We Must Preserve the Earth’s Dwindling Resources for My Five Children

As many of you know, this site has a policy against approving comments from hunters and trappers or their apologists. Nothing personal; if this was a blog against child molesting, I wouldn’t approve comments from pedophiles either. Contrary to popular notion, there are a few moral absolutes in this universe, and the absolute truth is, killing other beings for sport is dead wrong—simple as that.

But some hunters are pretty slick when it comes to arguing their case, even going so far as to bring up issues we all agree on, such as overpopulation of humans or the deleterious effects monoculture crops have on wildlife and their habitat. Here’s a comment that nearly gained approval, had it not been for the implication at the end that plant eaters were responsible for more wildlife loss than hunters…

Submitted by William on 2014/07/05 at 5:57 pm

The WWF promotes and supports sustainable use of wildlife and natural resources. “Sports” hunting conducted under the auspices of a competent management authority is in fact a sustainable practice. This is in especially true when alternative uses for land include, mining, clearing and monoculture. There are many issues on our relationship with animals that will devide us. Eating and killing animals for our pleasure is one of the more pertinent ones (and yes, human beings can live a healthy life on a vegan diet it follows logically that meat is a purely sensory demand on our plates) . It is unreasonable to expect that the WWF prescribe personal ethics, be that meat eating, sports hunting , fishing or driving your 4*4 around . As an organization they have to work with a wide variety of stakeholders and inspite of personal beliefs and ethics they always have a sustainable future for wildlife as a goal. Just a quick personal note. The farm where i hunted as a youngster was recently converted to a maize farm. There are no more kudu, impala , lynx, jackal , owl, pangolin, owls, on the property

Of course, most monoculture crops are grown for the sole purpose of feeding farmed animals—a truth that many meat-eaters willfully overlook. And I don’t know of too many vegans who aren’t also advocates for curtailing or gradually reducing the burgeoning human population. There are a number of safe birth control methods, for those willing to use them.

And yes, it’s not just the sheer number of humans; the problem also has to do with the self-serving, unsustainable attitudes of some, as the following Onion article points out:

We Must Preserve The Earth’s Dwindling Resources For My Five Children

Jun 28, 2006

By Brenda Melford

As we move into the 21st century, it is our responsibility to think of the future of the earth—not for ourselves, but for those who will inherit what my husband and I leave behind when we’re gone. If we do not join together and do what’s best for this, our only planet, there may not be an environment left in which my five children, and their 25 children’s 125 children, can grow up and raise large upper-middle-class families of their own.

Nothing less than the preservation of my descendents’ lifestyle itself is at stake.

Imagine a world devoid of pristine wilderness for my progeny to explore on the weekends in the sport-utility-vehicles of the future, leaving my youngest son, Dylan, with nowhere to blow off steam on off-road adventures. Imagine a world in which my beautiful middle son, Connor, is denied his twice-daily half-hour hot showers because of water shortages. Picture what it would be like for my oldest boy Asher, preparing to start his first semester at Stanford, to have to go without basic amenities such as cable television, satellite radio, central air, or massage chairs, all because of the shortsighted squandering by his parents’ generation of our non-renewable energy sources today.

Though it seems like a far-off nightmare, this terrible vision is all too possible. Would you want to live in a world where my five children had to endure such horrible deprivations? I know I wouldn’t.

If we don’t take action now, my daughters Kimmy and Jenna may not be able to blow-dry their hair for 45 minutes to an hour each morning, nor may my future sons-in-law cut their grass atop enormous, diesel-powered riding mowers. In fact, they may not even have lawns—at least not the lush, verdant kind that requires constant watering and pesticide treatment. It’s conceivable that one day my five children’s spacious yards may be entirely composed of synthetic Astroturf, or—God forbid—those tacky wood chips my sister in Arizona uses.

In a cruel irony, those wood chippings will get more expensive as the world’s timber supply continues to shrink.

Encroaching urban sprawl has already begun to spoil the view from the porch of our beautiful new summer home on Lake Wakenaka. Sadly, the view from the bay windows of our first summer home, the one we built at our Woodland Acres property six years earlier, has already been ruined by such unchecked development. Must my children grow up in a world where only one of their parents’ summer homes is surrounded by the beauty of nature? It’s unthinkable, I know, but we must face facts.

