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Old 02-29-2012, 07:35 PM
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Default Shifting baselines (oceans, avatar)

Daniel Pauly: The ocean's shifting baseline | Video on TED.com
Daniel Pauly talks about the phenomenon of shifting baselines in context of the oceans. He also makes a short Avatar reference - recommending that it should deal with the oceans (which as we know most likely will be so).

What he says is that we are getting used to something that is utterly impoversished and call it "natural" because we forget or mistrust older reports. If explorers to north America described salmon runs that lasted for days and that knocked you from your feet if you happen to stand in them - or passenger pigeon clouds that darkened the sky for hours, or that whales are a serious risk for ships because there are so many - then we all think this is fairytales. But it may just be shifting baselines.

The talk is funny but sad. When they pulled up that net full of trash because there was more trash on the ocean floor than living things, I almost dried

And if you have time, here is a second talk of the same conference on a similar topic, showing how much was lost already:
Paul Snelgrove: A census of the ocean | Video on TED.com
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:48 PM
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I agree with you 100 percent ma tsmuke. There was a very beautiful bird called the Carolina Parakeet, that was a true Parrot, and the only one indigenous to North America that was driven into EXTINCTION simply because women wanted their feathers in their hats.
Be very glad that Eywa did not wipe humanity off the face of the earth with some plague because of THAT stunt.
We were given the sacred duty of HUSBANDING this planet, instead, we as a species, will probably succeed in MURDERING it.
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Last edited by Niri Te; 02-29-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:44 PM
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Since the 50s, Louisiana has lost an area of its coast the size of Delaware, all because we leveed the Mississippi river which used to change course on a regular basis to deposit silt. People around here tend to focus on the impact the land loss has had on the culture of seafood fishers and cajuns, and many times they completely look over the ecological impact which is far greater.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
Since the 50s, Louisiana has lost an area of its coast the size of Delaware, all because we leveed the Mississippi river which used to change course on a regular basis to deposit silt. People around here tend to focus on the impact the land loss has had on the culture of seafood fishers and cajuns, and many times they completely look over the ecological impact which is far greater.
As long as they LOOK at the impact, and demand that it stop, I don't care WHICH impact they don't like, they STILL want it to stop, AND are willing to pressure the powers that be to GET it to stop.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:16 AM
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If they don't recognize the ecological damage, they likely won't know how to make it stop. This is not my opinion as some kind of hippie; any technology we now have which could be used to fix the problem will still have many drawbacks, and there are no permanent solutions as it is, other than what is inevitable. The river needs to continue to move and change, and tbh, no one should be living in Southeast Louisiana at all.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:07 AM
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Just another CORPS OF ENGINEERS "improvement", kind of like what they did to Florida.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
any technology we now have which could be used to fix the problem will still have many drawbacks, and there are no permanent solutions as it is, other than what is inevitable. The river needs to continue to move and change, and tbh, no one should be living in Southeast Louisiana at all.
Yep. Except I think there can be people living there, but their culture has to be adapted to a changing river and wetlands (and not try to adapt wetlands to their culture).

The point of the whole talk above is not so much that there is an impact - we all know that. But that the impact we see is often not the full picture, because we look at how it was when we grew up or when our parents were around and somewhere between the parents and grandparents we loose it - we start to think that they are just talking about "ye goode olde tymes" and put on pink glasses. So we chose a baseline that is somewhere between our childhood and maybe our parents adolescence and take this as a reference point and try to make it as it was at that time. And in that we miss that by then, most fish were already gone from the oceans (2nd talk). We look at fish now and compare them to the ones 20 years ago and find that we have lost a lot, that they are smaller and rarer and that we now eat Pangasius instead of halibut and macarels. And we think that obviously there is overfishing and it has to be managed properly to be like it was 20 years ago. Yet the real basline is something like hundreds of years back, when macarel schools were as large as small countries.
The extrapolation of this is a scene like this: In 50 years, a couple of environmentalists will stand in a shrubland - the last remaining area with natural growing trees above a meter in height and defend it fiercely against a corporation that wants to make it into biofuels. Someone from our time is there telling them about trees that grew 15 meter tall in a natural forest as we saw them in our youth. And they will look at us in disbelief, telling us that the goal is to restore the countryside to its original state of being covered with 2m high shrubs and small trees.
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
The extrapolation of this is a scene like this: In 50 years, a couple of environmentalists will stand in a shrubland - the last remaining area with natural growing trees above a meter in height and defend it fiercely against a corporation that wants to make it into biofuels. Someone from our time is there telling them about trees that grew 15 meter tall in a natural forest as we saw them in our youth. And they will look at us in disbelief, telling us that the goal is to restore the countryside to its original state of being covered with 2m high shrubs and small trees.
Which is why, at 62, I am SO GLAD that my body will be long in the ground by then,
Niri Te
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