The Extinction of Animal and Plant Species

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by MrChips, May 12, 2013.

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  1. MrChips

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  2. Wendy

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    There is a first time for everything I suppose. I tend to lean green, but given the denial of a lot of facts, and the fact it is mondo political, I suspect a short life for this thread. I will probably be the one that closes it.

    It would be hard to argue that we are in the middle to end of another mass extinction, the like of which has not been seen since the age of the dinosaurs.
     
  3. MrChips

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    This is not politics, Bill.

    This is biology and science.

    David Wake, professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley ...

    ... study supported by The National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health...

    Vance Vredenburg, research associate at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley and assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University...

    In an article published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...

    Over 10,000 scientists in the World Conservation Union have compiled data showing that currently 51 per cent of known reptiles, 52 per cent of known insects, and 73 per cent of known flowering plants are in danger along with many mammals, birds and amphibians.

    Peter Raven, past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science...
     
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  4. JoeJester

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    Just out of curiosity ... how many species already extinct? How many of those were the direct cause of human activity?
     
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  5. THE_RB

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    And people are so quick to jump to the assumption that extinction is always bad.

    It's natural for circumstances to change, and lifeforms on this planet to come and go.

    What arrogance of man it is to think we know the "right" things or "wrong" things that would be made extinct?

    And even worse is "Bambi factor" where people think it's terrible for a cute little frog to become extinct, but some ugly critter like a polio virus they think it's good to be extinct. Judegment by the stupid.
     
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  6. Brownout

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    It's believed that there has been 4-5 mass extinction events in history. They have typically been caused by catastrophic events. Mass extintions obviously have a profound effect on the quality of life.
     
  7. MrChips

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    "Climate change is expected to have significant influences on terrestrial biodiversity at all system levels, including species-level reductions in range size and abundance, especially amongst endemic species."

    "More than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change."


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22500673


    [​IMG]
     
  8. ErnieM

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    As this species only occupies a micro niche of an environment, well... you do the math.

    Hint: it mostly died out long before man got here.
     
  9. Ron H

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    Then how would researchers know that the population has declined?
    Here is an article that mentions the decline of the frog population in the high Sierras.
    As an aside, I remember my first backbacking trip into the high Sierras. I came over a rise at about 10,000 feet and heard a tremendous racket. I tracked it down to a small pond, still rimmed with snow, on top of the ridge. From the sound, I'm guessing there were thousands of frogs around the pond. I had never even considered that frogs could live in that climate.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  10. Brownout

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    That means that man has only been here for two or three decades.
     
  11. GetDeviceInfo

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    When we were kids, back in the 60's, we would frequently come across the Leopard frog in any established ponds or lakes. I haven't seen a Leopard frog for close to 20 years.
     
  12. JoeJester

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    How developed were those lakes and ponds? What was the human population around them?
     
  13. THE_RB

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    Sure, climate changes are one of the main things that cause species to come and go. Climate changes have also happened many many times before, all without Man's intervention. And each time, caused some species to come, and some to go.

    If climate change is occurring, and if it causes a species to die out, then likelyhood is that some other really cool species will come along and replace it.

    This is all very normal.

    I get a bit annoyed a "Chicken Little" environmentalists who focus on everything "bad" that they think is happening. It's a haven for people with mental issues, who have a pathological need to believe things are "really really bad".

    A REAL environmentalist realises that the universe is in constant flux, there's always climate change, there's always species coming and going, there's always some good and some bad occurring. Enjoy the ride.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
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  14. Wendy

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    It isn't just climate change, pollution is also a big hitter. Occasionally humans back off and a species recovers, such as with the book "Silent Spring".
     
  15. GetDeviceInfo

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    They were not developed and sparsely populated, as many are today, however, many of these waters cease to exist due to agricultural drainage practices. Our native duck population has also taken a hit over the last 30 years.

    The point isn't in a catch all phrase like 'global warming', it's more about destroying vast areas of rain forest, strip netting oceanic species, commercializing wildlife, etc.
     
  16. Ron H

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    Have you read what some critics have said about Silent Spring?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Spring
     
  17. Wendy

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    Just curious, have you read the book? I have, though I was a young teen at the time.

    I find it also interesting it's most vehement critics (though not all) have a major financial stake, as in they are representing companies making these pesticides.

    But not all pollutants are pesticides. I was hearing they may have figured out what was causing the honey bee population crash. The theory goes that corn syrup, while not toxic, does dramatically reduce the bees immune system. They have been giving it to the colonies to replace the honey they harvest.
     
  18. MrChips

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  19. praondevou

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    Sounds like we shouldn't care at all. There are however many effects caused by human activity that could have and should have been avoided, for our own good.

    Of course, species come and go. But we are intelligent enough to be the one that could live here for many many years to come. If we consider us just another species (=animal), well then there is indeed no reason to change anything, no problem with oil spills, air pollution, overpopulation and connected problems. Everything is self-regulating. But I'd prefer not to be the one that suffers the consequences.

    The thing is the blindness towards how we depend on an intact biosphere will hurt us one day. Then maybe there are still the cool guys from Monsato & Co who will engineer our food so we don't need those stupid insects.
     
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  20. atferrari

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    Just to mention something that most pople will never see much less suspect, if you have the naive image of fishing as in the Bubba Forrest style, better forget it. The real thing IS different.

    The most constant "flux" I could detect along so many years in the water was of oil products happily alternated with telgopor in Antarctica, South Atlantic, Upper Parana River, Mediterranean Sea, Oceanic litoral of Argentina, Guanabara Bay, North Atlantic and Papete Bay to name those I recall right off the top of my head.

    I never enjoyed that kind of ride.
     
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