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Birding/Twitching and Global warming

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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 14:38   #26
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You are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Farmers plant whichever crop makes them the most profit, not on some vague notion of "need" . If it is rapeseed or sunflowers, that is what they will plant. If you actually believe that the palm oil plague in the tropics is a positive thing because of its high yield, then you have absolutely no clue. Palm oil is literally driving a mass extinction crisis in SE Asia. Together with the cage bird trade, they are a far greater immediate extinction crisis than climate change.
Nope. If farmers in UK plant more oilseed on existing arable land, they'll grow less wheat etc., and that means either (a) ploughing up nature reserves in UK to plant wheat, or (b) importing it, thus ploughing up hitherto protected natural remmnants elsewhere. I did you will note say palm oil needs to be certified sustainable: I am not excusing the habitat destruction in SE Asia. Yes, I'd agree, enforcement of sutainability regulations do need serious action.
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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 18:41   #27
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Yes. I bird more locally and have almost given up long distance twitching - although I would have no problem with four in the car it's often one in the car by the time us weekend people can go. I am tempted by the nighthawk but the only one I could face going is by plane and I'm not sure my conscience will allow that. My mileage in ten months was about 3000 which I guess is less than most birders. But I'm not going to preach as my carbon footprint is still huge due to foreign trips.

The foreign wildlife watching thing is complicated: I'm off to see gorillas next year which are probably only still there due to foreign tourist. Ecotourism does offset to some extent but I am still full of guilt. Will I give up? Probably not as I would shrivel up and wither without it but I will continue to try to reduce my impact in other ways - although there are times when I swear I will cry if I see another bean or lentil.

Re palm oil it really is not as simple as some people make out. That's not my opinion it's that of the WWFN.

"Palm oil is an incredibly efficient crop, producing more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Globally, palm oil supplies 35% of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just 10% of the land. To get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean or coconut oil you would need anything between 4 and 10 times more land, which would just shift the problem to other parts of the world and threaten other habitats and species. " See here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-thi...about-palm-oil
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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 22:08   #28
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The human "need" in terms of volume of any given crop is driven by human numbers and the crisis that needs solving is human population growth. Everything else is pratting about pretending that isn't the issue.

Only measures that treat the cause, not the symptom, will ever solve the problem. Humans are a pathological epidemic on the planet.

Non-breeding humans are entitled to do what they like birding-wise. Breeders can be divided into:

- one child: on course to halve population. Acceptable. Tick in box. Birding travel can approach level of non-breeders.

- two children: maintaining current human population. Unhelpful but perhaps susceptible to breakthrough science (titters disbelievingly behind hand). Permitted local patch (which is all they will have time to do while bringing up offspring anyway.)

- more than two children: selfish planet wrecker. Its not even like the offspring will inherit anything worthwhile (certainly not the Earth, for a start!) Boo hiss. No birding travel permitted.

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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 22:54   #29
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Globally, palm oil supplies 35% of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just 10% of the land. To get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean or coconut oil you would need anything between 4 and 10 times more land

https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-thi...about-palm-oil
Lowland tropical rainforest easily has 10 or more higher biodiversity than e.g. European lowlands where soybean and rapeseed are grown.

And most of palm oil plantations are freshly converted from rainforest, while crops in Europe are on land which was converted centuries ago, and recently freed from food farming as it became more efficient.

Actually, this brings me to something I realized recently. Both of my home counties - Poland and Switzerland - together contribute less than 1% to the CO2 emission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...xide_emissions

Whether everybody in my homeland will live in wooden sheds and wear goatskins, or conversely, everybody burns coal and takes 100 air plane trips per year - will not significantly change the global CO2 emission. Whether the fight with global warming will be won or lost depends not from us, but what billions of people in Asia and Africa will do. The biggest growth in CO2 production will be in the Third World, because of sheer number of people living here.

The most efficient way to cut CO2 production is to introduce energy-saving technologies to the tropics. And not least because so little is being done there. People still use inefficient wooden stoves, dump millions of plastic bottles on roadsides and so on. I was in Indonesia and I saw whole shoals and islands of plastic rubbish formed at river mouths in seaside towns. People have not even the basic recycling. So much can be achieved there so easily. Whether it is good or bad, such things do not exist in Europe or the USA, nor so simple means can cut CO2 production easily in Europe or the USA.

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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 23:21   #30
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Re palm oil it really is not as simple as some people make out. That's not my opinion it's that of the WWFN.

