David Attenborough "Climate Change: The Facts" April 18th 9:00 pm BBC1

owedtojoy

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It is long past time that one of the greatest science-popularizers of them all took on the defining issue of the 21st century:

David Attenborough finally talks climate change in prime time BBC slot

Schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg joins David Attenborough for powerful new BBC1 climate change documentary

Attenborough will be joined by other scientists and activists, but will also recount his personal observations of climate change.

ONe thing is sure: whatever about the general public, no climate change denier will either recant or even pretend to be impressed. No, they will double down on the crazy, the misguided and the ignorance. Expect fake expertise, cherry-picked data, logical fallacies, and conspiracy theories. Just be warned...
 


owedtojoy

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Talking about climate change deniers, here is a documentary about Flat Earthers that is worth watching to learn about crackpot beliefs ....


In it, some Flat Earthers do an experiment with gyroscopes to disprove the spheroid earth .... but the experiment gives results that support the spheroid planet. The Flat Earthers just dismiss it as somehow mistaken ..... and sail calmly on.

The message is that conspiracy theorising & wacky beliefs (anti-vaxx, flat earth, 9/11 troofing, Apollo moon landing hoaxism ... ) signal membership of a cult, and nothing will shake the faith of the cult members.
 

galteeman

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There's a bit in Jarred Diamond's book Collapse where is speculates on what the guy was thinking on Easter Island when he was just about to chop down the last big tree with timber capable of building ocean going canoes.
“I have often asked myself, "What did the Easter Islander who cut down the last palm tree say while he was doing it?" Like modern loggers, did he shout "Jobs, not trees!"? Or: "Technology will solve our problems, never fear, we'll find a substitute for wood"? Or: "We don't have proof that there aren't palms somewhere else on Easter, we need more research, your proposed ban on logging is premature and driven by fear-mongering"?
 

owedtojoy

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There's a bit in Jarred Diamond's book Collapse where is speculates on what the guy was thinking on Easter Island when he was just about to chop down the last big tree with timber capable of building ocean going canoes.
“I have often asked myself, "What did the Easter Islander who cut down the last palm tree say while he was doing it?" Like modern loggers, did he shout "Jobs, not trees!"? Or: "Technology will solve our problems, never fear, we'll find a substitute for wood"? Or: "We don't have proof that there aren't palms somewhere else on Easter, we need more research, your proposed ban on logging is premature and driven by fear-mongering"?
Great book, and contains a lot of wisdom.

However, recent scholarship has rehabilitated the Easter Islanders to an extent. They were probably not the total environmental incompetents that are portrayed in so many books and documentaries. Failing to manage the island's stock of trees may have been accelerated by a natural disaster like a typhoon that felled the last stands of forest, or animals eating the young plants. As Diamond does point out, some Pacific societies like Tikiopia (in the Solomon Islands), realised in time that ecological disaster loomed and introduced measures to prevent it.

Easter Island was resilient enough to recover from the disappearance of forests. In fact, the greatest disaster the island suffered was the arrival of Europeans who brought disease, Christian missionaries (who caused armed conflict), enslavement and piracy. By the middle of the 19th century, there were only a few hundred Easter Islanders left on an island that had once supported a few thousand.

Many environmental writers now point to Easter Island not as a model of ecological disaster, but of ecological resurgence and resilience.

Easter Island - Wikipedia

The bottom line is that the Earth is not irrevocably committed to an Easter Island-like destiny.
 

owedtojoy

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Watched my recording of this this morning.

It is a super-competent run through what we know so far about climate change, a product of the human race dumping into the atmosphere waste carbon, mostly from energy-creating and transportation combustion of fossil fuels.

Within minutes, we are introduced to the flying foxes of Cairns, Australia who died in massive numbers in a heat wave for which they were not adapted. The expressions of dying animals, mostly babies, staring mutely at the camera will stay with you.

The first two-thirds is tinged with fear and regret - the changes, the die-offs, the potential tipping points. And the regret that action was not taken sooner - a tribute to the vicious campaign of climate change denial conducted by fossil fuel companies.

