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Nature on verge of collapse? UN report is shocking

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27 minutes ago, McJose said:

But do you teach every high school (one of the best in the nation) subject? 

I think he said one of the best in the county for the record. I haven’t gone back to look. 

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6 minutes ago, Hawkeye21 said:

There may be examples of wild animals that have become extinct and didn't affect the world in a drastic way but would you admit that there are some that would cause drastic affects.

To be honest, I can't think of a single wild animal species that if I heard went extinct I'd believe would cause a drastic lasting effect to myself or to humanity.

Apis mellifera likely is the closest, but I believe these are a domesticated species. 

There are definitely orders of wild animals and plants that humanity would be in a pickle without. 

Any wild loss though pales in comparison to the damage done to humanity if Oryza sativa went extinct overnight.

23 minutes ago, Skoo said:

We need them to survive.

HTH

There isn't a single wild species that humanity needs to survive. The hyperbole doesn't help your argument.

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4 minutes ago, Gawain said:

To be honest, I can't think of a single wild animal species that if I heard went extinct I'd believe would cause a drastic lasting effect to myself or to humanity.

Apis mellifera likely is the closest, but I believe these are a domesticated species. 

There are definitely orders of wild animals and plants that humanity would be in a pickle without. 

Any wild loss though pales in comparison to the damage done to humanity if Oryza sativa went extinct overnight.

There isn't a single wild species that humanity needs to survive. The hyperbole doesn't help your argument.

Bees are pretty important to the survival of a lot of other species.

Edited by Hawkeye21
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Consider the aurochs vs the domesticated cow.  

The adult aurochs in Northern Europe would have been a near-predatorless herbivore.  Imagine what that does to biodiversity and evolution of species, to have an animal that won’t eat other animals and isn’t hunted and killed by many (if any) other animals. Small species would hang around the aurochs for protection.  Wandering herds would fertilize huge tracts of land (unnecessary python and Dentist references) and track plant species across Europe. All kinds of craziness. 

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5 minutes ago, Snorkelson said:

I think he said one of the best in the county for the record. I haven’t gone back to look. 

Thank you, Dr. Snorkleson PhD.

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6 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Consider the aurochs vs the domesticated cow.  

The adult aurochs in Northern Europe would have been a near-predatorless herbivore.  Imagine what that does to biodiversity and evolution of species, to have an animal that won’t eat other animals and isn’t hunted and killed by many (if any) other animals. Small species would hang around the aurochs for protection.  Wandering herds would fertilize huge tracts of land (unnecessary python and Dentist references) and track plant species across Europe. All kinds of craziness. 

Even simply containing the last of the aurochs led to massive physical changes - when the last of the European version of the species went to Sicily and the land bridge was swallowed by the sea, they immediately started changing.  They developed to be smaller and weaker as a result of the reduced land mass they could cover, until they ultimately died out. 

Edited by Henry Ford

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14 minutes ago, 2Squirrels1Nut said:

Yet Trump seems hell bent on destroying it. He just eliminated the safety standards put in place after the BP disaster.  I'm guessing he has a "who cares about clean water, air, soil, I'll be dead in less than 30 years" attitude. 

One need only look at the massive deregulation in the energy sector to know that Trump doesn't care at all about the environment.

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Just now, Opie said:

70 years and half-a-trillion dollars later....what has the UN achieved?

Hasn't been a world war.

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5 minutes ago, badmojo1006 said:

Hasn't been a world war.

Sure, but in the 30 years before it was created there were only

[checks math]

two.

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2 minutes ago, Hawkeye21 said:

Bees are pretty important to the survival of a lot of other species.

That's why I put the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, in my reply. However, this is a domesticated insect. Any evolutionary pressures we're putting on the Western honeybee are artificial, not natural. I'm already pressing my wife to let me get a hive or two once we get off Long Island. But, if CCD or Varroa carries off the honey bee, there are tons of native species waiting to fill the pollinator vacuum. For example, the role that mason bees play in blueberry pollination in Maine is artificially suppressed by our use of the European honeybee. 

So, while I agree with your statement that bees are important to the survival of a lot of other species, I can't agree that a specific bee is that important and I'd advance the idea that there are other bees that could fill the void if we lost Apis mellifera.

16 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

The adult aurochs in Northern Europe would have been a near-predatorless herbivore.  Imagine what that does to biodiversity and evolution of species, to have an animal that won’t eat other animals and isn’t hunted and killed by many (if any) other animals. Small species would hang around the aurochs for protection.  Wandering herds would fertilize huge tracts of land (unnecessary python and Dentist references) and track plant species across Europe. All kinds of craziness. 

How is my life better if our great-great... hadn't killed off the Aurochs? How is it different? Not to be Panglossian, but it appears the death of the Aurochs didn't negatively impact Europe over the next couple hundred years. Moreover, it appears the Aurochs live on in domesticated cattle today.

