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Offline Gandalf The White  
#1 Posted : 15 October 2018 20:01:02(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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From the Washington Post:

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.
In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees had decreased by 45 percent. In places where long-term insect data are available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting. A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves.
The latest report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this startling loss of insect abundance extends to the Americas. The study’s authors implicate climate change in the loss of tropical invertebrates.
“This study in PNAS is a real wake-up call — a clarion call — that the phenomenon could be much, much bigger, and across many more ecosystems,” said David Wagner, an expert in invertebrate conservation at the University of Connecticut who was not involved with this research. He added: “This is one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read.”
Bradford Lister, a biologist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has been studying rain forest insects in Puerto Rico since the 1970s. If Puerto Rico is the island of enchantment — “la isla del encanto” — then its rain forest is “the enchanted forest on the enchanted isle,” he said. Birds and coqui frogs trill beneath a 50-foot-tall emerald canopy. The forest, named El Yunque, is well-protected. Spanish King Alfonso XII claimed the jungle as a 19th-century royal preserve. Decades later, Theodore Roosevelt made it a national reserve, and El Yunque remains the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest system.
“We went down in ’76, ’77 expressly to measure the resources: the insects and the insectivores in the rain forest, the birds, the frogs, the lizards,” Lister said.
He came back nearly 40 years later, with his colleague Andrés García, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. What the scientists did not see on their return troubled them. “Boy, it was immediately obvious when we went into that forest,” Lister said. Fewer birds flitted overhead. The butterflies, once abundant, had all but vanished.
García and Lister once again measured the forest’s insects and other invertebrates, a group called arthropods that includes spiders and centipedes. The researchers trapped arthropods on the ground in plates covered in a sticky glue, and raised several more plates about three feet into the canopy. The researchers also swept nets over the brush hundreds of times, collecting the critters that crawled through the vegetation.
Each technique revealed the biomass (the dry weight of all the captured invertebrates) had significantly decreased from 1976 to the present day. The sweep sample biomass decreased to a fourth or an eighth of what it had been. Between January 1977 and January 2013, the catch rate in the sticky ground traps fell 60-fold.
“Everything is dropping,” Lister said. The most common invertebrates in the rain forest — the moths, the butterflies, the grasshoppers, the spiders and others — are all far less abundant.
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“Holy crap,” Wagner said of the 60-fold loss.
Louisiana State University entomologist Timothy Schowalter, who is not an author of this recent report, has studied this forest since the 1990s. This research is consistent with his data, as well as the European biomass studies. “It takes these long-term sites, with consistent sampling across a long period of time, to document these trends,” he said. “I find their data pretty compelling.”
The study authors also trapped anole lizards, which eat arthropods, in the rain forest. They compared these numbers with counts from the 1970s. Anole biomass dropped by more than 30 percent. Some anole species have altogether disappeared from the interior forest.
Insect-eating frogs and birds plummeted, too. Another research team used mist nets to capture birds in 1990, and again in 2005. Captures fell by about 50 percent. Garcia and Lister analyzed the data with an eye on the insectivores. The ruddy quail dove, which eats fruits and seeds, had no population change. A brilliant green bird called the Puerto Rican tody, which eats bugs almost exclusively, diminished by 90 percent.
The food web appears to have been obliterated from the bottom. It’s credible that the authors link the cascade to arthropod loss, Schowalter said, because “you have all these different taxa showing the same trends — the insectivorous birds, frogs and lizards — but you don’t see those among seed-feeding birds.”
Lister and Garcia attribute this crash to climate. In the same 40-year period as the arthropod crash, the average high temperature in the rain forest increased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures in the tropics stick to a narrow band. The invertebrates that live there, likewise, are adapted to these temperatures and fare poorly outside them; bugs cannot regulate their internal heat.
A recent analysis of climate change and insects, published in August in the journal Science, predicts a decrease in tropical insect populations, according to an author of that study, Scott Merrill, who studies crop pests at the University of Vermont. In temperate regions farther from the equator, where insects can survive a wider range of temperatures, agricultural pests will devour more food as their metabolism increases, Merrill and his co-authors warned. But after a certain thermal threshold, insects will no longer lay eggs, he said, and their internal chemistry breaks down.
The authors of a 2017 study of vanished flying insects in Germany suggested other possible culprits, including pesticides and habitat loss. Arthropods around the globe also have to contend with pathogens and invasive species.
“It’s bewildering, and I’m scared to death that it’s actually death by a thousand cuts,” Wagner said. “One of the scariest parts about it is that we don’t have an obvious smoking gun here.” A particular danger to these arthropods, in his view, was not temperature but droughts and lack of rainfall.
Lister pointed out that, since 1969, pesticide use has fallen more than 80 percent in Puerto Rico. He does not know what else could be to blame. The study authors used a recent analytic method, invented by a professor of economics at Fordham University, to assess the role of heat. “It allows you to place a likelihood on variable X causing variable Y,” Lister said. “So we did that and then five out of our six populations we got the strongest possible support for heat causing those decreases in abundance of frogs and insects.”
The authors sorted out the effects of weather like hurricanes and still saw a consistent trend, Schowalter said, which makes a convincing case for climate.
“If anything, I think their results and caveats are understated. The gravity of their findings and ramifications for other animals, especially vertebrates, is hyperalarming,” Wagner said. But he is not convinced that climate change is the global driver of insect loss. “The decline of insects in northern Europe precedes that of climate change there,” he said. “Likewise, in New England, some tangible declines began in the 1950s.”
No matter the cause, all of the scientists agreed that more people should pay attention to the bugpocalypse.
“It’s a very scary thing,” Merrill said, that comes on the heels of a “gloomy, gloomy” U.N. report that estimated the world has a decade left to wrangle climate change under control. But “we can all step up,” he said, by using more fuel-efficient cars and turning off unused electronics. The Portland, Ore.-based Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year.
“Unfortunately, we have deaf ears in Washington,” Schowalter said. But those ears will listen at some point, he said, because our food supply will be in jeopardy.
Thirty-five percent of the world’s plant crops requires pollination by bees, wasps and other animals. And arthropods are more than just pollinators. They’re the planet’s wee custodians, toiling away in unnoticed or avoided corners. They chew up rotting wood and eat carrion. “And none of us want to have more carcasses around,” Schowalter said. Wild insects provide $57 billion worth of six-legged labor in the United States each year, according to a 2006 estimate.
The loss of insects and arthropods could further rend the rain forest’s food web, Lister warned, causing plant species to go extinct without pollinators. “If the tropical forests go it will be yet another catastrophic failure of the whole Earth system,” he said, “that will feed back on human beings in an almost unimaginable way.”

