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The tiger holds its breath
October 19, 2010 2:56 AM   Subscribe

Representatives of more than 190 countries will try over the next two weeks to save some of the world’s most delicate and diverse species and ecosystems threatened by pollution, exploitation and habitat encroachment. If they are to succeed, they must safely navigate the minefield separating rich and poor nations that has so far defeated initiatives on climate change. The UN will try to convince nations that it is in their financial interest to do so, but time is running out. One in five plants, one in five mammals, one in seven birds and one in three amphibians are now globally threatened with extinction — including the tiger, whose global population now stands at an estimated 3,200. Next month’s Global Tiger Summit in St Petersburg could be the last chance for the tiger. The World Wildlife Fund wants you to help.
posted by londonmark (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
As usual, one of the main stumbling blocks is the USA which has yet to ratify the decision.
posted by sotonohito at 4:25 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here is the self-described "World Wide Web's Most Comprehensive Source
of Information on the Current Mass Extinction".

Tell me you're not depressed.
posted by wilful at 4:45 AM on October 19, 2010


Sure there's a current mass extinction, but I am not convinced it's anthropogenic.
posted by brokkr at 4:46 AM on October 19, 2010


'scuse me?
posted by wilful at 4:48 AM on October 19, 2010


Sure there's a current mass extinction, but I am not convinced it's anthropogenic.

Current 'pressures' on biodiversity include:
• Pollution
• Loss of habitat
• Poaching/hunting
• Over-fishing
• Climate change

Only one of those is even questionably not anthropogenic while many, many threats can be attributed directly to the other four.
posted by londonmark at 5:57 AM on October 19, 2010


Oh, sorry. Thought this was the climate change thread.
posted by brokkr at 6:10 AM on October 19, 2010


tiger poachers are delicious and nutritious. pass it on...
posted by Redhush at 6:15 AM on October 19, 2010


Sure it's anthropogenic, but I'm not convinced that's man's doing.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:45 AM on October 19, 2010


Frankly, after what happened with the tuna I'm extremely pessimistic that any of this will make a bit of difference. If we're so short-sighted that we can't even act to preserve a species that we use directly, there's little hope for species that are only useful indirectly in terms of their role in the ecosystem.
posted by jedicus at 7:55 AM on October 19, 2010


Sure there's a current mass extinction, but I am not convinced it's anthropogenic.

Show us the birth certificate?
posted by clarknova at 8:02 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I signed the petition and tweeted.

If we're so short-sighted that we can't even act to preserve a species that we use directly, there's little hope for species that are only useful indirectly in terms of their role in the ecosystem.

Never underestimate the power of cuteness. Right or wrong, tigers are more aesthetically pleasing than tuna, and people are more likely to rally around a sexy or cute or otherwise attractive mascot.
posted by misha at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2010


Sure there's a current mass extinction, but I am not convinced it's anthropogenic.

See, every so often, nature's natural cycles fill a river with aluminium processing toxins, or the bottom of a gulf with crude oil, or massive radioactive water from uranium development. It's really all part of the big cycle, like the way McDonald's wrappers will grow from your lawn without proper weeding and Roundup spraying.
posted by yeloson at 8:52 AM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wonder if we'll see cloned fish stocks with DNA engineered to withstand higher levels of pollution and heat repopulate the oceans in the future.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:54 AM on October 19, 2010


Lost tiger population discovered in Bhutan mountains
posted by homunculus at 9:36 AM on October 19, 2010


I wonder if we'll see cloned fish stocks with DNA engineered to withstand higher levels of pollution and heat repopulate the oceans in the future.

The hard part will be the acidification and oxygen depletion in the ocean. I think we'll probably just see more jellyfish dishes being marketed.

My guess is that in 5 years we'll see a "health craze" as scientists suddenly discover all the things that jellyfish are good for and it'll flood the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's markets and before you know it, you'll have breaded jellyfish, jellyfish nuggets, all-organic-jellyfish, and jellyfish flakes to put in your protein drinks.
posted by yeloson at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Peanut butter & jellyfish
posted by shakespeherian at 10:30 AM on October 19, 2010


The thing that really really shits me, that I find abhorrent, disturbing, disgusting, is the complete and utter disinterest from most people about biodiversity loss. 99 percent of people couldn't give a rats clacker about this issue. I'm not saying that everybody has to devote their lives to the matter, or that it should be on the front pages every single day (well, maybe it should), but the lack of recognition of this issue says something shit about humans.

I mean, even the hip, turned on, intelligent and educated mefites here are up to something like 200 comments regarding whether some brainless wannabe politician knows her constitution, yet we get less than a tenth the comments on an issue that is so much more fundamental to life on earth.

Gah, I'm just venting I guess.
posted by wilful at 6:09 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's what the world is choosing to do in the treaty.

[Nothing]

posted by wilful at 3:38 AM on October 20, 2010


The Guardian is running a campaign, Biodiversity 100, to presses governments to declare at Nagoya that they will adopt specific targets for biodiversity.
posted by wilful at 4:42 AM on October 20, 2010


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