Date: 9/25/19 12:35 pm
From: Eric Arnold <eba...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Decline of the North American avifauna - "3 billion birds" paper
in my mind, one of the aspects of this discussion that I do not feel has
been given its due is the implicit connection between the economic system
under which, for the most part, much of our country, and to a significant
extent, much of the rest of the world, operates, and the positions that
people in government who have influence on government policy in areas of
the environment as well as the economy take with respect to population
control, and that is a system in which expansion of the economic base is
fundamental to economic growth.

I feel that a fundamental question that has largely been neglected is
whether the economic system which is essentially "in force" in this country
could survive a truly stable human population for this coutry or for the
world. I think there are a number of indicators that suggest that it would
not.

One of the indicators is the growing imbalance in wealth between those at
the top of the economic scale and those at the bottom. It seems to me
that, regardless of what the politicians say, the policy currently in
effect favors increasing the imbalance, which means more people in or near
poverty, more scrambling to get and to keep jobs, at the expense of not
getting sufficient pay to maintain their economic position, let alone
advance it, while for those with sufficient economic means not to be
concerned about this, it means being able to hire the workers they need for
less, not only giving themselves more, but giving them more control
implicitly over the workers' freedom to seek better jobs for themselves.
It is a control mechanism which is clearly in effect in current policy.

That this does not bode well for a sustainable system, let alone a just,
desirable one, should be obvious. But it appears that there are enough in
government who apparently understand well how this works and who pursue it
deliberately nevertheless to advance their own position of power that the
current administration has gotten away with this.

This hasn't happened overnight in our political system, but has been
evident for several decades in the evolution of political thought and
practice in this country, with e.g. the consolidation of many independent
business, especially those responsible for the dissemination of news, into
a relatively small number of mega-corporations, and the remote control of
them by those who only measure success by their own economic position.

It is hard to believe that the present system is sustainable without the
growth that population growth provides. What we need is economic reform
which permits stability with a stable population, and which doesn't fuel
further distancing of the haves from the have-nots, but tends to reduce the
separation and the destructive tension that it creates.

I do not expect that we can have a world which can appreciate the
significance of the need to respect and try to maintain the diversity of
life on this planet that we know it is capable of maintaining, but for the
good of our own species, I feel that we need to do what we can to alter the
course we're presently on. Economic systems are human creations...

Eric Arnold



On Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 1:05 PM Larry Nooden <ldnum...> wrote:

> 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
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> ____________________________________________________________
>> *Sad News For Meghan Markle And Prince Harry*
>> track.volutrk.com
>> <http://thirdpartyoffers.netzero.net/TGL3242/5d88cf894c9464f8840d5st03vuc>
>> http://thirdpartyoffers.netzero.net/TGL3242/5d88cf894c9464f8840d5st03vuc
>> [image: SponsoredBy Content.Ad]
>>
>> --
>> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
>> www.glc.org
>> ---
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
>> "Birders" group.
>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
>> email tobirders+<unsubscribe...>
>> To view this discussion on the web visit
>> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<20190923.095735.9552.5...>
>> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<20190923.095735.9552.5...>?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>
>> .
>>
>> --
>> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
>> www.glc.org
>> ---
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
>> "Birders" group.
>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
>> email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
>> To view this discussion on the web visit
>> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB2777C1E673B2AA54B3F72441C5850...>
>> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB2777C1E673B2AA54B3F72441C5850...>?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>
>> .
>>
>>
>> --
>> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
>> www.glc.org
>> ---
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
>> "Birders" group.
>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
>> email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
>> To view this discussion on the web visit
>> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB277779D81CEA5A20908080A0C5840...>
>> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB277779D81CEA5A20908080A0C5840...>?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>
>> .
>>
> --
> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
> www.glc.org
> ---
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Birders" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
> To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/CAE525poOEw-2kbWQ4VR2jMn%<2B3WmVgrL7kOH67TLhOsdnmqndFA...>
> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/CAE525poOEw-2kbWQ4VR2jMn%<2B3WmVgrL7kOH67TLhOsdnmqndFA...>?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>
> .
>

--
Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at www.glc.org
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Birders" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/CABv5-TW-F2oWtUCoE%<3DcA4C_niXkuRCTpGhNc6JO8kE-nQe7phw...>

 
Join us on Facebook!