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How can we protect the diversity of life on Earth?

09:58 UK time, Monday, 18 October 2010

The UN biodiversity convention meeting has opened with warnings that the ongoing loss of nature is hurting human societies as well as the natural world. Are you concerned about this issue?

The two-week gathering aims to set new targets for conserving life on Earth.
Japan's Environment Minister Ryo Matsumoto said biodiversity loss would become irreversible unless curbed soon.

Much hope is being pinned on economic analyses showing the loss of species and ecosystems is costing the global economy trillions of dollars each year.

Do you think the economic dimension will cause governments to act? What would you ask your leaders to do on this issue? Have you seen the loss of nature where you live?

This debate is closed. Thank you for your comments.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    Will it happen? No Humans are also too short sighted.

  • Comment number 2.

    Leave?

  • Comment number 3.

    The simple solution to most problems is cut the worlds human population and excessive use of related resources.

  • Comment number 4.

    Insightful, accurate and clear, well said 1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey.
    Sadly we will watch as our policitos tell each other and particularly the pooest that this is a vital area they must deal with, they themselves would but for the currect, economic, political and social issues in their respective countries. By this they mean my re-election chances!
    We are beyond replacements, each family having two children to replace the parents, we need 1 child per family, more and pay for your waste through your tax, reduced benefits!

  • Comment number 5.

    This is a tricky question and not simply relevant to our times since many species have long since been eradicated by previous generations and natural disasters. I think that all the people on this earth have to learn far greater respect for the vast diversity of species and remember that we are merely stewards and not creators of the universe.

  • Comment number 6.

    How hypocritical. Who continues the whaling of certain endangered species, Japan. Economics rule and that is why we are the worst species on the planet.

  • Comment number 7.

    You could say its survival of the fittest but humans have destroyed everything they touched for centuries and are doomed to extinction in the next hundred years or so.Regretfully,they will take most of the species we see today with them and whatever is left will over millions of years evolve and repeat the same mistakes!

  • Comment number 8.

    'Japan's Environment Minister Ryo Matsumoto said biodiversity loss would become irreversible unless curbed soon.'

    A couple of months ago Japan made the decision to actively and consiously fish Blue Fin Tuna into extinction.

    Or do delicious sea creatures not count as contributing towards 'bio diversity'.?

  • Comment number 9.

    Money is always going to be a problem. Humans as a species are far to short sighted. Yes we are losing species and habitats and in some places at an outragous pace. Species unknown, species that could potentially be of benefit to mankind.

    The problem is the we on the whole, aren't going to front the money to do the research on large scales just on the off chance of finding the proverbial "Cure for Cancer".

    Quick short term profits, that's what "We" want.

  • Comment number 10.

    Richard Grey (1) wrote:

    "Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity."

    Speak for yourself. Presumably you'll be first in the queue for being recycled then? There aren't too many people at all, just too much greed, war and inequality and poverty which, incidentally, makes people breed more.
    Do away with the rule of money and capitalism, and it will be ok.
    I'm not a Leninist, I'm a Lenonist.


  • Comment number 11.

    Shave 3.5 Billion off the human population

  • Comment number 12.

    With the nett daily birth rate hurtling along at about 150-200,000 births per day, we are eventually going to run out of space on this already cramped planet. Ongoing measures to help the planet's sustainability are pathetic and I take with a pinch of salt everything so-called "experts" tell us. They contradict each other on a daily basis, spouting nonsense and gobbledegook designed to scare us. It doesn't.
    The good thing is, I will be dead before the catastrophic end to this planet arrives. Good luck to my grandchildren and to their grandchildren. You will need it. Not my problem.

  • Comment number 13.

    The arguments for preservation of biodiversity are weak - they tend to fall back on claims that there could (and probably are) be cures for various diseases and the like out there undiscovered and they could be extinct before we even find them. By the same argument, you could just as easily say that there are lots of hideously deadly diseases out there just waiting to be caught but we may never meet them as they become extinct.

    We as a species do not require biodiversity - we can grow a cow or a pig, that's pretty much all we need. This is just the next excuse for raising taxation (people are getting bored of global warming now, so we need to come up with some other proto-apocalypse). The loss of (as quoted in the referenced article for this HYS) of £2-5 trillion worldwide sounds like a lot but in reality is entirely trivial on the scale of world economics.

  • Comment number 14.

    Post 1 is absolutely right although it is VERY non pc to say it.

    Without exception, every country on this planet MUST reduce its population by half over the next couple of generations.

    Unless that happens, our great grandchildren will be in serious trouble as the mass extinctions that has been slowly gathering pace over the past 100 years directly impact on humans.

    I am aware that some cultures and religions are anti birth control but the need to out breed potential enemy tribes became unnecessary a long time ago. The need to have children to ensure that some survive to work the land became outdated when anti biotics and vaccines were invented.

    Excessive breeding by the human race will first destroy everything that the human race needs to survive and then the human race itself will become extinct.

  • Comment number 15.

    The trouble is humans are so stuck up their own backsides they think the human race will be around forever; sorry I think Mother Nature will have other ideas.

    If we do not destroy ourselves first then nature will take a hand and just like the good old dinosaurs humans will one day disappear.

    The Earth has millions of years of serviceable life left in one form or another so once humans have gone give nature say 500,000 years or so to repair most of the damage done by us and a new species will eventually rise up and take over and hopefully be a bit more respectful of what’s on offer.

  • Comment number 16.

    I wonder, just wonder whether the "UN biodiversity convention" is just stuffed with self-serving do-gooders on a multi-million pound all expenses paid jamboree that will produce a fancy many-paged statement that the rest of the world will proceed to ignore. Private Fraser reached the same conclusion in "Dad's Army" for a fraction of the cost: We're all doooomed.

  • Comment number 17.

    All the warnings have been with us all for years. Cleaners that can make a penny bright with a simple 'Dip', bleaches that kill ''All know''germs. Cleaners that remove all dirt and grease and sterilize with a single wipe. All get flushed down the drain to continue killing good bacteria as well as those WE consider bad.
    The rivers and all the seas are becoming devoid of plant and animal life by polution of every kind being dumped into them.
    Will we do anything about it ?? NO,because ''My little bit of polution won't hurt''....... in this nanny State, its someone elses problem.

  • Comment number 18.

    Stop imergration and population growth

  • Comment number 19.

    Are humans not part of nature?

    So whatever happens is natural?

    The Earth will nver die - it will keep changing.

  • Comment number 20.

    How can we protect the diversity of life on Earth?


