Extinction

Predictions of a Man-Made Sixth Mass Extinction May Be Exaggerated

Urbanization, forest, and agricultural trends point in a more hopeful direction

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North American Pleistocene Extinctions
Anthropological Museum of Mexico

"The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway—and We're to Blame," Time's headline declared. "Earth in the midst of sixth mass extinction," echoed USA Today. The headline-writers at The Mirror adopted an even more apocalyptic tone: "End of the world predicted by scientists who warn Earth's animals are heading for mass extinction."

They were all reacting to a study in Science reporting researchers' concerns about "mass defaunation." (Defaunation is a fancy way to say that human beings are killing off lots of animals.) The authors are comparing their estimates of future species loss to the five prior mass extinctions of the past 540 million years, in each of which around 75 percent of all then-living species died off. The most famous extinction episode—likely triggered by an asteroid crashing into the earth—killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. This time, instead of a killer asteroid, there's us.

The research team, led by the Stanford biologist Rodolfo Dirzo, reviewed the scientific literature on species abundance and extinction. They report that 322 species of vertebrates (birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and other animals with backbones) have gone extinct since 1500. In addition, the populations of the remaining vertebrates have dropped an average of 25 percent over the past 500 years. For invertebrates—animals without backbones, such as insects and mollusks—the trends for the species we monitor are even worse, with population declines averaging 45 percent. "Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being," Dirzo and his colleages warn. The ongoing defaunation, they conclude, is "both a pervasive component of the planet's sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change."

Why are so many wildlife species in danger of going extinct? Overexploitation, habitat destruction, invasive species, and now man-made climate disruption, comes the answer. Based on a conservative estimate of 5 to 9 million animal species on the planet, the scientists cite studies that suggest the world is "likely losing 11,000 to 58,000 species annually." That would mean we're losing at least one animal species per hour. At the higher rate, something like 40 percent of all animal species will be gone by 2050.

To slow and hopefully halt the wave of extinctions, they continue, requires the "mitigation of animal overexploitation and land-use change." Put more simply, they want us to stop eating so many wild animals and stop cutting down forests. They also offer a bit of somewhat gratuitous socioeconomic advice when they assert that "human population growth and increasingly uneven per capita consumption…ultimately drive all these threats," concluding that we therefore need "reduced and more evenly distributed global resources consumption."

This is not the first time biologists have sounded the alarm over allegedly accelerated extinctions. In 1970, S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, predicted that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals would be extinct. That is, between 75 and 80 percent of all species of animals that were alive in 1970 would be extinct by 1995. In 1975, the biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote that "since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it." Nearly 40 years later, nowhere near 90 percent of the rainforests have been cut and no one thinks that half of the species inhabiting tropical forests have vanished.

In his 1979 book The Sinking Ark, the Oxford biologist Norman Myers stated that 40,000 species per year were going extinct and that 1 million species would be gone by the year 2000. At a symposium at Brigham Young University that year, Thomas Lovejoy—who would go on to draw up the first projections of worldwide extinction rates for the Global 2000 Report to the President—predicted between 15 and 20 percent of all species alive in 1980 would be extinct by the end of the century. That was his "conservative" estimate. No one believes that extinctions of this magnitude have occurred over the last three decades.

Make no mistake about it: Human beings have been pretty good at killing off other species. As the last major ice age was ending, our hunter-gatherer ancestors spread across the world killing off megafaunal populations already stressed by climate change. By one reckoning, 178 mammal species that weigh more than 100 pounds disappeared, drastically reducing the total mammalian biomass of the planet. After humans arrived in North America, more than 30 different groups of large mammals disappeared, including horses, camels, mammoths, and mastodons. In South America, we lost 100 percent of mammals weighing more than a ton, including ground sloths, armadillo-like glyptodonts and rhinoceros-like toxodons. Eighty percent of those weighing more than 100 pounds went extinct. A 2013 study estimates that Polynesian wayfarers killed off 1,300 species of bird as they colonized the isolated islands of the Pacific Ocean. The arrival of Europeans eliminated an additional 40 Pacific bird species.

But are we really heading for the mass die-off that Dirzo's team predicts?

Oddly, when Dirzo and company calculated their projects, they didn't use the more recent estimate of species extinction rates, which Science published in May. That group of researchers, led by the Duke biologist Stuart Pimm, concluded that current extinction rates "are about 1000 times the likely background rate of extinction." The background rate is what the rate of extinction would be without human influence; Pimm's team reckons that it's about 0.1 species per million species-years. This means that if one followed the fates of one million species, one would expect to observe about one species going extinct every 10 years. If the rate really is a thousand times higher, that would mean that 100 species are going extinct per million species years. Let's assume that the world contains about 5,000,000 species, which would suggest that 500 are going extinct every year. Still bad, but far less scary than the 11,000 to 58,000 in Dirzo's forecast.

Meanwhile, some countervailing trends suggest the future of animal species may not be so grim. These trends include urbanization, slowing deforestation, the global increase in protected areas, and the advent of peak farmland.

Transforming hundreds of millions of hardscrabble subsistence farmers scattered across the landscape into urban dwellers would greatly reduce the pressure on wildlife and their habitats. The good news is that that process is happening. According to the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects 2014 report, 54 percent of people live in cities—up from 30 percent in 1950. The U.N. demographers forecast that proportion will rise to 66 percent by 2050. If world population follows the medium fertility trend, rising to 9.5 billion by 2050, that means that 3.2 billion people will still live in rural areas, down slightly from 3.4 billion today. In that scenario, population pressure will not be pushing the expansion of the human frontier into more wildlands. And if population growth traverses along the U.N.'s low fertility trend, the year 2050 will see human numbers peaking at 8.3 billion people. If 66 percent live in cities, only 2.8 billion people will be living on the landscape.

Looking further into the future, the U.N. expects that 80 percent of people will be urbanites by 2100. Medium and low fertility population projections suggest that would mean that only 2.2 to 1.3 billion rural dwellers.

Since most species live in forests, chiefly tropical forests, we should take a look at global forest cover trends. Happily, the deforestation rate is slowing. The Food and Agriculture Organization's State of the World's Forests 2012 report notes that the global rate of deforestation slowed from 0.2 percent per year between 1990 and 2000 to 0.14 percent between 2005 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 130 million hectares were cut, but 78 million hectares returned to forests. So globally, forests declined on average by 5.2 million hectares per year—at which rate, the report notes, "It will take 775 years to lose all of the world's forests." It adds, "This would seem to provide enough time for actions to slow or stop global deforestation." And indeed, researchers in 2006 found that more and more countries are passing through a "forest transition" in which their forest area starts expanding. Roger Sedjo, a forest ecologist at Resources for the Future, predicts that by 2050 most of the world's industrial wood will be grown on forest plantations covering only 5 to 10 percent of the extent of today's global forests.

