The all things Natural HIstory thread Page 3

  • JuanKerr 17 Oct 2014 13:05:28 37,710 posts
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    Over-population is without doubt the main problem, a problem which is most apparent in the developing world.

    However, the greed and material obsession of western world is pretty high up the list of issues too - we're all to blame. We all throw money at stuff which we don't need, stuff which has a short shelf life and gets replaced with no thought to the consequences; we throw away 30% of the food we buy; we eat far too much meat & fish, again not thinking about the knock on effects this has on ecosystems, etc.

    A global catastrophe that affects everyone is the only thing that will make people change their attitudes. Warning people of climate change, destruction of habitats & species sadly isn't enough to shake people up.

    Edited by JuanKerr at 13:05:54 17-10-2014
  • JoelStinty 17 Oct 2014 13:13:50 7,839 posts
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    It's difficult to implement measures without people whining that politicians are infringing on their liberties. I'm not saying people don't care, I think people actually do, but not when it personally effects them or the issue is not that high on their own agendas.

    I think there are ways you can naturally introduce measures without the general population really knowing about it. Sounds kinda wrong putting it like that.

    I think there is scope to reuse many abandoned or disused land for rehousing or even having small solar farms that supply electricity to a certain amount of homes. I think it is pretty feasible to make villages and small towns pretty self sustainable.
  • Deleted user 17 October 2014 13:15:18
    The cover article in this week's New Scientist is about the world without fossil fuels and whether civilisation could have been built any other way. Modern humans certainly managed without them although I'm sure life for early humans was far harder than today (although probably no less pleasurable/satisfying).
  • MrFlay 17 Oct 2014 13:44:03 3,894 posts
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    @Deckard1

    Also Soylent Green I assume? What else would you do with them after rounding them up?
  • MrFlay 17 Oct 2014 13:47:30 3,894 posts
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    There are only so many carnivores in existence so there would still be a lot of protein left over. Too many fat people, not enough lions, wolves or bears.

    Edited by MrFlay at 13:47:41 17-10-2014
  • JuanKerr 17 Oct 2014 14:02:28 37,710 posts
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    Deckard1 wrote:
    It's fat people that are the problem really. They take up more space, eat more, produce more methane, contribute less to society. Round up the fatties and all the worlds problems would be over.
    How about incinerating them to produce energy? All that fat would burn a treat.
  • MrFlay 17 Oct 2014 14:07:27 3,894 posts
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    You'd need one hell of a PR campaign to get people (especially fat people) on board. Or a facist/totalitarian government.

    Edited by MrFlay at 14:17:50 17-10-2014
  • JoelStinty 17 Oct 2014 14:16:19 7,839 posts
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    It's true though. It happens in wall- e
  • Deleted user 17 October 2014 14:31:18
    Apparently people are consuming fewer calories than in the past but the problem is that we're far less active. Anyone remember arguing in the past about who was going to get up to change the tv channel? I blame it all on remotes (and cheap, unhealthy foods and a too cosy relationship between food producers and government). We really have gotten things that ought to be simple, so wrong.
  • MrFlay 17 Oct 2014 14:52:40 3,894 posts
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    Most of us have jobs which require little if any physical exertion but we inevitably feel tired or bored from the mental work involved so we unwind from our sedentary jobs with sedentary leisure activities like TV, gaming and reading.
  • JoelStinty 22 Oct 2014 18:24:19 7,839 posts
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    White rhino on verge of extinction http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/death-of-white-rhino-leaves-just-six-of-endangered-animals-left-in-the-world-9804463.html?origin=internalSearch

    Only one known male breeder left, and he a bit old and knackered
  • imamazed 22 Oct 2014 18:24:55 6,393 posts
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    Turkey baster time?
  • Deleted user 22 October 2014 19:55:16
    Looks totally doomed . Even if there were more of them I doubt there'd be enough variability in the gene pool to ensure survival. Panda is probably going the same way. We should probably let some of these species go and concentrate on ones that can actually be saved and have some kind of important role in the environment.
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 07:08:52
    Life Story started last night. Fell asleep before it started so I'll catch it up tonight. Wildlife observation of the day: now at the train station and just saw a blackbird hopping around a dead treestump surrounded by hundreds of small mushrooms. The mushrooms weren't there yesterday.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 08:30:05 37,710 posts
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    Great-Googly-Moogly wrote:
    White rhino on verge of extinction http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/death-of-white-rhino-leaves-just-six-of-endangered-animals-left-in-the-world-9804463.html?origin=internalSearch

    Only one known male breeder left, and he a bit old and knackered
    News like that really depresses me.