    There is ONLY ONE FACTUAL way and that is to SUBSTANTIALLY reduce human polulation.

    Even if human polulation levels are maintained at exact same numbers as exist this very second then the growing demands of existing population will still FACTUALLY result in devastation and CONTINUED EXTRERMINATION/ANNILATION/EXTINCTION of yet more and more species of life on earth.

    Anything LESS than a reduction of human population is just unsubstantiated HOGWASH and basically a FACTUAL and PROVEABLE LIE.

    Hence, STOP humans world food production for a year is probably the easiest way and cheapest way of protecting other life forms, AND ALSO PROTECTING OUR OWN SPECIES.

    If I have to go, so be it, as long as future generations do not suffer that which is being forced upon them by present generations and future generations live more sustainably and in greater harmony with each other and in harmony with all other life species/forms on this EXCEPTIONALLY RARE GEM OF A PLANET.

    Crazy isnt it, our life giving and sustaining planet and our own species existance is but just ONE of a kind that we know of in existance.

    We are RARER and THUS our existance is FACTUALLY AS FRAGILE and THREATENED with EXTINCTION as the RAREST species on earth.

    Yet we continue with that which we FACTUALLY KNOW is damaging to our CONTINUED existance.

    Hence, is it NOT outrageously ridiculous that there are laws to prevent suicide and assisted suicide when the FACT of the matter is that by our very nature of actions and decisions/choices we are FACTUALLY commiting SLOW SUICIDE of our own species.

    So much of what our species does damages our futures.

    The ONLY thing I trully wonder about, is the future NAME given to that which results in a HUMAN CRUNCH, maybe it will acyually be called the human crunch, similar to credit crunch.

    I have no doubts though, that those if any who survive will NOT think of previous generations kindly.

  • Comment number 21.

    1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    And how do you plan on doing that, to decrease the existing population we would have to resort to murder (and we can all know what is wrong with that)and to ensure the population does not grow any larger we would have to put in place strigent laws about how many children may be born - I can see a future HYS on this one!

  • Comment number 22.

    1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    Will it happen? No Humans are also too short sighted.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is probably a good idea and other posts are saying something similar. Now complete the proposition and spell out exactly where the reduction should be made, and who will be appointed to oversee the reduction, and what will be tbe criterion for reduction. Having debated the options we can put them to the 20 or so millionaires in the cabinet who will pass the necessary laws with as much fairness as they have undertaken with the reductions in public spending.


  • Comment number 23.

    Population control is the key, but the UN biodiversity meeting will probably waffle on about other matters ,which will do nothing to help the environment. It seems to me that environmentalists are not prepared to tackle overpopulation , which mean that we should not listen to what they have to say.

  • Comment number 24.

    Find another class M planet for us to colonise and perhaps free up some space here for species to thrive.

    Terraforming - how far are we from it yet?

    (we need to know firstly if other planets have absolutely no life on them before proceeding - even celled organisms should signal a 'no' for us as they could evolve into something better than humanity in a billion years)

  • Comment number 25.

    How can we protect the diversity of life on Earth?
    1.Stop sending David Bloody Attenborough and numerous film crews by Plane to all ends of the World.
    2.Stop having World convetions, where yet again they fly in and climb into chaufer driven limos.
    3.Stop having subjects like these on HYS and BBC Breakfast.You put out far more hotair than the rest put together.Some of us are not fooled.
    Can anyone explain how the loss of a species causes the global economy trillions of dollars each year?
    Maybe the loss of the species known as the British Politician and Banker could help us save trillions of Pounds each Year...........I'm all for that!

  • Comment number 26.

    Pay countries with rainforests to preserve them.

  • Comment number 27.

    The problem is human numbers are out of control.
    We need to restrict human breeding and reduce our numbers.
    One couple = one child
    If they violate that and have more than one, everyone in that family unit is no longer eligible for healthcare and benefits.
    It worked in China, and I know its draconian, but we need to stop messing about and address this serious issue now.

  • Comment number 28.

    Human population is a problem and out of control, all species have a right to life, what if we are the only planet supporting life? wouldnt it be a travesty if Humans were eventually the only life in the Universe. Governments need to implement a system of birth control and over the coming decades reduce the human population to a more manageable size. Otherwise, if human population becomes too big we will not have any food and governments will then reduce the population using more drastic methods.

  • Comment number 29.

    Whilst I agree that humans should do all they can to protect and preserve the planet and its ecosystems, don't forget, the wildlife of this planet has been undergoing shift and change for millions of years, with a few cataclysmic events to utterly upset the pail every few million years or so.

    Chances are, in a few thousand years, for whatever reason (our own or external), we humanss will join the other 99.9% of all species who've ever existed in extinction. And once our successful but ultimately self-destructive little party on this planet is over, the Earth will sit back for a few thousand years, and, like a recently-dumped twenty-something, spend a bit of time getting itself back on its feet and sorting itself out before moving on to better things. Possibly with a new pair of shoes.

    The earth will be fine. There is literally nothing we could do to this planet that it and life upon it could not recover from. We're the fragile ones who'll die out. It's in our best interests to establish an equilibrium with the planet.

    ...I think that's a successful little meander away from the point of the discussion.

  • Comment number 30.

    21. At 12:10pm on 18 Oct 2010, lucky5star wrote:
    1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    And how do you plan on doing that, to decrease the existing population we would have to resort to murder (and we can all know what is wrong with that)and to ensure the population does not grow any larger we would have to put in place strigent laws about how many children may be born - I can see a future HYS on this one!



    You don't have to murder people to reduce human population, just curb breeding.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Or do delicious sea creatures not count as contributing towards 'bio diversity'.?"

    Importance of preservation of any species on the planet can be directly attributed to it's relative deliciousness. In fact, I propose we consciously and actively, as a society, rank all animals on a scale of deliciousness and assign resources for preservation accordingly.

    It's the only logical choice.

  • Comment number 32.

    scrap existing money system - introduce a debt-free/interest-free version.

    it won't solve everything but surely a good start.

  • Comment number 33.

    "Stop imergration and population growth"

    I wonder if there's a problem that Daily Moaners DON'T think can be solved by stopping 'imergration'.

    Also, unless you either know something I don't or have a hilarious idea of where Pakistan actually is, I'm pretty sure that stopping immigration would have approximately zero effect on earth's biodiversity.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am not concerned about environmental issues anymore.
    These worries are being exploited. Facts are being contorted. There is too much dramatisation. Too many liberal-lefties are involved. Counter-opinions are not being given enough airtime. Actually, no airtime at all. The whole process has stopped being scientific almost a decade ago. It is more religious now.

