It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


We must stop now!!

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 05:12 PM
OK… Here I go again on one of my environmental rants…

I still see people insisting that global warming is a natural process of the Suns cycle and nothing to worry about. That we are coming out from of an ice age and that the planet is just warming naturally. That our impact on this planet is tiny and has no “real” effect to the overall natural change.


Well they are correct, in that the earth does go through periodic changes and that we are in a warming period, but does that mean we are not having an effect??

Is our effect on the earth really negligible??

I personally do not think so. I believe that, although we are going through a period of warming, we are starting to see a runaway affect. I believe that, although the earth has seen many warming periods and still managed to sustain an efficient eco-system, we are getting to a critical junction where there could be no turning back.

And I think it is wise to state that there is more to this issue than just global warming alone!!

First I will start with what my own eyes see and what conclusions I have come to.

When I was a child (30 years ago) I can often remember playing in my garden in the height of summer. These are some of the best memory’s, of childhood, that I have. To me, at that time, my garden was a huge adventure and I was the explorer. I remember the distinct summer smells like it was yesterday. The smell of the fresh mint that my farther would grow, the smell of the freshly cut grass, and the odd whiff of afternoon roast dinners being caught in the warm breeze from neighbouring house’s. My mind was a sponge absorbing all the smells, sounds, sites and texture’s, storing them in my biological data base for future reference.

One of my games was collecting lady-birds (A small red beetle with black dots) in match boxes and setting them free at the end of the day or when dinner was ready. My record was 47 ladybirds in 1 afternoon. I would never find less than 20. In fact, it wasn’t just ladybird I collected. I would often look for other insects such as grasshoppers, earwigs, centipedes etc. This would all be done in the sunshine with NO Sun-block!!!

Anyway the years go by and all of them mini-adventures fade into a distant memory. Grow up, go to colleague, get a job, start family of my own.

So… There I am in the garden with my daughter, 30 years later, she is covered in factor 60 sun-block and we are looking for insects. What did we find? Not one single ladybird, nor a grasshopper, no centipedes, nothing! Just ants and spiders. It made me think… when was the last time I see a ladybird? When was the last time I see a butterfly? And I definitely do not see as many bumblebees as I remember! Where have they all gone??

Since then I have been more observant in my garden and have spotted more insects but never the amount I used to find. And only one ladybird.

So I decided to look it up and this is what I found…

Not only is the insect population in Britain on a serious decline but also the Bird population. The bird population has been hit hard by the sudden drop in insects and this has caused the once common sparrow to become a rare sight in any garden.

This is also affecting water insects and this is having an adverse affect on fish stocks, particularly Trout.

You see nature is a delicate balance. All life has lived in harmony for years but now something is tipping the balance.

What is tipping this delicate balance??

After much research I have found

1) Pollution from industry increasing acidity levels in soil.

This kills off the nutrients and small soil organisms. This in turn damages plant growth and the small creatures that feed on soil organisms. This then affects the insects followed by the birds etc…

2) Modern farming techniques and the pesticides used.

This speaks for itself. Pesticides kill insects.

3) Habitat diversity decline.

Many of Britain’s natural habitats are destroyed for farming and development. These habitats, such as swampland and lakes, are extremely diverse and key to many species survival.

4) GM Crops.

Many GM crops are developed to be insect resistant. Although GM crops are not in wide enough use to have a major impact. YET!

Some links…

Now, all this gets you thinking, if pollution is having an effect on the wildlife in this little island called Britain what is the effect world wide??

You see Britain does have a problem with industrial pollution ans land development but then so does most of the world. China, India, Russia, USA, Brazil, the list goes on and on.

So I did some more research…

The high acidity levels we are seeing in the soil of Britain is repeated around the world. More worrying than this is the increased levels of acidity in our oceans. Now, believe it or not, our oceans are the most important factor of sustaining life on this planet. More important than the rain forests even. Without the oceans everything dies.

