The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

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The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 23rd, 2017, 4:36 am 

BBC TV News.

Longleat Safari Park is taking extreme measures to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction. They are becoming extinct because human beings have colonized their habitat and hunted them to the point where there are only three Northern White Rhino left in the world. And they are unable to breed. So 'conservation scientists' are using IVF techniques to save them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-en ... escue-plan

My question is, should they?

It occurred to me while watching this that the planet earth has entered into the anthropocene. It is now a human planet, and animals the likes of Rhino, which have had a long and venerable existence stomping around the African savanna for 50 million years, can now only exist as exhibits.

Is that an honorable condition? Or does it do the animal a greater dignity to let it pass into an equally venerable state of extinct species? According to google:

99 percent
More than 99 percent of all species, amounting to over five billion species, that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described.

Would not conservation scientists time and energies be better spent finding ways human beings can exist without wreaking similar destruction on the remaining natural habitat - than fighting to save this one species from a condition that will one day claim it in any case - only after an unnatural chapter at the end of a 50 million year natural history - as the exhibits of a safari park?
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 23rd, 2017, 7:51 am 

What a selfish bit of crap?
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Braininvat on July 23rd, 2017, 9:26 am 

Ties in with the point Graeme has made here (in his veganism thread) about humans using animals for their entertainment, and justifying their actions on the basis of that. And what of any white rhinos that are successfully brought into the world - for how long can they depend on fickle human policies and protections before they meet the same fate as the many ancestors who were edged out of territory and starved? Yes, put the funds for this into something really useful like overall ecosystem preservation.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Forest_Dump on July 23rd, 2017, 12:30 pm 

While I can understand some of the pessimism I am not sure it is necessary. There can always be hope. But I also find some of the premises to be odd and worth thinking about. As a starter, I thought it a bit quaint to describe rhinos as venerable, honorable or possessing dignity. I find it hard to consider death and extinction to be venerable states although granted sometimes, as a sentient being I can see the individual preference for death as preferable to a miserable remainder of an existence. These are traits variably expressed in humans, although I am not sure always warrented and I am far from certain these are anything other than odd and eccentric anthropomorphisms. Many animals do exhibit degrees of adaptability to different kinds of environments so I wonder at just how bad a life in confiment and as mere entertainment, etc. would really be in comparison with the alternatives. How far do we take some of this? Should we advocate that cats, dogs, aquarium fish, birds, etc., should all be prevented from breeding and go extinct simply because we can't put them back into some kind of natural environment? Isn't it possible that houses, aquariums, farms, zoos and safari parks, national parks, etc., have become natural environments? No environments have ever been fully static and stable and the 50,000,000 years some species of rhinos have been around have certainly seen plenty of shanges in the environments so that there have always been changes with some natural environments constantly going extinct but the descendents of its occupants simply making the new environments their "natural" one. In fact many species such as rats, cockroaches, pigeons and raccoons have certainly made some ugly human environments their natural homes. Should we try to make all these extinct just because to some people's esthetics, it is not their old traditional natural environment? Would we be doing them a favour? Of course, although a bit of a trangent, the "death before captivity" would be an interesting one to bring out in arguments about capital punishment. I do acknowledge the OP doesn't advocate actually going out and killing the rhinos but it certainly has implications for the future generations. And it does raise questions about broader health sciences directed towards procreation, assisting in births, fertility, etc. As to how people decide to spend their money, thats a whole different topic. So long as what they are doing doesn't cause any unnecessary suffering, I can't see the problem.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 23rd, 2017, 1:41 pm 

The amount of knowledge gained from trying to prevent extinction of a species and all associated with it about habitat restoration, human psychology, and learning about the natural systems that support us is hard to put a value on. May as well ask the question, should we put money and effort into trying to build a faster car, or a faster computer.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 23rd, 2017, 2:20 pm 

I just found it selfish and offensive to suggest just letting the last three rhino's die off in such a casual comment as if it happens, ?? not our fault??

I was just hearing the news this morning about a small field butterfly, surviving in very small numbers, AND WE CAN HELP, planting native plants and grasses on our properties. Why not let them pass into extinction as well?

