Rio+20 is greatest threat to biodiversity

99% of species and humans are ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites

Guest post by Paul Driessen and David Rothbard

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is underway in Rio de Janeiro. This time, 20 years after the original 1992 Rio “Earth Summit,” thousands of politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists are toning down references to “dangerous man-made climate change,” to avoid repeating the acrimony and failures that characterized its recent climate conferences in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban.

Instead, “Rio+20” is trying to shift attention to “biodiversity” and alleged threats to plant and animal species, as the new “greatest threat” facing Planet Earth. This rebranding is “by design,” according to conference organizers, who say sustainable development and biodiversity is an “easier sell” these days than climate change: a simpler path to advance the same radical goals.

Those goals include expanded powers and budgets for the United Nations, UN Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies, and their allied Green pressure groups; new taxes on international financial transactions (to ensure perpetual independent funding for the UN and UNEP); and more mandates and money for “clean, green, renewable” energy.

Their wish list also includes myriad opportunities to delay, prevent and control energy and economic development, hydrocarbon use, logging, farming, family size, and the right of individual countries, states, communities and families to make and regulate their own development and economic decisions.

Aside from not giving increased power to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and activists, there are two major reasons for stopping this attempted biodiversity-based power grab.

1) There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or thousands of species are at risk

Up to half of all species could go extinct by 2100, asserts astronomer and global warming alarmist James Hansen, because of climate change, “unsustainable” hydrocarbon use, human population growth and economic development. At Rio+20 activists are trumpeting these hysterical claims in reports, speeches and press releases. Fortunately, there is no factual basis for them.

Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands, where humans and human-introduced predators and diseases wrought the destruction, notes ecology researcher Dr. Craig Loehle. On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.

The massive species losses claimed by Hansen, Greenpeace, WWF and others are based on extrapolations from the island extinction rates. Some are just wild guesses or rank fear-mongering, with nothing remotely approximating scientific analysis. Other extrapolations are based on unfounded presumptions about species susceptibility to long or short term climate shifts – fed into clumsy, simplistic, non-validated virtual reality computer models that assume rising carbon dioxide levels will raise planetary temperatures so high that plants, habitats, and thus birds, reptiles and animals will somehow be exterminated. There is no evidence to support any of these extinction scenarios.

Indeed, there is no empirical evidence to support claims that average global temperatures have risen since 1998, or that we face any of the manmade global warming or climate change cataclysms proclaimed by Hansen, Gore and others.

2) The greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio.

Those policies would ban fossil fuels, greatly increase renewable energy use, reduce jobs and living standards in rich nations, and perpetuate poverty, disease, death and desperation in poor countries.

Today, over 1.5 billion people still do not have electricity, or have it only a few hours each day or week. Almost 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated by access to reliable, affordable electricity for cooking and refrigeration, clinics and hospitals, clean water, sanitation, and businesses and industries that generate jobs, prosperity and health.

Opposition to large-scale electricity generation forces people to rely on open fires for cooking and heating – perpetuating lung diseases and premature death, from breathing smoke and pollutants. It also destroys gorilla and other wildlife habitats, as people cut trees and brush for firewood and charcoal.

Wind turbines slice up birds and collapse bat lungs, exacting an unsustainable toll on eagles, hawks, falcons, and other rare, threatened and endangered flying creatures.

Turbine and solar arrays cover and disrupt millions of acres of farmland and wildlife habitat, to provide expensive, intermittent power for urban areas. They require backup generators and long transmission lines, and consume millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass, polymers and rare earth minerals – extracted from the Earth, often in countries whose pollution control regulations and technologies are substantially below US, Canadian, European and Australian standards.

Corn-based ethanol requires tens of millions of acres, billions of gallons of water, millions of tons of fertilizer and insecticides, and enormous quantities of hydrocarbon fuels.

And yet, President Obama told Ghanaians in 2010 that poor, electricity-deprived, malnourished Africans should rely on biofuel, wind and solar power – and not build even gas-fired power plants.

Hunting, subsistence living and poverty are among the greatest risks to species. Denying poor families access to reliable, affordable electricity is a crime against humanity

The Rio+20 biodiversity and sustainability agenda means artificially reduced energy and economic development. It means rationed resources, sustained poverty and disease, and unsustainable inequality, resentment, conflict, and pressure on wildlife and their habitats.

Simply put, 99% of humans and wild kingdom species are being ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites gathered in Brazil, and purporting to speak for mankind and planet.

Our Creator has endowed us with a world rich in resources, and even richer in intelligent, hard-working, creative people who yearn to improve their lives and be better stewards of our lands, resources and wildlife. The primary obstacles to achieving these dreams are the false ideologies, anti-development agendas and suffocating regulations being promoted at the Rio+20 Summit.

