I believe the whole topic of climate change merits a constructive and useful discussion. Not least we can learn from each other what to do, where to go for information. therefore I am starting another thread and I would be deeply grateful please if it could remain gobbledygook / private gossip free, so the discussion flows more easily - the other Thunberg thread still exists for the gg, for those who want/ enjoy it. To start the conversation, the BBC posted a serious article today about the extinction threat to a quarter of UK’s mammals. Here’s the link: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49892209
This is interesting Sue about the 5 Mass Extinctions that have taken place in the Earth’s history. It’s thought most of them are caused by climate change but none could have been caused by a specific species.
The science is pretty convincing that the Earth is currently experiencing climate change but I wonder whether it would have occurred anyway and it’s merely being accelerated by humans. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we should be doing all we can to curb/reverse the damage done.
What I’m finding alarming is I feel I can witness the sixth extinction starting IN MY LIFETIME. And how is that possible? For those of us old enough, there was a time driving down to the west country from London our car windscreens would be covered in insects. That doesn’t happen any more. Maybe insects have got clever and avoid major roads.
Moving to France 12 years ago gives me a very clear “start point” from which I feel I can observe change. Our first summer the neighouring farmer planted rape and when the field was in flower there was a roar of noise from the hive bees. Since then, the number of hive bees around us has dwindle dramatically.
Our first summer we lay awake at night with the windows open hearing the astonishing sound of dozens of frogs across the valley. Now, we are lucky if we get one or two tree frogs in our drain pipes. Of course this is anecdotal, and there may be all sorts of reasons why this has happened but it worries me - deeply.
Yes me too! In my nearly 12 years in France (till January this year) I noticed a big increase in extreme weather. Extreme cold spells in winter, extreme heat in summer, extreme winds, extreme rain etc.
This year in our part of Charente Maritime has been very lacking in insects this year. Normally my windscreen would have murdered countless insects and required regular cleaning but not this year. Usually I’m extremely attractive to mosquitoes and receive many bites…just a handful so far. Far fewer hornets, honey bees, flies etc. I did wonder whether someone had exploded an insecticide bomb
It worries me too. When we first arrived in 1992 stone curlews came every year and nested on the ground, calling at night. There were zillions of sparrows, big bumble bees, butterflies on the buddleia, hawk moths, we regularly saw praying mantis, partridges, rabbits, and came across baby rabbits buried by their mums for safety in our sand heaps. There were singing toads, many kites circling overhead at harvest time, bats and glow worms at night. The diminution of wildlife has been very noticeable. I don’t think I’ve seen a wasp this year! We feed the birds but there are fewer than there were. Tractors and pesticides, and farming practices that encourage destruction of hedgerows have contributed, as well as the climate. Seasons are not what they were. We seem now to have longer autumns (I’m not complaining), shorter, warmer winters with fewer sunny days, and long hot very dry summers that start in June after the odd hard frost in April that kills off any chance of fruit later. Some years are better than others of course.
I now use the phrase ‘climate/ecological breakdown’ - loss of species might well turn out to be more serious than climate change itself.
[Wearing my no-gobbledegook tinfoil helmet, folks!]
What convinces me as much as the broad and urgent scientific consensus on climate/ecological breakdown (@Geof_Cox) is the profound seriousness with which the younger generation take ecological breakdown, and the degradation of the natural environment.
Our own children are thus disposed, although they are all over 40, and are parsimonious, thrifty and low-consumption adults, and have been since childhood.
They attribute this as much to death spiral of compulsive consumerism as to anything scientific, although they are intelligent and well educated.
It is my sense, and I think theirs, that they have a fine personal attunement to the earth, the world, and living things, and feel it’s pain through their pores .
The animals, birds, insects and other life-forms feel it too. They are in survival mode. As fellow gobbledegook practitioner @Anon7836490 has pointedly said, a few will survive Armageddon, they always do.
Call this gobbledegook if you like, but I sense it is widespread amongst the generation who will inherit our damaged world, and don’t necessarily need to read research papers to know how things stand (if not for much longer).
Your opinions and comments eagerly awaited.
My italicisation added to Sue’s comment above.
I applaud this opening statement because above all I think we are sensate beings and need to trust our feelings (not just our emotional reactions I stress) and be guided by them in a critical, discriminating and collaborative way.
Non-scientists can be schooled in a rigorous cooperative research paradigm, and should be. The schools and universities should promote this, but reductionist science has a tight grip on research, and promotes the untruth that the academic route to research via the graduate ladder is the only way to acceptable knowledge.
I challenge that. There is merit in the road less travelled, if wisely trod.