This is to say nothing of the deleterious impact the destruction of our global ecosystems will have on the wildlife my family enjoys hunting. Biodiversity is crucial to another 100 years of deer-, quail-, duck-, bear-, moose-, bobcat-, and bison-shooting summer recreation for my descendents.

We must take steps immediately to devise safe, alternative energy sources that my future offspring can safely consume. If we don’t develop new fuels now, there will be none left for those who issue from my loins to burn and continue to burn for all time. I don’t want my 625-odd great-grandchildren to have to wait 20 or 30 precious seconds for their toilets to flush. I don’t want their 3,125 children to live in a hellish society where they cannot own their own snowmobiles. And I shudder to think that my 15,625 great-great-great-grandchildren may not be able to have TVs in every room that they can leave on all day and all night. Is it our right to deny my progeny of their gargantuan RVs and motorboats, as well? Of course not.

We cannot, in good conscience, lay such a burden on tomorrow’s generations of Melfords. My children are the future. And at the end of the day, isn’t it family—my family—that truly matters?

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Would You Help Save the Earth by Being Childfree?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complete-without-kids/201403/would-you-help-save-the-earth-being-childfree

Would You Help Save the Earth by Being Childfree?

Consider the environmental benefits of not having kids.

Most people consider whether or not to have kids based on lifestyle factors such as career goals, finances, and leisure time, but there’s another group of folks who are doing so primarily for environmental reasons.

This past summer, Time Magazine published a cover story about the childfree life that discussed why people decide to not have kids. Author Lauren Sandler wrote that the birthrate in the US is the lowest in recorded history and that the fertility rate actually dropped by 9 percent between 2007 and 2011. She cites cost ($234,900 to raise a child born in 2011 for a family earning less than $100,000 per year) as a major factor in this decline. Careers are also impacted, especially for women, who may lose out on as much as a million dollars because of lost promotions and other missed opportunities in the workplace that result from taking time off to raise kids.

Sandler also points to the sense of freedom that comes from being childfree. Childfree adults have an abundance of time to spend with friends and family, at their jobs, and on their own leisure activities and self-care.

 But there’s a third factor that Sandler neglected to discuss in her popular article—the green angle. Lisa Hymas, writer for Grist.org, wrote about this in a follow-up to the Time story. Hymas points out that the global population is now at 7.1 billion and is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. That’s a lot of people stressing an already exhausted earth. She cites a Global Environmental Change study that boldly discusses the impact of each child on the earth.

The bottom line from this research is that all of the environmentally conscious deeds a person may do — recycling, riding the bus, etc. —  pale in comparison to not having a child. As Hymas states, “The climate impact of having one fewer child in America is almost 20 times greater than the impact of adopting a series of eco-friendly practices for your entire lifetime.”

Hymas is in the lead in her willingness to boldly address this controversial issue and to encourage potential parents to consider the future of the earth when contemplating their own future. Bringing these issues to the forefront may lead them to forego having a child or to adopt instead.

Would you choose to not have kids primarily for the good of the environment? And if you wanted to be a parent, would you choose adoption for this same reason?

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Let Nature Take Its Course?

Over the weekend, my wife and I had the always-rewarding opportunity to save another life. We don’t get all the credit of course; we only brought the stranded murre to the local wildlife rehab center. But as the rehabber pointed out, those birds don’t last long on exposed beaches like that, with all the cars and dogs running off leash who might happen by.

Starving or otherwise stressed pelagic birds, like murres and grebes, loons and others, sometimes get washed in on the storms and find themselves too weak to make it back past the breakers. Last year, when I was rescuing just such a stuck sea bird who was washed up on the beach, a busy body local (probably resentful that birds sometimes eat fish) tried to convince me to leave the bird and let nature take its course. I wanted to tell him to butt out and mind his own mortality.

When I relayed the story to the rehabber she said what I’ve always thought: How often does he visit a doctor? Implied was the question: Why doesn’t he just let nature take its course next time he’s sick or injured?

