Ooooh, I hate the word Colonialism! My dislike is both intellectual and personal (long story). It is overused today, and is a convenient explanation for the ills of Indigenous peoples. Humanity has been colonising other places since the year dot. The Huns colonised large parts of eastern Europe, as did the Romans, the Magyars, the Germanic peoples etc. But this a completely separate conversation!
It is, sorry if You felt offended. I see that value too, I’m just angry on eco-misanthropy.
right, colonialism extends beyond just one culture, it’s a theme that has popped up multiple times in human existence. But gonna leave it at that because i don’t think a conversation with you (or anyone else here) about this is going to go well.
I think it would go fine - I like and respect you. I’m not dismissing the effects of colonisation, nor do I want to. It’s just such a minefield that I don’t think we should go any further!
Maybe not fill yet. But you have right that it is more complicated. And about morality, I am the last person which want to destroy environment just to have a pool, but I want to expand the perspectives in disscution.
Then clearly, there are an awful lot of immature people.
As an earlier comment alluded, one of the “other” choices is anthropocentrism. And when I use that term, I mean it this way: Maybe you have seen the images or narratives about “if evolutionary history was a 24-hour clock, humans came along at 2 minutes to midnight.” Well, if it was entirely honest, that last sentence would continue as “…and immediately demanded that everyone else pay for the privilege of being there.”
The sheer, unabashed arrogance. Being the last to show up at a party, and insisting that everyone else present pay you a door charge. Yet even environmentalists are guilty of this, when we speak of making environmental protection economically advantageous or feasible.
Still, I chose land clearing, along with climate change. In one of the Greta Thunberg fan groups on Facebook, someone suggested that kids should learn foraging in school. Well, it sounds good; but as a forager, I see a deep problem with it. I know all the plants mentioned in Euell Gibbons’ trilogy, but I have never been able to assemble a foraged meal like the ones he describes. I think it is simply because I live several decades later than he did; when every remaining fragment of habitat is either a park where foraging is prohibited, or posted No Trespassing, what good is it to know how to forage? I really think the United States needs a Right to Roam law like Scotland has, but our gun worshippers will never let that happen.
i agree. traditional foraging has always come with stewardship of the land (or when it hasn’t, that culture went away). Not necessarily ‘ownership’ in the current sense in many places but, if you are going to take, you give back, be a part of managing and stewarding and protecting the land. If you just roam through a protected area removing things, you’re just another ecosystem stressor.
I agree, kids should learn more about environment about them, but it shouldn’t be in a consumption way, especially if it’s not something they’ll be able to actually use, one of things kids are never taught in school is that actually other organisms are not there to play some role for human life, there’s no good and bad insects, useful plants and weeds, sadly that’s how things are presented, with that in mind it’s not hard to see why humanity is like it is now, people mostly think in terms of what to use and what to exterminate so it doesn’t interfere with using of something else.
I see overpopulation and most people not knowing how their actions impact the environment over all. (The difference between wants and needs,) at the base of this situation.
Talking about biodiversity.
Adding to All of the above. Pets. Especially cats, especially feral cats and dogs. And spreading other invasive species via pets, travel and good intentions gone wrong. Also throw on there light and noise pollution are huge ones. And anything to do with the automobile really.
I am also of the opinion we are currently far past human carrying capacity on this planet given the state of things. It’s pretty obvious when you look at the rate of global freshwater aquifers disappearing and the farmland situation. Throw on there intensifying weather and natural disasters.
Then you also just have a higher density of people living together than is good for healthy human well-being and quality of life with so much noise pollution, light pollution, air, water, mixed up misunderstanding each other’s cultures.
The competition over finite resources to feed our economic systems with this many humans causes friction and if not physical violent wars of the past, psychological wars, cyber wars, economic wars and wars of manipulation and oppression.
PS: I’m not here to debate any of this. Just posting my experiential based opinions.
I’ve never heard it put that way, but yes!
As for making environmental protection economically advantageous, that seems to be all that counts these days. The “Economy”, whatever that is. Reluctantly I think that is the only means of preserving whatever we have left - make things ‘economically’ important. A small example - in Winnipeg, where I live, in places along the Red River the city is allowing ‘natural regeneration’. It’s great, but the reason is riverbank erosion, which costs money to stop. So let the plants do it for you. At least it provides extra habitat.