One dark blot on forest restoration trends is biofuel mandates in rich countries, which have spurred tropical countries to chop down forests to grow palm oil to produce biodiesel. By one estimate, 87 percent of the deforestation in Malaysia and 118 percent in Indonesia occurred as result of expanding palm oil plantations.

Another beneficial trend is that protected areas such as parks and marine preserves are expanding at a remarkably fast pace. The World Bank notes that protected areas have nearly doubled from 8.5 percent of the world's total land area in 1990 to 14.3 percent in 2012. That's an area twice the size of the entire United States. Marine protected areas have increased from 4.7 percent of territorial waters in 1990 to 10 percent in 2012. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, governments of the world have committed to protecting 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas by 2020.

Considering that agriculture is the most expansive and intensive way in which people transform natural landscapes, the really good news is that the amount of land globally devoted to food production may be falling as population growth slows and agricultural productivity increases. "We believe that projecting conservative values for population, affluence, consumers, and technology shows humanity peaking in the use of farmland," concludes Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Human Environment Program at the Rockefeller University. In a 2013 article titled "Peak Farmland and the Prospect for Land Sparing," Ausubel and his colleagues write: "Global arable land and permanent crops spanned 1,371 million hectares in 1961 and 1,533 million hectares in 2009, and we project a return to 1,385 million hectares in 2060."

As a result of these trends, humanity will likely restore at least 146 million hectares of land, an area two and a half times that of France, or ten Iowas—and possibly much more. Relaxing those biofuel mandates would spare an additional 256 million hectares from the plow, the researchers estimate. That mean nearly 400 million hectares—an area nearly double the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River—could be restored to nature by 2060.

The late 20th century's predictions of imminent mass extinction happily proved wrong. The positive trends cited above provide good grounds to believe that the new ones will also turn out to be exaggerated.

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  1. Haven’t read the article, but isn’t it true that the Earth has a shitload more species when it’s warmer? We’re still in a somewhat glacial period, so isn’t that part of the problem?

    It’s one reason I don’t understand why hardcore Gaea-loving environmentalists aren’t begging for more global warming, since it would eventually lead to a larger and more diverse biota.

    1. Environmentalists are not pro-Nature, they’re anti-Human.

      1. But a warmer environment is antihuman. We didnt start to take over* until it got cold.

        *insects deny we ever took over.

        1. Bacteria deny insects have any say in the matter.

          1. The sun laughs at our puniness.

            1. The sun is alive?

              1. Don’t mock the sun god!

              2. Coronal Mass Ejections is the polite term for what the Sun is doing.

                1. “Ohhhh, Alpha Centauri, you’re so hot.”

                2. Coronal Mass Ejections is the polite term for what the Sun is doing.

                  In the biz, we call that a “Money Shot.”

                    1. One moon.

                    2. Actually, the Earth and Moon are more of a double planet system, really.

                    3. Actually, the Earth and Moon are more of a double planet system, really.

                      Nope; the barycenter of the Earth-Moon system still lies below the surface of the Earth. The barycenter needs to be somewhere closer to the middle, outside of the body of the largest planet, for it to be considered a double-planet system.

                3. “Coronal Mass Ejections is the polite term for what the Sun is doing.”
                  Sun farts or sun poop or sun puke, what are we dealing with here, if we do NOT use the “polite term”? Maybe even sun cum-wads or sun-used-condoms?

              3. As a person of near-albino Celtic descent, i can vouch that sun personally and seethingly hates me.

      2. Well, perhaps with a warmer atmosphere and greater diversity, we’d get killed off by some viruses or something.

        1. North American Drop Bears. They’re man-eaters.

      3. I am a conservationist — at least I am using the definition of that word when I became a Boy Scout in 1968. Modern environmentalists piss me off.

        1. I’m not wanting us to be, well, China, either. But there’s the real world and there’s Fantasy Island.

          1. Basic conservationism (don’t pollute the fucking world) lines up pretty well with libertarianism (don’t initiate harm against other people).

            And if you want to build some nature preserve, buy the land on the open market. I might even donate a few bucks to help you do that.

            Environmentalists have become fascists that puts “nature” above people.

            1. I’d put nature above most environmentalists any day.

              “Hey! Al Gore! Why don’t you take one for Gaia.”

              1. Walmart installed thousands of APUs on its refrigerated trucks to reduce fuel consumption when the trucks are stopped to pick up or drop off. They did this because is saves a shit load of money. Dumping fewer emissions into the environment is icing on the cake.

                Enviros totally discount the value of Walmart’s efforts, because 1) Walmart is evil; 2) no one suffered any deprivations on the road to cleaning up the environment.

                1. It’s always amusing to hear lefties drone on about how “wasteful” corporations are.

                  The truly wasteful ones are the ones that go out of business, presuming they aren’t being propped up by the state.

              2. I’d put about 6 feet of nature over Al Gore any day.

        2. The picture of windmills along the ridgelines of Vermont tell the difference between Enviros and Conservationist in one photo.

          It wouldn’t occur to a Conservationist to clear-cut a hill-top and erect an ugly bird-shredder for the benefit of really expensive intermittent power.

          Enviros think it’s great.

            1. Another problem a the Searsburg facility has been access to the site in winter if there are heavy snows because the road is not passable so if towers go off line, there is no way to get them back up.

              FFS. “Sorry ’bout your power. It’ll be back up in the spring.”

            2. Enviros think it’s great when they don’t have to look at windmills. We ran into a caretaker on the Long Trail that was mad as hell about the windmills ruining his vistas. Of course, as he made sure to mention, he was all for wind power. But NIMBY.

              1. Were you thru hiking or day hiking? I’m starting a northbound one in 2 weeks. I do expect the Lowell Mountain wind farm to be quite visible from the trail.

          1. Massive solar panel installations are a travesty. A couple of solar panels to provide electricity beyond the reach of the grid is a cool thing.

            Huge turbines are another travesty. Backyard turbines can be cost effective (I’m thinking of installing one at my place in the country side). Forcing utility companies to buy excess production from backyard turbines is bullshit.

            Enviros are fucking religious wackos with no understanding of science, engineering, or basic economics.

          2. My dad hates those, though it’s more NIMBY for him.

            I don’t think they mess up the view much from his house, but I’ll see how I feel when I hike right by them soon.

