It has been overlooked during Garma festival that, under current policies, global warming would render aboriginal lands in central and northern Australia unliveable and the top-end a nuclear target…
In his classic book The Fate of the Earth speaking for humanity Jonathan Schell describes the horror of a full-scale nuclear holocaust where human beings and animals would die if twenty thousand megatons of bombs, more than a million times the Hiroshima bomb, explode.
The consequences of a global nuclear exchange belong to the unthinkable. Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both on the scale of the devastation they cause and uniquely persistent genetically damaging radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons. A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people. The use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would disrupt the atmosphere world-wide, causing widespread famine.
|[ Figure 1. Extreme geophysical, meteorological, hydrological and climatological events during 1980 -2012 ]|
From the 1970s the full implications of climate change were only beginning to be realized, through a growing string of cyclones, fires, droughts and floods increasing in frequency and intensity above the recent historical record (Figure 1). At that time few could forecast the climate trajectory like NASA’s chief climate scientist (Hansen et al., 2012), who stated:
“Burning all the fossil fuels would create a different planet than the one that humanity knows. The paleoclimate record and ongoing climate change make it clear that the climate system would be pushed beyond tipping points, setting in motion irreversible changes, including ice sheet disintegration with a continually adjusting shoreline, extermination of a substantial fraction of species on the planet, and increasingly devastating regional climate extremes” and “warming according to the IPCC Business As Usual’ (BAU) scenario would lead to a disastrous multi-meter sea level rise on the century timescale” and “We’ve reached a point where we have a crisis, an emergency, but people don’t know that” …
|[ Figure 2. credit: NOAA, click on images to enlarge ]|
|[ Figure 3. The five mass extinctions in the Earth’s history. ]|
|[ Figure 4. Past mean temperatures (200 AD to 2000 AD), current warming and future temperature projections (Steffen, 2012) ]|
A nuclear war would represent the ultimate outcome of tribalism, nationalism, racism and war, the human propensity for mutual and self-destruction. There was a time when kings and generals would fall on their sword when they were defeated, or when their faith in their gods collapsed. Nowadays oblivious or non-caring world powers continue to proliferate nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert, mine coal and pump oil and gas, starting a greenhouse chain reaction. Leaders, so-called, opportunistically betray the defence of their own people and the future of their children. The voices of anti-nuclear and climate scientists have become subdued, ignored or betrayed. There may not be too many historians to document the 20-21ˢᵗ centuries crimes against humanity and against nature.
An explanation of the collapse of human society, dragging multiple species down with it, arises from Fermi’s Paradox, where the combination of technological achievements and an inherent killer instinct of some leads to collapse.
The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
The Event Horizon: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia
The Fatal Species: From Warlike Primates to Planetary Mass Extinction
The Trials of Gaia. Milestones in the evolution of Earth with reference to the Antropocene