Now showing items 1-20 of 145

    • Earth’s Biosphere in Peril 

      Cairns, John (2011-03)
      Sustainable use of the planet is an attractive goal, especially concerning intergenerational ethics. However, a major ecological tipping point has been passed (e.g, melting glaciers) and, in the last three years, evidence ...
    • Red Alert - Climate Change: This is the Last Chance 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech Research Magazine, 2014-01-22)
      Humankind has already passed the first climatic tipping point therefore engaging itself in a global experiment that has already reduced agricultural productivity. With the Artic ice melting 100 years ahead of IPCC prediction, ...
    • Biospheric Feedback Loops and Rapid Global Climate Change 

      Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      A positive feedback loop makes an existing process speed up while a negative feedback loop decreases the impact of an existing process. A source emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases while a sink retain and stores. ...
    • How Will the Perpetual Economic Growth Delusion End? 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      For most of the past 2 million years, the dominant view has been that resources are limited. However, more recently some economists have become wildly optimistic about natural resource depletion. Some view the human economy ...
    • Six Interactive Global Crises 

      Cairns, John (Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      Humankind is facing six interactive global crises: (1) climate change, (2) overpopulation, (3) species impoverishment (i.e., loss of biodiversity), (4) ecological overshoot (i.e., ecological deficit), (5) excessive use of ...
    • The Numbers are Forever 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      People often ask how long humankind has to solve the issue of global heating, and the answer provided may be 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, etc. This gives humans the false assurance that the global warming is not a problem ...
    • Preparing for the Post-Industrial Age 

      Cairns, John (Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      The Industrial Age has been made possible by cheap, abundant fossil fuels, primarily petroleum and coal. The life expectancy of an industrial civilization is about 100 years. Some forecasts estimate the critical period of ...
    • Are We Asking the Right Questions to Guide Our Descent From the 2007 Oil Peak? 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      Peak oil may have been reached in 2007, if so; a new source of energy will be needed. Coal would be a poor substitute as it produces twice as many greenhouse gas emissions when burnt, and biofuels have huge drawbacks, as ...
    • Human Effects Upon Revolutionary Processes in the Biosphere 

      Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      Persuasive evidence indicates that the biosphere is experiencing a major biotic crisis and even if humankind ceases stress on natural systems, the crisis will most likely disrupt or alter the surviving ecosystems. The new ...
    • Human Alteration of Evolutionary Processes 

      Cairns, John (Online Proceedings of the Symposium: The Future of Life and the Future of our Civilization, 2014-01-22)
      Soviet climaologist Budyko has remarked: _temperature and rainfall are the two major variables of life on Earth. Human society is changing both of these phenomena markedly, along with many other key variables that affect ...
    • The Human Economy is a Subset of the Biosphere 

      Cairns, John (Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      For decades, deniers of the need to protect the environment have used the tactic of pitting the environment against the economy. However, the disingenuous tactic ignores the dependence of the human economy on the biosphere ...
    • Human Density and the Biospheric Life Support System 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      The fossil record shows that all Earth s species have been transient. Yet humankind espouses sustainable development (which is based on continued human occupancy of the planet) despite the probability that Earth may last ...
    • Integrating Information from Different Levels of Biological Organization 

      Cairns, John (Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      Global ecological problems as well as regional problems require information from a variety of levels of biological organization from single species to ecosystems. Both scientists and decision makers benefit from synthesis ...
    • Garrett Hardin: 21 April 1915- 14 September 2003 

      Cairns, John (American Philosophical Society, 2014-01-22)
      Nearly three decades before the concept of sustainable development reached an international audience, Garrett Hardin combined the study of economics, resource allocation, environmental studies, ecology, and political science ...
    • The Future Eaters: Metaphors and Aphorisms as Environmental Teaching Tools 

      Cairns, John (2014-01-22)
      This book presents ideas and arguments about the environmental economics and consequences of consumption in a modern era.
    • The Fate of an Actor on the Ecological Stage of the Evolutionary Theater 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      Humankind, is just one of the 30 million species on the _stage or the planet. However, humans are markedly different from the other actors that are now or have previously been on the stage. Humans, in fact, affect the ...
    • The Global Tower of Babel 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      The key to long-term economic and social stability is the sustainable use of the planet. The Global Tower of Babel is such a formidable obstacle in achieving sustainable use of the planet that the barriers must be diminished. ...
    • Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?: Ethics in an Era of Human_Influenced Rapid Climate Change 

      Cairns, John (Asian Journal of Experimental Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      In early 2009, humankind was afflicted with a global financial meltdown that, in the United States, has resulted in loss of employment for persons who had thought their jobs were secure. Many individuals who already retired ...
    • Environmental Science in Era of Scarce Resources 

      Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
      Today s global economy is based on cheap, readily available energy and resources. However, conventional oil production peaked between 2005 and 2006 and within the next 10 to 20 years coal production will peak and decline. ...
    • Expanding Ecotoxicology to Enhance the Health of the Biosphere 

      Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
      The waste, or output, of most species serves as a resource, or input, for other species. This mutualistic process can be disrupted if the output, or waste, exceeds the assimilative capacity of the species in the biosphere. ...