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Balancing The Needs Of Environmental Protection Against Protecting People

Posted on 10th February 2017

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I was quite heartened to read this BBC news story.

The report describes how park rangers in Kaziranga National Park in India are shooting suspected poachers to protect rhinos. They are shooting about 20 people a year.

I don't see why anyone would find this shocking; I find it shocking that most parks which are home to endangered species are not doing so.

The world is desperately short of rhinos (see this post about the virtual extinction of the Northern White Rhino), but we have plenty of humans (over 7 billion and counting). Efforts at protecting endangered species and preserving unique habitats are so often compromised because those efforts put the lives and livelihoods of humans at risk. As long as we continue to undermine the protection of the natural world by setting the wrong balance between people and wildlife, the natural world will continue to be destroyed, and once that natural world is gone, humans will soon be wiped out too.

If you want to get an idea of what life would be like once the environment is heavily degraded, I strongly recommend that you watch the movie "Soylent Green". I certainly don't want to live in a world like that, but I probably don't have a choice in the matter.