Time-Lapse Satellite Photos Show Grim Realities for Our Planet

Time-Lapse Satellite Photos Show Grim Realities for Our Planet

Nearly 30 years of satellite photos from around the world arranged as GIFS illustrate our effect on the environment.

The world is a very different place now than it was in 1984; Earth has gone through physical changes thanks to the effect people have on the environment. These GIFS, put together from images collected by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey's Landsat program, provide more proof that environmental hazards such as global warming and deforestation show no signs of stopping if policies aren't in place.

The Columbia Glacier in Alaska has been retreating since the '80s, as the pictures from the Landsat program prove. The glacier has thinned out over the years and retreated at an alarming rate. Barely moving from its discovery in 1794 to 1980, it has lost 1300 feet (400 m) in thickness and 12 miles (20 km) in length.

Lake Urmia in Iran is similarly in danger. The sixth largest saltwater lake in the world (and largest in the Middle East) has dried up significantly, placing Iran on the brink of a water crisis. The United Nations Development program stated Lake Urmia has shrunk by two-thirds since 1997 due to poor water management, agricultural policies, and drought.

Brazil's Amazon Rainforest used to be 50 million acres, but an area of the rainforest roughly the size of West Virginia disappeared from 1978 to 2003 due to deforestation. The deforestation has slowed thanks to new policies from Brazil's government, but 17% of the Amazon (equivalent to the size of France, TIME states) is already gone.

Coal is neither sustainable nor eco-friendly. Wyoming has become the coal mining center of the U.S. as it releases less sulfur dioxide in the air than coal from the Appalachians. Coal export terminals on the west coast could make exporting coal across the Pacific a reality; however, environmentalists and organizations oppose this. Oregon's Department of State Lands recently denied a permit needed to export coal to Asia.

Coal isn't the only limited resource, though. Water reserves in Saudi Arabia from the last Ice Age will last only 50 years, hydrologists estimate. Saudi Arabia's irrigation in the desert grows food by by drilling through the desert floor to get to the reserves of water. However, this water is unsustainable. Unfortunately, the region only sees about an inch of rainfall per year.

Not all of this is bad news. Several of the images indicate urban growth, especially more recent growth. Dubai's expansion happened suddenly, going from 300,000 people in the mid-1980s to over 2 million. The city has the largest mall and theme park, as well as a Legoland park coming in 2016.

Like Dubai, Las Vegas is a city that grew from a desert. Vegas has skyrocketed to become a economic powerhouse, thanks to tourism, attractions, and casinos. The city grew by 100,000 new residents from 2012 to 2014, and more residents are optimistic about markets. Construction jobs continue to grow as more people move to Nevada, and health and education jobs have grown as well. Home sales have improved from 2011, and consumers are more confident about spending money.

Source: Google, TIME via Upworthy

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I kinda want to see a side-by-side GIF of the Las Vegas expansion one next to the drying of Lake Mead.

Also, if it were possible, a GIF the bomb testing sites.

Maybe, just maybe, building massive cities in the middle of deserts is actually a really terrible idea?

Some of these aren't really "grim realities", Dubai and Saudi Arabian irrigation for example.

Las Vegas though, now that's a crime against humanity.

It's not all bad news, he says...

And then follows that up with more bad news about urban growth.

Who the hell thinks urban growth is a good thing?

Dango:
Some of these aren't really "grim realities", Dubai and Saudi Arabian irrigation for example.

Given that the very article above mentions that Saudi Arabia's irrigation is unsustainable I'd say that's pretty grim for everyone living there that will live more than a few decades. And I was under the impression that Dubai has not only grown so fast that a lot of those fancy buildings they make are empty, but they also consume ungodly amounts of water, have been criticized for human rights violations in the past, and aren't really concerned with the sustainability of the city period in their rush to modernize and look attractive to western tourists and businesses. I may be mistaken on some of those or maybe they've cleaned up their act in recent years. Still, it's pretty clear that they're in a rush to embrace some of the worst aspects of western culture as quickly as possible. That's usually not a good thing.

Yeah, when you've just finished talking about dwindling water reserves in general, and a major population centre in a desert facing hard times.

Maybe you should consider Las Vegas growing, and where it is, and how completely wasteful they are with a lot of resources.

The major problem (which tons of other problems are merely symptomatic of) is that the population keeps going up, because people think some sort of inherent universal law is going to allow their ever-expanding offspring to survive (and prosper!). Sticking too many people in too many places, and half or more of those places are non-ideal or outright unlivable, and we stick a few million there anyways and try to work around it til it all falls apart.

