“Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases…” Paul Ehrlich

Date: Tuesday – November 17, 2015
Host: George Noory
“Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and so worsens climate disruption. Every person you add to the planet, means we have to grow more food…” Paul Ehrlich



In the first half, Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich discussed his work on population theory and mass extinction. He argues that many species of birds and mammals are being annihilated due to the human population explosion, along with commercial endeavors and the continuing development of natural areas. “Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and so worsens climate disruption. Every person you add to the planet, means we have to grow more food…and the biggest enemy of the climate is agriculture– about 30% of the greenhouse gases…come from our food system,” he noted. We’re running out of soil, and toxifying the entire planet, he added.

A huge variety of creatures are being eliminated under current conditions. For example, he cited how the orange-bellied parrot in Australia is disappearing largely because of habitat destruction, passenger pigeons in North America, that once numbered in the millions, are now extinct due to hunting, and many types of bats, which eat a lot of problematic insects, are dwindling down in numbers. Ehrlich estimated that the human population is 4-6 times too high, and for the planet to be able to support us, we should have no more than 2-3 billion people. For those interested in fostering change, and making the Earth more sustainable, he suggested getting involved with the organization MAHB (The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere).

Demand Climate Action

From NRDC.org:

As we all reel from the terrorist attacks in Paris, our hearts go out to the victims of this unspeakable violence.

These attacks happened just weeks before hundreds of world leaders gather in Paris for the UN Climate Summit — or COP21.

The UN has announced that the climate summit will continue. World leaders, including President Obama, still plan on attending to lay out their plans for confronting the growing dangers of climate change.

Climate change is a threat to our common destiny — a threat to the global good. With so much at stake, it’s vital that the world works together now to solve the climate crisis.

So please sign the petition to Demand Climate Action from world leaders meeting at COP21 in Paris.

Already, over 150 countries are coming with commitments to act for a clean energy future.

These nations are working together to ensure we keep the planet from heating by another two degrees Celsius. That rise in temperature would be enough to turn our agricultural heartlands into deserts… increase the frequency of extreme droughts and torrential floods… and impact everything from what we eat to where we live.

In short, two degrees changes everything about how we live on this planet.

But when the margin between success and failure is so slim, it also means that one person can make a difference.

So if you’re ready to Demand Climate Action, add your voice here.

When we work together, amazing things happen. Last year, NRDC supporters helped send a record 8 million letters supporting the U.S.’s first-ever limits on climate-wrecking carbon pollution from power plants. Now, President Obama is taking the Clean Power Plan to Paris as the cornerstone of our climate action blueprint.

The progress you’ve helped us achieve puts us on the verge of doing something big and lasting — and now your voice can make a difference globally.

Sign the petition to Demand Climate Action — and we’ll deliver your name and the names of millions of other signers to world leaders in Paris.

Vegans Should Care About Overpopulation


Yesterday a commenter here suggested that vegans (animal rightsists) don’t care about the problem of overpopulation. That may seem true for some, but it’s certainly not my experience. Those animal-rightsists that I know who are adamantly opposed to human overpopulation are so in part because they have seen animals suffering from their overpopulation.

A friend who is unwaveringly against human overpopulation remarked, “I don’t understand why people want to have babies in this day and age.” I’ve often pondered that. I went to bed last night ruminating on the question. I don’t know that I found the answer, but ironically I read about that same subject in a book about a woman (Diane Downs) who loved having babies, but then paradoxically shot her three kids.

The book goes on to depict her motive for having kids—as she put it, she was “lonely.” Normally, I would advise someone who is lonely to get a dog or cat, but I would hate to see the animal be shot or otherwise mistreated. Oh, sure, there was more to it than just being lonely. In this case, she wanted someone to have control (authority) over.  These reasons only scratch the surface and of course don’t apply to everyone.

