Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the less-on-your-plate dept.

Education 228

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."

cancel ×

228 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FIRST TROUT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526054)

I mean, Alaskan Salmon!

Re:FIRST TROUT!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526618)

The fact that this article have less comments than the iPhone one says a lot from the priorities of Americans.

Kindly, DIE IN A PETROLEUM FIRE Americans.

Re:FIRST TROUT!!! (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526824)

Ignoring for a moment that /. receives visitors from numerous countries, I think the relative comment count says a lot more about the expertise of the typical /. user than it does about their priorities.

Wait. No. That would mean people were only discussing things they actually understood. That can't be right.

Re:FIRST TROUT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527054)

Nice reference [slashdot.org]

Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526088)

It's pretty simple actually, biological diversity is important.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526230)

We don't know what is acceptable diversity though. There have been periods of mass extinction [wikipedia.org] that occur randomly and the ecosystem survives.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526334)

The ecosystem survives but typically the top predators are all replaced.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527600)

The ecosystem survives but typically the top predators are all replaced.

Thank goodness for big cats, drop bears, and elevated floor tiles!

Otherwise we'd be on the chopping block at the top of the food chain.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Informative)

vm146j2 (233075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526374)

Yes, there have: 5 major ones in 4 billion years. The difference this time is we get to participate, both as an agent, and a sufferer!

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526392)

No, something survives and a new ecosystem eventually evolves. In the meantime (read: several million years) the survivors are in complete disarray as population numbers fluctuate wildly without the normal predator/prey relationships in effect, something which would not bode well for human civilization. Diversity is good, it is the damping that makes an otherwise unstable system become stable.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (5, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Funny)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527106)

Do you care that the ecosystem rebounds in a few million years?

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527178)

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.

You'd like to make sure? Then go ahead and do. But keep in mind the ecosystem doesn't owe you anything. In nature, it's going to be survival of the fittest, not survival of the species that want to be nice and cushy.

I can't help to ask what makes you think we humans are so much more special than dinosaurs that we deserve to survive as a species? As a species, we can't even seem to get over our supreme and misplaced arrogance, but we have yet to prove that we are actually better than the dinosaurs. Reality is simple: Nature is tough, and we have but two choices: deal with it, or check out.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527330)

While I wouldn't use something like a mass extinction event to underscore my point, I think the parent that you are responding to made a legitimate claim in his first sentence:

We don't know what is acceptable diversity though.

This is a genuine point. While we realize that diversity is good, yes, we do not, to my knowledge, have any objective indicator of good/bad bounds on diversity. If you look at the natural history of any area of the world, you will see that species have died off, at almost all levels of the food chain, at various points in time. Sometimes these species died off due to human intervention (like, say, the Moa bird in New Zealand, or the Java Tiger). Sometimes they died off from natural Darwinism or other causes (Giant Sloth of Georgia, or the Dire Wolf of Canada). That said, when animals/species do go extinct, it is very rarely (seemingly) as big of a crisis as the press would have us often believe. After all, we are still here. The ecosystem is still diverse. And thus far, nature hasn't thrown such a violent temper-tantrum so as to cause mass starvation and death.

To address the concern of this particular article, we are talking about the Bluefin Tuna. Well, a Tuna is a large fish that is somewhere in the middle of the food chain. It feeds on creatures lower in the food chain, and is eaten by creatures higher in the food chain. However, it is not the only fish to fill it's particular role in said food chain. In fact, the article and even the summary comments on one of the Bluefin's natural competitor's the Yellowfin Tuna. This is just one example of many other competitors that occupy the same, or very similar ecological roles as the Bluefin. Thus, what I think the parent was trying to get at was that even if the Bluefin population collapses (which, of course, would suck to some extent or another), it would not be some great ecological crisis. In fact, since we don't know exactly what the optimal amount of diversity for a given ecosystem is, claiming, generally, that diversity is good and so extinction is bad is pretty disingenuous. For all we know, a given ecosystem may actually need a particular species to die out so that the rest of the ecosystem may maintain equilibrium.

Now, granted, the oil spill killing the Bluefin would not be a form of natural selection per-say (unless of course you recognize that humanity, and even it's great blunders, are part of nature and, therefore, part of natural selection today involves nature selecting for the best species to coexist with humanity), but it still may not be an utter crisis for that particular fish to die out. In fact, it might be healthy for the ecosystem to some extent...we really don't know. Thus, simply claiming, 'diversity is good,' is nothing more than over simplifying a very complex equilibrium, while pointing out that we don't know how much diversity is actually good diversity seems like a valid point to be made.

And to be very specific, I don't think you, or anybody else, is going to die because one species of tuna collapsed in the North Atlantic.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527388)

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.

What a typical, pompous, self-important, human dipshit.

By your same fucking argument we shouldn't be wiping out polio or HIV or malaria. WHO KNOWS HOW IMPORTANT THEY MAY BE!?!?!?

You don't give a shit about the environment, nor do you know what is good or bad for it.
You just know what it's like now, and fear any change because it could potentially make you somewhat uncomfortable.

There is zero logical reason for humans to actively "protect" the environment. Not only is our idea of "protection" a simple prevention of any and all change, the idea that we need to do it comes from fear and selfishness, not any inherently good intention.

It is emotion, not reason, that drives you and others to cry about "protecting" the environment as if you are its rightful master. For all you know the current state of the environment is holding back the evolution of a species that will be far superior to ours.

We are here today because the previous batch of dominant organisms did not alter their environment to continue to suit them.
For us to think that we have some right to alter the environment to suit ourselves at the cost of other potential species is hubris. The idea that we have the capability to do so is laughable.

You're not for the environment, you're for your current cushy lifestyle. An unknown, big change is just as likely to be good for humans as it is to be bad.

You simply fear the unknown.

Enjoy your short ride on this rock. Know that you "deserve" nothing more than will be allotted, and come to terms with your inability to change that.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Jeprey (1596319) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526418)

Yes, diversity is important, but... If the species is so close to the edge, would anything else have done the job eventually as well? You can argue that man put them on the edge but I'm not sure how often that either actually true or simply a matter of coincidence. In the very long view, I think Carlin pretty much hit the nail on the head [youtube.com] .

Critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526512)

Actually, biological diversity isn't just important, it's critical. Not just for "the earth", but for human beings.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0, Troll)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526584)

Is it really that simple? Why is biological diversity important? I mean if you fallow Darwinian logic won't there eventually only be one species? Survival of the fittest and all. Eventual all species should optimize to their environment or die off. Why is it so important to keep species who can't adapt?

Really we just need a variety of plants, cows, pigs, chicken, salmon, talapia and some other basic organisms used to support those animals and we're all good. The rest of the stuff out there just adds flavor to the pallet. I mean I guess you would have to worry about a major disease destroying the food supply (like what happened to banana's), but other than that is biological diversity that important? Do we really need to save the whales? What about the useless manatee?

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527222)

If you fallow Darwinian logic won't there eventually only be one species? Survival of the fittest and all.

I'm afraid you're mixing up "the origin of species" with Highlander. "Survival of the fittest" implies that within a species, only the ones that are most fit to deal with their environment will survive. Darwin never claimed that "in the end, there can be only one". In fact many species live in mutual beneficial relationships with each other.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527306)

Is it really that simple? Why is biological diversity important? I mean if you fallow Darwinian logic won't there eventually only be one species? Survival of the fittest and all

Uhh, no?

Just for a start, flying, living in the water, living on the ground, living on the equator and living on the poles all involve different tradeoffs. Any species maximizes something at the cost of sacrificing something else. What does "fittest" refer to? The environment. And it happens to vary widely over the planet.

And if there was only a species left, what would it eat?

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526106)

I don't think that's really the point on this one. It isn't an instance of saving the adorable but useless spotted whatever, which we've messed up by destroying its habitat or something. This is an instance of hungry people have eaten up almost all that tasty tasty tune (actually, I hate tune, but that's not the point) and what little is left is about to be rendered unappetizing or dead.

This is actually environmentalism in its most selfish (and thus, from a certain point of view, best) form: if you want to keep eating a species, you've got to take care of them.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526150)

Have you ever had it properly cooked?
Canned tuna is not very good.

properly cooked tuna... ISN'T cooked (3, Informative)

alexander m (567750) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526448)

Here in Tokyo the idea of cooking tuna (except maybe to sear it a bit, 'aburi' style) would be severely frowned upon... ;-)

Re:properly cooked tuna... ISN'T cooked (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526590)

That is the only proper way to cook it. What sort of heathen would cook it another way?

I myself prefer totally raw, but I figured you may be an american and they often can't deal with that. Not a value judgment just an observation. On the coasts it seems more common.

Re:properly cooked tuna... ISN'T cooked (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527132)

Your post reminded me of Stuff White People Like: Japan [stuffwhitepeoplelike.com] .

Maybe you're not white, but I am laughing right now.

“this place is pretty good, but living in Japan really spoiled me. I’ve had such a hard time finding a really authentic place.”

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526996)

Canned tuna looks and smells like shitty cat food. I'll pass, regardless of preparation.

Raw tuna, as in sushi, looks delicious. Alas, looks can be deceiving. Oh, how I've longed to enjoy tuna, salmon, and various other pretty tasty things and be cool like all the other hipsters and edgerunners, but alas, I really can't stand the stuff. I've tried everything from simple salmon-on-some-rice to squid tentacles, so this isn't a case of an American who won't try new things. I've just had to accept that regardless of how tasty it looks, I don't like sushi. Tragic, I know.

Actually, I could go a step further: grilled shrimp, in small quantities, and grilled shark, are the only sea foods I actually like.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527420)

Have you ever had it properly cooked?
Canned tuna is not very good.

Have you ever had tuna?
Mercury is not very good.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527560)

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

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526108)

Ecosystems are notoriously hard to fix once they get out of whack.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526122)

Straw man much? No one is claiming we should save every species. You yourself say we shouldn't poison or hunt species into extinction. That is all anyone is talking about here, so you could have just said that and left out the straw man completely. It's not as if these tuna were about to go extinct on their own, and now there is a huge campaign to save them. We are responsible, and not to the tuna but to the people whose livelihood depends on them, and to the people like me who find them delicious.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526124)

Not save them, how about not killing them all?

This is not some natural occurrence, this is the result of some greedy assholes.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526146)

Okay, how about this... we should save the tuna because it's frickin' DELICIOUS on rice. And protecting them through sound environmental policies and sustainable catch quotas ensures thousands of jobs are secure?

Conservation need not be emotional or altruistic.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526156)

Well, in this case, it is in humanity's self-interest, if nothing else, because bluefin tuna are legendarily tasty.

The ethical duties, if any, of environmental preservation are debatable. The fact that crashing the population of a species you like to eat is stupid and self-defeating isn't.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526182)

I don't think it is our responsability to save "every" species...but I think it's our responsability to save species that we have directly endangered through our own actions, whether those actions are on purpose or a mistake.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526254)

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?

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526338)

The problem is that, in their guilt trip, biologists have blamed man for the state of pretty much every endangered species on the planet.

You are, sadly, correct with this statement. I wish you weren't, but you are -_-;;

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?

Absolutely not...but, as you implied, due to the politicization of the issue, it would be near impossible to only actively work to save the species that we have directly affected.

"In an honest world", and all that.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526394)

So statements of fact are a guilt trip?
STOP MAKING EMOTIONAL VALUE JUDGMENTS ABOUT FACTS. That sort of shit is what makes people ignore oil spills, global whatever and pretty much every big problem.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526502)

True, we indirectly or directly affect most living things on this planet due to our technology and waste...but I think implying that we affect everything is just as ludicrous as implying that we affect nothing.

Absolutes aren't really the way to go...

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526614)

I do not care about absolutes, my issue is that people see facts as good or bad. Note your "sadly". the truth is man has impacted many species, if this is good or bad has jack squat to do with it. It is neither it just is.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526794)

I wasn't referring to us affecting things as being sad, I was referring to the fact that many scientists have blamed things on human beings when we have had nothing to to do with.

"Sad" in this case being a more polite way of saying "a fucking disgrace".

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526854)

Do you have evidence for this?

I see lots of statements of fact people take as blame. For a quick example, humans wiped out the wisent. We then restored them to some degree. This is a statement of fact, as we have records of them being killed and they finally ceased to exist in the wild at the end of WW2. The retreating Wehrmacht wiped out the last of them in the wild, no one disputes these facts. It is not blame to say we did this, only a statement of fact.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526352)

The reality is man has in one way or another wiped out lots of species, deal with it. This is not a guilt trip, just reality. Stop making emotional judgements about statements of fact. This is not "blame" either just statements of fact. If you run over a cat, pointing that out is not blame just a statement of fact.

The thing we need to do is protect the ones we like, these tuna taste great.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526732)

So your effective argument is that mankind is the only thing causing species extinction now? Because that seems to be the hypothesis that everyone is working under, and I find it ludicrous.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526870)

I made not such claim, but that is a nice strawman you have there. It is not in fact the only hypothesis people are working under, you probably know that too.

I merely stated you made emotional value judgments about facts.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (5, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526428)

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.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526746)

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

Of course I'm not comfortable with a time frame that's post humanity. We need to save biodiversity for future humans. After we're gone things will recover, but no one will be there to care. I'm worried about the next few hundred years, which seem critical to getting mankind off this rock. An ecological disaster isn't a good start. Biodiversity isn't for the planet, it's for people!

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

squidfood (149212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527104)

Some of the best studied ones do seem to be human caused.

That's because the best-studied ones are the ones we either eat or compete with.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526480)

I like how you skipped over every single reply that was to the effect that, "we should save them because we want to be able to eat them in the future" -- which is an entirely pragmatic and reasonable position to take.

Instead, you reply to the one appeal to emotion with yet another irrelevant straw man (biologists blame everything on man!). I guess we can assume that you don't disagree that biodiversity is important in an ecosystem, or that it's a good idea to not kill off all of a tasty food source.

If you don't want to have a discussion, fine; state your opinion and your bias. Don't frame your initial post as a question (a leading one at that) and then reply to the one response that takes the bait. It's intellectually dishonest.

--Jeremy

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526986)

Don't frame your initial post as a question (a leading one at that) and then reply to the one response that takes the bait. It's intellectually dishonest.

No need to get worked up. It was just a particularly good troll, I think.

Which is fitting, given that we're discussing a species that has been trolled (and longlined) near to extinction.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526862)

Yeah, I knew it was those damn spider monkeys.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527512)

name a single endangered species (or even variety of species) that man is *not* blamed for right now? I doubt there is even one.

How about the Tazmanian Devil? The contagious cancer is not caused by people.

Just because you can't comprehend than humans are killing their own life support systems doesn't make it false. Everyday, people poisons themselves with lawn poisons, so their lawn looks monotone. How is it that people that poisons their own property and their kids, then battle with infestations of bugs, disease and chemical burns to their lawn, while people that just say "if it's green, it's lawn" never have those problems? It's called biodiversity, and it starts with people's own retarded obsession to kill "weeds".

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526616)

Not really "responsibility" however you put it; it's simply in our damn self-interest to keep the surroundings decently nice & stable.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Insightful)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526188)

Like the other poster said, biodiversity is key. It makes natural systems resilient; it means every ecological niche has a backup plan. Everything's in a web of relationships.

When a species goes extinct, the species in some relationship with it are put under stress or imbalance; it ripples through the system. Eventually the system gets overwhelmed and collapses.

Just to be clear, our petroleum and pesticide-based agriculture can go so far, and you do not want to live on a planet with collapsed ecosystems after you've destroyed it for a quick buck. It'll be like Easter Island - miserable survivors with no wood to repair their boats, fighting and cannibalizing each other.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526190)

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] .

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526206)

There are many reasons to care about the survival of a species. One is so we can feel good about ourselves. Another, perhaps more important reason, is that we don't know how the organisms absence will effect the ecology; and if they're extinct, it makes it more difficult for the environment to recover from the impact. I had a biology professor present an interesting example of the chained effects that occur when a species becomes endangered or extinct:

Over the past century or so, humans have lowered the whale population significantly. Consequently, killer whales, who feed on these organisms had to find another food source, so they started eating otters and sea lions. These creatures have a much lower caloric content than whale fat, so the killer whales ate a lot more to supplement their diet. In turn, sea otters and the like were responsible for eating sea urchins, which eat seaweed and kelp. With fewer sea otters, the urchin populations are not kept in check and they destroy the kelp forests at a greater rate. These forests happen to be the home of other organisms, so the chain of effects continues.

Note, I'm going by memory here, but I could probably dig up the study that talks about this stuff. With regards to the bluefin tuna, if they go extinct, a similar chain of events might occur which will come back to bite us humans in the ass. Again, it's not just about keeping other animals safe, but ensuring we have a sustainable habitat to live in too.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526210)

One reasonable response to this line of thinking is to note that, while you're correct in your assertion that man-kind need not be some sort of blessed guardian of all natural species, the simple fact of the matter is the the vast majority of species which go extinct fall into two categories: (1) species that are effectively made extinct through human action, or (2) species that go extinct outside of man's eye (be it naturally, or through unwitting human action)--there aren't too many species that we know about who are being pushed to extinction /not/ through human action. What I'm trying to say is that while "natural" extinction is fine and all, human-forced extinction is (and has been) occurring at very rapid rates, and is probably not a good thing. Will the biosphere as a whole adapt to whatever mankind messes up? Yeah, probably, in (geological) time. Will it adapt in such a way that mankind is happy with the results? Maybe, maybe not. It's that risk that should temper our approach with nature to at least try to do as minimal amount of harm as possible, lest we end up with a biosphere we cannot live in.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526308)

but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet?

Since when does humanity have the inherent right to wipe these species out in the first place? That aside, why is it that a corporation like bp can wipe out an entire ecosystem and destroy a species that so many depend on for making a living? Wiping out a species fails on two counts: 1) biodiversity and 2) property rights violation

Extinctions are a symptom (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526552)

(btw, if you link to Permian-Triassic, you might also to this one [wikipedia.org] )

Continuing survival, in decent form, of as many species as possible would be a damn good sign - it would basically mean the environment on which they depend is in moderately good shape; and stable.
Now...we also depend on quality and stability of surroundings. We might be one of the last among the megafauna to get hit, with our high adaptability, but we can get hit eventually, too.

But instead we're in the middle of...a mass extinction, one of most rapid ones in the history of this planet (apparently around 100 times above background level), with quite possibly half of existing species gone by the end of the century...

I don't care much about those species per se, even if they are cute. Causes of their extinction OTOH warrant a closer look and some concern...

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526598)

I don't think you understand. These are very tasty fish.

Re:Rectifying interference with more interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527112)

If some guy is chasing you with a knife, it's not my responsibility to help you.

Corporation reserves the right to end species (1)

Apocryphos (1222870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526062)

Bluefin just catchin the blow-by. No immediate consequences for destroying species.. maybe we'll learn to enforce preservation of life soon, or maybe we'll just capitalize ourselves out of the water too.

Don't see (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526076)

I'm sorry, I just can't see a can of tuna eating my brains. I guess tuna in the can sorta looks like brains.

Title? (2, Funny)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526080)

While it is a serious issue, I'll give Slashdot readers enough credit to actually read this story based on its importance, rather than an exaggerated, attention-grabbing title.

So which BP exec do I go make my claim too? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526084)

So which BP exec is going to pay for this?

It is was already bad enough that I only eat them once a year or less since the damn Japanese eat them all, but now you bastards are going to extinct the best fish. BP execs should be ground up and used as tuna feed on pacific blue fin farms.

Fuck you BP.

Re:So which BP exec do I go make my claim too? (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527522)

Aw crap, it's time to start eating the next tasty endangered species: Dolphins and Whales.

Ummm, no (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526086)

When a single bluefin tuna can bring $75,000 at market, it's not Deepwater Horizon, no matter how horrific, that's causing bluefin tuna to go extinct.

Re:Ummm, no (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526212)

The fact that Bluefin are valuable has been responsible for the 80%-90% reduction in numbers; but also for the fact that people get real touchy about anything that threatens the last 10% or so.

The trouble here is that Bluefin like to go to the Gulf to spawn. If the delightful mixture of hydrocarbons and toxicologically troublesome dispersants turns out to poison eggs, sperm, or tiny juvenile fish, you could easily get an ecological impact equivalent to massive harvesting of the adult population; but without even the compensatory sushi.

Re:Ummm, no (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526306)

How do you know that the dispersants don't taste like ponzu sauce? Because that would be awesome. Except for the cancer.

Re:Ummm, no (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526892)

Seems like your cause and effect are a bit mixed up here. Since when do high prices, in and of themselves, cause people to buy things?

Re:Ummm, no (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527162)

Other way around. High prices reflect scarcity and demand.

Re:Ummm, no (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527256)

Stop making fucking excuses. Tuna is going extinct because of *people* *eating* *it*. It's that bloody simple.

90% reduction in number is a catastrophic population collapse warranting that population to be put in CITES Appendix I, banning all international trade. But, alas, that cannot happen with tuna now, can it? Most Japanese are oblivious to what their sushi dish is doing to tuna population. But whatever is happening will continue.

Here's an article from one "biased" but accurate source,
        http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/bluefin-tuna-cites-19032010/

Read this from what happened in Canada,
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2580733.stm

Same thing happening for tuna. And now you have the gull to blame BP over this? Total bullshit.

When they came for the bluefin I said nothing... (1)

vm146j2 (233075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526180)

Because on /. nobody can tell that you're Deep Sea Frilled Shark [youtube.com] , and when they finally found out, I was gone.

Re:When they came for the bluefin I said nothing.. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526748)

Mmmm, deep fried sea shark.

Movies vs. Real life (1)

NetServices (1479949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526226)

The living dead are cool in the movies, not in real life. Lets hope they get this cleaned up quickly

Re:Movies vs. Real life (1)

miller701 (525024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526588)

My son and I were watching Godzilla vs. Hedora (aka the smog monster) last night. He didn't ask about it so I brought up the Gulf oil spill. No there won't be a giant monster (thank goodness because there's no real Godzilla to fight him for us). Later on I thought to myself, in a way the effect is the same, places get ruined, things die, and we did it to ourselves..

karma is real (0, Offtopic)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526240)

Does this perfect storm of catastrophe seem odd to anyone else? Could it really be that there is no omnipresent spiritual component to the collapse of ecosystems, the annihilation of the Gulf, the depleted uranium littering Iraq, the total moral depravity of the States that comprise the world? The story of SEC workers looking at kiddie porn cannot be disentangled from the BP regulators going to hookers and blow parties with the industry giants.

I cannot understand this, do you think you're making out like bandits? Do you think that your lifestyle, built as it is upon death and underhanded dealings, will continue without consequences? The evidence that human beings are afflicted by an illness that is spiritual in nature is right in front of you. It's not an illness of the body, or even precisely the mind - you are sick in your awareness. Your awareness is stunted and retarded. You are not aware of the condition that you are in and you are suffering the consequences for it.

2012 is a metaphor but the phenomenon is real. Laser eye surgery can correct defects in the organ of the eye, but what technology will correct a defect in your awareness? 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. Correct the defect in your awareness and perceive the correct relation between the Gulf spill and the actions and ignorance which brought it into being.

Re:karma is real (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526302)

Dude you're not a genius just a nutbag.

There is no Karma this is just greedy assholes being greedy assholes. No amount of you whining and playing hackysack is going to fix it. Only laws against this sort of shit and maybe hanging a few fat rich bankers.

Re:karma is real (0, Offtopic)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526362)

Dude you're not a genius just a nutbag.

It's fortunate for me that you believe this.

Only laws against this sort of shit and maybe hanging a few fat rich bankers.

Laws are not effective measures for preventing deeds. The wicked don't follow them and the virtuous don't need to.

Re:karma is real (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526808)

Dude you're not a genius just a nutbag.

It's fortunate for me that you believe this.

Only laws against this sort of shit and maybe hanging a few fat rich bankers.

Laws are not effective measures for preventing deeds. The wicked don't follow them and the virtuous don't need to.

What about the vast majority of people who are neither wicked nor particularly virtuous? Nearly every society since the ancient Babylonians have found laws useful. If you have a practical replacement for a system of laws, I'd love to hear it.

Re:karma is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527366)

If you have a practical replacement for a system of laws, I'd love to hear it.

Probably it's about everyone becoming highly spiritual and finding the only one truth, blablabla.

Re:karma is real (3, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526440)

Perfect storm? It hasn't happened yet, but if Micheal Bay is to be believed, hurricanes will soon be kicking up a flammable mist of oil and igniting it with lightning. Be prepared to face a hurricane of flaming alligators soon [xkcd.com] .Hehe, xkcd is pretty funny. But you know what isn't funny? Fucking spiritualists on their high horse condescendingly preaching to the rest of us without bothering to find out what we think, making blanket generalizations, and acting generally holier than thou. Nine times out of ten, said fucking spiritualist has their head firmly up their own ass, but you might just be that one in ten who doesn't, so here's a tip on the off chance you aren't a complete fraud: your spiritual practice does not make you better than anyone else. Here's another tip: talking down to your audience alienates them, which causes them to reject what you said no matter how right, meaning you just wasted your time and theirs.

Re:karma is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526762)

but in the end you know what the guy says is true, you just suppress it and go "lalalala" because thats something You can't do shit about so it's better for You to ignore it, over your secular high horse.

"What has science done" to stop the oil spill? I would like to ask. Were not talking about religion here

religion=!karma

Re:karma is real (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526906)

What the guy says is trivial, it amounts to 'causation is real.' Well, duh. As for science, well, every single thing done to stop the spill is a result of science. Last I checked, praying for the spill to end hasn't worked.

Re:karma is real (1)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527050)

People like you belittle actual issues, and make anyone who feels the preservation of something unique and important to look insane because they 'agree' with you on some level. You're doing nothing more then hurting your own arguments, by trying to link Uranium rounds in Iraq with laser eye surgery and the golf oil spill. Sadly, you start to hurt everyone elses as well.

I don't think that's how karma works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527304)

I'm also pretty sure ravaging the indigenous species of the Gulf of Mexico isn't really karma teaching anyone a lesson; except those species. Unless you mean all those fish were horrible people in past lives and this is karma sorting them out. That would be a good example of karma.

"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (5, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526278)

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.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526488)

I really have to agree with this sentiment. Both of these are Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org] events, where single individuals (corporations) are overexploiting all of us, consequences be damned. Unfortunately, we've built a system where corporations have no responsibilities to anything or anyone beyond their own profit motive.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526910)

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.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527190)

no good punishing anyone does, after an entire ocean and god knows what percentage of global ecosystem is fucked. what is needed is prevention.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527318)

the only single way to stop such incidents in the future from happening is to punish, punish, punish and punish more and punish severely for any transgressions.

without punishment that is severe swift and strong there are no incentives for anyone to do the job right, this includes the regulators who are also people and will also corrupt the process.

i am against any and all regulations at all, there is not a single regulation i am for. there is only one thing that governments need to do: punish.

There is no regulation that government can come up with to stop all players in all industries from doing some new form of butchery. government does not have man power, money and it does not want to regulate.

regulation = work. regulation = less money for the government.

regulation = corruption.

the only way to achieve balance between the public and the private corporate sector is through severe and swift consequences.

give me the permission and a gun and i will personally execute every single person responsible for this disaster, i promise not to stop for a lunch break either. i will shoot in the head twice always.

this would really put some fear into the rest of the bunch and make them actually do more work on preventing and fixing disasters that destroy public resources, such as the ocean (and eventually the food supplies and the air)

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527228)

Why is everyone so fixated on BP's management and failings, when they were just leasing a rig owned and operated by Transocean? Yes, the fact they were getting the profits from the rig means they have a duty to pay the costs of the disaster, and they are doing so with very little complaint. But sending BP's management to prison? It seems like Transocean were the offshore drilling experts, and hadn't made any complaints that BP were asking them to act recklessly in any aspects of the rig operation. I think BP should continue paying for the clearup, but I don't see any evidence that they were criminally negligent.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527562)

The reason that punishment won't work as a deterrent is that corporations are fundamentally sociopathic and lack a sense of fear. As institutions they will take risks that individuals don't ... and in some cases the individuals will take risks too.

Let's put it this way. The penalty for playing Russian Roulette and getting unlucky is death. If I offer someone a million dollars to pull the trigger, though, plenty of people will do it. You think threatening to punish corporations which get unlucky when they take risks, AND unlucky enough to get caught, is going to stop the problem?

You could send every last director of BP to a concentration camp, and after the shock wore off, corporations would start to take increasing risks until someone rolled a 1. You don't even need to explicitly put risk-addicted sociopaths in control. It's enough that the upper layers reward people in the lower layers who get results by cutting corners.

This is why we must have oversight and regulations in addition to effective punishment. What we need is enough citizen participation in the governmental process to reverse and then guard against regulatory capture. When a bunch of angry citizens start hammering their congresscritters to fire the foxes from hen-house watch duty, things change for the better.

People keep pointing this problem out to you, and you keep continuing in your assumption that you can come up with some magic set of rules that will allow the system to function on its own, without people like you and me getting their hands dirty. It doesn't work like that, because people are smarter than systems of rules.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526944)

before any of you anti-free market lunatics blurt out anything, "free market" is different from "anarchy". In "free market", barrier to entry into the market is made as low as possible. In "anarchy", there are no rules. There's a difference, here - but are you smart enough to understand it?

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527168)

are you smart enough to understand that its not about 'entry', but what they do AFTER they enter the market ? seems not.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527020)

Aren't they "sort of" regulating themselves, tho? Didn't a lot of Wall Street types go broke, and a bunch of companies disappear?

The problem is that this self-regulation is not exactly the one we'd hope for... they'll fuck up the world before they're gone.

Re:"Businesses can regulate themselves" my ass. (2, Interesting)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Genetic archival? (2, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526550)

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?

Re:Genetic archival? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526796)

We have them in Aquariums and there are efforts to breed and farm them. I am going to bet those folks have plenty of the samples you want.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>