Ecocide – deliberate destruction of the ecosystem! How about the Death Sentence??

The lawyers are drawing up international laws to prevent ECOCIDE. Something I would support 100%.

Thank you to John Peachey for bringing this to my attention!

I hope there is a really severe penalty for anyone who destroys natural habitat!!

21 thoughts on “Ecocide – deliberate destruction of the ecosystem! How about the Death Sentence??

  1. There certainly ought to be the death penalty for those that destroy the natural habitat for human beings – peace, justice, freedom and a free market economy!

    1. I sometimes think that human beings are the least important of any of the creatures that have taken these billions of years to evolve. Our arrogance and overinflated opinion of ourselves, coupled with our thoughtlessness, huge egos and propensity for violence and cruelty put everything in great danger.
      8 billion of us are destroying the natural ecosystems.

      1. Speak for yourself, Opher. As far as I know, I am not destroying any natural ecosystems. And if you want to change my mind on that, you will need to provide hard evidence. As I’ve said before, my attitude to wildlife (other than edibles, of course) is: If it doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it. When out walking, for example, I will often deliberately take a big step to avoid treading on a column of ants. And human structures can be a positive help to wildlife. For example, for many summers I have had a pair of blue tits nesting in the eaves above my bedroom window. (This year, for some reason, they chose to nest in the tree a few feet away).

        Moreover, if human numbers really are the problem or a problem, I’m not guilty; I have never had any children!

        I think your criticisms would be just, though, if you restricted them to certain subsets of those that claim humanity. Politicians, in particular. In fact, just about anyone that seeks or acquires political power is arrogant, thoughtless, egotistical, and often cruel. And they will initiate or condone violence (including war) if it suits them. These are characteristics of psychopaths, Opher. Because of the out-of-date, failed 16th-century political system we are forced to live under, political power attracts psychopaths. And “democracy” makes things worse; because the political party system allows psychopaths to use their glibness, lies and deceptions, and empty promises to worm their way into positions of power. And then to violate rights and freedoms, to do things that hurt people, and to evade responsibility for what they have done.

        You wouldn’t denigrate dogs as a species just because a few of them attack children, would you? Nor should you denigrate humans as a whole just because a few of them are psychopathic criminals. In fact, you ought to laud and cherish all those humans who behave as humans should – with peacefulness, tolerance of difference, respect for others’ rights and freedoms, and a sense of objective justice. And you should want them to be able to live in the habitat which is natural to human beings. Which, as I said earlier, is peace, justice, freedom and a free market economy.

        Go out into Nafferton or Driffield, and talk to the people you meet. (Ignoring those glued to their mobile phones, of course). I don’t think you’ll find that many of these people behave in the ways you listed; or at least if they do, they don’t behave like that at all often. You might want to take a step back and think, am I really right to slag off humans in general – and to support political policies that harm good and innocent people – when the real problem is a minority, that fail (often deliberately) to measure up to standards of behaviour that any human being ought to be able to live up to?

      2. Hi Neil – I think you underestimate your own impact on the environment – from the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the energy you use and the space you take up. The people who produce your food, clothes, goods, and energy, who transport it, deliver it and promote it pollute and destroy on your behalf. 8 billion of us, with our needs, are having a massive impact on nature.
        I agree with you that our society’s obsession with growth is largely to blame. We do not live sustainably. I would agree with you that our system promotes sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths to levels of power – both in politics and business – hence Trump, Bolsonaro, Putin and Johnson. But not all politicians.
        But I do not agree with you about people. I think that most people enjoy pain and cruelty – not just the minority. Hence dogfights and violent games, murder dramas and war. We are inherently violent. The fact that it is not always expressed does not alter the fact. I base my views on history, warfare, commonplace cruelty, bloodsports, propensity for violence, hunting, thoughtless destruction of habitat, killing of insects, vermin, and cars deliberately swerving to hit a hedgehog. We love violence and cruelty and I’ve personally witnessed enough to last a lifetime. Then there’s this religious idiocy about giving humans souls and the world here for us to abuse.

