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Thread: Species Extinction & Human Population Growth

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Yeah, a bad economy can sometimes do wonders for conservation lol
    Da' mishu
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    All plants in cultivation have had either parts of them or their seeds removed from the wild for "economic gain" and to get them into cultivation - which is simply "legal poaching". Whether you have paperwork or not doesn't change the fact they were removed from the wild by a human. Very few tend to spontaneously germinate in sterile culture vessels.

    Unlike nepenthes which can be roadside weeds in some areas, I have heard all Heliamphora grow on government protected lands (the Tepuis).

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    There is a real tendency for the navel-gazers and hand-wringers in society to constantly bemoan human behavior and overplay its potential effect on the environment. Species and, particularly, societies rise and fall; they have done so since the beginning of our recorded history; and, through a handful of massive extinction events over geological time, ninety-eight-plus percent of all species that ever existed on Earth, are gone -- well before we ever left the trees; walked upright; or discovered fire. We're rank amateurs in that scheme of things.

    Then, we have the eternal check and balance of disease. Coincidentally, I am currently reading a great book on malaria and how it altered the course of history; how its spread affected local cultures -- destroying some completely -- and eventually gave rise to the African slave trade -- largely due to the fact that those peoples were far more resistant to malaria's more virulent form, than were the indigenous slaves here, who were decimated by malaria in the earliest colonies. As an aside, Africans were also three times the value of any European indentured servant (who were plentiful at that time), for that very same reason.

    Fortunes of individuals and countries rose and fell; and Scotland eventually even lost its independence from England, largely due to a disease-carrying protozoan in the gut of a mosquito, half a world away. They effectively went bankrupt, attempting to fund New Caledonia, a colony on the Darién Coast of Panama, wiped out by the disease; and were absorbed by their neighbors to the South. The plan had been to build a road across the isthmus to open trade.

    We now have new antibiotic-resistant bacteria; viruses; retroviruses; hemorrhagic fevers by the handful; prions; and the new-found ability to be anywhere on the globe, spreading disease within twenty-four hours. Malaria has been with us 500,000 years; yet our treatments are still primitive at best; and the disease is rampant.

    Regardless of any medical progress, we'll be kept in check one way or the other -- and a Merry Christmas to all!
    Last edited by BigBella; 12-17-2012 at 03:08 PM.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    All plants in cultivation have had either parts of them or their seeds removed from the wild for "economic gain" and to get them into cultivation - which is simply "legal poaching". Whether you have paperwork or not doesn't change the fact they were removed from the wild by a human. Very few tend to spontaneously germinate in sterile culture vessels.
    Lol.. not my point at all. Of course all cultivated plants have their origin from a wild collected plant or seed. My point is, with our current propogation technologies, there's a huge difference in impact to natural populations between MASS collection of wild seed to dirrectly sell online VS. collecting a couple seed pods to propogate and mass produce in tissue culture, to THEN sell through an established and liscenced buisness. The latter is sustainable, the former perhaps not.

    That's why I carefully chose the phrase "DIRRECT economic gain", as in dirrectly from the wild to the customer, instead of from the wild, then into propogation, then to the consumer.
    Last edited by richjam1986; 12-17-2012 at 03:11 PM.
    Da' mishu
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    I am a nice guy and concerned citizen and I will certainly keep an eye on my Tramodol usage in the future or at least stay away from the computer forums if I become blitzed again. I am philosophically very conservative about everything except where it comes to supporting my hobbies and interests. Being a bit obsessive / compulsive I find I have little control over that and I wouldn't change it if I could. Growing up with an intense hunger to know the reasons for everything and having equally conservative parents that supported my journey I think I was the luckiest kid I knew.
    I have spent my adult years studying the 20th century and specifically WWII and how connected one event is to the ones that came before and after. It's stunning how the populace of a contemporary country like Germany could hand over their constitutional protections to a single individual until it's put back into the context of all the other historical events of the period. The saddest thing of all is the greed that has led to countless wars of aggression and oddly helped to keep the human race in check. I just don't believe that humans can evolve to the point that they will put the planet ahead of the "what I want when I want it" mentality. Geez, I hate that attitude in people and we are surrounded by it. When I mentioned on my now defunct Facebook wall that America needs to experience another "Great Depression" style catastrophe to reel in all the cry-baby thinking most of the so-called friends on my list blocked my wall posts. When times are good it's impossible for people that have experienced the 1930's and then WWII to truly convey the horror of it. My dad told me a lot of stories about those years and how people were literally starving to death and you couldn't buy a job but I can't really know how it feels because I can always come home and yank a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia from the freezer, select a movie from my DVD juke box and kick back. Sounds silly but the more Trekkie's there are the more hope I have because they have the right idea and who is to say that phenomena like that aren't having a beneficial effect. Election time always makes me crazy like this and once I recover I will sound at least semi-sane once again. My doctor suggested that I not watch the news or more specifically political news about five years ago but it's hard to shut out everything especially when an election is in play every four years. It's wrong to become uninvolved like that as it leads to ignorance and without information one can't really make wise decisions. I'm off here now to spend some time in my bathroom / greenhouse with the tropical smells, monster movie like fog and camera, to recuperate. "FREEDOM!!!"