We are already seeing an effect on shell fish, plankton, and corral reefs. Shell fish are losing the hardening of there outer shells. Plankton is having difficulty reproducing, and the coral reefs are in decline. All of these have been investigated by many scientists from government and private sectors and all come to the same conclusion.

1) The increase PH balance of our oceans is starting to kill the more delicate marine life.

2) This PH imbalance is caused by industrial waste.

3) This will have a knock on effect to all marine life if not stopped.

The Oceans mop up most of the Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Unfortunately because of the increase in CO2 emissions the oceans is taking more than it should. This is what increases the acidity levels in the Ocean.

Some more links…

We also have problems of algae blooms caused by nutrient run-off from agriculture.

Now… The Oceans are massive. I could not begin to try and work out how much water is contained within them. I believe that I have produced enough evidence to show that…

a) Humans are having a direct effect on the creatures in my garden.

b) This is also affecting many areas around the world.

c) This effect on land creatures is also affecting marine life.

d) This problem will get worse unless there is change.

So what I want to ask is…

If we can have an effect on the Oceans, what makes it so hard to believe that we are also affecting the atmosphere? And if we have the ability to effect the atmosphere what make it so hard to believe that this could cause an un-natural temperature rise to a planet that is already going through a natural warming period?

My research is not over… more post to follow.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 11:12 PM
Do you want some of the bugs in my garden??? I have a massive surplus this year. It's so bad the traditional methods have not had any effect and I am considering bringing out the heavy artillery -- my last remaining DDT (yeah, you can still get it if you know who to ask).

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 10:03 AM
If humans chop down every tree in the world human and animal life would die off but the trees would grow back and the earth would repair itself.

If pollutions gets 100X, 1000X, 10000X worse than it is now, human and animal life would die off but the earth would begin to repair itself.

If there was a massive nuclear war, humans and animals would die off but....the earth will repair itself.

We should take heed of our actions not because of what we can do to the earth, but what we could do to ourselves.

People give man too much credit.
There are only 10 ways for man to destroy the earth, all of which are highly improbable.

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 10:22 AM
undercoverchef, you make some excellent points, most of which I agree with, but i would like to comment on one of your points whith which I do not agree:

What is tipping this delicate balance?? ... After much research I have found .... 4) GM Crops. Many GM crops are developed to be insect resistant. Although GM crops are not in wide enough use to have a major impact. YET!

As you say, some GM crops are designed to be insect resistant. This means the requirement for insecticides is lowered or eliminated, and you yourself say (quite correctly, in my opinion) that modern farming techniques with their reliance on insecticidea (and quite likely artificial high-nitrate fertilizers) are bad for our environment.

I am not sure that there is as strong a correlation between climate change and soil pH, but I certainly agree that the decreasing biodiversity you report in your guaden is as potentially dangerous as monocropping huge tracts in the American Plains states and Canadian Prairie provinces.

Of course, I am not saying that insect-resistant crops will maintain the level of existing insect life; with less food available, the crop-eating insect population will lower before stabilizing. But this re-stabilizing happens in nature all the time and the problem will not be exacerbated by the unforeseen effects of insecticides in the soil, water supply, and food chain.

I consider the changes to soil as a result of high-intensity, insicticicide- and artificial fertilizer-intense monocropping to be a serious problem vis-a-vis the long term environmental health of the planet.

But I also think that a well-though-out implementation of crops which make eficient use of natural nutrient uptake, minimize wasted parts, and are resistant to crop predators cannot help but improve the health of the land ...

... as well as keeping half the world's pupulation from starving in the latter half of the 21st century.

[edit on 11-8-2005 by Off_The_Street]

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 05:11 PM

Thanks for your reply

I must confess... The point about GM crops was put in at the last minute and not researched as much as i would like.

You have made an excellent point that i had not yet considered and it has certainly given me food for thought.

Although i will say that i am cautious of GM crops.

