Student - in Engineering, USMC 1341 E4

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Why Should We Save the Whales?

We constantly fight and argue that panda bears are not having sex, and their species are going extinct. First of all, I'd like to ask TED: Why is it our business if they're not having sex? Why should we cage them into zoos and bagger them into intercourse?

I am currently taking anti-depressants, and my sexual appetite has come to a screeching and devastating halt. Are you going to cage me in a zoo and tell me that I'm going to kill my species if I don't have intercourse?

If we were a small tribe of early humans traveling through prehistoric lands, would we worry if Saber Toothed tigers weren't eating enough, or eating too much human waste?

I would like to argue that the earth obviously has a natural order in which animals exist and go extinct. Since the dawn of the first single-celled organism, some 90% of all the creatures on the planet are now extinct. If Panda Bears were finally extinct, without any human intervention, would it make that drastic of an impact on the sanctuary of this Earth?

If humans finally became extinct, how would that change the Earth? Would the earth live longer, and prosper?

Would any other species come to save us, if we were on the verge of extinction?

Just a thought of the top of my head.

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    Jun 24 2013: We are destroying our environment and ourselves, since we behave according to the "Market Law".
    It means we want more and more all the time.
    Animals in the nature are behaving according to the "Jungle Law".
    It means they are having just what they need and just in time.
    Being aware of that, we have to take responsibility and save the world from ourselves
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    Jun 23 2013: Save whales for the same reason prople save Hot Wheel cars, or baseball cards. . . someday they will be worth a lot.
  • Jun 28 2013: A good question. Deserves a serious answer. The best one I can think of is...

    It's in our interests. Given that that all cures or treatments for every disease out there, has before being synthesized come from nature, it would seem to allow things to go extinct, or continue deforestation with the loss of flora and fauna, is in the long term not the smartest of ideas.

    As for natural order, yes, I'd agree there is. But because of our very reproductive system, and more recently in the last century our survival rate, we have dramatically changed the equation of balance. When that happens, natural order flys out of the window.

    If Panda Bears were finally extinct, without any human intervention, would it make that drastic of an impact on the sanctuary of this Earth? Yes, but in their case it would only be localized to some degree, in that they eat specific bamboo, and so the production of that would stall if they were not there. So by them eating it, it ensures regrowth, which given the original size of the territory would have a micro climate effect, and so a global effect. Which humanity has severely deforested, what consequences that has, is a very difficult simulation to create.

    If humans finally became extinct, well nature would 'reclaim' vast tract's of land with vegetation, forests, etc. So I think that's obvious in the consequences for the planet.

    If we were going extinct, then no, no other species would save us, you can see that from the influenza viruses that have cause deaths, the sars in Canada that was very problematic. If we did go extinct like that via a virus, lots of insects & small mammals would have a very abundant food supply.

    As for Whales, again look at the food source they eat, and look at how they keep it in check, just like the panda's. If they are gone, look up Red tide.

    I think the idea is to remember that each and every thing plays a part in a whole, imagine trying to make a simulation of it, then you see what impact even ant's have.
  • Jun 27 2013: I have similar thoughts when I saw many campaigns urging us to save endangered animals.
    May be we should follow the principle of "Nature selects, the fittest survives". Some animals like panda they cannot adapt to the changes of the environment so they are going to extinct. When we interrupt the process, sometimes I think that we act like GOD- decide which species to survive, which species to extinct. It may bring unpredictable consequences to future generation (May be good or may be bad). I do not think it is a must to save all the species facing extinction.
    According to Taoism, "govern by doing nothing that is against nature " is the best way to live and rule. But I know people would not dare to do nothing. We feel guilty about destroying the nature, we want to show our care and love to other species and of course we worry about our future. Plus,People prefer more than less in everything, including species.
    In short, I think saving endangered animals is for human beings, not for the nature itself.
    (Thank you for your question, it reminds me to think about this topic more seriously. )
  • Jun 24 2013: We should save the whales because there is so much we do not know.

    Let us all admit that all arguments on this subject start and end with our ignorance. We know almost nothing about the relationships between humans and the environment, and just as little about whales and the environment. The whales could be crucial to our existence, and we would have no way to discover that link. It was only a few years ago that we learned how crucial plankton is to our existence.

    Until we learn a great deal more about the environment and the way humans fit into the big picture, I think it would be safest to minimize changes to the environment. (I know, too late!)
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    Jun 24 2013: We should try very hard not to cause the extinction of any organism, just as we should refrain from saving an organism that is coming to a natural end. There were lots of whales before we interfered so we should put that right. Pandas on the other hand have been desperately hanging on for thousands of years, so maybe we should let them go.
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    Jun 23 2013: If we don't then there won't be anything to look at on whale watching trips.

