Author Topic: Episode #723  (Read 2627 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #723
« on: May 18, 2019, 12:41:55 PM »
Interview with Dark Matter specialist, Bjeorn Penning; News Items: 5G is Coming, Hardy Exoplanets, Moonquakes, Don't Farm Octopuses; Who's That Noisy; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline JohnM

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 03:18:40 PM »

Well, I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed by Cara coming out as pro-hunting. Someone as sensitive to past colonialism should know better. I get the impression she did not really challenge the economic statistics that were being presented by a conference which was paid for by a hunting lobby...


Offline GodHead

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 04:02:22 PM »
Lol. I bet you're one of the exact people that the Rogues were speaking out against.

Ever been to Africa, have you?

Offline Gyroscope

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 08:34:03 PM »
I tried to send this message using the contact form on the main website but it appears to be broken. I have pasted it below:

Hi, I don't have a question or anything but I listened to Cara's gushing report on her trip to Namibia and just wanted to share my love of this great and beautiful country with her. I just came back from my 3rd trip there (I think I was actually there at the same time as Cara). I'm a photographer and have many photo's of the Namibian people, wildlife and landscapes but my most recent trip was to southern Namibia where Cara really HAS to go in the future. I would be honored if she got to see my work at my website. And yes she is right - you can't just visit this place once!

This is Namibia's landscapes from the southern part of the country:

 http://www.mordenohare.com.au/portfolios#/namibia/

Keep up the good work. As a patreon member I like the extra content you guys do and am very interested to see the direction things go in the future. Love the show! Oh and if you are curious Steve I also have a bird photography gallery on my website.

Regards, Morden.

Offline swan

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 08:46:19 PM »
Let's try "Posse of Planets" instead. Also, octopuses belong in gardens (in the shade), not on farms!

Well, I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed by Cara coming out as pro-hunting. Someone as sensitive to past colonialism should know better. I get the impression she did not really challenge the economic statistics that were being presented by a conference which was paid for by a hunting lobby...

Did Cara actually say anything at all that could be interpreted that way? Oh well... Anyway, if Adam Ruins Everything was on a channel that people actually watch then perhaps more people would understand the idea:



Offline Gyroscope

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 08:59:08 PM »
I was very interested in Cara's comments about hunting and conservation. I have visited Africa 5 times (Namibia, Botswana, Kenya) and have had a life long interest in it. I am no expert on the topic but those visits plus following the hunting/conservation topics has made me long aware that this is a complex issue. Some observations are below and I hope that Cara will have a couple of people on her podcast or someone on this podcast who is an expert on the topic sometime. My gut reaction has always been to stop hunting but my head always says this is probably not the best way to approach the issue.

1) Different countries have different approaches to hunting and I think this may be a natural experiment playing out. Botswana has no hunting allowed and it focuses on photographic tourism and they have a very healthy population of animals particularly elephants BUT they have a high cost low volume model. It is very expensive to visit the lodges in the delta so they keep the numbers low, the impact low but good money coming in. Kenya by contrast has a high volume model and places like the Masai Mara are becoming over run with tourists and this can't help but impact on the environment somehow. Maybe in Kenya a hunting safari would have less impact on the environment but in Botswana it would be less desirable? Botswana by the way have suffered a lot less from poaching partly at least because they have a defense force who's main job is to patrol the parks and keep poachers out.

2) Even if hunting for sport was beneficial generally there are going to be exceptions to this rule. The lion is the main exception as shooting a male lion could have devastating impacts. If that lion has a pride then all his cubs will be killed when it is taken over by a new male lion. Theoretically you could shoot a a lion that doesn't have a pride but it is not always possible to tell and too difficult to police. I'd say lions should be off the table completely. For this reason maybe we should tolerate the 'canned lion hunting' operations in South Africa as distasteful as that is. Maybe those businesses take the pressure of wild lions?

3) Poaching and bush meat hunting I think has a WAY larger impact on the ecosystems particularly for the icon species like elephants and rhino's and these are also the species that are most sought after by trophy hunters. It's possible that if poaching were stopped completely, all these species might rebound in numbers even if low volume high cost trophy hunting were allowed.

4) I think it is important to take an overall ecosystem approach. In other words we have to be making decisions based on scientific data that helps preserve the ecosystem as whole rather than just sentimentally focusing on protecting one or 2 species. Taking care of the whole ecosystem naturally protects all species and if hunting helps protect the ecosystem then the loss of a few individuals as horrible as that seems to us should be accepted.

