“Too-late” population calamities in environments that remain 99.

998% unoccupied

Three CLASSICAL examples of calamitous population-environment outcomes in real-world systems that remain ALMOST ENTIRELY ‘EMPTY’

“Too-late” population conditions in environments that remain 99.998% unoccupied
Three classical examples of calamitous population-environment environment boundaries and thresholds in real-world systems This article assesses THREE classical, classica separate, independent, and quintessential real-world populationenvironment calamities that all took place when the combined bodies (or cells) of the populations involinvol ths ved physically-occupied roughly 2/1000 of 1% of the total environmental area or volume that, visuallyvisually speaking, appeared to remain theoretically-available theoretically available to them (see tiny white dot in the image below). below

In other words, ALL THREE real-world real calamities began (or were already well-underway) underway) in “vast openopen space” conditions (roughly 99.998% unoccupied) that visually-appeared visually appeared to remain ALMOST ENTIRELY ‘EMPTY.’ The data sets assessed involve routine outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide red tide (e.g., Karenia brevis ) in marine environments (which induce environmental calamity by their release release of wastes into their surroundsurround ings), s), and two separate and classical climb-and-collapse climb collapse studies of mammalian populations (reindeer herds, Rangifer tarandus) on Alaskan islands (Scheffer 1951;and 1951;and Klein 1968). All three offer disquieting testimony concerning humankind’s “vast “ open-space” suppositions. This article outlines the supporting mathematics for each of the three examples cited above (see appendices) and discusses cusses their potential im implications for humankind. Given, for example, the visual appearance of such seemingly-vast vast 99.998% “unoccupied” and open-space space conditions, it would be extraordinarily difficult for even the most intelligent, thoughtful, and scholarly members of a sentient species to imagine either the degree or the proximity of the imminent 99%-plus die-offs offs and/or mass-mortalities mass that are about overtake them when such “vast amounts of open open-space” space” appear to remain theoretically theoretically-avail-

able in their surrounding environments, ronments, or which were actually already underway. What all three of our classical examples show quite powerfully powerfully, however, is that at if the scholars and leaders of such popu populations wait until the conditions depicted above develop, they will have ALREADY waited ‘too-long’. A further potentially-significant implication of this assessment is this: Since our own species produces far more wastes and inflicts far more eradications and damage than any of the three species referenced in the studies that we assess, humankind’s collective impacts in this respect appear to be multiple orders of magnitude worse - implying perhaps, that our own thresholds, dangers, and calamities calami might quite likely be expected to arrive even earlier or far sooner than those in the e classical examples reviewed here. here This is because, for example, the cumulative lifetime impacts inflicted by (or or in behalf of of) an average industrialized human being are tens, ens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater reater than those of an individual reindeer or unicellular dinoflagellate dinoflagellate. (For instance, neither the dinoflagellates nor the reindeer herds assessed here were technologically-advanced technologically organisms armed with chainsaws, earth-moving earth machinery, automobiles, long-line line fishing fleets, nuclear wastes, shopping malls, coal mines, and other means by which to speed, magnify, magnify and amplify the degree, extent, rapidity, , and efficiency of their individual and collective impacts. This means that the cumulative, ongoing, worldwide, ever ever-growing, and ever-widening adverse impacts acts that we collectively exert: (a) occur sooner, (b) are inflicted by fewer individual humans, (c) take place far more rapidly, and (d) accumulate ulate more quickly quickl and reach cumulative values, boundaries, limits, and thresholds far sooner so that they approach, reach, reach and potentially breach ecological limits sooner, more rapidly, and/or at an earlier moment in time. Part One Synopses of each of the three data sets assessed The first data that we assessed involved classical outbreaks of dinoflagellate red-tide red in marine environments. Such population explosions of one one-celled dinoflagellates (e.g., Karenia brevis) constitute one of nature’s quintessential examples of population explosions that culminate in mass mortalities and environenviron mental catastrophes. A typical catastrophic outcome, which may include deaths of millions of tons of fish (and even, for example, manatees) occurs as the cells responsible for the calamity reach, approach, or 1 exceed densities of approximately 1,000,000 cells per liter. In such outbreaks, dinoflagellate populapop tions release toxins (brevetoxins) into their surroundings (a characteristic worth noting, perhaps, since our own species appears to exhibit an extraordinarily extraordinarily-similar pattern of behavior). In this first assessment then, the results reported here show that all one million K. brevis cells per liter, when taken together, physically-occupy occupy a combined volume of ths less than 2/1000 of 1% of the one liter water samples in which they reside. In other words, they induce calamcal ity (by their production and release of wastes) in seemseem ingly “vast open-space space conditions” and in environmental surroundings that visually appear to remain ALMOST ENTIRELY EMPTY. What this mathematics shows therefore (and the red-rectangle rectangle that opens this article depicts), is i that calamitous outbreaks of red-tide red commonly reach, breach, and transgress calamitous environmental limits and thresholds at a time when all 1,000,000 dinoflageldinoflagel late cells per liter, when taken together, could physically physicallyfit into the tiny white dot in this article’s opening image and in environmental surroundings that remain roughly 99.998% unoccupied. The second study that we assessed was V.B. Scheffer's classic description of The rise and fall of a reindeer herd on St. Paul Island, Alaska reported in 1951 (Scientific ( Monthly 73:356-362). 73:356 That herd began in 1911 when the U.S. government introduced 25 reindeer to the approximately 106 km 2 island in the