      4. Exactly UCS. If enviros really cared about animals then they would push for more private ownership of them. I’ve never heard anyone shitting their pants because cows or chickens were about to go extinct.

        1. The problem then is that there will be too many animals and the oceans will turn into a sea of cat piss.

  2. “The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway?and We’re to Blame,”

    Tough shit ? and I don’t care.

    1. You would make an Italian-Indian cry.

  3. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING!!!!!1111tenplusone!!

  4. . . . the scientists cite studies that suggest the world is “likely losing 11,000 to 58,000 species annually.” That would mean we’re losing at least one animal species per hour. At the higher rate, something like 40 percent of all animal species will be gone by 2050.

    So how many new fucking species are being created? And what is the net increase or decrease in species?

    Life is not a fucking one-way street.

    1. When the Earth was created, it had 600 trillion different species and has been all downhill since then.

      These wackos sound like creationists, only without the source material.

      1. Sound like Young Earth Creationists.

        1. Earth Spawned into being in 1977 at the start of the UNIX Epoch fully formed…

          /Infant Earth Creationist.

          1. 1977?

            Off by 7 years, IIRC.

          2. I was born in 1984, so this is fully compatible with my worldview.

        2. Sound like Young Earth Creationists.

          Beat me to it. These wackjobs have all the perspective of Young Earthers. They have no concept of geologic time. The can’t conceive of a time that isn’t in the recent past. That’s why they think the perfect climate is the one they grew up with.

      2. They’re really wanting in the gravitas department, too. Compare The Ten Commandments with An Inconvenient Truth.

      3. There was a point very long ago when the Earth had only 1 species.

        1. Killed by cyanobacteria in righteous rage against oppression.

    2. “likely losing 11,000 too 58,000”

      I find that VERY hard to believe.

      1. Then you are more credulous than I am.

  5. “human population growth and increasingly uneven per capita consumption…ultimately drive all these threats,”

    Meet the new Boss
    Same as the Old Boss.

    1. How does increasingly uneven per capita consumption matter? Are they just throwing income inequality into everything now because it’s the talking point du jour?

      1. Seems to me like the most polluted parts of the planet correlate with lower rather than higher per capita consumption.

        1. That is an important point. Wealthy (and consumerist) societies tend to clean up their air and water and regrow forests. If anything, increased wealth and consumption correlates with environmental improvements. Unless you just want to kill off several billion people.

          1. Depends.

            Do I get to choose who is deemed ‘surplus’?

          2. A clean environment is a luxury good.

            If you have to choose between cutting down trees and freezing, you’re going to cut some trees.

            If you have to choose between killing some animals and starving, you’re going to kill some animals.

            1. There was a guy from Africa, Kenya, I think, who I went to college with who had a great response to the people declaring that meat is murder and beef is horrible because of how much resources it consumes, etc, etc. He basically pointed out that where he comes from, keeping cattle is life, not a luxury and that all the silly westerners who think that everyone can just choose to stop exploiting various resources if they want to can just fuck off.

          3. Unless you just want to kill off several billion people.

            You just gave Tony a hardon.

      2. Because taking metal out of the ground means it’s gone forever. You’ve destroyed it by turning it into a car.

        Chopping down a tree means there is one less tree in the world.

        If you have wealth, it’s only at the expense of the poor.

        It’s zero sum all the way down.

        1. My favorite is “wasting water.”

          The planet has exactly as much water regardless of whether I leave my hose running overnight.

          1. I love how the largest coastal state in the nation can’t figure out how to stop a drought.

            1. How do you propose that they do that? Irrigate fields with sea water? Desalinization is an option for drinking water and some other limited uses, but it’s not going to stop a drought.

              1. With cheap power, desalinization is useful for just about any water use.

                Just need power too cheap to meter.

                [As a NukE, the fact that anyone ever said that is scary. But then again, long distance.]

              2. That’s purely a matter of scale, Zeb.

              3. I gotta say I’m a tad surprised that someone here would look at the situation and think “impossible!” rather than “market!”

          2. Overuse of existing, locally available fresh water is a legitimate concern in some places. But market pricing of water would probably sort that out in most cases.

            What drives me nuts is the people who act like water conservation is just as important everywhere as it is in the middle of a desert. Fresh water is very much a localized resource. I live in a place with lots of shallow groundwater and precipitation to replenish it and where lots of people have private wells. There is no reason at all I should be required to use low-flow toilets and faucets.

            1. Market pricing of water? That’s crazy talk.

              California has been stealing water and subsidizing it to the farmers for a over a century now. The simple fact that they grow rice in the Imperial Valley with an average annual rainfall of uner 3 inches ought to tell anyone that the system is seriously screwed up.

            2. But it wouldn’t be fair if you weren’t inconvenienced like the rest of us.

      3. “Are they just throwing income inequality into everything now because it’s the talking point du jour?”

        Yes. They are watermelons.

  6. “human population growth and increasingly uneven per capita consumption…ultimately drive all these threats,” concluding that we therefore need “reduced and more evenly distributed global resources consumption.”

    A Marxist by any other name would smell…just as stinky and disgusting (Seriously. Karl Marx knew as much about personal hygiene as he did about history and economics. The man was smelly, foul, and covered in sores from living in his own filth).

    1. The alignment of environmentalism with Marxist idiocy is kind of an odd development. It used to be that socialists put humanity before any kind of preservation of nature (albeit in a stupid and counterproductive way that didn’t respect the individual or provide any very good outcomes for most people). Now we are overrun with these fucking watermelons who want to blame it all on capitalism or something, when in fact it is the more capitalist countries who have managed to most reduce or reverse environmental degradation.

      1. Marxism version 1.0 promised a socialist utopia with boundless, universal prosperity for the working class. After numerous experiments over almost a century, it was clear that Marxism could not deliver anything resembling prosperity. The fact is that Marxism assures nearly universal poverty. By incorporating environmentalism into Marxism version 2.0, universal poverty is a feature, not a bug.

  7. The people making these predictions make their living doing so. They don’t give two shits about the accuracy of their predictions, only that they keep getting paid and pushing their pinko agenda.

  8. Well, calling it global warming hasn’t worked, trying to blame hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, deluges, heat and cold on it hasn’t worked, maybe if they call it a “mass extinction” people will give us control. This gets more pathetic almost by the day.

    1. I’m surprised they haven’t put one of their own in the White House and simply blackmailed the world into hyper-green socialist compliance with the U.S.’s nukes.

