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Restoring Rainforests

Forum for discussing fisheries conservation and other environmental issues related to fish, wildlife, watersheds, and aquatic ecosystems.

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Paul Arden
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Restoring Rainforests


Post by Paul Arden » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:44 pm

Here is a FP that I didn’t run today but I’ll post it here instead.


I had a campfire a few nights ago with some young environmentalists. They are a part of a non-government organisation who grow native Malaysian trees in order to replant native forests where the natural forest has been degraded or where a palm oil plantation is being reverted back to natural forest. A big part of their work involves saving species of trees from extinction. Did you know that some species of trees number less than 50 individuals?

But what inspired me is that they are all thoroughly versed with the effects of climate change. One thing that bothers me however, is that no one talks about reversing climate change, this is a very different thing to “managing” climate change.

Managing climate change to my mind is like ”managing” the North Sea. Scientists tell the government what is the maximum catch quota in order for fish stocks to be maintained at their current level (not returned to abundance, only remain where they are) and the politicians set the quotas higher for political reasons. This is ”managing” the North Sea... to extinction. Sea Bass, Cod, Eels all got very close to extinction in the past 20 years. That’s a managed decline.

Managing 2 degrees of temperature increase is not reversing the problem either. And from what we know of history, it’s very unlikely that man will manage only a 2 degree increase. What is politically acceptable to politicians in a 5 year lifecycle is not necessarily what is best for future generations. Are you really going to give up the luxury of a heated or air-conditioned room so that future generations may exist? Or for that matter pay more for your petrol, in France say?

The root problem is that we are overpopulated. And most of us, certainly in the West, live lives that are incompatible with the natural planet in the numbers we exist. So there will have to be dramatic changes made. Lowering the population of the planet, is not really something that can be done ethically, and we expect that we are going to peak at around 12 billion. I was born in 1970 when the population was 3.5 bIllion. Now it’s 7 billion. Wow... two of me for every one of me, in less than 50 years!!!

From what I understand, we are not too late. But will it be fixed? That’s an interesting question.

I read last week that, for the first time in a long time, the numbers of starving people worldwide has increased this year. This reverses the trend of recent years. The cause is climate change, droughts and poor crops. It’s staggering to think that grain is being exported from countries with starving populations, to the West, so that cattle can be fed, so that people can eat meat. I’m not even sure how you begin to justify that. And that’s a selfish act affecting people today, not generations in the future.

It’s going to be a hard and bumpy ride. It might be too late for the Polar Bear but if we’ve melted the Arctic then maybe we can refreeze it back together again? Now that would be an accomplishment.
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