"Palm oil is an incredibly efficient crop, producing more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Globally, palm oil supplies 35% of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just 10% of the land. To get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean or coconut oil you would need anything between 4 and 10 times more land, which would just shift the problem to other parts of the world and threaten other habitats and species. " See here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-thi...about-palm-oil
Even more clear than I'd thought! [post #20]
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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 23:24   #31
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The human "need" in terms of volume of any given crop is driven by human numbers and the crisis that needs solving is human population growth. Everything else is pratting about pretending that isn't the issue.

Only measures that treat the cause, not the symptom, will ever solve the problem. Humans are a pathological epidemic on the planet.

Non-breeding humans are entitled to do what they like birding-wise. Breeders can be divided into:

- one child: on course to halve population. Acceptable. Tick in box. Birding travel can approach level of non-breeders.

- two children: maintaining current human population. Unhelpful but perhaps susceptible to breakthrough science (titters disbelievingly behind hand). Permitted local patch (which is all they will have time to do while bringing up offspring anyway.)

- more than two children: selfish planet wrecker. Its not even like the offspring will inherit anything worthwhile (certainly not the Earth, for a start!) Boo hiss. No birding travel permitted.

John
Well said!
As a non-breeder I feel some entitlement to gloat
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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 23:28   #32
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Whether everybody in my homeland will live in wooden sheds and wear goatskins, or conversely, everybody burns coal and takes 100 air plane trips per year - will not significantly change the global CO2 emission. Whether the fight with global warming will be won or lost depends not from us, but what billions of people in Asia and Africa will do. The biggest growth in CO2 production will be in the Third World, because of sheer number of people living here.
This does though miss out the importance of setting a good example: people in poorer countries will quite reasonably say "If those rich b*stards won't cut their CO2 per capita, why should we?"
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 07:19   #33
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Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
The human "need" in terms of volume of any given crop is driven by human numbers and the crisis that needs solving is human population growth. Everything else is pratting about pretending that isn't the issue.

Only measures that treat the cause, not the symptom, will ever solve the problem. Humans are a pathological epidemic on the planet.

Non-breeding humans are entitled to do what they like birding-wise. Breeders can be divided into:

- one child: on course to halve population. Acceptable. Tick in box. Birding travel can approach level of non-breeders.

- two children: maintaining current human population. Unhelpful but perhaps susceptible to breakthrough science (titters disbelievingly behind hand). Permitted local patch (which is all they will have time to do while bringing up offspring anyway.)

- more than two children: selfish planet wrecker. Its not even like the offspring will inherit anything worthwhile (certainly not the Earth, for a start!) Boo hiss. No birding travel permitted.

John
Bold bit is very true.
Wrecking the planet on an individual level is very expensive, time-consuming, and hard work. There is no rest for the wicked.

What if you have murdered people!? Mass Genociders and war-mongers must be the ultimate environmentalists.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 08:48   #34
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Bold bit is very true.
Wrecking the planet on an individual level is very expensive, time-consuming, and hard work. There is no rest for the wicked.
I believe these days it is called "crowd funding".

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What if you have murdered people!? Mass Genociders and war-mongers must be the ultimate environmentalists.
You'd think so, but looking for quick solutions I thought of taking out the world's biggest cities with nukes: you get into diminishing returns too quickly to make it an effective course of action given the numbers needing to be removed. So I don't think mass murder really works. Keeping it zipped and going birding instead is much better.

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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 09:05   #35
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Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
The human "need" in terms of volume of any given crop is driven by human numbers and the crisis that needs solving is human population growth. Everything else is pratting about pretending that isn't the issue.

Only measures that treat the cause, not the symptom, will ever solve the problem. Humans are a pathological epidemic on the planet.

Non-breeding humans are entitled to do what they like birding-wise. Breeders can be divided into:

- one child: on course to halve population. Acceptable. Tick in box. Birding travel can approach level of non-breeders.

- two children: maintaining current human population. Unhelpful but perhaps susceptible to breakthrough science (titters disbelievingly behind hand). Permitted local patch (which is all they will have time to do while bringing up offspring anyway.)

- more than two children: selfish planet wrecker. Its not even like the offspring will inherit anything worthwhile (certainly not the Earth, for a start!) Boo hiss. No birding travel permitted.

John
Nice one, and I agree (easy as a non-breeder)
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 09:36   #36
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I believe these days it is called "crowd funding".



You'd think so, but looking for quick solutions I thought of taking out the world's biggest cities with nukes: you get into diminishing returns too quickly to make it an effective course of action given the numbers needing to be removed. So I don't think mass murder really works. Keeping it zipped and going birding instead is much better.