Location: South Cambridgeshire

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Brexit: proof that you can fool people into making a stupid choice

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Offline Devonian  
#2 Posted : 15 October 2018 20:44:17(UTC)
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Sigh

"In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way"

Nigel Farage, Daily Mirror, 16/5/2016

"I think the mistake the government made - led by Theresa May - from the start was to try and claim that a country that had voted 17 million to leave the EU, 16 million to stay, wanted a 100% Brexit"

Osborne, 22/12/18.

Offline Northern Sky  
#3 Posted : 16 October 2018 15:59:09(UTC)
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"The Portland, Ore.-based Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year."

That just about sums it up. When we are faced with such a huge issue we need far more than nonprofit environmental groups telling us to plant native flowers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I totally agree with it and have done so both at home and at work but it's not enough.

We need global action and massive commitment and investment from national governments. Everyone is up in arms about Brexit but the long term consequences of things like the above is far bigger. It's depressing but we have the means to take action to help change things for the better. Unfortunately I suspect something will only get done when profits are affected.

Offline Devonian  
#4 Posted : 16 October 2018 19:14:34(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

"The Portland, Ore.-based Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year."

That just about sums it up. When we are faced with such a huge issue we need far more than nonprofit environmental groups telling us to plant native flowers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I totally agree with it and have done so both at home and at work but it's not enough.

We need global action and massive commitment and investment from national governments. Everyone is up in arms about Brexit but the long term consequences of things like the above is far bigger. It's depressing but we have the means to take action to help change things for the better. Unfortunately I suspect something will only get done when profits are affected.

From  trumpist world? No chance.

"In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way"

Nigel Farage, Daily Mirror, 16/5/2016

"I think the mistake the government made - led by Theresa May - from the start was to try and claim that a country that had voted 17 million to leave the EU, 16 million to stay, wanted a 100% Brexit"

Osborne, 22/12/18.

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#5 Posted : 30 October 2018 08:56:16(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/1030/1007451-wwf_living_planet/

Without starting a "Decimation of Mammal Life" thread, I think that this is probably the best place for this link. A case of read it and weep, particularly when we know that something similar is happening to populations of birds, fish and insects. The question is, where does this all end and at what point does it impact on human life? 

