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Switch to Forum Live View The Extinction Debt
2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 8:45PM #1
solfeggio
Posts: 9,352
According to a new study from scientists at Imperial College, London, widespread destruction of the Brazillian Amazon habitat has resulted in the animals of the Brazilian rainforest being doomed.  As deforestation continues, the number of species headed for extinction rises.  This is the 'extinction debt.'

www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?i...

www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/...

Study lead author Robert Ewars predicts that, in the next few decades, as agriculture and cattle ranching moves into the rain forest, at least two to three dozen species wil be extinct, including river dolphins, spider monkeys, tamarins, giant otters, and many other species.

Because there is pressure from agribusiness interests to relax protections and continue to develop the region, whatever sorts of decisions the Brazillian government decides to make regarding rainforest destruction will be crucial in the coming decades.  

If the rainforest goes, our world as we know it goes, too.  This is something that affects us all. 
    


  
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 8:57PM #2
arielg
Posts: 9,116

The destruction of the planet keeps going full steam ahead  in every aspect.  The good works of some people to stem the tide seem to be always behind in their efforts.  They are certainly not catching up at all.


  We are still very fortunate in the sense that there is still a great planet out there,  but future generations will have to adapt to very different conditions.


It reminds me of the frog that dies in the pale of water because it doesn't notice the gradual heating up until it is too late.


 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 9:02PM #3
farragut
Posts: 4,042

The poor frog is beyond the pale.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 9:11PM #4
mountain_man
Posts: 39,708

Don't worry. Once humans are gone from the planet the environment will recover and go on. New species will evolve to fill the niches left by the ones we killed off.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 9:11PM #5
mountain_man
Posts: 39,708

Jul 13, 2012 -- 9:02PM, farragut wrote:

The poor frog is beyond the pale.


He's about to croak.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 9:23PM #6
farragut
Posts: 4,042

Let's toss his legs on the grill for a minim.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 11:41PM #7
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
i thought you were talking about monetary systems, and there's a parallel.

Whenever the "debt" of a nation becomes too high, those who "lent" the dough soon become that country's masters---yet most of this debt is pure fiction, imaginary.

When you or i write a check, we must have enough in the bank to cover it or it is fraud; when the Federal Reserve(and many other central banks in other countries, too) writes a check, they CREATE "money," yet never have to back this up with anything substantive.

The bubble continues until it bursts, at which time extinctions often happen, whether by suicide or war, or anything between.  Ya see, these banksters "lend" the imaginary "money" they've just created out of thin air, and put someone else in debt---a lovely cycle which keeps them in filet mignon, caviar and champagne...while keeping the "lendee's" busy running their treadmill to service their "debt," ruining ecosystems and the lives of all involved(people, animals, etc.) in the process---but who cares, as long as their false god, "profit," is served...

What amazed me the most about this topic is just how profoundly aware of these banksters debt-schemes the F&F were, and how they worked hard to teach us about their tricks---but Americans fell asleep, and now are teevee-programmed debt slaves, most of them quite ignorant of their status, as they drink their beer and eat their twinkies while looking for sex...or a "good game," at least...USA!  USA!  USA! 

With goodwill to all the People(save oathbreaking betrayers)-

Hatman
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2012 - 5:58PM #8
karbie
Posts: 3,329

The only way to preserve the Brazilian rain forest is to buy it, and find a way for the people who are cutting it down to survive some alternative way of survival. I don't mean living in the shanty slums around the major cities, either.


I keep picturing what would have happened if some bio-expert had tried to talk the frontier settlers who decimated the moderate rain forest throughout the Northwest Territory. Telling them not to cut down those ancient trees to use the logs for homes, furniture, fences, and clearing land for crops. I believe the dialogue would have been "Git off my land!" with the added emphasis of a long-barrel gun pointed at the expert.


It's hard to guess just how many species became extinct as their habitat disappeared and our population spread out. Any animal who considered man as part of their food chain or went after the livestock either moved or died.


China has lost the river dolphins that had graced the rivers for over a thousand years. What I find idiotic are all the business owners who ship production to countries that don't have strong pollution laws to save themselves money. Yet they fail to notice we live in an enclosed biosphere. The winds circle the globe, the polluted rivers run to the oceans, and what goes around , comes around.


I remember kids reading books to earn matching money to buy some of the rain forest.


 Unfortunately, the only way I can envision the exploitation from destroying a resource the whole world needs as an air filter is to find a cure for greed and exploitation.


Perhaps a nice new reality show where we drop the heads of these companies in the heart of the rain forest and see if they can survive. Make it a telethon where people pledge money to see who maes it back out. All funds go to purchase land and relocate the natives.  I guess they could microchip the elite to be able to locate them.


.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2012 - 6:37PM #9
teilhard
Posts: 51,431

It's really, really, really EASY to advocate bravely for Creatures (especially Charismatic Mega-Fauna such as "Whales" or "Polar Bears") that live *Somewhere*Else* ...


What's really, really, really DIFFICULT is to "Think Globally" while closely examining what WE are doing "Locally" ...

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2012 - 11:25AM #10
mindis1
Posts: 7,933

The abstract of this study says:


Predicting when future species extinctions will occur is necessary for directing conservation investments but has proved difficult. We developed a new method for predicting extinctions over time, accounting for the timing and magnitude of habitat loss. We applied this to the Brazilian Amazon, predicting that local extinctions of forest-dependent vertebrate species have thus far been minimal (1% of species by 2008), with more than 80% of extinctions expected to be incurred from historical habitat loss still to come. Realistic deforestation scenarios suggest that local regions will lose an average of nine vertebrate species and have a further 16 committed to extinction by 2050. There is a window of opportunity to dilute the legacy of historical deforestation by concentrating conservation efforts in areas with greatest debt.


www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6091/228....


The Guardian article further notes:


About 54% of the [Brazilian Amazon] area is under environmental protection, and in the past five years, stricter controls and better compliance have driven deforestation rates down to a historical low.


The trend towards less deforestation might not last though. Under pressure from the financial crisis, the Brazilian government has proposed a rapid development programme in the Amazon to fuel the economy. The move foresees the construction of more than 20 hydroelectric power plants in the Amazon basin and an extensive push into the rainforest.


Imagine that: a “green,” “sustainable” energy source such as hydroelectric dams causing mass animal extinctions!


Should Brazil be allowed to dam up their rivers to provide electricity the way that the United States and New Zealand have done?


I take it that no one here is willing to live without electricity in order the save Amazon species from going extinct. If I am wrong, please speak up.

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