Human-shaped anthropocene epoch vs overhang idealised historical period

Quote of the day from Colin James:

. . . human-made law is for humans’ wellbeing and future, not the preservation of some frozen-in-time environmental mix. We live in the human-shaped anthropocene epoch, not in an overhang of some idealised historical period. We started the shaping millennia ago with shovels and fire. . .

He was discussing the dilemma facing the Green Party and their tendency to see economic development and environmental protection and enhancement as mutually exclusive.

Environmental awareness is growing and in spite of what they would like to believe, green issues and initiatives are not the preserve of the left of the political spectrum where the Greens are mired.

Both the will and means to have green growth are increasing with the economic, environmental and social benefits it brings.

The Greens no doubt feel threatened by that because the country grows greener their radical left agenda becomes even less relevant.



29 Responses to Human-shaped anthropocene epoch vs overhang idealised historical period

  1. farmerbraun says:

    ” We live in the human-shaped anthropocene epoch, …”

    Perhaps there are currently many who agree with that statement : I don’t know.

    But it may just be an expression of an inflated idea of self-importance that is seen at the peak of a civilisation. Time will tell.


  2. Andrei says:

    “If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.”
    – Kurt Vonnegut


  3. Mr E says:

    I put this quote on another thread. It seems relevant here.

    Published: 6:27PM Saturday June 16, 2012 Source: ONE News

    Entrepreneur and philanthropist Gareth Morgan has taken a swipe at the Green Party and some conservationists.

    He says that the majority of New Zealanders see them as “lefties”, “extremists” or “nutters,” which in the long run is holding back their cause of protecting the environment.

    “If you’re pro-conservation the problem here is you’re increasingly being regarded as anti-economic growth. That is not a constructive position to take. It needlessly alienates huge numbers of people,” Morgan said


  4. farmerbraun says:

    The fact is that humans, like every other species, always alter their environment.
    In general environmental degradation for one species creates more opportunity for another species.
    But humans are able to alter their environment for the betterment of their own species, while conserving the environment of other species.
    It’s a question of balance.


  5. Mr G says:

    “But humans are able to alter their environment for the betterment of their own species, while conserving the environment of other species.”

    Now this will get interesting.

    Farmerbraun. Are you aware of the list of species that have become extinct in the past 100 years?
    Are you aware of the rate at which those extinctions are increasing?

    Are you serious when you say “while conserving the environment of other species? Are you serious!!!


  6. Mr G says:

    This might interest you, farmerbraun:

    “Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000 species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction.”


  7. Mr G says:

    A simple graph:


  8. Andrei says:


    Mr E posts another “hockey stick” graph to show how bad people are.

    Dear Mr E at least 98% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. ’tis a fact pterodactyls no longer grace our skies……..

    And the human race had not a thing to do with their disappearance because we weren’t here yet


  9. Mr G says:

    Silly Mr E…

    Andrei – your observation that enormous numbers of creatures became extinct prior to humanities arrival on the scene is…self evident and irrelevant. The graph shows the striking rate of increase in just a very short space of time and would largely be attributed, I guess, to habitat destruction caused entirely by human industry, coupled with chemicals of all sorts we’ve introduced to our environment.
    Perhaps you could look at it again with … open eyes.


  10. Andrei says:

    Oh dear I addressed my comment to the wrong person

    But, that graph is an insult to our intelligence.

    Anybody can draw a line that sharply curves up to try and sell their bullshit.

    The cruel reality of our existence is that nothing is permanent. Every single species that exists today, including ourselves will in the fullness of time become extinct.

    All we can do is to continue the battle to survive as long as possible and there is only one way forward……


  11. Mr G says:

    Andrei – are you arguing that human activity is not causing mass and rapid extinction of other organisms?
    I hope you are because that’s going to be a cinch to disprove and make you look entirely out of touch with reality.
    Or perhaps you are arguing that yes, creatures are becoming extinct and yes, there rate is significant to say the least, but tough luck – we humans are the boss around here, so suck it up, butterflies, frogs, bees and the rest of you lesser beings – the Big Boys are in town and it’s time you left.


