Introduces THREE classical real-world population climb-and-collapse calamities in environments that remain 99.998% unoccupied (2/1000ths of 1% occupied) - in other words 99%-plus die-offs and/or even worse calamities in environmental surroundings that visually-appear to remain ALMOST ENTIRELY EMPTY.

Published on: **Mar 4, 2016**

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- 1. Real-worldpopulation calamities in seemingly “empty” environments?
- 2. THREE classicalreal-world examples of population calamities in environments that remain 99.998% unoccupied 2/1000ths of 1% occupied
- 3. THREE classical real-world examples of population calamities in environments that remain 99.998% unoccupied 2/1000ths of 1% occupiedReal-world population-environment calamities, die-offs, and mass mortalities in „too-late‟ / „vast open-space‟ / „almost entirely empty‟ conditions as depicted in this image
- 4. Look at the tiny 2/1000ths of 1% dot in this imageand imagine the most intelligent possible individuals residing there
- 5. Which, if any, members of such a population could beconvinced that their population faced a calamitous population-environment die-off and collapse when such vast amounts of „open-space ‟ appear to remain seemingly available?
- 6. We are covering this becauseit has possible implications for us
- 7. The “Open-Space” DelusionThere is a widely-held misperception within much of society that human population growth and overpopulation cannot become truly serious so long as “vast amounts of open space” appear to remain theoretically-available
- 8. These seemingly innate or intuitive “open-space” suppositions can be exceptionally dangerous because they tempt us into complacency This presentation outlines THREE separate, classical,and catastrophic real-world population outcomes (and die-offs) at tiny fractions of one percent thresholds
- 9. suppositions assesses such mathematically This presentation “vast open-space”Supporting mathematics for the three classical examples that we use is outlined in the presentation‟s addenda
- 10. Imagine a real-world population of organisms surrounded by „vast 2/1000ths of one percent amounts of open-space‟ in surroundings For the population in the above tiny that remain 99.998% white dot, the moment in time unoccupieddepicted here was already “too-late” and which, visually- speaking, appears to remain almost entirely empty
- 11. Imagine, then, a population whose combined bodies 2/1000ths (or cells) of one percent physically-occupy an area equal to the tiny white dot in this image which constitutes 2/1000ths of one percent of the red rectangle in which it residesToo-late conditions?
- 12. Notice that it would benearly impossible for even thebrightest scholars and leaders of such a population 2/1000ths of one percentto realize that the population- environment conditions depicted here are ALREADY “too-late”And that at this point in time, both they and members of their population will have already waited TOO-LONG Too-late conditions?
- 13. This presentation will review three classical real-world examples of population-environment calamities in environments that remain 99.998% unoccupiedand which appear to remain ALMOST ENTIRELY EMPTY
- 14. In all three classical examples, the populations involved experienced 99%-plus die-offs and/or other mass mortalities even as their combined bodies (or cells) physically-occupiedroughly 2/1000ths of one percent of the surroundings that appeared to remain theoretically-available to them
- 15. We will see that for all three examples that we cover, the 2/1000ths of 1% conditions denoted by the tiny 2/1000ths white dot in this image of one percent already constitute too-late conditions, and at the point in time depicted here, for all three real-world populations it will already be too late, and they will have already waited too-longToo-late conditions?
- 16. This presentation is a courtesy of The Wecskaop ProjectWhat Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet Copyright 2012, The Wecskaop Project. All rights reserved.
- 17. This presentation is a courtesy of The Wecskaop Project It is entirely free for use by scientists, students, and educators anywhere in the world.What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet Copyright 2012, The Wecskaop Project. All rights reserved.
