A vague 3am thought which has been bugging me.
With the combined efforts of a changing climate, evolving virii and bacteria, increasingly possible nuclear war and the poisoning of our environment for short-term benefits and shorter term bottom lines, extinction of the human species is, at least, a possibility. Oh, and never forget the chance of a stray asteroid impacting on our planet.
At the same time our ever-present human curiosity continues to look for life beyond this planet. There are growing signs that there may well be extra-terrestrial life and proof is being actively sought.
Since homo sapiens first thought of the possibility of life on other planets there has been an assumption that it will be intelligent life. Possibly friendly, possibly hostile.
But intelligent. Evolved from single cells into intelligent beings.
Yet must this be so?
We, as a species, have evolved from earlier species which have not developed intelligence to the level of creating science. Evolution has created many lines of specieal existence, yet only one with ‘human’ intelligence. An attribute which seems to be counter-productive to all other living beings.
Should our intelligent species become extinct, is there any guarantee that another species, of whatever lineage, would develop the intelligence to continue the progress of earthly life to the stars?
There is a distinct possibility that star-gazing, star-reaching intelligence may be a one off, not only on this planet, but also on all planets throughout the Universe.
With a vaccine likely to be more than 12 months away, what we are seeing with COVID-19 is the same thing which kept happening with the spread of European and Asian illnesses into Africa and Australasia.
Very high infection rates in a population with no prior immunity. Horrifically, there were also massive death tolls from some of those diseases. At least the death toll from COVID-19 will not reach the 80% reached by Measles or Smallpox.
However the same spread will happen, this time world-wide. Until the vaccine is created and distributed, everyone is equally vulnerable. Most will get it unknowingly, some will get it severely enough for it to be noticed and a percentage will die.
The lesson from the past is that there is no way of protecting yourself. A two week period of self-isolation if you knowingly come into contact with the disease will help for that two weeks.
BUT!!! And this is the kicker. What happens after that two weeks? You are back out in the community and among people who are newly infected, knowingly or not. As an uninfected person, you are still a prime candidate for infection.
The only way to avoid infection is to self- isolate until the middle of next year! Good luck with that. The number of light-house keepers is not going to increase.
So all this economic and societal disruption we are experiencing will have no effect at all. Except that it will reduce society’s ability to cope with the disease. The Human species ability to choose the wrong and selfish path will again stretch our civilisation to the limit and, with Climate Change looming over-all, maybe past that limit.
*Disclaimer – I am of the age, and with pre-existing conditions which put me into the high risk of death group.
Platypuses (Australia’s marsupial beaver) were once considered widespread across the eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania, although not a lot is known about their distribution or abundance because of the species’ secretive and nocturnal nature.
Australia’s devastating drought and associated fires are having critical impacts on the iconic platypus, a globally unique mammal, with increasing reports of rivers drying up and platypuses becoming stranded.
“There is an urgent need for a national risk assessment for the platypus to assess its conservation status, evaluate risks and impacts, and prioritise management in order to minimise any risk of extinction,” Dr Gilad Bino of the UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science said.
Alarmingly, the study Dr Bino was involved in estimated that under current climate conditions and due to land clearing and fragmentation by dams, platypus numbers almost halved, leading to the extinction of local populations across about 40 per cent of the species’ range, reflecting ongoing declines since European colonisation.
Under predicted climate change, the losses forecast were far greater because of increases in extreme drought frequencies and duration, such as the current dry spell.
Dr Bino added: “These dangers further expose the platypus to even worse local extinctions with no capacity to repopulate areas.” Documented declines and local extinctions of the platypus show a species facing considerable risks, while the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently downgraded the platypus’ conservation status to “Near Threatened”.
Gleaned from Twitter in Sept, 2017.
I AM EARTH
I can’t remember the day when I was born
I can’t recall the creation of that very first morn
I have been through a lot of changes since that day
And I have decided that I am here to stay
Life has abounded on me for millions of years
But now I am changing, it brings me to tears
My temperature is rising and so are the seas
My air is polluted and I struggle to breathe
Ice shelfs are melting, glaciers as well
Eventually it’s going to be hotter than hell
My symptoms are there for all to see
And my condition is caused by humanity
I would be fine if it wasn’t for man
And that’s what is so hard to understand
I can exist without you, but not you without me
So shouldn’t you be taking better care of me?
I am the planet, third out from the Sun
There is no other like me, not a single one
Live on me and look after me, show your worth
For I am your life stream, I Am Earth.
Komrade (@recneps51) on twitter
I convinced a pelican to pose for me the other day.
One advantage of being unnecessarily ancient is that one (yes, third person reference) can remember odd events and facts.
For instance, back 4th April 1974 a very big (as in wide) cyclone named Alby strode purposefully southwards in the Indian Ocean. Its centre was some 400Km off the coast as it passed Perth’s latitude yet I remember that day for its extreme winds (maximum gust of 130Kmh in Perth City and 143Kmh in Fremantle) as I was out on the road doing delivery work. Five people in the State’s south-west did not survive the day.
Cyclone Alby has been recorded by the Weather Bureau as one of the notable cyclones on its website.
I have been watching Cyclone Marcus for the past couple of days, (ht to eldest son and family in Darwin) and found the Meteye map on the BOM site to be eerily reminiscent of Alby.
Be aware that we could be in for a late season cyclone affecting the South West. Do the necessary preparations and clean-ups just in case!
And hope that it doesn’t happen!
Addendum – overlay of Marcus-estimated on the Alby-actual track
Three Cat 5 Hurricanes in a month – or is it five weeks?
A couple of Cat 3’s in between.
Climate Change is still a load of Codswallop according to the Koch Brothers and those whose intelligence have been bought by Koch money!
Trump is still wanting out of the Paris Climate accord unless there are terms favourable to the USA.
What does he want? The Paris Accord to keep its Hurricanes to itself?
Or a donation to the USA to cover the Trillion Dollars it will take to recover from this year’s hurricanes?
Let’s not think ahead to next year – – – –
Just a few budgerigars in the Great Sandy Desert
And just a few more.
The Aquarium is going quite well.
Here in Western Australia we look after all our old stuff.
Old Growth forests are protected by Law – unless they are needed by woodchippers
Old buildings are kept in pristine condition. Unless a developer wants them
However I have finally found something old which we do revere.
Old Growth Concrete.
Walking along the river path in my home suburb, Maylands.
There is a lot of beauty at this time of the year.
Then I saw this!
Then I saw a tree which has not washed its feet
That made me