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The paper is on ways to reduce US carbon Footprint.
Question 4: What is the ecological significance of a high carbon footprint? Would you be willing to make the necessary changes to reduce your carbon footprint by 10%? By 50%? To the global average? Provide reasons why or why not.
By 20-17 mya, apes became common in East Africa, , up to 90 kilograms, and some . Nearly all apes eventually abandoned tropical canopies, and although monkeys were scarce in the Miocene, they stayed and dominate them today. The number of monkey species increased and ape species have decreased rather steadily over the past 20 million years. With that late-Oligocene warming that continued into the , tropical forests began expanding again. When Africa and Arabia finally crashed into Eurasia and , apes escaped Africa beginning about 16.5 mya. They had thickly enameled teeth suited to the non-fruit foods available outside rainforests. Their migrations resulted in new homes that spanned Eurasia, from Europe to Siberia to China to Southeast Asia. It was a spectacular that tallied more than 20 discovered ape species so far, and has been called the Golden Age of Apes. That is how gibbons and orangutans arrived in Asia. About 14 mya in Africa, the , and about 12.5 mya the . By that time, and orangutans continued down their evolutionary path, isolated from their African cousins. One . A descendant from the , at three meters tall and more than 500 kilograms. Below is a comparison of that primate to humans. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
A careful estimate as of 2013 determined that humanity has reduced Earth’s plant-based biomass by more than a third since the beginnings of agriculture. Humanity certainly could not have industrialized by using wood. Arguments making the case that deforestation was not why coal was adopted in England are shaky and also irrelevant to the fact that England could not have industrialized with wood. Iron operations regularly shut down during England’s early industrial history due to wood shortages. The economics of coal were evident to even imperial Romans, but nobody would use coal if they could avoid it. Some until the late 19th century. But using sunlight energy captured during the tree’s life could not compete for long with mining ancient sunlight trapped in coal that was collected over tens of millions of years, even if nobody initially knew how coal was formed. Even today, the British Isles’ grassy hills provide austere evidence of the rampant deforestation that those lands have yet to recover from. That the British Isles have any woods at all is a testament to using fossil fuels to power the Industrial Revolution.
I earlier compared people from different epochs. That stone tool Tesla what his/her invention would lead to a half-million years later, and members of the founding group could not have comprehended . Imagine a hunter-gatherer of 10 kya being dropped into Rome in 100 CE or London in 1500 CE. History has some relevant examples. When , about the last of his people, came out of hiding in his dying world and strode into civilization, it caused a sensation. He soon died of tuberculosis, but his encounters with civilization were recorded. He attended an opera, and the popular account portrayed his rapport with the diva, but Ishi actually stared in amazement at the , as he had never before seen so many people in one place. When he saw an airplane in flight, he laughed in amazement. Imagine a hunter-gatherer of 10 kya being dropped into imperial Rome. That hunter-gatherer had probably seen dogs, but horses, cows, sheep, and the like would have been astounding, and watching a horse or ox pull a cart would have been stunning. Crops would have been an amazing sight. Imagine that hunter-gatherer at the . The building and crowd alone would have boggled his mind, even if the festivities might have been horrifically familiar. Metals and glass would have seemed magical. Writing had not yet been invented in that hunter-gatherer’s world, so even the concept would have been difficult. Imagine him trying to learn math. There were no more singing and dancing religious rituals, and no wide-open spaces to hunt a meal. Imagine that hunter-gatherer visiting a Roman bath. Hot water alone would have been surreal, while the cavorting might have been delightful. What would his reaction have been to Rome’s markets? Rome was also loud and could be hellish, so the hunter-gatherer might have longed to flee to the countryside before long, but the countryside would have little resembled the one he knew. He obviously would not have understood anything that anybody said, but they were also all members of , so he would have seen many behaviors and traits that he eventually understood. But how long would his shock have lasted? Could he have really ever adapted to Roman society (if he did not quickly end up on the arena’s stage as a novelty)? Another surprise for that hunter-gatherer would be seeing people interact who did not know each other. People were interacting with members and not trying to kill them on sight, which became standard behavior in most hunter-gatherer societies that battled over territory (their food supply). Civilized life was all made possible by the local and stable energy source that agriculture provided, which led to an epoch that changed very little until the next energy source was tapped: the hydrocarbon energy that powered the Industrial Revolution. The next chapter will survey the developments that led to that momentous event. It is the only Epochal Event with historical documentation that showed how it developed, which is easier to reconstruct than examining stones and bones.