Bering Sea (the article cites 26,500 acres). By 1938 the herd’s population peaked at more than 2000 individuals, after which a nearly-annihilating 99% die-off began which left just eight individuals remaining by the study’s close in 1950. (Our assessment in the appendix of this report shows that at the herd’s peak population, their combined bodies physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of their island’s total area, so that their peak population and their 99%-plus die-off both took place in surroundings that were 99.998% unoccupied.) The graph shown (previous page) reflects Scheffer’s data (1951) and depicts the classical climb-andcollapse data set of the study. Note that the graph of this classical, real-world population study does not exhibit a logistic or sigmoid-curve, but instead exemplifies the other classical population outcome known as climb-and-collapse. (The gap in the graph reflects data that were not able to be collected during World War II.) The third study that we assessed was another separate and independent reindeer study reported by D.R. Klein in 1968 entitled The introduction, increase, and crash of a reindeer herd on St. Matthew Island, Alaska (Journal of Wildlife Management 32:350-367). This study began in 1944 when 29 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) were introduced to the island. In the ensuing years, the herd increased to more than 6000 individuals by 1963, followed by a “nearly annihilating” 99% collapse prior to the close of the study in 1966. (The assessment in this report also shows that in this separate and independent study, at its peak population, their combined bodies physically-occupied roughly 2/1000ths of 1% of this island’s total area as well, so that their peak population and their 99%-plus die-off both took place in surroundings that were 99.998% unoccupied and which, visually-speaking, appeared to remain almost entirely ‘empty’ (See appendices for the supporting math for all three of the above assessments.) Part Two Preliminary Discussion and Potential Implications for Us? The data sets assessed show that in each of the three classical calamities that we examine, the openspace conditions in which the mortalities or die-offs began (or which were already well underway) do not constitute unique or unusual real-world events, but instead constitute quintessential real-world population transgressions of boundaries, thresholds, tipping points, and carrying capacities under “vast openspace” conditions.

Thus, it is provocative to note that, in ALL THREE studies assessed here, the tiny white dot in our lead image does not denote a ‘possible’ or ‘potential’ crisis that will eventually require, necessitate, or demand ths attention. Instead, for all three classical real-world studies, the tiny 2/1000 of 1% dot actually denotes a moment in time that is already “TOO LATE” (in other words, a moment in time in which members of

all three populations have already waited ‘TOO LONG’). Thus this article’s lead image (and the studies it reflects) denotes, for all three cases, a critical population-environment threshold that has ALREADY BEEN BREACHED, so that, if any of the populations were to avoid the calamitous outcomes that the image threshold denotes, their precautionary measures would have been required MUCH SOONER. How much sooner? To avoid calamity, each of the three populations would need to have stabilized their populations AT LEAST one or two (or for true safety, perhaps three or four) “doubling-times” sooner. (If that is the case, it would be necessary for the organisms, their societies, and their leaders to recognize, enunciate, and act upon their trajectories, implications, and outcomes at a time when the “combined occupancy dot” that they occupy is just one-half or one-quarter (or one-eighth or onesixteenth) of the size of the dot depicted in our image.) Thus, if the populations in each of the three examples that we cite were to avoid calamity, their precautionary and preventative actions would have been necessary at a far earlier point in time when they would have still had time in which to initiate preventive actions (one, two, or three or more doublings earlier). To display an image that denotes such earlier conditions would require a rectangle of the same size as our initial image combined with a dot that is one-half, one-fourth, or even one-eighth or one-sixteenth smaller. (An alternate means to depict such earlier “still safe, but preventative action needed” points in time would be to employ a dot of exactly the same size, but to place it in a rectangle that is (assuming one doubling time remaining) at least twice as large or (assuming two doubling times remaining) four times as large as the one used in this article’s lead image. And even such far more expansive “vast open-space” conditions would still leave the endangered populations sailing dangerously close to an unforgiving edge.)

Part Three Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and seas as razor-thin surface films An additional aspect of humankind’s seemingly-instinctive or innate “vast open-space” misperceptions appears to be our tendency to imagine that Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and seas, which visually-speaking appear to be so immense, must therefore be somehow immune to (or somehow “resilient” when confronted with) the enormous insults and impacts of tiny biological entities such as ourselves.