Chris I’m a firm believer that we need to stop being “honey harvesters”. I know this will upset some very nice, well-meaning people who have hives, but we are (I believe) in our bee-keeping behaviour contributing to the demise of bees. I believe we need to become “bee guardians” and just leave them alone. They do NOT need us to pillage their honey and ply them with sugar substitutes. They do NOT need their hives to be smoked and constantly opened. They do NOT need one hive adjacent to another so disease can be passed. They do NOT need to be sprayed with chemicals in order to “prevent disease”. Heavens above, bees have known what to do to keep their hives healthy for millennia. I briefly joined a bee keeping group (lovely people) but could not understand why they thought it was ok to have the entire hive clustered anxiously round the entrance whilst chemicals were put inside. No wonder queens now live shorter lives. We can blame farmers and their spraying. I think the bee keeping “industry” also needs to look closer to home. Rant over!
PS: I think honey needs to become an enormously expensive luxury item
Those early years sound idyllic Fleur. We still have sparrows, bumble bees (and carpenter bees) but fewer hawk moths this year. I think we have your wasps! But earlier in the year there were very few. I’m very interested to hear about the revolution going on in farming practices in the UK. Some farmers no longer plough but just turn over and replant in the stubble - excellent idea. There’s so much we are beginning to learn about permaculture and how damaging deep digging is. My father used to “double dig” - we know better these days. Frustrating that we may be learning these better practices so late in the day!
Yes Sue, I agree with your points about farming practices. And I’m encouraged by seeing organic vineyards in France using horse-power, and by tree planting schemes.
If there is one thing that has bothered me for many years it’s the declining honeybee population and in fact the decline of all our tiny pollinators…
I think the huge agri-chemical corporations have much to answer for…
I’ve read dystopian articles about the industrial manufacture of tiny drones to mimic pollinators and I feel their creators (if true) have gone completely insane…!
For my part I don’t use any chemicals or weed killers on my half acre and leave the boundaries to grow wild with patches of nettles and “weeds” and clover…and sow wildflower seeds each year around the boundaries…
We have had an abundance of bees and butterflies this year, not so many flies or wasps though, but 2003 was the same. We do live in the middle of nowhere though, definitely a pesticide free zone.
I had an abundance of grasshoppers and crickets this year for a short period…they’ve gone now and replaced by lots of small black spiders running ahead of my every footstep…I had a wasp nest underground for about 3 weeks which I wasn’t sure how to handle except to keep my Collies well away from it…!
The last couple of days there are lots of daddy long legs flying into the house but that’s my own fault for mostly having my doors open front and back all hours…x
Yes, loads more crickets and grasshoppers than usual this year.
Although we have had some rain now (seems like a lot but probably isn’t ) the Creuse still has a severe water shortage and usage restrictions are continuing until the end of the month at least.
Flies & mozzies this year…everywhere
Just like last year, & the year before
Helen, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m reposting your words here because I’m no longer responding on the other thread and your comments merit our attention …
This is what Helen said …
I think that human beings are mostly kind compassionate understanding and for the most part just want to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours…their local and global community…and with Mother Nature and our planet…
I think that ‘over population’ is a myth…every man woman and child on earth could have half an acre to grow food in Queensland Australia with the rest of the planet left over…
In my view it’s the grotesque corporate management of earth’s natural resources…the banking system …agenda 21 now agenda 30 and codex alimentarius to name but a few problems with a false matrix that currently overshadows humanity…
Viewing our fellow human beings as not worthy of continuation as a species…not worthy of life and raising families is not the way forward in my humble opinion…
I think it is a very worthy view that human beings are mostly as you describe. Unfortunately though, it is this same “kindly” species that works in the very organisations you decry - banking, agri-chemical, manufacturers of drones, etc etc. I’m not sure Trump or Putin or Bolsonaro, to name but a few fall into your description of humanity, nor indeed the many, many mendacious, corrupt, amoral people who work for such individuals. I would go further. I’m not sure the hunters around where we live fall into your description, from the way they believe they have the “right” to shoot everything that moves and treat their dogs like s**t.
This is why I believe our species has no inherent “right” to lord it over our planet and rape this world in appalling ways. We may all be able to fit in Australia with our half acres but the greed I see means that there are many for whom such a way of life would not be enough.
No I don’t mind at all Sue although I’m sad to see that the first thread has now been locked…I’d have been quite happy following both…
Yes I get your point but I still maintain that most of our species are kind and would help each other rather than cause harm to a fellow human being…
Many people are no doubt working in jobs that maybe force them to go against their internal moral compass but they too have families to take care of and whilst quitting those jobs would be admirable I appreciate it’s not an easy decision…
All governments are corporations too…
I’ve not seen anyone in my hamlet mistreating their dogs so can’t really speak to that…