Swimming and snorkeling around Pulau Manukan I made some considerations on nature conservation.
With 6,815,500,000 individuals of the species "homo sapiens sapiens :-)" (US Census Bureau April 18th 2010) nature conservation is a tricky issue. Homo sapiens is resource consuming, especially space and energy consuming. And most important: Homo sapiens has created it's own habitate and has created the circumstances to expand it's population size so ruthlessly. Without neolithical revolution, industrial revolution and further on, there would not be more than (let us say 20,000,000) human beings on earth. In 1800 we were 1 billion (Wikipedia) but this was obviously already fare more than what would be "natural". Well difficult to define, what is natural, but let us say: without any technological intervention - mankind in the state of hunter and gatherer. 1 square kilometer would not feed more than a couple of homo erectus!
But after the neolithical revolution, some 15,000 years ago, we have started to "over-populated" (relative term...) so ruthlessly this planet, that we cannot "conserve" nature! We have to model the environment so that this planet becomes a lovely place for all us 6 billions.
"Environmental protection" should be substituted by "Environmental Modelling". We could decide to keep 10% of the earth in a state of "Nature", this means without human intervention - nearly impossible if we take into account also developments like global warming. At least we should close some spots nearly completely or put them in a condition that humans only in the state of "hunters and gatheres" get entrance - but without hunting and gathering :-) - and only walking!.
The rest of this planet we cannot conserve!!!! We have to model it, we have to architecture it, we have to improve it for human life!
Having said this, I don't mean, that we should go on destroying everything else to create space for human beings. WE should combat stupid destruction of natural resources, but we cannot simply conserve, we have to model, to innovate.
- Sharks are beautiful; they should be part of an ocean that we enjoy. Eating sharkfin soup is stupid! It has clearly no effect of that, what men eating it ,do expect, and for real problems there is Viagra, not?! It is irrisponsible to kill 1000nds and 1000nds of sharks only to get their fins. The same can be said for Abalones and snake blood. Governments should put an "environmental modeling" sales tax of 4000% on these products to bring this siliness to an end.
- Construction (of hotels, houses, streets ....) Construction is necessary. Humans need shelter and rich humans want to have good shelter. The poor humans see the shelter of the rich humans and want this also. They are right! This means construction has to be planned and it has to be done with criteria. The problem is not the construction of a hotel in a beautiful nature spot, but the problem is the construction of an ugly hotel without integration of it into the environment in an ecological and aesthetical way. This does not mean to construct only 5* Hotels in beautiful spots. For whatsoever reasons the local government could decide to have only a camping spot there. But also this camping spot has to be modelled, integrated, needs an architect. The worst things I have seen around travelling are wild campings with all the rubbish left and distributed in the environment. It should be impossible to construct anything without an architect! For any construction we need not only "security" certificates and "environmental compliancy" certificates, but every construction should have a "beautiness" and should not be allowed without that.
- Traffic: people want to move. People (inhabitants and tourists) in KotaKinabalu want to go from town to the islands of the Abdul Rahman National Park. The problem is the lack of modelling and regulation: People go with stinky old boats and heavy diesel motors, which pollute the sea chemically and the environment acustically. Environmental modelling would not exclude people from the islands but would ask for electric motors or sailing boats to go to the islands . Individual traffic in cars is obviously counterproductive. From a means of mobility the car has developed to a means of immobility not speaking about cars polluting by gas, noise and their ugliness. There should be an enormous higher taxation on private cars than it is at the moment. The money should be invested in public transport - with ideas and better than private transport. Individual cars should be used only in those areas where they have a competitive advantage.
- Agriculture: here the conservationist do their worst business. With impeding the use and experimental use of genetically modified plants they try to evoke the impression that genetical modifications of plants (or animals) are against a human friendly environment. The contrary is true. We have tortured the environment of the earth with more than 6 billion of our species. Now we have to look for remedies. These remedies are in the development of technology. Without highest level of technology development, we will not master the future. We need staple foods with higher protein content, we need drought resistant plants, we need pest resistan plants, the list is endless. And the most important point for me is always: we need to learn how to copy the photosynthesis on an industrial scale; then we have resolved our energy and water problem.
For me the pure conservationists are not green, but gray. Green means modelling the world for mankind!