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Snappy

Norway's Cod overfishing problem

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Interesting link. However I am still sceptical that we shall find the answer to our problems by screwing even more with the genes, or adding more chemicals, or whatever. Especially when the solution is so simple, cheap and healthy. Just go back to basics: eat what nature provides, the way nature provides it.

 

In Norway we have increased our meat consumption by 40 percent since only 1990 (I haven't found the stats for fish..) . I doubt our quality of life would sink dramatically if we were to go back to 1990 meat consumption. We were enjoying ourselves and our food back then too. But the world would be a slightly better place if we cut back. And it would be easier to ask the Chinese etc to do their bit.

 

Incidentally, the conclusion of a recent 400+ page report from the UN , called «Livestock’s long shadow» is along those same lines: we need to lessen our consumption of meat.

 

Now, if only we could have 'em bloody yanks :rolleyes: cut back too, the world would stand a much better chance.

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Fascinating! We are now in the 21st century and yet, despite science and education, we are still clearly tribalistic, beieve that unsustainable growth is a goal which can be everlastingly pursued and that the problems due to overpopulation can be dealt with by science. I'm sorry to be cynical but unless we do overcome tribalism (or nationalism or whatever word you wish to use to label it), do realise that at some point ever continuing growth will become IMPOSSIBLE (due to living on a finite planet if nothing else), and finally actually do deal with overpopulation, we will discover that the results of our hedonistic, unthinking journey into the future will finally impinge on our lifestyles in a VERY BIG WAY. Right, rant over!

 

Little though it may seem, as I've said before, documenting the undersea world and its wonders and problems is one way in which we, as underwater photographers, can help to change opinions and finally, maybe, to instigate actions which may help avert future problems. I think that there is a need for campaigners, scientists, and many other people to be involved in changing attitudes - whilst some may see certain tactics as counter-productive, we need a whole gamut of techniques to be employed so that debate is at least created - this forum shows that pretty clearly.

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I agree that indefinite growth is unsustainable unless some of us eventually blast off to another planet. But without some major social changes, predominantly in developing countries which are growing at much faster rates than Europe in particular, and also the US, some growth is necessary to sustain the population. These social changes would include birth control of course, but they would also include older people voluntarily checking out so they do not place unsustainable burdens on the younger population etc.

As I mentioned in my response to Snappy, science and technology solve as well as create problems. Antibiotics is a perfect example; we have many more resistant strains of bacteria than we ever did, yet would any of you forego antibiotics if you had a severe infection? I think not.

Think about it; if we just let starving people die, we would put less strain on the world's resources. Yet socially and morally this is unacceptable, therefore we should try to feed them. The US supplies more grain etc to starving people around the world only because science and technology has increased yields way beyond where they used to be with strict organic farming methods.

I think the most important thing is that emotion is not used as a substitute for scientific and logical thinking on either side of the right or left spectrum. Much of the European denial of genetically altered food is emotional not scientific; on the other side of the spectrum here in the US we have to deal with the emotional denial of the theory of evolution. Science may not be perfect but it's the best option we have to deal with our problems, and to ensure that more and more of the world's disenfranchised and poor people can enjoy standards of living more like ours.

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As much as science has given us, these days i think it is mainly a tool for making rich people richer and big companies bigger.

 

It is technical/scientific "progress" that has enabled some of us (the WMDs) to consume far more than our fair share of the planets resources. And, to get us back into cod waters, enabled man to empty the seas far quicker than fish can reproduce.

 

I don't think it is fair to expect people in other parts of the world to accept lower living standard than we expect for ourselves. Who are we to deny them the same aspirations as we have for our life? What have you or I done to deserve being born in the "developed" world? Nothing of course, so why do we deserve to have SUVs, aircon, flat screen TVs etc etc, any more than they?

 

The conclusion of this rethorical rant is of course that we can't expect people around the world to abstain from the pleasures of "progress" unless we are willing to make the same sacrifises ourselves.

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Snappy,

Great point. One major concern is that the first world powers that have the standard of living, should be setting the example of how to behave. Unfortunately, these developed nations are emptying the oceans at a disaterous pace. So, sadly there aren't even many good examples of how to behave when a nation wants to "grow up".

Shawn

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