Extinction is Not in Our Genes, But Misery Might Be
Peter Ward: Not going extinct doesn’t mean you’re not going to be miserable, and by misery I mean, wholesale, enormous human mortality.
I think we’re going to survive. I don’t think climate change can make us go extinct, unless we produce so much Co2 in the atmosphere that we shut down the conveyor belt currents. These are the largest scale currents in the ocean. They are from the surface to the bottom currents, not just sideways currents. The current conveyor that takes oxygen from the top and takes it to the bottom - if we lose that, then the bottoms of the ocean go anoxic and you start down this road toward what we call a greenhouse extinction, which is the hydrogen sulfide events. It would take tens of thousands of years to get to that.
We as a species have only been around for a couple of hundred thousand years. The average mammal lasts 5 million years. Are we anything less than average? We should have a few million years left even if we’re average, and we’re not average. We could be living fossils that last 500 million years. There’s nothing genetically within us that says we have to go extinct. Unfortunately, I have these genes in me that are going to kill me and everyone else too. But as a species we don’t have those genes. Species don’t age out of existence, species are killed off, lose competition, they go extinct because they’re driven to extinction. It’s not inherent. It’s not within them.
So if we keep track of Mother Earth and do some good engineering then we’re not going to go extinct. But extinction and misery are two different things. Not going extinct doesn’t mean you’re not going to be miserable, and by misery I mean, wholesale, enormous human mortality.
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You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
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