Seth Carter:
The major problem (which tons of other problems are merely symptomatic of) is that the population keeps going up, because people think some sort of inherent universal law is going to allow their ever-expanding offspring to survive (and prosper!). Sticking too many people in too many places, and half or more of those places are non-ideal or outright unlivable, and we stick a few million there anyways and try to work around it til it all falls apart.

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

The world will outlive us, no matter what. We're not capable of actually destroying it, only ourselves. After we're gone, something else will start up. That's how it works.

Wow, that was actually kind of depressing. Especially the drying up lake. *sad face*

HaraDaya:

Seth Carter:
The major problem (which tons of other problems are merely symptomatic of) is that the population keeps going up, because people think some sort of inherent universal law is going to allow their ever-expanding offspring to survive (and prosper!). Sticking too many people in too many places, and half or more of those places are non-ideal or outright unlivable, and we stick a few million there anyways and try to work around it til it all falls apart.

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

Eh, chances are science will kick the crud out of it too. Cancer is steadily trying to quell us, but it's managing little more than a fist fight. It's the nature of... well, nature... to defend itself when faced with a threat, it just so happens that either we've gotten better at it, or the Earth has recently gotten really bad at it (biologically, anyway. We still haven't managed any concrete ways to give the middle finger to natural disasters yet).

paragon1:
Maybe, just maybe, building massive cities in the middle of deserts is actually a really terrible idea?

It's a terrible idea with respect to reality, but with respect to the conceit of "making the desert bloom" in the Godlike sense of "something from nothing" it's a really good idea.

Think of the machismo aspect here - it's more "manly" to make "something from nothing" than "something from something". It hardly matters what the effect on the WORLD is - what's the well being of the world compared to maximizing the well being of one's ego?

It's good enough for Las Vegas, Dubai, Israel, and space colonization. Reality can go fuck itself. When one creates something from nothing, the result is ALL YOU. There's no need to share the credit, which is the whole point.

It's the complete opposite of someone who recognizes all of the factors and other people who he owes for his existence, his identity, and his well being. It's the complete opposite of inclusion and humility. It's horrific.

FalloutJack:

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

The world will outlive us, no matter what. We're not capable of actually destroying it, only ourselves. After we're gone, something else will start up. That's how it works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL8HP1WzbDk
One does believe this to be relevant to he matter.

Why is the loss of a glacier and some trees bad for the planet? Trees can be planted and regrown, and what does a bunch of ice accomplish? I am ignorant, admittedly... maybe the earth will explode without a giant glacier existing? Seriously though, this article makes these things SOUND scary, but are they actually? Is this actually damaging, or just change? Because, ice can melt without our intervention as far as I am concerned, and that forest? Still looks like it has a lot of trees to me...

I think we'll be fine. It's easy to look at our planet changing and get scared, but its normal for it to change.

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

You don't honestly think that human beings can destroy the planet or kill nature do you? The planet will be absolutely fine, we're not doing anything that numerous previous extinction events haven't done more thoroughly. The only thing we stand to destroy is a few very specific types of animal including ourselves.

EDIT: for example in the Triassic period there were a far, far higher number of active volcanoes meaning that the planet was considerably hotter than it currently is. Additionally this meant that there were numerous chemical impurities in the air that are no longer common. This era saw the emergence of the dinosaurs. the the end of the Cretaceous period a meteorite plunged the earth into what was essentially a nuclear winter, killing off something like 99% of all animal and plant life. Then came the era of the retreating glaciers and the super-mammals like the large sabretooth tigers and the mammoths, all now dead and the planet's doing just fine.

EDIT: found that quote:

"You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity.

Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years.

Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself.

In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us."

roseofbattle:
Like Dubai, Las Vegas is a city that grew from a desert. Vegas has skyrocketed to become a economic powerhouse, thanks to tourism, attractions, and casinos. The city grew by 100,000 new residents from 2012 to 2014, and more residents are optimistic about markets. Construction jobs continue to grow as more people move to Nevada, and health and education jobs have grown as well. Home sales have improved from 2011, and consumers are more confident about spending money.

Economic powerhouse? LMAO! I'm going to send that one to my parents. The rapid growth shown in the GIF caused a SEVERE real estate crash a few years back. Seriously, saying things like "Home sales have improved from 2011" is like saying "My husband has become stronger... Considering he's no longer in a coma." And "Construction jobs continue to grow?" I mean, seriously, in 2011 our unemployment rate peaked at 15%. Las Vegas is recovering, not improving.