Many thanks for your excellent point

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 09:48 PM
Undercoverchef, I am cautious about geneticall engineered crops as well. The introduction of rats and mongooses in Hawaii; the wild berries in Galapagos; and the brown snake in Guam have played havoc with the existing endemic biota there. If we develop a plant which is much more survivable than existing plants, this exotic could choke out the old growth and it'd be "kudzu in the South" all over again.

This, by the way, is one of the reasons that the GE crop producers often produce deliberately sterile plants -- so that a volunteer crop would not get out of control.

I find it ironic that some of the very people who rant against the dangers of GE crops are the same ones who curse the agribusinesses for making those same plants sterile, saying tht the farmers "have a right" to use the seeds to plant crops and then use a new batch of seeds for free. Intellectual property arguments aside, i just have to think that you can't have it both ways. If you want safety from possible runaway biota, how else can you avoid exotic takeover except by sterilizing the plants in the first place?

And we need to remember that we've been eating genetically modified crops for millennia. Of course, the old way, where the farmer takes the seeds from the biggest (or sweetest, or most hardy) plant and just plants them, works great -- it just takes hundreds of years to develop a large corn or grass-seed like durum or einkorn.

The modern way is more than just a bit faster and more focused, of course; by adding exospecific genes (genes from another living organism) you can have plants with animal genes and vice versa; this trans-specific stuff is a bit iffy even for me.

But remember, there are six billion of us, and by 2050, war or plague aside, there'll be nine billion of us. The mapping of the rice genome last week and the GE activities which will surely follow will undoubtedly produce some strange rice indeed ...

...But that strange rice could well keep a billion people from starvation.

For that, I'd gladly put up with glow-in-the-dark turnips!

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 12:55 AM
Good points, off the street. The world is hard to kill. Who knows, maybe humans are just part of the pattern. Mount Saint helen's erupted and destroyed 2 miles, I believe, of the surrounding area, yet life is living again. Humans may cause huge damage to the enivironment, but it'll probably heal. We'd need alot of nukes to destroy earth enough to kill it, I think, but life is surprisingly hardy.

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 05:13 AM

Good points about GM crops again

Something i again admit to not researching enough to really comment on.

But the thing that worries me is... people are starving because of failed crops and lack of natural food source. Often this is caused by environmental damage that we have created.

Soil erosion caused by deforestation.

Desertification caused by bad crop management, poor irrigation and sometimes tourism.

Climate change caused (or helped) by increased CO2 emissions.

There are many other reason but these do help attribute to it…

Now… would the answer not be to educate the local populations on good farming techniques, restrict deforestation and reduce CO2 emissions?

I realise that these are long term solutions and the GM crops could solve the problem faster. But to me (and my very simplistic sceptical brain) it feels that whenever we come up with scientific answers we create other problems.

Should we not be trying to work with nature instead of always trying to compete against it with shortcuts?

Hmm… admittedly I have done little research in this area so these are just opinions and theories so forgive me if im wrong 


Good points, off the street. The world is hard to kill. Who knows, maybe humans are just part of the pattern. Mount Saint helen's erupted and destroyed 2 miles, I believe, of the surrounding area, yet life is living again. Humans may cause huge damage to the enivironment, but it'll probably heal. We'd need alot of nukes to destroy earth enough to kill it, I think, but life is surprisingly hardy.

You are correct in that the world is tougher than people think. But unfortunately your way of thinking (no insult intended here) is a pattern I have seen repeated to many times.

“The planet will survive… its tougher than you think… It will probably heal itself… It’s the planets way of cleaning itself of us…”

Do you not think that this is a very blasé way of looking at things?? It seems almost selfish!

Its as good as saying… “Well we can still get a few more years of exploitation out of it before the crap hits the fan and, by then, I won’t be around anyway. So what do I care”

Well that attitude is all very fine and dandy for this generation but what about our children? And our childrens children?

I do not want our future generation crawling around a huge dust bowl looking for food simply because of our greed and nonchalance.