- 18. Biospherics Literacy 101 (Five PowerPoints / Five Days)There are five PowerPoints in this open-courseware collection
- 19. Biospherics Literacy 101 (Five PowerPoints / Five Days) 1 – World Population and Core Demo- graphics – An Introductory Overview 2 – Ecological Services and Biospheric Machinery 3 – Real-world population-environ- ment calamities in seemingly „empty‟ environments?4 – Earth‟s Thin Films - Thin Surface layers of Atmosphere, Oceans, and Seas5 – Exponential and Non-linear Growth in Population Systems
- 20. This presentation is about Climb-and-collapse outcomes in real-world population systems Population calamities in seemingly “vast open-space” environments Population explosions that induce calamity by their secretion of wastes U.N. human population projections to the end of this century and 2/1000ths of 1%
- 21. We are covering this becauseit has possible implications for us
- 22. This presentation is also about Climb-and-collapse Climb and collapse outcomes really happen and we are not immune Collapse routinely occurs in environments that visually appear to be almost entirely empty Collapse with 99% mortality is a biological reality We are not immune to collapse, and compared to any other animals or dinoflagellates that have ever lived, we are behaving very badly Three real-world examples of calamity in tiny fractions of 1% “vast open-space” conditions Plus , two classical real-world climb-and-collapse examples in separate mammalian populations
- 23. This presentation is also about We are covering this because it has possible implications for us Our release of wastes, which shows a disquieting similarity with population explosions of red-tide dinoflagellates Dinoflagellate red-tides as quintessential examples of population explosions that induce calamity by the release of wastes The fact that calamities can arise from wastes eradication, and damage (as opposed to “running-out-of” things)
- 24. This presentation is also about Our own trajectory which may well be far worse than outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide because we supplement our biological and metabolic wastes with a daily, and growing worldwide on- slaughts of industrial and societal wastes While outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide can be categorized as localized events, our own species exerts impacts that are global in extent Collapse routinely occurs in environments that visually-appear to be almost entirely empty Earth‟s atmosphere and seas as onion-skin-thin and superficial surface films
- 25. Population calamities in seemingly „empty‟environments: Example one - Three Dinoflagellate red-tides classical real-world examples
- 26. The dot in this image reflects one of nature‟s quintessential real-world population-environment calamities: an outbreak of Dinoflagellate red-tide The dot in this image denotes2/1000ths of 1% of its rectangle
- 27. In two OTHER classical studies we will see that the organisms involved have also already waited too longSupporting mathematics is posted in presentation appendices and have already passed a critical population-environment tipping-point so that the white dot in these images depicts conditions that are already TOO LATE
- 28. One-celled marine organisms called dinoflagellates constitute one of nature‟s quintessential examples of population explosions that induce calamity by their production Red-tide of wastesDinoflagellates
- 29. Bushaw-Newton, K.L. and Sellner, K.G. 1999. Harmful Algal Blooms IN: NOAA‟s State of the Coast Report, Silver Spring, MD. red-tide in 1997-1998 dinoflagellate 21 million fish For example, a killed an estimated along the coast of Texas
- 30. Other individual outbreaks have Bushaw-Newton, K.L. and Sellner, K.G. 1999. Harmful Algal Blooms resulted in the deaths IN: NOAA‟s State of the Coast Report, Silver Spring, MD. of an estimated 150 tons of fish as well as manatees and other marine organisms
- 31. One species of dinoflagellateknown for such outbreaks is Karenia brevis
- 32. Real-world population explosionsof Karenia brevis manage to inflict such population disasters even astheir populations of 1,000,000 cells per liter physically-occupy less than 2/1000 ths of one percent of seemingly "vast amounts of open-space" that appear to remain theoretically available
- 33. Recall, then, the tiny white dot in this image which depicts in amathematically-correct way 2/1000ths of 1% of the rectangle in which it resides
- 34. In other words, the population-explosions of dinoflagellates in red-tide outbreaks produce population-environment calamities in environments that Supporting mathematics is set forth in our appendices visually-appear to remain
- 35. Look again at the 2/1000ths of 1% dot in this imageand imagine the most intelligent possible individuals residing there
- 36. Which, if any, members of such a population could beconvinced that their own species faced a calamitous environmental threshold when such vast amounts of open-space appearto remain seemingly available?