      1. Barry doesn’t count?

        1. Well, he hasn’t done this. . .yet.

          1. He’s just given about a billion dollars to favored “green” industries.

            1. I was speaking specifically to the nuclear hostage method.

              1. It’s implicit when the moron keeps the football with him at all times.

      2. They probably think using nuclear weapons is bad for the environment.

        1. Nuclear winter is the solution to AGW 😉

  9. So long, and thanks for all the fish…

  10. I hope you’re right in your guarded optimism. I think, overall, that you probably are.

    One nit: your wording in this sentence is off:

    By one estimate, 87 percent of the deforestation in Malaysia and 118 percent in Indonesia occurred as result of expanding palm oil plantations.

    The link says that 87% of the deforestation in Malaysia from 1985-2000 happened due to palm oil plantations, but that during the 8 years prior (to the 2007 report), the amount of land devoted to palm oil plantations in Indonesia *increased* by 118% There was nothing about how much of that in Indonesia involved deforestation, or how much deforestation was due to other causes, if any. Anyway, though, your point in that sentence stands.

    The comments here remind me of why I quit participating in Hit & Run back when Obama was rising. I guess I’m just a human-hating Marxist.

    1. I guess I’m just a human-hating Marxist.

      If you think impoverishing human society in order to help the environment is either (a) moral or (b) likely to be effective, then you probably are, yes.

      1. Why is it so hard for you people to wrap your little minds around the fact that human beings live *in* the environment?

        And how do your blessed first principles about nonaggression accord with your policy belief that people should be able to fuck up other people’s environment at absolutely no cost because it is economically productive?

        1. And how do your blessed first principles about nonaggression accord with your policy belief that people should be able to fuck up other people’s environment at absolutely no cost because it is economically productive?

          They don’t. Nobody here would have argued that limiting the damages against BP for accidents was a good idea or moral. That was Congress, an institution most notably not controlled by libertarians.

          1. Yes, I forget, your method is to simply pretend that environmental damage isn’t happening when convenient. Presumably it’s not convenient when you can see it happening in real time on CNN.

        2. We know that people live in the environment, Tony.

          We are just capable of looking around and noticing that the environment is in a lot better shape where there is an economic surplus to invest in protecting/cleaning it up. Hence, not effective.

          We are also capable of noting that many of the more radical proposals will actually, affirmatively harm people more than they will benefit even if the proposal works. Hence, not moral.

          1. We are also capable of noting that many of the more radical proposals will actually, affirmatively harm people more than they will benefit even if the proposal works.

            I don’t know what proposals you’re talking about, but you can’t just suddenly go utilitarian when it’s about the cost of doing something to protect the environment. Either people have a right not to have their property fucked with by others or they don’t. Shouldn’t a libertarian favor moving heaven and earth to rectify such, if required?

        3. with your policy belief that people should be able to fuck up other people’s environment at absolutely no cost

          I defy you to find a libertarian who believes this, you lying, immoral piece of shit.

          God, you are a fucking pig.

          1. So what should you and oil companies pay for the environmental harm caused by burning oil? Is it other than zero dollars, or did I miss something?

              1. Models! Fudged data! Oh and POLAR BEARS!

                1. God, you are a moron.

                  You realize that to pay damages, someone actually needs to be harmed, right?

                  Please show one individual that has been indisputably harmed by AGW. Hell, show me one person who can even claim to have been harmed.

                  1. Francisco d’Anconia|8.1.14 @ 5:04PM|#
                    “God, you are a moron.”

                    He’s also a bleever; he bleeves the earth can be ‘harmed’.

                  2. Hence the difficulty of externalities being dealt with by a tort system. I never said any different. You did.

                    1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 7:30PM|#
                      “Hence the difficulty of externalities being dealt with by a tort system. I never said any different. You did.”

                      Show harm, dipshit.

            1. Well first of all, you’d have to actually prove that CO2, you know the thing plants need to live, was actually causing harm.

              Since you can’t prove jack and/or shit, maybe you should stop talking.

              1. Did you read the page because it sure doesn’t seem like it.

              2. And this is so fucking stupid I’m actually shocked you’re not embarrassed to be saying it.

                Humans need water to live. So there is no such thing as too much water?

            2. Tony:

              So what should you and oil companies pay for the environmental harm caused by burning oil?

              Oil companies don’t burn oil. They produce oil. You can’t sell oil you burn.

              Probably the first step in dealing with environmental harm is correctly figuring out who does what.

              1. hey Tony, remember how you love to be utilitarian? Well guess what, you know what’s would be more useful than charging oil companies and CO2 emitters for emissions? Instead, just going full nuclear, and encouraging India and China to do the same.

                Nuclear is basically the only way the world would ever lower its emissions by any great amount. America being the only one to do some sort of stupid green tech revolution won’t put a dent in the emissions with India and CHina growing like maniacs, and would only impoverish us.

                Then again, the fact that you don’t support the one thing that would actually be a solution shows that deep down you know global warming is bullshit

                1. I have said about 100 times that I support nuclear.

  11. The comments here remind me of why I quit participating in Hit & Run back when Obama was rising. I guess I’m just a human-hating Marxist.

    Nice seeing you. Don’t let us keep you. Have a nice day.

    1. That was good. You pretended that you knew him.

      1. Maybe he is joe?

  12. We often seem to confuse the time scales of human lives with the time scale of the Earth. We see evidence that something might occur and we instantly jump to the conclusion that it will happen NOW. Maybe so, but maybe it will happen in a thousand, two thousand or more years. An insignificant difference in the time scale of the planet but a major difference for us.

    1. But if we don’t do something now it will be too late to stop disaster. Human scientific progress is so slow it took 40 years (!) for computers to go from the size of a room to something you could hold in the palm of your hand. Wait, maybe that’s a bad example…

      1. “… if we don’t do something now it will be too late to stop disaster. ”

        Haven’t you heard? It already is. The antarctic ice cap is collapsing.

        1. Antarctic sea ice is outside of +/- 2 standard deviations from average.

          http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

          The problem for the AGW alarmists is that the Antarctic sea ice extent is over 2 standard deviations larger than average, which may explain why the alarmist expeditionary voyages get stuck in the ice.

          1. Dummy, this only proves CLIMATE CHANGE! Sea ice is LARGER not the SAME, hence proving CHANGE, God, don’t you even keep up with the latest SCIENCE?!!

  13. I saw a graph that showed world wide grain production increased by 500 million tons from 2000 to 2010. It was like a 27% increase.

    I know farm land did not increase 27% in 10 years.

