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This is interesting I thought and then I noticed

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.
“Rich western countries are now siphoning up the planet’s resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate,” said biologist Paul Ehrlich,

It’s obviously total bollocks therefore isn’t it?

“We want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones.

Cellphones don’t particularly use rare earths, can’t think of any reason at all you’d buld a road across the Serengeti to get rare earths either.

Perhaps the distinguished professor and FRS means minor metals like tantalum which are used in cell phones but is just too ignorant to know the difference.

Not that that helps me with the Serengeti reference.

48 thoughts on “This is interesting I thought and then I noticed”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    “If you value people, you want to have the maximum number you can support sustainably. You do not want almost 12 billion living unsustainably on Earth by the end of the century – with the result that civilisation will collapse and there are only a few hundred survivors.”

    B0ll0cks on stilts. What possessed the Catholics to elect a Marxist light weight as Pope? Did they want Frankie to be the last one?

    A few hundred survivors? What. The. Hell.

    We are better fed than ever before. Anything wrong with the environment is due to idiots, mostly brown idiots, and nothing to do with the West’s use of resources.

  2. One in five species on Earth now faces extinction

    Seven if you include gays and christians. If you itemise all the alphanumeric fauna, then an entire genus will get the chop.

  3. Is that the absurd Paul Ehrlich of the falsified predictions of mass starvation, or some intellectually respectable chap with the same name?

  4. A few hundred survivors in a city would be an extremely virulent plague or a chemical weapons attack. That’s for a city, not worldwide.
    Humans are strangely adaptable and able to survive major disasters.
    Even global nuclear war would leave more than a few hundred survivors.

  5. That’d be the Paul Ehrlich who predicted we’d all be starving within a decade every decade for the last 5 decades; that all marine life would be dead by 1980;that England would cease to exist by 2000. And yet his predictions are treated seriously and printed… oh, by the Grauniad, quelle surprise.

  6. Thinks: “What outlet would take that totally discredited evil old fraud Ehrlich seriously?”

    Hovers mouse over link; “Ah, the Guardian.”

    I do like Ehrlich’s main thesis though: “If the population of the world gets to 12 billion we’ll all die so lets kill everyone now to save Gaia the trouble.”

  7. Well, of course, England had pretty much ceased to exist by 2000, but thanks to Brexit and the hoped for Scottish independence, it will soon be rejuvenated. Along with its mini empire of Wales and NI.

  8. Ehrlich has been peddling his Marxian eco-freak poison for near a half-century now.

    Living proof that only the good die young.

  9. ‘That the symposia are being held at the Papal Academy is also symbolic.’

    Why, yes. It shows they aren’t serious. Traveling to Italy instead of using Skype. YOUR behavior is bad; their SAME behavior is fine.

    Plotting the downfall of freedom and liberty is hard work.

  10. He’s telling the readers what they want to read, which weirdly is disaster porn and demands for penury.

    I would say, “well, if it sells”, but then it’s the Graun so it doesn’t.

    I’ve become more optimistic since taking the time to read Tim’s Register and Forbes articles. I like that the world is getting richer. I didn’t realise how much and how quickly.

  11. Paul Ehrlich. I do feel sorry for him. His entire career has been about making predictions that end up being so wide of the mark that you wonder how he finds the optimism to get out of bed and shave.

    On the other hand, perhaps that has been the ppints all alone. Perhaps he worked out that he was a lousy scientist and figured he could have a nice career being a professional casandra.

    I wonder if one of that he perks of his career was the opportunity to shag casandra groupies?

    Perhaps that explains it all.

  12. Salamander, Cassandra’s curse was to correctly foresee the future but be ignored. So: woman, accurate foresight, ignored – apart from that, Ehrlich’s a dead ringer.

  13. Dear Mr Worstall

    Seems like the global warming scam is running out of steam. Swift resurrection of another project fear, with the usual forecasts of doom by the end of the century, thereby eliminating the chance of being called to account for being wrong. At least Mr Ehrlich has learnt to put off Armageddon until after a week next Tuesday, but something must be done now! so he gets a slice of the action.

    The Serengeti reference was probably thrown in because lot of people will have heard of it and there is ongoing controversy over a proposed new road (which the locals seem to favour). The only significant mining activity in the neighbourhood appears to be gold to the west and soda ash to the east.