- 37. In other words, they undergo and induce population-environment calamities by their production and release of wastes in environments that visually-appear to be almost entirely empty
- 38. This set of conditions would seem to beworth noting, perhaps, since our own species appears to exhibit an extraordinarily similar pattern of behavior
- 39. Unlike red-tide dinoflagellates, however, our own species does not confine itself to releasing only our biological and metabolic wastes into our surroundings
- 40. Instead, each day, on a worldwide basis, we supplement our biological wastes, in a way that is unprecedentedin the history of life on earth, with billions of tons ofsocietal and industrial wastes
- 41. so that we may be embarked upon a trajectory that is not only worse than that of red-tide dinoflagellates but may be multiple orders of magnitude worse, at that
- 42. This, of course, is not to necessarily suggest a direct applicability of dinoflagellate impacts and trajectories to humanity‟s own global trajectories and impacts today
- 43. However, the fact that dinoflagellate populations can induce calamity by their production and release of wastes even when seemingly “vast amounts of open-space” appear to remain theoretically-available would seem to be worth notingsince our own species appears to exhibit an extraordinarily similar pattern of behavior
- 44. It is also worth noting that whileK. brevis cells release only their biological, cellular, and metabolic wastes into their surroundings, our own species supplementsits biological wastes with daily,worldwide, and ever-increasing avalanches of industrial and societal wastes
- 45. No other animals do this, and no other animals in the history of the earthhave EVER done this
- 46. No other animals do this, and no other animals in the history of the earth have EVER done thisAnd we are doing so on a global scale in less than a single human lifetime
- 47. so that our own species may, perhaps, be on a trajectory that is not only Worsethan that of an outbreak of red-tide dinoflagellates, but may be multiple orders of magnitude worse at that
- 48. Also, outbreaks of red-tide, while catastrophic, are at least relatively localized events While our own population explosion, however, encompasses the entire earth’s biosphere as do the damages, wastes, impacts, and eradications that we inflict
- 49. But we are smarter than a populationof mindless one-celled dinoflagellates aren‟t we?
- 50. Of course we are smarter than dinoflagellates, aren‟t we? Dinoflagellates, for Nor ways to pollute earth‟s example, have not devised waters and drain aquifers and eradicate water bodies like the Bulldozers, chain saws, tools, Aral Sea and machines to quickly eradicate entire forests, throughout the entire world all at the same time Long-lines, radar, and GPS to catch entire schools of fish, in less than a single human lifetime Automobiles, coal mines, and power plants to pump green- house gases into the atmosphere
- 51. Of course we are smarter than dinoflagellates, aren‟t we? Dinoflagellates, for Nor ways to pollute earth‟s example, have not devised waters and drain aquifers and eradicate water bodies like the Bulldozers, chain saws, tools, Aral Sea and machines to quickly eradicate entire forests, throughout the entire world all at the same time Long-lines, radar, and GPS to catch entire schools of fish, in less than a single human lifetime Automobiles, coal mines, and power plants to pump green- house gases into the atmosphere Which means that we are smarter, right?
- 52. In other words, our ingenuity and technologies not only allow us to not only produce far more wastes more quickly than cells of red-tide dinoflagellates but they also allow us to multiply and amplify our individual and collective impacts, damage, and eradications more quickly, completely, and efficiently than any other animals that have ever lived
- 53. In other words, our ingenuity and technologies not only allow us to not only produce far more wastes more quickly than cells of red-tide dinoflagellates but they also allow us to multiply and amplify our individual and collective impacts, damage, and eradications more quickly, completely, and efficiently than any other animals that have ever lived and to do so on a global scale in less than a single human lifetime
- 54. All of which may not necessarilyqualify as especially “smart,” right?
- 55. End of part one
- 56. Climb-and-collapse
- 57. Two classical examples Real-world Climb-and-collapseSupporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO
- 58. We are covering this because it has possibleimplications for us
- 59. Scheffer, V.B., 1951. The rise and fall of a reindeer herd, Scientific Monthly 73:356-362 Scheffer, 1951 population studies of reindeer herds First, note these two classic Climb-and-collapse Klein, 1968Klein, D.R., 1968. The Introduction, Increase, and Crash of Reindeer on St. Matthew Island. Journal of Wildlife Management 32: 350-367.
- 60. Notice that each reindeer herd exhibited a classicSupporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO Climb-and-collapse population curve Scheffer, 1951 Klein, 1968
- 61. In each case, an initial period of exponential growth was followed by aSupporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO 99%-plus die-off Scheffer, 1951 Klein, 1968
- 62. Secondly we note that each reindeer population physically-occupiedSupporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of surroundings that, visually-speaking, appeared to remain theoretically-available to them at the time of the collapse
- 63. So that both classical die-offs BEGAN (and proceeded) in environments that visually appeared to remainSupporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO almost entirely empty
- 64. Supporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE and TWO approximately 99.998% EMPTY
- 65. So that both classic die-offs BEGAN (and proceeded) in environments that visually appeared to remain almost entirely empty
- 66. Compare these two graphsBelow: Note the reindeer rocketing upward before their 99% die-offRight: Human population growth 8000 BC to present (and now rocketing upward?)
- 67. Compare these two graphs Which upward trajectory ismore pronounced and more extreme? Do you see any disquieting similarities?