  2. Opher, you won’t get me with that collective guilt-trip. I am an individual. I take responsibility for the effects of my own actions on others. And except in certain circumstances (for example, parents being responsible for their children’s acts), those others are responsible for the effects of their actions on me and on everyone else. If I see someone behaving with inhumanity (e.g. cruelty, aggression, lies or deceit) then I may – if it is feasible – do what I can to eliminate or to lessen the inhumanity. But I do not interfere with people who are behaving as human beings, merely going about their own lives in their own way.

    If someone’s actions have side-effects that damage other people, they are responsible for compensating those people. If they damage other people’s property – including animals – then likewise, they must compensate. If they unintentionally damage animals that are their own property, or if they damage them through pure accident, their attitude is up to them. While I would certainly say that causing damage to animals is an inelegant way to behave, I don’t feel that I have any right to interfere.

    I didn’t mention growth – not on this thread, anyway – but I’ll tackle the subject anyway. We humans are by nature a progressive species. Our right way is always onwards and upwards (though, of course, we do sometimes make mistakes). At the current stage of our development, strong economic growth is what we need in order to eliminate poverty among honest human beings. As to population growth, it’s well known that in relatively well-off Western countries the reproduction rate has gone down significantly over 40 years or so, and is now below replacement. Getting third-world people out of the poverty trap would enable them to do the same.

    As to sustainability, it is my view that the kind of top-down, command-and-control economy the deep green maniacs crave would not be sustainable. Many people would end up either starving or freezing to death. We’ve already seen examples with Stalin’s “Great Turn” and Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” The goal of the deep greens with their “sustainable development” claptrap is to destroy the natural habitat for human beings. Which, as I said up top, is peace, justice, freedom and a free market economy.

    And then we come to the crux. In my view, humans are naturally good, but some among us are or become bad. Crime, destruction and inhumanity, under conditions right for the development of human beings, would be occasional aberrations, not the norm. The reason these things seem “normal” today is that we are living under a violent, dishonest, top-down system that encourages the spread of bad behaviour among the statist establishment and their hangers-on. These include politicians, political activists, bureaucrats, the media, many academics and many corporate bosses. And this system – the out-of-date, failed 16th-century system called the Westphalian state – has been gathering more and more power to itself throughout your and my lives.

    You, on the other hand, seem to think that human beings are naturally bad, and enjoy being cruel and inflicting pain. Well, I certainly don’t enjoy those things! – and I don’t think I’m alone. Remember that many people’s opinions – including some of yours – have been formed primarily by the media, and they are some of the worst culprits among the establishment hangers-on. After all, who broadcasts all the stuff about murder dramas, war and the like? If people thought for themselves more, these “humans are bad” narratives would quickly lose their power. Even you might look into yourself and at others, and say, “Actually, I’m not so bad after all, and nor are they!”

    And then, indeed, there are the religious idiocies. From my perspective, deep green environmentalism is very much like a religion; a religion whose chief characteristic is hatred of humanity and all its works. Its proponents and hangers-on seek to destroy the industrial civilization, which we humans have so laboriously built over the last 250 years or so. They are fundamentally dishonest. They have little or no concern for right or wrong, or for human rights and freedoms. They hate the human individual, as well as the species as a whole. They have no respect for truth; the narrative of the day is everything. And like the Inquisitions, those who will not accept their bad laws and dogmas and lies and propaganda as a matter of faith, must be made to do so by force.

    As to our position vis-a-vis the world, in my view its resources are there for us to use – wisely. And our long-term task is to make our planet into a home and garden fit for a civilized species.

