What happens next?

LETTER

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about 50 years of human activity wiping out more than half of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles.

I reckon we should connect those findings to the opposite effect within our species. Yes indeed, human numbers have more than doubled during the same period.

I pointed this out at a social function recently and asked our table “What happens next?”

Disappointed with their low-key response, I added the personal question of: “Doesn’t anyone care?”

By the reaction, it seemed they didn’t. However, one bloke did say “Don’t worry Bob, it will sort itself out!”

His answer did not relieve my concern, but he had a point on the “sort itself out”.

Nature is doing it right now by speeding up the sixth mass extinction process — an irreversible effect of high-impact living patterns and unsustainable population.

Do readers think that by 2070 there will be another halving for wildlife and doubling of our species?

Are we going to look at it and collectively make some sort of an effort to avoid extinction?

The big picture is there for everyone to see. It may be too late but let us at least acknowledge our problem and prepare for what is ahead.

Bob Hughes

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about 50 years of human activity wiping out more than half of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles.

I reckon we should connect those findings to the opposite effect within our species. Yes indeed, human numbers have more than doubled during the same period.

I pointed this out at a social function recently and asked our table “What happens next?”

Disappointed with their low-key response, I added the personal question of: “Doesn’t anyone care?”

By the reaction, it seemed they didn’t. However, one bloke did say “Don’t worry Bob, it will sort itself out!”

His answer did not relieve my concern, but he had a point on the “sort itself out”.

Nature is doing it right now by speeding up the sixth mass extinction process — an irreversible effect of high-impact living patterns and unsustainable population.

Do readers think that by 2070 there will be another halving for wildlife and doubling of our species?

Are we going to look at it and collectively make some sort of an effort to avoid extinction?

The big picture is there for everyone to see. It may be too late but let us at least acknowledge our problem and prepare for what is ahead.

Bob Hughes

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John Fricker - 13 days ago
You're getting worse. Mass extinction "irreversible" "too late to do anything about it". What a depressing big picture you paint.
Fortunately the vast majority of humanity is far more optimistic than you and your scaremongering friends.
Enjoy what's left of your life, the alternative, inevitable as it is, isn't something to look forward to.

Martin Hanson, Nelson - 13 days ago
Bob Hughes is to be commended for his untiring advocacy for taking action over climate change. Year by year, the signs become ever more dire, but most people prefer the more comfortable stance of denial, or they rely on 'hopium', claiming that 'technology will save us", or even worse, 'God will save us'. Another, thankfully tiny, group have nothing better to do than heap evidence-free abuse on those trying to warn us.
I only hope these people will not have to explain themselves to their children. And if they have grandchildren, they won't have to explain themselves because they will be dead. And dead people don't have to apologise.
That said, the early alarm signals have been with us for over a decade and are affecting the present generation. No wonder school students are getting worked up; they will be the ones who pay the price.

Bob Hughes - 13 days ago
Once again Mr Fricker has rubbished my views without answering any of my concerns.
So again I ask the same question, this time just for him.
"Do you think there will be a repeat of the past 50 years, and by 2070 there will again be a halving of wildlife and a doubling of our species?"
A simple Yes or No will do John.

Wanda Jarding, NY - 13 days ago
I hear you Bob . . . and I care!! Even if some of those you know do not, just realise you have achieved a state of consciousness that they may never reach.

G R Webb - 11 days ago
We keep coming back to the continually posed question on what we in New Zealand can do that will have a meaningful effect on climate change? I look forward to the enlightened response which, because Bob Hughes has apparently been taking action on climate change, will be helpful to us all.

Bob Hughes - 11 days ago
Gordon, re-read my last paragraph and be enlightened. The Big Picture is there . . . at least acknowledge our problem and prepare for what is ahead.

Anne Bauld - 10 days ago
"Don't worry" Bob is right, the world is going to hell in a hand basket but not from climate change. The world governments can push climate change and issue dire warnings but they cannot make the people believe or accept it as there are bigger events in hand here. Supporting the kids to protest causes fear and misconceptions, much like fluid gender - no wonder the kids don't know which side is up any more. Look at the bigger picture Bob, it will bring reassurance in these days.

Bob Hughes - 8 days ago
Anne Bauld asks me to Look at the bigger picture and says supporting the kids to protest causes fear and misconceptions!?
The big picture is human climate change endangers our children?s future.
Not supporting them on this issue will reinforce any fears and conceptions of adult betrayal that have already been fostered.
The other day Hamilton?s Rototuna Senior High School student Scarlett Powell said older generations don?t seem to care about the environment . . . What?s the point of changing anything when it won?t affect you . . . We?re the ones that are going to have to deal with the consequences . . . right?
Indeed, let?s take this opportunity to show them we care by supporting them. They deserve a habitable planet. Good to see The Herald online poll now swinging to support this cause.

John Fricker - 7 days ago
There will be no repeat of the past 50 years it's history now.

John Fricker - 7 days ago
You characterise my difference of opinion as "rubbishing" you. That's your prerogative. I merely have a different view of life on earth to you. However, if you consider your opinion as rubbish I'd be hard pressed to argue with you.

Bob Hughes - 7 days ago
Thank you John, yes it's history indeed.
There will be no repeat of the past 50 years.
We will be going the same way of the other species by then. Human population growth will have levelled off and begun to decline.
Maybe at last we have found something we can agree on John?