So it has come down to this? I sure hope not, but since we seem completely unable to get up off our asses and save this planet, many would tell you, there is simply no choice than to triage which species get to live (for now) and which species get thrown into the dust bin.
I hate it and I won't endorse it.
What can I tell you. I have no answers. In the end, we are on our way to join those who don't get picked anyway. Trouble is we are still here and will be here for a while and will continue to destroy everything in our path for profit. Isn't that what it comes down to, after all? Some people, some capitalists have to make more money, have to accumulate more capital. Hell, you can't have capital without capitalist accumulation and we seem incapable or unwilling to really get rid of it, so we are just signing death warrants.
That is what we are doing.
Anyway, there was an article in Scientific Americans this month about this, but I can't find a way to download the whole thing and post it, so I am posting another article which seems to me to be a simplified version of the SA article, and a slide show from Scientific American related to their article.
I am not going to comment on the contents of either. Just presenting them here as a horrible example of where we are.
The first article below comes from Discovery News. The second post is from Scientific American.
WHICH SPECIES MUST DIE?
Looks like you’re on your own, rockhopper penguins. If you can’t wing it in this world alone, we’ll just have to say adieu. The costly, long-shot measures needed to protect you are more than most cash-strapped conservation organizations can justify.
- The Chinese river dolphins lose out in so-called function-first approaches, which favor threatened species with a unique role in nature.
- Another strategy, which Nijhuis dubs “evolution first,” seeks to preserve genetic diversity, which can help all species to survive in fast-changing environments. Two-humped Bactrian camels and long-beaked echidnas are winners in this game. Gunnison sage grouses are losers; they are too closely related to other grouse species.
- The third approach, hotspots, focuses on saving whole ecosystems. It combines elements of the other two, but it still has winners and losers. (So sorry, mangrove forests).
"Conservationists who are pushing for explicit triage say they are bringing more systematic thinking and transparency to practices that have been carried out implicitly for a long time. 'The way we’re doing it right now in the United States is the worst of all possible choices,' says Tim Male, a vice president at Defenders of Wildlife. 'It essentially reflects completely ad hoc prioritization.' Politically controversial species attract more funding, he says, as do species in heavily studied places: 'We live in a world of unconscious triage.'"
Okay, okay. We get it. But for many people, triage still feels like abandonment.
Nijhuis captures that spirit, be it idealistic or comforting, in her final declaration: