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Ear to the Ground

Extinction: Another One Bites the Dust

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Posted on Oct 24, 2011
WWF Greater Mekong

A subspecies of rhino native to Southeast Asia has been wiped out. There are now just 50 members of its parent species, the Javan rhino, left in the world. It’s a reminder that the danger in endangered is real, and we can’t just sit back and hope conservationists can keep human beings from annihilating Earth’s biodiversity.

Which reminds me: Stop eating tuna. Since 1970, as much as 80 percent of adult Atlantic bluefin tuna have been wiped out. But the U.S., Japan and other countries continually deny that the fish is endangered because people like eating sushi. Don’t be selfish. Leave your grandchildren some tuna.

While you’re at it, leave them some polar bears. The world’s largest land predator is listed as threatened because global warming has shriveled Arctic sea ice, making it more difficult for the creatures to move about and find food. Some people who think that’s a bad thing want the government to use the Endangered Species Act to control the emissions that heat up the planet, melt the ice and kill the polar bears. A federal judge ruled last week that federal officials did not have to do that.

It’s OK. Some conservationist will probably get around to saving the bear ... with magic!  —PZS

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By SoTexGuy, October 26, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

Problem is; too many people.

Adios!

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By Shenonymous, October 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Don’t despair too much about the earth itself.  If we last only
a thousand more years but then kaput! it will simply over the
millennia regenerate itself as the earth is not emotionally
attached to us or any living thing really. It is really bigger than
all of us put together.  We and all large and medium large and
small animals and plants even might be gone, but maybe bacteria
that can withstand most anything and the most hardy viruses might
still be around underground in the ocean or someplace, in the arctic
ice that will get the evolution game started all over again. Don’t forget
it took millions of years for us to get here.  The universe probably has
a few million years left if not billions.  We don’t really know exactly how
old it is or how long it will continue.  We might find out before we all get
obliterated.  The cosmologists and astrophysicists are working on it as
we breathe.  Then, just to be as cynical as I can, after that, blip, blip,
blip, it just won’t matter.  What matters is what we do whilst we are here. 
We can be either caretakers or gargoyles.  I sometimes wonder who will
be the last earthperson?  No more books or Scientific American articles
will be written, sob sob

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By Crys_Harris, October 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Extinction is part of the natural order. It is man’s hubris to believe we can stop
an animal’s inexorable march towards extinction and we spend billions of
dollars each year on such endeavors. Giant Pandas, for instance, are clearly an
evolutionary dead-end as they cannot adapt from their highly specialized
environment and diet.

The case is rather less clear for heavily poached animals like the Mountain (and
Lowland) Gorilla and Rhinos.

Most animals that are facing extinction due to habitat loss and over-
exploitation;  that is clearly our fault. However, considering that we will soon
reach 7 billion people, the most of which compete for resources with animals in
less developed nations, there is no real solution. People need to eat - tuna or
agriculture-provided foods, or grass fed livestock. Unless and until we
significantly reduce our population, we will out-compete animals for resource
and be more successful.

Why don’t people see themselves as part of, and not an adversary to, the
natural world? Yes, we’re an opportunistic and transformative species that has a
direct negative impact on other species. We’re rather viral and may well destroy
ourselves with our over consumption. And undoubtedly, another species will
take advantage of that and step in.

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By EmileZ, October 25, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Blue Balloon by Ween

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcoKKb0dnS8

I see her popping for us in potentially much less than one hundred years.

The Glaciers are melting, we are depleting or poisoning the underground water supply. The oceans are warming and growing acidic. We are rapidly deforesting the planet, and that is just the tip of the iceberg really. Maybe the cockroaches will survive.

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By Shenonymous, October 25, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget SarcastiCanuck global warming and natural phenomena
along with mindless wanton killing of the earth’s creatures, including
humans, probably not in 100-200 years but surely within a thousand
it will be a dead planet.  We can go to our sad species graves, some
of us, that we saw and appreciated much beauty. 

Maybe we should start an annual international Howling Day to
pre-mourn in anticipation the demise of the inhabitants of this planet.
I vote for winter solstice.  And on that day a great noise will go up from
a once tiny blue planet turned brown and ugly and shake the universe.

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By caped amigo, October 25, 2011 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

I do believe that extinction is a natural part of life and evolution. Having said that, I also want to make clear that I condemn: 1) fishermen who over-fish our ocean in order to hang on to a job, 2)poachers around the world who should be given long prison sentences or fed to the lions, and 3) Ernist Hemingway wannabes who senslessly hunt endangered species for trophy reasons.

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By SarcastiCanuck, October 25, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First we kill off all of the animals,then we kill ourselves off.Another 100 to 200 years should do it.Have a nice day..

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By Shenonymous, October 25, 2011 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

It is so sad what humans do to their world.  The problem with
the extinction of this wonderful animal, the Javan rhino.  The
reason here is the ignorance of the society that makes demands
for its horn.  It is said for “medicinal” reasons.  When this kind of
primitive-practice ignorance is stamped out with education, the
hunting of animals for such self-serving purposes is stopped,
then maybe extinction will no longer be the fault of man.

How ironic these mindless oblivious hunters have rid the world of the
very thing they use for personal gain.  They have done themselves in as
well as the rhino.

Yeah, I stopped eating tuna a long time ago.  There are a lot of conscious
Americans.

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By EmileZ, October 25, 2011 at 2:00 am Link to this comment

What a beautiful animal.

We can’t be reminded too often about this kind of thing. We are in the country which has the most power and influence over whether or not the ecosystem is destroyed and species are wiped out including our own.

It’s not looking good.

Thanks for this!!!

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