[ExI] homo sapiens as endangered species
anders at aleph.se
Thu Jun 2 16:58:33 UTC 2011
> In 1973 the US passed a law that protects endangered species, but in
> retrospect it may have been the biggest victory for the oil
> companies. Reasoning: every alternative energy source that I know of
> could be slowed to a stop by various camps of greens, some perhaps
> employed by oil companies.
Nah, this concern is more about the system being exploitable.
Counterparts exist in countries where corruption or bad governance could
cause governments to make decisions in favor of NIMBYs with deep
pockets, pull or the right relatives. The cure is of course to try to
make the legal system fair, transparent and nonarbitrary. Or place your
business in such places.
Recently I listened to a presentation by a biodiversity researcher who
had been developing a software tool for calculating the ecological
impact of building stuff in different locations. This was a GIS
tour-de-force, combining worldwide databases of geography, land cover,
the sightings of more or less endangered species, migration patterns
etc. This project was funded by StatOil, who wanted to figure out where
in a concession area to put their oil pumping stations to minimize
ecological impact. The great irony is that the authorities that gives
concessions to drill do not use any method like this: if they actually
used this kind of method they could place concessions so that impact
would be lower no matter where the oil company drills. This is not due
to any evil or corruption, just the lack of easily available smart tools.
When I saw the subject of this thread I thought it was more about
xrisks. I have been tinkering with some minimum viable population models
of H. sapiens. If we are ever near extinction, it is pretty tough to
maintain a population - big mammals are tricky.
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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