Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk

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Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk

Post by edfrank » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:03 pm

Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk
published June 25, 2012

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With Lonesome George an international icon for conservation has died and the subspecies of the Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdoni) is believed to have died out. This adds to an extinction rate of endangered species which some say may even be the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Less controversially it can be stated that the current extinction rates are higher than one would expect without humankind’s influence, and that more action to preserve the environment is needed.

Lonesome George’s death happened just after the Rio+20 Earth Summit which discussed a ‘Pathway for a sustainable future‘. Despite the usual obstacles and compromises that are needed to bring a joint statement of all UN member states down to a common denominator, there is a general acknowledgement by most governments that the conservation of nature is essential for a sustainable future of humankind....
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky


Re: Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk

Post by Joe » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:09 pm

between mass extinction and global warming- the future of Earth is looking bad, of course it will survive us- and eventually, recover with new species and perhaps a smart species better attuned to the planet than we naked apes... I vote for the porpoises...

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Re: Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:02 am

When we vanish from the Earth and the things we leave behind expand and differ and fill the ecological niches, let's hope nothing like us ever rises again. We degraded our own environment and brought in the Sixth Great Extinction. We'll be gone soon enough. The first species to watch and acknowledge its own self-destruction.

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Re: Biodiversity hotspots – a world at risk

Post by dbhguru » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:20 am

Robert, Joe, et al,

I'm not a good prognosticator. Maybe we'll find a way out of the mess we've been creating for several thousand years. A species that can develop vehicles to explore distant planets is not to be counted out just yet. But, as individuals, our greedy, short-sighted nature doesn't bode well for a good outcome. We evolved from our small ape-like ancestors who daily had to face large predators. Our larger, evolving brains served us well, but as we've moved forward, we've never been able to overcome or transmute our aggressive natures, and as a result, we relish unending conflict and conquest.

One one of our rides across the wide Wyoming countryside, I found myself thinking about my specific circumstances. There I was riding in a vehicle gliding across the open spaces at 65 MPH, waxing eloquent about the distant horizon, the lofty mountains, etc. A hundred and fifty years ago, I would have been on a horse or in a wagon. I could have been killed by hostile Indians, trampled by stampeding bison, frozen in a blizzard, mauled by a Great Plains grizzly, etc. The vast distances would have been an impediment. I'm not so sure that the innate human capacity to see beautify in a physically demanding land would have been realized. So, am I better off today with the fruits of human labors, with the internal combustion engine? The tradeoffs are hard to evaluate. But I fear that at some point we crossed the threshold. Not fun to think about.

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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