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mygif

Thanks for posting this. I’ve been having a tough time dealing with any news about the gorilla population for… well, hell, for my entire life. This new discovery is amazing, and one of the only things regarding gorillas in a long time that hasn’t left me horribly depressed, but people need to see this for what it is: a last chance. This doesn’t mean that things have been OK after all, and to allow the situation in Africa to continue; this just means that, through some amazingly positive fluke of luck, it may not be too late after all.

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mygif

How many brain cells do you lose each day by searching right wing blogs for crap like this?

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mygif

I ask this in all seriousness, even though it makes me look like a gigantic dumbass, but nobody ever stopped to mention it while I was growing up.

Why do we care? What’s the reason to be concerned over the population of gorillas, or, even, any endangered species? The people who want them preserved don’t seem to have any reason to want to preserve them beyond that.

I mean, I can get why dumping shit into the ocean is bad, because, hey, the scientists take the time to say, “Well, shit. We told you, you didn’t listen, and now we’ve got all of these fucking jellyfish that will sting you to death and all of the delicious things that used to come from the ocean are getting pretty scared. Thanks, jackasses.” And the rainforest always has the talk about how there could probably be a cure for cancer in like the gajillion species that logging kills every day (there’s probably a couple hamfisted, preachy movies about this very thing).

With the gorillas . . . not so much.

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mygif

Clayton: For reasons I shall not disclose, I keep a Google News Alert for “gorillas.” Hence me discovering this idiocy.

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mygif

Andrew: Jesus Christ. Wow. Maybe it’s because some people think there’s something to appreciate in the world BEYOND the fact that we’re alive. Does something really need to directly threaten you before it gains any significance?

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mygif

MGK: Do you happen to be a Damon Albarn fan?

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mygif

If I were, I expect I would spell it with a Z.

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mygif

Why do we care? What’s the reason to be concerned over the population of gorillas, or, even, any endangered species? The people who want them preserved don’t seem to have any reason to want to preserve them beyond that.
I may never get to travel to Antarctica (God willing, I never will need to), but I take comfort in knowing that the various penguin populations remain strong. a professor brought this up in one of my classes, that people in general may never get to see a critter, but knowing it’s there inspires and comforts.

but in a more specific, physical human benefit view, there’s the food web. you take out one animal, you take out a predator and a prey of other critters. Eastern Lowland Gorillas eat insects, fruits, seeds, and bamboo shoots. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Lowland_Gorilla ) it’s a bit harder to discern the impact of the removal of the gorillas from the food web, but you’d remove a re-seeder at the very least.

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mygif

Bah: Fuck you too.

goblin: Thanks for explaining it. Most people just can’t be bothered to, or treat honest inquiry as such.

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mygif

Why do we care?

Because, next to chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas are our closest living relatives, and understanding the ways in which humans are similar to and different from gorillas leads to important new insights about human behavior and psychology?

Also, because they are extremely intelligent creatures with their own minds and consciouness and culture, and it’s intrinsically immoral to kill them? Let alone wipe them off the face of the planet?

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mygif

Andrew:

First off, I apologize for being unnecessarily harsh in my response. It was impolite, and the kinda shit that makes it hard for serious dialogues to form on the internet (or, at least, on message boards).

Nonetheless, I have to admit that I do find the logic you presented strange. You do seem to be implying that you can only see importance in something that directly impacts you. As DJA said, gorillas are a very close relative to humanity, and needing justification in the value of keeping them alive… well, I find that deeply troubling.

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mygif

Bah: You weren’t. He asked a dumbass question, acknowledging that it was dumbass. Your response was fine in a you get what’s coming sort of way, and in no way did you deserve a fuck you. Fair enough that it was intended as a genuinely honest inquiriy, but it was still a dumbass question!

“Why do we care?” Come ON!

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mygif

The answer I always give to, “How does this impact us if this species goes extinct?” is, “We don’t know…and we don’t want to find out the hard way.” Ecosystems are insanely complex, it could take another lifetime to figure out how various elements affect them, and if you don’t know what something does, you don’t take it out. Like working on a car engine…if you see a part you don’t recognize, assume it does something important until told otherwise, especially if it looks like it’ll be a lot harder to put back in than it was to take out.

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mygif

*goes to watch the flick Congo*

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mygif
malakim2099 said on August 7th, 2008 at 8:57 am

rwe: I refuse to believe that Bruce Campbell can be killed by psycho gorillas after fighting off entire armies of the Evil Dead. :)

And I think I like John’s answer the best for you, Andrew. Though, to put it another way… how well would your car run if I take out one of its spark plugs? Two? Three? Think of the Earth like a giant engine, and then think of these extinctions as mankind taking out the spark plugs. Sooner or later, that engine isn’t going to run anymore.

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mygif

“Sooner or later, that engine isn’t going to run anymore.”

Well, not really. It might not run in a way that supports human life, but nature is a pretty resilient thing. The earth can scrub out pretty much anything we can throw at it (maybe not global nuclear war, but probably even that given enough time). I think Adrew’s question was a fair one, although if we were talking about penguins or something it probably would have made more sense, since penguins don’t have as much scientific value and they’re basically isolated at the fucking end of the earth.

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mygif

I really don’t understand the logic that “It’s OK, the human race may cease to exist, but life will keep on going.” I mean, that’s sort of abstractly comforting, but, you know, I like existing. If you’re trying to use that as an argument for why we shouldn’t be worried about the environment, you’re not making a lot of sense.

But the thing that really bothers me is that there’s almost never a reason to WANT to wipe out a species–it’s just something that happens due to carelessness and stupidity. Sometimes it’s a side effect of their habitat being destroyed–usually, as this example shows, in a preventable manner (wiping out the jungle for charcoal? Good grief.) But sometimes it’s something completely ridiculous, like Chinese people using their penises to make MAGIC MEDICINE that MAKES YOU SEXY. Sometimes it’s even more brutal, like the Dodo’s being wiped out just because sailors enjoyed beating it to death for fun. At least ignorance of this is understandable, but why would you actively *defend* it? The human race’s prosperity does not depend in any way, shape, or form on wiping out species–just the opposite.

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mygif

‘I keep a Google News Alert for “gorillas.” ‘

My guess is that MGK dreads the day Gorilla Grodd comes a-calling, and any evidence his time of reckoning is upon us, someone’s picking up and getting the hell out of town.

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mygif

To Andrew:

To misunderstand the importance of gorillas is to miss the point of an ecosystem at all. Gorillas are a part of an ecosystem in which things – besides gorillas – live. Nature has performed a balancing act for so long that many things have become so specialized that a missing link in the ecosystem could mean disaster for any number of species.

Besides that, why on Earth would you choose not to care about animals being needlessly killed? It’s one thing not to care about animals, but to ignore what is happening to them is akin to being involved in their loss. Humans should be stewards, not profiteers. And the gain from extinguishing gorillas from the earth is far far less than what we will lose once they are gone.

As to value, why should we kill more than we have to? Why be so wasteful as to do away with what can never be replaced, just because it was for a momentary gain? We have made so many decisions that last beyond our death and into the generations that succeed us. How will the generations after us be able to look back and be proud of what civilization has brought them when we have destroyed much of what could have been derived from life?

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mygif

karellan Says: I think Adrew’s question was a fair one, although if we were talking about penguins or something it probably would have made more sense, since penguins don’t have as much scientific value and they’re basically isolated at the fucking end of the earth.

but they’re SOOOOO CUTE!

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