No 2304 Posted by fw, June 17, 2018
To access links to all other posts in this series, click on the Tab titled “Where Are We Going? by Dr. Nate Hagens” in the top left margin.
“France (and other countries) has lost 1/3 of its bird population in the last 15 years across the board due to fewer insects (presumably due to pesticides), sea creatures 10km deep are found to have more toxic chemical concentration than in polluted Chinese rivers, we have lost 50% of animal populations since the 1970s. Human sperm count in the developed world has dropped [almost] 50% in past generation. The ocean has lost 2% of its oxygen in the last 50 years.” — Resilience.org
In yesterday’s post, Pt. 20, continuum 19, Dr Hagens contended that human civilization has neglected our fellow animals of Earth’s wildlife community. Quite simply, we don’t see the impact our species’ rapid, explosive, expansion has had, and continues to have on these creatures.
In today’s post, Pt. 21, continuum 20, Hagens ended his preceding post with a lead-in to this, continuum 20, his last piece in The Environment category — Not only have we failed to see the harm we’ve done to Earth’s wildlife animals, we remain oblivious to the worrying, unseen, micro-level impacts of our ongoing industrial enterprise.
Below is the embedded video of Hagens’ 60-minute address, followed by an 18-minute Q&A session. My transcript of Pt. 21, continuum 20, runs from 31:10 to 32:11.
Alternatively, a video of Hagens’ talk, along with a “loosely related” essay on the talk, are available by clicking on the following linked title. This version, published by Resilience.org, also includes excellent readers’ comments, including responses by Hagens.
TRANSCRIPT (from 31:10 to 32:11)
[THE ENVIRONMENT] –
31:10 — [Continuum 19: Seen vs Unseen] – A lot of the environmental stories we hear about are things that can be seen. We can measure the fact that we’ve lost 50% of our animals since 1970.
31:24 – But there’s a lot of things that are unseen. France has lost a third of its bird population in the last 30 years. Germany’s nature reserves have lost 75% of their insects. If you look in the Marianas Trench in the bottom of the ocean, five miles below the surface, the shrimps and organisms down there have 50 times the Mercury and other toxins than in a polluted Chinese river. Human sperm count in the industrialized world is down 50% since 1970.
32:02 – There are all these micro-level impacts, which we can’t see with the naked eye, but they’re ongoing because of this industrial enterprise.
[Resilience.org Supplement] — Seen vs Unseen – Many of the ‘externalities’ of human commerce we can only read about. Today looks very similar to yesterday. Yet: E.g. France (and other countries) has lost 1/3 of its bird population in the last 15 years across the board due to fewer insects (presumably due to pesticides), sea creatures 10km deep are found to have more toxic chemical concentration than in polluted Chinese rivers, we have lost 50% of animal populations since the 1970s etc. Human sperm count in the developed world has dropped ~50% in past generation. The ocean has lost 2% of its oxygen in the last 50 years, etc. We focus (naturally) on the seen – but the unseen currently tells a worrying story.
About Dr. Nathan John Hagens – Hagens, 51, worked on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers for 10 years before closing his own hedge fund in 2003 to develop a systems synthesis approach to the human predicament. At present, Dr. Hagens is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar called Reality 101, A Survey of Human Predicament. The readings and lectures cover literature in systems ecology, energy and natural resources, thermodynamics, history, anthropology, human behavior, neuroscience, environmental science, sociology, economics, globalization/trade, and finance/debt with an overarching goal to give students a general understanding of how our human ecosystem functions as a whole.
Visit Nate Hagens’ personal website at The Monkey Trap.
FAIR USE NOTICE – For details click here