Text and Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Earth Day: Now With 95 Percent More People!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-feldstein/earth-day-now-with-95-per_b_5176580.html

by Stephanie Feldstein Population and Sustainability Director, Center for Biological Diversity

 

Forty-four years ago, students, activists and political leaders looked at the impact human population was having on the world around them and decided something needed to be done. Earth Day was born, and the modern environmental movement wasn’t far behind.

Since then, there have been a lot more births. Billions more. In the 44 years since the first Earth Day, our population has increased by nearly 95 percent (and we still add 227,000 people to the planet each day).

That’s more people using more land and water, eating more meat, paving more wild places, demanding more energy and producing more climate-changing emissions. More cars and more consumerism; more trash and more pollution.

The one thing we don’t have more of: Earth

We still only have one planet. Though you wouldn’t know it by the way we live our lives, especially here in the U.S. In fact, if everyone in the world lived like Americans, it would take 4.4 Earths to sustain the planet. Unfortunately, among all those Earth Day sales for yard accessories, eco-friendly t-shirts and other mass-produced “green” products, you won’t find a single spare Earth on clearance.

There are a few things this Earth Day has less of than the first celebration 44 years ago. Most notably absent are the conversations about our runaway population growth and overconsumption, what it’s doing to wildlife and the environment, and what we need to do about it if we’re really going to save the planet… and ourselves.

It’s time to go retro on Earth Day. There were 3.7 billion people on the planet for the first Earth Day in 1970, and one of the biggest concerns then was that our growing population was destroying the planet and driving other species to extinction. Now that we have 7.2 billion people on the planet, the one thing we need more of is concern about human population and the extinction crisis.

The Center for Biological Diversity is bringing population back to Earth Day this year by giving away 44,000 Endangered Species Condoms in honor of the 44th anniversary of the celebration. More than 500 volunteers across all 50 states will be bringing the condoms to Earth Day festivals, parties and other community events to get more people talking about the issue that inspired the original Earth Day.

Doing your part is even easier than remembering to bring your reusable tote bag to the grocery store. Start by having the conversation. Share this blog post and the video below. Join us on Facebook. Sign up to be an Endangered Species Condoms volunteer. Check out our Earth Day Event Toolkit for information and downloadable fact sheets. Write a letter to the editor. Next time your friends and family are talking about organic food, climate change or their other favorite environmental issue, add population growth to mix.

We can’t create more Earth by the next Earth Day, but we can raise more awareness about population growth and commit to leaving more room for wildlife.

(Just in time for Earth Day) Distress Signals from Earth

A steady stream of reports on the deterioration of the environment is issued. There is a brief flurry of media coverage. The corporate-funded climate change deniers make counter claims. We wake briefly to the crisis then most of us lapse into a couch potato stupor. Neoliberal dogma and an almost mystical belief in capitalism makes almost certain that little will be done to avert coming calamities. Charades called climate summits offer nothing more than photo ops of smiling world leaders and vacuous press releases. We blithely turn our heads away from reality. As the ice caps melt it is not just penguins and polar bears that are in danger. The wider implications for the planet and humanity are profound. What level of catastrophe is it going to take for business as usual policies to change? Will we hear the distress signals from Earth?

Speaker(s):

Paul Ehrlich (click to view archive)

Paul Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies in the Department of Biology and president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous honors including the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, given in areas where the Nobel Prize is not awarded, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Blue Planet Prize.  He is active in the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. He is author of over 40 books.

http://www.alternativeradio.org/collections/spk_paul-ehrlich/products/ehrp001

Program #EHRP001. Recorded in Fort Collins, CO on February 17, 2014.

Audio sample:

Please <a href=”http://enable-javascript.com/”>enable Javascript</a> to use the audio player.

 

Paul Ehrlich’s Overpopulation Message Even More Relevant Today

Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

He told Carson, “There are 3.6 billion people in the world today, and we are adding about 70 million a year. And that’s too many. The very delicate life support systems of the planet, the things that supply us with all of our food, with ultimately with all of our oxygen, all of our waste disposal are now severely threatened.”

Overcrowded group

Despite Ehrlich’s sobering message, Carson had him on 20 times. Ehrlich started a movement called “Zero Population Growth.” He got a vasectomy to set an example. And he proposed a tax on diapers to keep population in check.

