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ePub Poison Darts: Protecting the Biodiversity of Our World download

by Russell Finley

ePub Poison Darts: Protecting the Biodiversity of Our World download
Russell Finley
Emerald City Resources LLC (June 1, 2004)
United States
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Halting our growth at something like . billion instead of . would prove critical to preventing the extinction of many thousands of species. Russ Finley, Author of "Poison Darts-Protecting the biodiversity of our world. Скачать (pdf, . 7 Mb) Читать. Epub FB2 mobi txt RTF. This falling fertility rate reinforces all of our hopes that when our growth finally does stop-as the laws of physics say it must-it will be the result of low birth rates instead of high death rates. At that point, the struggle to slow our growth will be won and will then be replaced by the struggle to allow our numbers to decline.

So protecting biodiversity is not about saving charismatic species for the sake of curiosity and science, but it is crucial for life on earth. Loss of biodiversity increases poverty. Eventually we will all suffer from continued loss of biodiversity and eroding ecosystems, but the poor will suffer first. Globally, more than one billion people living in poverty rely directly on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems to meet their basic needs, such as for fuel for cooking and for obtaining their daily food.

The golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis) is the most deadly of all dart frogs. The golden poison frog holds an endangered status on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatene Species. While deadly, their species is infamously extraordinary. They are deeply embed within indigenous culture and serve as an avocate for conservation efforts that aid in protecting theses natives’ homes while preventing further destruction of our precious rainforests. Photo by dr. jason brown.

A World Worth Protecting is a Fantasy novels, some original, some translated from Chinese. Come join us for a relaxing read that will take you to brave new worlds! A paradise for readers!

A World Worth Protecting is a Fantasy novels, some original, some translated from Chinese. Themes of heroism, of valor, of ascending to Immortality, of combat, of magic, of Eastern mythology and legends. Updated with awesome new content daily. Come join us for a relaxing read that will take you to brave new worlds! A paradise for readers!

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The first half of this book contains a not so serious adventure story involving a group of off-center intellectuals and their efforts to acquire and protect. Poison Darts : Protecting the Biodiversity of our World.

Poison dart frogs are one of the planet’s most brightly colored animals. See the positive change our work is making around the world. The Dendrobatidae family of frogs includes some of the world’s most toxic species. Depending on the species, they can be yellow, copper, gold, red, blue, green, black or a combination of those colors. Their showy colors and startling designs help warn predators of the danger they impose-a defense mechanism known as aposematic coloration. The golden poison dart frog, for example, contains enough poison to kill 10 adult men.

The first half of this book contains a not so serious adventure story involving a group of off-center intellectuals and their efforts to acquire and protect tropical hot spots around the globe. Although fictional, the tale serves as a matrix in which real sets of solutions have been embedded. This is followed by a collection of nonfiction essays discussing nature, human nature, evolutionary biology, and the synthesis between them that has put in motion the sixth great extinction event in the history of our planet.
  • This is a two-volume book about a hypothetical contraceptive, the "Take It and Forget It Contraceptive" (TIFIC) which Russ Finley believes is just what the world needs in order to stem its population and prevent the loss of biodiversity.

    Here's how a hypothetical TIFIC might work: a vaccine is made that "creates antibodies that deactivate sperm cells by interfering" with "the operation of their little tails." (Vol. I, p. 20) This works for both men and women. Fertility would be restored by having both prospective parents take a daily antidote pill until conception is achieved. Finley's idea is that nearly everybody would want to have the vaccination so that they wouldn't have to worry about unwanted pregnancies--the "take it and forget it" aspect.

    In Volume I Finley writes a novel in which a rain forest frog and its tadpole supply the contraceptive and its antidote. The problem with the novel is that it lacks tension and is rather flat emotionally. The characters and the story are primarily vehicles for the dissemination of Finley's ideas. However, Volume Two, which is a collection of Finley's writings on overpopulation and allied concerns, contains some of the best writing on this subject that I have ever read.