To correct such misperceptions, however, we need only to wipe a wet paper towel across the surface of a 50 cm model globe - for the thin-film of water that is left behind would be, mathematically-speaking, pro25 portionally too deep to correctly-depict the relative depths of Earth’s atmosphere and seas. In other

words, in mathematical and planetary reality, both earth's atmosphere and its seas are actually extraordinarily thin and superficial surface films. Mathematically speaking, for instance, 99.94% of the Earth consists of its crust, mantle, and its molten interior, while the thin layer of water that we refer to as an ocean exists only as an inexpressibly thin and ths precarious surface film that is just 6/100 of 1% as thick as the Earth itself. To illustrate this depth to ths scale on a model globe, we would need a layer of water just 3/100 of a cm deep to proportionately represent the depth of earth's oceans. If we were to wipe a wet paper towel across a 50-cm globe, the film it leaves behind would be too deep to properly characterize the depth of Earth's oceans (example is after International Oceanographic Foundation, 1977). Thus the planet-wide scales of eradication and degradation that we inflict upon Earth’s biospheric lifesupport machinery (or which are inflicted by our economies on our behalf) are not a localized phenomenon, but these eradications, together with our species-wide supplementary release of industrial and societal wastes, are inflicted on a worldwide scale, so that we are repeatedly and endlessly assaulting the “onion-skin-thin films” that comprise the lands, biosphere, atmosphere, and waters of the entire Earth on a daily, ongoing, planet-wide, and ever-increasing basis. Besides dinoflagellate red-tide, the other two classical examples of population catastrophes and mortalities that we cite (in environments that visually-appeared to remain almost entirely ‘empty’ or roughly 99.998% unoccupied, and with 99% plus die-offs in both cases) are seen in two separate and independent studies of mammals (reindeer) on two Alaskan islands (V.B. Scheffer, 1951 and D.R. Klein, 1968), so that in this single post we cite three separate, classical, independent, and quintessential documenttations of massive die-offs, mortalities, and/or population-environment calamities in “vast open-space” conditions and environmental surroundings that visually appear to remain ALMOST ENTIRELY EMPTY.

Part Four Tens, hundreds, or thousands of times earlier Finally, suppose that we wish to draw a similar rectangle intended to approximately-denote humankind’s own encounter with earth’s population-environment boundaries, thresholds, tipping points, and carrying capacities for a modern, industrialized humanity. The “earlier point in time” images that we envisioned earlier, for example (previous “Preliminary Discussion” section), imagined far larger rectangles, that are two, or four, or even eight times larger than the rectangle shown on our first page (or, alternatively, of employing far tinier dots in a rectangle of the same size). Note especially that such modifications would be necessary in order to depict earlier (and therefore safer) points in time which would enable an informed (and wiser?) population the time needed to respond early enough to avoid calamity. Given, however, a dot of exactly the same size as used in introductory image (first page), a human-oriented diagram would appear to require a rectangle that is tens, hundreds, (or even thousands?) of times larger than the one reflecting the three classical real-world studies reviewed here. For, while the tiny

white dot in the image shown below denotes the roughly 99.998% unoccupied “too late” conditions con that characterized all three classical ssical examples examined in this article, if we are interested in in possible implications of such studies for humankind and our planet’s life-support life support machinery, then the image reflecting the other species reviewed here may be far too optimistic. Why? Because the cumulative lifetime impacts inflicted by (or in behalf of) an average industrialized huhu man being are tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater than those of an individual reindeer or unicellular dinoflagellate. (For For example, neither the the dinoflagellates nor the reindeer herds assessed here were technologically-advanced advanced organisms with, for instance, chainsaws, earthearth-moving machinery, coal mines, automobiles, long-line line fishing fleets, nuclear wastes, shopping malls, and other means by which whi to speed, magnify, and amplify the degree, extent, ra-pidity, and efficiency of their individual and collective impacts. This means that the ongoing, additive, worldwide, and cumulative adverse impacts that we collectively exert are inflicted by fewer individual humans humans, take place far more rapidly, accumulate more quickly quickly, and reach cumulative ive values, boundaries, limits, and thresholds far sooner. And as a result, they reach and potentially breach ecological limits sooner, more rapidly, and/or at an earlier moment in time. Thus, imagine applying an average or industrialized ecological footprint (e.g., Rees, 1992, 1996; Wackernagel and Rees, 1994) for the whole of humankind, taken together, (or an average industrialized citizen’s “ecological damage-trail” ” after K. Thomas, 2010) or a similar approach to estimate potential worldwide population-environment thresholds lds for a modern and industrialized human population of humankind. In this way, humankind’s wastes, damages, impacts, and eradications are inflicted on a wider scale, and accumulate with greater speed, which causes our collective adverse impacts to carry us toward systemssystems failures thresholds tens, hundreds, hundreds or even thousands of times more quickly than unindustrialized unindustriali populations of reindeer and unicellular dinoflagellates. Part Five An Additional Worrisome Matter Lastly, beginning with humankind’s first atomic tests at Alamogordo, New Mexico in 1945, our species began to realize that dropping J-curves into complex equilibrial systems is not, perhaps, a particularly good idea. Note therefore, that the population graph shown left is most m emphatically not an s-curve, but instead exhibits a quite pronounced J-shape – which humankind is unleashing upon the only planetary lifelife support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the uniuni verse. In the past, we have always been able to count on the funcfunc tioning of earth’s natural atural systems as a given. Today, T however, our worldwide population has already become so large, large and is continuing to grow larger so rapidly rapidly, that such presumptions ptions are no longer warranted. (Try to imagine, for example, a team of astronauts in a space vehicle if they were to cannibalize 95% of their guidance and propulsion systems, annihilate 93% of their heat shields, ields, destroy 87% of their CO2 scrubbers, degrade 77% of their computer codes, and evisevis cerate the other life-support support systems of their spacecraft.) spacecraft. In a similar way, try to imagine the owner of a new and prispris tine automobile mobile who begins to systematically systematic degrade its multiple operating systems, degrading 50% of its steering syssys tem, 75% of its tires, res, and then destroying its carburetor, most of its spark plugs, half of its axles and brake shoes, and 93% of its ignition and electrical systems, systems while

