Last Chance to See

Hullo all,

I just finished watching the last of Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine’s serial “Last Chance to See” on BBC iPlayer, unfortunately i’ve been unable to see all of them, but I caught the last two (the Kakapo and the Blue Whale).

Twenty years ago Mark and the brilliant Douglas Adams adventured on the same trip to see and document some of the animals that were on the endangered species list. including the Kakapo, Blue Whale, Aye-Aye, White Rhino and the Yangtze River Dolphin, the latter now regrettably extinct due to pressure from the chinese (though not intentionally i’m sure).

A photograph of the Yangtze River Dolphin care of animalinfo.org

A photograph of the Yangtze River Dolphin care of animalinfo.org

I’m an environmentalist, i’ve even helped (in a small way through manpollo.org) with the writing of a book on critical thinking and its application with respect to climate change. No animal on the planet should have to suffer at the hands of human ignorance, Nature is full of wonderful creatures from the porcupine to the mosquito. Even the funnel-web spider, though deadly to humans; is fascinating and beautiful in it’s own right. The human race holds a huge hippocracy, a double standard if you will when it comes to extinction; if it’s cute, cuddly or majestic we mourn the loss, but if it’s not warm blooded – or especially if it’s an arthropod – we really couldn’t care less. Now i’ll admit that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I am an environmentalist because I have grown up in the modern western world, with all its decadent luxuries, and I know climate chance will result in the end of those luxuries, in fact a mad max world if we aren’t careful, but does that mean I don’t care about the animals?

NO! I think that it says alot about our species that we are one of only two forms of life that have so far caused a mass extinction (the othere being cyanobacteria, back in the pre-cambrian), and one of a handful who’s influence can be seen from space. If we could build a non-polluting, non-extinctionist society tomorrow, and all it took was for me to lay down my own life, I think I might just take that hit, provided there were some guarantees that politicians didn’t water down the result.

I am also a card-carrying conservative, and recently had the luxury of attending an event run by my local association where one of our MEP’s gave a speach, and whilst I agreed with everything he said regarding ID-cards, the EU, and numerous other issues. His singularly ignorant view of the issue of climate change enraged me beyond words… to quote a line from his speach;

“if you look at the data, there’s been a cooling trend for the last ten years, and some scientists are starting to doubt Climate Change is even happening”

Now if you don’t know why this is patently absurd, go and look at the data, or look up how you can take any graph with variable output and slap any trend you like on it by changing the period of observation. I’d also like to meet these “scientists”… I’m pretty sure the majority would be economists, sociologists or other people with no grasp of the science involved.

Whilst I do sincerely hope that we (the conservatives) win the next General Election in the UK, I also fervently hope these hopelessly right wing idiots are not in the majority within my party.

OK, rant over for the day… have a good one everybody

Ben D Brooks

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