Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

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Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby mothra » 25 Feb 2018, 21:43

Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF
Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

“If half the animals died in London zoo next week it would be front page news,” said Professor Ken Norris, ZSL’s director of science. “But that is happening in the great outdoors. This damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live.” He said nature, which provides food and clean water and air, was essential for human wellbeing.

“We have lost one half of the animal population and knowing this is driven by human consumption, this is clearly a call to arms and we must act now,” said Mike Barratt, director of science and policy at WWF. He said more of the Earth must be protected from development and deforestation, while food and energy had to be produced sustainably.

The steep decline of animal, fish and bird numbers was calculated by analysing 10,000 different populations, covering 3,000 species in total. This data was then, for the first time, used to create a representative “Living Planet Index” (LPI), reflecting the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates.

“We have all heard of the FTSE 100 index, but we have missed the ultimate indicator, the falling trend of species and ecosystems in the world,” said Professor Jonathan Baillie, ZSL’s director of conservation. “If we get [our response] right, we will have a safe and sustainable way of life for the future,” he said.

If not, he added, the overuse of resources would ultimately lead to conflicts. He said the LPI was an extremely robust indicator and had been adopted by UN’s internationally-agreed Convention on Biological Diversity as key insight into biodiversity.

A second index in the new Living Planet report calculates humanity’s “ecological footprint”, ie the scale at which it is using up natural resources. Currently, the global population is cutting down trees faster than they regrow, catching fish faster than the oceans can restock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them and emitting more climate-warming carbon dioxide than oceans and forests can absorb.

The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

The fastest decline among the animal populations were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970. “Rivers are the bottom of the system,” said Dave Tickner, WWF’s chief freshwater adviser. “Whatever happens on the land, it all ends up in the rivers.” For example, he said, tens of billions of tonnes of effluent are dumped in the Ganges in India every year.

As well as pollution, dams and the increasing abstraction of water damage freshwater systems. There are more than 45,000 major dams – 15m or higher – around the world. “These slice rivers up into a thousand pieces,” Tickner said, preventing the healthy flow of water. While population has risen fourfold in the last century, water use has gone up sevenfold. “We are living thirstier and thirstier lives,” he said.

But while freshwater species such as the European eel and the hellbender salamander in the US have crashed, recoveries have also been seen. Otters were near extinct in England but thanks to conservation efforts now live in every county.

The number of animals living on the land has fallen by 40% since 1970. From forest elephants in central Africa, where poaching rates now exceed birth rates, to the Hoolock gibbon in Bangladesh and European snakes like the meadow and asp vipers, destruction of habitat has seen populations tumble. But again intensive conservation effort can turn declines around, as has happened with tigers in Nepal.

Marine animal populations have also fallen by 40% overall, with turtles suffering in particular. Hunting, the destruction of nesting grounds and getting drowned in fishing nets have seen turtle numbers fall by 80%. Some birds have been heavily affected too. The number of grey partridges in the UK sank by 50% since 1970 due to the intensification of farming, while curlew sandpipers in Australia lost 80% of their number in the 20 years to 2005.

The biggest declines in animal numbers have been seen in low-income, developing nations, while conservation efforts in rich nations have seen small improvements overall. But the big declines in wildlife in rich nations had already occurred long before the new report’s baseline year of 1970 – the last wolf in the UK was shot in 1680.

Also, by importing food and other goods produced via habitat destruction in developing nations, rich nations are “outsourcing” wildlife decline to those countries, said Norris. For example, a third of all the products of deforestation such as timber, beef and soya were exported to the EU between 1990 and 2008.

David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK said: “The scale of the destruction highlighted in this report should be a wake-up call for us all. But 2015 – when the countries of the world are due to come together to agree on a new global climate agreement, as well as a set of sustainable development goals – presents us with a unique opportunity to reverse the trends.

“We all – politicians, businesses and people – have an interest, and a responsibility, to act to ensure we protect what we all value: a healthy future for both people and nature.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/29/earth-lost-50-wildlife-in-40-years-wwf
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby Vulcan » 25 Feb 2018, 21:46

Agree.
80% of Australia's trees have been removed.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby johnsmith » 25 Feb 2018, 22:18

the world is over populated. Whilst demand for resources keeps increasing, some people will destroy the planet to profit from it any way they can.

I guess we can't really whinge, afterall we all use those same resources.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby HBS Guy » 25 Feb 2018, 22:32

Most death is by habitat destruction.

The koala could go extinct due habitat destruction.

Ocean acidification is causing problems for plankton, especially zooplankton, forming shells.