I mean, I appreciate you trying to see the glass as "half-full," but those rose-tinted glasses are almost offensive to the Las Vegas citizens that have been, and still are, struggling. Seriously, calling Las Vegas an "economic powerhouse" is like calling Kim Jong Un "a glorious leader."

HaraDaya:

Seth Carter:
The major problem (which tons of other problems are merely symptomatic of) is that the population keeps going up, because people think some sort of inherent universal law is going to allow their ever-expanding offspring to survive (and prosper!). Sticking too many people in too many places, and half or more of those places are non-ideal or outright unlivable, and we stick a few million there anyways and try to work around it til it all falls apart.

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

Or we can hope to achieve a symbiotic relationship, or at the very least a neutral non-parasitic one.
Less toxic waste, plastic garbage and so on lying around with none to clean it up.
And also less horrible plagues. That'd be nice.
It'd be a win-win, really.

cahtush:

HaraDaya:

Seth Carter:
The major problem (which tons of other problems are merely symptomatic of) is that the population keeps going up, because people think some sort of inherent universal law is going to allow their ever-expanding offspring to survive (and prosper!). Sticking too many people in too many places, and half or more of those places are non-ideal or outright unlivable, and we stick a few million there anyways and try to work around it til it all falls apart.

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

Or we can hope to achieve a symbiotic relationship, or at the very least a neutral non-parasitic one.
Less toxic waste, plastic garbage and so on lying around with none to clean it up.
And also less horrible plagues. That'd be nice.
It'd be a win-win, really.

We're pretty much screwed at this point. People have been trying to steer the general populace towards sustainability for ages, yet we are still buying and producing tons of unrecoverable plastics that are not recyclable, burning and chopping down forests faster than they regrow, birthing vats of children in some places because of either culture or complete personal negligence, and draining away aquifers and lakes because "water is just everywhere!"

The best thing we can do right now is keep trying to change our own habits and maybe, just maybe, over time we will shift our mind set enough that there might be some way we can still survive...
Also keurig and ink companies need to go burn in the seven layers of hell for the kinds of DRM practices they implement.

michael87cn:
Why is the loss of a glacier and some trees bad for the planet? Trees can be planted and regrown, and what does a bunch of ice accomplish? I am ignorant, admittedly... maybe the earth will explode without a giant glacier existing? Seriously though, this article makes these things SOUND scary, but are they actually? Is this actually damaging, or just change? Because, ice can melt without our intervention as far as I am concerned, and that forest? Still looks like it has a lot of trees to me...

I think we'll be fine. It's easy to look at our planet changing and get scared, but its normal for it to change.

Well I can't claim to be an expert on this sort of thing, but here's what I know.

1) Glaciers: Basically it's not the fact that the glacier is melting but rather WHY it is melting. Anyone can argue climate change up, down, and around the block for hours, but that's not the point. The point is is that glaciers that have been frozen for a long time are suddenly starting to recede at a rapid pace, and that's pointing towards a bigger problem.

2)De-forestation: We breathe oxygen and release CO2. Plant's absorb CO2 and release oxygen. We also use trees to create many materials that we use in day to day life (just imagine a life without paper or wood as well as other things) Another reason to be concerned is that the forests provide homes for various species. De-forestation destroys the homes of the creatures and can eventually lead to their extinction. And yes... whill we do have a lot of trees NOW, but at this point it's seems like de-forestation will only get worse over time, and eventually we will run out of trees to chop (see life without paper/wood/other above).

Dango:
Some of these aren't really "grim realities", Dubai and Saudi Arabian irrigation for example.

they are, actually. these irrigation are using underground water reserves. reserves, that took literally hundreds of thousands of years to fill up and are being dried out in a matter of few years. this means:

1. The desert is expanding.

2. The wells of locals are running dry.

3. Once the serves are out, all this work will turn into desert and be completely useless and people who rely on it will starve.

Its pretty much the strategy of crash and burn, who cares about the future right?

Candidus:
Who the hell thinks urban growth is a good thing?

Whats bad with urban growth?

FalloutJack:
The world will outlive us, no matter what. We're not capable of actually destroying it, only ourselves. After we're gone, something else will start up. That's how it works.

actually we are technically capable of destroying it. but that would mean prety much all world superpowers cooperating on it precisely correctly and even then theres a lot left to chance. but in thiery we could "split" the earth.

michael87cn:
Why is the loss of a glacier and some trees bad for the planet? Trees can be planted and regrown, and what does a bunch of ice accomplish? I am ignorant, admittedly... maybe the earth will explode without a giant glacier existing? Seriously though, this article makes these things SOUND scary, but are they actually? Is this actually damaging, or just change? Because, ice can melt without our intervention as far as I am concerned, and that forest? Still looks like it has a lot of trees to me...