    Most if not all that increase has to do with increases in yield per acre…which means habitat lands were unaffected and farming (which is the most likely culprit for destroying habitat and causing extinctions) is not going to be the world killer that the left had hoped it would be.

    1. Don’t you see, those were Eeeeeevil GMOs

      /Enviroprog.

      1. It’s funny how the environmentalists protests the very things that protect their precious environment. GMOs allow us to do grow more food with less farm land, fracking allows us to harvest one of the cleanest forms of fossil fuels thus lowering carbon emissions, but they still hate it.

        Any solution doesn’t involve hurting people they seem to be against. It’s almost like hurting people is the goal, and environmentalism is just the tool.

        1. Don’t forget nuclear power. If they were really concerned with both prosperity and reducing carbon emissions and overall pollution, they’d advocate having a nuclear reactor in every home.

          1. Like the Greenpeace co-founder who came around to nuclear power and got ostracized for it.

        2. GMOs allow us to do grow more food with less farm land,

          As do herbicides, pesticides, irrigation, and mechanized farming.

          All hated by greens.

      2. Eeeeevil artificial fertilizers, also.

        The most carbon-intensive process of all is the synthesis of ammonia from hydrocarbons, and this is the basic chemical upon which modern agriculture is built.

        When nitrogen fertilizer is applied to cropland, it then emits N2O, which has the highest radiative forcing of all significant greenhouse gases; something like 250 times more than CO2.

        Reducing emissions by the 80% demanded by the AGW alarmists will have to rid agriculture of eeeeeeevil artificial fertilizers, crop yields and famine be damned.

        1. rop yields and famine be damned

          But we’ll have organic farming and that will be great!

    2. US farm land has certainly decreased due to urban/sub-urban sprawl. And yet the US keeps putting out more produce over time.

      And we all thank the blessed Norman.

      1. William? Schwarzkopf? Rockwell?

        1. B O R L A U G

      2. US farm land has certainly decreased due to urban/sub-urban sprawl.

        You should probably reexamine that claim.

        Very very little land is used up by towns and cities.

        Also everyone use to live on the farm…those houses are not there any more where they actually were using up farm land.

        If i had to guess i am thinking farm land lost due to the growth of cites in the US over the past 100 years is below 2% and over the past 50 years is below 0.5%.

        Urban growth in terms of farm land consumption is really really small…and just another example of how left wing environmentalists try to scare people into handing over their rights, property and money to them.

        1. You should probably reexamine that claim.

          It’s in my head. It could be wrong.

          There is certainly a lot of prime IA farmland being turned into parking lots and subdivisions.

          On the other hand, lots of marginal land is being put into production because of subsidies. So maybe it’s a draw.

          1. I would say its more accurate that “some” prime farmland is being paved.

            Vast tracts of farmland have gone fallow because of advances in farming productivity/efficiency.

            Some land that would otherwise go fallow may be kept in production due to subsidies.

            1. I have stuff in my head that total acerage is dropping. But, I found a graph (see link below) that shows it was being pretty stable throughout the oughts.

          2. I suggest you spend some time looking at google earth and see just how big ag lands are vs how small suburbs and parking lots are.

            also this might help your conceptualization:

            http://swamplot.com/if-we-were…..011-06-14/

            Know that the US (including Alaska) takes up about 6.6% of the world’s land mass.

            Also farm land is generally more expensive then raw development land so the market incentives are just not there to gobble up farm land.

            Also if you can get the water there there is very little difference between “prime farm land” and “marginal farm land”

            The Sahara desert I am sure has great soils…just no water.

            I live in a farming region. What is happening where farms are being taken over with subdivisions is that the irrigation water is moved (pumped/piped/water rights transferred) to lands where there was no irrigation before…all told the newly irrigated newly planted lands produce higher yields then the old ever did. Though this is probably due to new technology and better practices being used on the new plots…but it does demonstrate that “good soils” vs “marginal soils” is really not that big of an issue so long as there is water.

            1. I live in a farming region.

              My back yard borders on a corn field.

              1. My back yard was a corn field just a few years ago. My neighborhood is surrounded by corn fields. But they will be going away one by one as Bowling Green continues to grow.

                1. You moved from Louisville? I bet that was a happy day.

            2. Also if you can get the water there there is very little difference between “prime farm land” and “marginal farm land”

              If you mean that one can dump enough chemicals on the land to grow almost anything as long as the sun shines and you can actively water it, then yes I suppose that is true.

        2. http://www.nue.okstate.edu/Cro…..uction.htm

          See Figure 1:

          Except for corn (ethanol) it’s been pretty flat for the last decade or so.

          1. Interesting that winter wheat has dropped.

    3. Call it RoundUp. Monsanto does.

  14. “The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway?and We’re to Blame,” Time’s headline declared.

    Well someone should tell Time to cut that shit out.

    1. Think of all the trees they would save if they stopped printing…

  15. What difference, at this point, does it make? In a few billion years, the sun will turn into a Red Giant and consume the earth, burning it into a sterile cinder. All traces of mankind having ever existed will be erased forever, with the exception of the Voyager spacecraft which will eventually get sucked into a black hole or star or something and then ALL traces will be gone…But ANYWAY, we’ll all be dead by then so it won’t matter, and nobody will know that you ever existed. Oh, have a great weekend.

    1. If humanity can’t get off this rock within a couple billion years, then they deserve to be forgotten.

      1. Are you suggesting we spend any public or private money on space instead of feeding the poor?

        Monster!

      2. Do you think future environmentalists will be against terraforming planets like Mars? Keep Mars red!!

        1. Oh yeah, they have been at that already. I have even heard the argument that we should not terraform other celestial bodies because it will spoil the aesthetics of the universe.

          1. Keep Mars Barren!

            1. I had lots of trouble with Robinson’s Mars trilogy, but the “Reds” who want to keep Mars pristine and barren were I thought a good touch.

              1. By the time I got to Blue Mars, I thought it had completely run out of steam.

    2. The chances of Voyager ever hitting anything are effectively zero. You could have as many Voyagers as there are stars in the Galaxy and they still would have almost no chance of hitting something.

      Sorry, I’ll stop now.

      1. Never tell me the odds.

        1. Its a million to one shot! Everybody knows that million to one shots always work!

          The hard part is making sure its not a 999,999-to-one shot, or a 1,000,001-to-one shot.