simultaneously pouring additional contaminants each day into its gasoline, oil, radiator, battery, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. And then suppose that this individual can’t understand why his automobile, which “has always worked in the past,” doesn’t function anymore (Not so bright, is he?) Do we know anyone who seems to treat the only planetary life-support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the universe in a similar way? No rational astronauts, of course, would ever dream of inflicting such damage upon the vehicle that sustains their lives in space, and the rest of us would never dream of inflicting such levels of damage upon our automobiles - or upon the complex equilibrial systems of our own bodies and expect to even survive, much less continue to function as normal . Amazingly, however, we seem to suppose that we can systematically destroy, eradicate, and dismantle the only planetary life-support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the universe in a similar way. Why should we suppose that earth's biospheric life-support machinery is invulnerable?

Notice that the above has nothing to do with "running-out-of” food or resources or anything else but instead counsels the urgency of caution when it comes to the degree of sheer physical eradication and damage that we are inflicting on earth’s critical biospheric life-support machinery.

Randolph Femmer, Editor and Senior Advisor, The Wecskaop Project and Biospherics Literacy and Sustainability 101 – Five PowerPoints / Five Days What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet

A downloadable PowerPoint on these topics (Population crises in seemingly “empty” environments?) is available at

http://www.scribd.com/full/29285612?access_key= key-22u7vwxpigfg98aws6yx

Appendices which follow outline the supporting mathematics of the three data sets assessed.

Supporting Mathematics
Part One: Red-tides / Karenia brevis
Outbreaks of deadly red-tide typically contain 100,000 to 1,000,000 or more dinoflagellate cells (e.g., Karenia brevis) per liter. Our estimate based on Karenia brevis cells in a one-liter water sample taken from a representative outbreak of dinoflagellate red-tide is based on the mathematics outlined below. (1) A volume of one liter water (1000 cm3) (2) The approximate dimensions of a single cell of K. brevis :

L: ~ 30 um (approximately 0.03 mm) 1,2,3 W: ~ (approximately 0.035 mm) 1,2,3 (“a little wider than it is long") 1 D: ~ 10 – 15 um deep (10 um = .010 mm; 15 um = .015 mm) 1,2,3 (so average = ~ .0125 mm)
1 2

L. or approximately 0.0012 inches W: or about 0.0014 inches D: or approximately 0.0005 inches


Nierenberg, personal communication, 2008 (L: 18-45 um; W: 18-45 um; D: 10-15 um) Bushaw-Newton, K.L. and Sellner, K.G. 1999. Harmful Algal Blooms IN: NOAA’s State of the Coast Report, Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Floridamarine.org, 2008

The above values permit the following calculations: Since the volume of a typical cell of K. brevis is approximated by V = (L) x (W) x (D), then multiplying (0.03 mm) x (0.035 mm) x (0 .0125 mm) equates to an approximate vol volume of 0.000 013 125 mm3. If a single cell of K. brevis occupies approximately 0.000 013 125 mm3, then a population of one million cells found in a one-liter liter sample from an outbreak of red-tide red would give us (1,000,000) times (0.000 013 125 mm3) for a combined occupied volume of approximately 13.125 mm3 or 00.013 125 cm33 Given that a one liter water sample is equal to 1000 cm3, then (1000 cm3) minus (0.013 125 cm3) means that approximately 999.986 875 cm3 of unoccupied volume (of apparently “unoccupied empty space”) would still appear to rere main theoretically-available. Percentage Unoccupied If we divide the unoccupied volume (999 ( .986 875 cm3) by the total volume me of one liter (which is 1000 cm3) the result equates to a percentage of approximately 99.998 688% unoccupied volume. . Finally, noting that (100%) minus (99.998%) leaves 2/1000ths of 1%), informs us that taken together, all 1,000,000 K. brevis cells residing in the one-liter liter sample physically-occupy less than 2/1000ths of 1% of the water sample in which they reside, with seemingly-abundant abundant “vast open-space” open space” appearing to remain theoretically theoretically-available. This means that the above K. brevis population manages to routinely visit calamity upon itself and the aqueous aq environment in which it resides, even when the K. brevis cells themselves physically-occupy occupy less than two onethousandths of one percent of the total volume that appears to remain seemingly seemingly-available available in a surrounding environment that would visually-appear appear to be ALMOST ENTIRELY EMPTY. This demonstrates that, despite apparently enormous "open-space" "open space" conditions, and despite the fact that the K. brevis cells themselves occupy a volumetrically-insignificant volumetrically portion of the "open-space" space" that appears ap to remain seemingly available, they have, by their combined overpopulation overpo and each cell's production tion of invisible and calamitous wastes, catastrophically-damaged, altered, a and induced mass-mortality within the aqueous surroundings in which they reside. In other words, the calamitous population-environment outcome takes place in “vast open open-space” conditions that would visually-seem to remain rem almost entirely empty.