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

User is suspended until 31/01/2293 12:26:49(UTC) Gray-Wolf  
#6 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:01:31(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Lionel Hutz Go to Quoted Post

https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/1030/1007451-wwf_living_planet/

Without starting a "Decimation of Mammal Life" thread, I think that this is probably the best place for this link. A case of read it and weep, particularly when we know that something similar is happening to populations of birds, fish and insects. The question is, where does this all end and at what point does it impact on human life? 

I blame my outlook for our planet on a childhood, in the 70's, spent watching wildlife documentaries on Sunday afternoons ( inevitably 'Anglia TV') that finished with a stark warning that if we did not alter our polluting/deforesting ways all we had just spent an hour watching would be lost.....

We did not 'alter' our ways and it would be closer to the truth to say we actually accelerated our destructive behaviours.

At the same time as I watched those progs Big Oil execs were being told what our oil burning ways would mean for our future and our planet.

Again we saw no change to the way we ordered/developed our world.

I feel sorry for the folk who were born after 1980 as they were born into a world well beyond saving.

 

Koyaanisqatsi

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS

Offline Maunder Minimum  
#7 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:12:17(UTC)
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The biggest problem facing our planet is that there are simply too many people - we are too successful as a species for our own good.

The solution will come when nature starts its inevitable cull of humans - a couple of billion of us need to disappear in short order, but once nature gets started, will the process stop? How many humans will be left if any? Or will we go the way of the dinosaurs?

When will the cull start? Given population growth projections, nature needs some cataclysm to occur within the next 50 years or so.

 

EUphiles will stop at nothing to prevent the UK from regaining its lost independence.
Offline Lionel Hutz  
#8 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:37:09(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Originally Posted by: Maunder Minimum Go to Quoted Post

The biggest problem facing our planet is that there are simply too many people - we are too successful as a species for our own good.

The solution will come when nature starts its inevitable cull of humans - a couple of billion of us need to disappear in short order, but once nature gets started, will the process stop? How many humans will be left if any? Or will we go the way of the dinosaurs?

When will the cull start? Given population growth projections, nature needs some cataclysm to occur within the next 50 years or so.

 

Something like this?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Grass

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#9 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:41:04(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Originally Posted by: Gray-Wolf Go to Quoted Post

 

I blame my outlook for our planet on a childhood, in the 70's, spent watching wildlife documentaries on Sunday afternoons ( inevitably 'Anglia TV') that finished with a stark warning that if we did not alter our polluting/deforesting ways all we had just spent an hour watching would be lost.....

We did not 'alter' our ways and it would be closer to the truth to say we actually accelerated our destructive behaviours.

At the same time as I watched those progs Big Oil execs were being told what our oil burning ways would mean for our future and our planet.

Again we saw no change to the way we ordered/developed our world.

I feel sorry for the folk who were born after 1980 as they were born into a world well beyond saving.

 

I think that that would be the great "Survival" series that you're thinking of. I used to see that on Irish TV as a child in the 70's also. We only had one channel back then(no UK channels and RTE only had one)!

Sadly, I rather suspect that it is probably beyond the capacity of mere primates such as ourselves to reform:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

The only solutions that I can see are "magic bullet" technological solutions(not as far fetched as the name might suggest) or a drastic reduction in human population.

Edited by user 30 October 2018 10:48:25(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

User is suspended until 31/01/2293 12:26:49(UTC) Gray-Wolf  
#10 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:54:03(UTC)
Gray-Wolf

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Originally Posted by: Maunder Minimum Go to Quoted Post

The biggest problem facing our planet is that there are simply too many people - we are too successful as a species for our own good.

The solution will come when nature starts its inevitable cull of humans - a couple of billion of us need to disappear in short order, but once nature gets started, will the process stop? How many humans will be left if any? Or will we go the way of the dinosaurs?

When will the cull start? Given population growth projections, nature needs some cataclysm to occur within the next 50 years or so.

 

The South American Caravan may well be the kind of signal that the 'Cull' is beginning?

With AGW pressures showing up as part of the reason for the migration we get a glimpse of just how fast , and how troubling, such mass transits are.

How will it be when Bangladesh or Pakistan up stakes and try to relocate to a more habitable climate?

How would russia deal with mass muslim migration into its southern borders?

How would Europe deal with mass African migration into its southern borders?

The spectre of flash points and an acceleration into outright war must emerge esp. if the Syrian refugee crisis, which is tiny compared to the scale of what we must expect, is anything to go by.

Don't get me wrong, I do not think 'Climate' will be the big killer once such mass migrations begin ,it will be man's intolerance to his fellow man.