    “Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race."

    Sums it up perfectly.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 08:34:56 37,710 posts
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    I can't watch things like that :(
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 08:38:54 37,710 posts
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    If anyone wants to see an amazing natural spectacle here in the UK, now is the right time to hunt down a Starling mumuration. I saw a few last year and they really are incredible.
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 08:49:30
    A huge flock of starlings live in some trees near my house. They sometimes come to the bird feeder and strip it bare within minutes. The poor house sparrows don't get a look in. Apparently starlings are good at outcompeting other birds due to their 'muscular' build.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 08:56:23 37,710 posts
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    Count yourself lucky - Starlings are on the red list as their numbers have plummeted.
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 09:17:29
    I didn't know that. The only birds I've ever seen in my garden are: wood pigeon, magpie, house sparrow, blackbird, robin, starling, blue tit (rarely) and a goldfinch (once). I think there was also a juvenile thrush but it was hard to identify. I guess that my garden doesn't offer the kind of habitat that many birds prefer.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 09:48:10 37,710 posts
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    We've got shitloads in our garden, mainly because we've done a lot to encourage birds & wildlife. We usually get: Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Wren, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Blackbird and Nuthatch. Also occasionally hear/see Goldcrest, Redwing, Song Thrush, Treecreeper, Siskin, and Brambling, depending on the time of year of course :)

    Edited by JuanKerr at 09:48:42 24-10-2014
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 09:56:50
    Nice. I'm planning to add in more shrubs and hedging to make it a bit more wildlife friendly. I would like to put in a small pond but my wife hates frogs and any kind of bug/insect. Plus there are loads of cats in neighbouring houses, so they probably kill a fair amount of birds.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 10:04:45 37,710 posts
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    Yeah, plenty of shrubs and hedging is a good start. If you have any ivy growing, leave that alone as it is great for wildlife. Also try to leave a 'wild' area if you can.

    We put in a small pond last year and we had 6 frogs in it a one point in the Summer! The birds like drinking out of it too. Tell your wife to get over it - amphibians really need our help at the moment :)

    I know what you mean about cats, fucking vermin. I've actually got one, but he's too old to be bothered about hunting anything. There's a few in the area, but I spray them with water & chase them away when I see them. They ain't getting any of my birds.
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 10:15:00
    The back garden was 100% grass, with no other plants of any description, when we moved into the house. Since then I have installed some raised beds for veg and flowers, planted some blueberry bushes and tried to start a flower border (although that hasn't been too successful). I put some ferns in a shady corner and tend to leave that fairly scruffy. I don't get rid of weeds/wildflowers as I like identifying them and learning about them. I've also recently installed a bird table and planted various bee friendly spring bulbs which should help bees coming out of hibernation in spring. It's a modest beginning to what will hopefully one day be a very nice garden. As I started from a blank canvas of only grass it has been hard to visualise.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 10:23:50 37,710 posts
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    Nicely done - more people should take that approach. I can't stand gardens which are just a lawn and nothing else - just looks sterile.

    We're quite lucky as our garden was pretty mature when we moved here. Quite a few mature trees and a couple of great hedges which always attract nesting birds. Like you, we've planted plenty of insect friendly plants and things like that as well.

    Only annoying thing is a big lelandi hedge at the front, which we're not keen on. Provides a bit of privacy, but the bloody thing needs pruning every year; sucks all the moisture out of the ground; and is pretty useless for wildlife.

    Edited by JuanKerr at 10:24:50 24-10-2014
  • Deleted user 24 October 2014 10:33:15
    Thanks for the tip about ivy. I reckon I can cover a strip of north facing fence with it. There's a really long fence down one side of the house and I hope to plant hedge there, partly for wildlife but also because it'll cost a fortune to replace when it eventually needs replaced.
  • JuanKerr 24 Oct 2014 10:39:27 37,710 posts
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    No problem. Here's a good article about its benefits.
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