    1. Neil – you seem totally oblivious to the destruction of nature going on around you and, quite wrongly, absolve yourself for any guilt. We are all guilty of causing damage just by living. The palm oil plantations, coffee plantations, timber felling, meat, fruit, corn and everything else that the rainforest is being chopped down for, happens because millions of people like you and me shampoo our hair, eat out cereal and like a cup of coffee. At least I am aware of the impact I am having. Individually it is minuscule. 8 billion miniscules is what is causing the problem.
      As to people – individually I do not have a problem with most people. When they are in groups I do. We are cruel, thoughtless and violent. Palaeontologists say that the first sign of humans moving into an area was the demise of all the megafauna. I look at what people have done through the ages – not just the bear-baiting, but using tortoises as ballast, shooting buffalo from trains, slicing open snakes for their bile, cramming mink in tiny cages, poaching elephants, shooting orangutans, catapulting swans. Large and small. I’ve seen it and our cruelty takes my breath away.
      We can easily live sustainably without draconian measures. Yes, I agree with you – prosperity and education cause reduction in fertility. We need to stop this gross inequality and bring the rest of the world to a reasonable standard. We need our numbers to return to a manageable level that does not impact on the biosphere.
      I’m all for the wise use of resources! I wish we’d seen evidence of some intelligence or wisdom. I haven’t yet – just greed and selfishness.

      1. Opher, I think this shows up a big difference between your and my philosophies of life. You seem to feel a collective guilt for things that other people have done; even things that you were never allowed a say about, and you could not have stopped even if you had known about them at the time. So, you – wrongly, in my view – admit guilt for things outside your control. It’s like the religionists’ idea of “original sin” – you are “fallen,” so you are bad, however well you behave. You, of all people, ought to be able to see through that argument!

        I, on the other hand, will only let myself feel guilt for the consequences of what I, as an individual, do. Moreover, I have never done any of the things you mention to bears, tortoises, buffalo, snakes, mink, elephants, orangutans or swans. Nor have I knowingly profited from cruel things others have done to such animals.

        And if you believe that “we are all guilty of causing damage just by living,” couldn’t you apply that to every other species on the planet too? Elephants, for example, seriously affect the local ecosystem through the huge amount they eat (100 kg of food a day, I’m told, and they also drink a similar weight of water). Does that make them guilty of causing damage just by living? I think not. As far as I’m concerned, elephants should simply do what is natural to them. They shouldn’t (and, I expect, don’t) feel guilty about it. And neither should humans.

        Another thing which is relevant to your (very good) point about people often behaving worse when in groups than they do as individuals. When I was looking at Robert Hare’s psychopathy tests, I came across some research on the incidence of psychopathy among the general population. Hare’s test is a simple, points-scoring system; the higher the score, the more psychopathic the individual. In the version of the test I was looking at, a score of 13 out of 24 represented a potential psychopath, and 18 out of 24 a fully psychopathic individual. Yet according to this research, 50% of a random (control) sample of people scored 0 or 1 on the test!

        Very few of us, as individuals, are anywhere near being psychopaths. Yet we live under social systems that tend to bring the worst psychopaths, the most narcissistic and anti-social personalities, into positions of power. I read that psychopathy among company bosses is four or more times as common as in the general population. And among politicians, it’s worse than that. I even wrote a paper on the subject:

        If there is one thing that the human species as a whole does need urgently to improve, it’s that we need to get rid of social systems that allow the worst individuals – the Hitlers, Pol Pots, Stalins, Maos, Tony Blairs, Theresa Mays and Boris Johnsons – to become leaders. And we need to replace them by systems that can assure peace, justice and freedom without having to divide people into clans controlled by big, bad bosses.

      2. Not guilt – anguish. I see the terrible things that have been done and are still being done. I do not feel guilty. I feel angry. I am not responsible but I live in a society that is. I benefit from some of the damage they do. I want a society that completely abhors violence, cruelty and environmental destruction. I want a more mature, responsible society. There is no guilt involved, though I am aware that simply by living in this society, purchasing food, products and using energy I am adding to the destruction. Overpopulation is the cause.
        In terms of other forms of life – it’s the same. When in balance the damage/use of the environment is limited. When numbers of any species get out of hand – too many elephants, too many goats, it is highly destructive. This is a delicate balance that we are messing with. I do not hold animals to blame – they do not possess the knowledge or understanding. I do hold humans to blame.
        Group mentality is scary – we see how easy it is to whip up hatred and fury with the likes of Trump and we see the end results with Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao. As groups we are extremely susceptible to propaganda and prone to xenophobia and racism which fuel violence.
        I agree with you. We have to find a way to prevent these psychopaths gaining power in businesses and politics. The trouble is that people have an innate tendency to value decisiveness and black and white arguments. That is what psychopaths and sociopaths are good at. As they do not worry about the impact of their decisions on individuals they appear strong. Hence Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Erdogan and Johnson. They reality is that they are self-serving and callous.