Or why not take is as a sign of things coming, fast. (As we kill off the natural environment.) Science is no longer warning of conditions that may happen one day. One day is here. Over use of pesticides, is no longer a future possible hazard? We are losing our insect populations and not just the bees, which is bad enough and news worthy. We are also losing insects across the board, which may cause a decline in the song birds population.

Yes I get the point of the OP was something different but I think it casually misses a bigger point.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 24th, 2017, 4:08 am 

Watson » July 23rd, 2017, 7:20 pm wrote:I just found it selfish and offensive to suggest just letting the last three rhino's die off in such a casual comment as if it happens, ?? not our fault??

I was just hearing the news this morning about a small field butterfly, surviving in very small numbers, AND WE CAN HELP, planting native plants and grasses on our properties. Why not let them pass into extinction as well?

Or why not take is as a sign of things coming, fast. (As we kill off the natural environment.) Science is no longer warning of conditions that may happen one day. One day is here. Over use of pesticides, is no longer a future possible hazard? We are losing our insect populations and not just the bees, which is bad enough and news worthy. We are also losing insects across the board, which may cause a decline in the song birds population.

Yes I get the point of the OP was something different but I think it casually misses a bigger point.



I am utterly delighted you hated my post. But ditto - you missed my point also. I refuse to accept my remarks are anything so shallow as selfish. There is no attempt or desire to avoid responsibility for the changes we have wrought to the planet. Quite the opposite. Rather there is an explicit acknowledgement that we are responsible, and an implicit call to be worthy of the claim we have staked to the planet earth.

My argument is that this is a human world now, irrefutably and irreversibly. Consequently, an animal such as the Rhino can have no sensible, dignified place in it - and in this case therefore, I lean toward suggesting nature should be allowed to take its course. I suggest the extraordinary efforts being made to preserve the existence of this one animal, that in nature finds itself under increasing pressure from human habitation - is not a sensible use of the conservation scientists time, effort and resources.

I would argue conservation science would be better concerned with what can sensibly be conserved in what must, in the anthropocene, be at best - a managed 'natural' environment - and working on the economics, politics and science of how humans can live with, and sensibly manage, some part of what remains. Otherwise, it seems to me that conservation science is a museum curators job - preserving examples of living exhibits that have some perverse rarity value - that in some weird way excuses the overall devastation wrought by human activities conservation science is otherwise, entirely unconcerned with.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 24th, 2017, 4:27 am 

Forest Dump - far from being an aside, I found your comments very insightful, and pertinent. I'm not going to attempt to answer them, for they are in many cases rhetorical questions - that serve merely to carry the thought.

I wonder if rhino traipsing around rainy Wiltshire can be content - to be frank, and further think there's something quite sad about the last few of a kind, kept artificially extant as a sop to a human guilty conscience.

Given the fact that 86% of existing species haven't even been cataloged - I cannot see the efficacy in a piecemeal approach to conservation science. Unless this singular act of conservation is a part of an overall, larger plan. Is it? Probably not!
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 24th, 2017, 9:23 am 

If the argument is whether to spent resources on saving the last three rhino's based on the near term and even long term life, then financially no, and contribution value added, no. But it is a black mark against the human race to have it happen, and darker mark still to casually and deliberately let it happen.

We, as a population are driving this planet to extinction and the signs are there to be read. We cut and cultivate the natural environment globally killing off all levels of wild life. Then we arbitrarily douse the lands with chemicals to kill off any remaining natural vegetation, collectively referred to as weeds. In a second pass we collectively douse any remaining insects. All for the $$ of the maximum crop yield per square inch of ground.
Is it all people, or just western culture that would chase even a blemished dollar bill, off a cliff and splat happy if they caught it.
So it is not that you are wrong. It is just frustrating to think that is the direction of the conversation.
Last edited by Watson on July 24th, 2017, 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Braininvat on July 24th, 2017, 9:47 am 

Unless the rhino saving is more than, as Uninf. put it, a sop to a guilty conscience, then it's not doing much. If it's part of a larger plan to implement a comprehensive approach to conservation - everything from native flora to bees to top predators - then yes, it could form a rallying point for supporters and new recruits to the cause. That's what the spotted owl did in the Pacific Northwest of the USA - to save it, a barometer species, meant saving stands of old growth forest ecosystem.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 24th, 2017, 1:35 pm 

uninfinite » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:08 am wrote: I refuse to accept my remarks are anything so shallow as selfish.