Plain old pollution: coal and diesel particulate emissions, plastic in the oceans etc.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby Vulcan » 25 Feb 2018, 22:53

The world is over-populated via many nations (mostly poor).
The world is also over-indulgent via many nations (mostly rich).

Australia is an 'over-indulgent' nation.
70% of all its 'food stocks' that a put on shelves, go un-used and thrown out as 'waste'.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby HBS Guy » 25 Feb 2018, 23:03

We can feed the world, just need the will.

Sea level rises will create environmental refugees and population reduction (Bangladesh mainly but the US east and Gulf coasts are vulnerable.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 26 Feb 2018, 00:51

HBS Guy wrote:We can feed the world, just need the will.

Sea level rises will create environmental refugees and population reduction (Bangladesh mainly but the US east and Gulf coasts are vulnerable.



You know what ? Bring it on.

We did it, we can't reverse it, so the sooner we are removed the better for the world.

Sad but true. Massive population reduction right now, will do nothing to improve the next forty+ years. :? :? :bike

After that? anyones guess.!
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Feb 2018, 01:00

Yeah. Even the Paris accord, if temps are kept to 2°C rise will still see sea levels rise for 300 years.

We are also killing wildlife by AGW—eventually, organisms cannot go/migrate further north or higher up a mountain. Warming seas bring invasive organisms who can now live in seas closer to the N/S pole as the seas warm—chaos in ecosystems.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 26 Feb 2018, 01:05

HBS Guy wrote:Yeah. Even the Paris accord, if temps are kept to 2°C rise will still see sea levels rise for 300 years.

We are also killing wildlife by AGW—eventually, organisms cannot go/migrate further north or higher up a mountain. Warming seas bring invasive organisms who can now live in seas closer to the N/S pole as the seas warm—chaos in ecosystems.


the horse has well and truly bolted.... FLOGGED by humans beyond its ability. Why do we do this?
To all :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad :sad creatures great and small.?
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Feb 2018, 01:10

There are hopeful signs. Coal is increasingly a stranded asset. I wish nuclear could play its role which it could with a halfway decent carbon price. Too much stigma attached to nuclear which masks the fact coal KILLS people. Fukushima was old tech built on the coast over a fucking fault!

Renewables are looking good with wind farms in the open sea having stronger and more consistent winds so generating much more power. England is now powered half by renewable energy.

Solar is good but not in utility scale applications—just need to cover WAY too much ground. Tesla powerwall is extending the usefulness of rooftop solar. Storage of excess energy is advancing and that will see even more renwable energy projects.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby MilesAway » 26 Feb 2018, 01:52

johnsmith wrote:the world is over populated. Whilst demand for resources keeps increasing, some people will destroy the planet to profit from it any way they can.

I guess we can't really whinge, afterall we all use those same resources.

Does the word "economy" actually have a meaning?

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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby MilesAway » 26 Feb 2018, 02:01

Vulcan wrote:The world is over-populated via many nations (mostly poor).
The world is also over-indulgent via many nations (mostly rich).

Australia is an 'over-indulgent' nation.
70% of all its 'food stocks' that a put on shelves, go un-used and thrown out as 'waste'.



Not sure I can believe that: do you have a source for making such a comment?
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby MilesAway » 26 Feb 2018, 02:06

HBS Guy wrote:There are hopeful signs. Coal is increasingly a stranded asset. I wish nuclear could play its role which it could with a halfway decent carbon price. Too much stigma attached to nuclear which masks the fact coal KILLS people. Fukushima was old tech built on the coast over a fucking fault!

Renewables are looking good with wind farms in the open sea having stronger and more consistent winds so generating much more power. England is now powered half by renewable energy.

Solar is good but not in utility scale applications—just need to cover WAY too much ground. Tesla powerwall is extending the usefulness of rooftop solar. Storage of excess energy is advancing and that will see even more renwable energy projects.

Co-generation: the 20th century purposefully avoided the advance of battery and other storage technology... pure fact!

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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 26 Feb 2018, 02:07

MilesAway wrote:
johnsmith wrote:the world is over populated. Whilst demand for resources keeps increasing, some people will destroy the planet to profit from it any way they can.

I guess we can't really whinge, afterall we all use those same resources.

Does the word "economy" actually have a meaning?

:bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :rain


Yep. essentially... it is a construct of a Scotsman, who developed the sea trade between the UK and the West Indies. Now what was his name?

Everything is assigned a monetary value, hence the attractiveness of the idea to those with money.

Consumerism and capitalism are his babies. Someone else would have come up with the idea tho, if he hadn't.