    So, I don't care. Perhaps, if the hype goes away, we will start seeing truly impartial scientific results. Currently, the story has two continuous arguments:
    - "We are doomed, we are doomed I tell ya".
    - "More research needs to be done".

    I, for one, do not wish my government to take any action.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm doing my bit - Vegan and child-free 8>D

    Just because people believe the global population is too high does not mean they are advocating death or enforced sterilisation - I happen to believe the best way to stop unsustainable growth is to stop babies dying and educate woman in third world countries so they are not just baby-making machines.

    I also think something should be done to stop men in some religions having four or more wives and a hundred plus children unfortunately the only way I can think of isn’t legal.

  • Comment number 36.

    How can we protect the diversity of life on Earth?
    Well as sick as it sounds it looks like we will be charged for it, as most natural things such as the process of biodiversity are seen as “cost free”, they are excluded economically. The only way forward is to cost each species, each environment etc. For example, say a company wanted to build on some land that was, say for argument, on brown belt, it included a footpath, a number of common trees, plants, insects and birds.
    The company would normally only have to do an environmental impact survey; this however is not an economic survey it is simply a record of species present. The path that runs through this area is used by many walkers, bird watchers and naturalists. It is fairly close to housing and shops. Now, the economic survey would assess the cost of each species and its economic value within that area and the wider ecosystem. For example, everyone that visits wares outdoor clothing, some have binoculars, cameras, food, drinks, bikes, dogs etc etc, and this would all be economically assessed, along with comparing the cost of the proposed building. There is a lot more to this which I don't fully understand I am simply illuminating the idea.
    “At the heart of the idea is the belief that if governments understand the financial costs of losing nature, they can adopt new economic models that reward conservation and penalise degradation.”
    It is difficult, but it makes sense the way things are right now. It also makes sense in understanding how biodiversity works, that all species are dependent in some form or another. So, by putting an economic impact on nature will shift economics towards protection as opposed to exploitation because people will see a different way of making money.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am very amazed at the apparent ignoring of obvious facts which is occuring with scientists regarding nature.
    There are simply too many humans on the planet, and we are using the earth's biosphere for our living and leaving little for the use of other organisms to live.
    Is that too difficult for you? By simply reducing the number of humans on the planet, we save other organisms. There is no need to study anything. But I guess science has turned into consensus and culture. Our current scientists are unable to be subjectice anymore. I think we need the old porfessors back. The ones who had no fear of being politically correct when correcting a student's thinking. Science is looking at the data, not distorting the data to avoid hurting someone's feelings.
    Reduce human population and all is saved. Ignore the data and all is lost. I just saved you 100,000 research papers.

  • Comment number 38.

    So all the would-be genocidists who demand a cull of the human race will be offering-up themselves and their offspring for sacrifice will they?

    No.

  • Comment number 39.

    Priceless!!
    A Monday morning laugh thanks to the BBC and the Japanese Environment minister.
    A lecture on biodiversity by a government official of the country which wants to hunt whales even in the Antarctic refuge?
    A lecture on biodiversity from an agent of the country whose publically stated policy is to drive up the price of Bluefin Tuna by overfishing so as to support their fishing industry's profits?
    A lecture on biodiversity from a representative of the country who strips rain forests of teak, mahogany and other hardwoods to use them for disposal moulds so that the concrete they cast for buildings looks smoother/prettier?

    Sorry for laughing actually, it's not funny its an affront and an insult to the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 40.

    16. At 11:55am on 18 Oct 2010, Christopher Styles wrote:
    I wonder, just wonder whether the "UN biodiversity convention" is just stuffed with self-serving do-gooders on a multi-million pound all expenses paid jamboree that will produce a fancy many-paged statement that the rest of the world will proceed to ignore.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Actually, other than some world political leaders, I think you will find that many of the delegates are underpaid, concerned academics with, whose speciality is biodiversity. Given the current financial climate at most universities, you will probably also find that many of these academic delegates will have been told that they will have to find the funding to attend the convention out of their own research and/or personal money (including the postgraduates students, who will be our next generation of scientists).

    Yes, the reports will probably be glossy and in colour, and yes, there will probably be a few big headlines. But you know, if they produced their reports in black and white, and were low-key about the whole thing, do you think anyone would listen? Nope. Even when it screams from the rooftops, the scientific community has trouble getting people to see beyond their own navel lint.

    This is not their fault - it is the fault of the public, who are more ready to believe the raving loony "biodiversity loss is not a human problem" brigade, than a group of professional and thoughtful experts who use hypotheses and data, not denial and propaganda, to back up their claims.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Much hope is being placed on economic analyses that shows the loss of species and ecosystems is costing the global economy trillions of dollars each year, and these trillions go straight into the pockets of the wealthy entities or persons who exploit the environment, including the dropping of bombs with depleted uranium and white phosphorous.
    I accept that this is "defining moment" in the history of mankind, and history will mark this generation as the most destructive, greedy, and careless of any generation that has ever lived.
    [Buddhist scholar] Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki: 'the problem of nature is the problem of human life', and human life today is unfortunately divided into the rich and the poor. Which do you think is most guilty of bio-degradation?
    The rich can never get enough. The wealthy don’t care about discarding the refuse, damagining the environment, or even damaging other people, not even their own people.
    Look at this list:
    - loss and degradation of forests,
    - loss and degradation of coral reefs, rivers and other elements of the natural world and consider:
    Each loss, each degradation has a chain reaction on the upper and lower links of the living chain.
    Some persons and companies are destroying the very foundations that sustain life on this planet in order to line their pockets.
    What does it matter if governments understand the financial costs of losing nature, just as long as its some other country is the one being deforested and degraded? A UN-sponsored project called “The Economics of Ecosytems and Biodiversity (TEEB)” calculates the cost at $2-5 trillion per year, PREDOMINANTLY IN POORER PARTS OF THE WORLD.
    If “we” humans wants to save the world, we need to make the loss and degradation of our world into a crime against humanity. We need to make no person, no company, no country exempt from this criminal activity. If you cause loss and degradation, you stand before the Court. You go to prison; you get fined – BIG TIME. But you know what?
    Who will have the courage to make these laws? Who will have the courage to enact these laws? Who will have the courage to enforce the penalties?
    This legal action should fall under the auspices of the United Nations, but guess who has a veto?
    The biggest of the guiltiest has a veto, and this country will just keep on degrading like a rogue elephant trampling the world.

  • Comment number 43.