    I submit that humans are part of evolution as well, we do not have to exercise the prime directive as we are organic to this planet.
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        Jun 23 2013: "Humans are part of evolution and as such we are also part of a finely balanced system. Destroy enough parts of that system and the system fails and humans go extinct."

        That is part of evolution as well
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        Jun 23 2013: Sure it is when a parasite kills the host the parasite dies off. As with the Rats on Easter Island
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        Jun 23 2013: Have a nice day
        • Jun 23 2013: I think that survival is a series of self destructive qualities, really. Throughout the years of life on earth, genetic codes (and full-blown organisms) have been created and destroyed to determine the strongest qualities an animal may use to survive and reproduce.

          As a result, sometimes entire species went entirely extinct because their genome was unable to adapt sufficiently. The animals that are extinct today, at one point adapted new instinctual or physical qualities in an attempt to endure their environment eventually encountered an issue too catastrophic that would ultimately destroy that species. Humans, however, were too clever because when we stopped adapting genetically, we began adapting cognitively, and now we're back on the verge of a strong genetic and physical evolution with the discovery of new technology.

          I mean, along with disease, habitat displacement, long term environmental trends, competition - genetic adaptation is the building block to combat those elements that might one day determine whether or not an animal will go extinct - DUH. Humans have obviously bypassed this form of natural selection and created their own version of artificial selection. In doing so, we artificially select which animals do and do not survive.

          Does this artificial selection really benefit US, since we are artificially attempting to prolong the existence of certain animals and creatures? We can create a zoological environment, pass preservation laws, and try to treat other animals as "humanely" as possible. But, does that really solve our problem as humans?

          What I personally see, is that by saving the whales we are just finding an excuse to harvest the resources of an endangered animals natural habitat. If you want to colonize or a plot of land, you have to destroy or displace the indigenous population of whatever creatures live there.

          If 90% of all the species on earth are extinct today, Noah didn't do a very a good job, did he?
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    Jun 23 2013: Maybe people's effort to save endangered animals by caging them into zoos to help their intercourse is a way that humankinds show their guilt for accelerating the process of their extinction.

    For example, people's improper behaviors in openning up virgin soil destroyed many animal's habitats into small areas, which set barriers to their intercourses as animals are devided into separated small groups. As a result, their birth rate falls down and the newborn is weaker than before caused by intermarriage-----then, the animals become endangered ones.

    Briefly speaking, it's humankind that moves up animals' extinction and people will naturally feel guilty.Thus,people will try to help these species's reproduction to make up for the bad babehavoirs.
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    Jun 22 2013: And if it was just for their beauty would be reason enough for me ...

    Earth herself, nature herself could not care less who, what or if anything at all dwells on her surface or hops into existence our out by her principles, as both do not care about what they make possible and create.

    One may wonder about the fact, that we as humans are capable to have the sense of 'care' in all the surrounding ignorance, and whether it is a just a random 'vagarie of nature' or intentionally installed doesn't really matter here at all. The simple fact that we do, lead us to feel 'responsibility' as well, and this, as well in having become the dominating creature on this planet at the moment, is reason enough why we should ... and because we could...
    • Jun 23 2013: What I THINK you are arguing is more ethical than ecological. Just because we could, doesn't mean we should. Ethically, I believe that is a really grey statement. For example, we COULD sentence a murderer to death - and the fact that he or she has killed a human / multiple humans SHOULD be reason enough to do that. You can even prove that killing is morally wrong, scientifically. From an Evolutionist standpoint, killing your own species contradicts the mission of survival and preservation, and reproduction and growth. To make certain that any of this happens, any aspect of a species that kills themselves needs to be cut out. Typically, that would involve a genetic remodeling over a long period of time. In our case, humans have genetically evolved as much as we are going to. Now, the only threat to the human race is, in fact, the human race.

      But let's switch gears a little bit... Thrown into this mix is our ability to empathize with other creatures. We see that they are also struggling to evolve and survive as times change, just like we are. Ridden with emotions that inspire us to change the world, we step in and lend them a helping hand. But, if we drive our efforts toward preserving the lives of other animals, would that take the focus away from preserving our own lives?

