The five ways the human race could be WIPED OUT because of global warming
I guffawed when I saw the title of this article but I had to read it. We know that all bad things are attributable to global warming but this is the first prophecy of human extinction I have seen. Author Bill McKibben is an old global warming hysteric from wayback but has never yet managed to make an accurate prophecy -- and this one will be no better.
I am not going to fisk it all. It is too silly for that. It is just a collection of extreme improbabilities.
But I am amazed that he is still pushing the ancient and constantly overturned food-shortage barrow. That shows he is an outright fraud. A couple of degrees of warming would open up for farming millions of acres in Northern Canada and Southern Siberia. Food would become super-abundant. And the extra rainfall from warmer oceans would green a lot of the earth's desert areas. Australian and Canadian farmers already do wonders in low-rainfall areas. Think of their productivity leap with more rain
And the claim about IQ is wild. I know of no sound source for it and IQ research is something I monitor. He seems unaware that submariners routinely live in super-high concentrations of CO2 but no effects of it on their IQ are known. Does anybody think that the USA would put into its nuclear submarines crew who are likely to go ga-ga?
McKibben may be relying on the old Satish study that I have previously critiqued. That study was so tiny, used no sampling and made no allowance for adaptation that its relevance is very doubtful but it should be noted that in that study high CO2 did show some adverse effects on human performance but also showed some positive effects. Not much for McKibben to hang his hat on.
Here's a little excerpt from the Satish study that is rather fun:
An inverse pattern was seen for “focused activity,” with the highest level of focus obtained at 2,500 ppm and the lowest at 600 ppm. Thus, most decision-making variables showed a decline with higher concentrations of CO2, but measures of focused activity improved. Focused activity is important for overall productivity
So overall productivity was best at the very highest level of CO2. CO2 improved your focus. Quite the opposite of what McKibben claims to fear.
Amusing that of all the bad effects of global warming that he lists, the only actual death so far that he claims is of one 12-year old boy
The deadly possible consequences of global warming have been laid bare in a book that reveals the terrifying ways the human race could be wiped out.
From a total food-system collapse, to a catastrophic sea-level rise and the return of lost deadly diseases, 'FALTER: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?' lists the lethal, and unexpected, ways that humans could become extinct.
Author Bill McKibben, a scientist and environmental activist who wrote the influential End of Nature - one of the first books for a mainstream audience on climate change - has followed up with this doomsday study of possible homosapien endgames - which include rising tides, falling crops and exploding populations.
Oceans heating up and disrupting photosynthesis leading to mass suffocation
By the end of this century if the world's oceans continue to warm up they might become hot enough to stop oxygen production by phyto-plankton by disrupting the delicate process of photosynthesis, a 2015 study in the Journal of Mathematical Biology suggested.
More than two thirds of the earth's oxygen comes from phyto-plankton so the disruption of photosynthesis would more than likely result in the mass extinction of life on earth through suffocation.
While the melting ice sheets could trigger catastrophic natural disasters capable of decimating entire countries. In fact, increased seismic activity has been registered in Alaska and Greenland, suggesting this process has already begun.
Melting icecaps sparking catastrophic tsunamis destroying coastal life
Additionally, the increased seawater could create a bending in the earth's crust which would prompt a massive increase in volcanic activity with lava poisoning marine life.
'That will give you a massive increase in volcanic activity. It'll activate faults to create earthquakes, submarine landslides, tsunamis, the whole lot,' the director of University College London's Hazard Centre told Rolling Stone magazine.
Scientists have evidence that such an event happened before. Some 8,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, a section of Norway's continental shelf collapsed creating a series of gigantic waves which swept all signs of life away from coastal Norway to Greenland.
Such was the violence of the waves, thought to be some 65ft tall, that a landmass connecting Britain to parts of Europe was drowned.
Deadly diseases in frozen animals thawing out and contaminating the water supply
Melting icecaps has revealed a treasure chest of well preserved artifacts and specimens for scientists to study. But they could also bring the return of lethal diseases trapped in permafrost.
One example the book lists is a reindeer carcass that thawed after many thousands of years. The exposed body released anthrax into the surrounding water and soil which they infected two thousand reindeer grazing nearby, and they in turn infected some humans who hunted them - killing one 12-year-old boy.
Permafrost creates the perfect conditions for microbes and viruses to survive because 'it is cold, there is no oxygen, and it is dark'.
Scientists have managed to revive an eight-million-year-old bacterium they found beneath the surface of a glacier.
While researchers believe there are fragments of the Spanish flu virus, smallpox, and bubonic plague buried in Siberia and Alaska, which could all infect humans should they be released from their frozen state.
Increased carbon dioxide causing decreased brain function
McKibben also points to the increased carbon dioxide levels impairing cognitive ability. Again, by the year 2100, carbon dioxide levels could rise to a thousand parts per million, while would cause a 21 percent cognitive regression.
A study on the effects of cognitive impairment through carbon dioxide poisoning showed the most pronounced effects on 'crisis response, information usage and strategy' functions within our brains, one Harvard study reported.
Food supply breakdown causing mass starvation
While humans have for large parts of the late twentieth and early twenty first century managed to keep ahead of an exploding global population, it has come at a great human cost.
Farmers have been displaced in third world countries, forcing them into slums, while fertilizers, pesticides and machinery has increased production radically.
However, that production could be completely halted with increased heat and drought, with studies on coffee, cacao and chickpea growth highlighting the damning effect warming has on them.
The food source humans most rely on, though, is also the ones that are most at risk.
Cereals are the cornerstone of human nutrition providing the vast majority of the world's calories: corn, wheat and rice all evolved as crops in the climate of the past 10,000 years - so a sudden spike to that climate, at a rate evolution cannot maintain, means the crops will die and fail to grow in the new, parched land.
A 2017 study in Australia, home to some of the world's highest-tech farming, found that 'wheat productivity has flatlined as a direct result of climate change.'
Wheat yields tripled between 1990 and 1990 but have stagnated since then as temperature increases and rainfall declined by nearly a third.
In June 2018, researchers found that a two-degree Celsius rise in temperature - which is what the Paris accord is targeting - could cut U.S. corn yields by 18 percent.
A four-degree increase - the earth's current trajectory would cut the crop almost in half.
It is a similar story for corn, the planet's most widely grown crop. The systematic breakdown of mass agricultural farming would see the foundation of human sustenance wiped out, plunging the earth into a mass scavenging race for nutrition.