Earth: Game Over?

Earth: Game Over? | Common DreamsWe’re in the middle of a sixth mass extinction, and this will be the first one—and possibly the last—we will witness as human beings.

Video games usually provide you with multiple lives. If you step on a landmine or get hit by an assassin, you get another chance. Even if such virtual reincarnation is not built into the rules of the game, you can always reboot and start over again. You can try again hundreds of times until you get it right. This formula applies to first-person shooter games as well as simulation exercises like SimEarth.

The real Earth offers a similar kind of reboot. Catastrophe has hit our planet at least five times, as Elizabeth Kolbert explains in her new book, The Sixth Extinction. During each of these preceding wipeouts, the planet recovered, though many of the life forms residing in the seas or on land were not so fortunate (“many” is actually an understatement—more than 99 percent of all species died out in these cataclysms). As Kolbert points out, we are in the middle of a sixth such world-altering event, and this will be the first—and possibly the last—extinction that we will witness as human beings. The planet and its hardier denizens may soldier on, but for us it will be game over.

A subset of environmentalists is already preparing for the end game. In the latest New York Times Magazine, Paul Kingsnorth—the author of the manifesto Uncivilization—confesses that he has given up trying to save the planet. He rejects false hopes. “You look at every trend that environmentalists like me have been trying to stop for 50 years,” he says, “and every single thing had gotten worse.” He’s heading to the wilderness of Ireland to grow his own food, homeschool his kids, and prepare for the difficult days ahead.

Survivalism: it’s not just for right-wing wackos any more.

Full Article Here: Earth: Game Over? | Common Dreams.

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  • TH100It's time to protect our water supply! We can't survive without clean water, but we're completely irresponsible when it comes to protecting this vital resource. This week, a half a million people in Ohio were told that their water was so toxic that they should avoid any contact, and more than a billion gallons of mining waste poisoned drinking water for many Canadians. Sewage plants, factory farms, and other industries dump tons of phosphorus into our waterways, which is an excellent source of nutrients for toxic algae blooms. And of course, we all know the Fossil Fuel industry's horrendous track record of polluting our lakes, rivers, and ocean.
    We have the power to enact regulations to prevent these disasters, but our politicians opt to please Big Business instead of protecting The People. This week is a terrifying example of how easily our water supply can be destroyed, but it wasn't the first time corporations put profits over people, and it certainly won't be the last. Corporate power has corrupted our democracy, devastated our environment, and destroyed our middle class, and now it's threatening a resource we need just to survive.
    The same toxic algae that poisoned drinking water in Toledo could soon pop up in other states with similar agricultural runoff, and the Fossil Fuel industry is always working to get their hands on more land. If we don't fight back, more and more of our water supply could be contaminated. We need to stand up to corporate power to save our democracy, our planet, and our economy, but protecting our water supply may be one of the most important fights we have ever faced.
    -Thom
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