    Change the way we live, fundamentally. Evolve as a species. Ditch competitive global capitalism in favour of a revolutionary way as yet unstated. Find a balance with nature again.

    Ecosystems which become out of balance will find balance naturally usually though the destruction or massive reduction of the species that took it out of balance. That is the alternative here.

  • Comment number 44.

    ....mmmm, Soylent Green

  • Comment number 45.

    A difficult question & an even bigger challenge. I think the human race needs to stop thinking of itself as, simultaneously, the great annhilators of & saviors of, the natural world. We can't save every species & we couldn't even begin to desteoy them all, even if we were trying, which hopefully we're not.

    Look at it this way, If every species since the dawn of time had survived, the planet would be seriously overcrowded. You think it's bad now, wait till there's mammouths on the Circle line! Evolution does it's job admirably & species come & go.
    Now to the question of our contribution to the decline of some species. No doubt we've ousted a fair few critters & our continued land clearing, breeding, habitat destroying & building is never going to be a positive for biodiversity. However we either come to terms with our status as top dog or we let the bugs take over. Now before the screams of protest from the CC lobby start let me say I am in no way advocating a "do nothing" response. I believe there's a lot we can do (breeding a bit less would be a good start)to treat our environment & it's inhabitants better. As the most intelligent creatures on the planet (apart from cats who imho have it well cushty) I believe we have a responsibility to try everything in our power to make the Earth a more pleasant, less crowded, less smog filled place for ALL the species tht inhabit it.
    That being said, we, as a species need to get over the idea that we have the power to somehow "fix" the earth. We can't & it doesn't need us to. It has survived, with all it's critters, for millions of years before us & will continue to do so for millions of years after we go the way of the dodo. It shows a huge amount of arrogance on our part to believe we can somehow "preserve" the planet in a perfect state. The planet isn't perfect, it is beautiful, yes, but it is also cruel, violent & awe inspiring. Anyone who tries to achieve stability in either climate or diversity is on a hiding to nothing.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is of course I think we should recycle, build less, breed less, pollute less & generally work harder in making this planet a pleasant environment for us & all the other inhabitants. If we "save the planet" as a by product then everyones a winner ;)

  • Comment number 46.

    We were supposed to cut greenhouse gas emissions but we have not achieved anything yet, in spite of the last UN Copenhagen summit’s agreement. Regrettably, I guess this UN meeting will not make any substantial resolution too. Because most of the nations only demand their own benefit and there is very few people truly being concerned about nature.

  • Comment number 47.

    13. At 11:49am on 18 Oct 2010, Simon Hill wrote:
    "By the same argument, you could just as easily say that there are lots of hideously deadly diseases out there just waiting to be caught but we may never meet them as they become extinct."

    What you say does have some merit. And yet that in itself is a pretty week argument against the preservation of biodiverity.

    Looking at it from an environmental biological perspective, biodiverse habits are much more stable and healthy than monoculture ones. They need less intensive management if any at all and that by itself reduces costs. Any thing else is a bonus.

  • Comment number 48.

    Oh dear me... I HATE these pretentious journalists who take one thing that one scientist has said and blows it out of proportion which is then sucked in by the general public which then spews out all sorts of garbage as though they are informed.

    well let me set the record straight.
    Darwin discovered that diversity occurs because creatures evolve to survive in a certain area, he collected hundreds of bones, fangs, wings and all sorts of other animal parts and concluded that if the area changes which it does ALL THE TIME then the species either evolves or dies IE species become extinct on a greater than daily basis. you can't protect or destroy diversity by creating cities or reservations because whatever you put in it's place, life will move back in and evolve and adapt to it. some will die but other species will come into exhistance and some already here will flourish. prime example are grey squirels in the UK. they are better camoflaged to concrete and to greyed bark near roads where as the reds are dieing out for the same reason which is a prime example of adaptation. so stop giving a damn about these things and start giving a damn about the one species that we should care about surviving. US!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    4. At 11:25am on 18 Oct 2010, confusus wrote:

    Insightful, accurate and clear, well said 1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey.
    Sadly we will watch as our policitos tell each other and particularly the pooest that this is a vital area they must deal with, they themselves would but for the currect, economic, political and social issues in their respective countries. By this they mean my re-election chances!
    We are beyond replacements, each family having two children to replace the parents, we need 1 child per family, more and pay for your waste through your tax, reduced benefits!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    you are wrong. 2 children per family will surfice because there will still be some people who don't find a partner, others who don't want kids and others still that only want 1 child giving a parent to child ratio which is still less than 1.

  • Comment number 50.

    The only way is to curb reproduction of the human race.
    This will entail persuading various religious leaders (such as the pope as well as leaders of muslims etc) that unfettered reproduction is NOT a good thing and is certainly NOT what God intended when he said 'go forth and multiply' or put us in charge.
    It could start in the UK - for example we should stop child benefit altogether - we don't need more people here so why keep paying couples to reproduce? We should do away with free education beyond the basics at primary school - this education represents a taxation on all people - including those that aren't adding to the human over population crisis - which is not justified. We would do better to supply contraception for free to ALL people from the first signs of reproductive capability. We should TAX people more for reproducing - so rather than a 'family allowance' you should pay a premium tax for the number of children. We should cut all benefits so they only pay adults - nothing, no allowance at all, for any children you may have, any huge house you may need because of 14 kids...
    True its not the childrens fault they are conceived, but we should start making people think and plan rather than leave them assuming we will pay for their fun.

  • Comment number 51.

    Comment 1's "very simple - reduce human population" is not useful and neither simple, we're around 7 billion currently, while the aims of the UN biodiversity convention meeting has heard to target a 'tipping point' in the next 10 years, the high estimate is for a human population of around 8 billion in the next ten years with a figure in excess of 14 billion by the end of the century, the low estimate is that it remains closer to the current 7 billion with a return to a figure under 6 billion by the end of the century.

    The Earth's sustainable human population appears to be vastly less than its current level, however the current and projected population is unfortunately a given and the problem is one of how to manage while carrying an immensely bloated and probably unsustainable human population for at least until the end of the century, quite possibly two centuries.

    The only answer is a vast reallocation of resources hell-bent on preserving biodiversity on Earth, the like of which is beyond anyone's comprehension, and totally ex foris of economic and political reality, coupled with a monumental political and social will to do so.

  • Comment number 52.

    3. At 11:25am on 18 Oct 2010, wvpTV wrote:

    The simple solution to most problems is cut the worlds human population and excessive use of related resources.