      3. In reverse order:

        We have to find a way to prevent these psychopaths gaining power in businesses and politics.

        Yes, indeed. For politics, it ought to be easy (but in practice, wouldn’t be). Some kind of quality assurance process on government, focusing in on the honesty levels of officials and of others paid with tax money, and on how well they satisfy the interests of the people who are paying for them. And psychological testing for anyone seeking any position of power – the higher you want to go, the less psychopathic you must be. Of course, such ideas would be strongly resisted by the political establishment; but consider that, by resisting them, they would in effect be pleading guilty!

        Dealing with psychopaths in business is harder. Long term, I think a human rights approach might be the way to go. It’s one of my “deep ideas” that procedural rights such as fair and public hearings, presumption of innocence, impartial tribunals, right to give evidence and to call witnesses, should be extended to all confrontational situations, including in the workplace. In the shorter term, if we can get the economy going well enough, the psychopathic types of managers will find it increasingly hard to get and to keep workers.

        Group mentality is scary.

        No disagreement there either. That’s one of the reasons I’m an individualist! But again, I think the current system of political states, and the nationalism it spawns, contribute a lot to the problem. I rather like George Orwell’s take on this matter. “Nationalism… is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige… for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.” As opposed to patriotism, “devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people.” Myself, I could be a patriot, but I could never be a nationalist.

        When numbers of any species get out of hand – too many elephants, too many goats, it is highly destructive.

        True for animals, but I think humans are a little different. What you say is essentially the position Thomas Malthus was coming from. Malthus was wrong, because he didn’t take into account human creativity. The Industrial Revolution, and what followed it, greatly increased the world’s carrying capacity for humans. But I think we can agree anyway that opening up third world economies is the way to go to fix any population problem there might be. The problem is the élites, that don’t want to lose their power and their unearned riches.

        I do not feel guilty. I feel angry.

        I share your sentiments, but my reasons are quite different. My anger is directed at the deep green humanity-haters, that in essence want to destroy the civilization we human beings have built so laboriously over the last 250 or so years. My Belgian philosopher friend Frank van Dun has diagnosed them thus: “Many people subscribe to an ideology that is virulently anti-human. They do not think that there is anything respectable about human beings as they are. Usually, they combine this belief with the idea that ‘human nature can and should be changed’ so as to make it conform to their own ideal of Man. Thus, they claim that men and women should be taught or forced not to respect the order of human world but to respect instead the imaginary ‘normative order’ that the ideologues prefer.”

        These humanity-haters want to destroy our habitat – which is exactly where I came in to this thread! And you seem to have let yourself be fooled by them. Also, of course, I am angry against the establishment political class and their cronies, that seek at the same time to control us against our wills, and to profit from the destruction of our habitat. (BTW, I’m about to start writing a review of the latest “green industrial revolution” claptrap. It won’t be nice!)

      4. I think some psychological profiling or testing might help to weed out the sociopaths and psychopaths!
        I think you misunderstand. These people, like me, do not hate human beings; we hate the aspect of humans that is cruel and thoughtless. We want a society that is much more caring and considerate and that lives in harmony with the planet.
        You see Neil, Malthus was right. We can increase the carrying capacity of the planet much more. We could support a population many times the present level. But there is a great cost – the demise of the natural world. That is what we are doing – chopping down the forests, overfishing the seas, wiping out the wildlife.
        The future we are building is not a utopia for humans is a concrete and plastic hell. It is nature and the delicate balance of the ecology that we are part of that gives our life purpose. That is what you do not seem to grasp. Global warming, species extinction – they are the results of this mad dash for growth and profit. I do not want to live in an artificial metropolis. I want to be part of a rich biosphere.
        Far from destroying our habitat I want to enrich it.
        BTW Neil – I’ll put out a series of questions on vaccines which require statistical analysis. It struck me that you would be just the man for the job!