- 68. More disquieting still, the real-world numbers that actually emerge could turn out to be very much larger than the medium- fertility U.N. estimates
- 69. If worldwide fertility levels Billions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 are based average just on U.N. high- fertility projections to 2100 ½ child per woman higher than the U.N.‟s medium- fertility projections, we will find ourselves on-track toward 15.8 billion by 2100
- 70. Even the most intelligent, thoughtful, and educated members of a highly- intelligent species living in such “vast open-space” conditions would find it difficult (if not impossible) to imagine either the degree or the proximity of the too-late population- environment dangers and calamities that are about to overtake them when so much surrounding open-space appears to remain seemingly- available
- 71. Yet, all three of the classical examplesused in this presentation, for instance, show quite powerfully that if the scholars and leaders of any of these three populations were to WAIT until the conditions depicted in the image shown here develop at this point, they would have already waited Too-long
- 72. In 1911 in the V. B. Scheffer study, 25 reindeer were introduced to41 square mile St. Paul Island, Alaska Scheffer, 1951 by 1938, their population peaked at more than 2000 reindeer – yet by 1950 only eight remained
- 73. At their peak population of morethan 2000 reindeer (shown here) their combined bodies physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of the island upon which they lived
- 74. And then they underwent a 99% - plus die-offScheffer, V.B., 1951. The rise and fall of a reindeer even as, taken together, their herd, Scientific Monthly 73:356-362 combined bodies physically- occupied only a tiny Scheffer, 1951 fraction of one percent of their seemingly-available environment
- 75. In 1944, 29 reindeer were introduced to 128 square mile St. Matthew Island, Alaska Klein, 1968 by 1963, their population peaked at more than 6000 reindeer and fell to 42 remaining in 1964
- 76. At their peak population of more than 6000 reindeer (shown here) their combined bodies physically-occupied about 2/1000ths of 1% of the island upon which they lived Klein, 1968
- 77. And then they underwent a 99% - plus die-offeven as, taken together, theircombined bodies physically- occupied only a tiny fraction of one percent Klein, 1968of their seemingly-available environment
- 78. Notice therefore that both herds underwent a 99% - plus die-off
- 79. even as their combined bodies physically-occupied a tiny fraction of one percentof the “vast quantities of open- space” that seemed to remain roughly 2/1000ths of 1% theoretically-available
- 80. In nature, this really does happen, and this presentation cites actual examples in four entirely independent settings Twice in reindeer herds (mammals), AND In outbreaks of red-tide in unicellular marine organisms, AND Apparently to the early human inhabitants of Easter Island (which we include in our appendices)
- 81. End of part two
- 82. J-curves …on steroids?
- 83. Also disquieting, the real-world worldwide human population numbers that actually emerge could turn out to be very much larger than the medium-fertility U.N. estimates shown here
- 84. Six-fold life-extensions have already been Unexpected advances in would result in healthy, active 500-year-olds achieved in laboratory organisms And an equivalent extension in humans life-extension or unexpected declines in mortality or if worldwide fertility levels stall or turn out to be just ½ child per woman higher than the U.N.‟s “medium-fertility” estimates
- 85. 15.8 billion headed toward (as shown in this graph) We could find ourselves by the end of this centuryEven tiny fractional such extensions in humans would tosscurrent U.N. population projections right out the window
- 86. Notice that these graphs are quintessential examples of J-curves (one of the most dangerous types of graphs in the world) and since earth‟s planetary carrying capacity for amodern industrialized humanity is on the order of TWO billion or less
- 87. And since we are nowbeyond seven billion and may be headed toward10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15.8 billion this century and since each one of our billions is a truly enormous number (see appendix)
- 88. Policymakers, academia, and the world‟s rising generations of „Under-20s‟ should accord emergency-scale attention to these numbers
- 89. Key Ideas so farThere is a widely-held misperception within our societies thathuman population growth and overpopulation cannot be truly serious so long as “vast amounts of open space” appear to remain theoretically-available
- 90. Part two– Key Ideas Supporting mathematics is posted in appendices ONE AND TWO Real-world examples of Climb-and-collapse in population systems Collapse can and does occur in environments that appear to be almost entirely empty (.. less than 2/1000ths of one percent ..) Real-world examples of 99% - plus die-offs A graph of human population growth over the past two centuries appears to be both more pronounced and more extreme than those seen in either of the cited reindeer examples