    I shall look forward to seeing your obituary in the papers in the next few days then. I doubt very much that I will though, those who want to reduce population almost invariably want it to be someone elses population be it foreigners or the poor. Personally I've previously suggested we should start with the English since they're always complaining that thy're country is too overcrowded, also the British Empire was responsible for destroying the economies of a great many undeveloped countries of the world in order to service its own greed as it raped and pillaged its way across the globe, had these countries been allowed to develop naturally the world might be a very different place now.

    As for political leadership in this matter, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have six children between them so its unlikely that they'll be pushing for population reduction (unless it's someone elses population).

    The few (of which I am one) who actually believe in population reduction and practice what they preach have very little chance of winning this argument since by definition they will produce fewer offspring who can be brought up with their beliefs.

  • Comment number 53.

    13. At 11:49am on 18 Oct 2010, Simon Hill wrote:
    The arguments for preservation of biodiversity are weak - they tend to fall back on claims that there could (and probably are) be cures for various diseases and the like out there undiscovered and they could be extinct before we even find them. By the same argument, you could just as easily say that there are lots of hideously deadly diseases out there just waiting to be caught but we may never meet them as they become extinct.

    We as a species do not require biodiversity - we can grow a cow or a pig, that's pretty much all we need. This is just the next excuse for raising taxation (people are getting bored of global warming now, so we need to come up with some other proto-apocalypse). The loss of (as quoted in the referenced article for this HYS) of £2-5 trillion worldwide sounds like a lot but in reality is entirely trivial on the scale of world economics.
    ----------------------

    What an utterly depressing and arrogant viewpoint. As long as humans have the cars, the technology, keep taxes low and the means to grow a pig then scre** everthing else eh? It's attitudes like that that prevail in big industry/banking/government, and it's those attitudes that are wrecking the whole planet.

    I happen to find the natural world absolutely amazingly beautiful and fascinating, and we could learn so much from it if we tried, but hey, why bother? we've got us, we don't need anything else right!

  • Comment number 54.

    "How can we protect the Diversity of Life on Earth."? Of course, we all know the answer.

    Too many people consuming too much of the wrong stuff from the wrong places that creates pollution and loss of natural habitat somewhere else in the world that we don't see in our everyday life in 'industrialised' nations.

    Too many international companies opening factories in developing countries with the permission of corrupt officials for cheaper labour. Those same companies over-use precious water supplies and pollute river courses and transport those products back to us.

    Palm oil plantations that thousands of hectares of pristine forest have been cleared and lost forever.

    Aggressive mining of metals and gems in many African States with pay- offs to yet more unaccountable corrupt officials for their Swiss bank accounts while whole areas are devasted beyond repair.

    Do I need to go on? The biggest crime of all is that we, as humans, KNOW this happening and continue to allow it by buying what we want, without knowing the invisible cost - just because we can. We are reaping what we sow - or rather not sowing or replacing in any meaningful way.

    This problem is nothing new. When I was young, I used to get very angry about this problem - but now, I am just deeply sad, and still feel equally helpless even though I know what I refuse to buy will only make a minute difference somewhere else in the world.

    Nevertheless, will still continue to do the usual in time and money to conservation charities as millions of others do - but it seems never enough. Very depressing.

  • Comment number 55.

    Why should we care?

    The resources are there to be used so use them.

    The planet has been here for a long time and been through some bad times I dont think man is going to make any difference.

    Global warming is a con.

  • Comment number 56.

    "10. At 11:41am on 18 Oct 2010, John from Poole wrote:
    Richard Grey (1) wrote:
    "Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity."
    Speak for yourself. Presumably you'll be first in the queue for being recycled then? There aren't too many people at all, just too much greed, war and inequality and poverty which, incidentally, makes people breed more.
    Do away with the rule of money and capitalism, and it will be ok.
    I'm not a Leninist, I'm a Lenonist."
    Obviously confused about you're own point, are there to many people? or too much greed war inequality and poverty, which makes people breed more... So do you think there isn't too many people?, or there is? because the things that make people breed more are all bad and you'd, (i imagine) would want the bad things to stop, so people wouldn't breed as much? so there are too many people???
    and apparently you have a bigoted fixation that you can give a label to?

  • Comment number 57.

    Why bother?

    Why is it suddenly against natural selection just because we are vastly more intelligent than any other animal?
    If they can't adapt to survive alongside us then they should go extinct.

    Keeping them alive by actively choosing to reduce our own population is unnatural.

    By all means extend their future by adopting more ecological efforts to support our growth but if you honestly think humanity should choose to limit itself for the sake of other animals then you are just being naive.

  • Comment number 58.

    "32. At 12:34pm on 18 Oct 2010, insidestories wrote:
    scrap existing money system - introduce a debt-free/interest-free version.

    it won't solve everything but surely a good start."

    you barely bother to think before you post

  • Comment number 59.

    Climate Change is dead, all aboard the Biodiversity Loss gravy boat.

  • Comment number 60.

    11. At 11:45am on 18 Oct 2010, jamesev wrote:
    Shave 3.5 Billion off the human population

    ----------------------------------------------

    I'm sure Greenpeace and the Pope have got that covered

  • Comment number 61.

    "22. At 12:12pm on 18 Oct 2010, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    Will it happen? No Humans are also too short sighted.
    //
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is probably a good idea and other posts are saying something similar. Now complete the proposition and spell out exactly where the reduction should be made, and who will be appointed to oversee the reduction, and what will be tbe criterion for reduction. Having debated the options we can put them to the 20 or so millionaires in the cabinet who will pass the necessary laws with as much fairness as they have undertaken with the reductions in public spending."//

    "Birth control, simples"

  • Comment number 62.

    I know it's a little off topic but many people seem to say over population is the problem. This might be true but as with all natural cycles there will reach some sort of equalibirium where by the World will simply not be able to support any more humans.

    This limit will probably be reached due to the amount of food or water that we would need to consume and that will ulitimate control the human population on this planet. We're just like any other creature on this planet in that we will exploite and continue to multiply until something stops us which in nature is usually the food resources or predators (Just like the cane toad in Australia). We're not that different to any other animal on the Earth, other than we have developed the intelligences to drastically alter our environment to suit needs.

    Dispite that, they'll come a day when we simply cannot produce enough food to feed ourselves and when that happens we'll either have to let people starve or the more likely alternative, which is to continue to expand our population into space and other planets in our solar system.

  • Comment number 63.

    Am I the only one to see the irony comparing this HYS topis with the 'Should we bribe junkies to get sterilised' one ?