  14. All good points, but who among us can honestly say they wouldn’t want to build a highway across the Serengeti, just to laugh at all the animals who can’t drive sports cars?

  15. Cynic

    “He’s telling the readers what they want to read, which weirdly is disaster porn and demands for penury.”

    Exactly. Eco-doomsterism thrives in the Graun because it confirms its fatuous readers’ vague criticisms of the status quo (y’know, something nicer and fluffier than howwid capitalism!) and gratifies them by suggesting an eco-Day of Judgement when Gaia will judge the quick and the dead, and they will be justified by a global ‘we told you so’. Also, women in particular enjoy being frightened – they are the principal consumers of horror and crime fiction, after all – so the young leftoid feminazis of the Graun will doubtless lap up Ehrlich’s scare stories, just as their now demented mothers did in the 70s.

  16. its Erlich man. I don’t know what anyone listens to that ‘biologist’ anymore – he’s been proven wrong, been forced to backtrack, so many times already.

    Especially when he keeps talking about shit that is so far out of his wheelhouse.

    He is the Richard Murphy of ecology.

    To give you an idea of how irrelevant he really is – his Wikipedia page’s bio has a picture of him from *1974*. The last time he was relevant.

  17. SMFS,

    “What possessed the Catholics to elect a Marxist light weight as Pope? Did they want Frankie to be the last one?”

    I do smirk when I see some urban aetheist retweeting the Pope. It’s like getting a geek-hating director to make a Ghostbusters movie.

  18. Can’t help thinking that following the “power of Nightmares” script means as AGW unravels and the idiocy of various green policies becomes obvious to the populous – Diesel engines, closing German nukes and replacing them with coal fired generators from Drax to burn US coal while Drax gets subsidised to put in new generators to burn US wood pellets all the while giving Europe and UK a massively higher energy cost than the US (notice which country is winning here) – that we need a new threat to have nightmares about. Step forward Russia, which now that Trump doesn’t believe in AGW fills the void. Europe must now be very afraid of Russia and all its cheap gas and commodities. It must impose even more sanctions and buy ‘protection’ from NATO by spending more on weapons from US arms manufacturers. In Asia, Japan, Australia etc must be very afraid of China and buy weapons from US arms manufacturers. Meanwhile, in the Gulf states….

  19. One in five species sounds scary if you think in terms of mammals, where there are single species of horses and humans, 200 odd artiodactyls, 250 or so monkeys etc. But since there are 400,000 described species of beetle, and the true number might be 1.5 million, that’s quite a lot of destruction required.

  20. “One in five species on Earth now faces extinction…”

    Yep. That’s called evolution by natural selection: those organisms best adapted to their environment are most successful at reproducing.

    All organism are in competition for scarce resources; those best at capturing them win.

    Humans win because ‘nobody does it better’.

    95% of all species that ever lived to date are extinct.

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “Eco-doomsterism thrives in the Graun because it confirms its fatuous readers’ vague criticisms of the status quo”

    Not just their vague criticisms. Some times they have some highly specific criticism that they would not dare voice otherwise. That there are too many non-White people in the world for instance. A common enough view on the Left but one that contradicts their other dearly held views. But if they present it as environmentalism, it does not look so bad.

    The same with abortion. Notice Erlich’s argument is that there are too many Black people in the world and it would be better to kill them now – although he seems to be keeping that to the unborn these days – because that would be merciful compared to the horrible death they will have later. Erlich would have had a great career if the other side had won WW2.

  22. It’s utter bollocks anyway, given we’ll be able to create any species we want by the end of this century. Well, any species that’s possible within the laws of genetics and physics: I’m guessing fire-breathing, flying dragons won’t actually be possible on Earth.

  23. @Cynic, February 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve become more optimistic since taking the time to read Tim’s Register and Forbes articles. I like that the world is getting richer. I didn’t realise how much and how quickly.


    Shame El Reg is becoming less informative and useful every week.

  24. Slightly off topic but;

    El Reg used to be a daily must read for me.
    Now, the right-on attitude of the writers and it’s commentards has destroyed the site.

    There was a time when the site was unique, and fearlessly outspoken, with interesting writers and a well informed and snarky community.
    So why change a winning formula?

    Lester, rest in peace.

  25. The rot set in at ElReg when Lewis Page was thrown overboard. It still has articles worth reading – e.g. anything by Andrew Orlowski – but I find I need to be much more selective.

