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ecosystem collapse

The global economy has outgrown the capacity of the Earth to support it. Ecosytem collapse is accelerating.

No culture, however technologically advanced, can survive the collapse of its environmental support system or ecosystem.

"Can we just realize that there are limits to growth? That "smart growth", at best, delays the moment when we must concede the limitations of a finite world? After observing the mindless expansion of the Los Angeles region, predicated on a future of cheap energy that will not be realized, I have to ask, are we smarter than a colony of bacteria that reproduces and proliferates until it suddenly dies off from an exhaustion of resources?" - David M. Marquez

"Imagine what happens to a culture when it becomes based on the idea of transcending limits. . . and enshrines that as the purpose of its near-global civilization. Predictably it will live in the grip of the technological imperative, devoted unceasingly to providing machinery to attack the possible. . . . Imagine then what happens to a culture when it actually develops the means to transcend limits, making it possible and therefore right to destroy custom and community, to create new rules of employment and obligation, to magnify production and consumption, to impose new means and ways of work, and to control or ignore the central forces of nature. It would no doubt exist for quite a long time, powerful and expansionary and prideful, before it had to face up to the truths that it was founded upon an illusion and that there are real limits in an ordered world, social and economic as well as natural, that ought not be transgressed, limits more important than their conquest." - Kirkpatrick Sale

Global consumer culture is consuming renewable resources faster than they can regenerate.

Global consumer culture consumes oil, coal, natural gas and discharges greenhouse gases into the atmosphere faster than nature can recycle them.

The incapacity to satisfy global consumer culture is apparent in:

shrinking forests and eroding soils;

crop-withering heat waves;

villages abandoned because of invading sand dunes;

ocean dead zones;

dying coral reefs;

collapsing fisheries;

expanding deserts;

deteriorating rangelands;

melting glaciers;

disappearing species;

aquifers pumped dry and fracked into toxicity.

Harvests of less than 10 percent of historic highs is considered a collapse in the Fishing industry.

In 1950, only six commercial seafood species worldwide had collapsed. By 2003, more than 2,200 species - 29 percent of all commercially fished species on Earth - had collapsed.

Resources accumulated over eons of geological time are being consumed in a single human lifespan. Global consumer culture notes problems only when commodity prices go up, leaving little time to adjust. Once a natural threshold is crossed there is no time left to modify our resource explotation. We see this time and again as species go extinct.

Paul MacCready notes that when agriculture began, humans, their livestock, and pets together accounted for less than 0.1 percent of the total weight of all vertebrates on the land and in the air. In 2005 Paul MacCready estimated that humans, their livestock, and pets accounted for 98 percent of the Earth's total vertebrate biomass, leaving only 2 percent for the wild portion, the latter including all the deer, wildebeests, elephants, great cats, birds, small mammals, and so forth.

98 tons of prehistoric, buried plant material is required to produce each gallon of gasoline we burn in our cars. Fossil fuel consumption in 1997 equaled the energy in 7.1 trillion kilograms of carbon in plant matter. Land plants today contain 31.6 trillion kilograms of carbon above ground.

"The amount of plants that went into the fossil fuels we burned since the global industrial Revolution began in 1751 is equal to all the plants grown on Earth over 13,300 years. Fossil fuels developed from ancient deposits of organic material, and thus can be thought of as a vast store of solar energy. It took an incredible amount of plant matter to generate the fossil fuels we are using today." - Jeff Dukes

Many earlier civilizations found themselves in environmental trouble as Jared Diamond notes in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Some were able to change course and avoid economic decline and some - Sumerians, Mayans, Easter Islanders - were not able to make the needed adjustments in time.

We know from earlier civilizations that the lead indicators of economic decline were environmental and not due to the churning of derivatives.

The trees went first, then the soil, and finally the civilization itself.

Nature has many thresholds that we discover only when it is too late.

To archeologists, the sequence is all too familiar.

The Earth is in what ecologists call an "overshoot-and-collapse" mode.

Overshoot leads sometimes to decline and sometimes to a complete collapse.

1944 US Coast Guard introduces 29 reindeer on remote St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea to serve as the backup food source for the 19 men operating a station there. World War II ends, the base is closed and the men left the island.

1957 US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist David Kline visits St. Matthew Island. He discovers a thriving population of 1,350 reindeer feeding on the four-inch-thick mat of lichen that covers the 332-square-kilometer (128-square-mile) island. In the absence of any predators, the population exploded.

1963 A population of 6,000 reindeer on the island.

1966 St. Matthew Island is strewn with reindeer skeletons and not much lichen. 42 reindeer survive: 41 females and 1 unhealthy male. There are no fawns.

1980 The remaining reindeer had died off and there is no lichen.

In decline, a remnant of the population or economic activity survives in a resource-depleted environment for a period of time.

As the environmental resource base of Easter Island in the South Pacific deteriorated its population declined from a peak of 20,000 to fewer than 4,000.

In contrast, the 500-year-old Norse settlement in Greenland collapsed during the 1400s, disappearing entirely in the face of environmental adversity.

2005 42 countries have population that are stable or declining slightly in size as a result of falling birth rates. For the first time demographers are projecting population declines in African countries because of rising death rates, among them Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.


Welcome to the Asylum

The Dissolution of the West

America's Descent Into Madness

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

Collapse of Complex Societies by Dr. Joseph Tainter

Collapse Awareness and the Tragic Consciousness

Derrick Jensen: Civilization and Enlightenment

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, A Rebellious World or a New Dark Age?

Why Does the World Shadow Government Destroy its Own Home (Planet)?

Will the Collapse of Civilization Begin With Global Fascist Totalitarianism?


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This website defines a new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has created a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the Way of Life - a rational religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a "hate crime."

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