Yesterday, June 6th 2012 should have marked the 68th anniversary of a famous 'invasion' of Earth : D-Day, the invasion of Nazi-held Europe.
That invasion seems ( but only seems) to have gone un-noticed in
the general gloom of a report released in NATURE that same day.
A group of about two dozen scientists from a wide variety of disciplines had gathered to see if there were signs that the Earth's biosphere had ,or was , approaching the tipping point into non-stop disaster.
They knew that stable flexible systems ( biological,mechanical, financial, political, etc ) can withstand short term, small, assaults by adjusting.
But under large and prolonged assaults they can suddenly go into chaotic behavior until they return to relative, long term, stability at a very different set of arrangements --- at possibly a higher or possibly lower level of activity.
In terms of the entire Earth ,we can study the remains of such past dramatic topping points : distant mass extinctions as well as relatively recent sudden shifts into and out of near global glaciation.
The scientists in the NATURE report say we are close to disaster by pointing out how much of the Earth's surface and bio product is under the sway of just one species: us.
It is close to 50% now and going to hit 65% soon, as humanity goes from 6 billion mostly poor people to 9 billion hungry want-to-be-rich people.
We are takers ,not givers, and failing to share the world with the ultimate primary producers who actually give us all our oxygen, all of our food, all of the carefully balanced atmosphere.
Past tipping point disasters have come from similarly unbalancing of hitherto balanced systems : the danger figure quoted is 50% - 90% etc.
They freely admit that they could be right or they could be wrong.
It is Russian Roulette, but for 9 billion.
But on balance, these scientists say the disaster gun is fully loaded.
So we believe them and prepare, at great cost, to reduce the disaster.
But when we pull the trigger 50 years from now - nothing happens - no disaster.
False scare. "We was right,waste of money", exalts the DENIERS.
Or perhaps, and more likely, the Deniers win today's battle : they say don't fear, the environmental gun isn't loaded - relax - and we believe them and do nothing.
But 50 years from now, when we do pull the trigger, it does go off and 6 billion out of 9 billion die starvation deaths.
I would, personally, prefer to prepare for disaster and be proven wrong by my survival, than to do nothing and be proven wrong---- by my own death.
In other words, the "disaster" of good news, to me, is no disaster at all.
But not everybody took the new news of disaster as gloomily as Earthlings did, or as derisively as the Deniers did.
The deniers' fellow travellers ( for once, not a metaphor at all) the SPACERS, were taking the impending doom of Planet Earth very seriously.
They have a Plan B, or more accurately, a Planet B : Mars.
Soon they see all of humanity, or at least all of humanity with a spare million bucks under the mattress, living in Mars colonies.
They don't see any need to worry about reducing this upcoming disaster for a planet they already see as filthy and clapped-out of mineral and energy wealth .
Instead the science and technology of the godless scientists is about to rapture-up the wealthy 1% into a grand new secular heaven.
We, or at least the wealthy 1% of we, were talking about invasions after all ,on the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion: not "The Invasion from Mars" of H G Wells, but rather "The Invasion of Mars".
Ironic - no ????????