  26. “Scientists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity concluded that: Every day, up to 150 species are lost. That could be as much as 10 percent a decade.

    But nobody knows whether such estimates are anywhere close to reality. They are based on computer modeling, & documented losses are tiny by comparison. Only about 800 extinctions have been documented in the past 400 years, according to data held by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Out of some 1.9 million recorded current or recent species on the planet, that represents less than a tenth of one percent.

    Nor is there much documented evidence of accelerating loss. In its latest update, released in June [2015], the IUCN reported ‘no new extinctions,’ although last year it reported the loss of an earwig on the island of St. Helena & a Malaysian snail. And some species once thought extinct have turned out to be still around, like the Guadalupe fur seal, which ‘died out’ a century ago, but now numbers over 20,000.

    Can we really be losing thousands of species for every loss that is documented?”

    –Fred Pearce, “Global extinction Rates: Why Do Estimates Vary So Wildly?,” Yale Environment 369, 8/17/15

  27. Why not admit the truth?
    The human race was a mistake and as was fleas. Better to bring in another comet – destroy everything and start again.

  28. ‘A world population of around a billion would have an overall pro-life effect, Ehrlich argued.’

    So the Vatican is going to assist in the demise of 7,000,000,000 people. Just like the good ol’ days. Crusade, anyone?

  29. If he got rid of humans you know all those creatures that have adapted to human habitation? They’ll be gone.
    A shih Tzu dog is lovely but adapted for the wild it is not.

  30. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Gamecock, it’s not so much Ehrlich wants to kill them as he has a horror of niggers and slopes breeding, and thinks they should be dissuaded, possibly by force He’s said so. P. J. O’Rourke said that environmentalism was the socially acceptable way for progressives to be racists.

  31. So far there have been 5 major extinctions ,and Man has not been involved in any of them for the simple reason that we did not exist. So the Earth gets hit by a ginormous asteroid tomorrow and most of us die. So what, give it a few more million years and the Earth will again be teeming with life, just not as we know it Jim. The only thing that will remove all life on Earth is whaen the Sun finally runs out of fuel.I for one am not holding my breath.

  32. Exactly. Eco-doomsterism thrives in the Graun because it confirms its fatuous readers’ vague criticisms of the status quo

    It also thrives because the middle-class readers of the Guardian loathe the prosperity that Capitalism brings to the working classes, who they see as their inferiors. It drives them mad to see plumbers and electricians making more money than they do.

    This seething rage gets distilled into something akin to “anti-consumerism” and eco-doomism.

  33. El Reg used to be a daily must read for me.
    Now, the right-on attitude of the writers and it’s commentards has destroyed the site.

    Ditto. I took the register out of my feed reader about 6 months ago.

  34. Pingback: There’s a Paul Krugman line about Bangladesh | Tim Worstall

  35. “…he has a horror of niggers and slopes breeding,…”

    So should we all, up to a point. Filling Africa to bursting point with people possessing an average IQ of 85 — not to mention poor impulse control and a predisposition to aggression and savagery — isn’t likely to make that continent or the world a better place.

  36. So, they’re claiming that an ice shelf breaking off (i.e. floating ice) will cause massive sea-level rise.

    To be fair they’re saying that the glacier will accelerate rapidly with less ice shelf holding it back, ultimately ending in the sea I presume, so it doesn’t contradict Archimedes.

  37. @Rob

    Very well put. I’m a sample of one, but it fits with my experience as one of the folks that’s caught up with them.

    I’m friends with quite a few, but it takes patience sometimes.

  38. Yep, it’s sad what happened to El Reg. Used to be a good place for different viewpoints in the articles, which was needed (some of the responses to Tim’s “No Thatcher didn’t kill manufacturing” article were amusingly ignorant).

    I don’t bother much now. I’m bored of Brexit whingeing and the Trump stuff is so bloody repetitive (in the media generally).

  39. @BiCR

    “it’s not so much Ehrlich wants to kill them as he has a horror of niggers and slopes breeding”

    Could be. But I rather think that if the Catholics don’t go for being the only billion people on earth, Ehrlich is going to shop the idea with the Muslims. Or the Chinese. Or the Indians. Or the Soviets. I could be wrong, but I think he values the planet (sic) more than people, or a specific people.

    The Left embraces Muslims, who are sworn to kill them, because the Muslims want One World Government, and don’t mind killing everyone else – Ehrlich’s prescription.

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