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When it comes to Rhinoceroses, however, we're going to have to fire up the de-extinctifier and... I don't know. Let them go extinct twice, probably.



The maddening thing about rhino extinctions is it's not so much the habitat loss, although that's no doubt significant, but the fucking horn aphrodesiac bullshit that's driving their destruction.

I'm positive, too, Dave. Positively in need of a drink.

Dave Cohen

Re: "fire up the de-extinctifier"

love it

-- Dave


I am always intrigued by the regular exhortation aimed at tell-it-like-it-is realists that they ought to adopt the 'glass-half-full' mindset as a means of navigating life without blowing a gasket, enabling them to view bad things going on in the world in the best light. But this strategy only helps people, not the deer, or the dolphins, or the manta rays, or the rhinos, or the sharks, or the bees, or myriad other constituents of the biosphere adversely affected by mankind's selfish flailing arms.

On the other hand, realists do need to belly laugh once in a while, to avoid going completely nuts with the stress of acknowledging difficult facts as facts. Thankfully, there is so much to laugh about. The sheer inanity of "superior" human conduct peppers every news broadcast and every newspaper.

For example, a political scrutineer of public finances with no foresight: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22381347

A government forcing people to stay alive when they've been trying to kill them off for years: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/01/the-ethics-of-force-feeding-inmates/if-the-government-cares-then-free-guantanamo-inmates

Etcetera, ad nausea (sic)


Speaking of difficult facts:

China is dramatically under-reporting what it's taking from the world's seas. The average it told the UN Food and Agriculture Organization over the last decade was 368,000 tons each year. A recent European Parliament report puts that number at 4.6 million tons -- some 12.5 times more than what China reported.

China Is Plundering the Planet's Seas: http://tinyurl.com/bpafge4

China Under-Reports Global Fish Catch: http://tinyurl.com/buct6mh

(EU Report) The role of China in World Fisheries: http://tinyurl.com/bwevuds

Eric Thurston

If one were to believe a 'futurist' like Stewart Brand, the de-extinctifier is already here. Like the expression goes 'you can't make this stuff up.'


Dave Cohen


I posted about the clueless Stewart Brand.


With DOTE, you've got to read everyday if you want to get The Big Picture.

That's why rumor referred to the "de-extinctifier."

-- Dave

Dave Cohen


Good catch (so to speak).

I'll be posting about that in the future.

That's interesting because they used to overstate their fish landings.


It looks like (wild-caught) fish depletion is worse than I thought.

-- Dave

Mike Roberts

Just to keep up the glass half-full mentality, I found a research paper on the Huemul. Apparently, their population was down to around 500, a decade ago. That's a five-fold increase in a decade. Now surely that's success in spades!

Adam Noel

Not to sound like too much of an optimist but if we left the ecosystems alone they would likely begin to recover fairly quickly. Things like distorted predator prey relations would work themselves out quickly if left alone and ecosystems would slowly begin to develop again.

Of course, the problem is us recognizing the best thing we can do is the stay the hell out of nature's way. We'll never recognize that... so we're screwed. (This is without regarding our larger role in environmental destruction of course... but such things are in direct conflict with the religion of progress so such things are out of the question)

Adam Noel


The most disturbing part about those articles you linked to is that these rhino horns are incredibly valued yet people do not stop to think what it will mean once they drive them to extinction. Wouldn't it make sound business sense to ensure there are rhinos for the future? If the rhino horns are as magical as they say then it should be in the interest of people to preserve them for the future... yet they do not.

Mike Roberts


We can't stay out of nature's way; we're part of nature, but I get your point. However, we can't have a modern complex society that's dependent on growth and in which, overall, populations grow, without messing up habitats and ecosystems. So we should be making a choice but I don't see that happening any time soon.

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