Mathematics used to generate 2/1000ths image
Here we outline the mathematics used to generate the wine-red rectangle in the illustration shown left. (1) Use imaging software to open a rectangle 500 pixels by 350 pixels wide = 175,000 sq. pixels (2) Calculate one percent of this area as follows: (175,000) x (.01) 1) = 1750 square pixels (3) Calculate 1/1000th of one percent as follows: (1750) x (.001) = 1.750 square pixels (4) Calculate 2/1000ths of one percent as follows: (1750) x (.002) = 3.5 square pixels (5) Calculate the square root of 3.5 square pixels (Which equates to 1.87 pixels)
Which means that in a rectangle of 175,000 square e pixels, a “dot” of dimensions (1.87 pixels) x (1.87 pixels) = 3.5 square pixels will proportiona proportionately equal 2/1000ths of one percent.

Part Two: V.B. Scheffer’s classic reindeer climb-and-collapse collapse study on St. Paul Island, Alaska (1951) (Rangifer tarandus) Our estimate that the reindeer of St. Paul Island, Alaska physically-occupied occupied roughly ths 2/1000 of 1%” of the island’s total area at the time of collapse is derived as follows: The study’s herd of reindeer reached a maximum population of a little over 2000 individuals. individuals First we assumed that an average reindeer is approximately 190 cm long (by assuming that the females average approximately 180 cm long with males about 200 cm long, so that as a rough assessment, we assumed an overall average of about 190 cm - or even somewhat less since some percentage tage were non non-adults). In a similar way, as a rough assessment we assumed that the width of an average reindeer was approxi approximately 65 cm, understanding, of course, that actual average girth would vary with the time of year, the number of pregnant females and a changing number of fawns and yearlings and and so forth, so for rough assessment purposes we assumed an average width of about 65 cm. Thus the area physically physically-occupied occupied by an average member of the population 2 would equal about (190 cm) x (65 cm) or approximately approxim 12,350 cm each Given a peak reindeer population of St. Paul island of slightly more than 2000 animals, (2000) x (12,350) equates to a phys2 ical occupancy of approximately 24,700,000 cm by the combined bodies of the entire herd. Since one square meter equals 10,000 cm2, then dividing the 2 above (24,700,000 cm ) by (10,000) reveals that, taken togetoge ther, the combined bodies of an entire herd of 2000 animals would physically-occupy a total of 2470 square meters. Since the area of St. Paul Island and Alaska is about 106,000,000 square meters or approximately 41 square miles, we next subtract the 2470 square meters that is physically physically-occupied by the entire herd from the total square meters of the island: (106,000,000 m2) minus (2470 m2) which equates to a total of 2 approximately 105,997,530 m that remain unoccupied. Lastly, dividing the total unoccupied space (105,997,530 square meters) by the island’s total area of approxi approximately 106,000,000 square meters gives us the approximate percentage of total unoccupied space at the time that the reindeer population was at its peak, which was 0.999 976 or about 999.998%1, which means that the St. Paul Island reindeer popupopu lation underwent a collapse involving a 99% die die-off in “vast open-space space conditions” conditions in a surrounding environment that would have visually-appeared visually to remain approximately .999.998%9 99.998% . empty.
The Scheffer article itself used 26,500 acres; 41 sq miles = 26,240 acres, and 41 sq miles = 106.189513 km2 or 106,189,512.52 m2 so that here, our assessment uses 106,000,000 m2 or 106 km2 as the island’s total area.