  12. Andrei says:

    You just don’t get it Mr G.

    There would be very few people who would lament it if the plasmodium, for example, became extinct. Indeed ridding the world of that particular beastie would be cause for great celebration I have no doubt.

    Some species thrive in our presence of course. The norwegian rat, seagulls and the humble house fly spring immediately to mind.

    Others do not – big cats that would eat our children or even us, given the opportunity are not popular with the people who have to live alongside them for example. They make for nice wildlife docos to fill in the space between advertisements our hi def TVs but are not nice neighbours, particularly if you have toddlers. C’est la vie

    Nature is cruel and life is a struggle…..


  13. Mr G says:

    What absolute, mind-dulling rubbish, Andrei.
    Your tunnel-vision on species extinction is painful to see.
    It is interesting though, to see your philosophy revealed:
    “Nature is cruel and life is a struggle…”
    which epitomises the meme I’ve been encouraging TraceyS (with little success) to explore. You personify that destructive, cynical, distorted and life-denying meme perfectly. That thinking, your thinking is what has brought us to this point – rapidly destroying the other organisms that co-habit with us on the earth, and wrecking the place for ourselves at the same time. I expect others here will cheer you on, so convinced are they of their right to do as they will with the rest of creation, but me, I don’t support your anti-biotic foolishness.


  14. farmerbraun says:

    Robert when you get sick of insulting people whom you disagree with, you may consider devoting the considerable amount of time that you will have on your hands to some serious thinking.

    On the other hand , given your propensity , it may be that you will continue your pointless insults , and people will cease completely to listen to you .


  15. Mr G says:

    I think seriously all of the time, farmerbraun. When someone like Andrei posts nonsense like he did above, I let him know how he sounds from the point of view of a thoughtful person.
    I don’t recall you chiding Mr E for his insult to RBG where he accuses her of wanting to create rivers of dairy-cow blood – that seems a far more serious insult than anything I’ve ever said, yet you maintain a curious silence over that. Nor did I see you comment on TraceyS’s charge that we are revelling in what AGW is doing to the world. Why is that, farmerbraun? Don’t want to criticise one of “the team”?


  16. JC says:

    By coincidence this morning I was at the doctor’s surgery and the first mag I picked up was the National Geographic.. in it the Editor noted that scientists had described 30,000 species in NZ but they believed there were another 50,000 we didn’t know about.

    He then told the usual doom and gloom story about human wickedness and finished up by saying something like.. “Imagine, at the current rate of extinction 50,000 species could go extinct before we even identify or know anything about them.”



  17. TraceyS says:

    And I, along with others here, can’t support your hypocritical nonsense, Mr G. Andrei’s life is probably no more anti-biotic than yours is. Your house reduces habitat because the earth under it is “anti-biotic”, your computer is also “anti-biotic” because one day its part will be junk in another species’ habitat, your bike will have reduced habitat to produce its raw material, and likewise your clothes, even if they are wool and cotton.

    Expression of views or opinion is not “life-denying” or “anti-biotic”. But the way you communicate, Mr G, has me wondering…


  18. Mr G says:

    “the usual doom and gloom story about human wickedness”
    The editor described how humans are destroying eye-watering numbers of species and you call it “the usual doom and gloom story” as though we should just shrug it off as business as usual?

    That’s the meme I’m talking about.


  19. TraceyS says:

    “Nor did I see you comment on TraceyS’s charge that we are revelling in what AGW is doing to the world.”

    Subtle change of wording to paint me black, “Mr G”, and I’m not going to let you away with it.

    I observed, from your comments on this blog, that you are anti-conventional-farming. But why stop there? You are even anti a return to traditional farming requiring a blacksmith to make a wagon wheel, one-furrow plough, and shoes for the horses.

    I suggested that you will be pleased with the effects of drought on farming, not “the world”. Drought hammers farming. Have a look at how few milk tankers there are on the road. And farmers are now starting to sell capital stock. No need for rivers of blood. Nature is taking care of it for you.