Since 1968 the human population has more than doubled, most people have not had vasectomies, and there is no tax on diapers to keep population in check…

 

Derived from: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/12/31/258687278/a-bet-five-metals-and-the-future-of-the-planet

The American Dream turns into a Global Nightmare

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — The American Dream? Now a Global Nightmare? A ticking time bomb, a lethal virus spreading worldwide, could destroy the entire world, backfire, take down America and capitalism? Yes.

But, first, a little history: Five years ago Bill Gates and his Billionaires Club asked that question. But gave up. Here’s why.

Gates’ billionaires essentially asked: What do you think is the single, biggest ticking time bomb that will eventually take down global economies? The absolutely biggest one with a trigger mechanism that can ignite, set off a nuclear chain reaction that will throw a permanent wrench in global economic growth, ending capitalism, potentially destroying modern civilization as we know it.

Yes, that one. The one that — if not solved soon — renders all efforts to solve all other problems in the world irrelevant, futile and virtually impossible ever to solve. Yes, that one. What is the “big one?” Several alternative predictions have also been reported:

* Global wars? Pentagon warns warfare will define human life by 2020.

* Big Oil? Bill McKibben’s “End of Nature” prediction could ignite soon.

* Capitalism? Many progressives see capitalism destroying democracy.

* Inequality? Pope says inequality is the root of all social problems.

* Climate warming? 2,000 UN scientists warn humans are killing Earth.

* Technology? Robert Gordon says we can’t stop GDP falling to 1%.

Biggest risk? Guess again: Not warfare … not the inequality… not energy resource depletion … not global warming … not out-of-control capitalists … yes, all are important, all part of the domino effect, the chain reaction as the global clock winds down to zero.

Yes, five years ago the one-percenters thought they knew. Bill Gates and his Billionaires Club were certain, unanimous. Gates had brought together billionaire philanthropists in a supersecret meeting in Manhattan about the time the market last bottomed. Included: Buffett, Rockefeller, Soros, Bloomberg, Turner, Oprah and others. The London Times Online reported that during the afternoon session each spoke about their favorite charities.

Then, the big question: What was the underlying, core problem driving all their interests? The world’s biggest time-bomb?

Overpopulation said the billionaires. Too many people on Planet Earth.

True, the United Nations predicts that by 2050 global population will explode by as much as 40%, from more than 7 billion today to 10 billion. Overcrowding. Demanding. But as Scientific American repeatedly warns in special issues, population is “the most overlooked and essential strategy for achieving long-term balance with the environment.” The “third-rail” for politicians, ignored by the world’s political leaders.

Three delusions: the American Dream mutates into Global Nightmare

But there’s an even bigger problem that will peak and backfire as the American Dream goes viral. For a couple generations, spread by the economics of globalization, the American Dream has been exported, spreading the capitalism virus worldwide, accelerating global GDP growth, infecting every nation and individual with their own mind-set imbedded in the promise of the “perpetual prosperity” inherent in the American Dream.

The effect? Today capitalism, globalization, the new Global Dream, the virus is rapidly spreading, mesmerizing the brains of everyone … mass-producing new billionaires … global lists on Forbes, Bloomberg and CNBC report an explosion from 322 billionaires in 2000 to 1,847 in 2014… China now has 358 billionaires … Africa has 29, adding nine last year … today, 85 of the world’s richest billionaires make more that the 3.5 billion in the bottom half … Credit Suisse predicts 11 trillionaire families in the world by 2100.

But three self-destructive delusions dominate today’s billionaires:

1. Delusion 1: Perpetual economic growth on planet of limited resources

The Super Rich are trapped a classic delusion now ingrained in the collective unconscious of the world. They have ingested a self-destructive gene. They believe the same capitalism ideology that made them superrich will continue indefinitely, that economic growth is perpetual, even on a planet of clearly limited resources. This delusion is rampant in Exxon Mobil and the energy industries as they race ahead with an unsustainable business model that’s rapidly depleting nonreplaceable natural resources.

2. Delusion 2: New technologies will replace disappearing resources

The club of billionaires believes technology will overcome the limitations of resources and thus fuel the perpetual economic growth essential to create more and more billionaires, that some of this eternal prosperity will also trickle down to the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people. Economist Robert Gordon refutes that assumption in his rhetorical National Business Research Institute piece “Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?” Silicon Valley technology will never overcome all the headwinds reflected by today’s raging self-destructive political, economic and religious conflicts.

