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OpEdNews Op Eds    H6'ed 7/28/22

Welcome To the Anthropocene - The Age Of Human Die-offs

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Reprinted from hartmannreport.com

We are stumbling "- seemingly oblivious "- into the bared teeth of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch driven by humanity itself. We are walking straight into it and pretending it's not here


Humanity's Epoch : ANTHROPOCENE mp3: bit.ly/Vc2wlo // elementascience.org A look at Humanity's geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: melodysheep)
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The world today is on the verge of a major food emergency, provoked in part by Russia's attack on Ukraine but more broadly by the damage heat from global warming is doing to crops worldwide. This is both a crisis and an opportunity.

Let's start with the basics. Food is the raw material that makes people. More food, more people; less food, fewer people.

This is a basic law of nature. The insect-eating bird population around us, for example, is a fraction today of what it was 20 years ago because its food "- the insect population "- has been decimated by pesticides and loss of habitat (their food source), over the past few decades.

Pick any species and the law of nature is the same: more food produces population growth while less food shrinks population (often in brutal ways). It's why areas like desert and scrub that produce little food were, over the past millennia, lightly populated, whereas areas rich with food like forests and seacoasts carried large human populations.

Throughout our lifetimes (and the past four centuries) human population has steadily grown because we hadn't yet hit the new ceilings the agricultural and industrial revolutions gave us to produce and distribute food.

However, this halcyon era is coming to an end because of the climate crisis, provoked by 60 years of senior executives in the fossil fuel industry lying to us and buying off politicians while making trillions pouring their poisons into our atmosphere.

This should not shock us when it happens all around us and millions are starving and homeless, although it almost certainly will because most of the human race has lived for so long within the food abundance created by the widespread use of fossil fuels starting in the 19th century.

Humans reaching the limits of food's ability to sustain population is not a new story; it's as old as humanity itself.

As I wrote in Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture, eight hundred years ago a group of Melanesians sailed to the islands they called Aotearoa and we now call New Zealand. When they first arrived, around the year AD 1200, humans had never before inhabited that island paradise.

Food was everywhere for the taking, particularly a large flightless family of birds called the moa (similar to ostriches). There were so many of the birds, and they were so easily approached, that the archeological record shows that during the first few hundred years of occupation the islanders didn't even need weapons.

No bows and arrows, no spears, no specialized weapons of any sort can be found in the archaeological record from those early times: the birds and many other large animals were so docile that people simply walked up and clubbed them to death with a stick or broke their necks.

A dozen different species of New Zealand moa birds, weighing from under fifty to over five hundred pounds each, provided meat and eggs well in excess of the food needs of the initial Melanesian explorers.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)
 

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