Scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is officially dying

Scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is officially dying
Scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is officially dying

If only Scientists had warned the world about this before it got to this point.

It has BEEN dying. For years, now.

It's unfortunate. I wish something can be done, but obviously the world refuses to change.

Easy to understand images

How a coral becomes bleached


Map of areas under alert

Photo of a fire coral that experienced severe bleaching

Article 2

Wow. That fire coral image just pierced my heart.

I'm infuriated being unable to do more than a few lifestyle changes to help all the way from North America.

The problem is, individual lifestyle changes are a drop in the bucket compared to the adjustments needed, which are largely dependent on the industrial and manufacturing sectors of civilization adopting cleaner and more sustainable practices.

One freighter in the ocean transporting goods produces more carbon emissions than something like 50,000 automobiles.

The major thing people can do is just consume less. And use things until they completely wear out. Don't fall pray to planned and perceived obsolescence.

And maybe eat less red meat. The cattle industry is one of the biggest polluters and environmental agitators. Their process doubles down on the situation by simultaneously eliminated old growth and rainforest, which are basically air filters for the planet... as well maintaining a commodity in cattle that produce massive amounts of methane gas.

The problem is some people don't think it's a manmade issue (something something natural warming) and therefore believe there is nothing we can do.

It's really frustrating that this mentality has been indoctrinated in people at the expense of Earth and the life on it.

"But it's not our fault. It's the rest of the worlds fault." -Australian government

I just listened to two old men say this the other week in my office waiting room. There was a news report about climate change on the tv and they were both in agreement that the earth warms and cools naturally and global warming has nothing to do with humans. Obviously not giving two shits about the world they're leaving behind for their grandkids.

Edit: Because people keep bugging me, yes I am aware that they are correct in that the world does warm and cool naturally but they basically removed themselves and all humans from any blame by dismissing the fact that humans have played a part in making things worse. I found it interesting that they'll believe the science behind the earth having natural warm and cold periods but won't believe the science that shows humans have exacerbated it.

As an environmental scientist some of these comments make me laugh. The Reef is important. The environment is important. If you don't think so you're an absolute cretin.

until shit like this starts happening in our own backyards we will be like "la la la"

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. "-Donald J. Trump. Let that sink in.

Christopher Nolan talks about this in Interstellar. humans have great empathy for their families but humans as a civilization can't think, plan, and cooperate for long term projects spanning several generations.

hence we're doomed, barring massive tech and science advancements

Sure thing!

The GBR is the largest biodiversity hotspot in the world. That means there is a huge ecosystem that thrives thanks to the Reef, as does most of the tourism industry in Oz. Usually, major ecosystems aren't easily shaken, and if they are it is from outside forces as it can usually adapt to natural changes within its environment -- as it has over the past millions of years.

For the GBR to be taking hit after hit like this is a bad sign. Not only does it mean that a major environmental center isn't doing well, but it's a bad sign for the others. Imagine you own a small family trucking company and the biggest player in your industry declares bankrupt due to poor business. If the big guy can't deal with the economic downturn... how can you?

From an environmental perspective, the GBR would be a huge loss. Species found nowhere else would die off, as would the hotspot. The animals would need to either adapt or die, but since their home is dying, things aren't looking rosy. From an economic standpoint this would literally kill the tourism industry in Queensland, as well as negatively impact fisheries and any business associated to the welfare of the reef.

TL;DR: Dying reef=dying economy

Despite that it's been declining in health for years, the govt in Aus still won't stop miming coal.

Yes there is.

Proponents of the shipping industry will tell you that it is the most carbon efficient way of transporting goods. And IMO they aren't wrong. The huge capacities of these ships means more goods are moved per unit of fuel burned than by any other method. However, that shouldn't excuse the fact that these ships burn extremely dirty fuel. They don't see the need to scrub their emissions much (or adopt cleaner means of powering their ships) because they don't see any economic incentives.

Isn't there some crazy stat that says the 18 largest cargo ships in the world produce more carbon emissions than all the cars in the world?

On the bright side, artificial reefs can be created to to promote marine life in areas were there was none before. But it is true that new coral is not growing fast enough..

