This is all the wondrous life that is being destroyed by climate change, big business and corrupt politicians.
As the world population soars towards a projected 10 Billion.
As the world’s mammals have been decimated to 44% of what they were 40 years ago!
As the world’s invertebrate population has crashed by nearly half in the last forty years!
As the elephant and lion now join the tiger, rhino and jaguar on the endangered list!
Are we approaching a day when the natural world will be nothing more than a footnote in the history books?
Will we be showing our children and grandchildren the remnants of our wild-life in zoos?
Will we be pollinating our flowers by hand?
Does anybody actually care?
You can read about my own observations and feelings about this in my book:
Please give it a read and pass it round to all your friends. It is time we did something about it. We can alter the zeitgeist!
Anthropocene Apocalypse – World population explosion video – You Tube link.
The effects of the population explosion are catastrophic for the wild-life on this planet. We are even affecting the climate.
The population is currently in excess of 7 Billion. It is due to double in fifty years. The impact of that is almost unimaginable. Life as we know it will be transformed. The wilderness will be devastated. Natural resources will be depleted. The climate will change forever.
We are sleepwalking towards our own extinction!
Check out the video. I find it terrifying!
This is a brilliant little video that shows how the Japanese are so far ahead of us!
It was a cold bleak Yorkshire day.
Heavy rain clouds hung on the horizon threatening a torrential downpour but we decided against the rainproofs. The sun was already blistering; the air so heavy with moisture that you could bathe in it. If it rained it would be a relief. We’d be soaked but our shorts and T-shirts would soon dry off. We set off along the rainforest trail to the music of cicadas and unseen birds.
The forest has a sweet scent of decay and vitality. Everywhere there is green – green leaves, green fronds, green lianas and green epiphytes. It feels alive. We are strangers in a new fecund world. We are searching for animals, our cameras at the ready. We find some too.
By the end of two weeks we have photographed sloths, iguanas, turtles, agoutis, parrots, macaws, flycatchers, monkeys, caiman, butterflies, moths and dozens more – each a delight to discover and a wonder to see. We have watched spider monkeys at play and capuchin monkeys cracking open coconuts, sloths slowly clambering through the foliage and huge iguanas, like dragons, clinging to tree trunks.
It felt so alive.
Our skin rusted in the sun and humidity. Our bodies adjusted, sitting on deck watching the jungle slip past, with a cool breeze in our face; rushing to put on our scant clothing to scamper up to the top for the sunrise, to search the deck at first light for giant moths, butterflies and beetles; sorting where to go, down jungle trails, canoe rides, or simply walking around. When in the unfamiliar even the ordinary is extraordinary. It is amazing how quickly one adjusts. This is our new normality.
Slowly we return home. The sun gradually loses its intensity. People take every opportunity to relish the last of its warmth, some asleep on loungers, some reading, some watching the seas for whales, dolphins or seabirds. We have left the tropical heat behind.
Back home we unpack, start on the mound of washing and go for a walk. No shorts, T-shirt and sandals but wrapped in layers of shirts, jumpers and thick coat topped off with hats, scarves and gloves.
Walking down the lane, looking out over the waterlogged green fields I could not help thinking what a mess we’ve made of it. This was the green Yorkshire countryside. Before the industrial revolution a landscape of forest, full of wildlife, now an endless denuded green desert, with just the odd crow and pigeon, plus a few creatures clinging on in the remaining hedgerows.
We live in the vestiges of the wonder of what once was. All over the world 8 billion mouths are busy devouring miracles.
Even in my lifetime I have seen the decline.
The bitter wind bites into my face. Rust is fading as the memories fade, as nature fades, tree by tree, hedge by hedge, ditch by ditch, bug by bug.
I have no camera with me. There is little to photograph. The creatures of my youth have disappeared.
It was a cold bleak Yorkshire day.
Roy Harpers tribute to Chico Mendes – The Brazilian conservationist who was murdered trying to save the Amazon rainforest.
He stood against the destruction and died for it.
The earth is possessed
By the curse of the west
Paparazzia by the hour
But a man with a vision
That tomorrow’s begun
And has to be won
And nobody here is reprieved
O Chico, Chico Mendes
The man in a million
Stood in the way
Stood his ground
For the earth
For the coming of day
The chorus of dawn
On the perch of each morning
A forest of tears
As the joy reappears
On their leaves
Sings his name
And the tallest tree
Beyond the flame
North south east and west
We can all reach the rest
Now is the chance
To set out together
For a beautiful day
Whoever saw it
A different way
Was a man in a nightmare
Too numb to the future
Of brilliant possibles
Ever to share
The same air
As the men in the clay
O Chico, Chico Mendes
There are men who are more than just men
I have to thank Cheryl and Safar for this link!! This is a must watch video for anybody concerned about man’s impact on the planet!!