I think we'll be fine. It's easy to look at our planet changing and get scared, but its normal for it to change.

Loos of glacier symbolizes two things:

1. global warming.

2. melting Ice opens gas pockets into atmosphere that are dangerous to our enviroment. this gas then interacts with out weather models, causing the natural "disasters" to be more frequent and/or stronger.

Chipping trees, especially amazonian forests, means we reduce the green matter that does two things:

convert CO2 into glucose and oxygen (we need it to breathe yo)

Participates in natural food cycle and weather patters by vaporing water for example.

"Still looks like it has a lot of trees to me"
You do know that over half of planets forests are down, right? go to google maps and look at canada forests. they look like chess boards now.

ForumSafari:

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

You don't honestly think that human beings can destroy the planet or kill nature do you? The planet will be absolutely fine, we're not doing anything that numerous previous extinction events haven't done more thoroughly. The only thing we stand to destroy is a few very specific types of animal including ourselves.

EDIT: for example in the Triassic period there were a far, far higher number of active volcanoes meaning that the planet was considerably hotter than it currently is. Additionally this meant that there were numerous chemical impurities in the air that are no longer common. This era saw the emergence of the dinosaurs. the the end of the Cretaceous period a meteorite plunged the earth into what was essentially a nuclear winter, killing off something like 99% of all animal and plant life. Then came the era of the retreating glaciers and the super-mammals like the large sabretooth tigers and the mammoths, all now dead and the planet's doing just fine.

EDIT: found that quote:

"You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity.

Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years.

Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself.

In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us."

Is that from 'Jurassic Park' (the book)? I remember there's a bit where Jeff Goldblum (obviously, Dr Malcolm must be played by Jeff Goldblum in the book as well) makes a speech something like what you quoted.

San Martin:

Is that from 'Jurassic Park' (the book)? I remember there's a bit where Jeff Goldblum (obviously, Dr Malcolm must be played by Jeff Goldblum in the book as well) makes a speech something like what you quoted.

Yeah it is, it's one of my favourite quotes for when people start talking about us killing the planet.

FalloutJack:

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

The world will outlive us, no matter what. We're not capable of actually destroying it, only ourselves. After we're gone, something else will start up. That's how it works.

We don't have the power to kill the planet yet. Planets are an incredibly inefficient design for a space habitat, and if technological advance keeps up, we'll pluck out the heart of the Earth, climb out of this gravity well, and spend the rest of eternity on, I don't know, a billion O'neill cylinders? That's assuming we're still living in bags of meat by then.

But even if civilization doesn't make it that far and it's ended in some disaster... do you really think we currently have the power to end humanity? Are you expecting that a nuclear winter will somehow do to educated billions what an actual ice age couldn't do to tens of thousands who couldn't read and write?

ForumSafari:

-SNIP-


In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

Generally when one being can go from crawling around naked in the dirt to flying to the moon and back faster than another being can blink, that's not an indicator in favour of the slow being. I mean, if, say, an AI running on a supercomputer, made that kind of amount of progress in the time it takes me to blink, I would be thinking more in terms of "silicon-instantiated God-Mind that hopefully won't take my atoms apart just because it can think of a better use for them" than "puny insignificant silicon chip, I live and breathe on vaster scales that you don't have the humility to try to imagine".

(Building one of these is one way we could get "kill the Earth" powerful, but just keeping going at the normal pace for another few centuries/millenia would work too)

You talk about urban growth as if it is an inherently good thing. Not necessarily. Dubai's growth is built mainly on virtual slave labor of Hindu migrant workers who are not allowed to leave, and many of whom have died building up the palaces of the moguls. Las Vegas is a criminal empire that is drinking Southern California dry and has already destroyed the Colorado River. Cities are not always good things, and neither is population growth. We need to get the human population of this planet back below a billion people or we are all doomed. There is no way around that. No options. This planet can only sustain about a billion people. We are all going to have to stop having children until at least six billion people die of old age. Only then does this species, and all other species, have a chance at survival.

Man, that deforestation and the lake drying up were pretty sad.

Hahahahaha ha
The earth has faced numerous events much worse than human pollution and its recovered. Life isnt going anywhere and even if we it did we wont need it much longer anyway.

Don't get me wrong, few people care more about the beauty of nature more than me but i'm detecting a lot of Disney influence in how you see the world.

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

Nature is trying to kill humanity, but that doesn't make us special, nature is trying to kill EVERYTHING. Every tree and blade of grass is in a never ending war for resources. Trees are not tall to look nice, they are tall to kill other plants. Most trees have more leaves than they need to provide energy through photosynthesis, why grow all those branches then? To create shade and kill smaller trees.