If we can eliminate those obstacles, the world will enjoy a rebirth of freedom and opportunity, voluntarily stable populations, and vastly improved health, welfare and justice for billions. We will also bring far greater security to Earth’s wondrous multitudes of wild and scenic areas, and plant and animal species.

That would be an enormous gain for our planet and people.

__________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Washington, DC-based Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death; David Rothbard serves as CFACT’s president.

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63 Responses to Rio+20 is greatest threat to biodiversity

  1. pat says:

    Sustainability is definable as inconvenient, expensive and defective. But it gives certain personality types great pleasure.

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    This would all be relevant and true if the UN gave a rat’s arse about sustainability. As it is, they are just like their cousins in the EU, a bunch of self serving bureaucrats out to grab more power and money for themselves.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    1) There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or thousands of species are at risk
    There is indeed ONE species really at risk: The human species, falling prey of a 0.01% strange predators, who believe themselves being immortals, as there is no other plausible explanation for their insatiable green. However, we are the majority.

  4. Henry Clark says:

    Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands, where humans and human-introduced predators and diseases wrought the destruction, notes ecology researcher Dr. Craig Loehle. On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.

    Most interesting. While I haven’t gotten around to fully looking into that yet, it wouldn’t be surprising if true. There are only a moderate number of thousands of total vertebrate species, only a small fraction of those endangered. The limited number in danger could be saved by far more efficient means than throwing money at the UN. The claims about really vast numbers of species come mostly from bugs and the like, plus wild extrapolation for such as how many species supposedly limited to tiny microhabitats each per area of jungle (how did they even survive over prior eons if that fragile?), although that fact is not commonly mentioned for obvious reasons. High-yield agriculture is what allows land to be spared for nature, and being able to spare concern about environmental issues in themselves is mainly the luxury of the prosperous, the opposite of a starving farmer with low yields resorting to slash-and-burn; in both cases, prosperity helps.

  5. It would be nice to add in as a yardstick the number of new additions to the list of species since 1500, as far as I am aware its just a modicum above 191.
    or was that just for last year ?

  6. johnmcguire says:

    The thieves at Rio have to change the subject now that their global warming scam is falling apart. I don’t know how much longer we can put up with their evil crap. This has gone on so long that I am amazed at the time it has taken for people to wake up and realize we are being lied to and stolen from. There is nothing new under the sun people , it’s the same old scam, lie , cheat and steal . With the vote by mail scam in place there is no honest way to check these thieves ether. Do we really want a violent revolution? It seems it is being forced upon us.

  7. Robin says:

    Reading through Paul Bain’s response agreeing that this is social science designed to back up desired public policy reminded me of Georgescu-Roegen’s Bioeconomics work from the 1970s and 80s.

    I searched for any contemporary uses and the internet lit up in multiple languages all seeking to bring back his orientation as current projects. That’s degrowth. It’s also an attitude that completely rejects Julian Simon’s work on human ingenuity as the ultimate resource. In fact, G-R and his acolytes like Herman Daly saw man as just another part of the biosphere. No better.

    Again this is ultimately pulling in all that work that acknowledges it is seeking a new economic system. It expressly rejects the individualism and rational mind of the Enlightenment. Once again we are playing with the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century. Just renamed and looking for a better sounding social theory to put a notorious political theory in place quietly.

    Engrenage is a great name. No wonder we keep seeing illustrations of gears in all these different publications.

  8. tomwys says:

    It used to be that the public would “see through” items like the Rio proposals with help from the media. The help is not forthcoming, so reliance on your own intellect is required and that too, is in short supply, as the system we use to develop it in students has also been hijacked.

  9. MarkW says:

    I’d take these cries for “sustainability” a lot more seriously, if the people doing the yelling, were actually living the lifestyle that they wish to impose on the rest of us.

  10. higley7 says:

    “On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.”

    Looking a bit further, we have DISCOVERED 15 birds and mammals that we had thought extinct. So, we are up 6 continental species.

    My favorite Draconian species extinction prediction was based on a fantastic calculation of how many species that would go extinct BEFORE WE EVER DETECTED THEM! I’d love to know what they smoke before dreaming up numbers to put into that model.These species could just as well be fantasies and never existed in the first place.

