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David Attenborough: a life on our planet

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Paul Arden
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David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#1

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:56 pm

Hi folks,

I just watched this tonight on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it I thoroughly recommend that you do.

There is an additional longer term solution for the planet. Have one child and not two until we are back down to 1.5 billion. Of course that will take many generations and far too long to solve the current crisis but personally I think this would be a really great long term strategy.

Eliminating poverty and providing free universal health care are no brainers for humanity. The other plans of action are well thought through. Particularly moving to a plant based diet and returning farmland to wilderness. It’s the only viable option for survival.

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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#2

Post by James9118 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:01 am

Unfortunately western politics is completely at odds with sustainable living on this planet. Until politicians (and the people who vote them into power) relinquish the tenet of economic growth then the human race is doomed. Until then we're encourage to breed like rabbits to raise a new, and bigger generation of consumers. The only world leader I'm aware of who 's had the 'balls' to say anything contrary to 'economic growth is great' is Jacinda Ardern: https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/opini ... -it/31/05/

If you watch a lot of David Attenborough documentaries you get to the realisation that the most successful animals on the planet, i.e. ones whose species has lasted many millions of years, are the ones which enhance the environment they're in. They clean up the mess, maybe that's sick or injured prey individuals or just the detritus that falls of trees and plants, or they actively promote diversity by facilitating pollination etc.

The human species is the exact opposite, it destroys everything in it's path to economic growth. In my view it all went wrong when farming started. As hunter/gatherers I suspect humans had little impact, and maybe even a positive one that an apex predator brings. However, with the onset of farming, land started to be used solely for the benefit of the human species and a mere 10,000 years later we're in the mess we're in now. Extrapolate another 10,000 years or 100,000 then I think the human species will certainly be extinct. It will not be a pleasant end either.

James

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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:56 am

I think we are in a far worse situation than that James. Assuming we live another 40 or 50 years (which I certainly hope!), if we don’t immediately change our tack but keep on going the same way, then I unfortunately expect that we will both see massive global unrest. I just don’t see how this is avoidable.

We have destroyed the natural world, no question. I don’t believe true wilderness exists any more - or if it does then only in very small amounts. I live in a jungle on the equator and there are wild elephants and a few tigers left. But it is a “park”. It’s not wilderness when it’s a park.

One of the things I took away from the film, and it’s something I’ve long believed in, is we MUST change our diet. We have turned vast swathes of wilderness into farmland so we can eat animals every meal. If we changed our diet and returned half of this land back to wilderness then perhaps we have a chance.

For me the bigger problem is not how we live but how many of us live. 7 billion. Double what it was when we were born. Yes we are living longer, and actually having less babies as more and more people leave poverty. But if we only had one baby between two people for the next generations, until we are down to what I have read to be the optimal number of humans - ie 1-1.5 billion - then maybe we can save the planet and ourselves. (I realise there might be some disagreement on that number or even what a good life should be).

At the extreme: who wants to live on an overcrowded planet, full of plastic waste, with no natural world left to appreciate? For me - and I know we are all different - but for me the appreciation of life has always come from Nature.

200 governments and separate countries doesn’t seem to work too well in this regards either. And democracy is failing.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#4

Post by Limpe Iven » Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:26 pm

Excellent documentary.

Have you seen "the game changers" on Netflix, if not, go and see.
Superb ways of convincing the most hardcore meateaters. (at least the ones with a functioning brain).

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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#5

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:46 pm

Yep I have! It was very interesting for me because I did the same experiment 20 years ago when I was running like a madman. I haven’t eaten animals since.
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#6

Post by Carol » Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:54 am

James9118 wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:01 am
The human species is the exact opposite, it destroys everything in it's path to economic growth.
Man, I couldn't agree with you more. The overpopulated human race is like a giant swarm of locust consuming everything in its path. I chose not to participate in adding to the numbers, and in the "one or none" mindset of child bearing, I chose none. Now that I'm older, I've come to realize that the only reason people have children is because they want them. The world does not need more humans/consumers, and to make more than one replacement is selfish. Besides that, poorer families have a chance of giving a single child enough food and an education. As the number increases, the likelihood is greatly reduced. But how do you change cultures and values fast enough? We already are quickly closing in on the brink. Sadly enough, COVID may very well be part of earth's solution to over-population.