Take Dubai for example, In and around the palm islands, there is a new marine ecosystem slowly developing, 100s of new species of fish have already been found in the area. Also lot of rays, hermit crabs and baracudas ect. We should use artificial coral reefs to support ocean life in any way we can. 

Maybe one day we could find a way to farm enough coral to start to replace reefs with it..

There probably isn't much we can do about the Great Barrier Reef though..

On the bright side, can be created to to promote marine life in areas were there was none before. But it is true that new coral is not growing fast enough..

Take Dubai for example, In and around the palm islands, there is a new marine ecosystem slowly developing, 100s of new species of fish have already been found in the area. Also lot of rays, hermit crabs and baracudas ect. We should use artificial coral reefs to support ocean life in any way we can.

Maybe one day we could find a way to farm enough coral to start to replace reefs with it..

There probably isn't much we can do about the Great Barrier Reef though..

No there isn't.

The stat is that the 15 largest container ships produce more sulfur oxide (SO2/SO3) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than all cars combined, this is due to the extremely dirty fuel oil that they burn ("bunker oil")

For carbon emissions the Guardian article says

Shipping is responsible for 3.5% to 4% of all climate change emissions

For context global emissions from the transportation sector are around 14%

Interestingly; sulfur and nitrogen pollutants from shipping may have a net cooling effect (PDF)

In summary, most studies so far indicate that ship emissions actually lead to a net global cooling. This net global cooling effect is not being experienced in other transport sectors. However, it should be stressed that the uncertainties with this conclusion are large, in particular for indirect effects, and global temperature is only a first measure of the extent of climate change in any event.

note, sulfur and nitrogen pollution is also a big problem

I'm not a proponent of the shipping industry :P

Oh this enormous Adani coal mine which costs the government billions and will require huge amounts of dredging in the reef? No that's not a problem at all. Neither are the unrestricted free water rights and destruction of native lands. Let's just go ahead and kill what little remains of the reef for no reasonable benefit.

miming coal

Good thing they're only pretending then.

I think that was actually the main point of the movie. Not that we can save the world, but that we are fucked. It literally required an actual ludicrous miracle (i.e. a person being inside, and communication from, a black hole) for humans to survive in the movie.

Sounds like a good job for the US Navy. Build a dozen nuclear powered cargo ships instead of a couple destroyers.

IIRC we did build a nuclear cargo ship back in the 50s. It was decommissioned because the maintenance on it was pretty extreme. Surely nuclear technology has come a long way since then, but the trefoil will always scare people away from it.

Australia's horrendous environmental record definitely does not get as much exposure as it should.

Could you briefly explain why it is so important to some of us less informed?

Even China is giving up coal and they're the biggest producers & users in the world. Next is the US, but with that orange f*ck as president and his pack of climate change deniers, they won't stop at least in the next 4 years. Australia is 3rd right in front of India, who has also committed to stopping coal and upping their stake in solar.

Don't quote me, but about 4 or 5 years ago there was some decision to be made about some type of drilling or mining that scientists claimed would destroy the GBR. It went through.

Let's not forget the ozone layer about Oz has been f*cked for decades too.

This makes me angry and sad. I love the ocean more than any other type of ecosystem. This was our crown jewel.

Artificial reefs don't solve the issue of ocean warming and acidification, unfortunately, both of which have a massively negative impact on coral and reef health. Even if you're creating new, artificial reefs faster than natural reefs are dying (which is likely an impossible task), those artificial reefs will bleach just as surely as "natural" ones.

ITT: people who directly contribute to the cause of this and directltly give their money to the companies they're espousing against display their moral superiority through smug reddit posts.

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

The impact of your cousin's actions far outweighs the impact of your largely symbolic sacrifices. Sorry, just being realistic.

I wish they were miming. If only my typo were truth.

Nuclear energy has been one of the biggest missed opportunities of the 20th century. Imagine if our infrastructure was supported by nulcear-powered engines, with the kind of upgrades and progress in efficency that we got from oil. Our CO2 levels would be much lower, probably around 350 vs 403 now, and that means no Cali drought, no glacier melt, no room tempature Antarctic days. Not to mention, no Syrian War (caused by 6 straight years of drought), less terrorism, and a more peaceful world.

