Date: 9/25/19 10:05 am
From: Larry Nooden <ldnum...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Decline of the North American avifauna - "3 billion birds" paper
I would like to shift this discussion to underlying causes starting with
the idea that once again birds serving as sensitive environmental
indicators of problems that impact us directly and indirectly, for example
the canaries that warned of toxic gases in coal mine tunnels and Bald
Eagles showed the effects of bioaccumulation of endocrine-hormone mimics
polluting our environment.

Yes, human populations may be the most important driver of bird decline
through primary and secondary effects which are very diverse including
habitat loss,
and yesterday's (Tues.) New York Times has a followup article:

Birds’ Top Danger? Humans
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/17/science/hurricanes-birds-threat.html
following:

The Crisis for Birds Is a Crisis for Us All
The mass disappearance of North American birds is a dire warning about the
planet’s well-being.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/opinion/crisis-birds-north-america.html

*Solutions?*

Unless solutions are addressed, this discussion is little more than
rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic rather than trying to
plug/contain the leak.

This brings us to root causes/solutions where I would emphasize the
failures of our policy makers (politicians) to act in the interest of the
Public (the 99% of us). To illustrate this, I will cite 2 examples of
environmental policy that effect birds but impact us directly.

1. We have a political party that denies the extensive, long known science*
on the impacts of fossil fuel consumption (CO2 release) on our world.

2. We have a president who not only does not care but makes up his own
science, and then tries to punish scientists who correct him. The recent
Hurricane Dorian forecast incident illustrates this all too clearly:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/us/birmingham-national-weather-service-dorian.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/climate/hurricane-dorian-trump-tweet.html
If uncorrected, this would have created a public safety hazard, but he
still spent the next 2 days criticizing the hurricane forecasters rather
than minding the weather crisis. To use another Titanic metaphor, this
incident is only the "tip of an iceberg" of his leadership actions.

*What can be done? I leave this to others*


*
*A science summary:*
By 1989, the science of global wrming/climate change was quite clear:
Houghton, R. A. and G. M. Woodwell (1989). Global Climatic Change.
Scientific American. 260: 36-44.
Global Climatic Change
http://www.jstor.org/stable/24987210?casa_token=Y7WxzKn7FlEAAAAA:5Gvci1pxin-ljBCOHj0QfElJBwrHwnX1nLyQ5EiEMcChdisDl09-ydaTawVUJinqDuKWrAQh6aTf6mRxdneH757FFpehcAas1jZJ_T8svve83ZrRdQA

*Denial:*
Evidence suggests that production of carbon dioxide and methane om human
activities has already begun to change the c mate and that radical steps
must be taken to halt any further change



https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/10305
https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=RsYr_iQUs6QC&oi=fnd&pg=PA144&dq=Republican+denial+of+climate+change&ots=r6QJ45jf2D&sig=PtaptG0CEwu8wnhc0k9TgVurOFI#v=onepage&q=Republican%20denial%20of%20climate%20change&f=false





On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 12:52 AM Roger Kuhlman <rkuhlman...> wrote:

> I am very sorry to point out the basic ecological truth concerning the
> present loss of biodiversity and climate change that it ecologically
> impossible to have 7.7 billion people in the World all consuming at average
> American consumption levels let alone 10 to 11 billion in 2100. Expect much
> more species extinctions, biodiversity and natural habitat loss in the
> future.
>
>
>
> I would also point out that I did not say that rich American White Men and
> Evil Greedy American corporations have no responsibility for North American
> bird loss only that they are not responsible for a majority or even most of
> it. Some powerful political interests including many corporations in
> America want to spin it this way to advance their own political control and
> economic self-interests of building Big Federal Government-Corporation
> alliances. These are the people that are happy to see fast population
> growth continue in America and the American population grow to 500 to 600
> million by 2100 through Mass Immigration. I ask you if America is a mess
> environmentally today, how will having 500 to 600 million people in 2100
> make it richer in biodiversity and natural habitats. Clearly It Will Not.
>
>
>
> Roger Kuhlman
>
>
>
>
>
> Sent from Mail <https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for
> Windows 10
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* John Lowry <john...>
> *Sent:* Monday, September 23, 2019 11:04:09 PM
> *To:* Roger Kuhlman <rkuhlman...>
> *Cc:* Don Burlett <baikalteal13...>; Birders UM <
> <birders...>
> *Subject:* Re: [birders] Decline of the North American avifauna - "3
> billion birds" paper
>
> I don’t think you wonder about that at all. In fact, I don’t recall a
> single instance where you’ve even tangentially implicated corporate greed,
> illegal activity, or environmental attacks for a single bird death.
>
> As for me, I blame these losses on any and all human enterprises. I’m not
> excusing Rich American White Men nor am I excusing Evil Greedy American
> Corporations, any more than I’m ignoring the attacks on female reproductive
> choices by the modern neo-conservative movement, or prior generations’
> slaughter of pigeons, auks, dodos, or moas. I blame these losses on large
> families and small families. I blame these extinctions on human endeavor
> both careless and thoughtless, as well as purposeful. We should know better
> now, and yet there is a major American political party dedicated, almost
> single-mindedly at this point, to removing obstacles for corporations to
> plunder natural resources and accelerate extinctions. This party is largely
> serving at the behest of Rich American White Men and Evil Greedy American
> Corporations.
>
> Rich people have more power than poor people. Corporations have more power
> than individuals. If we are to slow this current decline of biodiversity
> it’s going to take major efforts to get rich people and corporations to be
> better environmental leaders. If they won’t do it of their own accord, then
> they must be legislated into a corner that prevents them from acting
> against biodiversity.
>
> John Lowry
>
>
> On Sep 23, 2019, at 7:53 PM, Roger Kuhlman <rkuhlman...> wrote:
>
> I wonder if the ecological problem of Human Overpopulation through its
> intrinsic mechanisms of Human Overconsumption of natural resources and
> severe developmental impacts on the biosphere has caused this rather
> drastic decline of North American birds over the last 50 years? I rather
> doubt we can blame these losses on birdlife on a few very powerful Rich
> American White Men or Evil Greedy American Corporations.
>
> Roger Kuhlman
> Ann Arbor, Michigan
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* <baikalteal13...> <baikalteal13...>
> *Sent:* Monday, September 23, 2019 9:57 AM
> *To:* <birders...> <birders...>
> *Subject:* [birders] Decline of the North American avifauna - "3 billion
> birds" paper
>
> Folks,
> This summary of reports about bird loss shows a very wide distribution.
> It includes some analysis of the original paper. Checkout the list of
> sources included and the analysis of the work. Hopefully, a few
> "civilians" will pay attention.
>
> Don Burlett
> >
> > Original paper:
> >
> > Decline of the North American avifauna
> > Science 20 September 2019 Vol 365, Issue 6459
> > Kenneth V. Rosenberg, Adriaan M. Dokter, Peter J. Blancher, John R.
> > Sauer, Adam C. Smith, Paul A. Smith, Jessica C. Stanton, Arvind Panjabi,
> > Laura Helft, Michael Parr, Peter P. Marra.
> >
> > https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/09/18/science.aaw1313
> > $30 for full access (or membership in AAAS or a research library)
> >
> > Cornell has made a PDF of the full manuscript available:
> >
> >
> https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/DECLINE-OF-NORTH-AMERICAN-AVIFAUNA-SCIENCE-2019.pdf
> > (67 pages)
> >
> >
> > This is worth a look as a first attempt to evaluate the paper's
> > methodology (thanks to Rob for the link):
> >
> > Blog post "Dynamic Ecology" blog by Brian McGill
> >
> >
> https://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/2019/09/20/did-north-america-really-lose-3-billion-birds-what-does-it-mean/
> > Did North America really lose 3 billion birds? What does it mean?
> > Sept. 20, 2019.
> >
> >
> > Coverage:
> >
> > Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
> > https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/bring-birds-back/
> >
> > National Audubon:
> >
> >
> https://www.audubon.org/news/north-america-has-lost-more-1-4-birds-last-50-years-new-study-says
> > North America Has Lost More Than 1 in 4 Birds in Last 50 Years, New
> > Study Says. by Jillian Mock
> >
> > American Bird Conservancy:
> > https://abcbirds.org/3-billion-birds/#homepage
> >
> > Science News:
> >
> >
> https://www.sciencenews.org/article/3-billion-birds-lost-since-1970-north-america
> > We’ve lost 3 billion birds since 1970 in North America: Scientists
> > found profound losses among both rare and common birds. by Jonathan
> Lambert
> >
> > Scientific American:
> >
> >
> https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/silent-skies-billions-of-north-american-birds-have-vanished/
> > Silent Skies: Billions of North American Birds Have Vanished. by Jim
> > Daley
> >
> > Washington Post:
> >
> >
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/09/19/north-america-has-lost-billion-birds-years/?wpisrc
> > North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years. By Karin Brulliard
> >
> > NY Times:
> >
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/science/bird-populations-america-canada.html
> > Birds Are Vanishing From North America: The number of birds in the
> > United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, over
> the
> > past half-century, scientists find. by Carl Zimmer
> >
>
>
>
> ____________________________________________________________
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