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Birding/Twitching and Global warming

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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 17:52   #1
Johann Sebastian Bach
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Birding/Twitching and Global warming

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
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 18:25   #2
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Yes, I now make a small prayer asking St Greta of Thunberg for forgiveness every time I fire up the Quattro.
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 18:55   #3
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Yes, I now make a small prayer asking St Greta of Thunberg for forgiveness every time I fire up the Quattro.
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 19:31   #4
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I am not having children, who are thus not having children etc... so I am already making a potentially infinite negative contribution to resource use and CO2 production, so screw global warming, I am gonna fly and drive.

Even if you dismiss this line of thinking as flawed (because it quite frankly is, it can be even shown mathematically that it is stupid), I just think that global warming should be fought where it really matters and not by tiny individual contributions that make people feel better about themselves but don't matter. The estimates differ, but transportation contributes roughly 10 percent of greenhouse emissions, so why don't we address the major contributions first? The dickheads who make business out of spreading fear of nuclear energy have damaged the planet more than all the world's birders would in a million years. Meat production itself contributes about 15 percent of greenhouse gasses, but I don't see people shaming meat-eaters so vigorously as people who dare to take an airplane. It's also one of the main reasons we are burning down huge swaths of rainforest.

I am strongly convinced that we should take action against global warming and I am also very strongly convinced that a lot of action we are taking is utterly stupid.
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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 23:24   #5
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I am having children to combat global warming. I will raise them to be eco-conscious individuals to out-vote children of idiots who do not care about the environment.

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Old Friday 4th October 2019, 23:43   #6
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I am having children to combat global warming. I will raise them to be eco-conscious individuals to out-vote children of idiots who do not care about the environment.
Are they then going to vote to reduce the size of the human population? The failure of any of the recent movements or pressure groups to raise this issue establishes pretty clearly that most of them are human-centric with very little understanding of nature or a genuine desire to preserve biodiversity. Some form of catastrophic disaster seems the only real hope but even that is probably too late.

Any way. The answer to the original question was no but I did spend a week trying unsuccessfully to tell the Extinction Rebellion 'protestors' in Bristol that they should be talking about reversing the increase in the human population.
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Old Saturday 5th October 2019, 00:26   #7
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Honestly, ecotourism is one of few alternatives to habitat destruction in the tropics. If not enough tourists come (most probably due to shrinkage of the middle class) then hundreds of iconic national parks worldwide will be degraded or converted to plantations, mining or timber within few short years. And thousands of species from mountain gorillas to marvellous spatuletails and giant ibises will go extinct in a decade, long before global warming would threaten them.

This topic was already discussed on this forum some years ago. I remember a nice forumer Timmy (how is he doing, by the way?) worrying about it. And backpacking and birding in the tropics was something he apparently loved most in his life.

I also hate care of environment being an excuse to new taxes or poor management. My local city says it wants to reduce the use of cars. However it did nothing to speed the extremely slow public transport or provide real bus connections to the outlying villages. And, in any case, bus stops do not exist in the middle of the forest.

I am really sorry about children growing in the inner city now. Probably most of them have never been to the forest. And likely they can name more kinds of Pokemon than species of wild animals living in their home region.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 09:14   #8
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Global warming is, at the moment, not influencing my travel habits / modes.

Habitat degradation (and bird trapping) is in the short-term a far bigger threat to certain bird species going extinct, so I prioritise those species when making travel plans. By spending tons of money on seeing those species, I hope I support the conservation of habitat.
You could argue that there won't be habitat left if global warming wipes out all native species, but on the other hand, if you don't have any habitat and birds left, what's the point of trying to limit the warming...

ps: while having children is a bad thing, my young children actually result in a reduction of overseas birding trips and a renewed appreciation for holidays close to home. So having children isn't all that bad
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 09:35   #9
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Global warming is a funny one. My understanding of it is it won't affect affluent western society so much in terms of our lifestyle, but more vulnerable/poorer peoples in the future. I can understand the 'sod the others' mentality but I don't necessarily agree with it.

That governments in the west are honing in on global warming is maybe because it is something they can do, and (mostly) targets are set far into the future, rather than set as having to take drastic action now.

The world economic system needs 'growth', so it is a bit odd that western governments have listened to scientists so far in giving it importance (summits etc) . The US has obviously taken a more obvious backward step.

So it's the future generations who will see the consequences more (both in a changed climate, and loss of biodiversity). Totally agree that other threats are greater to individual wildlife and biodiversity right now.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 09:52   #10
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I have seen the documentary about The Planets (with Brian Cox) lately.

Everything he said was having a deep impact on me, it seemed like every sentence he said was a one liner I could have a discussion about lasting a whole day.
When he talks about the way our solar system took shape, the coincidences, the chances everything shaped up like it is, ... Our planet and its thin and vulnerable atmosphere is really one chance in a lifetime (or should I see a lifetime of a planet, so billions of years).

The way we mismanage the land, the oceans and the atmosphere could make our living conditions far worse in a shorter time frame than we anticipate upon. This is already causing problems, still seen as a nuisance rather than a big problem. In the long run, it will only be a hiccup as the world will eventually cool down and be eaten by the sun. In the short term however, we are sadists, trying to deplete the resources on this planet in the shortest and least sustainable way possible.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 10:12   #11
peter.jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johann Sebastian Bach View Post
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
If every single birder, stopped travelling altogether, would that make any difference? I suspect not, we are collectively the tiniest of drops in the ocean.

I know every flight I've ever been on, I'm probably the only birder on it, with a couple of exceptions.

So maybe we are better utilised going to places, and spreading the word for conservation.

Conversely, if all active birders on birdforum took 10 long range birding trips a year, would that make a difference? Again, probably not.
Except we'd all be happier I suspect!