Why do corporations ruin everything for everyone, including themselves?

My gosh. Reading through these comments is insane. People are saying ridiculous things, like "call us when it's dead". Why the hell do you want to lose all these amazing species. I swear the attitude people have are just "I don't care" up until everything around them is dead and the sea level has risen 10 meters and their house is flooded.

How can we live in such an amazing future where you can talk to someone on the other side of the world instantly, have self driving cars! And thought controlled Prosthetic limbs! How can people still have the same lethargic attitudes of I don't care?! Wake up people. The world is an awesome place and we should take better care of it so we can carry on and keep doing these amazing things. No truly great person has ever gotten anywhere by saying I don't care and carried on sitting down watching YouTube or looking at memes of cats.


I knew it was my fault.

Ironically China and other nations will probably benefit immensely from being leaders in renewable energy technology while we have our heads stuck up a rhetorical coal miner's butt.

Unfortunately this will probably lead to more tourists going to the reef creating more pollution, more traffic and more human disturbances. The government's of the western pacific really need to regulate tourism in the reef.

As much as I like Interstellar, every Cathedral or monument that took centuries to build is a pretty good counter-argument.

Didn't those either have specific private groups with loads of cash wanting them built? Say the Church or kings wanting to be remembered?

I'd say most of that requires a driving Ego behind it.

Yes & it's what the majority of his supporters believe! "It's natural not man-made." Frightening, indeed.

They aren't aliens, they are the future advanced progeny of mankind who have transcended 4 dimensions. They do is a solid because if they don't they wouldn't exist. It's a total bootstrapping problem / paradox but they are us - not aliens.

That's kind of amazing. Is coal really worth more than tourism and protection from typhoons?

Everyone knows it's the kazikstanis and their potassium.

Roughly 40% of Americans think the world was created by a sky wizard 6000 years ago, purely for their benefit. So it's really no surprise.

I feel like this should be an even bigger topic than it is. When I hear effects of global warming this should be number 1 in my opinion

Unless the tesseract was supposed to symbolize the inspiration that sparked great ambition which got our act together. Much like the obelisk in 2001 a Space Oddysey.

absolutely not true. I am so sick of people who seemingly go from "there is no problem" right to "it's too late there is nothing we can do" Both of which seem like excuses to do nothing.

There are a million things you can do to help here are just a few: Install solar on your house. Ride your bicycle instead of driving a car. Become a vegetarian. Insulate your home better. Buy energy efficient products. Make sure your elected leaders know you want them to do something about global warming. March in protest. Vote in every election, and vote strategically. Call up companies and tell them you want them to go renewable. Grow a garden. Volunteer to clean up your local park.

There is literally an endless number of things both large and small, both local and national that you can do. There is a difference between giving up and being a realist.

Prepare for the worst, figure out where your water food and energy will come from if the world goes to shit. But then also do everything you can to make sure it doesn't.

You haven't left your city in 10 years to save the environment? That's, uh, very noble and all but come on people are 100% correct when they tell you this is a waste of time

Knowing things like this actually pisses me off to no extent. Although I live in America, I'm still aware of things like this. Officials have to stop acting like the environment isn't important and start actually doing something to save our planet or even parts of it. I've never seen the great barrier reef and I sure as hell would love to, but I probably won't be able to now. I'll tell my children about how one of the great wonders of the world died and how officials did nothing and watched it die.

It would be fantastic if we could actually fight against planned obsolescence. Obviously the correct answer is to vote with your dollars, but often the choice is removed from us. When you need to conform to regulatory, or institutional standards of any kind, you become extremely limited in your choices. Not to mention the fact that virtually all business has shifted to make obsolescence a key strategy. It's one thing to promote having the latest and greatest "thing", but when companies take it a step further as to actually cripple their own product, the concept of ownership starts to get weird in instances where it shouldn't be.

Being able to own and repair things you paid for, and to use them in any manner you see fit shouldn't even need to be a topic of discussion. I strongly believe that anyone would be hard pressed to actually find a consumer who genuinely believes that they should not be able to use, modify, or repair any product they have paid for to own. And yet corporate spokespeople keep telling us that we should behave more like license holders, than owners of our own property. Now there is even movement towards government regulation that gives rights to consumers. While I would support such legislation, I would also be extremely skeptical of its implementation.