- 91. Given the current demographic challenge that these numbers represent (and with up to our 10th to 15th billions on-track to arrive by the end of this century) One would hope that we are collectively smarter than a mindless population of one-celled dinoflagellatesthat routinely show themselves capable of calamity while less than 2/1000ths of 1% of the occupying volume in which the population sample resides
- 92. Invoking sobriety, however, we may actually be following a trajectory that has a worrisome similarity to that of the dinoflagellatesbecause our own species, like the red-tide dinoflagellates of marinehabitats, releases chemical wastes and toxins into our surroundings
- 93. Worse still, from at least one point of view, however, we may actually be on a trajectory that is worse than that of the dinoflagellates and multiple orders of magnitude worse at that for each dinoflagellate cell releases ONLY itsmetabolic and biological wastes into its surroundings
- 94. In our own case, however, werelease not only our biological and metabolic wastes but also an unprecedented dailyavalanche of societal and industrial wastes that are worldwide in scope and amplified by our ever-growing numbers and increasing industrialization
- 95. Reviewing Several Key Ideas1 Dinoflagellate red-tides are quintessential examples of population calamities arising from the release of wastes2 Dinoflagellate red-tide calamities, however, arise from their release of cellular and metabolic wastes into their surroundings3 Because our own species also releases wastes into its surroundings, we may be following a trajectory that is provocatively similar to that of an outbreak of dinoflagellate red-tide
- 96. Reviewing Several Key Ideas 4 Except, of course, our own species supplements its biological and cellular wastes with a daily worldwide avalanche of industrial and societal wastes 5 (A behavior that no other animals on earth exhibit – and has never previously happened in the entire history of the earth). 6 And lastly, while deadly outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide are localized events, our own population outbreak is a worldwide phenomenon and worldwide in its effects
- 97. Part FourNo other animals do this
- 98. Photos courtesy of life.nbii.gov: fox = Mosesso; Others - Hermann species other than our own Envision an individual animal of any
- 99. Photos courtesy of life.nbii.gov: fox = Mosesso; Others - Hermann In virtually all of these cases, each organism‟s daily pollution of its environment is limited to daily production of its bodily wastes
- 100. No population explosions of red-tide dinoflagellates(which poison their environments by the wastes that they release)have EVER supplemented their cellular and biological wastes with a daily worldwide avalanche of industrial and societal wastes the way that we do
- 101. No other animal species supplementsits cellular and biological wastes with a planet-wide and ever- increasing avalanche of industrial and societal wastes the way that we do
- 102. And then there are also the enormous additional levels of eradication, degradation and sheer levels of PHYSICAL DAMAGE that we are inflicting everywhereupon the ONLY planetary life-support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the universe
- 103. No other organismsin the entire history of the earth have EVER supplemented their cellular and biological wastesthe way that we do
- 104. And these behaviors are NOT a minimal or incidental footnote to the biology of our species
- 105. Instead, they are one of our most distinctive and all-encompassing characteristics
- 106. Summaries and Key Concepts We are dangerously misled by our prevailing “open-space” suppositions
- 107. 2/1000 ths of one percentfor it is a misperception to presume that human population growth and overpopulation cannot be truly serious so long as “vast amounts of open space” remain
- 108. This presentation has also been about Climb-and-collapse Climb and collapse outcomes really happen and we are not immune Collapse routinely occurs in environments that visually appear to be almost entirely empty Collapse with 99% mortality is a biological reality We are not immune to collapse, and compared to any other animals or dinoflagellates that have ever lived, we are behaving very badly Three real-world examples of calamity in tiny fractions of 1% “vast open-space” conditions Plus , two classical real-world climb-and-collapse examples in separate mammalian populations
- 109. This presentation has also been about We are covering this because it has possible implications for us Our release of wastes, which shows a disquieting similarity with population explosions of red-tide dinoflagellates Dinoflagellate red-tides as quintessential examples of population explosions that induce calamity by the release of wastes The fact that calamities can arise from wastes eradication, and damage (as opposed to “running-out-of” things)
- 110. This presentation has also been about Our own trajectory which may well be far worse than outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide because we supplement our biological and metabolic wastes with a daily, and growing worldwide on- slaughts of industrial and societal wastes While outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide can be categorized as localized events, our own species exerts impacts that are global in extent Collapse routinely occurs in environments that visually-appear to be almost entirely empty Earth‟s atmosphere and seas as onion-skin-thin and superficial surface films
