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John D

There are so many indicators of man's influence on the degradation of the planet- overfishing being one- that I sometimes wish we would lessen our focus on global warming and focus on the more concrete, easy to measure unarguable effects. In Republican logic, the case goes that if we can't positively prove that mankind is causing global warming, then we are not ruining our environment. There is so much else- decline of fisheries, desertification, depletion of aquifers, soil loss; that there shouldn't be an argument.

Edward Boyle

I read the book "The End of the Line"(2004) by Charles Clover on just this topic of overfishing a few years ago and became quite depressed, wishing human extinction as the better result. Since then I avoid this and similar topics knowing I can't do anything about personally.

To me it is like watching those programs about starving children somewhere or documentaries about the holocaust. I can't deal with it and turn off to avoid shock or cynical burnout. At this point in our existence we are all so helpless just to get by, in terms of jobs, personal future, etc. that trying to save the planet against these evil corporations (including corrupt and stupid fisheries) is another one of many impossibilites thrown at our doorstep. The whales survived because petroleum was found to replace their oil. When petroleum is gone then automatic fishing at high seas and computer sonar fishing will be gone. Back to hand fishing with hand made nets near shore. Let us pray that oil depletes soon, very soon, for the sake of all unborn generations, human or otherwise as the potential of this planet in terms of life is likely unique and very high if one animal had not disturbed the balance so completely in its own favour.

I suppose the planet humans leave behind will be ideally suited to some sort of huge insects preying on one another through a desert earth and living undeground in the daytime. With luck maybe a virulent virus will kill off most humans and modern civilization. There is so little time and the civilizational structure now existing is taking the earth's biosphere down with it. Rome and Greece denuded previously forested landscapes but left a nicely landscaped mediterranean culture. Northern Europe was denuded of forests and most wild animals over the next thousand years by adaptation of agriculture and population growth. Previous cultures in China, etc. civilized the lands but left them livable. current civilizations is eliminating water tables by overpumping with diesel pumps, topsoils through modern unsustainable agriculture, emptying the oceans entirely(not to mention acidifying them) and making earth into an oven rather quickly so that life itself for noninsect life will likely be impossible.

We know how when mammals started on earth they were nocturnal mice, hiding from dinosaurs. Then came mammoths and other huge anmals. When the insects have no competitors they will get huge. We need scientific studies on how the earth will look in 200 years and what its inhabitants will be like after some tens of thousands of years of evolution.

I hope I am not being too hopeful here for your taste. Perhaps earth will become entirely uninhabitable and my dream of a pleasant future for some other life form will be unwarranted. Then my hopes of being reincarnated some day as a giant cockroach so that I could finally escape the wheel of life through my own effort of "being good" would be disappointed and I would have to go straight to some sort of heaven/hell/purgatory for evil creatures who went extinct(i.e. humans).I suppose the dinosaurs for that matter have their own spritual wasteland somewhere.

People say that they have gone from the warning to the preparatory stage as so much warming is "baked into the cake". Can we just accept that mammal dominance( due to total extinction of all warm blooders and birds) is over as humanity "got lucky" and found fossil fuels? It shows how useless our intelligence really is if we just use it for selfless short term gain.


I kind of like "The Age of Slime." It has the ring of inevitability.


And now Fukushima in Japan is dumping highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. [The Church Lady]Well isn't that spe-cial![/TCL]


I started reading Rob't Kennedy Jr.'s book about the environment and couldn't get past the opening pages it was so depressing. I pretty much gave up eating fish because (1) if it's farm raised it's bacteria-laden and tastes disgusting, (2) I can't afford the fish they say is wild caught in purer waters, (3) the tuna I can afford will give you brain damage.

So I am experimenting with growing veggies in pots on my deck. Not quite the same thing, but I don't use pesticides, and I take a shitload of vitamins and minerals to make up for it. Because I'm 68 (and don't expect to live more than another 20 years at most) and I'm hiding out in a rural area, maybe I can avoid the next meltdown. We all know that something has to give....


I've said for years the only hope for the earth is the elimination of humanity. Sounds extreme I know, but....


I get nearly suicidal these days from these realizations ... but I am optimistic about that at least assuming my way of life guarantees dozens or hundreds of third world deaths...so I can deliver pizza.

Brian M

I rather prefer the Antrhopomyxocene, the age of human-caused slime.

Tony Weddle

I guess Huxley also didn't consider the food chain. You can't just think about the actual species being fished but the species that depend on them, and the species that depend on those, and so on. This happened with the foodstuff of certain whales that had to switch to octopus, because of reducing numbers of the fish they usually ate, but humans also switched to octopus, for the same reasons. But we kill other species through behaviours other than fishing, like agriculture run-off.


Holy crap. Are you people for real? You think it better the human species come to an end? You claim over-fishing scares you, but I find comments like these to be far more terrifying.

First, let me point out, I find over-fishing to be stupid in the highest order of magnitude, primarily because that is a major source of food for much of the world, and humans will suffer negatively as result.

However, you people seem to happily overlook the fact that there is no inherent morality in nature. Nature is completely neutral. Humanity is no more evil than the first crustaceans that caused mass extinctions of other species. Humans are no more evil than the meteor that we think wiped out the dinosaurs. There is no species, that were it able, would not wipe out all competing species and adapt it's environment perfectly to suit its needs. That IS nature.

When I see statements about the 'evil' of humans, I roll my eyes so hard I'm afraid my retina may detach themselves. Instead of whining and crying about how 'everyone else' is evil, (but never yourself, of course!) why don't you spend time thinking up solutions?

In Asia, crocodiles where hunted to near extinction, and as result, they began to farm them. The species both in farms and in the wild has been preserved because supplies ran low, and humans adapted. Why not push for larger and larger sea water fisheries? Well, simply because doing something constructive would give you less of a sense of smug satisfaction over how horrible all of your peers are, and how virtuous you are.

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