There is also the issue of being able to afford products that are built to last. In the past durability was a basic selling point for consumer products. Now, there is frustratingly few choices in this category that are realistically affordable to the middle or lower class wage earners. While there appears to be more choice than ever before to the average consumer, the quality, durability, and sustainability of the products being offered is not as diverse as it seems. We keep paying more and more for diminishing quality goods, with few if any alternatives in many categories. Manufacturing has consolidated to the point where there might be one or two major players sourcing 100% of the components to a plethora of brands.

This rant isn't to bash any specific brand or goods category, but merely to express frustration in how powerless individuals have become. I'd imagine that pretty much all who read the article would like to do more to stop events like dying reefs, but are left with so few realistic options that make much difference. Although this does not mean that we shouldn't try. Hopefully at least this political cycle will perhaps erase some of the voter apathy that keeps electing representatives who only serve to increase their own wealth at the expense of everyone and everything.

It's ok, they're gonna die before it affects them so who cares?

It is a world fault and problem though. Just laying blame on the Australian government is the easy way out.

How do you propose the Australian government stop global warming/rising sea temperatures/ocean acidification/increase in volatile weather itself?

Per capita carbon emissions is high in Australia however the environment doesn't have a concept of countries or territorial waters.

Australia could emit 0 carbon emissions, stop all mining operations, cease all activities that produce unnatural runoff and cease all fishing operations and the reef would still end up dying without serious increased world-wide effort.

I'm a geologist, engineer, with environmental minors in both. Whilst your comment has its heart in the right place, it has so many wrongs.

China is not stopping coal use. China is still to comission up to 50 new coal power plants between now and 2020. What China has done is put limits on sulphur and phosphor numbers that may be imported and burned for power generation. This has screwed over many small mining operations inside China also. This is a good thing.

The coal from the Bowen Basin is predominantly steel making coal. Not thermal coal for electricity. We don't have a replacement for metallurgical coal yet.

The adani mine is an environmental cluster fuck waiting to happen. Complex topic, but reef dredging is a very small component and one that is blown out of proportion compared to the rest.

The reef is dying. But the problem is a global issue. Australia cannot solve this issue on its own. Sea temperature rises, oceanic acidification, extreme weather events, and disruption of global oceanic thermoclines / conveyor effects are all contributors. Some of the issues begin as far away as Europe.

Edit: fix some spelling mistakes.

Also, I'm in no way saying any of this is OK. Only that the issue cannot and will not be solved through either empassioned complaining, or sprouting half facts. The proliferation of renewable still requires mining across the entire materials range, these things cannot be installed overnight, and solutions must have global incentives to be adopted. Stopping mining isn't an option, even stopping coal use isn't an option. This is a scenario where things like protected corporate interests is causing more harm than good. Unfortunately we cannot pull the plug so easily without replacements.

Not true.

As much as I like Interstellar, every Cathedral or monument that took centuries to build is a pretty good counter-argument.

The problem is misinformation, and how fast research has advanced.

It really doesn't help that especially in terms of dietary/health science there were a few decades by where every single study was front page news that disproved/countered a study from a few weeks/months ago. Are eggs good or bad for you? Is cholesterol? Fat? The answers are complicated, and usually amount to: sometimes, or that it depends on several other factors, but when they were reported as news, they were reported as fact.

Science reporting defeated itself in search of funding, and now there is a general distrust of any announcement, no matter how widespread.

There's people literally with fingers in their ears saying "LALALALALALALA" who refuse to listen to scientists and rather listen to spokespeople who are represented by big oil and energy companies. Yes, people are this retarded.

I'm sold, lets start putting sulfur and nitrogen back into our gasoline.

I didn't do this

drinks soda from a bottle

The problem is, individual lifestyle changes are a drop in the bucket compared to the adjustments needed

Although I agree, I think that people are holding too tightly to the fact that individual lifestyle changes don't do that much, and use that as an excuse from maximizing your own contribution of what you're capable of. I think that despite individual lifestyle changes not mattering a lot, individuals are what make up the worldwide human population, and when put together, it actually makes all the difference.

