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  World wildlife population halved in 40 years
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Author Topic: World wildlife population halved in 40 years  (Read 754 times)
politicus
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« on: September 29, 2014, 06:22:05 pm »
« edited: September 29, 2014, 06:30:03 pm by politicus »

Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.
Freshwater species have a fall of 76%. A tragedy.

Sometimes I wonder whether only a major epidemic killing off half of humanity can save the rest of the natural world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29418983
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NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 06:56:14 pm »

Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.
Freshwater species have a fall of 76%. A tragedy.

Sometimes I wonder whether only a major epidemic killing off half all of humanity can save the rest of the natural world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29418983


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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 06:57:33 pm »

I'm confused.  Are those drops the %age drops in the number of species or in the number of individual animals?
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homelycooking
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 08:01:23 pm »

There's no longer such a thing as "wildlife". This planet has been so thoroughly domesticated at this point that the terms "nature" and "the wild" no longer refer to discrete entities but to conceits that exist only within human minds. Even if the whole of humanity were to perish at once, the planet Earth would everywhere bear the mark of our powerful, intelligent and reckless species for the endless milennia to come.

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politicus
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 06:34:24 am »
« Edited: September 30, 2014, 06:37:00 am by politicus »

There's no longer such a thing as "wildlife". This planet has been so thoroughly domesticated at this point that the terms "nature" and "the wild" no longer refer to discrete entities but to conceits that exist only within human minds. Even if the whole of humanity were to perish at once, the planet Earth would everywhere bear the mark of our powerful, intelligent and reckless species for the endless milennia to come.


Having just returned from Greenland I can tell you that there are still huge areas not domesticated where nature is indeed very much wild. Anyway, this is besides the point. Animals and plant species are disappearing at an alarming pace and the habitats for non-domesticated animals are being ruined which together with poaching leads to dwindling populations. This isn't about discourse, perception or concepts.  No reason to intellectualize a real problem away.
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homelycooking
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 08:11:42 am »

By "domestication" I don't mean that we've taught polar bears and tigers to roll over and play fetch. I mean that they're drinking our water, breathing our air, and living on our land - and usually within increasingly close proximity to our homes and businesses. It seems to me that the solution to the problem you've described is non-interference - to leave them alone, to preserve their "wildness". We've entangled ourselves with them to such an extent that a laissez-faire approach to other living creatures is not possible. Whether we like it or not, and regardless of how capable we currently are, we are now their guardians.
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jfern
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 03:56:13 am »

By "domestication" I don't mean that we've taught polar bears and tigers to roll over and play fetch. I mean that they're drinking our water, breathing our air, and living on our land - and usually within increasingly close proximity to our homes and businesses. It seems to me that the solution to the problem you've described is non-interference - to leave them alone, to preserve their "wildness". We've entangled ourselves with them to such an extent that a laissez-faire approach to other living creatures is not possible. Whether we like it or not, and regardless of how capable we currently are, we are now their guardians.

Come on, the free market will magically solve this problem somehow.
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politicus
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 07:37:13 am »

I'm confused.  Are those drops the %age drops in the number of species or in the number of individual animals?


The latter.
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Beet
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 11:44:45 am »

Human beings are the real Ebola.
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Snowstalker's Last Stand
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 12:38:45 pm »


3deep5me
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 04:31:05 am »

Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.
Freshwater species have a fall of 76%. A tragedy.

Sometimes I wonder whether only a major epidemic killing off half of humanity can save the rest of the natural world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29418983

99.9% of humanity needs to disappear immediately.

And for the remaining 7 million people, serious family planning measures need to be implemented as well as a mandatory "green & sustainable lifestyle".

Under this scenario, the greenhouse gas emissions currently in the atmosphere would likely vanish over the next 100 years (which is the time for disintegration) and the world and wildlife population would recover.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 05:46:40 am »

By "domestication" I don't mean that we've taught polar bears and tigers to roll over and play fetch. I mean that they're drinking our water, breathing our air, and living on our land - and usually within increasingly close proximity to our homes and businesses. It seems to me that the solution to the problem you've described is non-interference - to leave them alone, to preserve their "wildness". We've entangled ourselves with them to such an extent that a laissez-faire approach to other living creatures is not possible. Whether we like it or not, and regardless of how capable we currently are, we are now their guardians.

We don't. Conservation is not the science of leaving all nature alone to grow forests everywhere, it's the practise of managing land to maintain maximum biodiversity.

Although, I do see some misanthropy in response to this, this is fundamentally the wrong approach to take from this crisis. We can maintain the environment (and I'm going to resist the urge to do a massive effortpost here, partly because I'm super tired; and also partly because I think I might do my next essay on this topic, and don't want to be accused of plagiarising myself).

Conservation needs to be smarter. A lot of feel good campaigns like "saving the turtle babies" - though great PR are pretty worthless (turtles have a naturally high infant mortality anyway, a lot of the recent turtle pop. decline is because of deaths in "pubescence" rather than "infancy") A campaign to save oceanic communities is most essential. For too long rich companies (Japan and a handful of EU countries are the worst offenders) have allowed their fishing fleets to simply obliterate fish stocks, leading to gigantic seasonal algal blooms (helped by fertiliser run-off near coasts and estuaries) and the mass de-oxygenation of fishing stocks. Rescuing ocean communities is essential in the fight against climate change, because it allows the oceans to increase their ability to sink carbon (in a less ridiculous and moronic way than "iron-seeding" which is freaking moronic).

If I would highlight one key demands stopping this decrease it would be to control man's satellite animals. I don't support enforced human population decline (let's face it, us greedy Westerners would be the first to go in such an event), but I see no reason to continue to spread our domestics with us. Cats and dogs should be highly regulated especially in islands like New Zealand, where they have been a terrible ecological disaster. I would enforce a law that all domestic pets would have to be sprayed before being bought, a law that might be unpopular, but I don't give a crap.

Man, all the above was crap. I am extremely hungover and am stuck waiting in between lectures feeling super crabby augh
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