Edited by user 30 October 2018 10:55:38(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Koyaanisqatsi

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS

Offline Gandalf The White  
#11 Posted : 30 October 2018 10:58:56(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Lionel Hutz Go to Quoted Post

https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/1030/1007451-wwf_living_planet/

Without starting a "Decimation of Mammal Life" thread, I think that this is probably the best place for this link. A case of read it and weep, particularly when we know that something similar is happening to populations of birds, fish and insects. The question is, where does this all end and at what point does it impact on human life? 

Yes, our impacts extend to all living things on the planet - even us, as the recent report on plastic found in human beings confirms.

The impacts on us will happen when ecosystems start to fail.  Arguably that’s happening in some places already - look at the exodus from Ecuador, for example, or the problems facing societies reliant on rapidly declining fish stocks.

The issue is that leaders in western countries and the likes of China and India will only wake up when their people are being affected. Even then it could be Trump like barriers up.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.2N 0.5E

Brexit: proof that you can fool people into making a stupid choice

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#12 Posted : 30 October 2018 11:36:58(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Yes, our impacts extend to all living things on the planet - even us, as the recent report on plastic found in human beings confirms.

The impacts on us will happen when ecosystems start to fail.  Arguably that’s happening in some places already - look at the exodus from Ecuador, for example, or the problems facing societies reliant on rapidly declining fish stocks.

The issue is that leaders in western countries and the likes of China and India will only wake up when their people are being affected. Even then it could be Trump like barriers up.

I'm sure that you're right about that. However, as a species, I don't think that we really take in what is happening globally as we always have a variety of explanations/excuses, e.g. things like this have always happened, this doesn't affect me, etc

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline Roger Parsons  
#13 Posted : 30 October 2018 14:59:19(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

"The Portland, Ore.-based Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year."

That just about sums it up. When we are faced with such a huge issue we need far more than nonprofit environmental groups telling us to plant native flowers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I totally agree with it and have done so both at home and at work but it's not enough.

We need global action and massive commitment and investment from national governments. Everyone is up in arms about Brexit but the long term consequences of things like the above is far bigger. It's depressing but we have the means to take action to help change things for the better. Unfortunately I suspect something will only get done when profits are affected.

You are right, NS. Worthy/well-meant backyard tinkering is no counterbalance for wholesale/industrial planet-wrecking.

No one put it better than Mahatma Gandhi: "Nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed."

Ecologists refer to "density-dependent factors" which contribute to population fluctuations. Here's a useful summary:

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/population-limiting-factors-17059572

 

I sum it up as "While there's death there's hope."

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Roger Parsons  
#14 Posted : 30 November 2018 08:38:16(UTC)
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An interesting article by Helen Briggs.

Extinction crisis: Five things you should know
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46385691



Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#15 Posted : 30 November 2018 08:48:06(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

An interesting article by Helen Briggs.

Extinction crisis: Five things you should know
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46385691



Roger

Good piece. It reminds us that there are small things that we can do to help individually(even if we're not going to solve the problem). Some of us(myself included) need to be reminded of this as often as possible.

Edited by user 30 November 2018 09:11:55(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline Gandalf The White  
#16 Posted : 30 November 2018 10:52:46(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Lionel Hutz Go to Quoted Post

 

Good piece. It reminds us that there are small things that we can do to help individually(even if we're not going to solve the problem). Some of us(myself included) need to be reminded of this as often as possible.

Indeed.

I noticed this comment; it is exactly what I suggested might need to happen in a post in the Climate Forum (and for which I got abuse from a certain person).

What you consume has implications for the health of the plant.

"I'm not saying that everyone should go vegetarian," says Ms Pașca Palmer. "But, there should be an understanding that our meat preferences contribute to climate change, which in turn contributes to affecting habitat and the ecosystems."

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.2N 0.5E

Brexit: proof that you can fool people into making a stupid choice

Offline Saint Snow  
#17 Posted : 30 November 2018 11:02:06(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Maunder Minimum Go to Quoted Post

The biggest problem facing our planet is that there are simply too many people - we are too successful as a species for our own good

 

I can't disagree.

Whilst western indigenous populations have stabilised (even with longer life expectancies), birth rates in the developing world continue to be idiotically unsustainable. The increasing populations in developing countries creates migrant pressures on western countries.

As populations increase, the demand for land increases and the great wildernesses - most crucially rainforest - are swallowed up. Add in corporate greed desperate for short-term profit from exploiting natural resources, and we're on a fast train to catastrophe.