As a person who made many lifestyle sacrifices to reduce my carbon footprint, the most common response I get is that I'm wasting my time because my contributions are insignificant. From my point of view, the more people outwardly claim they care about the environment, the more they are likely to attack me when they discover I limited my lifestyle to save the environment. It's strange.

It's like, a celebrity that has 5 vacation homes, a built-in golf course, and a private cruise yacht, whose carbon footprint is so large the planet is screaming, gets a lot of praise when these celebrities give a speech about global warming for $50k. Seriously? All they do is give a speech in exchange for someone's yearly salary, and all of a sudden they are a environmental hero as they retreat back to their yacht?

Here's what I've done for the environment: - I've lived in small (1 1/2) apartments for nearly a decade. - I only left my city once in the last 10 years, and that was for a wedding in the same country. - I never bought or drove a car. I hate cars. - 3 years ago, I threw away my public transportation card. I moved as close as I can to work, and I've been walking to work and the groceries for the last 3 years. - I reuse all my bags. - I keep my furniture as long as possible (20 years). - I drink filtered tap water, not bottled water or soft drinks. In fact, I don't drink anything except for water.

I don't even carry a cell phone. All these choices I did for the environment.

And guess what, nobody who pretends to care for the environment seems to care. They just go about their daily lives, and complain about other people's choices, including mine. My cousin makes $70k a year advising clean energy to the city, and she has a huge house, lots of cars, takes vacations overseas every few months, and lives a great life. I'm living in a box to save the environment, and she's the hero.

My conclusion from observing the environmental preservation industry is that people get good vibes from others for telling others what to do, but we get really uncomfortable when holding individuals responsible for their daily actions. They often put it off by acting like the "right mindset" is more important than actions, or saying the right things is more attractive than setting a good example.

In fact, a person who is literally destroying the environment while saying the right things will be treated better in general by the environmental community than a global warming denying person who has achieved a 0 carbon footprint (a near impossible task).

No problem, we didn't need fish in our lakes, anyway.

An article with this title re-surfaces every 3-6 months

Ah, but thats where you are wrong. The Australian mining industry, although the country's largest economic sector, is actually in decline. The government lost out on the opportunity to start shifting its' economy away from mining in 2008 but unfortunately they doubled down an re-invested in the mining boom. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but they now find themselves in a dying mining industry with a tourism sector heavily reliant on the health on the GBR. Its going to get shitty soon from an economic standpoint.

Yeah, the example I used was pretty shit, because in an economic model there are still opportunities for growth. Not so much from an environmental point of view.

"But it's not our fault. It's Australia's fault." - Everyone else

yeah our space program was driven by our desire to rub it in Russia's face.

You know we have the highest recent mammal extinction rate in the world?

Lavos screaming is heard in the distance

China is giving up on low-quality coal. It's not because of some generosity to reduce CO2 emissions, but because the Beijing skies have become like breathing acid and the water is becoming polluted with fly ash.

Yet, Americans elected a leader who denies climate change, and is rolling back environmental regulations left and right.

This is just one of the many stories of ignorance and hubris that you'll have to tell your children about the previous generations.

Isn't China also one of the most improving countries green energy wise?

Possible? Sure. But that adaptation happens on a time scale orders of magnitude longer than the one on which we're seeing change. Ocean temperatures are simply rising too fast for natural forces (including evolution) to allow organisms to adapt. Niches will get filled, but they may be filled by algaes or other organisms instead of corals, and flora and fauna that depend on healthy coral may not be able to thrive in that environment.

I hear the complaint about "what is this world coming to," in regards to gay marriage, legalizing marijuana and other social issues, but when it comes to what the world is literally coming to, it's nature's course or some bullshit

It wouldn't have a significant ecological impact on the rest of the world - but it would be the loss of one of the last remaining natural wonders of the world as well as a huge negative impact on Australian tourism and their economy (which should be a driving factor in their Government doing something about it if nothing else, but I guess it's more important that people can't play violent video games and that immigration is hugely locked down on a landmass that's relatively almost entirely void of human settlement...).

It would, however, be just the beginning, or part of a series, of disasters around the world that would be directly caused by global warming. Sadly, most of these will still primarily harm overall eco-systems and the animals within them rather than humans, but maybe when Florida is underwater, people will finally start giving a shit.