    All down this topis we have cries to reduce the population and breeding rate of humanity to save the planet and yet all down the other topic we have cries of 'eugenics' and 'that's what Hitler did'.

    You can't have it both ways - you can't reduce the population and yet at the same time not make some sort of judgement about who should be allowed to breed.

    I guess it comes down to what you think is more important - Human 'rights'* or Animal 'rights'*.



    *By which I mean 'privileges which a lot of people seem to think are rights'.

  • Comment number 64.

    Simple, more Diversity in our diet, after all, animals like Cows, Pigs and Sheep aren't in danger of becoming extincts.

    All this talk of carrying out human genocide is a little disgusting, and i doubt any of those calling for it will be leading by example.

  • Comment number 65.

    Simon Hill wrote:

    We as a species do not require biodiversity - we can grow a cow or a pig, that's pretty much all we need.....

    Oh dear. Simon, our whole way of life depends on natural resources and biodiversity- where do you think the house you live comes from, the clean water you drink, the clothes you wear- I could go on?? To say that we dont need biodiversity is pure ignorance. Without it, we would not be able to survive as a species.

    And not only that, but would you be happy to live in a world where there is no diversity? Thanks goodnes your views are very much in the minority.

  • Comment number 66.

    Very Simple - reduce our demands.

    As long as selfish westerners demand immediate gratification of all their wishes, this destructive pressure will continue. I am aware that this would result in the production of furniture, electronic equipment, footwear etc. collapsing - i.e. we would lose jobs.
    I´m glad I´m not a politician trying to grapple with this problem.

  • Comment number 67.

    20. At 12:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    How can we protect the diversity of life on Earth?


    There is ONLY ONE FACTUAL way and that is to SUBSTANTIALLY reduce human polulation.

    Even if human polulation levels are maintained at exact same numbers as exist this very second then the growing demands of existing population will still FACTUALLY result in devastation and CONTINUED EXTRERMINATION/ANNILATION/EXTINCTION of yet more and more species of life on earth.

    Anything LESS than a reduction of human population is just unsubstantiated HOGWASH and basically a FACTUAL and PROVEABLE LIE.

    Hence, STOP humans world food production for a year is probably the easiest way and cheapest way of protecting other life forms, AND ALSO PROTECTING OUR OWN SPECIES.

    If I have to go, so be it, as long as future generations do not suffer that which is being forced upon them by present generations and future generations live more sustainably and in greater harmony with each other and in harmony with all other life species/forms on this EXCEPTIONALLY RARE GEM OF A PLANET.

    Crazy isnt it, our life giving and sustaining planet and our own species existance is but just ONE of a kind that we know of in existance.

    We are RARER and THUS our existance is FACTUALLY AS FRAGILE and THREATENED with EXTINCTION as the RAREST species on earth.

    Yet we continue with that which we FACTUALLY KNOW is damaging to our CONTINUED existance.

    Hence, is it NOT outrageously ridiculous that there are laws to prevent suicide and assisted suicide when the FACT of the matter is that by our very nature of actions and decisions/choices we are FACTUALLY commiting SLOW SUICIDE of our own species.

    So much of what our species does damages our futures.

    The ONLY thing I trully wonder about, is the future NAME given to that which results in a HUMAN CRUNCH, maybe it will acyually be called the human crunch, similar to credit crunch.

    I have no doubts though, that those if any who survive will NOT think of previous generations kindly.

    ------------------------------------------

    I think the most likely thing to happen would be that as the population increases there won't be enough food to feed everyone. As a result food prices will increase and those that cannot afford to buy it will starve and so that will control the population. It could also happen with water instead of food or maybe both together. The end result is the same though.

  • Comment number 68.

    30. At 12:30pm on 18 Oct 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    21. At 12:10pm on 18 Oct 2010, lucky5star wrote:
    1. At 11:13am on 18 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Very Simple - reduce human population - there are too many people everywhere - selfishly destroying biodiversity.

    And how do you plan on doing that, to decrease the existing population we would have to resort to murder (and we can all know what is wrong with that)and to ensure the population does not grow any larger we would have to put in place strigent laws about how many children may be born - I can see a future HYS on this one!



    You don't have to murder people to reduce human population, just curb breeding.

    Yes, and I believe the end of my comment dealt with that, or did you stop reading at 'murder'?

  • Comment number 69.

    All we ever get from any government is lip service, and even the NGOs that ostensibly are there to enhance and protect nature and the environment are severely burdened with politics - so much so that natural history takes second place to sound-bites.

    Having kept records of birds now for more than fifty years, it is clear to see that the environment and biodiversity generally really hasn't a hope until conservation work takes place on a grand scale. The same applies with moths - populations of some species has declined by 98% since the mid-1960s; and anyone believing that moths don't matter needs to remember that they in their various life stages are at the lower end of the food chain. The same applies to bees etc.

    Sadly, too few people are interested in their surroundings, preferring to devote their spare time on other activities. Until natural history is restored as a compulsory subject at schools, there is very unlikely to be any progress.

  • Comment number 70.

    For a start, we should stop toxifying our water.

    I only just discovered today that the Axolotl became classified as critically endangered in 2008.

  • Comment number 71.

    To all those people who think that reducing the human population is the solution, all I can say is this:

    You first

    I'm sure you could find a handy motorway bridge not too far away.
    Unless you are hypocrites that is, and as long as "population reduction" doesn't involve you, you are fine with it.

    If population reduction is necessary, then it will be put into place by nature and the criteria will be those who are unable to get enough food and water to survive. That is the natural solution for overpopulation as demonstrated by all lifeforms that outgrow their environment.

    Humans are not unnatural entities. To think we are not still governed by the laws of nature is foolish.
    Either we find away for this planet/universe to sustain our growth or we don't. Life will go on...

  • Comment number 72.

    For all our self-proclaimed "superiority", we humans have remained almost intentionally ignorant about our own planet. We always want the easy way out of any problem, only changing our behaviour when man-made technology forces us to do so. So I have absolutely no faith in humanity solving anything to do with saving our living space so we can continue to survive on this Earth, for humanity is far too selfish. Mother Earth will continue on without the plague of humans.

  • Comment number 73.

    There are always lot of comments on HYS forums with an environmental topic saying 'easy, cut the population'...but none of the posters who make such comments EVER tell us what method of population control they would support??

    It's like me being asked in another forum 'what should be done about the country's deficit problem' and answering 'easy, make some cuts'...but it doesn't address what cuts we should make.

    Come on posters, if population control is what you think needs to happen then PLEASE attempt to tell us which method you would support??

  • Comment number 74.

