What do you think the biggest human related threats to biodiversity are?

“The ability of the planet to hold more people is not the same thing as not being overpopulated” - ok. If we want to understand each other, we have to use the same definitions. So what is a difference?
“Furthermore, I think it’s kind of callus to say, “Oh, well, if the situation gets too bad people will just kill each other,”” -it’s not an excuse, it’s a prophecy :wink:
And if we need reduce the population by half or more, how to do it without suffering? What if it is imposible without suffering?

You’re familiar with the concept of carrying capacity? When a population exceeds the carrying capacity of an enorment it is in a state of overpopulation. That’s a pretty standard definition. The environment may be able to physically contain more individuals, and it may even be able to keep that population alive for a while, but if the population has exceeded the carrying capacity it is reducing the ability of the environment to support itself and other species, and will collapse.

At our present population and resource use it takes approximately 1.75 - 2 Earths to support the the human population at a carrying capacity. By definition we are overpopulated.

Either reducing the population or reducing resource use down below a value of 1 places us back within the current carrying capacity of the Earth,

Education, especially for women, access to higher education (again, especially for women), equitable justice, a more egalitarian society, more opportunities for people, greater survival into adulthood, etc are all proven methods of lowering birth rate, improving standards of living, and making life better for people without resorting to horrific and dystopian solutions.

Many developed nations have negative birth rates, their populations increase primarily via immigration. A more equitable world is one where the population can fall and find a new, more stable and responsible level.

It takes time, but it is a way of achieving that goal without taking things away from people; a way of achieving that goal while improving people’s lives.

And yes, the “oh, everyone will just kill each other,” line is absolutely an excuse. Even more so as it is a ‘prediction’. If you’re parked on train tracks I can easily ‘predict’ that you will be hit by a train, but that does not justify me not warning you, or trying to push you and your car off the tracks to avoid a disaster.

As the saying goes:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing .”


COVID lockdown has hit women hard. Unemployed because childcare is either not available or prohibitively expensive. If not in paid employment, raising kids, caring for the sick at home - none of that ‘counts’
Schools closed = more teenage pregnancy.
Child marriages rising.
A bad situation getting very much worse.

Four decades ago I read that the best way to solve the ‘overpopulation’ problem is to educate women. Not about family planning, but about earning an independent living.


Then I don’t understand the pin. This is what I wrote, except that I didn’t use the word collapse.

A more equitable world is one where the population can fall and find a new, more stable and responsible level.

A just world is one where everyone can pass their genes on and thus “live forever” - and such a world has never existed or will never exist. I will not develop the topic because it is a philosophy, and this is not the place for it, and in this case we will probably not come to a consensus.

Well, I think that you do not have the strength to push the car, and I will not understand the warnings because you speak a different language, so it is not your foult. I endorse what @hawksthree wrote in post # 53. We should remember that we are animals too. And for this reason, the best way to fight climate change, deforestation, pollution, etc. etc. is to show what individual benefits it brings to people, and there is a hope in technology for me. Lofty ideas like justice won’t help. For the same reason, if overpopulation does exist, nothing can be done morally(It is immoral for me to educate women that having children makes them evil) . You wrote above about political suicide, when you mentioned overpopulation. I am afraid that a group of enlightened and rich people will someday condemn to death or castration of little ones, as part of the fight against overpopulation and the creation of “lebensraum” for nature.

How many times has your someday already unfolded?
Convicts sent to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread. Highland Clearance for hunting lodges. Potato famine in Ireland. Today it is desperate migrants fleeing civil war and climate change induced drought and famine and and and. The people who will be worst affected by rising sea levels are not the rich, who have other homes to live in.


Sorry but I don’t understand first question becouse of my english (even translator translate it sounded strange and incomprehensible). Besides, consent. however, you are constantly writing about sacrificing one population for another. Who has the moral right to decide? nobody. Who will decide? Power and money

To address both of your comments. I did a Masters in Development a few years ago, and things are still the same. Educating women - who do most of the work around the world - is a key principle in Development. As is cash, as long as it is given to women who spend it on the family.
During that time I met a woman who had been in Development a long time. She had done a lot of projects in Sudan and Ethiopia. All the success they had had were erased by war/conflict of some sort. Humans are really good at killing other people (or anything else).
@nemo10000 “lebensraum” is a rather loaded term - it does not have good connotations. ‘Space for nature’ would be preferable.


