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martedì 4 aprile 2017

“Defiant Earth" Anthropocene and the Human Extinction

Clive Hamilton’s book “Defiant Earth – The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene” is not for the faint-hearted. Basically, its thesis is that the Earth – and us along with it – is going down the tubes.

Our rampant, irrational use of the planet and its resources, including our exploitation of climate-changing fossil fuels, means we are interfering and upsetting the functioning of the Earth system that sustains us.
This bizarre situation, in which we have become potent enough to change the course of the Earth yet seem unable to regulate ourselves, contradicts every modern belief about the kind of creature a human being is,” says Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia.

Dramatic destruction

We – the post World War Two generations – have a lot to answer for. Yes, the trouble can be traced back to the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution began in Britain and factories started spewing carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
But the pace of change and the destruction of much of the Earth system has dramatically speeded up over the last 70 or so years – a period referred to as the Great Acceleration.
A dizzying surge in global economic growth, along with resource exploitation, loss of diversity, including the extinction of numerous species and ever-increasing waste volumes, have brought about a profound transformation of the human relationship with the natural world, says Hamilton.
The Holocene period in the Earth’s history – the 10,000-year epoch of mild and constant climate that has permitted civilization to flourish – is at an end.
“Experts are already suggesting that the changes caused by humans in recent decades are so profound and long-lasting that we have entered not a new epoch but a new era – the Anthropozoic era – on a par with the break in Earth history brought by the arrival of multicellular life,” Hamilton says.
The idea of the Anthropocene was first put forward by the Nobel prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000, in order to capture what was felt to be an entirely new time in the geological scale that segments the Earth’s history.
Anthropocene, says Hamilton, is a term describing a rupture in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole.
There are those who welcome this new era: if humanity is capable of altering the Earth system in such a profound way, it can surely control the climate and regulate the Earth through geoengineering and other methods.
Hamilton dismisses the concepts of what he terms the ecomodernists. We are entering uncharted territory. The forces of nature have been roused from their Holocene slumber, the climate system is becoming ever more energetic.
“Humans have never been more potent and have never exercised more domination over nature,” Hamilton says, “yet we are now vulnerable to the power of nature in a way we have not known for at least 10,000 years, since the last great ice-sheets finally retreated … ”

Unpredictable era

In this new, unstable and unpredictable geological era, says Hamilton, we must face the brutal reality that, as a result of our actions, we are contemplating our own extinction.
The Great Acceleration continues, pushed forward by the pursuit of economic growth above all else.
“Even now, cognizant of the dire consequences, decisions are still being made to privilege carbon-intensive energy sources,” says Hamilton.
“Vast new coalfields are being developed, along with new sources of carbon pollution like Canada’s tar sands.”
Hamilton struggles to find a silver lining. He applauds the 2015 Paris climate conference, when 195 nations came together to forge an agreement – an event he describes as unprecedented in the history of diplomacy.
Can humankind be redeemed? Hamilton does not answer his own question.

Book Suggests That as a Result of Our Environmental Actions, We Are Contemplating Our Own Extinction Apr 3, 2017 Kieran Cooke / Climate News Network

Earth entered Anthropocene with the firs atomic bomb January 15, 2015


Anthropocene: a major shift in the biosphere 18 DICEMBRE 2015







Donald Trump just began the “extinction” of human life on Earth, according to Michael Moore
The US President signed an executive order that rolls back Obama-era rules aimed at tackling global warming. 
The order will look to suspend, rescind or flag for review six of Barack Obama’s climate change measures in an effort to boost the use of fossil fuels. 
In a Facebook post, Mr Moore said: “Historians in the near future (because that may be the only future we have) will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on Earth began.”
As part of the roll-back, Mr Trump will trigger a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. The billionaire announced the measure as an “end to the war on coal”.
Mr Moore described the action as a “defining moment in the history of mankind”, and said the 70-year-old was “declaring an act of war on the planet and its inhabitants”. 
“The one silver lining here is that Trump can't kill the planet; the planet wants to live and has a long history of wiping out any real or perceived threats.
“With the actions Trump is taking today, the planet is paying attention - and the planet will make sure it dispenses with a species hell-bent on destroying Earth.”
Mr Trump has previously called global warming a “hoax” invented by the Chinese to reduce American economic competitiveness. 
Anne Kelly, Senior Director at Ceres, a coalition of investors and businesses that promote sustainability, told the The Independent the rollback of the Clean Power Plan would hurt job creation in the renewable sector and send “the wrong signal” to investors in the private sector. 
For the first time, 2016 saw private investment in the renewable energy industry outpace investment in the oil and gas industry.
Trip von Noppen, president of Green group Earthjustice, said the renewable marketplace “is going to go forward regardless of the White House does”.

Michael Moore says Donald Trump just began the 'extinction of human life on Earth' Tom Embury-Dennis Mar 30 2017




Environmental groups that have hired scores of new lawyers in recent months are prepared to go to court to fight a sweeping executive order from President Donald Trump that eliminates many restrictions on fossil fuel production and would roll back his predecessor's plans to curb global warming. But they said they'll take their first battle to the court of public opinion.
Advocates said they plan to work together to mobilise a public backlash against an executive order signed by Trump.
Even so, “this is not what most people elected Trump to do; people support climate action,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who said Trump's actions are short-sighted and won't bring back the jobs he promised.
The White House did not immediately respond to an Associated Press email looking for comment.
While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that US mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties because of automation and competition from natural gas and because of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal.
Environmentalists say clean energy would create thousands of new jobs and fear that Trump's actions will put the US at a competitive disadvantage to other countries that are embracing it.
But they believe efforts to revive fossil fuels ultimately will fail because many states and industries already have been embracing renewable energy and natural gas.
“Those decisions are being made at the state level and plant by plant,” said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen, who said his group is “continuing to work aggressively to retire dirty coal plants.
“Coal is not coming back,” Van Noppen added. “While the president is taking big splashy action, he is actually doomed to fail.”
A coalition of 16 states and the District of Columbia said they will oppose any effort by the Trump administration to withdraw the Clean Power Plan or seek dismissal of a pending legal case before a federal appeals court in Washington.
Environmental advocates also are ready to go to court on a moment's notice, and will carefully watch the administration's actions, said the NRDC's Goldston.
“The President doesn't get to simply rewrite safeguards; they have to... prove the changes are in line with the law and science,” Goldston said. “I think that's going to be a high hurdle for them.”
Jeremy Symons, associate vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund, said advocates will work to build support among lawmakers along with the public.
“In terms of the big picture, our strategy is simple: Shine a spotlight on what is going on and mobilise the public against these rollbacks that threaten our children's health” and the climate, he said.
Associated Press

Environmental groups vow fightback against Donald Trump's climate change actions Tammy Webber Mar 31 2017

'Climate change is real': companies challenge Trump's reversal of policy 30 March 2017  Jamiles Lartey

How Corruption Fuels Climate Change 28 MARZO 2017



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