The natural order is all out war by any and every means available, the idea that human ingenuity is somehow different is just delusional arrogance not morality.

Nature is not a delicate peaceful thing, it is a tenacious killing machine endlessly creating, changing and consuming itself.
It will survive pollution, urban sprawl, nuclear winter and humanity.
Even if we do destroy all life on Earth, its not like it was going to last forever anyway.

ForumSafari:

San Martin:

Is that from 'Jurassic Park' (the book)? I remember there's a bit where Jeff Goldblum (obviously, Dr Malcolm must be played by Jeff Goldblum in the book as well) makes a speech something like what you quoted.

Yeah it is, it's one of my favourite quotes for when people start talking about us killing the planet.

Anyone who talks about killing the planet is missing the point. Why would anyone worry about the planet qua planet? The planet is not in danger, we're in danger. We rely on an incredibly fragile *state* of an earth which is changing more than it ever has while we've been around. No doubt we'll survive for some time relying on technology, and that thought is no more comforting than a patient being allowed to "survive" on life support.

Stupidity:

HaraDaya:

We're basically like Earth's cancer, harmless in small numbers. Nature tries to kill our growth with diseases, bacteria, and what not. But we keep resisting. And thus we slowly kill our host. We're selfish bastards, and honestly a new plague with no cure seems in order for us.

Nature is trying to kill humanity, but that doesn't make us special, nature is trying to kill EVERYTHING. Every tree and blade of grass is in a never ending war for resources. Trees are not tall to look nice, they are tall to kill other plants. Most trees have more leaves than they need to provide energy through photosynthesis, why grow all those branches then? To create shade and kill smaller trees.

The natural order is all out war by any and every means available, the idea that human ingenuity is somehow different is just delusional arrogance not morality.

Nature is not a delicate peaceful thing, it is a tenacious killing machine endlessly creating, changing and consuming itself.
It will survive pollution, urban sprawl, nuclear winter and humanity.
Even if we do destroy all life on Earth, its not like it was going to last forever anyway.

Mostly bollocks with a small amount of truth. Trees rely on other trees to reproduce, as well as a bioactive soil, worms, insects to carry pollen, etc. In a rainforest smaller trees rely on the shade of taller ones for themselves to grow. That's why we call it an ecosystem. But I don't mean to make is sound like an "everyone gets along nicely" environment - it's neither that nor "every thing for itself" but somewhere in between.

"The world is a very different place now than it was in 1984"

LOL in 1984 it was a very different place to 1694.

What's this obsession with stopping time and development?

Its just as well there weren't people calling for "sustainability" when the atmosphere was raining molten sulphur.

Strazdas:
actually we are technically capable of destroying it. but that would mean prety much all world superpowers cooperating on it precisely correctly and even then theres a lot left to chance. but in thiery we could "split" the earth.

What, as in actually break the planet into chunks?
No. Nononononono!

Have a look at this if you want to get a rough idea of the orders of magnitude involved (the guy's a scientist and ex-NASA engineer who calculates strange and random physics scenarios upon request).

Note that the impactor moving at 3000km/s releases the energy of a few thousand nukes - a few of those would release roughly the same energy of the total global nuclear arsenals - and it's nowhere near enough to shatter the planet. You need to go multiple orders of magnitude higher to even expose the mantle, let alone get anywhere near 'planet splitting'.

There's simply no way for us to generate or harness that kind of energy - even redirecting asteroids in the solar system and thus borrowing their orbital energy would be inadequate for major planetary damage.

OneCatch :

Strazdas:
actually we are technically capable of destroying it. but that would mean prety much all world superpowers cooperating on it precisely correctly and even then theres a lot left to chance. but in thiery we could "split" the earth.

What, as in actually break the planet into chunks?
No. Nononononono!

Have a look at this if you want to get a rough idea of the orders of magnitude involved (the guy's a scientist and ex-NASA engineer who calculates strange and random physics scenarios upon request).

Note that the impactor moving at 3000km/s releases the energy of a few thousand nukes - a few of those would release roughly the same energy of the total global nuclear arsenals - and it's nowhere near enough to shatter the planet. You need to go multiple orders of magnitude higher to even expose the mantle, let alone get anywhere near 'planet splitting'.

There's simply no way for us to generate or harness that kind of energy - even redirecting asteroids in the solar system and thus borrowing their orbital energy would be inadequate for major planetary damage.

not so much blow it into chunks but more split earths crust apart ( you know, kinda like how moving crust plates does but forced).

 

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