      Our solution to preserving the lives of other animals is to lock them in an artificial environment to try and encourage sex, and then turning around and chopping large amounts of forest and natural habitat down for industrialization; and we pollute their water and food with human waste; and we consume their resources entirely once the indigenous animals have been entirely displaced. We have massive cities, like Boston or Sydney or Tokyo, to prove that this is what we do as humans. And when we begin taking over more land, we multiply more quickly until the land is consumed.
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        Lejan .

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        Jun 23 2013: Since the beginning of the industrial revolution we alienate more and more from our natural environment out of which we evolved and of which we are part of, inseparably for our survival. Unfortunately this alienation created the illusion for industrialized civilizations to have gained 'control' over the environment which, in combination with destructive economy models, lead us to false conclusions regarding our vital dependence on an ecosystem, whose complexity, connectedness and interactivity was arrogantly ignored. This highly complex and dynamic system is fault tolerant to certain degrees and delays the recognition of 'cause - effect' loops and pattern, yet even though if it doesn't, all chosen economy models haven't been designed for sustainability and therefore fail to react sensible and appropriate to their destructive impact on the system itself.

        The impact of our exploitative behavior penetrates deeper and deeper into the dynamic fabric of nature, which by herself will doubtlessly adapt to it,yet if the result of that will be able to sustain the human species in the way we are used to, is questionable and remains to be seen.

        The fact that panda bears reproduced most likely effortless throughout their existence and only began to stutter at the peak of our world dominance makes me think, that we have part in the cause of this. As neither you, nor me, nor anyone is able to understand the complexity and interwoven dependencies of our ecosphere, preservation becomes key for our very existence.

        In analogy of this 'spaceship earth' we life on, I think only a view of us flying in a 747 above the clouds would dare to randomly shut off instruments in the cockpit or to take them out and re-wire them, just to find out what their purpose is by judging the result of what may happen. Obviously you could shut down many functions, without causing the plane to immediately crash. But as we don't know what we were doing, we could also end the journey pretty quickly.
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        Jun 23 2013: Interestingly, this is what we do right now with our planet.

        So as we simply don't know what the panda bears and the whales are good for in this whole complexity, we better do what we can to keep them, especially then if we are the cause for them to go extinct.

        And as simple this thought may seem, it is neither 'ethical' or 'ecological' but simple logic.

        Since evolution took place on this planet there is a constant coming and going of species and we
        found record that widespread deaths of many species took place within very short periods of time, and evolution simply moved on and created new ones. But we also know of very old species, who manged to survive many periods and changes and either adapted or found their niche.

        Yet also immanent in all species is the urge of survival and in this we are no exception, by which it should be obvious for us to do anything in our power to become an 'old' species one fine day ...
        But why are we not acting this way? What made us leave the 'fabric of nature' to turn against it? Why did we begin to destroy the earth which nurtured us? Why did we choose for economic systems which are destructive instead of being sustainable? And even worse, why do we stick to them since the time we realized their destructive nature?

        You said: 'Now, the only threat to the human race is, in fact, the human race.'

        To me this is only half the truth, and also reflects the arrogance we usurped.

        A single meteor impact could wipe all of us out in a simple stroke and this without us even knowing that it was coming ... So no, we are not the only threat to ourself, there is the whole universe which could turn itself against us ...

        The fact that many of us life in neat little houses and that we get our food around the corner in the supermarket doesn't mean that all of this is for granted and goes on for ever ... in fact, it won't if we do not start to rethink our lifestyle.
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        Jun 23 2013: All of our so called - and felt - 'normal lifes' are based on fossile fuels of which we know they are going to run out. We have no substitution at hand, no alternatives which would not be environmentally destructive, yet we do not react at all ...

        So by helping the pandas, the whales, we do nothing else but to help our-selfs to preserve as much as we can of nature as we know it, for the day to come in which we may have no other choice but to step back of being the world dominant species and to blend in again into a more 'down to earth' way of being ...
    • Jun 23 2013: So, that is why I really wonder why we should save the whales. Our actions proceeding every animal taken from its natural habitat, and placed into an artificial ecosystem, typically result in the natural environment being wiped clean of its resources.
      • W T

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        Jun 23 2013: Carlin called it "arrogant meddling"
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        Jun 23 2013: So why don't we question ourselves then in the first place if it is necessary to wiped clean entire habitats? To me, this sort of unreflected activism is based on the dominating economical doctrine of 'continues growth', which, by itself, simply can't work on a planet with finite resources.

        So if we would operate in 'closed loops' instead of 'open spirals', as we currently do, there was no or not as much need for further expansion and the destruction of countless habitats.