One of the best things about the Star Wars movie series is the fact that they are set in a Galaxy far far away. There is no planet Earth and although most of the main characters are human, they are not US. I struggle to think of another Sci-fi film where Earth and its Human inhabitants were not central in the story or the dominant race or the victims who fight back and ultimately win etc etc... Most Sci-fi is Earth and Human-centric. So it appears that Hollywood still believes that Earth is the center of the Universe, like the old times where we believed the universe physically rotated around our planet. I wonder, although the movie makers can dream up some fantastic aliens, if the dominant ideology is that we ARE alone in all the Cosmos. God I sincerely hope not. There is beginning to look like a strong possibility that we may be extinct within the next couple of hundred years. I recently read something posted on Facebook saying that if the amount of CO2 and whatever other pollutants we keep pumping into our atmosphere reach a certain concentration then we pass a point of no return for possible human extinction, not to mention many other species. This threshold is approaching fast and could be reached within the next decade or less.
Here is the text of what was posted.
Climate! Serious consequences.
WE HAVE ONLY FIVE YEARS IN PRACTICAL TERMS TO AVOID SEVERE RISKS OF EXTINCTION -HUMAN AND VERTEBRATE.
Does this seem a little far fetched and alarmist? Please follow me as I trace a broad brush strokes line through some contributing logic to this claim.
1 ) WHERE ARE WE NOW?
CO2 has reached 400ppm which has not been seen for 3M years and is rising rapidly
We are already nearly half way through the critical decade, with no reductions in CO2 emissions in sight. If emissions were to peak now we are close to needing a very difficult 5% reduction of CO2 per year to keep global temperature to a "safe" level of 2 degrees.
2 ) WHAT IS THIS DOING TO THE OCEANS?
CO2 has been buffered by oceans but ocean acidity is rising steadilyhttp://news.mongabay.com/2012/0305-hance_oceanacid_massextinction.html
3 ) WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO US AND THE FOOD CHAIN?
Photosynthesis produces O2 both on land and in the ocean. Scientists like Dr Sylvie Earle estimate 70-80% of worlds O2 comes from marine life like phytoplankton. However higher temperatures and the associated lower pH (higher acidity) affects the early calcification of zoo plankton which will lead severe consequences for the marine food chain and survival of fish, let alone sharks and cetaceans.
Also ocean acidity and temperature may well radically change the amount of, and composition of phytoplankton species with probable grave affects on ocean photosynthesis; also causing severe effects on food production, migrations and population levels throughout the ocean biosphere.
4 ) WHERE ARE WE HEADING?
New research confirms higher projections for temperature rises, at least 4 degrees by 2100 and may be 8 degrees by 2200
5 ) WHAT DOES HISTORY TELL US?
Most major extinction events were around 6 degrees, ocean pH is trending however towards the levels of the very worst event in only hundreds of years -the Permian - where the planet was fried back to the level of a slime ball for aeons and aeons.http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0305-hance_oceanacid_massextinction.html
6 ) WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO TO PREVENT THIS?
Referring back to the carbon budget critical decade emissions levels graph, we had only 10 years at the beginning of the decade to avoid major tipping points. These include the current irreversible melting of the Polar ice sheet, with Greenland and West Antarctic starting. These tipping points will accelerate global warming. If we can act within this decade we can greatly improve our odds in saving the human race! The later we leave it, the worst it gets. Really we have ONLY FIVE YEARS to start to reduce emissions, as no Government has been able to do any better than 3% per year. At 5 years we need reductions that are only associated with the severest of social disruptions like in Cuba (5-6%). At the end of this ten years we would need an politically improbable 9% rate of CO2 emissions reduction per year.
7 ) HOW DO WE KNOW THIS IS TRUE?
SPREADSHEET AND DISCUSSION
Here is a very comprehensive spreadsheet with many papers cited that shows the utter urgency for avoiding the very grave consequences of global warming. Please follow through the spreadsheet and see how that if we do nothing we face severe risks of human extinction in under 200 years. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc...
We must act now. Referring back to the Carbon Budget, we are almost at the mid point of the critical decade. If emissions peaked today we would face the politically very difficult task of instigating a 4% drop in CO2 emissions to stave off the otherwise inevitable rise 3 degrees warming by mid or late this century. At this point we will be faced with the grave consequences of irreversible tipping points - the melting of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, the Amazon burning or at best turning into savannah, and the desertification of many temperate areas including Southern Europe. Continued warming will now be out of human control; levels over 5 degrees would be associated with extinction levels of over 40% of species, with hurricanes with 40% more power. Lethal heat stress will become a very significant ingredient in reducing human population.
It is not so clear whether contributions from CO2 emissions from melting permafrost would be significant. No one sane would risk a comparable extinction to the Permian event, where 96% of marine species, 57% of all families and 83% of genera - 95% of all life on earth - perished, with a mere 10 million years of recovery required.
Agricultural impacts may well prove to be the most important in the end, with further devastating effects on human population levels at temperatures over 5 degrees of warming. Human populations are likely to have already been reduced to below a tithe from the vastly reduced carrying capacity of agricultural land, and subsequent gross global shortages of food, leading to war.
Although these scenarios are not clear, what is clear is at temperatures over 6 degrees there will be, at best, a vastly reduced human population living in dire circumstances that we have only yet glimpsed in the pages of novels such as Level 7 or Dr Strangelove.
WE MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID SEVERE RISKS OF FUNCTIONAL HUMAN EXTINCTION IN UNDER TWO HUNDRED YEARS
We need strong emission reductions beginning now! Australia has a carbon budget of less 10 billion tons left before we must become carbon neutral, if we are to do our fair share in slowing global warming! https://theconversation.com/steep-emissions-cuts-needed-or-well-blow-australias-carbon-budget-climate-authority-23425
I wish to acknowledge significant help with this attempt by myself as a concerned activist only, in this quick traverse - a climate warming trajectory wake up call - from a group of climate science workers, the remaining faults are all mine.
The threat of severe consequences from untrammelled CO2 emissions is very very real. We have very little time. We must start reducing emissions NOW.
Now this would be most unfortunate if it turns out that we were the only planet with "intelligent" life in the entire universe. It would seem like the whole Universe was just a waste of time if the only intelligent species destroys itself before it even steps foot outside its own solar system. It would also seem a cosmic waste to have a Universe so mind blowingly vast, so enormously populated with uncountable stars and galaxies that was completely void of life except on one tiny blue planet on the outer reaches of of an obscure galaxy.
Surely that would make life a joke.
Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is made up of over 100 billion stars(suns), a huge number. This is just one galaxy, the entire KNOWN universe apparently contains an estimated 100 BILLION Galaxies, some of which may be far larger than our own and it is estimated that there may be somewhere in the vicinity of 300 sextillion (3×1023) stars in the Universe(fuck me! Can I have a .000001 of a dollar for every star in the universe). We now know that there are planets around many stars in our galaxy and one could assume that the same applies to all other galaxies. That makes for quite a few planets. Possibly Trillions just in our galaxy alone.
Life on other planets? Got to be, better be, their might not be any on ours for too much longer. Considering how prolific life is on our planet, I would imagine the universe to be absolutely teaming with life.Oh I so look forward to the day when it is proved beyond doubt.