Welcome to the twenties. Boy, what a decade it’s been…
Well here it is. 2020. You made it. You’ve endured the horrendously named “teenies” and I’m sure you’ve picked up a few stories along the way. For those of us in the conservation game, it’s been ten years punctuated by happiness and heartbreak – and here’s the rundown:
For me, the stand-out was a tragedy. Having flown four rhinos – the last of their kind – from captivity in Europe to the African savannah, we dared to dream that the northern white rhino had a future. Hundreds of people put thousands of hours into snatching an unlikely conservation victory from the jaws of defeat.
Those hopes have been dashed. Despite our best efforts, the elderly rhinos failed to breed. Now two are dead, and the last two survivors are female. Their chances of natural reproduction are as over as the decade. In this case, the conservation world simply did too little, too late.
It hasn’t all been bad news – far from it. What’s happened with mountain gorillas is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. They were once down to just a few hundred individuals, clinging on desperately in their shrinking forests.
And for these remarkable creatures, we were able to act in time. It’s been a decade of success. They’ve had big win, after big win, after big win. Today, they number more than 1,000, and their survival chances are improving with each passing year.
Meanwhile Sumatra’s tigers have faced ten years of clinging on. When the decade began, their situation seemed relatively stable thanks to the sterling work of our tiger protection teams. But a new crisis was just around the corner. A massive spike in demand for tiger parts led to a blitz of poaching that threatened to annihilate these big cats.
But in Sumatra, we held the line.
Throughout the decade we kept numbers stable – repelling wave after wave of poaching. The heroes in the field have weathered the latest storm and they’re incontestably stronger for it – entering the twenties as one of the most impressive conservation forces on the planet.
In Eurasia a very different story was unfolding. We had to witness over 200,000 saiga suddenly dying from a bacterium that no modern medicine could cure. The scenes of mass graves and entire herds vanishing were truly sickening.
But in Kazakhstan, we’ve helped engineer a dramatic recovery. In just two years, the saiga population has more than doubled. After a decade of total turbulence, and thanks to better protection from poachers, they are bouncing back with a vengeance.
At the start of the decade, the country of South Sudan didn’t even exist. Within just two years of gaining independence in 2011, it had fallen into bloody civil war.
Despite the raging conflict, we’ve maintained a presence in the country, protecting a unique forest corridor and the elephants, chimps and pangolins that depend on it. We’re bringing communities and government rangers together, relieving tension and reducing threats to wildlife in areas so wild we don’t even know what’s out there.
We’ve worn out untold pairs of boots patrolling and saved the lives of countless pangolins, tapirs, turtles, crocodiles, elephants, snakes, magnolias, mangroves, snails, baobabs, butterflies, geckos, gibbons and far more species than I could fit in an email – more than I could fit in ten.
So, we’ll leave it there, and get cracking with the work we’ll need to do in the twenties. Have no doubt, there are going to be bigger challenges, harsher conditions and more disasters coming than we’ve ever faced before.
So let’s get it done.
Honestly, if you’ve made it this far down the email, then I have to recommend you buy our book. It tells the story of at an entire century of conservation, and every penny goes to our work.
My garden is completely devoid of honey bees. There used to be hundreds but they’ve all gone. Fortunately we seem to have replacement bumble bees. Not so many but they are doing a job. They must be more resilient to the deadly toxins our couldn’t-care-less agricultural industry is bunging out to up their profits.
I was sitting on my patio and noticed that the bumble bees had taken over a nesting box. I was a bit bemused by a big gaggle of bees hovering around outside the box. They did not fly off or go in. They were just buzzing around.
Liz was worried. She was a bit scared and thought she might get stung. She wanted me to move the nest.
Turns out that the bees are drones hanging about waiting for the female to come out. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? They take forever. She’s most probably in there running a comb through her hair.
But it’s OK. The drones don’t have a sting. As we guys all know it’s the women who have the barbs. We just do what we’re told.
We are so lucky to have a bumble bee nest like this. It’s a lucky bird-box. We’ve had blue-tits in it for the last two years and now a hive of bees! Great!
I just feel sorry for the poor honey bees. The insecticide industry have polished them off along with half of the rest of the insects – goodbye voles, bats, swifts, swallows, hedgehogs, shrews, house-martins, frogs, toads, newts, warblers, lizards and all the rest of the creatures that feed on insects.
They won’t stop until the whole planet is a desert.
But for now, until they bring in stronger pesticides, we have a great colony of bumble bees – fascinating!