While we look to space for objects that might threaten the existence of our own kind, our kind of animal, the humankind...
Newly discovered asteroid will miss Earth by about 25,000 miles on Sunday http://t.co/WCriANweQO pic.twitter.com/oAwSOvQ32Z
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 4, 2014
We ourselves turn out to be this thing, this event we so much fear...
The gravity of the world's current extinction rate becomes clearer upon knowing what it was before people came along. A new estimate finds that species die off as much as 1,000 times more frequently nowadays than they used to. That's 10 times worse than the old estimate of 100 times.It is often said by intellectuals on the left that, judging from Hollywood films, it is much easier for us to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. We fear astroids and comets more than we fear a form of economics without checks or growth. Yet day after day we are met with more and more evidence that capitalism is bringing to a swift end the world as we have experienced it for the 250,000 or so years we have been lucky to be around. True, human societies in the past have caused incredible environmental catastrophes with no help from capitalism; but those were all local. We are now the global market. And now we hear this:
It's hard to comprehend how bad the current rate of species extinction around the world has become without knowing what it was before people came along. The newest estimate is that the pre-human rate was 10 times lower than scientists had thought, which means that the current level is 10 times worse.
Extinctions are about 1,000 times more frequent now than in the 60 million years before people came along. The explanation from lead author Jurriaan de Vos, a Brown University postdoctoral researcher, senior author Stuart Pimm, a Duke University professor, and their team appears online in the journal Conservation Biology.
China is quickly overtaking the United States as the world's biggest importer of oil. Not only that, but China now buys more crude oil from the Middle East than the US does — a shift that some experts think could have big geopolitical implications in the years ahead.Only the mad have the luxury to worry primarily about the geopolitical implications of this trend.