    Like Andrei said “nature is cruel and life is a struggle”.


  20. Mr G says:

    TraceyS believes I can’t comment about species extinction because I live in a house.
    That must be the height of stupidity, surely.


  21. Mr G says:

    “I suggested that you will be pleased with the effects of drought on farming”
    Then you should apologise for that slur, TraceyS. I have not said so at all. I don’t wish drought upon anyone.


  22. Mr G says:

    TraceyS – what do you mean by “no need for rivers of blood”?
    Are you continuing the disgraceful slur Mr E began (and is to weasel-weak to own up to and apologise for) or did you just think of that slur yourself?


  23. TraceyS says:

    I never said you “can’t comment”. Where did I say that?

    What I did say was:

    “Andrei’s life is probably no more anti-biotic than yours is.”

    You lambasted Andrei’s views/thinking as:

    – mind-dulling rubbish
    – tunnel-vision
    – personifying a destructive, cynical, distorted, life-denying meme
    – rapidly destroying other organisms that co-habit with us
    – wrecking the place for ourselves

    If anyone is trying as hard as he might to discourage others from expressing their views it is you, “Mr G”.


  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The Greens no doubt feel threatened by that because the country grows greener their radical left agenda becomes even less relevant.”

    If only that were true, Ele. I would love it if our environmental and social justice concerns were less relevant because we are a policy driven party not a power at all costs party 😉

    Sadly New Zealand is not growing greener, we are actually experiencing the reverse.
    -We have constant proposals to dismantle the protection within the RMA
    -Our GHG emissions are growing
    – Five yearly environmental assessments and independent analysis have been stopped and we are one of the few OECD countries that do not have this.
    -The main Government agency (DoC) charged with looking after and advocating for our natural environments has had severe funding and staffing cuts.
    – The Govt is encouraging the mining and drilling for fossil fuel and are subsidising companies to do this.
    -We are not investing in sustainable technology and R&D at the same level as most other OECD countries.
    -The most significant legislation that manages GHG emissions has been dismantled to the extent that polluters actually profit to do so, helped by Govt subsidies.
    – An international study measuring countries’ loss of native vegetation, native habitat, number of endangered species and water quality showed that per capita, New Zealand was the worst out of 189 nations when it came to preserving its natural surroundings.

    I have been aware of considerable greenwash, but very little evidence of this green growth that you are referring to (at a rate that will make a significant difference).


  25. JC says:

    “The editor described how humans are destroying eye-watering numbers of species and you call it “the usual doom and gloom story” as though we should just shrug it off as business as usual?

    That’s the meme I’m talking about.”

    And as this Google page shows the meme *you* are expounding is greatly exaggerated.

    There’s a couple of double ups there but basically there are plenty of studies to show that we still don’t know what we are talking about re extinction rates.. poor methods and original guesses coupled with the evidence that earlier studies were way off the mark show the silliness of propounding political ideology as science.



  26. farmerbraun says:

    Robert says :” Don’t want to criticise one of “the team”?”

    It is fairly clear (or at least I thought that it was) that I am not part of any team, presuming that there is one here.
    Some of the stuff that you are involved in I simply cannot be bothered with.
    It would be nice if you could learn to address arguments and leave the personal attacks out of it .
    Just saying.


  27. Mr G says:

    Thanks for the sage advice, farmerbraun.
    TraceyS – you didn’t address your “blood” comment. Neither has Mr E. I suspect you both have no intention of doing so, as to do so would mean owning the slur and failing to justify it.
    JC, meantime, has dragged out the always-useful,
    “don’t accept it so won’t do anything about it excuse” so beloved by he and his team –
    “we still don’t know what we are talking about re extinction rates..”
    Yes, yes, JC, quite, quite (see Bart Simpson’s clip “It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it etc.)


  28. JC says:

    So, boys and girls, here for your entertainment and enlightenment are some of your Greens type predictions on climate and a few other things.

    You really couldn’t make these things up…



  29. Mr G says:

    “boys and girls”

    You said it, JC.


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