Part Three: We assessed a second classical population climb-and-collapse study reported by D.R. Klein in 1968- The introduction, increase, and crash of a reindeer herd on St. Matthew Island, Alaska. (JWM 32:350-367) In this study, which began in 1944 with 29 reindeer introduced to the island, the herd increased to more than 6000 individuals by 1963, followed by a 99% collapse in 1964 and leading to a close of the study in 1966. For purposes of this assessment. we used the same rough estimates of reindeer sizes as used in part two above. In this case, however, this island (St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea) was about three 2 times larger (approximately 331.52 km or 331,520,000 sq. meters or 128 square miles) and, in addition, the caribou herd grew to more than 6,000 individuals. Therefore, 6000 reindeer (males, females, and non-adults) which individually occupy an approximate av2 erage of 12,350 cm each, would occupy a combined total of (6000) times (12,350) which would equate to 2 an approximate total occupied area of about 74,100,000 cm for the entire herd. Next we convert this 2 number to square meters, dividing (74,100,000) by (10,000), which equates to approximately 7410 m of the island’s surface that is physically-occupied by the combined bodies of the entire herd. Taking, then, 2 2 the island’s total approximate area of 331,520,000 m and subtracting the 7410 m that are physically2 2 occupied by the reindeer herd, (331,520,000 m ) minus (7410 m ) equates to a total area of about 2 331,512,590 m of unoccupied space that would appear to remain seemingly available. Lastly, dividing the total unoccupied island area (331,512,590 m ) by the approximate total area of the 2 entire island (331,520,000 m ) equates to 0.999 975 869, or a reindeer peak population and ensuing near-annihilation in a habitat or environment that would have visually-appeared to remain . ...99.998%% eempty..
p.s. – Using mid-range Easter Island human population estimates from Jared Diamond’s book Collapse (a pre-industrial population with no ability to inflict industrialized levels of damage or to release industrialized levels of waste) yields closely-similar results (less than 3/1000ths of 1%)

p.s. – For an everyday setting that helps approximate the 2/1000ths of 1% occupied / 99.998% unoccupied proportions seen in the three studies cited here, the fol lowing example may be instructive: To proportionally depict 2/1000 of 1% on a basketball court would require a dot about half the size of a baseball Supporting math for above Basketball court (College/Secondary) 50’ x 84’ = 4200 sq. feet 1% of a basketball court = 4200 x .01 = 42 1/1000th of 1% = 42/1000 = 0.042 sq. ft. 2/1000th of 1% = 2 x 0.042 = 0.084 sq. ft. 2/1000th of 1% of a basketball court = 0.084 sq. ft 0.084 square feet = 12.096 square inches Area of a circle = (pi) x r2 Diameter of Basketball (Men’s size 7) = 9.39 inches // Radius = 9.39 divided by 2 = 4.695 Radius squared = 4.695 x 4.695 = 22.043 Area of a men’s basketball = (3.14) x (22.043) = 69.215 sq inches = 0.480 659 722 22 square feet Diameter of a baseball = about 3 inches in diameter (or 2 and 7/ 8ths) Area of a baseball = (pi) (r2) = 3.14 x (3) x (3) = 28.26 square inches

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G.F.N., 2010. Global Footprint Network at http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/ Accessed Feb, 2012. Global Footprint Network, 2010. http://www.footprintnetwork. org/en/index.php/GFN/ Accessed Feb, 2012. Hall, C. A. S. 2005. The great scientific cover-up of the most important issue in Western civilization. A presentation at the Adaptive Peaks Seminar, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY. Haub, C. 2011. What If Experts Are Wrong On World Population Growth?
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/what_if_experts_are_wrong_on _world_population_growth/2444/

International Oceanographic Foundation. 1977. An Unlikely Planet. Film: Planet Ocean Facility, RSMAS, Virginia Key, Florida. Kendall, H., et al., 1992. An Urgent Warning to Humanity. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA. Klein, D.R. 1968. The Introduction, Increase, and Crash of Reindeer on St. Matthew Island. Journal of Wildlife Management 32: 350-367. Klein, D.R. 1959. Saint Matthew Island reindeerrange study. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Spc. Sci. Rept.: Wildl. 43. Meadows, D., Randers, J., and D. Meadows. D. 2004. The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT.

http://www.evfit.com/footprint.htm Accessed
2012. Union of Concerned Scientists, 1992. An urgent warning to humanity. Cambridge, Ma. United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs Division, 2009. World Population Prospects: the 2008 revision, highlights. United Nations, NY. United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs Division, 2011. World Population Prospects: the 2010 revision, United Nations, NY.
http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm and http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/p2k0data.asp Accessed Feb, 2012 Earth’s oceans as thin surface films discussion is after an International Oceanographic Foundation film The Unlikely Planet, 1977, Planet Ocean, Virginia Key, Florida.

United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs Division, 2008. World Population Prospects: the 2006 revision, highlights. United Nations, NY. United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs Division, 2005. World Population Prospects: the 2004 revision, highlights. United Nations, NY. United Nations (U.N.) Population Division. 2003. Long-range World Population Projections: Proceedings of the United Nations Technical Working Group on Long-Range Population Projections, 30 June 2003. (ESA/P/WP.186). United Nations (2003a). World Population Prospects: The 2002 revision, volume III. United Nations, NY. Wackernagel, M. (1994). The ecological footprint and appropriated carrying capacity: A tool for planning toward sustainability. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning. Vancouver: UBC/SCARP. Wackernagel, M. and W. Rees, 1996. Our Ecological Footprint, New Society Press, British Columbia, Canada.

Australian Kevin Thomas has observed that, while the Rees / Wackernagel papers, concept, and mathematical calculations of an “ecological footprint” are both insightful and useful, that the term itself is “too benign,” and that the daily and lifetime impacts that each of us exert (or which are exerted in our behalf) might be more properly characterized as “ecological damage trails.”