      2. Is there any doubt at all that Voyager will be intercepted by aliens and sent back to fuck us up?

        1. I’m pretty sure captain Kirk saves the day so we’re good.

          1. Didn’t Klingons use it as target practice?

          2. Twice! But what if he becomes some stupid punk kid in our timeline?

        2. Not until it leaves the solar system.

          1. Oh, good. We have HUNDREDS OF YEARS then.

            1. Billions.

              1. Oh, right, I keep forgetting. It’s actually forever, though, since Voyager will always be slower than the spread of the sun’s gravitational effects, which propagate at the speed of light.

                1. But eventually the sun will die, and then the solar system will catchup to Voyager. So it’s actually more of the solar system leaving Voyager than the other way around.

                  1. The sun won’t die. I’ve already hired entropy-reversal equipment from the Vegans.

    3. Don’t forget about all the space junk orbiting around out there. Also, our nuclear waste might survive.

      1. And the nuclear waste might evolve into nuclear waste life.

  16. “The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway?and We’re to Blame,” Time’s headline declared. ”

    Time magazine?

    HA! HA! HA! HA!

    There’s really no need to read any further than that.

  17. How do they go from 322 species lost in 500 years to 58,000 lost per year?

    Oh, and how does uneven resource distribution drive species change? If only 1% of the world population could afford to eat meat, wouldn’t that put less pressure on populations? It seems like decreasing inequality, thanks to the rising standards in populous but historically impoverished countries like India and SE Asia would have way more to do with it.

    But then, they probably already know that. In advocating for “more evenly distributed global resources”, what they are really saying is that they want more people to be poor.

    1. How do they go from 322 species lost in 500 years to 58,000 lost per year?

      They must be counting the strains of bacteria that get killed off every tome someone takes antibiotics.

      1. How do they even get 322 species lost in 500 years? Do they have comprehensive data from the 1500s on species extinction?

        1. Yep. You see, back then we had 6 species of dragons, 2 species of unicorns, 1 griffin…

  18. “The authors are comparing their estimates of future species loss to the five prior mass extinctions of the past 540 million years, in each of which around 75 percent of all then-living species died off.”

    As I recall, the Permian extinction was the greatest mass extinction with the estimated die off percentage at 95% of all species living at that time.

  19. There are environmentalists who seriously believe this, and are genuinely concerned about animals. But the campaign is being driven by Political activists who would butcher their own mothers if they thought it would result in their obtaining more control over their fellow man. If such vermin had a historical record of ruling well and benevolently the loss of liberty might be tolerable. Might. They don’t. They have a millennia long record of corruption, hypocrisy, murder, rapine, and pillage (how’s that for the name of a law firm?). The Environmentalists have yet to prove that they are any different from the Communists, Socialists, Aristocrats, Theocrats, etc. that preceded them. And they won’t, because they can’t.

  20. “The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway?and We’re to Blame,” Time’s headline declared. ”

    Anyone else amazed at how often extraordinary claims like this are made, and how often people accept it without question?

    It seems like there is no claim or prediction the green movement can make that people won’t believe in mass.

    1. People believe what the cute weather girl says for crap sake.

      1. Wait, she’s talking? Who knew?

    2. People really seem to love doom and gloom shit for some reason (and libertarians are definitely no exception).
      Try having a conversation about how global warming might not be as disastrous as some predictions make out with someone who buys all of that. It’s like people want us to be doomed. I guess it’s an easy way to feel all superior and righteous. But a little optimism doesn’t cost anything, and there is no prize for being right in your gloomy predictions.

      1. No prize?!?! What would you call being able to lord the fact that you were right over the unbelievers? That’s like the greatest prize ever.

        1. I guess maybe that’s why people are into the really far fetched short term predictions rather than the more realistic ones that don’t produce any doom for a few hundred years.

      2. Tough out there for a straight white male to be a proper victim these days, so global warming activism really helps.

    3. It’s SCIENCE, and there’s a consensus. If you doubt it, you are being all unscientificy and stuff.

  21. Anyone else amazed at how often extraordinary claims like this are made, and how often people accept it without question?

    I saw a clip of the Fingerpointer-in-Chief’s “economic traitors” routine. The fact that not one single person in the audience laughed out loud was incredibly depressing. Even in what was obviously a hand-picked group of True Believers, there should be a few who have been exposed to basic logic, American history and economic principles.

    I don’t know why he doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames when he spouts idiotic nonsense like that.

  22. World to End – Women, Minorities Affected Most

  23. Mankind is a monolithic entity made up of collective humanity and it makes en masse decisions like a single organism. That’s why enforcement regimes are so simple, but for obstructionist deniers.
    Why don’t libertarians understand that? What’s their problem?
    (Pretty much the consensus view)

  24. We ran into a caretaker on the Long Trail that was mad as hell about the windmills ruining his vistas.

    These are the people who annoy me the most.

    There is no longer any such thing as wilderness in the lower 48. Not really. When you visit a state or national park, you are engaging with an artificial environment – you may as well be in a terrarium.

    The reason people don’t like to see windmills or cell phone towers while hiking or camping is because they are lying to themselves about their own experience.

    They are engaging in a fantasy of being “away from it all”, being “in the wilderness” – and the cell phone tower or windmill disrupts their fantasy, like Christopher Reeves seeing the wrong penny.

    So these people are seriously proposing that the rest of us conduct our affairs in a way that does not disrupt their fantasy. I get annoyed enough at collectivists who demand sacrifices for people’s real needs; imagine how much bigger a dick you have to be to demand sacrifices from others to maintain not a real need but a fantasy.

    1. I have to say, when I go camping I like to create that fantasy for myself. But in order to achieve that, I go to places where you can’t see windmills and cellphone towers and I avoid places like the AT and Long Trail where you are likely to see other people. Problem solved. Though the one thing you really can’t get away from in the lower 48 is airplanes flying overhead.

      1. The back campgrounds at Mammoth Cave.

        Up near the visitors center and stuff, it seems like modern campgrounds. Get to the back ones though, and its pretty much wilderness.

        And this is at an Eastern Park. I can imagine that Glacier or whatever has areas much more truly remote.

      2. Most of Utah
        Sierra Nevada
        Montana
        Everglades

        There’s no shortage, just most of these places can be inhospitable.

        1. A lot of Maine.

    2. like Christopher Reeves seeing the wrong penny.

      Wow, its been literally decades since I thought about that movie.

      As chick flicks go, it was decent. But I was young, so what the fuck did I know.

    3. The correct term is “viewshed”, not “vista”.

      I am intimately familiar with these people as my family has property in a rural area of Virginia where they are fighting like cats and dogs over windmills.

    4. There is no longer any such thing as wilderness in the lower 48.

      Ahem.