  11. Latitude says:

    The only way you can get these numbers….is by giggling the definition of species

  12. DirkH says:

    There is now talk amongst the parasites that they want to drop their “limit warming at 2 degree C” goal and replace it with “flexible” goal; as it turned out to be impossible to loot the West with the 2 degree goal. They will probably try to push through some total block on development in the West, like Obama’s Kill Coal regulations.
    Source, German, a warmist “policy expert” called Oliver Geden in Der Spiegel:
    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/klimawandel-oliver-geden-fordert-abschaffung-des-zwei-grad-ziels-a-838667.html

  13. RayG says:

    IIRC, the reason that Bjorn Lomborg became a skeptical environmentalist (or is that a “denier?”) is that while attending a a national GreenPeace meeting in Denmark, he heard a speaker quote a rate of species extinction. Dr. Lomborg asked the speaker to source his data because the stated rate would have the Earth devoid of all life in 75 years. This obvious absurdity lead to Lomborg’s change of direction and his being declared a heretic by the Green clergy. See the first pages of Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist for details.

  14. Gunga Din says:

    higley7 says:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:02 am
    “On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.”

    Looking a bit further, we have DISCOVERED 15 birds and mammals that we had thought extinct. So, we are up 6 continental species.

    My favorite Draconian species extinction prediction was based on a fantastic calculation of how many species that would go extinct BEFORE WE EVER DETECTED THEM! I’d love to know what they smoke before dreaming up numbers to put into that model.These species could just as well be fantasies and never existed in the first place.
    ===============================================================
    And lets not forget critters like the Coelacanth. They weren’t even continental.
    There’s an “H” of a lot man doesn’t know. Some admit that. They try to learn more.
    The nature of a bureaucracy is that the larger it is the less is cares about what it doesn’t know. It just wants to control … something … anyway. Individuals in it may be aware, but the system has become bigger than they are.

  15. Ed Reid says:

    The objective of the UN bureaucrats and the useful idiots who support them is very simple: a global vegan commune of roughly 1 billion population, run by their favorite benevolent despots – themselves.

    Wealth and income transfers to achieve uniform poverty and suffering, except for “Napoleon” and the rest of the “pigs”.

    DirkH @ June 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

    “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  16. higley7 says:

    By the way, some species are already on the way into the Dark. Why should we stop them? It’s a natural process, in which we should not mettle. Sure our direct activities are suspect and should be considered regarding the impact, but a rare animal in the Laotian highlands that is going extinct is no worry to me, and none of our business.

    The whole idea of the incredible value of the whole world gene pool and its “genetic potential” is a namby-pamby idea that means you can never let anything go. “That species that just went extinct could have had the cure for all cancers and we let it go!”, lots of moaning.

    We would call them “hoarders” and we pity them as they spend their lives tending their hoard. We, too, can end up spending all of our resources and destroying our civilization and societies in the misbegotten idea that extinction is not allowed. People die. Species die.

    Wait, wait. That’s exactly what the UN and Agenda 21 want. They want us to be shepherds and gentle gardeners of the planet and in our humbleness never really develop our intelligence or technology. Leaving the planet and going to the other planets and even stars is much to technological for these anti-technology whiners.

    ••••• Let’s take a different point of view. I maintain that a plant that fails to develop intelligent life is a failure and has no reason to be. We are the reason that this planet is here. It had to develop an entire biosphere in order to have the potential to develop intelligent life. For us to deny this reality is to have no idea who or what we are. As Carl Sagan once said so sagely, “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

    For that matter, the entire universe had to exist to produce the chance of the formation of Earth-like planets!

    Perhaps were are the beginning of a cosmic intelligence, which is why, other than having all our eggs in one basket on Earth, we need to spread out from this ball of dirt. The cosmic level means that one HAS to leave home and learn more closely about the cosmos.

    It is truly sad that our Undocumented Worker-in-Chief has decided to stop and effectively disband the incredible expertise and knowledge that NASA had accrued. HIs agenda obviously does not see beyond a socialist state. Agenda 21 goes one step, or many steps, further and squashes mankind to rubble and the rank of simple downtrodden caretaker dependent totally on the UN and their ever so perfect wisdom (not).

  17. Andrew says:

    Well we can see that AGW is about terminated because most realize that it aint happening, so lets move onto some other agenda LOL

  18. Vince Causey says:

    “Their wish list also includes myriad opportunities to delay, prevent and control energy and economic development, hydrocarbon use, logging, farming.”

    Does it also include delay of growing biofuels? That would be consistent with the theme of preserving biodiversity wouldn’t it?

    Q, What does nature hate most – a rainforest felled for growing palm oil, or an oil well?

  19. dorlomin says:

    “99% of species and humans are ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites” I see the far right is once again mimicking the left, this time occupy. Not an original thought in their heads.

    Well done on following heartlands instructions to pretend to care about the poor as well. Exactly as you were told to do here on this video
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/30/dr-bob-carter-on-sun-news/

  20. Gunga Din says:

    higley7 says:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:02 am
    I’d love to know what they smoke before dreaming up numbers to put into that model.These species could just as well be fantasies and never existed in the first place.
    ====================================================================
    How does one smoke CO2?