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    There is a real tendency for the navel-gazers and hand-wringers in society to constantly bemoan human behavior and overplay its potential effect on the environment. Species and, particularly, societies rise and fall; they have done so since the beginning of our recorded history; and, through a handful of massive extinction events over geological time, ninety-eight-plus percent of all species that ever existed on Earth, are gone -- well before we ever left the trees; walked upright; or discovered fire. We're rank amateurs in that scheme of things.
    [/I]
    Yes, we are all going to eventually go extinct, and pitcher plants too, and then in several million years new beautiful life forms will evolve. No problem, right? LOL. Ok, sure, but are we or our children going to be there to witness it? No... Give anything several million years to straighten out and all will be hunky-dorry, but come on people... We need to live and think in a time scale that affects us... say the next couple centuries, perhaps?

    As far as overreacting to seemingly small acts: I get your point, but tell that to the numberous species that have been collected to extinction, or put under threat of extinction, by many individuals of a similar mindset. Numerous small offences to the natural world combined have huge impact over the period of several decades.
    Da' mishu
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    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spooky1 View Post
    I am a nice guy and concerned citizen and I will certainly keep an eye on my Tramodol usage in the future or at least stay away from the computer forums if I become blitzed again. I am philosophically very conservative about everything except where it comes to supporting my hobbies and interests. Being a bit obsessive / compulsive I find I have little control over that and I wouldn't change it if I could.
    Well, I've said my two cents and I'm content with that. Don't let a little lively discussion drive you away from the great community that's here on terraforums. I'm sure I speak for all when I say I hope not to turn anyone off to the forum, and want you to feel as welcome here as anyone! I certainly won't 'black list' you, lol There are just some topics that people are really passionate about and will spark discussion.

    Maybe more people need some tramadol to help them speak their minds lol
    Da' mishu
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    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richjam1986 View Post
    As far as overreacting to seemingly small acts: I get your point, but tell that to the numberous species that have been collected to extinction, or put under threat of extinction, by many individuals of a similar mindset. Numerous small offences to the natural world combined have huge impact over the period of several decades.
    Well, until you can stop the bush meat trade and muti medicine; or convince Asians that tiger paws, their dried penises; bear gall bladders; or even ivory won't put lead back into their pencils, good luck to you.

    Some years back, I saw an exhibit at the California Academy of Science, documenting the trade in prohibited animal products of all sorts; and I especially recall a wire coat hanger with perhaps a dozen pendant bear gall bladders hanging from it, seized by US Customs -- all for traditional Chinese medicine. It was then valued at over one hundred grand; and that was more than a decade ago.

    On the floral side of things, I was in Asia in the late 1990s, in an area where we were prohibited from collecting seed. There were a few CITIES-listed species (some carnivorous plants -- primarily orchids) and a few seed pods were indeed pocketed by some. Most, I believe, eventually became tissue cultured in Japan or Europe. A year or two later, that entire cordoned-off area was replaced by a monstrous golf resort and condo community; and where we were hiking, no longer existed. Were they not illegally collected, those particular plants -- those potential genomes -- would have been wiped out as surely as if they were in a forest fire.

    Then there are the so-called "background extinction rates" to consider; just how long does a given species exist -- whether we potentially contribute to its demise or not? Should I have ratted out those I traveled with, because of their seed collection -- even though those sites no longer exist?

    I am not wringing my hands or losing sleep . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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