Here’s a list a vegan friend put together of why she chose not to have kids…

For me it was:

  • No different than animal overpopulation. If I don’t feel that I can ethically breed my cat, why is it any better for ME to contribute to an overburdened planet? I mean, come on…are my genes really that special?
  • If I want a child that badly, why wouldn’t I adopt one of the countless hurting children looking for a home?
  • Choosing not to be consumed for two decades by parenting allows me instead to be a productive activist, fully, my entire life.
  • I’ve spared my never-to-be-born child the horrors of a world that is quickly becoming uninhabitable (because of human overpopulation, warfare, environmental degradation, etc.).
  • Cost effective! [If a person can barely afford to feed themselves, what business do they have bringing another human into this world?]
  • Finally, there’s no guarantee that a child I raised would embrace my vegan pacifist values. How would I feel if my child became a school bully or butcher or political warmonger or turkey sandwich eater? Devastating

So, why would a male want to procreate in such an overcrowded world? Maybe it’s the desire to have a “mini me” to do your bidding or to go on after you’re gone, thus creating a sense of immortality. But a person would have to really have a lot of faith in the future in order to buy into that.

Take the Pledge Against Extinction


Take Extinction Off Your Plate

Pledge to Take Extinction Off Your Plate


Meat production is one of the planet’s largest causes of environmental degradation and most significant threats to wildlife.

And the problem is rapidly getting worse: Production of beef, poultry, pork and other meat products tripled between 1980 and 2010 and will likely double again by 2050. This increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate. Meanwhile, Americans eat more meat per capita than almost any other country in the world.

By signing the pledge below to reduce meat consumption by one-third or more, we can start to take extinction off our plates. Join the Center’s Earth-friendly Diet Campaign today.

Already a vegetarian? Then you’re a valuable wildlife advocate who can help others join the movement. Spread the word by taking the pledge and asking your friends to sign.

Protect wildlife — pledge today to eat an Earth-friendly diet.

We, the undersigned, pledge to take extinction off our plates by reducing the amount of meat we consume and/or telling our friends to join the Earth-friendly Diet campaign.

By cutting just one-third of the meat from our diets, we can each save as much as 340,667 gallons of water, more than 4,000 square feet of land, and the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 2,700 fewer miles a year.

Many of our current environmental crises are either directly caused by or worsened by our culture’s dependence on meat. By meating less, we give the world and wildlife a break.


Climate change: a survivors’ guide


As warnings of global climate change grow ever more dire, John Vidal offers 10 tips on how to prepare for an apocalyptic future
ship stuck on salt flats
Without a paddle … in the parched future, it may be wise to move to somewhere with a good water supply. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP

1 Stay cool, dry

Britain is expected to get more extremes of heat and rainfall, so prepare for more severe floods, longer droughts and more powerful storms. No one knows quite what the effect over time will be of a slowing Gulf stream, or the melting of arctic sea ice, but climate scientists confidently expect temperatures to rise up to 4C by 2100. That could mean big shifts in rainfall patterns and a more unpredictable climate. So clear your drains, fix your roof and move to Wales – or at least to somewhere with good water supply. The worst that could happen? Your grandchildren will inherit inexorably rising temperatures that render much of the Earth uninhabitable. Their problem? Yes, but yours, too.

2 Move

Sea levels are rising gradually and by the end of the century could be nearly 2ft higher than they are today. So don’t pass on that beach hut to your children, and expect to lose acres if you live near the coast in East Anglia and other low lying areas. You won’t have to head for the hills for many years, but prepare to view the seaside from behind higher walls and from the dykes that will be needed to protect many coastal towns. By 2100 the map of Britain will be smaller and many cities are likely to be besieged by climate “refugees” arriving from low-lying areas such as Norfolk.

3 Adapt

Climate change is going to be very, very expensive, and the poor, the old and the vulnerable will be the most affected because they are least likely to have the money to move house or adapt. Economists such as Lord Stern and Jim Yong Kim, the new president of the World Bank, expect a 4C temperature rise to result in global economic meltdown – unless countries rapidly shift their economies towards less energy-intensive industries. Stern predicts that warming will knock at least 5% off GDP per year and Kim expects food shortages and conflicts over natural resources and water. Abnormal events such as Hurricane Sandy, which cost $65bn (£40bn) and the 2011-12 US drought, which cost $35bn (£21bn) may be just foretasters of the price to be paid. On the other hand, there’s serious money to be made adapting cities and industries to climate change and reducing emissions.