  21. Caleb says:

    In this area (Southern New Hampshire) the greatest recent threat to wildlife was the Great Depression. Deer were hard to find when people were hungry. Now we have more, and close to Boston deer have become a pest, and also attract coyotes. There are more bear, moose, mink, otters, and fishercats, which were basically extinct in 1934, locally.

    One odd side-effect of the way we teach kids that man-is-ruining-nature is that children become afraid of nature. Rather than feeling they are part of it, they feel alienated. Rather than hunting and fishing they avoid the woods. I try to teach kids they are part of the great outdoors, a “member of the family.” It develops a feeling of love for Nature, rather than fear of Nature. I think one is a better steward when their actions are based on love, even if one fishes and hunts.

    There are whispers that some wealthy people want to move “common folk” off the land, to create “wildlife corridors.” It goes to show you that some didn’t learn a thing from the Highland Clearences or the Cherokee “Trail of Tears.”

  22. mwhite says:

    UN official urges global tax on Americans

  23. DB says:

    I am Brazilian and I can say that this big nonsense party called Rio + 20 is being treated by the Brazilian media as a potential big fail. 78% of Brazilian have no idea what Rio+20 is about. Nobody really cares.

    Also, for the first time the Brazilian mainstream media is questioning the AGW, thanks to this Rio +20. Very good.

  24. Robin says:

    This recent Principles for a Green Economy paper prepared for the Earth Summit is interesting. Not only does it lay out the desired fundamental tenets but you can compare the evolution from Stockholm in 1972, the seminal event, to Rio in 92 followed by Johannesburg about 10 years ago. Then they show that the other pertinent docs are the Earth Charter, One Planet Living, and nef.http://www.stakeholderforum.org/fileadmin/files/Principles%20FINAL%20updated.pdf

  25. Gunga Din says:

    Andrew says:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:41 am
    Well we can see that AGW is about terminated because most realize that it aint happening, so lets move onto some other agenda LOL
    =============================================================
    Throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Whatever happened to Al Gore’s ozone hole?

  26. Jim Clarke says:

    dorlomin says:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

    “Well done on following heartlands instructions to pretend to care about the poor as well.”

    I have to admit…the left has always ‘cared’ about the poor, constantly growing their numbers and increasing their poverty, despite their never ending promises to do the opposite. Those on the right, who routinely give much more of their earnings to charity than those on the left, may not talk about it as much, but do far more to eliminate poverty than the left.

    There is little doubt that if the world is stupid enough to implement the policies being put forth at Rio+20, we will all suffer, and none will suffer more than the poor. Policies like these have been tried in other places. We have been there, done that and don’t even have a t-shirt to show for it.

  27. Ethically Civil says:

    It is *low* development that puts the planet at risk. Just one example, assuming (arguendo) that it matters, the “carbon footprint” kerosene lamps is far higher than an incandescent lamp from a gas fired powerplant in terms for Lm-hour/kg CO2… by far. Fire light, or candle light is orders of magnitude worse.

    Another, birthrates are *negatively* correlated to development. If the population is the problem, the best way to solve this isn’t primitivism, it’s development.

  28. jonnie says:

    what do you expect in a KLEPTOCRACY , peopled by the KAKISTOCRACY

  29. u.k.(us) says:

    “Up to half of all species could go extinct by 2100, asserts astronomer and global warming alarmist James Hansen, because of climate change, ….”
    ===========
    He may have something here.
    The annual spring ant invasion of my house is down by 83.56%, from last spring.

  30. corio37 says:

    [SNIP: Sorry, corio, I understand your perspective, but that is one of the quicker ways to derail a thread. The topic is how Rio+20 represents a threat to bio-diversity. -REP]

  31. Dave Dodd says:

    After hearing Nancy (Inspector Clouseau) Pelosi spill the entire content of her brain cell this morning, nothing these clowns propose surprises me any more! Time to defund the UN!

  32. Gail Combs says:

    Henry Clark says:
    June 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    “Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500…”

    Most interesting. While I haven’t gotten around to fully looking into that yet, it wouldn’t be surprising if true.
    ___________________________
    Check out Willis’s Where Are The Corpses?

  33. Gail Combs says:

    Dave Dodd says:
    June 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    After hearing Nancy (Inspector Clouseau) Pelosi spill the entire content of her brain cell this morning, nothing these clowns propose surprises me any more! Time to defund the UN!
    _________________________
    Have a link?