In the US, I think families should get a tax break for having one child. If they have two, the tax break is revoked and they have to pay. Toward that end, birth control should be free. Pro life means pro ALL life, not just unborn humans. It's clear that not everyone agrees with that.

As for eating a 100% plant-based diet, some of us cannot handle many plant-based proteins. I sure wish I could because I really enjoy that type of diet, but since I physically can't, I eat whey, nuts, and chicken for protein. Also, having worked on a small cattle ranch in my 20s, I turn away from red meat of any kind because branding, and cutting off testicles (done at the same time) is horrendously cruel, as is the way they are taken to slaughter. Remember the book Diet for a Small Planet? That's an oldy, but still valid. But am I a hypocrite because I fish? And even though I catch and release only, wouldn't it be better for the earth if I didn't fish at all?

Something else to consider is how many pets western societies have. Pets are carnivores, consuming a lot of meats. We need free spay and neutering to reduce the overpopulation of pets and reduce their suffering.
[Off the soapbox now.]
Carol
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:47 am

Hi Carol,

I don’t think that fishing makes you a hypocrite. In fact it’s through fishing that many of us have gained an appreciation of the natural world and are actively trying to protect it. For example the Sungai Tiang project I’m involved in, has had a huge response from anglers all over the world, offering both financial and moral support.

Fish is an interesting example. I know the park conservations here very well. How do they get support for their projects? Tigers! The general public support tiger conservation funds but while the park management is interested in the tigers it’s the whole ecosystem that concerns them. They support our fishing project, not because they are directly interested in having a pristine river that has fish in abundance (obviously they think this is a good idea, but it’s not one of their top priorities) but because they see it as a way to assist in conserving the entire reserve - as do I of course, but my primary angle here is the fish!

I’ve long seen fly fishers as the protectors of fish. I don’t think anyone cares more about fish than those who release them.

I’m sure you know, it’s generally people from poorer countries that have the most children (ignoring religion!). There are a number of reasons for this, one thought being that they have a higher mortality in these regions. Certainly as the world eliminates poverty we go from large families to smaller families. It’s for this reason that the world population is expected to peak around 11 billion.

And of course they are looking at ways to make that sustainable. But I don’t think we want to be there. In 1900, just over a century ago, the world population was around 1.5 billion. When I’ve read up on the subject it’s suggested that for everyone having a comfortable and fulfilling life that 1-2 billions is an ideal number of humans on the planet. So I think instead of going headlong uncontrolled to 11 billion we should reverse this and head back to 1-2 billion.

I do regard many of the social problems that humans face as due to overcrowding. When I was a schoolboy I read some of Desmond Morris’ books “the naked ape” “the concrete jungle” in which he studies man as a zoologist might :D I suppose that has sat in the back of my head and given me a filter to apply when regarding people for much of my life.

Anyway it’s a nice idea to reduce numbers but it’s just not going to happen the way the world is operating at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t!

Cheers, Paul

PS fingers crossed! :cool:
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#8

Post by Carol » Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:45 pm

Fingers, toes, legs, strands of hair ....
Carol
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:09 pm

At least a coup seems unlikely.
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Re: David Attenborough: a life on our planet

#10

Post by Boisker » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:01 am

Anyone 100% committed to ‘saving’ the world can’t be making long haul flights (or any flights for that matter).... partic for holidays/fishing... so although I have worked in conservation all my working life, I utterly fail on that key criteria.
I had a colleague who on principle would not fly, neither did his wife or 2 kids... but he did have 2 kids and I have none... so who is ‘right’
I flew from the U.K. to Goa, that was the equivalent to 1 years ‘carbon allowance’

Basically, we all make judgements on what is acceptable, we can show how good and principled we are in one area whilst failing miserably in another....

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