4 Grow your own

More heat and a longer growing season should make it easier to grow some crops in northern countries such as Britain, Russia and Canada, and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere theoretically should increase plant growth. But don’t expect climate change to feed the world. You are likely to have to change diets because bigger droughts, flash floods, heatwaves and storms may devastate harvests and reduce the amount of foods available. Countries such as Britain, which depend heavily on food grown abroad, may be able to grow fruit that farmers only ever dreamed about, but there will be less land on which to grow and imported grub will be much more expensive because other climate-affected countries will keep their smaller harvests for themselves. If coral reefs vanish there will be fewer fish in the sea and if the oceans continue to soak up CO2 they will become more acidic. That would be very, very bad, but the scientists say this won’t impact heavily in the next few lifetimes.

5 Take a shower

Don’t take fresh water for granted. Longer droughts are likely to dry up large parts of southern and eastern England, and underground water suplies will be more stressed. We’ve always muddled through heatwaves and droughts, but as temperatures climb, a run of dry winters becomes more and more likely. So prepare for droughts not just once a decade but perhaps every other year. Get used to yellow lawns, taking showers with chums and watering your garden with waste water.

6 Be charitable

Humanitarian groups such as Oxfam expect many more food shortages and natural disasters in countries where even a small shift in the rainfall pattern or increase in temperature is enough to reduce harvests and leave millions more hungry. Worst-case scenarios? A shift in the Asian monsoons is expected to reduce the amount of water in rivers coming off the Himalayas, and because this is needed for nearly a third of the world’s population, there could be disastrous food shortages. Further drying out of the Sahel and African rangelands will force millions of people to move.

7 Get a spanner

Things are going to go wrong much more often, so expect mini-disasters. Cars, trains, roads, and buildings, flood barriers, drains, underground systems, reservoirs, power stations, ports and all are designed for existing temperatures, sea levels and rainfall, and may be overwhelmed in future. Railway lines will buckle more easily, nuclear power stations will get flooded more easily, building cooling systems will be inadequate, flat roofs will leak more and concrete structures will be like ovens. Designers will have to rethink the way things are made.

8 Watch your health

Warmer winters mean fewer deaths among the old, but far more heart and respiratory diseases in the hot summer nights. Even worse, the warmer, wetter conditions will encourage the fungal, algal, tick-and-mosquito-borne diseases we usually only see in the tropics: Dengue fever was detected in France and Croatia in 2010; West Nile virus and Rift valley fever have become common in the US; and a 4C increase in Britain probably means malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and ticks infected with Lyme disease. Equally possibly, the already crumbling system of urban drains is likely to be overwhelmed by extreme weather events, which will discharge pathogens into heavily used rivers and seas, possibly heralding the return of diseases such as typhus.

9 Don’t get angry

Life in many of the world’s cities is already nearly unbearable in some months. The scorching urban nights expected with climate change will be a recipe for social disorder, ill–health and mass grumpiness. If there are water and power cuts, as expected, then get ready for migrations out of urban areas to cooler countryside. Best advice? Stay out of town.

10 Prepare for the big burn

A 4C temperature rise doesn’t sound much, but it is quite enough to kill off trees, wildlife, garden plants, insects, and river life. On the positive side, we may get faster-growing rainforests and enhanced plant growth, but many animals will not be able to adapt to higher temperatures. Don’t expect to grow the same plants in your garden, or see the same trees in the parks. Change will be gradual, but profound.

‘Seek Funding’ Step Added To Scientific Method


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Body of missing trapper found next to partially submerged kayak

Police in west central Minnesota say they have found the body of a man who had not been seen in weeks partially submerged in a slough.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Friday it was asked to conduct a welfare check on a 63-year-old man with a history of health issues, as he hadn’t been seen for three weeks.

They didn’t find him in his house, but upon investigating further they found he was a known trapper, which led officers to a slough near the East Lake Mary Road, southwest of Alexandria.

A local conservation officer checked the slough in his own kayak and found the man’s body partially submerged in the water, next to a small kayak and trapping equipment.

The man’s death is under investigation although no foul play is suspected.

His body was taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for an examination. His identity has not yet been revealed by the police.