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11 minutes ago, badmojo1006 said:

Hasn't been a world war.

Well yeah but besides that.  

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36 minutes ago, 2Squirrels1Nut said:

Yet Trump seems hell bent on destroying it. He just eliminated the safety standards put in place after the BP disaster.  I'm guessing he has a "who cares about clean water, air, soil, I'll be dead in less than 30 years" attitude. 

In my opinion the two worst Trump takes/policies

1) Environment

2) Ripping immigrant families apart that have already been living in the US

 

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1 minute ago, TripItUp said:

In my opinion the two worst Trump takes/policies

1) Environment

this took me 30 seconds and there's a lot more where this came from..

https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-offshore-driling-deepwater-horizon-2636183454.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

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40 minutes ago, Gawain said:

There isn't a single wild species that humanity needs to survive. The hyperbole doesn't help your argument.

We're talking mass extinction, not loss of a single wild species. That's what biodiversity is about. Also, "humanity needs to survive" is a value assumption you're making that I don't think is a primary consideration for others posting here.

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4 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

In my opinion the two worst Trump takes/policies

1) Environment

2) Ripping immigrant families apart that have already been living in the US

 

I know we’ve been at odds on a couple things here but we strongly agree here. I just hate how some people are so tribal about politics that they will bend to defend anything. 

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Going against the grain is only good if the grain is wrong. It’s not inherently a positive quality.

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1 hour ago, Gawain said:

Someone's going to have to answer the question of why wild animals are more valuable than those that live on a preserve or sanctuary. 

No. Only you can answer that question.

But watch a wolfpack work together to take down a moose in the wild...and then watch one feed on roadkill carcass in the zoo.

You will no longer have to ask such silly things.

 

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39 minutes ago, Gawain said:

That's why I put the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, in my reply. However, this is a domesticated insect. Any evolutionary pressures we're putting on the Western honeybee are artificial, not natural. I'm already pressing my wife to let me get a hive or two once we get off Long Island. But, if CCD or Varroa carries off the honey bee, there are tons of native species waiting to fill the pollinator vacuum. For example, the role that mason bees play in blueberry pollination in Maine is artificially suppressed by our use of the European honeybee. 

So, while I agree with your statement that bees are important to the survival of a lot of other species, I can't agree that a specific bee is that important and I'd advance the idea that there are other bees that could fill the void if we lost Apis mellifera.

How is my life better if our great-great... hadn't killed off the Aurochs? How is it different? Not to be Panglossian, but it appears the death of the Aurochs didn't negatively impact Europe over the next couple hundred years. Moreover, it appears the Aurochs live on in domesticated cattle today.

I feel like you skipped the first post.

The aurochs created an environment and a mini-ecosystem conducive to herbivore, insect, and carrion-feeding evolution.  Which is, again, something we desperately need in times of serious environmental change.  Does it matter now?  Maybe, maybe not.   Will it matter in 100 years? Almost certainly. 

Insects who have evolved to live in the fur of animals that have few or no predators and cannot remove them (like on the haunches of an aurochs) may be uniquely suited to survive outside the fur when temperatures rise a few degrees.  Or God knows what else will/did disappear or fail to appear as a result of the loss.  We need insects to survive as a species and for thousands upon thousands of other species to survive.  That's not going to happen in a farm situation, where we remove insects to maximize life expectancy, meat quality, and sale price.  Furthermore, the modern farm cow simply doesn't have the kind of instinct, range, or self defense to increase protection for smaller animals in the area.  Plus farmers shoo them off or kill them.

And how is our life different?  We can't know that.  Is the loss of the aurochs the reason the Sardinian Pika went extinct?  Could be.  Somewhat similar migration patterns, lot of land bridge crossings... and with the loss of the pika, is that why we lost the Sardinian dhole?  Seems like a decent hypothesis.  And what did that lead to?  What will it lead to?  

Edited by Henry Ford
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Another example is salmon. When people run salmon farms, they don't feed the salmon the same stuff they'd eat in the wild (because it'd be really hard to replicate/provide the variety of things wild salmon eat). As a result,  the farm raised salmon don't have the same nutrients wild salmon does - particularly one of those things that make it advisable to eat salmon, the omega-3 fatty acids. By constraining biodiversity, just for this one species, it definitely impacts not only that species but others downstream (humans in this case).

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5 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

A consequence of unbridled greed, self-interest and focus on short term benefits.

That's the human condition in a nutshell.

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2 hours ago, 2Squirrels1Nut said:

Yet Trump seems hell bent on destroying it. He just eliminated the safety standards put in place after the BP disaster.  I'm guessing he has a "who cares about clean water, air, soil, I'll be dead in less than 30 years" attitude. 

