cover 1% of the area of the Sahara
desert with solar panels we could easily produce free energy for the whole planet. Iceland is one of the greenest countries in
the world. About 65% of the energy is geothermal, about
20% is hydropower and just only 15% is fossil fuel derived. The goal of countries like Iceland, Sweden,
Germany, but even Costa Rica and Nicaragua is to be 100% renewable and honestly it should
be the primary concern of every country. But for many, many nations we are very far
away from that and until oil and coal will be used up, many governments will never seriously
look into renewable energy at all. For this reason many investors are actually
financing ways to dodge the problem, for instance many countries are seriously preparing for
underground life by studying ways to make solar light penetrate into Earth’s crust
more effectively, to allow plants to thrive and to enable us to actually live underground. Hopefully this is a far away possibility,
and while you can push this future away by saving energy and by recycling, the big step
have to be taken by the governments of every country, which should push and invest in the research to make the production of renewable energy cheaper and more fruitful. We are living in very dark time of our history, and if we don’t do something about it the tornados will keep becoming stronger, the floods more
and more recurring and the oceans will keep rising. We have to be all banded together, every country
side by side to make our home habitable by everyone and everything. To leave things as we found them. To make Earth great again. Thank you.

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