Some Large Amplifying Feedbacks

Feedbacks from Arctic Ice, Peat, Permafrost, Amazon,Ocean Sink, and Subsea floor methane hydrate
Human Extinction

The following excerpts from the biological sciences journal published by The Royal Society reinforce the vulnerability of the human species and go a long way to expose the crisis of our global civilization.

Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size [1]. Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected. Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession. In many, if not most, cases, overexploitation of the environment was one proximate or an ultimate cause [3].

But today, for the first time, humanity's global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale' [4], facing what the UK's Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm' of environmental problems [5]. The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption.


1 – Diamond J. 2005 Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed. New York, NY: Viking.

2 – Morris I. 2011 Why the west rules for now: the patterns of history, and what they reveal about the future. New York, NY: Picador.

3 – Montgomery DR. 2012 Dirt: the erosion of civilizations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

4 – Brown J. 2012 Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles. The Independent (London).

5 – Sample I. 2009 World faces ‘perfect storm' of problems by 2030, chief scientist to warn. The Guardian.

This post was previously published in Hacking at the Tree of Life. It has been editorialize for re-posting in BoomerWarrior.

Source: Boomer Warrior