John
:)

Well you could reduce the carbon footprint considerably with a Biolog.. actually we should stop here before one of us gets a knock on the door.. (probably me!)
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 09:36   #37
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Using valuable land to grow a cash crop as biofuel is crazy imo. Much better growing food. St Greta and her fellow Children of the Damned need to spend time protesting in India, China and Russia - that would be interesting to say the least particularly the last two.

I cycle and walk as i do not possess or can drive a car.

I mainly bird local - which is unproductive and boring but that’s the way it is.

I do not travel 15-30 miles away and call it my ‘local’ patch.

My local patch(es) are within a 5 mile radius of home but generally within 1.5 miles are regularly covered and anything of note reported.

I am not anti-car or twitching but when i did twitch extensively in the 80’s it was seldom done without a full carload of 4-5 people which made it cheaper and more of a laugh.

The amount of birders i see as singles in a vehicle depresses me but they appear not to want or need company and quite happy with their SatNavs, iPhones and Social Media stuff - so who needs company...

I travel on average 3 times a year short-haul generally hand-luggage but sometimes with a folding bike. The latter cuts down on Carborne emissions etc and when abroad we use public transport.

I do not intend to stop flying as it is the only decent birding i get

I prefer to harmonise my lifestyle with regard to Carbon footprint every day of the year with things like watering the vegetables with sink waste, house insulation and cycle locally for all needs not even using buses.

High profile finger-waggers in London or the Head Office of probably the most corrupt and wasteful organization in the known World, i.e. the UN, is not the real World and the real one still has to turn.

Good birding - whatever your mode of transport

Laurie -
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 10:54   #38
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I always find it extremely weird seeing birders in cars, often alone, driving through nature areas and not even leaving their cars to watch/hear birds. I understand the whole "mobile cabin" thing, but not driving through whole regions to "score" as many birds possible, and in the meantime helping destroy that same nature. It's high time fuel cars become obsolete, but even the electrics need to have electricity produced, the "green" electricity needs solar panels and wind turbines produced...All those cars eeeeverywhere, people growing more lazy by the day, they don't even bike on their own anymore but need help from electricity there as well. Just to get further faster with as little effort as possible, insane.

Personally, I don't have a driver's license. Never had enough income to afford it, nor a car, and I don't miss it one bit. Ok, that few times there's a neat bird somewhere and I can't get there because of bad weather...(more often it's just fulltime job hindering) Or when it's a pain to find bikes for rent somewhere abroad. Yes, where I would go flying, when I once finally will, that's a minus for me.

I travel through the Netherlands by train, with a 24" folding bike, which I even go out camping with. It takes more effort to get somewhere, which can be frustrating with our winds and rain, but also very rewarding while in the meantime I know I worked on my health. For bigger transport? A large trailer that goes behind the bike. Hauled a small tree with it from 25km away the other day.

Would I buy a car when I could afford it? Yes, I guess so. But I would choose it carefully, electric/fuel combo, and would not quit the train/bike routine and keep the car for only when I can't reach a patch or twitch by bike. Mainly it would be great to have a driver's license so I can hire cars on holiday to drive the longer distances and mountainous areas. But in most places public transport, bike hire and legwagon do the tric.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 13:05   #39
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Ries - maybe you and i should meet up and talk folding bikes whilst polishing our halos

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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 13:45   #40
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Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
The human "need" in terms of volume of any given crop is driven by human numbers and the crisis that needs solving is human population growth. Everything else is pratting about pretending that isn't the issue.

Only measures that treat the cause, not the symptom, will ever solve the problem. Humans are a pathological epidemic on the planet.

Non-breeding humans are entitled to do what they like birding-wise. Breeders can be divided into:

- one child: on course to halve population. Acceptable. Tick in box. Birding travel can approach level of non-breeders.

- two children: maintaining current human population. Unhelpful but perhaps susceptible to breakthrough science (titters disbelievingly behind hand). Permitted local patch (which is all they will have time to do while bringing up offspring anyway.)

- more than two children: selfish planet wrecker. Its not even like the offspring will inherit anything worthwhile (certainly not the Earth, for a start!) Boo hiss. No birding travel permitted.

John


If I were the dictator of the world, I would make the rules that two offspring per couple would be maximum. This is how the population on Earth will begin to decline slowly but surely.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 13:59   #41
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If I were the dictator of the world, I would make the rules that two offspring per couple would be maximum. This is how the population on Earth will begin to decline slowly but surely.
Of course, you can always remove yourself from the planet for an immediate reduction.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 17:19   #42
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This does though miss out the importance of setting a good example: people in poorer countries will quite reasonably say "If those rich b*stards won't cut their CO2 per capita, why should we?"
You really believe that people in Indonesia say: those in London don't go twitching so lets stop polluting?