  34. Gary Pearse says:

    I have mentioned before that an unbiased honest organization should be collecting and preserving the all important raw data on climate, flora, fauna and other resources. Willis Eschenbach’s question “where are the bodies?” should be answered. I think it urgent that monied philanthropes should fund development projects in the developing world, in particular cheap energy projects that would free up impoverished people and free up the pressure on the forests and wild life (ivory poaching wouldn’t be necessary), reducing warfare, etc.

    Bill Gates is doing more for African health than all the NGOs and UN safari types (Don’t expect a Nobel Prize from the socialist Nobel committee, though, Bill.), Unfortunately even Bill is sipping the Kool Aid a bit himself on climate. Half his job would be done if cheap energy would be made available to Africans for economic development. It would improve housing (including such low tech, cheap technologies as screen windows, clean water, treated sewage, refrigeration), health, food supply, schooling and all the other components of a prosperous society. Build a few electricity plants, Bill, to lighten your load. Oh you would have Hansen and company trying to block construction but they wouldn’t have the support of the local citizens.

  35. Curiousgeorge says:

    Speaking of biodiversity, a new study determined that fatties are bad for sustainability:

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2012/06/21/study-obesity-could-lead-to-depletion-of-earths-resources/

    ATHENS, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A recent study conducted by scientists in London found that the obese persons of the world are playing an increasingly large role in the rate at which the planet’s finite resources are used.

    “Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth,” the study concluded.

  36. Dave Dodd says:

    Gail Combs says:
    June 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/rove-pelosi-mad-queen/2012/06/21/id/443041

    The other comments were on Rush when he signed on,today regarding the reason AG Holder is in contempt of a Congressional committee, as being targeted “by a Nationwide effort to suppress the vote” No mention of F&F or his other “questionable” activities.

  37. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ mwhite says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

    UN official urges global tax on Americans.
    *****************************************************************
    Well, of course. Americans are blamed for everything. Successful societies are always targets for the losers. Tough cookies.

  38. A Lovell says:

    “This rebranding is “by design,” according to conference organizers, who say sustainable development and biodiversity is an “easier sell” these days than climate change: a simpler path to advance the same radical goals.”

    I don’t feel they have thought this through. The very words ‘sustainable development’ and ‘biodiversity’ have no wow factor. They are not an easier sell. They are bureaucratic and dull. These people are just not terribly bright.

    If they can’t retain people’s attention with threats of 20 meters of sea level rise, boiling oceans, drought, flood, hellfire, brimstone and all the myriad, hysterical doomsday scenarios of the past few decades, I hardly think a few extinctions and being sent back to a medieval lifestyle are going to move us, the great unwashed.

    They have lost and they have lost it, but it’s hard for them. They were so close they could taste it, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep this scam going. Their totalitarian dreams are turning to dust, but it will be years, if ever, before they let go.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Instead, “Rio+20” is trying to shift attention to “biodiversity” and alleged threats to plant and animal species, as the new “greatest threat” facing Planet Earth.

    One of the threats to biodiversity is Green hypocrisy. They want to deny many in the third world the use of natural gas, coal and oil in order to save the planet from Thermarmageddon. Now let’s here from someone who is from Sierra Leone.

    You can’t save the forest if you don’t have gas,’ Yumkella, a native of Sierra Leone…It’s one of the solutions we need to reduce deforestation and reduce the two million people who die every year because of indoor air pollution because they use firewood’
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/19/us-energy-un-yumkella-idUSBRE85I02M20120619

    I have made this very same point to Warmists at the Guardian. If you deny the use of fossil fuels to the poor they will chop down MORE trees to cook their chicken, oysters, goat, potatoes, etc. It’s from the frying pan and into the fire if you like. (No pun intended).

  40. Robin says:

    A Lovell–I keep bringing this up because it is vitally important people be on the lookout in their communities for K-12 and colleges and universities. The monopoly over education K-12, teachers colleges, and higher ed is called the Triumvirate by radicals. The accreditors now control what goes on in all 3 completely and they are implementing something called Quality Assurance under UN guidelines to push basic education for all with a generic skills emphasis and that’s all for anyone. After that the emphasis is social and affective monitoring and changes. They do not think they need a treaty because they literally have the power to mold the minds of tomorrow’s voters all over the West now. US is just now coming on board.

    NAS came out with a report this past week called “Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security.” It expressly adopted the UN approach to higher ed which rejects the transmission of knowledge in favor of Competencies. It also mentioned joining Europe in adding a “social dimension” to higher ed degrees.

    With that kind of control and an emphasis on feelings and limiting reason, it will not take that long to foster mindsets that will react visually and emotionally to whatever environmental tragedy that must be fixed now is suggested by the schemers.