3. Delusion 3: Mutant Capitalists do not need to share the future

The new billionaires in America and worldwide have forgotten that the same capitalism that fueled the American Dream since 1776, that created the democracy supporting their accumulated billions, was a legacy that, in the past, also meant hope for the masses of Americans and all nations, that everyone, no matter how poor, had equal opportunities.

Unfortunately, as Jack Bogle warns, while spreading the American Dream we’re also a spreading a new Mutant Capitalism, a virus infecting superrich billionaires: Further widening the inequality gap, stifling opportunities for most Americans and people worldwide, hoarding the power, wealth and opportunities for those already in the top one percent, already listed among global billionaires.

Billions are in denial of their self-destructive delusions: “One of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse,” warns Jared Diamond, an evolutionary biologist, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” Many “civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society’s demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power.”

Harvard financial historian Niall Ferguson, author of “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire,” was more dramatic, hard-hitting, immediate: The world will be caught by surprise, unprepared. The coming collapse will “accelerate suddenly, like a sports car … like a thief in the night.” Crashing. Shocking us wide awake.

Paradox of Prosperity: the Global Dream will also peak, collapse

Today we’re all being misled by these three delusions. As Diamond warns: “There are ‘optimists’ who argue that the world could support double its human population.” But he adds, they “consider only the increase in human numbers and not average increase in per-capita impact. But I have not heard anyone who seriously argues that the world could support 12 times it’s current impact.” But that’s exactly what happens with “all Third World inhabitants adopting First World standards.”

Every nation in the world has its own version of the American Dream, the new Global Dream. Everyone wants prosperity, success, opportunity. More is never enough, either individually or nationally. Not just 310 million Americans, but 7.3 billion people worldwide are demanding more, more … on a finite planet with dwindling natural resources, as economist Michael Klare warns in his book “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for World’s Last Resources.”

Bottom line: As the world population explodes 40% in the next generation, “what really counts,” says Diamond, “is not the number of people alone, but their impact on the environment, the per-capita impact.” First World citizens “consume 32 times more resources such as fossil fuels, and put out 32 times more waste, than do the inhabitants of the Third World.” \

And it’s delusional to think this trend will disappear. It will get worse because billionaires are in massive denial about their delusions … the self-destructive Global Dream will continue … until a catastrophic black swan shocks us awake.

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Eight things you should know about the deadly Ebola virus

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/world/story/eight-things-you-should-know-about-the-deadly-ebola-virus-20140402

By Joyce Teo

An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea, West Africa has killed 78 people, prompting travel alerts and putting the spotlight back on one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

Cases have been confirmed in several locations in Guinea, including the capital Conakry.

This is in contrast to previous outbreaks, which were much more geographically contained. They also occurred in more remote places.

Here’s what you should know about the viral haemorrhagic fever.

1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls it “one of the most virulent diseases known to humankind”.

2. It can kill up to 90 per cent of the people who are infected with it.

There has been more than 1,800 Ebola cases, with nearly 1,300 deaths.

3. Outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.

4. The virus first appeared in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It took its name from the Ebola River, which was near the village in Yambuku where the outbreak occurred.

4. Ebola can be caught from both humans and animals.

It is transmitted through close contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids. Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.

5. It spreads quickly through human-to-human transmission, as family and friends care for infected people.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients.

6. Symptoms can appear from two to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms such as rashes and red eyes are common, making it hard to diagnose in the early stages.

7. The virus spreads in the blood and paralyses the immune system.

Ebola is often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding such as from the nose or via a person’s urine.

8. There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for people or animals.

Sources: WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières

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Human “Progress”

Rosemary commented: “We are seeing a longing for so-called ‘traditional’ ways of life, a manic nostalgia for something that really never was–except it was a less crowded world.”

To which I replied: I’ve thought that same thing many times. The only reason human life ever seemed to be in any kind of harmony with the rest of nature is that there were a LOT fewer of us. Sorry, but there’s no way an ever-growing population of humans can hope to be sustainable.

Here is a simple yet accurate depiction of human evolutionary “progress.”

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