      5. Opher, the most cruel and thoughtless are exactly those that are promoting, pushing, enforcing and supporting the green agenda! And the most cruel and thoughtless of them all are the politicians, together with their cronies – bureaucrats, media, corporate bosses, activists and so on – that are seeking to profit from that agenda. It isn’t caring or considerate to force people to change their lifestyles in ways that are a disbenefit to them, unless those lifestyles are provably causing real and significant damage to others. (In which case, they ought to be already paying compensation to those affected).

        And yet, the trumped-up excuses given – catastrophic human-caused global warming and human-caused extinction of some (unstated) species – are not supported by any hard evidence to prove that the damage claimed is actually real and significant. In fact, the UK government went out of its way (in 2009) to make sure that objective cost-benefit analyses on anything involving CO2 emissions cannot be done! As to species loss, from what I have read I don’t think there’s enough scientific knowledge yet to assess the question objectively.

        As to your “concrete and plastic hell,” I don’t like cities much either. And the older I get, the less I like them. My preference is for sensible sized communities surrounded by space.

      6. You don’t get it Neil – we are in a crisis. Global warming and species diversity are not minor problems. They have to be tackled and that has an impact. There is plenty of hard evidence. As a biologist I have been observing it for decades.
        I too want sensible sized communities with plenty of space – and the only way we can get that is by reducing the world population.
        Sustainable energy is now cheaper that fossil fuels!

  3. Opher, I don’t see a climate crisis. I see lots of political operators yelling “crisis” at the tops of their voices; but when I look at the facts, I find no hard evidence of any objective crisis. And certainly not of any “crisis” that would not have happened were it not for human emissions of carbon dioxide! The real crisis that is approaching is the discontent and disruption, that will be caused by bad political policies, made supposedly to mitigate a non-existent “crisis.”

    On the species diversity issue, I haven’t managed to find hard, unpoliticized, checkable facts (with numbers) as to what may or may not be going on. This problem has been known for years, and no-one seems to be making any advance with it. That sets off my bullshit meter.

    If you think you can reduce the human population without sterilizing or killing people, then say how you would propose to do it. But I for one do not feel that I have any right to tell people in Mali, for example, that they should have less children. That is their decision.

    Energy costing/pricing is a real minefield. You have to take out confounding factors like subsidies and taxes, and you have to consider end-to-end life cycle costs. But wind and solar energy (at least) both have the problem that they are intermittent. Which means that they can’t support the base load to power an industrial civilization on their own; they have to be backed up with “conventional” power sources, like gas or nuclear. And when you include those costs, they become far more expensive. Whoever is telling you that sustainable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels is, very probably, doing a load of “creative accounting.”

    1. You don’t see a climate crisis because you don’t want to see one Neil. As a biologist it is blatantly obvious. The species creep has been extraordinary. We have species arriving in the North of England that are two hundred miles beyond their range. We have birds staying over instead of migrating. Even if you choose to ignore the changes in weather patterns, once in a century events, bushfires, droughts, floods, and rises in temperature across the planet, you have to take note of rises in sea temperature and sea levels. You turn a blind eye to it all.
      As for the biodiversity – the extinction levels, crashes in population, destruction of rainforest and habitat destruction is relentless and catastrophic. In Britain the creatures I used to see often, that I spent my childhood studying, are rare or nearly gone. The skies no longer have the huge flocks of swifts and swallows, the ditches without frogs, sticklebacks and toads, the heathland without lizards, grasshoppers and grass snakes. We’re killing them.
      Having travelled the world I have witnessed massive environmental destruction on every continent. The scale is frightening.
      In terms of population – I am not advocating killing or sterilising people or even dictating to them – though the case is strong for a Chinese style policy. I merely want to educate, provide welfare and give incentives. That would be sufficient.
      The drop in price of alternative energy sources has been dramatic. It is not creative accounting. The intermittancy is not a great problem. Tidal, hydro, biomass and geothermal are not intermittent. Energy can be stored. Denmark managed on sustainable electricity with no problem and had fewer supply problems than the USA. Check it out.
      You are in danger of being a dinosaur – and you know what happened to them.