My argument is that this is a human world now, irrefutably and irreversibly. Consequently, an animal such as the Rhino can have no sensible, dignified place in it

I lean toward suggesting nature should be allowed to take its course.


Do the math. Something isn't adding up here.

Not selfish or shallow. Human world. Nature.

There is some conflicting thought there between human world, nature taking its course, and shallowness of the belief humans control the world.

If people can get outside their arrogant human idea they will realize that they depend on this natural system and all the relationship in it make us who we are. We might be in the Anthropocene, but the natural world can still kill us off. Can we make an obvious ecological relationship between the rhino and humans? Probably not so easily but when you start to put energy and time into these efforts you learn things like maybe the Rhino dung is important to an insect to thrive which is then important to pollinating a plant that ancient hominids evolved on.

The point is that you don't know what you will learn.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 24th, 2017, 3:20 pm 

uninfinite wrote: I refuse to accept my remarks are anything so shallow as selfish.


uninfinite wrote:My argument is that this is a human world now, irrefutably and irreversibly. Consequently, an animal such as the Rhino can have no sensible, dignified place in it


uninfinite wrote:I lean toward suggesting nature should be allowed to take its course.


zertreque wrote:Do the math. Something isn't adding up here.


What maths? Mathematics is not relevant to the issue at hand. It's more an issue of moral philosophy and the politics of conservation science.

Not selfish or shallow. Human world. Nature. There is some conflicting thought there between human world, nature taking its course, and shallowness of the belief humans control the world.


Inherent conflict is what makes it an interesting question. What do you consider shallow about the fact that humans control the world? This rhino cannot breed. There are only 3 of them left alive. Naturally, they will die out. Humans are using artificial insemination to keep the species in existence. The question is - is this a good idea? What annoys me is the automatic assumption that it is a good idea. So I ask you - what's good about it?

I don't believe I mentioned control at all. But human beings are conscious animals, aware of and thus responsible for what they do. I might have used the term 'ownership' rather than control; if we controlled the world we wouldn't have this problem. But humankind does own the world - whether we like it or not, and ownership confers responsibility.

I would suggest we need to act responsibly with regard to our ownership of the planet and I would ask whether that includes going to extraordinary lengths to keep a particular species of rhino one step from extinction for no particular reason than the assumption it's a good idea. For me, it's just another random act from people in possession but not in control - like we were children in possession of a car, fighting over how to drive it... whilst driving it??

If people can get outside their arrogant human idea they will realize that they depend on this natural system and all the relationship in it make us who we are. We might be in the Anthropocene, but the natural world can still kill us off. Can we make an obvious ecological relationship between the rhino and humans? Probably not so easily but when you start to put energy and time into these efforts you learn things like maybe the Rhino dung is important to an insect to thrive which is then important to pollinating a plant that ancient hominids evolved on. The point is that you don't know what you will learn.
[/quote]

I do entirely appreciate that we are dependent upon a viable ecosystem for our survival - but other than Brainvat's comment about 'barometer species' - considered indicators of the general health of an overall ecosystem, I cannot see any reason for this act of supposed conservation. There is perhaps some knowledge to be gained from the process of artificial insemination - I can see that, but I find it very difficult to see the virtue of this particular act - and wonder whether conservation science shouldn't be about the broader issue of how humans can live as part of a sustainable environment.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 24th, 2017, 4:04 pm 

I think it is that same attitude that is so prevalent over the passed decades that got us here. Concentrating on the broader issues is buzz-talk for not actually doing anything specific. More talking about what to do,than actually doing anything. Sustainable environment means making the environment conform to our needs. In most cases the sustainable environment is best left alone.

To be trumpeting from a soapbox about letting go of a few useless rhino's is not the point. Next you'll be going on about the killer Right Whales, and letting them die off, cause the boat gas money could be better spent elsewhere. How small a population, or how near extinction need a species need get before we decide to give up on them?
By the logic I'm hearing, any efforts toward helping is a bit of a waste.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 24th, 2017, 4:54 pm 

Watson » July 24th, 2017, 2:23 pm wrote:If the argument is whether to spent resources on saving the last three rhino's based on the near term and even long term life, then financially no, and contribution value added, no. But it is a black mark against the human race to have it happen, and darker mark still to casually and deliberately let it happen.