Hey man, that chit is good for the ECONOMY (that's an all caps worthy word, right?).

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There are always a lot of crazy ideas in these forums.  I'm sure some people think some of my ideas are pretty crazy.  

But the statement "who needs wild animals anyway" has to be one of the more ridiculous things I've seen.  I mean...seriously?

Edited by shader
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Given that we've:

Gone on massive deforestation sprees all over the planet over the last couple hundred years, reducing huge amounts of natural carbon sinks.

Burned up fossil fuels accumulated and sequestered for 10s of millions of years in the space of about 150 years, releasing all that C02 into the environment.

Engaged in animal husbandry industries that have resulted in increased methane emissions on a massive scale.

How could someone think that these things wouldn't have an impact on the environment?

Edited by Gr00vus
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2 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

Given that we've:

Gone on massive deforestation sprees all over the planet over the last couple hundred years, reducing huge amounts of natural carbon sinks.

Burned up fossil fuels accumulated and sequestered for 10s of millions of years in the space of about 150 years, releasing all that C02 into the environment.

Engaged in animal husbandry industries that have resulted in increased methane emissions on a massive scale.

How could someone think that these things wouldn't have an impact on the environment?

It boggles the mind.  The examples are literally staring people in the face.   You literally don't even need a scientific background to see it.  Scientific studies are obviously extremely important to figure out how to address problems...but they're entirely unnecessary to see the problems.

It's just insane and it's hard to believe there are people out there that don't think it's an issue.

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@Gawain

I think the best answer is this:

Why is biodiversity important? Because when crisis hits, only some of the animals and plants will survive. If the things that would survive are already dead, nothing will survive.  And then we will have to eat soylent green.  

And it’s people, Gawain.  It’s made of people. 

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2 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

Insects who have evolved to live in the fur of animals that have few or no predators and cannot remove them (like on the haunches of an aurochs) may be uniquely suited to survive outside the fur when temperatures rise a few degrees. 

So a bit like what's hurting the moose population of New England:
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/ticks-can-take-down-800-pound-moose/583189/

 

Chris Thomas addresses the shrinking biodiversity argument in, Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction.

Quote

If you take the mainland North America north of Mexican border, for which there’s good data, and mainland Europe, we know of more hybrid plant species in both of these regions that have come into existence over the last 300 years than we know of plant species that have become completely extinct.

Quote

The replacement of species is a normal operation of our biological planet. Species survive by moving from one place to another, not necessarily by surviving in exactly the same place in the long term. Yet many of our environmental strategies are about trying to keep things as they are. The way nature survives is often by moving around, not by staying as it is.

It's a bit Jeffersonian to think that nothing created was meant to disappear. The below isn't a bad argument and it's what I was pointing to with the Bige Mike / Cavendish banana distinction. If we were wiping out Orders, I'd agree. But when we look at vulnerable populations, it's genus and species. We're not losing all ruminants, we are losing Dutch Belted cattle.

12 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

@Gawain

I think the best answer is this:

Why is biodiversity important? Because when crisis hits, only some of the animals and plants will survive. If the things that would survive are already dead, nothing will survive.  And then we will have to eat soylent green.  

And it’s people, Gawain.  It’s made of people. 

Edited by Gawain

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40 minutes ago, Gawain said:

So a bit like what's hurting the moose population of New England:
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/ticks-can-take-down-800-pound-moose/583189/

 

Chris Thomas addresses the shrinking biodiversity argument in, Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction.

It's a bit Jeffersonian to think that nothing created was meant to disappear. 

I don’t think that.  I think that the current rate of disappearance is significantly faster than at all but a very select number of times in history.  Each of which was kind of a big deal. 

Edited by Henry Ford

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So besides pointing fingers and expecting government to solve the problem, what's everybody here doing on an individual level to help?

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3 hours ago, badmojo1006 said:

Hasn't been a world war.

...only wars all around the world.

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2 minutes ago, Opie said:

...only wars all around the world.

This false equivalency is as bad as those that say “it was a cold winter so how can  there be global warming“

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32 minutes ago, Opie said:

...only wars all around the world.

Really? Yes there have been skirmishes,  but a war to annihilate the planet?

No

Edited by badmojo1006

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13 minutes ago, badmojo1006 said:

Really? Yes there have been skirmishes,  but a war to anailite the planet?

No

Teehee. 

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4 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Teehee. 

:bag: That is one of those words that I can't even get close so auto-correct can fix it

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1 hour ago, Mr Anonymous said:

So besides pointing fingers and expecting government to solve the problem, what's everybody here doing on an individual level to help?