The last one-third is more optimistic. We have time, though it is diminishing. We have the technology to make the requisite changes. There will be costs, but worthwhile costs.
 

galteeman

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Great book, and contains a lot of wisdom.

However, recent scholarship has rehabilitated the Easter Islanders to an extent. They were probably not the total environmental incompetents that are portrayed in so many books and documentaries. Failing to manage the island's stock of trees may have been accelerated by a natural disaster like a typhoon that felled the last stands of forest, or animals eating the young plants. As Diamond does point out, some Pacific societies like Tikiopia (in the Solomon Islands), realised in time that ecological disaster loomed and introduced measures to prevent it.

Easter Island was resilient enough to recover from the disappearance of forests. In fact, the greatest disaster the island suffered was the arrival of Europeans who brought disease, Christian missionaries (who caused armed conflict), enslavement and piracy. By the middle of the 19th century, there were only a few hundred Easter Islanders left on an island that had once supported a few thousand.

Many environmental writers now point to Easter Island not as a model of ecological disaster, but of ecological resurgence and resilience.

Easter Island - Wikipedia

The bottom line is that the Earth is not irrevocably committed to an Easter Island-like destiny.
yes another mighty read from Jared from which I learned a lot.
Tikopia had population control methods which apart from celibacy and coitus interruptus included abortion, infanticide, suicide of women by swimming out to sea, 'virtual suicide' by men setting out on dangerous voyages.
I remember one tale from the Tikopia of when the population got too big for the food supply they turned on each other. Basically 1 clan defeated another and their only option apart from being murdered was to leave the island which due to it's extreme isolation = virtual suicide.
 

owedtojoy

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yes another mighty read from Jared from which I learned a lot.
Tikopia had population control methods which apart from celibacy and coitus interruptus included abortion, infanticide, suicide of women by swimming out to sea, 'virtual suicide' by men setting out on dangerous voyages.
I remember one tale from the Tikopia of when the population got too big for the food supply they turned on each other. Basically 1 clan defeated another and their only option apart from being murdered was to leave the island which due to it's extreme isolation = virtual suicide.
What happened on Tikopia is not so different from what happened on Easter Island after the trees and their benefits (shelter, protection against erosion, bird and mammal diversity, canoes for deep-sea fishing) disappeared. The Easter Islanders (inadvertently) brought rats with them who may also have had their own negative environmental effects (e.g. rats are now blamed for the extinction of the dodo on Mauritius by eating their eggs).

The Easter Islanders did turn on each other, and some cannibalism ensued. As you know, they settled on a bird-man cult, where one tribe was allowed manage the food resources for a year, as long as their champion recovered the first of a bird's egg from a certain rock in an annual competition. The older culture that had built the giant statues fell into decay.

Easter Island and Tikopia are good metaphors for what may happen to the whole planet if ecological disaster strikes - but the ultimate lesson is human resilience after much pain and conflict. At the moment, we still have time to avoid the worst of the pain and conflict.

PS There are cultures that vanished completely after ecological or climate disasters - like Viking Greenland, but that was a tiny outpost of European culture that could not withstand the Little Ice Age, and a better adapted culture (the Inuit) took their place. Other outposts a little later (like the English Jamestown or French Quebec ) barely survived their early years in the New World. You might enjoy this book:

A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe's Encounter with North America: Sam White: 9780674971929: Amazon.com: Books
 

owedtojoy

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A climate scientist looks at the documentary

Climate Change – The Facts

Another good documentary, the Age of Stupid with Peter Postlethwaite ....

 

raetsel

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“I have often asked myself, "What did the Easter Islander who cut down the last palm tree say while he was doing it?"
"At last! I can build a boat and get away from all those big, scary f*cking statues!"...........................?
 

owedtojoy

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God damn , I missed this , I love David Attenborough, such a true hearted and honest gent, I will always remember when he stated; Sending food to Africa to solve famine is barmy, says Sir David Attenborough as he blames overcrowding for crisis what I really admire about him is he is honest with himself and the world around him, no time for bs...
Unfortunately, the BBC player is not available outside the UK, but I think you can get it somewhere on the web.
 


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