On completely missing the point….

20 07 2013

Dr Richard Oppenlander

I’ve just watched this one and a half hour video discovered on Facebook…….  it is certainly thought provoking, and I encourage you to watch it if you have the bandwidth (we, astonishingly, had ours increased FIFTEEN FOLD by our provider free of charge this month…  and I’m sure making the most of it!)

However, I am not endorsing this as the simple solution Dr Richard Oppenlander (a dentist) obviously seems to think it is.  Because he gobsmackingly omits to mention the real reasons all the depressing stuff in his presentation occur……..

I warn you, you may feel like slashing your wrists on occasion as you watch this……

When his 7 billion/70 billion slide came up, I instantly didn’t think of the 70 billion animals we allegedly keep for our consumption, I immediately focused on the smaller number……  because, obviously, if there were only one billion people here, then there would only be the need for ten billion animals…..  and if the numbers were indeed that small (and I stress, kept that small..) then climate change would not even be an issue (Oppenlander claims that our animal herds are responsible for perhaps as much as 50% of greenhouse emissions…)  At no time does Oppenlander question population growth.  He even says near the end that Americans apparently eat less red meat, but the production has not fallen.  Hello…..  of course if more people individually eat less meat, collectively the amount won’t fall, it may even grow.  Worse, he even mentions a future “nine billion” without batting an eyelid….  like it’s all OK.  All we have to do is change our diet!

For me the most shocking aspect of this long video was the fishing.  What is happening in our oceans is truly frightening, but what I saw and he fails to see (he certainly never mentions them) are the FOSSIL FUELLED fishing boats.

Now he may be right about animals producing more than double the emissions of our use of fossil fuels; BUT, and it is a very very big but, all this fishing, on the monumental scale depicted, is only possible because of fossil fuels.  In fact, fossil fuels are entirely to blame for everything.  Fossil fuels allowed our population to grow beyond one billion, and allowed agriculture to grow fast enough to feed most of us on the planet.  He seems totally unaware that 90% of the calories we all eat (unless we grow our own ‘sustainably’, come from fossil fuels.  Yes, even the vegetarian calories he eats.  Furthermore, sustainable agriculture without animals is pretty well impossible.  Fertilisers have to either come from hydrocarbons, or animals.  Period.

As I write this, I did some more research on Oppenlander and found another interesting video you may also want to watch…

To his credit, he does grow his own food.  And he has several animals there, so hopefully (no mention here) he uses their manures to make his own compost.  Disappointingly, he also has three children, so he has contributed to population growth.  Am I being over critical?  Here we have someone who is himself very critical of the way the world is run, and let’s not beat around the bush, I totally agree with that….  there are not many things on this planet we have not screwed up.  Furthermore, he is obviously well off.  How many people could afford to buy a large farm like his and lock it up away from feeding the hordes outside?  He and his family are just as much part of the problem as me and mine are….  and I would be far more impressed if he actually admitted it.

On top of that, we can’t eat grass (and there’s no shortage of that);  but the animals that can turn it into protein which we can eat…  I thought his attitude to the word protein was a bit childish, especially for someone like him who likes to call a spade a spade!

I hope he gets to see this.  The real problems are not so much what we eat, they are population growth, growth in general, fossil fuel use, and of course the Capitalist system he exists in that utterly relies on the above to grow and grow.  The growth monster is eating the planet.

Even after all that, there is but one solution, and that’s collapse.  Only collapse will end fossil fuel use and fishing, and fish farms, and growing grains to feed cattle, deforestation to grow soy and palm trees for oil and sugar, etc etc…..  but you who read this blog already knew that.

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9 responses

21 07 2013
robertscribbler

Triple crisis:

1. Overpopulation
2. Resource depletion
3. Climate change

The enabler

4. Greed (lack of restraint/overconsption)

1 amplifies 2 and 3
2 amplifies 3
2 and 3 make reduce the sustainable scope of 1
1 and 2 are difficult but solvable
3 is a monster that is unsolvable beyond a fuzzy, non-determined point
4 pretends 1 through 3 don’t exist, delays responsible action, and enable activities and behaviors that make 1-3 worse
All acting together equal a dangerous crisis I’m calling Growth Shock.

Good video. Thanks for posting.

21 07 2013
len gardener

so what is the answer? genocide of up to 90% of the population, like now? and who will have schindlers list of who goes first will it be by colour, creed or alpha-numerical, and then who will volunteer to drop the axe.

need to get in touch with realism, gov’ the wealthy moguls, and plastic wealthy yuppies are sucking up the planets resources

yep the writer may very well fit into the greed brigade, the poor aren’t greedy they just want a simple affordable roof over their heads and be able to buy food and pay bills. no twin set SUV’s or holidays away say bali.

anyhow at this rate the matrix will be met

len

21 07 2013
ruhh

while we are being picky, you said “Fertilisers have to either come from hydrocarbons, or animals. Period.”
Sorry, buddy, but that is just flat out wrong and won’t even bother to tell you why because you should know better 😉

Besides that, yeah, I get it.
Cheers
r.

PS: Love robertscribbler’s comment too 🙂

21 07 2013
mikestasse

Yeah, alright, there are green manures……. but I haven’t used those much. Maybe it’s the excess manure I have here..!

21 07 2013
Kristina

Animals provide much more to farming than fertiliser. What about haulage and transport? Good luck with that without fossil fuels if you ain’t got no animals.

21 07 2013
ruhh

don’t worry, I agree animals are an integral part of the equation. Let’s just not treat them like shit/commodities and give them the respect they deserve while still enjoying their flesh when controlling their populations.

12 10 2014
Dr. Edwards

The overpopulation myth is rubbish. It’s a behavior problem. The planet can sustain up to 20 bn ppl at present technology, if people behaved. That is the message of Dr. Oppenlander, and so decent non-marketing oriented science dictates.
Instead, I here read a blog that is the ramblings of a mad man, who’s a denialist and an addict of animal protein, contradicting himself over and over.
Simply embarrassing to read, and a complete waste of valuable time.

12 10 2014
mikestasse

Thank you Dr Edwards……. for completely missing the point!

12 10 2014
bev

yep mike the doc is wrong, it is greed driven by political power and wealthy moguls decimating what the world needs to run and work properly, it is not putting nature and animals above mankind, and as for those middle classes with their plastic money and expensive tastes you can’t get them to behave for humanity, they think the earth is their oyster, come back to good core values, and common sense

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