This is not a personal attack at you lifeadventurer so please don’t take offensive. This is aimed all of us. There seems to be lots of people who use the word PROBABLY in there argument against the so called “greenies”

Probably is used, in this way, not to suggest that research has been done, by an individual, and that this is a probable outcome. But simply as a guess.

“Im guessing that it will be ok”

Well that’s all very well when discussing football or TV but when it comes to the survival of the human race I would rather not listen to people who have done no research but GUESS things will be ok!!!

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 12:51 PM
Destroying the Earth?.................I presume we mean destroying the biosphere in such a manner that it would be incapable of sustaining most macro sized species?...............Otherwise inhabitable or not the Earth will be around for another 5 billion years until our sun goes red giant on us and evaporates the Earth in the process.......

Anyway, if my first assumption on this discussion is correct then the human species ability to manipulate the environment and dispose refuse within it certainly can act as a catalyst which can lead to a self sustaining chain of events that could render the planet uninhabitable for most species in existence at this time...........

The real problem is that we don't really know at what level in the concentration of refuse/spent energy from our lifestyle results in such a threshold....

.....For instance, burning fossil fuels and other elements that result in ozone layer what point would the Earth's biosphere reach a level where the interaction of random natural forces are no longer able to result in a livable normal ozone cover…………and as a result, end up with an atmosphere that becomes a runaway greenhouse effect?

We don't know.......

.....and the scary thing is that we may never know until it is too late......... the only real option we have is to take the precautions to assume that we are close to such a threshold so that we never give ourselves an excuse to cross that line and as a result are rendered useless in our ability to reverse that degeneration............

Any astronaut will tell you from space that the inhabitable area of our planet (i.e. the biosphere) is such a thin layer on top of the Earth that it is analogous to a thin layer of shellac on a basketball.............and consider that within that biosphere that only 30% of the surface is inhabitable as land......

Think about this when considering the biosphere........when I start my car in the garage every morning I realize that the toxic fumes coming out of the gas pipe would kill me in a matter of minutes if I stayed in the garage with the car running and the garage door closed......

Now I have a two car garage that I would imagine a good guess is filled with 1,210 cubit feet of space (20ft by 40ft by 10ft high)..................if a single car can destroy the quality of breathable air in a matter of a few mins in a space that size............then what would be the impact of millions of those vehicles running almost 24/7 be on the atmosphere?

Anyone know the total cubit feet of breathable atmosphere on the planet per chance??

Consider in the US alone there are more vehicles than there are people (approx 300 million in use). And there is a constant use of at least 10 to 20 million of them in use at all times.

Overall, we don't have a lot of research to work with here so it would be prudent for us as a species to side on research that cautions our consumption rather than ignores it.............

Odds are if we get into a runaway degenerative effect on the biosystems that support our existence..........that they would increase either logarithmically or geometrically at such a rate we would have little time or ability to counteract such an effect...........

You know what bothers me?

A story.............

Many of my relatives worked in the deep mining of coal.............before the technology existed to determine safe breathable air they used canaries as barometers to determine if the air was safe...........A canary is more sensitive to the quality of breathable air than a human..........If it survived then you could work in that environment............If it was found dead at any time then you hightailed it out of there because you knew that death would soon follow for you as well...........

That said..................

Amphibians due to the porous nature of their skin to both water and air are dieing out around the world in record has been estimated that as much as 2/3rds of them have died some of this comes from the destruction of the environment in which they habit due to man's clearing of forest for habituate........................but it does not explain the overall alarming rate of such a massive die off............

Are amphibians the canaries of our atmosphere today?

Are we to soon follow when they are all gone?

These are hard questions which we must challenge ourselves to understand for the sake of not only humans but all species that inhabit this Earth...............

This challenge we face goes beyond any economic, political and religious ideologies currently in conflict with such concerns……for if we don’t have the courage to understand the future as it relates to the environment we have inherited then there will be no one left to contemplate any ideologies……….

top topics


log in