(2000 of us on Bf every day, 20000 flights, 40000 return bums on seats. divide by 365 = 55 seats a day. That's not going to be noticed, the flights around the world wouldn't change.)
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 11:07   #12
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If every single birder, stopped travelling altogether, would that make any difference? I suspect not, we are collectively the tiniest of drops in the ocean.

I know every flight I've ever been on, I'm probably the only birder on it, with a couple of exceptions.

So maybe we are better utilised going to places, and spreading the word for conservation.

Conversely, if all active birders on birdforum took 10 long range birding trips a year, would that make a difference? Again, probably not.
Except we'd all be happier I suspect!

(2000 of us on Bf every day, 20000 flights, 40000 return bums on seats. divide by 365 = 55 seats a day. That's not going to be noticed, the flights around the world wouldn't change.)
You can use that form of logic to justify pretty much any action. Using that form of logic is surely one of the things that will ultimately destroy us, and most other lifeforms
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 11:27   #13
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Except travel by birders is likely to have a positive impact on wildlife and diversity, at a greater degree I would say than the negative caused by their contribution to emissions
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 11:32   #14
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I tend to think (especially as my car has pretty low emissions) that I can drive to Cornwall/Dorset/Norfolk/Yorkshire etc an awful lot of times before i'm even close to a return flight to Costa Rica/India/Gambia etc...
So have at it!
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 12:19   #15
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Except travel by birders is likely to have a positive impact on wildlife and diversity, at a greater degree I would say than the negative caused by their contribution to emissions
I agree. While birders are far from perfect and I don't see much sense in excessive twitching, there are a lot of other forms of more or less (un-)necessary travel that should be reduced before we even get close to targeting birders.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 20:51   #16
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Except travel by birders is likely to have a positive impact on wildlife and diversity, at a greater degree I would say than the negative caused by their contribution to emissions
I'm gonna have to agree that if anyone should be allowed to fly Jos, it should be us birders . Still feel bad for all the travelling I've done though, and pretty much set on knocking it on the head.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 20:52   #17
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Except travel by birders is likely to have a positive impact on wildlife and diversity, at a greater degree I would say than the negative caused by their contribution to emissions
I'm gonna have to agree that if anyone should be allowed to fly Jos, it should be us birders . Still feel bad for all the travelling I've done though, and pretty much set on knocking it on the head. Half the world's birds is greedy enough I think, time I grew up.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 21:13   #18
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You can use that form of logic to justify pretty much any action. Using that form of logic is surely one of the things that will ultimately destroy us, and most other lifeforms

You can't use the logic to justify any action though can you? You couldn't use it to justify deforestation on a huge scale, or the extreme pollution from primitive industry. For those, the numbers are going to be massive.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 21:28   #19
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A much less disruptive way of preserving global biodiversity than adopting the lifestyle of a Medieval serf, at least in the short term, would be to ban the import of products containing palm oil.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 22:21   #20
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... would be to ban the import of products containing palm oil.
Nope, that's not a good idea. But yes, do insist that palm oil is sourced sustainably. Point here is that oil palm is (by quite a long way) the most productive edible oil crop; to produce a tonne of palm oil it needs only about a third or a quarter of the land needed to produce a tonne of sunflower oil or rapeseed oil. If we banned the import of palm oil, we'd have to quadruple (or more) the area under other oilseed crops, thus causing even greater ecological damage.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 22:33   #21
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Nope, that's not a good idea. But yes, do insist that palm oil is sourced sustainably. Point here is that oil palm is (by quite a long way) the most productive edible oil crop; to produce a tonne of palm oil it needs only about a third or a quarter of the land needed to produce a tonne of sunflower oil or rapeseed oil. If we banned the import of palm oil, we'd have to quadruple (or more) the area under other oilseed crops, thus causing even greater ecological damage.
I'm guessing you haven't been to the tropics and seen the absolute catastrophe that has taken place, with lowland evergreen forest - the most biodiverse habitat - replaced with palm oil monoculture. Putting more arable land under rapeseed in the UK, for example, is going to have negligible effect on global biodiversity.
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 22:34   #22
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Nope, that's not a good idea. But yes, do insist that palm oil is sourced sustainably. Point here is that oil palm is (by quite a long way) the most productive edible oil crop; to produce a tonne of palm oil it needs only about a third or a quarter of the land needed to produce a tonne of sunflower oil or rapeseed oil. If we banned the import of palm oil, we'd have to quadruple (or more) the area under other oilseed crops, thus causing even greater ecological damage.
Unfortunately corruption makes it too easy for some producers to declare palm oil sustainable when it actually isn't. Apparently.
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 14:25   #23
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I'm guessing you haven't been to the tropics and seen the absolute catastrophe that has taken place, with lowland evergreen forest - the most biodiverse habitat - replaced with palm oil monoculture. Putting more arable land under rapeseed in the UK, for example, is going to have negligible effect on global biodiversity.
I was about to write exactly that!

Just stand in the terminal at KL airport and look from there, all you can see is palm oil plantations.

Large, fruit producing companies like Del Monte have also got a lot to answer for.
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 23:34   #24
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I'm guessing you haven't been to the tropics and seen the absolute catastrophe that has taken place, with lowland evergreen forest - the most biodiverse habitat - replaced with palm oil monoculture. Putting more arable land under rapeseed in the UK, for example, is going to have negligible effect on global biodiversity.
There isn't more arable land available in UK to put under rapeseed, as the other arable land is already needed for other crops - it would necessitate converting non-arable into arable.
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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 08:36   #25
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There isn't more arable land available in UK to put under rapeseed, as the other arable land is already needed for other crops - it would necessitate converting non-arable into arable.
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.
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