    5. like Christopher Reeves seeing the wrong penny.

      Holy shit, a Somewhere in Time reference.

      Damn.

  25. What about being the party of maximum capitalist exploitation requires libertarians to be Pollyannaish about environmental destruction… oh.

    1. What about being communist causes you to destroy the environment in manners far exceeding anything a capitalist country ever has?

      1. I don’t know, why don’t you ask a communist, if you can find one? And citation?

        1. There are no communists left. By the time Chernobyl happened the Soviet Union was full on Kapitalist. I can’t cite any sources for this fact, but c’mon, it’s undeniable.

        2. I take it you’ve never been to a communist country. Communism is this beautiful idea in your head where the “people” own everything. Well, I’ve got news for you, when the “people” own something, nobody owns it. And it is treated accordingly.

          1. But nobody is defending communism. Meanwhile capitalism, whatever its relative merits, is destroying environments quite efficiently. Except where governments have stepped in to prevent it.

            1. Christ you’re stupid.

              The single biggest threat to the environment is poverty. Western style capitalism has been the most effective method of lifting entire countries out of poverty.

              Go to India, go to China, go to Africa, visit the former Soviet Bloc, use your damn brain.

              1. So you’re saying a poor African has a bigger negative environmental footprint than a wealthy American?

            2. Tony|8.1.14 @ 4:40PM|#
              “But nobody is defending communism.”

              In which case, you have nothing at all to post.

            3. Tony:

              Meanwhile capitalism, whatever its relative merits, is destroying environments quite efficiently. Except where governments have stepped in to prevent it.

              That would be quite an indictment, if it weren’t for the fact that you simultaneously believe that the entire world economic policy completely depends on government spending and regulation to boost consumer demand and stimulate the economy.

              It’s completely contradictory to give government credit for spreading the wealth around and stimulating consumer demand, while at the same time blaming free markets for destroying the economy.

              What, exactly, is the carbon footprint of government spending, and the wonderful boost in consumer demand that you love giving it credit for? Does it all go into carbon offset credits?

              1. I’m not a blind worshiper of economic growth, it’s just necessary to maintain a system in which people’s livelihoods require them to have jobs, the continued availability of which depends on economic growth. I’d much prefer a system that focuses on sustainability, and I think such a system is necessary in the end. It’s your capitalism-dependent system that requires economic growth.

                We waste criminally incredible amounts of wealth on your scheme. We can’t use even a fraction of it, though, to save the human species from immeasurable harm, because taxing billionaires is by far the bigger moral outrage.

                Wheech eez why yours is zee most rational of all pheelosophies.

                1. Because freedom is a scheme.

                  1. Oh is that what you’re for? What about unicorns? Lollipops?

                    1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 11:03PM|#
                      “Oh is that what you’re for? What about unicorns? Lollipops?”

                      Yeah, you dream of unicorn farts!
                      Where else will that money come from?

                2. Tony|8.1.14 @ 7:38PM|#
                  …”it’s just necessary to maintain a system”…

                  Just get the fuck out of the way, twit; people will do that just fine.

                3. Tony:

                  I’m not a blind worshiper of economic growth, it’s just necessary to maintain a system in which people’s livelihoods require them to have jobs, the continued availability of which depends on economic growth. I’d much prefer a system that focuses on sustainability, and I think such a system is necessary in the end. It’s your capitalism-dependent system that requires economic growth.

                  Uh, haven’t you been telling us lately that you largely embrace capitalism as practiced in the nordic model, i.e., we just need capitalism, plus some regulations and welfare to round out the edges for everybody?

                  Why now, then, does it sudden become our capitalist system that requires economic growth? I’m sorry, but if you’re going to start arguing for some sort of socialism where no one is required to have a job, that’s A-OK with no economic growth, then your way off into fantasy utopia land.

                  Sorry, but people tend to reproduce, implying population growth, and they tend to need food, clothing, shelter, clean water, along with medicare care, educations, etc., Unless those grow from unicorn farts, then scarcity applies, including labor, and you’re going to need the economy to grow. Especially if you plan to guarantee each of the growing population not only the most current and technologically advanced products (see healthcare), but further advancement.

                  Or, as an alternative: why do you reject democracy? Clearly, no one wants your hair-brained scheme.

    2. Hey Tony, can you tell me how much of your own money you’ve spent to improve the environment in the last year or ten?

      1. I don’t have enough money to make a difference. Nobody does. Only states do. I’m sorry that’s inconvenient for the silly little antigovernment bullshit philosophy you have. Are you morally superior because you don’t give a shit in the first place?

        1. What groups do you donate your time to?

          1. Relevant to this discussion, the Sierra Club.

            1. WHat have you done for the SC?

              1. Quid pro quo Clarice. What is your worst memory of childhood?

                1. Simply pointing out that you, as well as your perverted philosophy, don’t actually do shit for the environment. As with all things, you want something for nothing. You want benefits, so long as someone else is paying for it. The ones that scream the loudest, actually do the least.

                  I, and those like me, contribute over $4.2B annually for conservation efforts. I give my money to organizations like Trout Unlimited and Pheasants Forever who work to DIRECTLY improve wildlife habitat, instead of paying lawyers to stop productive human activity in the name of their political agendas.

                  So don’t give me your “Pollyannaish about environmental destruction” bullshit, you immoral piece of shit. If you really gave a flying fuck about the environment, you’d be digging deep or at least volunteering your time to do something about it.

                  Typical prog. I want my free shit.

                  1. I want to pay taxes to invest in saving the planet. I don’t want anything for free. But neither your actions nor mine can individually address problems of this magnitude. Governments, whether you like them are not, are the institutions tasked with mobilizing vast resources. Whatever I can do to change policy, that will be worth more than your donations by a mile.

                    You want to stick your fingers in your ears and burn fossil fuels unchecked and not pay a nickel more in gas for the privilege. As I’ve demonstrated many times before, libertarians are the biggest moochers on the planet.

                    1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 7:44PM|#
                      “I want to pay taxes to invest in saving the planet”{

                      Not fooled, slime bag. You want OTHERS to pay taxes. No one is stopping you from doing so.
                      Oh, and how is the planet to be “saved”?

                    2. Yeah just like you to pay for the maintenance of your property rights… You are OK with taxes and coercion. So you don’t get to use that argument. We’ve been through this about a million times.

                    3. Tony|8.1.14 @ 11:07PM|#
                      “Yeah just like you to pay for the maintenance of your property rights…”
                      WIH is that supposed to mean? You thinl my right to own something has an expiration date? How fucking stupid are you?