      1. Heh heh, Opher, I’m no dinosaur. I’m about as progressive a person as you could wish to meet! I’m well aware – as are you – that the current political system is unsustainable. And I’m doing everything I can to formulate a better system, which can be put into action when the current one collapses (preferably, well before it collapses).

        Where you and I disagree is that I recognize the huge value and importance of the individual human being. Each individual is different, has a different mental make-up and cultural inclination, and has different abilities, needs and desires. What I seek to make is a system of de-politicized, unbiased justice, which can enable those who “live and let live” with others to enjoy the same tolerance from others. Each can then follow his or her own inclinations, as long as he or she doesn’t harm or seek to harm others. One person can want, and have, economic growth, wealth creation and prosperity. Another can choose to forgo these things, and live an ascetic existence if they want to. A third can choose to live in a religious or socialistic commune. As long as they all measure up to basic human standards, like acting peaceably, honestly and respecting others’ rights, they can co-exist without friction.

        You, on the other hand, seem still to be trapped in the old ways, even if you think you aren’t. Deep down, you want to impose on everyone your particular ideas of how the world should be. And ultimately you, like all environmentalists, are an extreme conservative. You want the world to stabilize according to some ideal conditions, that may or may not exist now or have existed in the past. You are quite coy about just how you want to do that, but it seems obvious that your means could only be propaganda and government force. And what exactly do you want to do? To stop “climate change” (impossible). To halt sea level rise (which has been going on for 12,000 years). To have the same birds come to your part of the world every winter (they wouldn’t). To reduce the human population, and eliminate human “impact” on the planet (which would mean, at best, slavery for all bar the élites, and at worst, genocide).

        But nature doesn’t work like that, Opher. Nature changes and evolves. So, being part of nature, do we humans. And our nature, as demonstrated by history, is to build civilizations. Our next logical evolution is to extend our civilizations (plural) world-wide. Not by making a top-down, centralized, totalitarian world government. (The result of that would be lost freedoms, economic stasis, and in the end the death of human civilization). But there’s a better way; to allow individuals and voluntary groups anywhere to trade as suits them, regardless of geography. The difference is rather like the state of computer communications in the 1970s. There was IBM’s vision, in which Big Host controlled everything, Little Terminal had almost no intelligence, and there were various agencies with different tasks in the middle. And there was the dynamic, peer-to-peer vision, in which all parties were in some sense “equal.” The peer-to-peer vision, fortunately, won out; and the result was the Internet.

        Opher, this has been a very valuable thread for me. You can sometimes be infuriating, but you make me think! Not many people can do that, particularly with access to my friends being very restricted due to the virus. You deserve a big thank you for helping me put some quite important ideas in order. You will probably see many excerpts from my comments on this thread in my future writings!

      2. Lol Neil – you think you aren’t a dinosaur but you are. You’re still trapped in the old ways of thinking – fossil fuels, expansive growth and denial of impact. You are also trapped in a stereotypical view of ecologists based on your own bias.
        I value all people as being unique and of equal worth. But I’m a realist. I recognise that the average IQ is 100 and 50% of the population have an IQ below one hundred – ie. they are not very bright. They are also extremely gullible – hence they keep electing fools like Johnson and Trump and we end up with travesties like Brexit. They buy the trashy tabloids and believe every conspiracy theory going.
        That makes me a little concerned about democracy.
        A sizeable minority are violent and enjoy cruelty. Hence we see armed militia and idiots playing soldiers, macho stupidity, hunting and other even worse blood sports.
        So, no I don’t have a high opinion of a sizeable chunk of humanity.
        At the other end we have a bunch of intelligent fuckers who go into business and politics to exploit the populace, rob them, con them and make them believe they are on their side. So they live in luxury and gain power on the back of lies and callous manipulation.
        So there is another group I do not have any time for. They are the worst. They don’t mind what poverty or death they cause with their selfish greed, and they don’t mind how much environmental destruction they cause to get their hands on the loot and power.
        This totally undermines your whole idea of individuals taking responsible. A chunk of the population aren’t capable and a chunk don’t care and would exploit it for everything they could.
        So we have a world presently being run by an elite for an elite. They are fucking up the planet for profit and fucking over the people in the process – and they don’t care.
        There is you with your head in the sand denying that there is any damage being done and taking the attitude that if you are not responsible for killing a hedgehog there is no problem for hedgehogs (as an example).
        I see that this mad rush for growth and profit as being incredibly destructive, recognise the exploitation of people and the huge environmental damage and want something done about it.
        This cannot be achieved locally.
        It cannot be achieved nationally.
        There has to be an international body capable of dealing with the international companies and business run by these megalomaniacs to stop them causing mass poverty and mass destruction.
        You don’t even recognise the problem. You just shrug it off – ‘no me guv’.
        Nature is change. But what we have now is not natural change. It is a massive-scale change that is devastating habitats and populations. We are seeing the destruction of the biosphere at an enormous rate of knots. Populations are crashing, forests are being felled and extinction rates rising rapidly. If nothing is done about it the consequences will be dire for all the creatures on the planet and, ultimately, ourselves.
        It’s time you recognised what is going on and realised that you are part of it.