My approach to the question is less about the “outcomes” (or the “dependent variables” - which are aptly listed in survey questionnaire) =, but more about about the human-environment dynamic that involves the psychology (or human behavior) or attributes of the human condition that create, respond, and seek to address (or not) a decline in environmental quality, loss of habitat, and loss of biodiversity. The litmus test for a global, national, and community response from humanity was just completed in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (November 2021) in Glasgow. Here one could hand out a report card on the whole event, and your letter grade would be telling. My point is this: I wish to remain optimistic, but hubris, arrogance, and denial are powerful factors in human behavior, and these issues are indeed “threats” - I still think back to the cartoon by Walt Kelly (1970/71) “Pogo” and this reflection one the characters: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” In 2021 - “we” should be talking about stewardship of the planet and taking care of our “backyards.” I do not think we are really the enemy per se, rather we are a complicated species with biological drives and impulses, social needs, and it’s the human part that is most difficult of all - Where is our wisdom to be found? - Start there…
So I recently watched a lecture out of Cornell in which the lecturer explained that the methane in the atmosphere that is contributing to climate change is from fracking more so than domesticated animals. I thought it was fascinating. His argument is that we have to recognize the primary source of methane in order to reduce it, and of course, reduce it now to stop climate change.
Interesting. I wonder if it could be that domestic cattle spread with man at the expense of other ruminants also producing methane and the amount of methane produced has changed not as much as it seems? I mean, in Eurasia, the aurochs died out and the wisent in most areas. In America, the bison, you associate these famous pictures of the pile of skulls. Llanos seemed empty before the cattle appeared. I suspect that it is impossible to count the biomass of ruminants from centuries ago. What do you think about it?
I think there are lots of ways the global food system could be improved but fussing over cow farts in terms of climate change is counterproductive for all the reasons mentioned above.
In case you are (or anyone else is) interested:
Guest speaker is Dr. Robert Howarth
To be honest, the discussion of ruminant contribution to methane levels over time isn’t really my wheelhouse, but if you ever want to discuss the rise and decline of Beaumont and Fletcher in comparison to Shakespeare from the Renaissance to the Romantic period, I’m your person. I can spin you tales of theatrical innovation and cultural shifts that would cure insomnia. (No one ever does. )
It’s become popular to deny that population is a problem, as well as to start making various accusations and assumptions about anyone who does mention overpopulation as a problem, but when it comes right down to it, population and resource use are the two pillars upon which all of our environmental problem rest.
I was born in '71. During my lifetime the human population of the planet (already large) has more than doubled. At the same time we have lost more than 60% of the megafauna (individuals, not species) of the planet, and they were already severely reduced from earlier populations.
Where I work right now is on an island with a large national park occupying much of it. I’ve been here since 2014 and in the last 3 years the population here has more than doubled, with concurrent large impacts on the environmental situation.
The ability of the planet to hold more people is not the same thing as not being overpopulated.
To mitigate the environmental situation we are in we we either need a drastic reduction in the population, or a drastic reduction in resource use (or both), either of which are ridiculously problematic issues, both of which are political and economic suicide for anyone who suggests them, and both of which lead to accusations of racism and other despicable things due to the high degree of standard of living and economic disparity in the world.
Furthermore, I think it’s kind of callus to say, “Oh, well, if the situation gets too bad people will just kill each other,” rather than acknowledging a difficult situation and looking for potential solutions that don’t involve massive amounts of suffering, even more destructive behavior, and a host of other utterly horrific things for the people involved, most of whom would be caught up in all that through no fault of their own.
I prefer looking for solutions to pretending that problems don’t exist.
And foraging only really works as long as not many people are doing it, they’re doing it responsibly, and within the recharge capacity of said resource.
I work in an area where foraging is still very common (a part of SE Asia) and most of the animals are gone from the forest, wild fruit trees are often cut down to maximize the amount gotten from them and because people think “If I don’t do it someone else will”, wild bee populations fluctuate wildly and we get small forest fires due to wild honey gathering, and many plants are nearly locally extinct as result of over harvesting.
This is a common picture across the world when it comes to foraging. Some areas do it better, and Greta comes from one of those areas. The Nordic countries have a deep tradition of foraging (especially berries), but they tend to do it responsibly. I suspect that she, for all her other good points, has an unrealistic view of it for the rest of the world as a result.
i think the biggest issue about ‘overpopulation’ is how it is presented. If it’s presented as ‘we need to shame people who have over X number of kids’ or ‘those poor marginalized people have too many kids, they are inferior and gross’… then it’s bad garbage colonialism. However, alternatively, promoting women’s rights, reproductive rights, support with child health care and parenting, support and cultural acceptance of people who choose not to have kids, and reducing poverty in general… these are the most effective ways to reduce birth rate while ALSO being things that are super vital to do anyway. But yeah, it isn’t the flat out number of people so much as how people are living and what they are doing. And for all those reasons, i just don’t bother with pushing ‘overpopulation’ at all, at best it’s a symptom of problems that should be addressed directly themselves, and at worst, when used by malicious people, it’s actively harmful and oppressive.