A Depressing Thought

Some climate scientists (for example Gaia theorist, James Lovelock and grandfather, James Hansen), have embraced nulclear power as the carbon-neutral answer to our high energy needs in this modern world. They feel we’ve gone too far to turn back now–a depressing thought if there ever was one. Of course, almost no one is willing to point out that maybe there’s just too many people here on the planet today…

 

The fact that nuclear power plants will inevitably all have meltdowns if no one’s around to keep them going and keep them cool with thousands of gallons of water seems clearly the biggest threat to the future of Earth’s other species if humans were to suddenly check out (from say, nuclear war or pandemic, or starvation due to climate change, etc.).

 

Also, if jet traffic with its global cooling, cloud-like contrails in the stratosphere were to come to an abrupt end (the oil is going to run out some day, after all), the planet would quickly warm up to temperature levels not seen in hundreds of thousands of years (known as the Venus effect).

 

Sadly, there’s no easy answer.

 

We’re addicted to speed, madly shovelling coal into a freight train headed for a brick wall. It’s too late for the wish that humans would just go away and let nature take back over, putting things right again. At this point, the train is going to crash and there’s  no place left for humans to safely jump off.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “A Depressing Thought

  1. I don’t see any real hope. We cannot face the major issues of overpopulation and the global spread of the culture of overconsumption. So even the developing nations aspire to our lifestyle. Too few people are willing make the sacrifices needed to make a difference in our trajectory. And conservative politicians, especially, do not want to talk about it. Cutting population sends the Religious Right into apoplexy, and Wall Street and Madison Avenue do not want to hear about anything but growth.

    In the fifth century BC, Sophocles wrote in Antigone: ‘No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” That is just as true today. Just deny or skip the issue.

    People are causing the problem, but the rest of creation will be the first to pay the price. They already die in the floods, storms, and fires, although they are not mentioned in the death toll.

  2. Not all nuclear power is the same. New plants use thorium instead of uranium, which is much safer (not safe, just safer). While not the ideal solution, I would favor money into nuclear research rather than reopening coal mines. One huge drawback of nuclear, independent of its environmental costs, is it takes something like 20 years to bring a nuclear plant online. We don’t have that kind of time.

  3. I don’t know – what are we going to do with all of the nuclear waste? We can’t keep throwing it in the oceans, deserts, etc. Nuclear power is one of those things that looks good on paper, but in reality isn’t practical and much too dangerous. Best left to science fiction. The damage from a nuclear meltdown lasts for a long, long time – for example Chernobyl isn’t estimated to be habitable for 20,000 years. Don’t be fooled by rosy pictures painted by magazines. At least fossil fuels can be dealt with realistically.

  4. To be honest I don’t find the thought of the end depressing. There was a time when I read about climate change, the end of life on earth and so on, I felt all the appropriate emotions, sad angry worried and so on. I don’t feel that way anymore. I am sorry that we have destroyed the earth for the animals, but I want this end to come sooner rather than later, to put an end to the reign of terror brought on by the bloody humans!

    When the earth dies and takes all life it will include billions of sadistic depraved monsters calling themselves human. That is what I am looking forward to.
    I just read about three separate incidents with three sets of sadistic parasites in three different parts of the world torturing and killing animals FOR FUN, while videoing their sadistic acts. https://themonstersamongus.com/2016/08/26/steven-sadler-and-boots-stanley-from-hamburg-arkansas-slit-a-dogs-throat-for-fun/

    Yesterday, didn’t we read on this very blog that a 17 year old killed a nesting eagle and the authorities DID NOT DO ANYTHING TO PUNISH HIM? The authorities thought he was too young to get his just punishment, he killed an animal in cold blood for fun and they thought he was too young to be punished!!! And of course we all know that there is nothing unusual about these types of events. They happen with such frequency that we just tune them out.

    … “Bastrop, Louisiana – The horrific video of Boots Stanley and Steven Sadler torturing a Pit Bull type dog before slitting its throat repeatedly has led to their arrest.”

    That was last year. Only a frenzy of petitions stopped the authorities from pushing this under the rug, but these two are still having a nice life probably torturing more animals.

    “Steven Sadler and Boots Stanley have pled “not guilty” to two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and conspiracy, …. Sadler and Stanley were caught after a video was posted on Snapchat of the two cowards engaging in the prolonged torture of an innocent dog – now named Justice – until he choked to death on his own blood.

    The prospect of earth ridding itself from billions like these two is Not depressing for me. If it takes a catastrophe beyond anyone’s control to empty earth from dangerous killer parasites like these two humans, then let it be.

    Animals are suffering and dying by the millions every day at the hands of humans, maybe a quick end would be better for them, with the added bonus of wiping out the most deranged, defective and dangerous species that ever walked the earth.

  5. I agree with you – I felt and still feel all of those things, but we really are past the point of no return now. The biggest problem was the sheer numbers of us, but that is so out of control now, that anything we do just makes everything worse. Wind and solar? Good ideas if we would incorporate them by doing the least amount of environmental damage possible – but we can’t seem to stop ourselves from ripping out undeveloped lands and valuable trees. Plus we won’t give up the fossil fuels, and want to take continual risks with nuclear. So I’m resigned to it now. I do believe in climate change, but it’s too late now. Why does it seem that the more dire it gets, the more desperately we cling to overbreeding, overconsuming, and no restraint or humility? And cling to denial and delusion? May we get what we deserve. I just feel terrible grief for the rest of life on earth. That’s why I don’t really have a response for the climate change posts.

  6. I’ve learned now to step back, and I realize that this is nature’s way. We humans try to fight it and deny it, but like lemmings when their numbers get too high, we’ll have a cataclysmic event – weather, disease, famine, and then recover – or like the dinosaurs, that will be it. There’s not much we can do. We haven’t really even gotten started dealing with climate change.

    • or one of our many, many wars. Forgot that one. I just hope that we don’t destroy what’s left of the planet and other life. Nuclear really is a bad and frightening thing.

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