5) Hunting is not hunting. There are different countries who have different rules from hunting and charge different prices and disperse the monies from it in different ways. The question should not be do we allow trophy hunting or not (I think that cat is out of the bag in most areas) but which trophy hunting model or framework of regulations works the best. These regulations will be slightly different depending on the species and the ecosystem but there must be some basic rules that apply like the percentage of the hunters fee that gets paid into the local environmental groups and communities. I think it is fair to say that even if hunting in general benefited the environment there are many trophy hunting concessions and operations that are operating way outside the parameters that would allow that. They need to be properly regulated and that is difficult in some countries because of corruption or lack of government funds.

Anyway I hope to hear more on this topic from Cara! 

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 09:28:53 PM »
[...] I would be honored if she got to see my work at my website. And yes she is right - you can't just visit this place once!

This is Namibia's landscapes from the southern part of the country:

 http://www.mordenohare.com.au/portfolios#/namibia/

Oooh
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 09:31:45 PM »
Speaking of African languages, if Cara loves Namibia I hope she can study one of the indigenous languages. Would be lovely to hear her talk nerdy in, say, Khoekhoegowab.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 11:50:41 PM »
New website looks horrible: ridiculously huge banner image, awful fonts, no consistent color pallet, all-caps headers, huge amounts of space wasted on stats, grainy background images. The old site, for all its flaws, at least had a thoughtful and consistent design.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Zec

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2019, 03:04:48 AM »
So trophy hunting is beneficial because of MONEY.
wow, that’s a skeptical approach. if it pays enough it’s science!

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2019, 03:30:12 AM »
Haven't listened yet but did they bring up:
  • Auctioning off legitimate culls as hunts to fund operations
  • 'Hunting' as a major support for conservation
Those are the two pro-hunting I'd accept even if I were ideologically opposed.

Currently ambivalent.  Went fishing only once.  Felt bad for the fish.
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 05:23:29 AM »
Is it just me, or is it not possible to see the information for each episode with the new website design? For example links to news items, the Science or Fiction items, and the skeptical quote.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 07:37:42 AM »
First problem I noticed; not being able to scroll through the archive without repeatedly clicking on a separate scrollbar (edit: or the mouse scroll button, but it's sometimes more handy to use keyboard buttons). That makes the archive far more tedious.

No, I'm not seeing the links. Only the summary.

https://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcasts
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 07:40:57 AM by 2397 »

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 08:24:28 AM »
Haven't listened yet but did they bring up:
  • Auctioning off legitimate culls as hunts to fund operations
  • 'Hunting' as a major support for conservation
Those are the two pro-hunting I'd accept even if I were ideologically opposed.

I would say that if it's only about money, with the trophy hunting functioning as an excuse to give money, that means it's not really trophy hunting that's helping. It's about sucking up to rich bastards. Which we don't need to do.

If they have that kind of money to throw away on what is a luxury to them, it means they can pay more in taxes, and our governments can fund the programs directly. There are some things we shouldn't leave up to the free market to sort out, and conservation is among them. Including global conservation. It should be in all of our interest to preserve as much of the global ecosystem as possible, barring a few parasites.

I agree that tourism isn't the answer, which apparently was part of what Cara heard them compare it to. Instead we should actively reduce the amount of tourism to both reduce global emissions, and the damage tourists can do directly. Such as running over animals by accident, killing animals in "self-defense" because they react violently to you being somewhere you have no reason to be, or drowning tortoises because you have no idea what you're doing. And leaving garbage everywhere that animals can choke on or be cut up by.

Let local professionals take care of the conservation aspect, and let trophy hunters hunt trophies in the form of something other than animals that there's nothing impressive about killing.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 08:34:46 AM by 2397 »

Offline thelaker

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Re: Episode #723
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 08:47:53 AM »
Cara's activist self reveals itself again when she keeps using the term "factory farm", a term that she does not bother to define and is intended to evoke an emotional response:

https://www.agfoundation.org/news/what-is-a-factory-farm

"Why do people insist on using the word factory farm? Factory farm is a term used to evoke emotion, or rather, lack of emotion. It’s a term used by those who oppose modern farming and want farmers to go back 'to the good old days' of farming. The problem with 'the good old days' is they really weren’t that 'good' in regards to animal care."

Wikipedia calls it "intensive animal farming", which seems more descriptive to me without the scary "factory" word:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_animal_farming

 

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