    The biodiversity really plays into some of the cute, cuddly biology curriculums on saving the wildlife that have been pushed by NSF for elementary science. That will be the image endangered even if it is actually one of 5000 different types of earthworms.

    They don’t need any more treaties. Widespread ignorance of what is going on throughout ed plus access to all that state, local, and federal tax money and this will be over within 5 years.

  41. Merovign says:

    It was never about the environment (or overpopulation, or biodiversity), it was always about power and control.

  42. Is it not possible to believe that climate is related to solar activity, to despise the new green dark revolution for the money making fiasco that it is, to advocate for free energy systems and a reduction in the human population But to believe that the loss of biodiversity is real ? I’ve lived in many places in Australia and in Asia over my 40 something years and I have seen first hand the decline in species in those places due to man’s activities and ongoing development.

    I think we have to be careful of black and white thinking in regard to pushing what we see into this or that camp only.

    I do agree we should live equitably without letting politics and money be confused with sustainability and climate and move past having development being driven by those with power and see the state of the human and natural world as it really is.

    Thanks for the post,

    Bright. :-)

  43. thingadonta says:

    Biodiversity also means more viruses, parasites and bacteria. Rainforests have been reservoirs of these things for millions of years.

    It also means a larger number of semi successful species which parasitise the rest.

    As far as humans go, the rainforest is one of the least hospitable and dangerous places on earth, thats why we have shopping malls which deliberately reduce the dirt, plant life, micro-organanisms and the animal biodiversity in them which could prey on humans.

    European and American forests do fine with low biodiversity-a mono-culture of pine trees. They are alost amongst the most hospitable places on earth. You dont get stung by flesh eating flies, or catch some unknown disease to science, because of low biodiversity. The climate in which they form is also more conducoive to human development, and less conducive to parasite proliferation. Perhaps that is why those climates with low biodiversity have done well in the past.

    Yes biodiversity has its value, such as various cures for medicines, and species flourishing. But it aint much good for human habitation.

    Am I missing something?

  44. thingadonta says:

    “The greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio. ”

    Yeah I’ve developed a similar theory about Easter Island and Mayan decline. It wasnt climate change or resources that declined, it was a too powerful (religious) bureacracy that demanded worship/following the gods of the time, and of course their role as protectors/intermediates etc. That they wouldn allow an open and free market to adapt and make reforms naturally. That they demanded to keep cutting the trees down to appease the gods, (now they demand not to cut the trees down to appease the gods).

    Hundreds of theories as to why the Mayans and Easter islanders declined, but Ive never heard of bureacratic totalitarianism and false environmental ideology as one of them.

  45. Henry Clark says:

    “Gail Combs says:
    June 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Check out Willis’s Where Are The Corpses?”

    Good link. In fact, it addresses my curiosity on the specific species among continental ones beyond passenger pigeons. Thanks.

  46. Henry Clark says:

    Looking at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/19/rio-20-future-we-want-draft-text they bury the worst parts in so much surplus vague verbosity that no doubt very few people read the whole thing.

    Such could be deliberate, or it could be a natural result of bureaucrats or hardcore nolifer activists with nothing better to do than write page after page without concern for the signal-to-noise ratio. Possibly it is a mixture of both. Yet also perhaps their tendency towards non-quantitative vagueness fundamentally reflects how they think, where a few elite activist scientists putting out false numbers provide the leadership and source of appeal to authority for many others who lack mathematical literacy, an ideological group seemingly relatively rarely including engineers.

    For most activists, the belief in resource depletion appears to be mostly about water (trying to downplay desalination), oil or other fossil fuels, and then heaps of vagueness, mixed with occasional spread of false numbers for a specific element. (In the rarer event of specific claims, the most common ones seem to be about phosphorus, copper, uranium, indium, or gallium — basically the standard fallacy noted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory#Criticisms_of_peak_element_scenarios ).

    Someday I’d like to take a look at modern public school textbooks to see what they teach (and don’t teach). I suspect a lot of people don’t know how civilization works in general. Probably many think of metals as a vague resource only present in super-rare locations, rather than iron, aluminum, and others amounting in total to tens of percent of even the average rock in Earth’s 3*10^19 ton crust in the form of mixed oxides, although there are always higher grade ores which we mine rather than random rocks due to such being more efficient. There is also probably frequent lack of understanding of what the required inputs for plant growth and agriculture actually are, as opposed to vagueness about biodiversity and ecosystems. In fact, what would be really interesting would be if anyone ever would take a sample group of activists, and, by paying money, get them to answer a set of questions down to essay answers (beyond the most generic science literacy questions like the famous poll full of just simple true/false questions like whether the Earth orbits the Sun). Internet forums are limited as an indicator, since there may be up to orders of magnitude more viewers of a thread than those confident enough to respond, and anyone may google info.