People in the West are understandably reticent about being seen to be lecturing from gilded towers, with the accusation being that people in developing countries deserve to exploit their own natural resources to enrich themselves and have modern amenities, just like those developed countries did in the 19th and 20th centuries.

But we come back to the 'lifeboat analogy'.

Imagine there's a ship sinking with 100 people on board. There's one lifeboat and it holds an absolute maximum of 50; any more and it will sink. When that lifeboat is filled with 50 people, is it morally wrong for those in the lifeboat to paddle away and leave those 50 left in the sea to drown? Or should they do the alternative, which is not paddle away, allow the lifeboat to be swamped and then sink, with all 100 drowned?

 

 

Trump on Jeffrey Epstein:

"I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Martin

Home: St Helens (26m asl) Work: Manchester (75m asl)

A TWO addict since 14/12/01

Offline Saint Snow  
#18 Posted : 30 November 2018 11:11:47(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Indeed.

I noticed this comment; it is exactly what I suggested might need to happen in a post in the Climate Forum (and for which I got abuse from a certain person).

What you consume has implications for the health of the plant.

"I'm not saying that everyone should go vegetarian," says Ms Pașca Palmer. "But, there should be an understanding that our meat preferences contribute to climate change, which in turn contributes to affecting habitat and the ecosystems."

 

The diet of Western populations has changed only moderately over generations. Yes, we eat more meat than our grandparents did, but not by a huge proportion.

Some populations - the billion+ in China for instance - have radically changed their diets to mimic more the western preferences. The result has been a massive surge in meat consumption in many countries where the traditional diet for centuries has been one of only small quantities of meat.

We can trace much of this to irresponsible western corporations and their greed, flooding developing countries (or 'developing markets' as they're viewed in the corporate world) with the sort of advertising honed over years to create the impression that if they don't buy burgers/pizza/fried chicken/fizzy, flavoured sugar-water/whatever, then they're lesser human beings.

 

Trump on Jeffrey Epstein:

"I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Martin

Home: St Helens (26m asl) Work: Manchester (75m asl)

A TWO addict since 14/12/01

Offline Lionel Hutz  
#19 Posted : 30 November 2018 12:15:48(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Indeed.

I noticed this comment; it is exactly what I suggested might need to happen in a post in the Climate Forum (and for which I got abuse from a certain person).

What you consume has implications for the health of the plant.

"I'm not saying that everyone should go vegetarian," says Ms Pașca Palmer. "But, there should be an understanding that our meat preferences contribute to climate change, which in turn contributes to affecting habitat and the ecosystems."

I think that the individual in question may think that any suggestion that we need to curb our consumption is some sort of holier than thou, hypocritical rebuke. Obviously, some of us are better than others at curbing consumption, but that doesn't mean than we can't all of us do something to reduce our consumption. Nor should any of us object to this being pointed out to us.

Lionel Hutz

Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland

68m ASL

Offline Gandalf The White  
#20 Posted : 30 November 2018 12:37:10(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Maunder Minimum Go to Quoted Post

The biggest problem facing our planet is that there are simply too many people - we are too successful as a species for our own good.

The solution will come when nature starts its inevitable cull of humans - a couple of billion of us need to disappear in short order, but once nature gets started, will the process stop? How many humans will be left if any? Or will we go the way of the dinosaurs?

When will the cull start? Given population growth projections, nature needs some cataclysm to occur within the next 50 years or so.

 

Sadly that is exactly the case.

It amazes me that we seem to be fixated on living longer and solving every threat to human health.  Whilst at an individual level this is understandable, at the macro level it will need to be questioned.  If everyone lives longer that just adds to the global population and makes the problem worse.  We haven't even started to give this any thought and it's such a difficult topic.

The forecast is for global population to reach between 9 and 10 billion before it peaks.  Within that, the more developed economies are seeing birth rates dropping below replacement levels and the consequent fundamental change to the demographic profile (and hence the growing issues around immigration. where countries try to bring in younger workers).

Now, there are quite obvious stresses building up on the planet at 6-7 billion.  Whether it be food production, fresh water, energy or any other resources, there is growing recognition that there isn't another 50% to be found.  That's without the added effect of the world's population getting, on average, more prosperous and consuming more of everything.

If you do a bit of digging around you can see that fresh water is likely to be the first issue to bite.  That will affect food production as well.  Inevitably it will cause civil unrest and lead to armed conflict where nations dely on water origination in a neighbouring territory.

 

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