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China’s was the second pristine civilization to rise, and although the and separated China from the Fertile Crescent and India, there was cultural and technological diffusion. At times, China was ahead of Fertile Crescent civilizations in technological and cultural innovation. By eight kya, agriculture was firmly established in China. China has had less investigation of its prehistory, but it seems clear that China’s deforestation began with agriculture, just like everyplace else, and by 1000 BCE, China was largely deforested. The East Asian food complex is markedly different from the Fertile Crescent's, largely because East Asia relied on summer monsoons for its water, and winter rains provided water for the Fertile Crescent and westward, although civilizations were primarily based on seed and root crops. The rice paddy is the most sophisticated preindustrial agricultural system ever created. It by 3000 BCE, and rice paddies bred malaria to the extent that the paddy system in southern China was not successful until the local populace had partially adapted to malaria. Deforested lands alternately , and managing water in China became the foundation of imperial practice like nowhere else in history. Although , in practice they did nothing at all. Chinese emperors and the states they controlled, however, owed their legitimacy in their subjects’ eyes to how well they controlled flooding and drainage. The Yellow and Yangtze rivers carried more than 30 times the silt that the Nile did, and deforestation with the resulting flooding, siltation, and desertification have been major Chinese problems for thousands of years. Although it has been challenged, the idea that China reached early political unity due to few geographic barriers has merit. China has been politically unified almost continually for more than two millennia. The Han Chinese that dominate China are like white Americans, Canadians, or Australians, in that they invaded, conquered, and came to dominate lands initially settled by others.
Economics is the study of humanity’s material well-being, but humans have rarely thought past their immediate economic self-interest, even when the long-term prospects were obviously suicidal, such as today’s global energy paradigm. Because environmental issues affect humanity’s material well-being, they are economic in nature. As can be seen so far in this essay, there was little awareness or seeming caring in early civilizations whether they were destroying the very foundations of their civilizations. Even if they did not care how much other life forms suffered, they did not seem to realize that it also meant that those oppressed and exterminated organisms and wrecked environments would not provide much benefit to humanity in the future, especially energy, whether it was food or wood.
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In South America, its animals continued to evolve in isolation, and some huge ones appeared. In the Miocene, the flew in South American skies; it looked like a giant condor, had a seven-meter wingspan, and weighed 70 kilograms. The lived in South America in the late Miocene and early Pliocene. first appeared, as well as a , and some inhabited the large herbivore guild and looked like guild members on other continents, for another instance of convergent evolution. In Australia, the Miocene fossil record is thin, but recent findings demonstrate that all Miocene mammals were marsupials, except for bats. Kangaroos diversified into different niches; some were rat-sized and others became carnivorous. foraged in the Miocene, and marsupial lions first appeared in the Oligocene, kept growing over the epochs, and when humans arrived about 50 kya, they were . , as they still did in South America, although just how carnivorous some may have been is debated.
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In recent years, Neogene temperatures have been the focus of intensive research. What appears to be the proximate cause of elevated temperatures was a dramatic change in global ocean currents. The final closing of the , the isolation of Antarctica, the creation of , and the opening and closing of land bridges, such as in the Bering Sea and ultimately the land bridge between North and South America, created dramatic changes in ocean currents and global climate. One result was fluctuating . Its production declined beginning about 24 mya, and its weakness lasted until about 14 mya. Consequently, Earth’s oceans were not stratified as they are today, and warm water extended far lower into the oceans than it does today. Also, it reduced the temperature gradient between the equator and poles, which drives global currents: the greater the differential, the more vigorous the currents. It was still an Icehouse Earth, but the “mid-Miocene climatic optimum” was relatively warm. The past three million years are the coldest that Earth has seen since the that ended 260 mya, but this . While the steadily declining carbon dioxide levels of the past 150-100 million years is the ultimate cause of this Icehouse Earth phase, relatively short-term and regional fluctuations have had their proximate causes rooted in other geophysical, geochemical, and celestial dynamics.
Carbon Footprint Essay - 338 Words | Majortests
Could this essay's first half be considered an indulgence of my childhood fascination with nature? That argument could have merit, but I have always been a "big picture" kind of thinker, even as a teenager. I am writing this essay primarily to help manifest FE technology in the public sphere and help remedy the deficiencies in all previous attempts that I was part of, witnessed, heard of, or read about. The biggest problem, by far, was that those trying to bring FE technology to the public had virtually no support from the very public that they sought to help. My journey's most important lesson was that , and an egocentric humanity living in scarcity and fear is almost effortlessly manipulated by the social managers. John Q. Public is only interested in FE technology to the extent that he can immediately profit from it. Otherwise, he goes back to watching his favorite TV show. It took many years of disillusionment for that to finally become clear to me. While this essay and all of my writings are provided for free to humanity and anybody can read them, I intend to only reach a very tiny fraction of humanity with my writings, but that tiny fraction will be sufficient for my plan to succeed. The readers that I seek have a formidable task ahead of them, but nothing less is required for my approach to have any hope of bearing fruit. This essay and my other writings are intended as a course in (also called "big picture") thinking. Studying the details deeply enough to avoid misleading superficial understandings is also a key goal. I am an accountant by profession, but one of the world's leading paleobiologists surprisingly read an early draft of this essay and informed me that it was one of the best efforts that he ever saw on the journey of life on Earth. There was nobody on Earth whose opinion I would have respected more than his, so I do not think that I am asking readers of this essay's first half to humor me. Every sentient being on Earth should know the rudiments of what this essay's first half covers.
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