I’m going to say the politically incorrect. I’m going to talk about social engineering which you should never do but which you have to talk about at some time.
Doing the rounds on the Internet yesterday and today is a discussion about a study published on the Internet (Plos One) which identified 107 islands where eradication projects i.e. the eradication of invasive species, could benefit 9.4% of the Earth’s threatened island species.
We know that introduced, invasive species on islands can harm native species and on occasions make those species extinct. There are a number of examples including predation by feral cats. Therefore the scientist question whether we as humans should kill all the feral cats and rats and pigs and goats and mice blah blah blah blah to stop these extinctions taking place.
Of course, they conveniently bypass the elephant in the room which is that humans and their burgeoning population growth with accompanying commercial activities are by far the biggest threat to all wildlife species on the planet.
Just yesterday there was a story about pesticides used by farmers in the UK killing bees and other pollinating insects. There has been a massive reduction in bee population size. This is a dire situation because without pollinating insects there will be a catastrophe.
This is a single example. On the continent of Africa there is huge change with i.e. deforestation due to commercial activity such as mining resulting in loss of habitat for many wild species including wild cat species.
This ‘invasion’ by the ‘disease’ that is humankind is destroying the planet and all other species on it. Okay I’m exaggerating but these are not my views alone. Sir David Attenborough, perhaps the most respected zoologists on the planet has described the human race as “a disease”. He was courageous to say it because it is politically incorrect to make remarks like that.
I won’t go on by listing a pile of specific examples of how humans are destroying wildlife. The examples are almost countless. If we want to protect wild species on the planet we must look at ourselves first. We must create a model of sustainability. This model must incorporate zero human population growth and a world economy which need not grow but which is sustained on a plateau. Business runs the planet and they shouldn’t. The people should run the planet not alpha male greedy directors of multinational companies.
We need a human population which neither increases nor decreases with an accompanying world economy along the same lines. There may even be the necessity for an initial reduction in the human population.
We can then settle into a world where we can live alongside animal species rather than pushing them recklessly off the planet either through commercial activity, destroying their habitat, poisoning them, poaching them, introducing invasive species which kill them, building more roads which form barriers and which ultimately kill them, build more houses and settlements which steal territory from wild species, build wind farms which kill birds, pollute the air with diesel engines, poison the planet with pesticides, destroy coal reefs through global warming, pollute the oceans with millions of tonnes of plastic, starve to death whales because they eat tons of plastic and so on and so on and so on.
We must look at ourselves and our behaviour first and foremost if we want to take seriously the conservation of wild species. When we have changed our behaviour we can turn our attention to the second priority, curbing invasive species on islands which kill native species. The irony is that humans introduced the rats and cats in the first place. No matter how you analyse these issues humans are at the root of the problem.
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