We, as a population are driving this planet to extinction and the signs are there to be read. We cut and cultivate the natural environment globally killing off all levels of wild life. Then we arbitrarily douse the lands with chemicals to kill off any remaining natural vegetation, collectively referred to as weeds. In a second pass we collectively douse any remaining insects. All for the $$ of the maximum crop yield per square inch of ground.
Is it all people, or just western culture that would chase even a blemished dollar bill, off a cliff and splat happy if they caught it. So it is not that you are wrong. It is just frustrating to think that is the direction of the conversation.



Remember Chernobyl? The surrounding area, evacuated for the sake of human health - has been quickly reclaimed by nature. Nature is far more resilient than we give it credit for - and we are much too soft, too dependent upon the artificial environmental conditions we make for ourselves. Arguably, we will be among the first things nature shucks off when it can no longer tolerate our existence. Unless we take strong measures to tackle climate change now, the melting of the polar ice caps will drown all the coastal cities, while changing rainfall patterns and sunlight will make farming almost impossible. Human civilization would collapse and billions starve to death. From nature's POV - that's problem solved. Chernobyl like, nature will then reclaim the world. In short, it's us who are under threat from the changes we make - not nature per se.

Yet perversely, somehow, the same quality of thought that holds the preservation of this rhino is a good thing in and of itself - wouldn't care that a creature as unique and wonderful as the human being were wiped out. In much the same way that life itself is an addition to an otherwise inanimate universe, human beings add the quality of self reflection, the ability of the universe to know itself, be aware and act intentionally. Surely we are to a mere animate life-form like this rhino - qualitatively more significant, than this rhino is to a rock.

Thus conservation science is wasting its time and energy on this rhino - because it should be about conserving an environment able to support human life. It's us who are under threat from the changes we are making; nature will be fine. It can start over from bacteria if it has to. We however cannot.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 24th, 2017, 6:18 pm 

Are humans any different than any other invasive species that moves in, or is brought in and thrives in the new environment, grows exponentially in numbers due to lack of predatory controls? No, no difference.
Sorry, I just done have the same pedestal on which to place us. Nor do I believe we have the same ultimate right you seem to bestow us with.
Yes nature can survive to some extent in a radio active environment, but that is hardly the point.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Braininvat on July 24th, 2017, 7:42 pm 

Let's sharpen the philosophic question a wee bit: what if the endangered species in question were a creature that preferentially stalked and killed humans? Should preservation of the...um, let's call it the Chupacabra....take precedence over other considerations? Are we just another cog in the greater ecosystem and should accept a certain mortality rate due to Chupacabra predation? Would you feel PETA was justified in holding public demonstrations to ban all Chupacabra hunting?
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 24th, 2017, 9:04 pm 

Braininvat » July 25th, 2017, 12:42 am wrote:Let's sharpen the philosophic question a wee bit: what if the endangered species in question were a creature that preferentially stalked and killed humans? Should preservation of the...um, let's call it the Chupacabra....take precedence over other considerations? Are we just another cog in the greater ecosystem and should accept a certain mortality rate due to Chupacabra predation? Would you feel PETA was justified in holding public demonstrations to ban all Chupacabra hunting?



Therein lies my point. I would have no compunction whatsoever in wiping this creature from the face of the earth. Indeed, I think we should do everything possible to make the mosquito extinct. And it wouldn't be any different to me if the Chupacabra were a cute mammal; if it preyed on people - even third world people, I'd want it dead - and believe it were entirely within our right to make that call.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 25th, 2017, 10:17 am 

And that's not a selfish attitude? But as you would have it, lets imagine doubling the human world population. And for kick, lets double it again, and again, and again. We already have a mild immigration strain from one silly war evacuating a country. How about a global population crush that makes boarders meaningless. Fun place you are going for, but good of you to think of the third world folks. "Even them"?
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 25th, 2017, 11:23 am 

Watson » July 25th, 2017, 3:17 pm wrote:And that's not a selfish attitude? ...but good of you to think of the third world folks. "Even them"?