I don’t have kids

i recycle 

i don’t take plastic bags from stores

i will never buy bottled water again unless it is emergency.  I take my refillable tumbler when I travel, etc

i try to bike everywhere in the summer

75% of my meals are meat and dairy free

 

Edited by urbanhack

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1 hour ago, badmojo1006 said:

:bag: That is one of those words that I can't even get close so auto-correct can fix it

Back in my acting days I did Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  The actor playing Sebastian was.... shiny.  Not so sharp.  One of his lines was “What if he had said Widower Aeneas too?!”

The man pronounced it as “widower an##” for the entire rehearsal period and the full run of the show. 

Edited by Henry Ford
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1 hour ago, Mr Anonymous said:

So besides pointing fingers and expecting government to solve the problem, what's everybody here doing on an individual level to help?

I walk and bike as much as possible

I recycle 

I have reusable bags for when I shop so o don’t use plastic bags

I’ve organized and participated in some school field trips where we clean up a local river and plant trees in the neighborhood. 

Nothing earth shattering but trying. No individual will ever be able to make the impact a corporation or country can. Also it’s silly to say “expecting the government to solve the problem”. We are the government. There is nothing wrong with expecting us to come together to solve a problem we share.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr Anonymous said:

So besides pointing fingers and expecting government to solve the problem, what's everybody here doing on an individual level to help?

This question always strikes me as absurd. It’s as if, after JFK announced the moon project people said “forget about the government; what are YOU doing to get us to the moon?” 

This issue is too large for individuals to solve. We need to expect government to do it.

As far as pointing fingers, I am pointing them directly at the Republican Party and those conservatives who reject science. But I am also pointing the finger at @TripItUp and other conservatives who know the facts about climate change and yet continue to vote for GOP candidates under their current leadership. If you truly understand the urgency of this issue you cannot logically argue that other issues have priority; therefore your support of the GOP is indefensible. 

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Thinking this problem has any chance of being solved without individuals taking the initiative is the only thing that's absurd. And blaming the Republican party, lol. Yep it's all the Repulican party's fault. If we elect noting but Democrats, the planet will be saved!

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

If you truly understand the urgency of this issue you cannot logically argue that other issues have priority; therefore your support of the GOP is indefensible. 

Were you seriously directing this at me? Defense of the GOP? Are you high?

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1 minute ago, Mr Anonymous said:

Thinking this problem has any chance of being solved without individuals taking the initiative is the only thing that's absurd. And blaming the Republican party, lol. Yep it's all the Repulican party's fault. If we elect noting but Democrats, the planet will be saved!

On this issue, the Republicans consistently block all attempts to get anything accomplished, and when in power they roll back any previous accomplishments. Do you deny this? 

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12 minutes ago, timschochet said:

If you truly understand the urgency of this issue you cannot logically argue that other issues have priority; therefore your support of the GOP is indefensible. 

You probably type this from your gas guzzling SUV while eating a hamburger for dinner.  B-b-b-b-b-but Republicans

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Just now, Ramblin Wreck said:

You probably type this from your gas guzzling SUV while eating a hamburger for dinner.  B-b-b-b-b-but Republicans

I don’t have an SUV and I don’t eat hamburgers (I love them but I’m trying hard to lose weight). But again you’re missing the point. This has to be a big government effort. 

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I gotta apologize. I totally forgot when Dems had the planet rescued via holding both chambers of Congress and the Presidency in Obama's first two years.  They used that time to get all of those Earth-saving measures passed and we had this problem licked. Get outta here with this it's all one side's fault. Keep expecting Dems to do the work for humanity and see how far that gets you. They can't even bother to use mass transit or ground their private jets.

Edited by Mr Anonymous
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8 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

You probably type this from your gas guzzling SUV while eating a hamburger for dinner.  B-b-b-b-b-but Republicans

I believe it’s spelled “hamberder”

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8 minutes ago, Mr Anonymous said:

I gotta apologize. I totally forgot when Dems had the planet rescued via holding both chambers of Congress and the Presidency in Obama's first two years.  They used that time to get all of those Earth-saving measures passed and we had this problem licked. Get outta here with this it's all one side's fault. Keep expecting Dems to do the work for humanity and see how far that gets you. They can't even bother to use mass transit or ground their private jets.

 

17 minutes ago, Mr Anonymous said:

Thinking this problem has any chance of being solved without individuals taking the initiative is the only thing that's absurd. And blaming the Republican party, lol. Yep it's all the Repulican party's fault. If we elect noting but Democrats, the planet will be saved!

 

15 minutes ago, Mr Anonymous said:

Were you seriously directing this at me? Defense of the GOP? Are you high?

High?  Because those two posts above can easily be seen as defense of the GOP.

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1 minute ago, sho nuff said:

 

 

High?  Because those two posts above can easily be seen as defense of the GOP.

Tim's already clarified it was meant for someone else, chief.  

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