[Coral-List] In regard to article about only 3 of Earth ecosystems are intact

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Fri Apr 30 20:04:23 UTC 2021

Abstract: I agree!!    (message too long)
     And I've read that humans take most of the world's photosynthetic
production for themselves, and domestic chickens now all together weigh
more than all wild animals put together.  There is almost no square inch of
this world that humans aren't having enormous effects on.  And although I
argue that technology can make a difference, and we can do things to reduce
our impacts, like eat a plant-based diet instead of meat, which would
increase our food supply by as much as 10 fold, there is a minimum amount
of consumption required for humans to survive, and that's a miserable state
to be in usually which no one wants to live in, nor should they have to.
Improvements in technology, from farming to many other things, have made it
possible for humans to cheat Malthus, who said population is controlled by
disease, wars, etc., that is, death.  But in the long run, resources are
not infinite and we only have one planet which is astoundingly tiny if you
just move back to look at it a very short distance in space (out maybe
around Jupiter or Saturn, a picture was taken and earth was smaller than
one pixel in the camera, think what it would be from the nearest star, let
alone the other side of the galaxy or from a distant galaxy).  We live on a
tiny space ship and have been destroying it.  Coral reefs are getting their
share of destruction, but it is so far much less than some terrestrial
ecosystems have had.  Humans have destroyed the entire prairie ecosystem in
North America for agriculture, it is such good soil.  There are only a few
tiny scraps left, plus in the west just east of the mountains it is so dry
that farming is not possible, only a little bit of grass can survive, so
they run cattle that can survive on it, which replace the original bison,
so it is similar to what it was.
    Humans are incredibly destructive to natural ecosystems including coral
reefs.  And humans, like almost all species, reproduce as fast as they can,
far more than could possibly survive.  A species has to either do that or
another species will outcompete it and drive it to extinction.  Darwin read
Malthus and realized that was the engine that drives evolution.  Giant
pandas and cheetahs barely reproduce enough to hold their own, without help
Pandas would already be extinct and they may end up that way anyhow.
Science based medicine has reduced human mortality, especially infant
mortality, to low levels.  But medicine has been vastly slower at providing
family planning.  In the long run, human populations will be controlled,
either by the Maltusian death control, or by birth control.  Whether we
want it to be controlled or not.  Those two, death control and birth
control are the only options over the long term.  We have reduced mortality
greatly, and starvation currently isn't threatening to kill most people,
but eventually something, whether pandemic or starvation or a world so hot
we can't live in (the most likely) or something else, will, if we keep
multiplying like lemmings running towards the cliff.  We can't reduce
population in time to save coral reefs, but we absolutely have to over
time, and death control is not a pleasant way to do it.  Voluntary family
planning provided free world wide would make a huge difference and help us
really save the planet.  Nearly everything else is a temporary fix that
will be overwhelmed in the long run (and that includes stopping global
warming, something we also have to do to save ourselves and the planet).
However, within a century or so, urbanization and development will likely
reduce family sizes enormously.  It's a very widespread phenomenon and
already well under way in many countries.  With development and
urbanization, China has gone from a huge population growth problem, to
worrying that they will not have enough young people to fill the work force
to support the old people.  Several other countries face this as well to
different degrees, Japan and Italy particularly.  The USA used to be
reproducing right at replacement, average 2.1 children, now it is down to
1.7.  Without immigration, the US population would in time start
shrinking.  Other countries will go through the same process in time.  But
meantime we have peak population coming that may be around 11 billion.
Which will be even more destructive than our present 7.8 billion or so.
The peak could be brought down and populations start to reduce if we
provided free family planning for everyone in the world who wanted it.
    As usual, humans refuse to solve major problems, but often we seem to
muddle through, not doing either as well as we could, nor as bad as we
Cheers, Doug

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 6:32 AM Alina Szmant <alina at cisme-instruments.com>

> Doug:
> I took a look at to me the most alarming of the articles you shared which
> some Listers might overlook so I want to point it out:
> "Humans have destroyed 97% of earth's ecosystems (well, more like only 3%
> are fully intact)
> https://a.msn.com/r/2/BB1fH7DT?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare"
> This is all about human overpopulation changing terrestrial ecosystems to
> accommodate more and more people. Cutting down trees for urban and
> agricultural development; diverting water for human consumption and
> agriculture and industry; changing the hydrological cycle by changes in
> land use; etc etc etc. This is aside from any fossil fuel related issues.
> If all of our energy was from renewables but we continue to increase in
> numbers and destroy the Earth ecosystems in our wake, the Earth is still
> destroyed without even one more molecule of greenhouse gas added to our
> atmosphere.
> Regards,
> Alina
> *************************************************************************
> Dr. Alina M. Szmant, CEO
> CISME Instruments LLC
> 210 Braxlo Lane,
> Wilmington NC 28409 USA
> AAUS Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Awardee
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> EMAIL: alina at cisme-instruments.com
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Coral-List <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> On Behalf Of
> Douglas Fenner via Coral-List
> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 3:54 AM
> To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Watching a pristine reef be killed
> Watching a coral reef die as climate change devastates one of the most
> pristine tropical island areas on earth.
> https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/watching-a-coral-reef-die-as-climate-change-devastates-one-of-the-most-pristine-tropical-island-areas-on-earth/ar-BB1gbsJH
> Doug
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Lynker Technologies, LLC, Contractor
> NOAA Fisheries Service
> Pacific Islands Regional Office
> Honolulu
> and:
> Coral Reef Consulting
> PO Box 997390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799-6298  USA
> Slashing emissions by 2050 isn't enough.  We can bring down temperature
> now.
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/climate-deadlines-super-pollutants-hfcs-methane/2021/04/15/acb8c612-9d7d-11eb-b7a8-014b14aeb9e4_story.html
> Humans have destroyed 97% of earth's ecosystems (well, more like only 3%
> are fully intact)
> https://a.msn.com/r/2/BB1fH7DT?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare
> Study: One-third of plant and animal species could be gone in 50 years.
> (but 2-4 times worse in tropics)
> https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-02/uoa-soo021220.php
> https://www.pnas.org/content/117/8/4211
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