      3. Opher, I’m going to have to answer in reverse order again.

        You talk of “the destruction of the biosphere at an enormous rate of knots.” Where is your hard, factual, checkable evidence for this? This article from five years ago discusses some of the problems:

        You put forward your extreme view, then castigate me for not believing you. But all I am saying is: “Prove it!” Unless and until you can back up your assertions with proper evidence, I’m not going to believe them. You are the one making the accusation; so, the burden of proof is on you.

        I can surely agree that “we have a world presently being run by an elite for an elite” and that they are “fucking over the people in the process.” But it is precisely those elites – and the United Nations most of all – that are driving the deep green scam, which is destroying our natural human habitat of peace, justice, freedom and a free market economy. By taking the attitudes you do, you are actively supporting those elites and their deliberate, cynical destruction of our habitat.

        As to hedgehogs and other animals that on occasion are victims of human cruelty, I’ll repeat that I have never, to my knowledge, carried out such cruelties. If an animal is cruelly harmed by people, then some individual or group of people must be responsible. You should find those responsible, and pour out your ire on them. Or better, you could – as I’ve suggested before – get together with like-minded people, and establish sanctuaries for the species you want to help.

        As to those that are violent and enjoy cruelty, many of them are attracted to jobs like soldiers and police by the power those jobs offer them. The Derek Chauvin types of the world tend often to become enforcers and lackeys on behalf of the elites. Other violent individuals riot, or do other violence, either for political ends, out of malice, or for personal gain. The political system we live under positively encourages those with a penchant for violence and cruelty. No wonder there is so much of these things today. Fix the system, and there would be a lot less of them.

        I would agree that some individuals are gullible. I think we all start out gullible; but some of us learn faster than others that it isn’t good for our interests. But I don’t think that there’s much if any correlation between gullibility and lower than average IQ. Many people of low intelligence have quite a high degree of “street smartness.” Indeed, I think it’s often the high IQ people who stay naïve longest! Besides which, in my view support for Trump (and, briefly last December, for Johnson) does not come from gullibility, but from dislike of, and exasperation with, the alternatives. A system that offers no choice except between political parties full of psychopathic idiots, is never going to lead to anything other than bad results.

        I would say that another big difference between your and my ways of thinking, beyond our attitudes to communal guilt, is that I don’t want to take away others’ freedoms to live as they wish. I am a liberal, in the true sense of the word. I have no agenda to run the world in any particular way; all I want is maximum freedom for all those who behave up to human standards. Whereas you support the agendas of unaccountable institutions like the UN, and political policies designed to take away people’s freedoms and to make them less prosperous. And you seem to be happy that people, who don’t support your preferred agenda for the world, suffer because of those policies.

        Any such policies could only ever be “justified” by proving, beyond reasonable doubt, that the people they are accusing are actually harming others; and establishing, objectively, how much harm they are causing, and to whom. Yet in environmental matters, neither proof of guilt, nor objective assessment of the damage, is ever forthcoming. Don’t you wonder why?