- 111. We are covering this becauseit has possible implications for us
- 112. In addition, the “running-out-of” suppositionsthat traditionally seem to govern our thinking such as “running-out-of” space, food, oil, resources, or anything else may not be the first or only factors that threaten us and such suppositions may lead us to an inaccurate assessment of our current status or impending danger
- 113. Finally, we are the only animals that do this, or that have ever done this and we are doing so on a worldwide scale so that we are not a localized phenomenonand our behaviors in this respects are not a minimalor incidental footnote to the biology of our species but are instead one of our most distinguishing and all-encompassing characteristics
- 114. Lastly, but not least, there are these two graphsof our demographics which are very much likeJ-curves on steroids
- 115. First, five additional billions in less than one human lifetime since 1930 with the potential arrivals of billions numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 (and 800 million more after that) due by the end of this century on a planet whose biospheric machinery was already beingdamaged at levels of five billion and six billion in 1987 and 1999 and whose planetary carrying capacity for a modern, industrialized humanity is on the order of two billion or less
- 116. alsoremembering the levels of sheer physical damage and eradication that we inflict all around the world
- 117. Appendicesand supporting mathematics
- 118. Supporting Math – Red-tidesSevere red-tide conditions are common when Karen- In other words, one million dinoflagellate cells in aia brevis populations reach concentrations ranging 1000 cm3 sample still have approximatelybetween 100,000 to 1,000,000 or more cells per liter. 999.986 875 cm3 of unoccupied volume that wouldSecondly, approximate dimensions of a typical K. appear to remain theoretically-available to them.brevis cell: Percentage Unoccupied(1) Volume of 1 liter = 1000 cm3 Therefore, the percentage unoccupied equals(2) Approximate dimensions of a typical K. brevis: (999.986 875 cm3) divided by (1000) so that about 99.998 672 percent of the sample‟s total volumeL: ~30 um (= 0.03 mm) ** remains unoccupied … 99.998%W: ~ 0.035 mm (“a little wider than it is long") *D: ~ 10 – 15 um deep (10 um = 0.010 mm; This means that such Karenia populations manage 15 um = 0.015mm), (so average = ~ .0125 mm) to routinely visit calamity upon themselves and the ** Nierenberg, personal communication, 2008 environment in which they reside, even as all the ** Bushaw-Newton, K.L. and Sellner, K.G. 1999. cells taken together physically-occupy less than Harmful Algal Blooms; NOAA 2/1000ths of 1% of the total volume that appears to ** Floridamarine.org, 2008 remain seemingly-available. Using the above: Thus, (100%) – (99.998 687 %) = (0.001 313 %),Volume of a typical cell of K. brevis = (L) x (W) x (D) = or less than 2/1000ths of 1% of the volume that ap- (0.03) (0.035) (0.0125) = ~ 0.000 013 125 mm3 pears to remain theoretically-available.Thus one million Karenia brevis cells occupy ap- Thus, even though the K. brevis cells occupy aproximately (1,000,000) x (0.000 013 125 mm3) = volumetrically-insignificant portion of the "open-13.125 mm3, or about 0.013 125 cm3 occupied. space" that visually appears to remain almost entirely “empty,” they manage, by their combinedSince 1 liter = 1000 cm3, subtracting 0.013 125 cm3 overpopulation and production of invisible and(volume occupied) leaves (1000) minus (0.013 125 ) calamitous wastes, to catastrophically-alter and visitor about 999.986 875 cm3 unoccupied utter calamity upon their home environment which visually appears to remain almost entirely empty
- 119. Supporting Math The image shown left depicts the physical amount of space that constitutes two one-thousandths of one percent. Note that the dot in the image denotes two one-thousandths of one percent of the dark rectangle. The step-by-step mathematics outlined below permits preparation of a two-dimensional illustration like the one shown here that visually depicts the proportional amount of area occupied by two one-thousandths of 2/1000ths of one percent. one percent (1) Use imaging software to open a rectangle 500 pixels high by 350 pixels wide = 175,000 square pixels (Here: wine-red rectangle) (2) Thus, one percent of this area = (175,000) x (.01) equals 1750 square pixels (3) In addition, 1/1000ths of one percent = (1750) times (.001) equals1.750 square pixels (4) And two1000ths of one percent = (1750) x (.002) equals 3.5 square pixels (5) Calculating the square root of 3.5 square pixels equals 1.87 pixels, so that a square of (1.87 pix- els) by (1.87 pixels) equals 3.5 square pixelsReal-world population calamities Thus beginning with a rectangle of 500 x 350 pixels,in nearly “empty” environments a small square of 1.87 pixels by 1.87 pixels (length times width) would visually depict a physical region of two one-thousandths of one percent.
- 120. Supporting Math – Reindeer of St. Paul IslandConcerning V. B. Scheffer‟s classic reindeer climb- that the bodies of the entire herd of 2000 animalsand-collapse study on St. Paul Island, Alaska, our would physically-occupy a total of 2470 m2.estimate that the reindeer of St. Paul Island, Alaskaphysically-occupied approximately 2/1000ths of 1% of Since the area of St. Paul Island, Alaska is aboutthe island‟s total area at the time of collapse is 106,000,000 m2 (about 41 square miles), we nextderived as follows. subtract the 2470 m2 that are physically-occupied by the entire herd from the total area of the island, so L: Assume an average reindeer is approximately that (106,000,000 m2) minus (2470 m2) roughly 190 cm long equates to a total “unoccupied” area of about Female reindeer ~ 180 cm long; males ~ 200 cm 105,997,530 m2 that would visually appear to re- plus non-adults, etc., so average = ~190 cm main seemingly-available. W: Assume that the width of an average reindeer is approximately 65 cm wide Lastly, dividing the island‟s total unoccupied space (105,997,530 m2 ) by the total area of the island Girth will vary with time of year; food, pregnant . . . (106,000,000 m2) equates to the percentage of total females, and non-adults, so assume = ~ 65 cm unoccupied space at the time of the peak reindeer population, which was 0.999 976 or 99.998%. Thus the area physically-occupied by an average member of the population would equate to about Notice then that the collapse (and 99% die-off) of (190 cm) x (65 cm) or about 12,350 cm2 each the St. Paul Island reindeer population began at a time when 99.998% of the island‟s total area ap-Given a peak reindeer population of slightly more peared to remain theoretically-available, so that thethan 2000 animals, (2000) x (12,350 cm2) equates to herd‟s maximum population, along with its collapsea total physically-occupied area by all the reindeer of and catastrophic 99% die-off all took place and pro-the herd combined of approximately 24,700,000 cm2 ceeded to near annihilation in a surrounding en- vironment that visually appeared to remainOne square meter = 10,000 cm2, so that dividing24,700,000 cm2 by 10,000 equates to 2470 square almost entirely empty.meters physically-occupied by the entire herd, so
- 121. Supporting Math – Reindeer of St. Matthew IslandWe can apply the same approach to D.R. Klein‟s of the entire reindeer herd on St. Matthew Islandclassic reindeer climb-and-collapse study on St. would physically-occupy a total area of 7410 m2Matthew Island, Alaska (1968). Our estimate that Since the total area of St. Matthew Island, Alaskathe reindeer of St. Matthew Island physically-occu- is about 331,520 km2 (which equates to about 128pied approximately 2/1000ths of 1% of the island‟s square miles), then expressed as m2, the island‟stotal area at the time of collapse is derived as follows. total area equates to about 331,520,000 m2 . L: Assume an average reindeer is approximately Next, we subtract the 7410 m2 that are physically- 190 cm long occupied by the entire herd from the total square Females ~ 180 cm long; males ~ 200 cm long plus. . . meters of the island so that (331,520,000 m2) minus non-adults, etc. thus, thus averaging circa 190 cm (7410 m2) equates to a total “unoccupied” area of W: Assume that the width of an average reindeer approximately 331,512,590 m2. is approximately 65 cm wide Lastly, dividing the island‟s total unoccupied space Girth will vary with time of year; food, pregnant . . . (331,512,590 m2) by the total area of the island females, non-adults, etc., thus, roughly 65 cm (331,520,000 m2 ) gives the percentage of total unoccupied space on the island at the time of the Thus the area physically-occupied by an average maximum reindeer population, which was 0.999 978 member of the population would equal (190 cm) x or 99.998%. Notice then that the collapse and (65 cm) or approximately 12,350 cm2 each 99% die-off of the St. Matthew Island reindeer population began at a time when 99.998% of theGiven a peak reindeer population of St. Matthew isl- island‟s total area visually-appeared to remainand (1963) of slightly more than 6000 animals, (6000) seemingly-available, so that the herd‟s maximumtimes (12,350) equates to a total physically-occupiedarea of approximately 74,100,000 cm2 population, along with its collapse and catastrophic 99% die-off all took place and proceeded to near annihilation in a surrounding environment thatOne square meter = 10,000 cm2, so that dividing visually appeared to remain74,100,000 cm2 by 10,000 equates to about 7410 m2which means that taken together, the peak population almost entirely empty.