  47. Brian H says:

    99% of species and humans are ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites

    So, what about the other 0.9%? I guess they’re the few who are well served?
    ;)

  48. Brian H says:

    To summarize another way: If you want to see heavy pressure on plant and animal species, and ravaging of ecosystems, make the local human populations hungry and desperate. They will proceed to rip the environment to shreds in an effort to survive.

  49. Brian H says:

    higley7 says:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

    we should not mettle. [because we don't have the cojones to meddle?]

    I maintain that a plant that fails to develop intelligent life. [Spinach is only successful if it's smart?]

    our Undocumented Worker-in-Chief [Apt description. But my viciously cynical side notes that you get the government (and XXXs-in-Chief) that you ask for and deserve.)

  50. Brian H says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @ mwhite says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

    UN official urges global tax on Americans.
    *****************************************************************
    Well, of course. Americans are blamed for everything. Successful societies are always targets for the losers. Tough cookies.

    The phrasing is as stupid as the idea. How can a “global” tax be on Americans only? By definition it’s on everyone.

    As a Canadian ex-anti-American, I now regard anti-Americanism as deeply petty, destructive, and self-defeating. An alternate history without America is very dark and the playground of tyranny. IMO.

  51. more soylent green! says:

    Brian H says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:18 am
    Curiousgeorge says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @ mwhite says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

    UN official urges global tax on Americans.
    *****************************************************************
    Well, of course. Americans are blamed for everything. Successful societies are always targets for the losers. Tough cookies.

    The phrasing is as stupid as the idea. How can a “global” tax be on Americans only? By definition it’s on everyone.

    As a Canadian ex-anti-American, I now regard anti-Americanism as deeply petty, destructive, and self-defeating. An alternate history without America is very dark and the playground of tyranny. IMO.

    These people see someone who appears to be doing better and they want to tear them down. It doesn’t occur to them to raise others up. If that idea did seep into their brains somehow, they wouldn’t know how to raise others up. They only know how to take, not how to create.

  52. Gail Combs says:

    Henry Clark says: @ June 22, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Looking at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/19/rio-20-future-we-want-draft-text they bury the worst parts in so much surplus vague verbosity that no doubt very few people read the whole thing.

    Such could be deliberate,…

    I think it was deliberate. Think of what then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “We have to pass the bill [Health Care] so you can find out what is in it”

    Legal writing is precise writing. Sometimes the missing hyphen, misplaced word or extra comma can change the meaning of a sentence. In one case a single comma in the 14-page contract… is worth 1 million Canadian dollars ($888,000). So I have a great deal of trouble thinking that the writing was not very deliberately obtuse to keep the general public from figuring out what is going on.

    An example of how “they” LIE:
    When the Senate ratified the World Trade Organization treaty in 1995 protections were put in place before the Senate would agree to the ratification. According to the Act, if there is a conflict between U.S. and any of the Uruguay Round agreements, U.S. law will take precedence regardless when U.S. law is enacted. § 3512 (a) states: “No provision of any of the Uruguay Round Agreements, nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, that is inconsistent with any law of the United States shall have effect.” Specifically, implementing the WTO agreements shall not be construed to “amend or modify any law of the United States, This did not stop the Ag Cartel that wrote the Agreement on Agriculture and controls the FDA. The FDA went ahead and acted as if the Act did not exist. ” …Failure to reach a consistent, harmonized set of laws, regulations and standards within the freetrade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreements can result in considerable economic repercussions.” Since farmers were aware of the Act and refused to go along with WTO mandates on Ag, a new law was passed during the 2010 Lame Duck Session including a clause making US regulations conform to the wishes of the WTO. Text of Law
    ………

    Someday I’d like to take a look at modern public school textbooks to see what they teach (and don’t teach).

    It has already been done and the results are heartbreaking. No teacher, but every textbook, left behind. More articles on Education link
    ………..

    …..In fact, what would be really interesting would be if anyone ever would take a sample group of activists, and, by paying money, get them to answer a set of questions down to essay answers…..

    Someone did and videotaped it Who Is JOE BIDEN?! He also ast students at University of California at Berkley your essay questions link Given the recent threads on California this video on Calpurg is also of interest link (Disclaimer – I am NOT a republican)

  53. E.M.Smith says:

    For that large a percentage of species to be lost would require one heck of a lot of beetles to expire.

    There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that an English cleric asked the noted evolutionist J.B.S. Haldane what could be inferred about the Creator from the works of nature. Haldane is reported to have replied, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.”