Fuck it, let's just get everyone in on it and have a global government owned shipping company. It's all our planet, we gotta work together to clean this shit up.

And the carriers will register their ships in jurisdictions that don't tax. What is really required are docking, mooring, and loading fees that are high enough on oil burning ships to provide incentive to convert to gas turbine instead

We traveled to Morocco last year and the whole country was covered with plastic bags just floating every where in short the entire country was one big garage dump and nobody recycles. It made me wonder if all the stuff I do at home, compost, use my own fabric shopping bags, recycle everything, rain barrels, etc, etc, etc is even helping.....

It helps your local ecosystem immensely. Just remember, much of the West was a garbage tip in the early 1900's and it took us some time to move.

It's goddamned irritating because I don't understand the logic. As a former blue, now white, collar worker - even IF I were to believe that the human race has no impact on climate change what-so-ever and that it's just a naturally occurring event that happens to the Earth (I do believe we affect it, by the way) regardless if I were here or not, why wouldn't I still want to tidy up after myself, consume a bit less and just keep shit clean overall?

Trash in the streets, so much smog in the air the public wear masks to not breathe it in some cities, garbage not biodegrading in landfills because someone couldn't be bothered to walk an extra foot to a recycle can, all that shit we've been dealing with for decades is still fucking here.

You can still believe that mankind is not affecting climate change and still give a shit about your "carbon footprint". The two aren't mutually exclusive. But people insist on using their spin on the facts as a free pass to fuck the world up even more.

What used to be the saying? Leave a good world for the kids, and leave good kids for the world.

I mean, it's a problem, but it isn't as big of a problem as people make it out to be.

I grew up near one of the larger nuclear plants in the world. It puts out ~350 tonnes of nuclear waste a year, and which sounds like a lot until you realize that it would take you 70 years 100+ years to fill an olympic sized swimming pool with it.

The amount of spent fuel is actually much smaller than people realize. The province in question has built a safe, indefinate storage facility that can hold all current and future waste for the existing plants for the lifetime of our existing plants. Considering how we find infinitely larger areas of space for landfills, this really isn't the issue it is made out to be

i thought aliens just liked books

Society grows fucking awesome when old men invent ways to stimulate rapid plant growth,


I was thinking the same thing. They'll act holier than thou on the internet but sleep with the tv on or drive a mile instead of walking it.

Nuclear propulsion is too expensive and too risky for civil use. There are only a handful of nuclear-powered civilian ships in the world, all of them Russian Icebreakers, owned and operated by a state-owned company IIRC. Even the US Navy doesn't put reactors in anything but submarines and carriers these days.

Gas turbines are FAR cleaner than bunker fuel and far cheaper/safer than nuclear power though. What we really need to do is start heavily taxing registration on oil-burning vessels, and giving tax breaks for registration of new gas turbine vessels.

I'm curious to know how much of an impact tourism is actually having on this progression. Global warming being the cause sure, but how much negative impact is the tourism industry having in that region? I suspect it doesn't help anything, but is it significantly contributing to this problem?

I don't think most people would be happy with that.. not that its a bad idea.

Not sure if it's what he was thinking of, but the US department of transportation built the NS Savannah in the late 50s. It's now decommissioned and moored in Maryland.

The most recently built only remaining active nuclear merchant ship in the world is the Russian Sevmorput. It was almost decommissioned and scapped back in 2012-2013.

Could they change the genetics of the algae so it could survive the temperatures?

I think you're missing the /s

People who need to care don't and the ones who do don't have enough $.

When will those idiots of the world wake up!

sent from my iPhone that was charged using coal power

Still seems like aliens.

I live in the Netherlands and never leave my house without checking an app to see if it's going to rain.

My friends who live in Beijing check to see whether or not the government says it's safe to be outside.

Corporations can only exist when there is a demand for what they produce.

You're getting downvoted because people are having an emotional response to the situation and not looking at things logically. The coral is bleaching because of ocean acidification which is caused by global CO2 emissions.