    Finley's main point, and one that few in the environmental debate seem to get, is that we are NOT going to save the biodiversity of the planet by good intentions or any combination thereof, simply because human nature is such that we will always look out for our own welfare first while the welfare of other beings, especially if they are distant, will be of secondary importance. I once asked a student of mine who wanted to have half a dozen children, if she would be willing to forgo having one of them to save the tigers. She said no.

    At least she was honest. Most people would not even give up the convenience of their SUV for the tigers (if such a thing were possible). Indeed, another one of Finley's points is that "There is no mechanism to shift resources" from those who have them in the US to those in, say, Africa, who do not. He believes that the profit motive and status-seeking behaviors of humans override "most ideologies that do not have those drives as part of them." (Vol II, p. 16)

    Note well that Finley wants our population to stop growing immediately because the more people there are, the more they will expand and bring about the extinction of other forms of life. Indeed, Finley believes we already have too many people on this planet. I agree with him and his assertion that both Malthus and Paul Ehrlich will ultimately be proven right, and that sophists like the late Julian Simon will be proven wrong.

    Here are some examples of Finley's insight and his considerable expertise (page numbers are from Volume II):

    "...[O]verpopulation has always been a local problem...When the people of Easter Island were starving to death, the planet was far from overpopulated. The archaeological record is rife with example of populations that have crashed because of overpopulation..." (p. 24)

    "I prefer a definition that says you have overpopulation whenever you have people living at the subsistence level. If you assume that people who live on less than $2 a day are at the subsistence level, then roughly half of the people in the world are living in overpopulated boundaries." (p. 53)

    "Once a Chinese peasant can afford a scooter, he will obtain one, and when he can afford an SUV, he will obtain one of those too. The instinctive urge to continuously seek higher status does not satiate itself." (p. 56)

    "The economic systems available to us fall into a spectrum. At one end, you will find unbridled capitalism and the use of slaves...As you move toward the middle, you will find regulated free markets. This is capitalism with rules in place to limit how badly people with power can abuse those who are making them rich." (p. 76)

    "Attempts to reduce CO2 levels are treating the symptoms of what ails our planet, not the cause. The cause is overpopulation--the needs, and the desires of billions of people...Giving aspirin to reduce the discomfort of a fever--global warming--is not as effective as prescribing an antibiotic--the TIFIC--that would reduce the number of agents that caused the fever--us." (p. 92)

    "...[T]he people in China and India have an average ecological footprint that is many times lower than yours or mine...[Yet] China's and India's destroyed ecosystems are the perfect experiments showing that lowering one's ecological footprint all the way down to that of a rice eating peasant will not save the planet." (pp. 113-114)

    Finally, let me quote from the Prologue to Volume I: "...[How] do you allow people to satiate their status-seeking urges (which are closely related to sexual urges) without allowing them to advertise their prowess with trophies--books, published papers, houses, remodels, or cars? The answer is revealing--you can't. Tell people that they must stop having sex and seeking status is no different than telling them that they must stop walking upright. You couldn't call yourself a normal healthy human if you stopped doing all of those things. You cannot change human nature." (p. iv)

    This work would be more effective if Finley would publish the second volume (with the prologue to Volume I) separately. It would also help if he would hire a professional editor. His writing is incisive and persuasive, and what he says needs to be heard. His refutation of Julian Simon was especially instructive. His metaphor that frogs are the canaries in the coal mine that is our planet (and that frogs can save us) is well taken and alarming. Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a frog?

  • For those of you who haven't read Bjorn Lomborg's writings, the title of my review is a (sarcastic) play on the Danish statistician's controversial book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," a title which really should be renamed, "The Lies of a Former Environmentalist Gone Over to the Dark Side." In contrast to Lomborg's Panglossian view that the state of the Earth's biodiversity (and everything else, for that matter) is wonderful and getting better all the time (his statistics "prove" it!), Russ Finley starts right away from the obvious premise that Lomborg is terribly wrong, and that, unfortunately, the Earth's ecosystems are dying fast.

