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Education Earth Science

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

Posted by timothy
from the less-on-your-plate dept.
grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."
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Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:28PM (#32526058)

    Not trolling here, but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet? I know that we have been responsible for the extinction of many species, but does that now make us responsible for stopping extinction altogether? Huge swaths [wikipedia.org] of species went extinct long before man even came along, and so it seems pretty clear that it's part of the natural order. So are we now supposed to completely stop that natural process out of some sense of guilt (because we have arrogantly decided that we're not part of the natural order)?

    I'm not saying we should just go out an hunt every species we feel like to extinction, or poison the water whenever we feel like it. That would be neither responsible nor wise. But I am saying that it's not our responsibility to save every species in the world that happens to exist now, not our place to end "extinction" itself as a process.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:38PM (#32526190) Homepage

    Not trolling here, but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet? I know that we have been responsible for the extinction of many species, but does that now make us responsible for stopping extinction altogether?

    Some good reasons:
      - They may prove to be resistant to some new disease, providing vital insight to medical researchers trying to keep humans from falling prey to a similar disease.
      - Losing some species can produce an ecological domino effect, where other species who were dependent on the first one now become endangered or extinct. For instance, if honeybees [wikipedia.org] were to become extinct, that would cause massive problems for corn and grain, which would cause massive problems for humans.
      - Last and certainly least, it would allow us to answer certain kinds of space probes [wikipedia.org].

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:45PM (#32526278) Homepage Journal
    before any of you free market lunatics blurt out anything, BP vouched for the viability of the oil well operation by a PRIVATE report they prepared, and government has approved. perfectly 'private sector' style, 'free market'ish.

    just like how PRIVATE companies which were doing business with wall street, vouched for and 'regulated' wall street.

    this makes two, just in the span of 1.5 years. if there are still morons who can say 'free market regulates itself', it means they need to be 'regulated' with a thick stick.
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:56PM (#32526428) Homepage

    The problem is that, in their guilt trip, biologists have blamed man for the state of pretty much every endangered species on the planet. Can you name a single endangered species (or even variety of species) that man is *not* blamed for right now? I doubt there is even one. So that means that we are supposed to preserve every single species that happens to exist at this particular moment in our planet's history, like some weird zoo where we've effectively stopped natural selection?

    Wow, slow down! Try the decaf. Some of us are biologists and not every card carrying biologist is a member of PETA [peta.org]. You do have a point as the environmentalist movement tends to hammer hard on every potential species or ecosystem lost and it's usually, as you mention, the result of evil, nasty, smell 'mankind' (as opposed to 'humankind'). Unfortunately, we really don't know why a lot of extinctions take place. Some of the best studied ones do seem to be human caused. Even early humans may have been responsible for numerous large animal extinctions (go look it up). So we have a long track record in this regard. We also seem to be in the midst of another mass extinction [pbs.org] and one that is at least partially human caused.

    Will 'nature' deal with this 'problem'. Sure will. Come back in a couple of million years and you may find very little sign of homo industrialis. Many people aren't comfortable with that sort of time frame and so they complain, come up with hyperbolic arguments, get elected to Congress and all manner of silly things.

    Truth is, it's hard to separate us from them. We are part of natural selection.

  • Genetic archival? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mathinker (909784) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:04PM (#32526550) Journal

    Does anyone try, for example, to archive tissue samples (and/or genomic sequence info?) of interesting species like the bluefin so we might have a chance of "resurrecting" them (at least approximately) after we advance enough in our knowledge of biology?

    For such an economically valuable species as the bluefin, I would be surprised if someone wasn't doing this. Anyone have any info?

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:08PM (#32526600)

    Ask me if I care that the ecosystem rebounds in a few million years. Really, do ask me. Or ask the people whose livelihood depends on a healthy ecosystem.

    Can we stop with this idiotic argument that the universe will survive just fine without humans? No shit, Sherlock. Way to state the obvious, Capt'n Obvious. In the meantime, I'd like to make sure that my life is nice and cushy, and that of my kids as well. Unfortunately, that requires a stable ecosystem. And a hallmark of a stable ecosystem is a diverse ecosystem.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:33PM (#32526910) Homepage Journal

    Right, your government overlords have done a great job there at MMS 'regulating' the underpants, gifts, money, hookers and crack off the toaster ovens.

    I am a Free Market 'lunatic' by your definition, but my definition of the Free Market includes the government, which does the job of suing the shit out of violators, punishing for any criminal offenses, doing the work that it is supposed to do: punishing the guilty.

    Take the BP's money, take the BP management's money, put BP management to prison, put MMS workers to prison.

    Take all BP money and use it not to fix the problem and as reparations and as an incentive for other companies to behave.

    Government knows jack shit about anything in any actual real business. Government does not understand economy or leaky pipes. Government should do one thing and excel at it: punish the guilty severely. Everything else government will butcher and put an impossible price tag on.

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:09PM (#32527392)

    Mod parent up. I love how the right is blaming Obama for this, when years of cozy relationships between Bush, Cheney, Haliburton, the oil companies, and OPEC have served to dismantle any sense of control and regulation over these greedy fucks. Drill, baby, drill!

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:21PM (#32527560)

    A risk I am more than willing to take. I even smoked for years! I also drink. Life is short, have fun.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:24PM (#32527618)

    Educate yourself. BP management had transocean do things in non normal ways to cut corners and reduce the time to production.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:43PM (#32527946)

    Now, granted, we humans are much more intelligent than most species on this planet

    Let's cut the self hate. We ARE the most intelligent species on the planet. With that intelligence comes an understanding of certain activities.

    1.
    We like to eat bluefin tuna. Making adjustments to keep them from dying allows us to eat them in the future.

    2. Killing off the Bluefin Tuna could have drawbacks. It makes sense to understand these drawbacks before we continue on our course of exterminating them. Maybe the drawbacks aren't so bad. Maybe they will result in us all dying of cholera.

  • Re:karma is real (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:15PM (#32528380)

    Laser eye surgery can correct defects in the organ of the eye, but what technology will correct a defect in your awareness?

    Direct high-bandwidth interface between my brains and computer chips, allowing the addition of extra lobes? Reaching first singularity [orionsarm.com] should be a huge improvement. Me wanna...

    Karma is real - it is the relationship of causes and effects that ensures that war brings war, death brings death, immorality brings immorality, and ignorance brings ignorance.

    So why are the BP executives still living and unharmed, while people who had nothing to do with the whole mess suffer?

    And "karma" refers to the Hindu concept where what you do affects you reincarnation (specifically, what you get reincarnated as). What you are talking about - consequences in this life - is called "justice", or would if it actually got inflicted on the guilty party rather than innocents...

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:45PM (#32529482) Homepage Journal

    The government does not understand business of oil drilling or business of food preparation or business of doing eye laser surgery or business of car manufacturing or business of ore extraction or business of pan making.

    Government can understand damage to health of people, amage to environment on public property as related to barrels of oil spilled.

    It is possible to say what kind of damage was done, in fact it is even possible to put a dollar amount on it.

    Example: how much money does it take to grow as much fish doing it by human hand as will is dying in the Gulf right now? How much money would it cost to produce as much oxygen and put it into the air as was done by plankton in the Gulf?

    Those are measurable, answerable questions.

    When BP management insists on not doing proper tests, when BP and Transocean management decides not to repair the Blowout preventer, when BP and Transocean and Halliburton do not cement the drilling shaft correctly, those are measurable answerable accusations to bring forward against the management ladder and any individuals involved. It is even possible to accuse people of doing the wrong thing by association with the wrongdoers and by not preventing the wrong things from happening. Anybody on the director's board, in the management ladder associated with this particular project must be brought to justice. This has nothing to do with any separate BP gas station.

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