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06/14/2011

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John D

While scanning through reader comments about an article dealing with overpopulation and resource depletion, one commenter wrote: " I was driving through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and saw that there was plenty of open space with trees, so this whole overpopulation thing makes no sense". Huh? The ocean is much larger than our land surface and we've managed to destroy that.

JC

Dave - tough medicine here. Tough to take. I knew nothing about this area. (BTW - you have me listening now ... did you hear the hope at the last sentence of the video? Can anyone write anything w/o that last bit of hope?)

Tony Weddle

And what are the knock on effects of the death of oceans? I'm sure it must be more than just no fish for us to eat. However bad it might be that fish is excluded from the human diet, that, in itself, would affect us terminally but I'm sure the impact will be far greater than that.

Tony Weddle

Sorry, I meant "would *not* affect us terminally". I'm getting as bad as the first paragraph of that Time article with two glaring typos, including the one I made, missing out a "not".

Robin Datta

Your insights are worthy of a Cohen Gadol.

Guest

"Man lived harmlessly on this planet for some three million years, but the Takers have brought the whole thing to the point of collapse in only five hundred generations. And their explanation for this is what?"

"I see what you mean. Their explanation is that something is fundamentally wrong with people."

"Not that you Takers may be doing something wrong but rather that there is something fundamentally wrong with human nature itself."

"That's right."

"How do you like that explanation now?"

"I'm beginning to have my doubts about it."

"Good."

--Daniel Quinn, Ishmael (p. 119) http://www.ishmael.org/

RobM

I am well versed on the many overshoot problems we have created. There is something about the destruction of the oceans that upsets me more than anything else. I thus procrastinated reading this article but am glad I did.

Just finished re-reading the Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. It's a very enlightening book. All species are simply vehicles for the replicators (genes). And replicators have no purpose other than to replicate. It's unlikely we will ever be able to override evolved behaviors like "consume all available resources".

Justin Kenrick

The account of over fishing is useful but the premise of this piece is fundamentally wrong.

The useful reminder that we think of the environment of our early years as the baseline that we need to return to (when in fact it was already a greatly impoverished version of what went before) is a good metaphor for what is wrong with the underlying assumption.

The author repeatedly refers to humans and human nature when what he really means is the more recently dominant impoverished form of human thinking that assumes exploitation is the natural given.

Yes we are animals, but animals are here seen through our cultural lens such that we assume that survival of the fittest means thoughtless exploitation, and that the strong always try to destroy the weak etc, when actually 'survival of the fittest' means the survival of those who fit best with their environment.

There are many more ways of being human than this; and we could stop this systematic destruction in it's tracks if we not only realised this but realised the power available to us from deriving our strength - our 'fitness' - from delighting in the rest of the environment of which we are a part; rather than deriving our powerlessness from mistaking this ecocidal system for being who we are.

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