    Unlike many other environmentalists, Finley doesn't waste his time -- or the reader's -- dreaming of a world in which human nature miraculously changes, turning everyone into nature-loving, tree-hugging, bike-riding, commune-living, hemp-wearing, granola-eating, self-sacrificing angels. Instead, Finley simply accepts human nature, warts and all, as a given and proceeds from there with his thoughts on "attacking the problem [of massive biodiversity loss and environmental devastation] by channeling human desires."

    Finley's refreshing, clear-eyed view of human nature allows him -- unlike many other environmentalists -- to get right to the heart of the matter: there are far, FAR too many humans on the planet, and as long as that's the case biodiversity is doomed. The only question, then, is what to do about this situation. Edward O. Wilson, one of the world's greatest living scientists author of twenty books (including The Future of Life, The Ants, On Human Nature, Sociobiology, and Consilience), winner of two Pulitzer prizes plus dozens of science prizes, and a man known as "the father of biodiversity," has stated that we currently find ourselves in a "bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption." Wilson further believes that we are in a race between "technoscientific forces that are destroying the living environment" and "those that can be harnessed to save it." Essentially, that's where Russ Finley takes the baton and runs with it.

    So, what does Finley suggest? First, and most importantly, that we develop and distribute a "take it and forget it" contraceptive ("TIFIC") as soon as possible, in order to reset the default human reproductive setting to "off" (don't worry, it can be turned back on again with another pill), thereby slashing unplanned pregnancies to a bare minimum and reversing human population growth before it's too late. Second, and nearly as importantly, Finley suggests that we forcefully and creatively defend the remaining islands of biodiversity for as long as it takes until absolute human population levels decline substantially (perhaps to 1-2 billion?). Third, Finley argues that we should harness human nature -- competitiveness, greed, acquisitiveness, status-seeking, sexual desire, religious belief, technological prowess, whatever it takes -- in SERVICE of the biodiversity protection effort, not at ODDS with it. This, in and of itself, is a strikingly different, far more powerful and effective approach than most environmentalists have employed in the past. Unlike most of those other approaches, Finley's ideas actually have a chance of working, albeit just in the nick of time to save the bulk of the world from a final, great mass extinction, possibly taking humanity down with it in the process.

    As a book, "Poison Darts" is organized into two main volumes, the first being a rollicking, enjoyable, swashbuckling adventure story about a fictional "think tank" (of brilliant oddballs and other assorted characters) which sets about to save -- and goes a long way towards doing so -- the planet's biodiversity. Volume 2 is a series of thought-provoking essays on overpopulation, human nature, and "Environmentalism - American Style." Finley is clearly an engineer in the best sense of the word, with his rigorous, logical mind taking apart the system, diagnosing exactly what the problem with it is, and figuring out a solution - or at least a temporary patch.

    Fortunately, and unlike many engineers, Finley doesn't just throw facts, figures, and techie solutions at the reader. Instead, Finley's brings to the table a good deal of writing ability (although a more rigorous professional editing job would be helpful to work out a few kinks), with an excellent feel for politics, science, economics, and human psychology/society. In addition, Finley turns out to be a fine storyteller; I read the fictional Volume I in just a few hours and could hardly put it down.

    Like the rest of the book, Volume II is refreshing, honest, reasonable, even courageous in its willingness to tell it like it is and to take on powerful forces of intolerance and ignorance, including certain well-known religious movements and institutions. Finley explains his ideas clearly, in a straightforward, passionate, at-times humorous manner ((sly references to Frank Herbet's "Dune," for instance), and has an outstanding ability to boil complex topics down in a way that is helpful but never patronizing. This is a very useful combination of abilities - deep technical/scientific knowledge plus strong communications skills -- that few authors possess.

    All in all, I would say that "Poison Darts" is an enjoyable, edifying, important book that should be read by everyone who cares about "protecting the biodiversity of our world." I strongly recommend it, and look forward to joining the (fictional) "Ecosystem Protection International" organization sometime soon!