- 122. Easter Island?We assess Easter Island‟s historic climb-and-collapse human population data as outlined in JaredDiamond‟s book, Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2005) as follows:Area of the island = approximately 170 km2 (about 66 square miles) or about 170,939,215 square meters.Assuming a mid-range peak human population of approximately 15,000, and that the average individual inthe population physically-occupied approximately one square meter (standing), the combined area physic-ally-occupied by all 15,000 individuals combined would equal approximately 15,000 square meters.Therefore, given an island of approximately 170,939,215 square meters, if we subtract the approximately15,000 square meters physically-occupied by all 15,000 human inhabitants combined, we are left with aremainder of approximately 170,924,215 square meters of “unoccupied” “open-space” that would visually-appear to remain seemingly-available.Next, dividing the total “unoccupied” area (170,924,215 m2) by the island‟s total area of 170,939,212 m2,equates to an island that is 0.999912 unoccupied, or 99.991% empty.Thus we see that the mathematics suggests that a mid-range peak Easter Island human population reachedits peak and began its collapse even as “vast amounts of open-space” appeared to remain seemingly avail-able and its inhabitants seemed to be living in an environment that was almost entirely empty.Thus we see still another natural experiment that ended in collapse, this time involving a human society.Note, however, that the similarity of our situation and that of the peak population of Easter Island is notperfect, for the humans on Easter Island constituted a pre-industrial society that could kill its birds and
- 123. Easter Island?most of its seabirds, deforest its surroundings, andoverexploit its resources.Our own numbers, however, are both far greater, andour individual harmful impacts may have 50 or 100sor even1000s of times the impact of a single pre-industrialized individual.Also unlike us, the island‟s pre-industrial societywas a localized society that could not generatebillions of tons of CO2 and industrial wastes, de-grade and eradicate natural systems and plunderresources from all parts of the planet.In addition, they had no automobile exhausts, chlor-ofluorocarbons, logging concessions, mechanizedfishing fleets, fossil fuels, nuclear and industrialwastes, and investment portfolios with which tosimultaneously assault every corner of our planet.
- 124. Yes, we did notice the close agreement between the view of our planet itself.2/1000ths of 1% that turned up in the assessment ofdinoflagellate red-tides and the 2/1000ths of 1% figures Because we are, as individual creatures, such smallthat turned up independently in both of the mammalian beings compared to our planet, we tend to imagine,climb-and-collapse reindeer studies that we cite. again erroneously, that the earths atmosphere and seas are so immense that they must be relatively immune to the industrial and societal insults that weAlso, yes. We mathematically analyzed only the four inflict.cases cited, and were as surprised as anyone at thedegree of agreement in all four results, strongly sug- In mathematical and planetary terms, however, bothgesting that our natural, instinctive, or intuitive "open- earths atmosphere and its seas are extraordinarily thinspace" suppositions may be causing us to seriously and superficial surface films. Mathematically speaking,underestimate the proximity, extent, and degree of for example, 99.94% of our planet consists of its crust,danger that our present numbers may portend. mantle, and its molten interior and the thin layer of water that we refer to as an ocean exists only as an(And using an estimated peak population of preindus- inexpressibly thin and precarious surface film that istrial humans on Easter Island, as reported by Jared just 6/100ths of 1% as thick as the earth itself.Diamond in his book Collapse, of 15,000 - 30,000,analysis produces another tiny fractional portion of To illustrate this depth to scale on a model globe, we1%.) (And a typical, modern industrialized human would need a layer of water just 12/1000ths of an inchhas 50-100-1000s of times the impact of a single deep to proportionately represent the depth of earthspre-industrialized individual.) oceans. If we were to wipe a wet paper towel across a 40-cm globe, the film it leaves behind would be too In addition, the dangerous and widely-shared "vast deep to properly characterize the depth of earths open-space" suppositions that we have addressed in oceans.this presentation also extend to our widely-shared After What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet; Anson, 2011; Marine Biology and Ocean Science, Anson, 1996; and Planet Ocean, International Oceanographic Foundation, 1977.
- 125. In nature, population calamities in environments that visually appear to beALMOST COMPLETELY EMPTY are common enough to be disquieting and may have something to tell us about ourselves
- 126. This presentation is a courtesy of The Wecskaop ProjectIt is entirely free for non-commercial use by scientists, students, and educators anywhere in the world What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet Copyright 2013, The Wecskaop Project. All rights reserved.