      4. Vietnam and Thailand have lost 43 percent of their forest cover in the past few decades.
        Indonesia rainforest
        Although estimates vary widely, conservative studies suggest more than a million hectares (2.4 million acres) of Indonesian rainforest is cleared and lost each year
        In the last 40 years, the Brazilian Amazon has lost more than 18 percent of its rainforest — an area about the size of California — to illegal logging, soy agriculture, and cattle ranching.
        Australia is among the worst 11 countries for deforestation, according to WWF. And the state with the highest rate of land clearing is Queensland. In that state, in 2015-16, about 395,000 hectares of native vegetation were cleared.
        Other notable findings of the Report include:

        Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
        More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.
        The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980.
        Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection.
        In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% were maximally sustainably fished, with just 7% harvested at levels lower than what can be sustainably fished.
        Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992.
        Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom.
        Negative trends in nature will continue to 2050 and beyond in all of the policy scenarios explored in the Report, except those that include transformative change – due to the projected impacts of increasing land-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, although with significant differences between regions.
        It seems the main difference between us is that I care about the rest of life on this planet and you only care about people.

      5. Opher, I confess that I find your latest diatribe rather amusing. You are coming over very much like a religionist who, when asked to prove his assertion that his dubious deity exists, merely quotes long fragments from his sacred books. I asked for hard, factual, checkable evidence. And what I was seeking, as I made clear in earlier comments, was evidence of recent cases in which humans have provably extinguished species, together with identification, down to as low a level as possible, of which humans were responsible. All I got was politicized pap from a report written by peddlers of the green agenda.

        You wouldn’t accept that kind of stuff from a religionist; so why should I accept it from you? In fact, Opher, I’m coming to think that you are a religionist; one who worships Gaia rather than Gahd.

        Since the first thing you mentioned was forests, I went to a good data source here: There’s a bar chart a bit over half way down, showing “global forest cover change over the last centuries.” That shows that rates of deforestation globally have gone down a long way since the 1950s. And just below, it says: “Since 1990 Europe has seen an increase in forests while Africa and the Americas saw forests declining.”

        As to your last statement, you are wrong when you say that I “only” care about people. As I’ve said several times before, if wildlife doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it. It would be fair to say that I care about people – that is, of course, those people whose behaviour measures up to human standards like peacefulness, honesty and respect for rights – more than I care about “the rest of life on this planet.” But that is only natural. Every living being, if true to its nature, cares more about its own species than about the others. And that goes for lions, llamas, blue tits, and all other species, including humans.

  4. Don’t know what happened to my latest comment. It showed up once with a timestamp of 3:55pm, then disappeared completely. So here’s a re-transmission.Opher, I confess that I find your latest diatribe rather amusing. You are coming over very much like a religionist who, when asked to prove his assertion that his dubious deity exists, merely quotes long fragments from his sacred books. I asked for hard, factual, checkable evidence. And what I was seeking, as I made clear in earlier comments, was evidence of recent cases in which humans have provably extinguished species, together with identification, down to as low a level as possible, of which humans were responsible. All I got was politicized pap from a report written by peddlers of the green agenda.

    You wouldn’t accept that kind of stuff from a religionist; so why should I accept it from you? In fact, Opher, I’m coming to think that you are a religionist; one who worships Gaia rather than Gahd.

    Since the first thing you mentioned was forests, I went to a good data source here: There’s a bar chart a bit over half way down, showing “global forest cover change over the last centuries.” That shows that rates of deforestation globally have gone down a long way since the 1950s. And just below, it says: “Since 1990 Europe has seen an increase in forests while Africa and the Americas saw forests declining.”

    As to your last statement, you are wrong when you say that I “only” care about people. As I’ve said several times before, if wildlife doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it. It would be fair to say that I care about people – that is, of course, those people whose behaviour measures up to human standards like peacefulness, honesty and respect for rights – more than I care about “the rest of life on this planet.” But that is only natural. Every living being, if true to its nature, cares more about its own species than about the others. And that goes for lions, llamas, blue tits, and all other species, including humans.

    1. The comments go in to be approved, Neil. Ever since I was barraged with vile abuse from a mad guy in Scotland who was not only abusive to me but all my followers – and very threatening, I changed the setting.
      I will get round to a detailed reply in a bit!

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