Additional articles, presentations, and online resources
Online freely-downloadable population-environment- sustainability open-courseware PowerPoints and PDF resources courtesy of The Wecskaop Project (What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet) include (Feb 2012):
WHAT EVERY CITIZEN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OUR PLANET http://www.scribd.com/full/26119061?access_key=key1l335lvubous6humjet THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT DATA SET http://www.scribd.com/full/25205868?access_key=key185oi1iak3v0apsejby0 and http://en.calameo.com/read/000676519abbd58b7a1fb WHY 15.8 BILLION SHOULD BE VIEWED AS AN EMERGENCY http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/55268052?access_key=ke y-tov3iziacuwi8o8itf0 and http://en.calameo.com/read/0006765197cf493ba7071 PRESENTATION 1- INTRODUCTION TO WORLD POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519f0d6036053ca and http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/18366094?access_key=key20iiu722r2dhym1z49ua PRESENTATION 2 - POPULATION CALAMITIES IN LARGELY “EMPTY” ENVIRONMENTS? http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/18695522?access_key=key1w8nmjhkgenpvbqhmsad and http://www.calameo.com/read/0006765197e14be48b510 PRESENTATION 3 - ECOLOGICAL SERVICES AND BIOSPHERIC MACHINERY http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519ed54381073f0 and http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/30231732?access_key=keyx4cwny8s654eee30t8s and http://en.calameo.com/read/000676519c061743fccf1 PRESENTATION 4 : EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE AND SEAS AS ‘ONION-SKIN-THIN’ SURFACE FILMS http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/65245833?access_key=ke y-q5s0wrtfbqgmruaz934 PRESENTATION 5 – EXPONENTIAL MATHEMATICS IN POPULATION SYSTEMS http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/36312984?access_key=ke y-1c13jypzhjpi8z6luyu3 CONSERVATION - WHY 10% GOALS MAY PERMIT COLLAPSE [PDF] http://www.scribd.com/full/18030175?access_key=key-

cprix4htb45zxmqih5k and http://en.calameo.com/books/0006765197b170f41eeac POPULATION MOMENTUM … (… ON STEROIDS…)? [PDF] http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/74206577?access_key=ke y-1evk8690zl9s5oizw6ol and http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519911b1dd3185d DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION THEORY - NEW QUESTIONS [PDF] http://www.scribd.com/full/19805610?access_key=key26edj738ikczlrizhj5w POPULATION, CARRYING CAPACITY, AND LIMITING FACTORS [PDF] http://www.scribd.com/full/18200189?access_key=key226a157t58s60vfziy2m and http://en.calameo.com/read/0006765198abdce745e30 100 KEY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATIONAL COMPETENCIES [PDF] http://www.scribd.com/full/24864944?access_key=key1trf14l84r1cysefcbkq and http://en.calameo.com/read/000676519728242b963c2 SUMMARY OF HUMAN POPULATION HISTORY [PDF] http://en.calameo.com/read/000676519b01872a28c3b HOW BIG IS A BILLION? (A BILLION PAGES OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS?) [PDF] http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519a0f5f8d39904 AFRICA AND THE WORLD - AT THE CROSSROADS http://www.scribd.com/doc/72288200/Africa-MDGs-andthe-Power-of-today-s-Under-20s#fullscreen:on THRESHOLDS TIPPING POINTS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES [PDF] http://en.calameo.com/read/000676519640b1f233e50 LAG-TIMES, DELAYED FEEDBACKS, OVERSHOOT, AND COLLAPSE [PDF] http://en.calameo.com/read/00067651904a0cbc37940

DOWNLOADABLE POPULATION-ENVIRONMENT-SUSTAINABILITY GRAPHS AND IMAGES http://www.flickr.com/photos/pali_nalu BIOSPHERICS 101 for WORKSHOPS and INTRODUCTORY COURSES in 5 Days / Five PowerPoints http://www.scribd.com/TheWecskaopProject EXPONENTIAL and NON-LINEAR MATHEMATICS IN POPULATION SYSTEMS [PDFs 1, 2, 3, and 4] http://www.scribd.com/math_resources

Background THREE classical REAL-WORLD “Too-late” population calamities in environments
that remain 99.998% unoccupied - (Each population waited too-long)

We here offer the image below which depicts a remarkable 2/1000ths of one percent population threshold in three separate, classical, and independent real-world population-environment systems.

The image (above), which is our main topic in this article, depicts a disquieting 2/1000thsof 1% "toolate" – population threshold in THREE separate, classical, independent, REAL WORLD, and quintessential population-environment systems (In other words, in each case, the subject population “waited too-long"). Envision a college basketball court: To proportionally depict an equivalent 2/1000ths of 1% dot on a bas-ketball court would require a dot about half the size of a baseball. All three classical die-offs and/or mass mortalities reviewed in this article began (or were already well-underway) in vast-openspace conditions approximated by the image depicted above and the basketball court approximation just described. In effect, what we will see here are three separate, classical, and independent 99%-plus die-offs and/or even worse mass mortalities that each took place in surroundings that remained roughly 99.998% unoccupied and in seemingly "vast open-space" conditions that appeared to remain almost entirely 'empty.'