I'm not sure what your failure to recognize a tongue in cheek remark has to do with the fabled people eating Chupacabra - but given that almost the entire basis of horror is the fear of being eaten, I'd want it wiped out. Call that selfish if you like, but kill or be killed - the Chupacabra would have to go!
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Braininvat on July 25th, 2017, 11:48 am 

It is just important to recognize our biases, when we talk about saving single species. We have always battled with species that genuinely threaten our lives. No one, for example, is likely to get too exercised about saving the hyena if it becomes endangered, unless they live very far from hyena habitats. Hyenas will come up to a hiker and rip a giant chunk out of the calf muscle, without provocation. Every year, people are seriously maimed by hyenas. They also lack the cuteness of baby seals, or the elegant beauty of tigers. In a stressful environment, where ecosystem degradation has decreased the hyena's usual scavenging opportunities, there is no doubt that hyena attacks on humans would increase. At some point, one must recognize it is not selfish to say that people matter and that we don't want to become some animal's dinner.

Solving the population crisis is important, but letting hostile species have their way with us doesn't strike me as the ideal solution. Nor does starving people by setting aside arable land for game preserves. Nor does encouraging mosquito proliferation, as Uninfinite referred to. What do we think about wiping out mosquitos and losing a few bird species that are so specialized in their diets that they would starve without them? Weigh that against the prevention of hundreds of millions of suffering and dying from mosquito-borne diseases. Whenever we let "Nature" have her way, we tend to die in massive numbers.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 25th, 2017, 11:51 am 

Ok, but mosquitoes are for the most part a pest. But by trying to kill them off, communities spray and kill off most all bugs in the area, and the only bugs to best survive are the mosquitoes, back in full force, with the next rain. Meanwhile the bird populations decline, cause that's the way we roll. Get out of the way cause people live here.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Watson on July 25th, 2017, 12:00 pm 

And maybe that is nature's only defense against this invasive species, to send aids, Ebola or other such plagues, to limit or slow the global spread.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 25th, 2017, 12:42 pm 

Watson » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:51 am wrote:Ok, but mosquitoes are for the most part a pest. But by trying to kill them off, communities spray and kill off most all bugs in the area, and the only bugs to best survive are the mosquitoes, back in full force, with the next rain. Meanwhile the bird populations decline, cause that's the way we roll. Get out of the way cause people live here.


This war against mosquitoes is ridiculous. Have people learned nothing about ecology or disease and toxicoloy resistance in fast reproducing species after all these years. (Antibiotic resistance). So we attempt to kill off mosquitoes that are abundant and important for the ecology and in the mean time we actually cause the extinction of multiple other insects and birds then the mosquitoes just come back stronger than ever. Not saying have the answer, but some of this war against insects is crazy IMO.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 25th, 2017, 12:53 pm 

Braininvat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:48 am wrote: Weigh that against the prevention of hundreds of millions of suffering and dying from mosquito-borne diseases. Whenever we let "Nature" have her way, we tend to die in massive numbers.



Too much sympathy for populating the earth with humans will ultimately lead to our destruction. In everything there are pros and cons. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In this case the needs of the many must accept losses of the few before our species overwhelms the planet and causes us all to die a slow suffering death.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 25th, 2017, 12:59 pm 

zetreque » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:53 am wrote:
Braininvat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:48 am wrote: Weigh that against the prevention of hundreds of millions of suffering and dying from mosquito-borne diseases. Whenever we let "Nature" have her way, we tend to die in massive numbers.



Too much sympathy for populating the earth with humans will ultimately lead to our destruction. In everything there are pros and cons. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In this case the needs of the many must accept losses of the few before our species overwhelms the planet and causes us all to die a slow suffering death.