Australia could have stopped other reef damaging activities but if anyone really believes Australia warning the world about CO2 would have been more than a symbolic gesture they're fooling themselves. The world's climate scientists have spent the past 20 years saying that we are potentially killing the planet, do people really think everyone would have stopped because we were also potentially killing the coral?

upvote, good point, immediately after seeing title thought to myself: "going to plan to dive there". Second thought, i'll pass to keep it safe.

people regularly have 4 wives and 15+ kids

The average birthrate in Middle Eastern countries is 2 to 4 children per woman.

You're seeing a few men with 4 wives and extrapolating that that must be the norm, even though it's mathematically impossible. At most, a quarter of men could have 4 wives each, and that's assuming every single woman is married and the rest of the men are unmarried.

Women are not an infinite resource. They account for half of the human population.

Beyond this, those "natural warming" folks have a solid bit of scientific evidence to support their arguement.

Its true that earth goes through natural warming and cooling cycles on the basis of our eccentric orbit and off tilt polar rotation. Its also true that there are confusing and erratic spikes in warming or cooling on the basis of feedback between the various earth systems.

All of that is reason enough for these types to disregard the obvious correlation between changes in the anthrosphere and the unprecedented rate of warming in earth's climate.

Im not condoning this ignorance but I do see where they are coming from.

Are you vegetarian? That will probably have way bigger impact on the environment than not taking the bus to work or drinking only filtered tap water.

The Earth will be fine. We, however, may not.

Truly sustainable existence looks much closer to life 300 years ago than it does today. On an individual problem level you can come up with tons of solutions, but when you look at the big picture we are so far from sustainable that it's laughable.

The major thing people can do is just consume less. And use things until they completely wear out. Don't fall pray to planned and perceived obsolescence.

While this sounds nice, consuming less is antithetical to the underlying principles of our economy. If everyone, at scale, consumed less we would experience a depression that would make the great depression look like the golden age. It's easy to criticize consumer culture, but a huge part of your paycheck comes from that behavior.

Go to your grocery store and look at the full shelves. Where do you think all that food comes from? It's produced by exploited labor and resources and shipped from all over the world. Eating "locally grown" will never be enough to cover a huge amount of the food items you are used to.

If you want to know what truly "local" food are, look at the eating habits of native tribes before the colonization of the US. Most tribes eat from just a handful of the same foods. Most people would be driven crazy eating the same thing everyday. And of course that's irrelevant because we have systematically destroyed all of the truly local ecosystems, so we couldn't live that way if we wanted to. A handful of privileged, concerned people can eat local organic every meal (except of course for coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, etc). But you cannot scale that out to enough people.

The per capita CO2 emissions in the US are 16 metric tons of Co2 per household per year. What does life look like in a low CO2 emitting country, here are the top 10 lowest producers of co2:

Burundi The Democratic Republic of Congo Chad Somalia Mali The Central African Republic Rwanda Malawi Niger Ethiopia

To stop ocean acidification and global warming we need to eliminate co2 emissions. This means living a day to day life that resembles Somalia, Rwanda or Ethiopia

edit: Note the per capita CO2 is about the amount produced in that country, but doesn't even include the externalized CO2 production. If you buy a laptop made in China, all the CO2 produced in China doesn't count for the US. This why US CO2 emissions data is misleading if we consider the consumption/lifestyle component of CO2 emissions. The US has done an excellent job exporting most of its CO2 production. The idea that China simply has to go through a high emissions period until they develop is a myth. China is producing CO2 for the US so the US number can go down. For China to reduce CO2 emissions they would have to export their CO2 someplace else.

I haven't left my mom's basement because... environment

Any links? This sounds amazing.

I can't afford to get there, but I assure you: this is by far the most disappointing info that I have received today.

I always wanted to be one of those stupid tourists, just floating around the reef. It really troubles me that I might not see it in the future.

Dying reef=dying economy

I think part of the problem is the fact that this is not the case. the mining sector in Australia is more than fishing and tourism combined. The economy there is growing even as the reef falters.

I'm sure while the tourism business is much smaller than the mining business the profits are MUCH more evenly distributed across the population which is going to be a big problem for a lot of Aussies in the future.

If the big guy can't deal with the economic downturn... how can you?

A more efficient business model. Plus the annihilation of one of your largest competitors would be a fantastic opportunity for growth into their previously held market share.