This is definitely not my definition of a just world, and i know it isn’t for many other people. I didn’t have kids to ‘become immortal’ and if i didn’t have kids that wouldn’t be bothering me. Yes it’s a philosophical belief, and if you feel that way that is fine, but assuming most people do is a fallacy.

did someone propose that? what i said and what Earthknight said was quite the opposite. Maybe elsewhere in the thread?

me too. i think most of us are. and the places that had the closest thing to those policies, like China, it didn’t go well.


Without wanting to sound rude, this is an incredibly simplistic and reductionist way of viewing the current problem and one which really misses the mark

Our existence is NOT the cause of environmental decline and biodiversity loss in and of itself. Rather, it is the manner in which we associate with others for our collective proliferation in a finite environment that is the real harm

The well-known saying that “Money is the root of all evil” is wholeheartedly untrue. Money is just the ‘oil’ that keeps the true Evil’s machinery flowing. That true Evil, is Expansionism: The re-ordering of established structures for baseline survival through the fracturing and commodification of natures providence, so as to artificially raise the ‘ceiling’ of the environment’s capacity to sustain our species. No other being on the planet is known to do this except us, and now we are beginning to realize why

The question is: Is there enough time for us to change our ways before it is too late?


Yes, it is a philosophical belief. I have three boys, all approaching 40. They are their own people, and in no way do I see them (and their children) as a genetic extension of me. We conceive children, raise them to a certain age/stage, and metaphorically boot them out of the nest. Genetics play a part but in my experience each child is born with it’s own ‘take’ on life, a thread that can be followed from then until now. That does not make me feel immortal, but have reared well functioning human beings.


I would argue big part of people do see children as such, it is a normal animal view on that, also the reason why people usually so love grandchildren as they’re an actual goal. It doesn’t mean people don’t care about who they raise and how. I personally can’t just not have children knowing my closest family tree isn’t that big and there’re only a few reproductively fit people who could have children, plus myself being a summ of both my parents’ families, I would like not to loose what was gained and probably make it better with new genes from father of my theoretical children, no other child that I could raise as a “good person” would be the same as my own one for me as a specimen of my species.


I think it’s pollution…
Just looking at the human body, toxins have a huge impact on us, and I think it’s a fact very often overlooked. Unnatural chemicals and toxins destroy the balance of nature, and so many things that we use everyday.
Edited to add land clearing, too. :) We remove way too much.

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A good example of that is the competition playing out between the barred owl and the Northern spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. Humans may have had some role in shaping the environment around in such a way that it became more attractive to the barred owls and encouraged their migration westward, but the barred owls aren’t ‘invasive’ in the sense that they weren’t intentionally or accidentally carried into the spotted owl’s range. It’s hard to know how far to go to intervene on behalf of the spotted owls, however, because of that very indirect role we’ve played in propagating the barred owls westward. Certainly, it’s true that the barred owl is naturally better adapted to more diverse habitats, and that’s played a large role in their spread as well.

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Another example is Double-Breasted Cormorants in Lake Champlain in Vermont. A widespread native North American species found from Alaska to Florida and into Mexico that had its population severely reduced due to DDT use. DDT use was stopped and they started showing up in the lake back in '81 and the population increased rapidly. People flipped out, saying they were causing all sorts of damage to the environment and they started trying to reduce the population by spraying the eggs with oil, killing them, which now is looking like it wasn’t as effective a strategy as people though it would be.

This example always bothered me as what it looks like is a species returning to part of its original range, or, at worst, a native species expanding its range into new territory naturally. Obviously, a long absent (or a newly arrived) species in an area will throw the local environmental cycle off its old balance, but it seems unfair to me to be killing a native species that is simply adjusting its range due to its own natural behavior.


Too many humans…

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People hate cormorants for reason of eating fish, people are not that smart shall I say.

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Perhaps the folks in Vermont could learn a thing or two from the cormorant fishermen in Japan: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-japanese-cormorant-fishing

If any of you are interested there is this Petition created by one of my friends. Asking the government to stop investing in fossil fuels and invest in clean energy.

Note: I have also added this to the top of my topic.

interestingly i have heard over the last few years there have been some major nest failures in that island of cormorants because the bald eagle population is rebounding and they don’t like cormorants and are happy to eat some yummy babies. They probably never naturally nested in one huge roost and now they are learning why it is a bad idea again. Unfortunately the same is happening with herons to some extent, but obviously herons existed with eagles for a zillion years so should be able to work it all out.

How exactly those cormorants nest in other places? Don’t most of species live in big colonies?

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