    ! In fact, approximately one-fifth of all known species are beetles–350,000 and growing (and yours truly even discovered a beetle species in 1986)–yet most people know very little about this remarkable group of organisms. This is one of the best coffee-table books I have ever seen about the creepy critters, and the full-color photos of iridescent, brightly colored, or architecturally elaborate beetle gems is sure to instill an inordinate fondness for beetles among children, artists, and anyone with a love of nature. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    So any idea why all those beetles would be “at risk”? Last I looked, bugs do better in the heat…

    From:

    https://www.amazon.com/Inordinate-Fondness-Beetles-Arthur-Evans/dp/product-description/0520223233

  54. Denying the present mass extinction event is as stupid, idiotic, and ideologically brain-dead as denying man-made global warming. But the fact you idiots now choose to deny it proves that, at minimum, you’re consistent.

  55. RACookPE1978 says:

    Dana Blankenhorn says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Denying the present mass extinction event is as stupid, idiotic, and ideologically brain-dead as denying man-made global warming.

    Please name two species that are part of this “present mass extinction event” …. Other than liberty and independent thought that is. (Thought that may differ from the state-endorsement of the state-control ABCNNBCBS and the state-funded universities and national labs. )

    Name ANY species that is actually threatened by a increase in global average temperature of 2 degrees. 3 degrees.

    Provide ANY evidence that the global average earth temperature will actually continue to increase by 3 degrees. Or 2 degrees. Or even 1 degree.

  56. more soylent green! says:

    Dana Blankenhorn says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Denying the present mass extinction event is as stupid, idiotic, and ideologically brain-dead as denying man-made global warming. But the fact you idiots now choose to deny it proves that, at minimum, you’re consistent.

    Dana, computer models do not output facts. Now, tell us about the present mass extinction event. What species just went extinct? I’m not sure of the timeline, so let’s start at 1979, when AGW supposedly started. How many species have gone extinct since 1979? Is there a list somewhere?

  57. George E. Smith; says:

    It’s mostly those countries that have already overpopulated their country; and now see places like America, as unpopulated empty space, for them to come to and continue to emulate flies.

    Seems like Rio is in the country with the highest population growth rate on the planet.

    And then there is that underwater place; the Mal-Dives, which is in a stagnant super deep part of the Indian ocean, so the water is a bit hotter than places with circulation, so ocean evaporation is lowering the sea level there faster than the dopes can dig up the islands to build more runways so tourist dopes can come and give them their money. So where the hey do they think all the Asian Monsoon rain water comes from; it gets dug out automatically from the sea side parts of the Mal-Dives, like where their parliment meets in scuba clothing.

    As for land based mammal extinctions; there’s the Eastern Elk, which is either extinct or banished to the remaining unexplored regions of Manhattan Island.
    Of course the Eastern Eelk was just a loner elk that failed to meet up with a western elk, so no-one ever saw them mating. Elks, are not extinct !

    Heard a speech last evening from a person who got invited to Rio C++ but decided not to go since she is now a capitalist running a green recycling corporation, and trying to raise OPM for herself; worked well for that Faceache kid, so she might as well give it a go. My AM gave her an award for being an entrepaneur. I can’t complain as she pulled MY card out of the bowls so I won the door prize of my AM’s coffee mug; pretty nice !
    If enough people recycle donut shop grease to make bio diesel, we will have to immigrate a heck of a lot more Cambodians to start donut shops, to keep the biodisel coming.
    The startup lady’s investors may want to think up a plan B for when we cut all the e-waste back to where recycling is no longer viable. It’s the cigarette tax model of self limiting enterprize

  58. Glenn says:

    Whenever a person mentions “mass extinction events” I cringe. I love Birds and , as a hobby, study them. Except for a place like Hawai’i and some other island areas, extinctions aren’t happening. Indeed even on Hawai’i there are species bucking the trend, predominently the Amakihi. As for continental areas, most of those extictions were late 19th century or early 20th century. The stressers that caused most of those extictions, like market hunting, don’t exist any more. By the way I own a species of parrot that was thought extinct back in 1914 in its home country of Australia. Its a Turquoise Parrot, neophema pulchella, it was rediscovered in 1920. So please bear in mind that at that time in the early 20th century that many species rather common today, like the Snowy egret, California Quail, White Tailed Kite, and even in the eastern USA the Mourning Dove were considered headed towards extiction. So there is plenty of reason to doubt “Mass Extictions” in our day.

  59. Henry Clark says:

    Gail Combs:

    I’ll be looking at those links, thank you. Indeed that bill and its regulations reaching thousands of pages is an utter example. The number of people, if any, who would pick up on and remember all subtleties in anything with that much superfluous verbiage would be even fewer than the number who entirely read it once through.

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