If you want a comparison we can bring up immunizations. Everyone is saying we should all get immunizations to keep outbreaks from happening because a critical mass will be immunized. Well there are a small few that will get sick or die from the immunizations. I have attended lectures on this subject given by scientists in the field and they can't even deny that honestly. "Sorry you lost your son to an immunization. He just had to take a hit for the team." Nothing is 100%
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby Braininvat on July 25th, 2017, 2:04 pm 

I think people are missing my point. I have been posting from a very Green perspective here for years, and am all in favor of preserving ecosystems, sustainable human lifestyles, and a gradual reduction of human population to a reasonable carrying capacity, maybe 2-3 billion. So I agree with Watson and Z. that protection from mosquito-borne illness shouldn't be done with carpet bombing of harsh chemicals and widespread species destruction. The question that arises, however, if you happen to live somewhere where various species like mosquitos are causing a lot of death, is how long are you willing to wait for some elegant tech solution that introduces new mosquito genes that, say, causes them to avoid humans, or somehow bolsters human immune systems? Just saying, this is an issue that, for a billion or more people, has far more personal impact than the fate of a white rhino. Engineering an ecotopian society is so much easier when you live in a wealthy, developed country and feel safe and secure all the time.

Too much sympathy for populating the earth with humans will ultimately lead to our destruction.
- Z.

People say this all the time, and I agree that overpopulation is a terrible thing, but I have yet to see strong evidence that the most likely scenario is extinction. Doesn't it seem possible that we would have massive famines, massive die-offs, and emerge in smaller numbers, sadder and wiser? We are a resilient and adaptable species. We could probably survive an 80% reduction in population, though if food suppllies dropped to a level that only fed 1/5 of those presently alive, many more would probably die in fights for what remained. If nukes were involved, survivor enclaves could be few and far between. IIRC, population biologists suggest that we could come back from a population of around 600 persons. For all we know, the world could endure a nuclear winter and only some people in Iceland would survive, due to their having a geothermal energy infrastructure that is not dependent on the sun.

I am just trying to convey the idea that we simply don't know how a dark and hungry future might play out, so I advise caution in making flat statements. A massive and involuntary culling of the human "herd" could take down a lot more species with it. Desperate people do desperate and outright crazy things to survive.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby uninfinite on July 25th, 2017, 5:21 pm 

Health
Sperm count drop 'may lead to human extinction'
By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News
4 hours ago
From the section Health

Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 separate studies say sperm counts among men from these areas seem to have halved in less than 40 years. Some experts are sceptical of the findings, published in the Human Reproduction Update. But lead researcher Dr Hagai Levine said he was "very worried" about what might happen in the future.
The assessment brings together the results of 185 studies between 1973 and 2011, one of the largest ever undertaken. Dr Levine, an epidemiologist, told the BBC that if the trend continued humans would become extinct.

Decline rate 'increasing'

"If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future," he said.
"Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species." Scientists not involved in the study have praised the quality of the research but say that it may be premature to come to such a conclusion. Dr Levine, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, found a 52.4% decline in sperm concentration, and a 59.3% decline in total sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The study also indicates the rate of decline among men living in these countries is continuing and possibly even increasing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40719743
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 25th, 2017, 5:32 pm 

Braininvat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:04 am wrote:
Too much sympathy for populating the earth with humans will ultimately lead to our destruction.
- Z.

People say this all the time, and I agree that overpopulation is a terrible thing, but I have yet to see strong evidence that the most likely scenario is extinction.


I never said extinction though I did imply it. I will retract and say that it's better to let death happen in a natural way than try to control nature preventing death all together which will lead to more suffering and a greater more massive die-off in the long run.
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Re: The Near Extinction of the Northern White Rhino.

Postby zetreque on July 25th, 2017, 5:41 pm 

Braininvat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:04 am wrote:I think people are missing my point. I have been posting from a very Green perspective here for years, and am all in favor of preserving ecosystems, sustainable human lifestyles, and a gradual reduction of human population to a reasonable carrying capacity, maybe 2-3 billion. So I agree with Watson and Z. that protection from mosquito-borne illness shouldn't be done with carpet bombing of harsh chemicals and widespread species destruction. The question that arises, however, if you happen to live somewhere where various species like mosquitos are causing a lot of death, is how long are you willing to wait for some elegant tech solution that introduces new mosquito genes that, say, causes them to avoid humans, or somehow bolsters human immune systems? Just saying, this is an issue that, for a billion or more people, has far more personal impact than the fate of a white rhino. Engineering an ecotopian society is so much easier when you live in a wealthy, developed country and feel safe and secure all the time.


Just real quickly too. That was kind of my point with the immunizations. For the people who don't want to take even the tiniest of chance of serious immunization complications it becomes more personal for their own personal safety over the group safety.
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