    As long as our society worships the golden idol of capitalism, whom the ancients named Satan and mammon, then we cannot protect biodiversity in the end. We can, however, exploit capitalism to a degree - by encouraging ecotourism and the wildlife industry and making people aware of the potential uses of biodiversity. Few people mention the fact that we are running out of working antibiotics and yet soil microbes in disappearing forests undoubtedly produce untold numbers of useful antibiotics and other potential drugs. The antibiotic situation is almost critical and yet governments continue to ignore it. In the end, what we need is a society in which people put the soul before capitalism, then biodiversity would be virtually ensured. Capitalism has destroyed all that is good. people say, 'Well it's better than other ideologies', and, 'Well, who cares whether all other life becomes extinct so long as I have my sports car to pose in and my holidays to fake land where I live in expensive hotels and pose by eating pointless foods and drinking overpriced champagne?' The truth is, the best approach is not capitalism, but rather a balance between the extremes of capitalism, socialism and other ideologies - balance is always the key. If we had this balance, then biodiversity would be protected.

  • Comment number 75.

    John From Poole:
    "Do away with the rule of money and capitalism, and it will be OK.
    I`m not a Leninist.
    I`m a Lenonist."

    Lenon? Do you you mean the wealthy guy who screwd £millions out of his fans?

  • Comment number 76.

    re No 20 ( MrWonderfulReality) Just a small personal point on your many excellent comments. The plural of nouns ending in Y is IES. Its babies not babys. As my old english teacher said " you change the Y into I and add ES" !!) Keep up the good and stimulating work bruv !

  • Comment number 77.

    responding to #14, Swerdna who wrote :
    Without exception, every country on this planet must reduce it's population by half over the next couple of generations.

    Poppycot, It has'nt worked in China, the one child policy is a disaster.
    Many females are aborted. Couples favour having a son resulting in a shortage of females. The population base of younger people is'nt sufficient to provide taxes and pensions for the older population.
    All this talk of culling human's and giving governemts absolute control of our lives is mind boggling. Nature is in control.

  • Comment number 78.

    What a stupid question, it is perfectly obvious where the origin of the problems for practically all of the endangered species lies; at the feet of humanity - there are just too many of us.

  • Comment number 79.

    Why do those who claim to be 'green' advocate stagnation?

    Nature doesn't - climates change, species evolve...

    ... and oddly enough, this was going on long before some silly primate jumped out of a tree, lost most of his fur and became a human being!

    Try your best to live in harmony with nature, act sustainably: Yes!

    Stagnate - you can try if you like but it won't work.

  • Comment number 80.

    35. At 12:39pm on 18 Oct 2010, Charlie Patey wrote:
    I'm doing my bit - Vegan and child-free 8>D

    ---------------------------------------
    I admire your efforts and this is in no way meant as a cuss 'cos I believe peoples eating habits are fully up to them, but you may want to check out the July issue of New Scientist, cover story "Why eating greens won't save the world".

  • Comment number 81.

    39. At 12:53pm on 18 Oct 2010, fishinmad wrote:
    Priceless!!
    A Monday morning laugh thanks to the BBC and the Japanese Environment minister.
    A lecture on biodiversity by a government official of the country which wants to hunt whales even in the Antarctic refuge?
    A lecture on biodiversity from an agent of the country whose publically stated policy is to drive up the price of Bluefin Tuna by overfishing so as to support their fishing industry's profits?
    A lecture on biodiversity from a representative of the country who strips rain forests of teak, mahogany and other hardwoods to use them for disposal moulds so that the concrete they cast for buildings looks smoother/prettier?
    --------

    It'll be the Chinese government demanding that the world does more to save the tiger or the rhino next,

    Or possibly the US government demanding that the world does more to save any creature living living in US woodland during their hunting season.

    Or perhaps the tory government demanding we save the fox...

  • Comment number 82.

    I think we've probably reached the carrying capacity of earth. Overpopulation is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. Man needs to live harmoniously with nature. Also, allowing Corporations free reign over huge swathes of the natural environment like BP etc. where environmental damage is incalculable must end. We can't keep cutting down the Brazilian rainforest just because the wood looks beautiful on our living room floor. People don't make the connection that species are dying for their convenience. Labelling the environmental destruction on each thing we buy like a calorie counter might make someone think twice before purchasing it.

  • Comment number 83.

    I have said this elsewhere in the BBC but it is worth repeating here as it is relevant to this article.

    Bio diversity loss is just one of many environment and humanitarian issues that require urgent and strong action if we are to hand to our children anything worth having, unfortunately nothing is going to happen while we have 200 plus warring and quarrelling governments. We need one world government that is strong enough and independent enough to make the hard and unpopular decisions that are necessary without the need for populist policies for democracy is a big part of the problem.

  • Comment number 84.

    75. At 2:38pm on 18 Oct 2010, As_Iff wrote:
    John From Poole:
    "Do away with the rule of money and capitalism, and it will be OK.
    I`m not a Leninist.
    I`m a Lenonist."

    Lenon? Do you you mean the wealthy guy who screwd £millions out of his fans?
    ----------------------------------
    yes I well remember him dragging people into shops to buy his records and concert tickets. Or he could be a Celtic fan?

    It's Lennon btw.

  • Comment number 85.

    It took us to post 13 to complain about tax increases, post 18 to blame immigration. I went on to 20 but couldn't face cany more. Perhaps someone will tell me how soon we reach bankers and public employees.

  • Comment number 86.

    73. At 2:31pm on 18 Oct 2010, Nic121 wrote:
    There are always lot of comments on HYS forums with an environmental topic saying 'easy, cut the population'...but none of the posters who make such comments EVER tell us what method of population control they would support??

    It's like me being asked in another forum 'what should be done about the country's deficit problem' and answering 'easy, make some cuts'...but it doesn't address what cuts we should make.

    Come on posters, if population control is what you think needs to happen then PLEASE attempt to tell us which method you would support??

    -----

    1. determine the political leanings of everbody on the planet.

    2. Move all the right wingers including the islamists, tea partyists and all those who just generally don't like other people much onto a single continent. I suggest Antarctica.

    3. Let them have the war they all so desperately want to have with each other.

    Result - Not only a reduction in global population but at least couple of generations of human co-operation rather than conflict.

    Seemples.


  • Comment number 87.

    post # 41 - 'potato lord' your comments are disgusting.

  • Comment number 88.

    Echoing other people comments, reducing the human population would certainly make sense in terms of retaining habitat and reducing the pressure on food systems. A limit on the number of children being born would be the best way, although would take a while to work through the system.