                      “You are OK with taxes and coercion. So you don’t get to use that argument. We’ve been through this about a million times.”
                      Yes, and you (for the millionth time) are more than willing to tear up any limitation on that grant to allow you your adolescent dreams!
                      Gee, if only you’d had a father…

                    4. Where the line is drawn is determined by what? You get what you want, and then we draw it?

        2. Tony:

          I don’t have enough money to make a difference. Nobody does. Only states do.

          I think you mean violence, not money.

          They get all of their money from you, and everyone else.

          1. Nobody has ever beat me and taken my money in the name of the government. I do pay taxes like everyone else on the planet, especially those who live anywhere remotely worth living. But boohoo you’re such a victim.

            1. Nobody has ever beat me and taken my money in the name of the government.

              Try not paying taxes for a while, then tell the IRS to fuck off when they show up to ask what’s up.

              Or try not paying cigerette taxes. You might end up like this guy.

              1. Which other laws do you think you get to opt out of because you’d prefer to mooch rather than participate?

                No love lost with me and the cops, I’m a fireman guy.

                1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 11:08PM|#
                  “Which other laws do you think you get to opt out of because you’d prefer to mooch rather than participate?”

                  No. slimebag, the parasite is all Tony!
                  Who wants others to ‘pay their fair share’? Tony
                  Who wants others to pay for some fantasy ‘healthy planet’? Tony
                  Who wants others to pay for Tony’s medical care? Tony.
                  Who wants to be left alone and not bothered by slime bags? WW.
                  Given that you are cluically-challenged, we know you really want everyone to accept your infantile claims that “up” can be “down” if widdle Tony want’s it to be, but only your Mommy lets you get away with that.
                  Get fucked with a manhole cover.
                  Your

            2. Tony:

              Nobody has ever beat me and taken my money in the name of the government. I do pay taxes like everyone else on the planet, especially those who live anywhere remotely worth living.

              I assume you don’t pay extra taxes, right up until the government starts demanding that you do, right?

              That implies that the lack of physical violence against you by the government is a function of your compliance, not because of a lack of the threat of violence against you.

              In other words, congratulations on understanding where the money comes from.

        3. Tony:

          I don’t have enough money to make a difference. Nobody does. Only states do.

          I think you mean violence, not money.

          They get all of their money from you, and everyone else.

          1. That’s what kills me about these statist morons. They simply can’t comprehend that governments merely appropriate wealth created by the private sector but don’t produce any wealth themselves. They wish to pretend that governments somehow create wealth out of whole cloth through magic to effect wonderful results.

            1. Try creating wealth without government. You people take so many things for granted it is beyond belief. Does inventing the Internet and the interstate highway system not play a role in creating wealth?

              You aren’t talking about any philosophy of government that’s ever been taken seriously by anyone. You’re just typing nonsense words. Governments don’t “merely” tax and redistribute. That action serves a purpose. In large part to protect your property claims, which I assume you also take for granted.

              1. It’s funny how you want to give government credit for the creation of wealth, the internet, the highway system, etc.

                But, just up thread, you’re explaining how our libertarian free market capitalism is damaging the environment.

                I suppose you think the highway system, etc., are carbon neutral?

                Again, you assume that we owe practically all of our economic growth and consumer demand to the government, while you blame capitalism for economic growth and consumption when it comes to the environment. Which is it?

  26. In 1970, S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, predicted that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals would be extinct.

    But back then they thought that global cooling would be the culprit. Manmade global warming is so much more dangerous even though it postponed the inevitable doom of mass extinction.

    1. Ripley did produce a fine monograph on the rails of the world.

  27. What about being the party of maximum capitalist exploitation requires libertarians to be Pollyannaish about environmental destruction.

    Billions of chickens.

    Dozens of elephants.

    1. I don’t get it.

      1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 4:36PM|#
        “I don’t get it.”

        I’m guessing you’re stupid enough to make that true.
        People own and care for chickens and we have no lack of them
        Stupid shits like you fancy elephants should be divorced from nasty profits, so they get offed by the hundreds since stupid shits like you do absolutely nothing except whine.
        Sell them to someone, and that someone will make damn sure they’re cared for.
        Man, what a ignorant bastard!

        1. Oh, that is even dumber than I thought.

          What’s a relevant difference between chickens and elephants? It’s not that one lacks value in the market. They both do. It’s not that one isn’t kept in captivity by people who care about their well-being. What can we do with chickens that we can’t do with elephants? Say, mass produce them?

          Are poachers and ivory dealers communists or are they not perfect capitalists? This doesn’t make any sense. I’m going to assume Brooks meant something entirely different, because this is too stupid.

          1. Tony|8.1.14 @ 7:51PM|#
            “Oh, that is even dumber than I thought.”

            Yes, to those sufficiently stupid, actual logic appears as magic!
            Fucking idjit…

          2. Oh, and BTW:
            “Are poachers and ivory dealers communists or are they not perfect capitalists?”
            They’re thieves, most closely aligned with communists.
            Unfortunately, slimy assholes like you allow them to steal since the thought of profit makes you ill.
            Fuck off.

            1. Exactly. Slimy assholes like Tony will pretend to deny it, but you’ve hit the nail on the head. Just look at the vitriol hurled at the hunter chicks promoting game preserves to protect big game. “Environmentalists” would rather rhinos and elephants go extinct than evil capitalists profit from private game preserves.

              1. OK. The slimy chick just shot and killed one of the last 10,000 elephants left on the planet. It was not even a hunt. It was target practice. If she had really been concerned about elephants she would have just donated the money to the reserve and let the elephant live.

  28. Didn’t Ron have an article pointing out that most extinctions have occurred mostly among relict populations found mostly on oceanic islands.
    I recently visited the island of Bougainville and noticed that mammal and bird species diversity was quite low in comparison to other areas of the tropics like Amazonia.
    Did humans never establish on the island because of this fact?
    No.

  29. Sigh. A typical Reason article. Look at the preponderance of the scientific literature (10,000 extinctions), come up with the latest (single) scientific article supporting the authors case (10 extinctions) and assume the authors argument is correct. Would it not make much more sense to average the best case with the average case and conclude that in all probability there are about 5,005 extinctions? I guarantee it would from a statistical analysis standpoint.

  30. Is he suggesting that the move toward urbanization is causing people to use less living area? Because it seems cities are building out as well as up. I think setting city limits and utilizing better city planning could go a long way in helping the urban sprawl.

    775 years is long time, but I feel like there should be a better benchmark; we should probably stop cutting down trees long before then.

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