These examples argue quite powerfully that humankind’s seemingly-instinctive “vast open-space” suppositions are not only erroneous, but are so highly misleading as to invite calamity.
p.s. – Since our own species produces far more wastes and inflicts far more eradications and damage than any of the three classical species examined in this article, our impacts in this respect appear to be multiple orders of magnitude worse, implying perhaps, that our own thresholds, dangers, and calamities may arrive even sooner; even earlier than those in the classical examples reviewed here.

We anticipate that you will readily appreciate why we have chosen to share this with you.
A second image as well as our supporting mathematics also appear in our appendices (and is an extreme and quite pronounced J-curve). (Classical outbreaks of K. brevis dinoflagellate red-tide in marine systems and two separate and classical exponential climb and collapse / 99%-plus die-offs in mammals / reindeer populations Rangifer tarandus on Alaskan islands.)

It is interesting that it was not necessary to search every corner of the world's literature to seek out examples that conform to the above 2/1000 ths of 1% value. Instead, the value itself appeared mathematically on its own, and completely independently again and again in each of the very first three samples that we assessed. Because of our background in marine biology, we decided to first examine the population-environment calamities known as red-tides based on routine one-liter samples of Karenia brevis populations in a typical outbreak of 1,000,000 cells per liter. While it is routine for studies to quantify and report the number of organisms present per unit area or per unit volume, we used this same information, together with the approximate average size of such cells or individuals, to quantify two values: (1) The actual percentage of the physical sample that the combined bodies (or cells) of each population physically-occupied at the peak or threshold density at which the population-environment calamity manifested itself (and in all three of the classical and quintessential real-world examples that we cite, this percentage physically-occupied value was approximately 2/1000ths of 1% - or less – at the time of the peak population or the onset of the population-environment calamity involved). (2) We then used the percentage-occupied value obtained above (roughly 2/1000ths of 1% in all three cases), to calculate the percentage of the area or volume that remained physically-unoccupied and would appear to remain, visually-speaking, seemingly-available for further occupancy
(and in all three of the examples cited above, 100% of each sample minus roughly 2/1000ths of 1% area or volume physically-occupied equals roughly 99.998% of the surroundings that remain unoccupied, and which visually-speaking, appear to remain seemingly-available for further occupancy).

(Supporting math for all three examples can be provide separately upon request, and is alreadyoutlined and accessible online in the appendices of documents offered here and here.) The second example that we assessed was V.B. Scheffer's classic study of The rise and fall of a reindeer herd on an Alaskan island Scientific Monthly 73:356-362 (1951). That study began with the introduction of 25 reindeer to 41 sq. mile (their figures) St. Paul Island, Alaska in 1911. By 1938 the reindeer population peaked at more than 2000 individuals, and promptly began a 99% die-off which culminated with only eight surviving individuals at the close of the study in 1950. (We note here that a graph of the data, by the way, does not form a logistic or s-curve, but instead reflects the other classical population outcome known as climb-and-collapse.) To analyze the results for this assessment, we calculated the average approximate size of each individual in the herd at its

peak population, and calculated the total island area physically-occupied by all the individuals making up the entire herd at its peak numbers. Then we divided the area physically-occupied by the combined bodies of all the herd's individuals by the total island area that appeared to remain theoreticallyavailable, and, to our surprise, exactly the same 2/1000ths of 1% value seen in the Karenia brevis red-tide assessment appeared again - separately, unexpectedly, and independently To keep this short, the third example we tested was another similar, but separate and independent classical reindeer study by D.R. Klein, 1968: The introduction, increase, and crash of a reindeer herd on St. Matthew Island, Alaska Journal of Wildlife Management 32:350-367. (Between 1944 and 1963, a reindeer herd of 29 individuals was introduced to the 138 sq. mile island and then grew to more than 6000 individuals, followed again by another 99% die-off so that only 42 individuals survived by the close of the study in 1964.) Again we simply took the three relatively classical examples indicated above for preliminary assessment - and were astounded that, with no mental gymnastics whatsoever, all three data sets generated the 2/1000 ths of 1% threshold occupancy figures that we cite here. We do not pretend that these figures constitute anything universally descriptive in any way - but the fact that we see them repeat themselves three times (twice in separate and independent studies of mammalian populations as well as a third time in a population of mindless, unicellular marine dinoflagellates, is at least, perhaps, a bit provocative. Another way of describing these results? All three population-environment calamities actually began and reached their peak threshold values in environments that would visually appear to remain 99.998% EMPTY Look again at our attached image and imagine the most intelligent and sentient possible individuals in any of the populations.

Which, if any, members of any of these three populations could be convinced that their threshold with calamity could be so proximate when such "vast amounts of open-space" appear to remain so seemingly available?

- RF