I guess we are DOOMED.

DOOMED.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby MilesAway » 26 Feb 2018, 02:08

HBS Guy wrote:There are hopeful signs. Coal is increasingly a stranded asset. I wish nuclear could play its role which it could with a halfway decent carbon price. Too much stigma attached to nuclear which masks the fact coal KILLS people. Fukushima was old tech built on the coast over a fucking fault!

Renewables are looking good with wind farms in the open sea having stronger and more consistent winds so generating much more power. England is now powered half by renewable energy.

Solar is good but not in utility scale applications—just need to cover WAY too much ground. Tesla powerwall is extending the usefulness of rooftop solar. Storage of excess energy is advancing and that will see even more renwable energy projects.

I can't believe this, fullstop!
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby MilesAway » 26 Feb 2018, 02:09

pinkeye wrote:
MilesAway wrote:
johnsmith wrote:the world is over populated. Whilst demand for resources keeps increasing, some people will destroy the planet to profit from it any way they can.

I guess we can't really whinge, afterall we all use those same resources.

Does the word "economy" actually have a meaning?

:bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :bike :rain


Yep. essentially... it is a construct of a Scotsman, who developed the sea trade between the UK and the West Indies. Now what was his name?

Everything is assigned a monetary value, hence the attractiveness of the idea to those with money.

Consumerism and capitalism are his babies. Someone else would have come up with the idea tho, if he hadn't.

I guess we are DOOMED.

DOOMED.

Are you going to tell us or not?
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 26 Feb 2018, 02:39

no... work it out for yourself.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby mothra » 26 Feb 2018, 13:08

johnsmith wrote:the world is over populated. Whilst demand for resources keeps increasing, some people will destroy the planet to profit from it any way they can.

I guess we can't really whinge, afterall we all use those same resources.



That's the kicker though ... it's not that there aren't enough resources, it's that they are so badly wasted by wealthy nations.

We have the means to feed, water and house everyone on the planet sustainably ... yet we continue to overfeed the few at the expense of the many ... and the planet.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Feb 2018, 13:14

Overfeed the wealthy and polluting the planet in the process.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby Vulcan » 27 Feb 2018, 19:40

Yes - over-feeding the few (obesity).

Tinned Fish: 30% is bycatch and thrown back into the sea (dead). 30% is sold on shelves in supermarkets. 30% is thrown out (used by date) as unsold and put in landfill. There is a 10% variable between all three.

Now they make illegal, people who go through dumpsters pulling out all the unsold but still good supermarket food (Andrei Hicks told me about all this).
But I'm surprised that they don't incorporate 'food recycle' and put it to use somehow.

Remember the Soviet years where 'empty shelves' were often shown (maybe USA propaganda, I don't know. I do know they falsified films about Cuba).
While in Australia - food shelves are packed & foods go unsold. How many times do you see 'price reductions' because of the slowness to sell?
Australia is a 'over-indulgent' nation.
Definitely not an 'over-populated one, that's for sure.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby johnsmith » 27 Feb 2018, 21:32

Vulcan wrote:Remember the Soviet years where 'empty shelves' were often shown (maybe USA propaganda, I don't know. I do know they falsified films about Cuba)


don't know about soviets, but my wife grew up in Romania whilst it was a communist regime under Ceausescu.
According to her, under communism, they had plenty of money but nothing to spend it on .... supermarkets would be totally totally empty of goods except for perhaps a few bottles of water

after communism, shelves were overflowing with goods, but no one had money
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 28 Feb 2018, 22:41

Despite all the information available to us, we, as a species, continue to devastate the environment.

It is disgusting.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby mothra » 28 Feb 2018, 22:49

pinkeye wrote:Despite all the information available to us, we, as a species, continue to devastate the environment.

It is disgusting.



It beggars belief, doesn't it?

Ben Elton's "Stark" springs immediately to mind.
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Re: Half of earth's wildlife killed off in past 40 years

Postby pinkeye » 28 Feb 2018, 23:04

mothra wrote:
pinkeye wrote:Despite all the information available to us, we, as a species, continue to devastate the environment.

It is disgusting.



It beggars belief, doesn't it?

Ben Elton's "Stark" springs immediately to mind.


:sad
lots of things I've read spring to mind.

John Brunner's 'And the Sheep Look Up'......always has resonance for me. And I last read it at least 25 years ago. Hmm..And before that? at least 10 yrs,.... so it is a vision both horrifying and tragically comic.
I might have a paperbacl copy stashed somewhere. Must fish it out..
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