A group of scientists warns that Earth is rapidly headed toward a catastrophic breakdown if humans don’t get their act together.
According to Stephanie Pappas at LiveScience, the researchers warn that the world is headed toward a tipping point marked by extinctions and unpredictable changes on a scale not seen since the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago.
“There is a very high possibility that by the end of the century, the Earth is going to be a very different place,” study researcher Anthony Barnosky told LiveScience. Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley, joined a group of 17 other scientists to warn that this new planet might not be a pleasant place to live. He added, “You can envision these state changes as a fast period of adjustment where we get pushed through the eye of the needle. As we’re going through the eye of the needle, that’s when we see political strife, economic strife, war and famine.”
Today, Barnosky said, humans are causing changes even faster than the natural ones that pushed back the glaciers – and the changes are bigger. Driven by a 35 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global temperatures are rising faster than they did back then, Barnosky said. Likewise, humans have completely transformed 43 percent of Earth’s land surface for cities and agriculture, compared with the 30 percent land surface transition that occurred at the end of the last glacial period. Meanwhile, the human population has exploded, putting ever more pressure on existing resources.
The results are difficult to predict, because tipping points, by their definition, take the planet into uncharted territory. Based on past transitions, Barnosky and his colleagues predict a major loss of species (during the end of the last glacial period, half of the large-bodied mammal species in the world disappeared), as well as changes in the makeup of species in various communities on the local level. Meanwhile, humans may well be knotting our own noose as we burn through Earth’s resources.
There are many mentions by Osho about the difficulties of the coming years for humanity and he speaks of widespread destruction; he also repeatedly hammers home the point that only meditation can be of any help to get out of the wheel of time:
“History is a wheel. It is a vicious circle, it goes on moving in the same rut. Many, many times man has become very civilized, and many, many times all civilization has disappeared from the earth. This is not for the first time that we have discovered science. Ancient records tell something else, a totally different story.
There is every possibility that the great continent of Atlantis was drowned not by a natural calamity but by atomic explosion. In Hindu scriptures particularly, great proofs are available that man had discovered all the technology that we have discovered. It is a rediscovery, it is not a discovery. The great war that is known as Mahabharata had almost all the weapons that we have now. Ancient Indian scriptures have stories about airplanes, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and things like that.
Now we are again coming to a point where a total destruction will happen. But a flower will be left and that will do, and again the whole story begins from ABC. Many times it has happened. This is not the first world that we are living in: many worlds have come and disappeared, many civilizations have come and disappeared. Many civilizations have reached the same peak of affluence, technology, knowhow. History is a repetition.
One has to learn how to get out of history and out of time. One has to learn how to get out of this wheel. One has to learn how to slip out of the very process of time, and that’s what meditation is all about.
The greatest contribution of the East to the world is nothing but meditation, because it teaches you how to get out of the mind. Mind is time, and time is history. When you get out of mind you get out of history and out of time. And when you are out of mind, time and history, where are you? You are in the whole, in the cosmic. You are in that orgasmic, organic unity called God.
Osho, The Guest, Ch 11, Q 3
Bhagawati, Osho News