    Some other comments seem to think that humans own the earth and we can wipe out everything else because we can 'make' cows and pigs. Do people really think like this in 2010?! We are only one creature on the earth and have no more right to life than any other creature - we're just lucky to be human. It's unfortunate that to be human seems to mean greed and destruction, even in these more 'educated' days.

  • Comment number 89.

    .....and the next time the boy called wolf, nobody came.

  • Comment number 90.

    Response to post #66 @ 2:11pm on 18 Oct - 'Rilakleppman'.

    " ... selfish westerners .... blah, blah .." Oh, yes all 'westerners', as you describe them, whoever they are, are the ONLY selfish people on the planet. Every 'non-western' or 'non-westerner' are sooo perfect.

    Do you even know what a 'westerner' is? Is it someone 'white' perhaps living in the East? Or do you mean someone 'non-white' living in the west?
    How about Southerners living in North Africa or Northerners living in South Africa?

    Please do post again and advise and educate us all on what a greedy westerner is in a global economy?

    Do grow up and get over yourself - 'Rilakleppman'.

  • Comment number 91.

    We must change our collective perspective, which means there is no simple solution for 6.9 billion competing human perspectives. I served 2000-2003 as UNEP's chief environmental scientist working with earnest and dedicated scientist and government officials around the world. Most of these fine folks have succumbed to denial and grief. We used to have an orchestra in nature that supplied ecological goods and services to support human and other life forms, the foundation of modern economic and social systems. Now too many chairs are empty in the orchestra making harmony, much less sustainable harmony, a challenging goal. It is difficult to select a popular tune for the world to agree to sing to, when so many are leaving the auditorium. It is now time to reach out and teach everyone around, especially the children, the importance of nature’s orchestra. Yes, the planet will go on, but like Silent Spring, it will be much poorer for our lack of attention and positive engagement with our fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth. Turn off the TV and turn to your neighbor. For Earth’s Sake, if this issue is a priority for you, then truly make it your priority.

  • Comment number 92.

    Can we please establish a couple of things before we all start riding our hobby-horses?

    Firstly, what exactly are the advantages of biodiversity? It's all very well banging on about it being "in danger", but so what? Exactly why does it matter so much, all of a sudden?

    Secondly, I note that "Much hope is being pinned on economic analyses showing the loss of species and ecosystems is costing the global economy trillions of dollars each year."

    Let us move away from ridiculous statements such as these. All we eever hear these days is how every single damn thing, no matter what, is "costing" something. Changes in wind direction cost business £x million; people wiping their noses cost the country so much; you name it and someone puts a purely fictional "cost" on it. How on earth can anyone decide how much the reduction in biodiversity "costs" the global economy, and why do we care anyway? There may be important reasons for our need for biodiversity (see my first point above) but what it "costs" is a complete irrelevance!

  • Comment number 93.

    At 11:45am on 18 Oct 2010, jamesev wrote:
    Shave 3.5 Billion off the human population

    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Plus a few billion more, and it might just work. Doubt if anyone (everyone?) would go for this tamely, though.

  • Comment number 94.

    Any sensible person should be concerned about this issue. But what is the solution? The cancerous problem is in such an advanced state that we are at a loss to do anything about it. Everything discussed about it has already become an oft repeated cliche so that it has become so hopeless and useless. In this situation, I think the only thing that can make us learn is a big jolt from mother nature herself.Of course, it can be so unimaginably dreadful.

  • Comment number 95.

    Aye, we humans are not a factor in the ecological balance of the Earth, we serve no useful purpose, how dare God created us, if that were the case!

  • Comment number 96.

    I guess we will end up with a choice between:

    a) War, famine, pestilence, Death..

    or,
    b) A quick snip when you've had two kids.....

    I vote for b)....

  • Comment number 97.

    At 3:07pm on 18 Oct 2010, david wrote:
    It took us to post 13 to complain about tax increases, post 18 to blame immigration. I went on to 20 but couldn't face cany more. Perhaps someone will tell me how soon we reach bankers and public employees.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    You forgot to mention education. And religion. Predictable, isn't it?

  • Comment number 98.

    Simple. Reduce the population of humans.....who destroy everything.

    Problem is....no one wants to do that.

  • Comment number 99.

    If the world's multinational corporations and lobbyists were willing to do what's right this would all change overnight; however, despite the teachings of mainstream religions, most multinationals make their profits on biochemical engineering and war. They've swapped their Prophets for Profit, and our economies are increasingly driven by their mainstreamed divisive, intolerant attitudes. Decreasing the human population will not change this fact, so continuing to hope that the governments these corporations own will save us all from our own stupidity is pointless. Only moral outrage and the courage to change ourselves--to do whatever it takes--will make any real and lasting difference. If we could each save the world simply by avoiding shopping malls, GMO foods, and turning off the TV and thinking for ourselves, would we do it? Or would we whine that it isn't fair and say it's just not a reasonable expectation? Instead of ridiculing the suggestion, ask yourself: if it were that simple would people do it?... I did, and I have I doubt it. People are married to denial. If a consequence isn't immediate, up-close and personal, they choose not to believe in it, regardless of the evidence at hand. We already know what the counter argument would be. We've seen it countless times right in these pages. "Why should I give up TV? I don't see anything wrong out my window". Right?

    Here is my solution: Ship all the sceptics off the an asteroid and let them live in denial together with no recourse to escape when their world becomes so toxic they have to admit it's killing them. If we're wrong, they'll be living in paradise. If they're wrong ,they won't be inflicting the consequences of their stupidity on the rest of us.

    Then maybe the people with common sense can do something to make atonement for the vicious, unconscionable destruction humanity has visited on this poor planet.

  • Comment number 100.

    I can see the "over population" argument and also believe that the only way this planet will thrive is if we cut the human population down significantly.

    Nature does seem to fix these problems on its own, eventually there be another "world war" which will take care of perhaps billions and then there is always disease. The "Spanish flu" in 1918/19 wiped out millions across the globe.

    There will be more natural disasters and more war and then some pandemic in our future and perhaps sooner than we hope for. Mother Nature will restore balance to the Earth.

    Again I worry about our efforts to eradicate viruses and diseases, are these not a part of the natural order of things too? Granted cancer and other life taking illness are terrifying to us all but do they also serve a vital purpose we have yet to discover?

    Who knows? The more we figure out the more complex the world becomes.

    Leave it to nature or some celestial even to level the playing field; we are too stupid and greedy to fix it our selves even when the writing is on the wall.

 

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