You really think that it is better to give them good example instead of money for recycling?
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 17:33   #43
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People with no children only have a right to gloat if they chose that option despite wanting children.

But yes encouraging people to have fewer children is important and should not be a taboo subject. Contraception should be widely and freely available and encouraged by all governments and religions.

I would add to the discussion the ownership of pets which consume large amounts of meat.

But I think the original questions was 'have people changed their birding habits?'.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 19:28   #44
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We could add a multitude of things each of us does or doesn't do, from flying, having children, driving, owning a small/big house, turning up or down the heating, eating meat, planting trees, etc etc.

The reality is it is impossible to compare our contributions, so claiming sainthood on the grounds that you don't fly or only have one child, etc, is meaningless. Only by carrying out a full audit of our total behaviour could we have even the slightest idea or who is contributing more or less.

I take 30 or more individual flights per year, is my contribution to global warming more than any of the other posters here? Possibly yes, probably no. Do I think about my impact on the environment? Yes. Am I seeking to reduce my flying? Nope, four more flights before the year's end.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 21:08   #45
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If I were the dictator of the world, I would make the rules that two offspring per couple would be maximum. This is how the population on Earth will begin to decline slowly but surely.
World population is booming, but it's third world population. Populations in first world nations are declining. So in effect, the world is becoming less technologically developed, i.e. dumber in regards to finding and adopting solutions.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 21:11   #46
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Well I'm a right ****.

Bird by myself, drive by myself, turn up for other people's twitches, try to avoid as much discomfort as possible (i.e walking long distances), go on holidays abroad hopping on EasyJet / Ryan Air (including to Israel too). Also eat meat.

Have I got any morals? I did consider myself a decent human being, but I can see I should reappraise that (:-.
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Old Monday 14th October 2019, 21:14   #47
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Well I'm a right ****.

Bird by myself, drive by myself, turn up for other people's twitches, try to avoid as much discomfort as possible (i.e walking long distances), go on holidays abroad hopping on EasyJet / Ryan Air (including to Israel too).
Shouldn't that be a ******* ? :)
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 07:05   #48
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Shouldn't that be a ******* ? :)
Very likely Jos.
You could insert a multitude of applicable words........take your pick

Interesting conversation though. I've never had mates who bird-watch, and I'm not hard-core enough twitcher to be part of a regular group.
I don't consider myself anti-social, I love to bird with people on site & chat to as many as possible etc, but I like to be in control of what I do when I'm out birding............where I go, what sort of birding I do, depending on a variety of things, how I feel, how I've slept etc. These are often last minute decisions, and I like it that way. I can't walk long distances these days.

Its my hobby, I love it, its something I can indulge in without (I thought) being judged or adversely affecting anyone else. But I'm probably in the worse category of bird-watcher based on how most birders seemingly assess their fellow adversaries.

But I don't lose any sleep over that. I'll continue to do my thing.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 07:36   #49
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I agree with Wolfie.

I would also comment that I like a full car as well as the next birder does - birding with a group of friends is a lot of fun. However, circumstances vary for everybody and particularly on instantaneous twitches (e.g. Yellow Warbler Portland Bill) a ring round reveals nobody else can get away, so its of necessity a solo trip.

Also, some kinds of birding just don't lend themselves to group activity, e.g. a long stakeout for a picture of a difficult species with a low probability of success.

Horses for courses.

I certainly don't do as many long trips as I used to, fuel is too expensive. Back in the day my crew probably went from Farnborough to Norfolk for the day almost monthly, but I can't remember the last time I was up there. But I'm still in the field most days, most weekends, and in summer, often after work as well.

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Old Tuesday 15th October 2019, 07:52   #50
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Has the insistent and urgent voice of climate change modified your birding behaviour in terms of travel?

If so, what changes have you made?

Could you share any insights into travel alternatives (I heard recently that London to Cadiz return rail fare is about £250). Patch birding, of course, is much cheaper.

Peter
Looking on the Loco2 website it appears London - Cadiz is more like 200-250pounds each way. There might be cheaper tickets with a bit more effort.
The website does highlight that "262.54 kg Estimated CO2 saving from taking the train versus flying" for that specific trip.

This is a good resource (train focused) for people looking at long distance travel around the world without flying: https://www.seat61.com/index.html

I got the sleeper train from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam earlier this year (more for the experience than to avoid flying to be honest) and our local guide thought I was slightly mad (it took about 12 hours, about 10x longer than the flight and was only marginally cheaper!)
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