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JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about creating animals?

Asked by JLeslie (57655points) April 1st, 2019 from iPhone

I just saw a 60 minutes report about the permafrost melting in Siberia. A scientist there argues that animals that reduce the quantities of trees might be the answer to helping reverse the warming of the earth. Animals like the extinct woolly mammoth. There is a scientist working on creating a cold resistant elephant. It might not be exactly what was the woolly mammoth, but similar. The scientist said that elephants naturally cross produced so easily hybrids (is that the right word?) happen in nature.

What do you think about this type of science? Not only the creation of animals, but also introducing them to an environment.

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40 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

We have a sad, devastating history of doing this to ecosystems.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Do you mean introducing wildlife or eliminating it? One of the scientists argues it was humans hundreds or thousands of years ago that caused the animals to become extinct or to leave the specific area.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Both. We have failed and caused unforseen problems almost every single time. Climate change is the more likely candidate for their removal than prehistoric humans.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am confused. Why would we want fewer trees? I thought that we would want more trees to use up CO2.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think someone’s logic is flawed. We’re trying to add more trees because they use CO2 as a fuel, and expend oxygen as a waste.

The woolly mammoth didn’t go extinct, until recently, @JLeslie , only about 10,000 years ago. It’s safe to say that the early native Americans lived side by side with them, and hunted them, until they died out. (The first indigenous Americans came in 2 waves, 20,000 and another wave 10,000 years ago.)
I agree with @ARE_you_kidding_me that it was most likely natural climate change that killed them off (the ice age of the time began reversing.) I don’t think there were enough humans to threaten their existence due to hunting. I could be wrong, though.

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kritiper's avatar

So, let me get this straight: They could bring back an animal that eats trees (trees that absorb CO2, a green house gas, and release oxygen) and would produce more methane (a green house gas)?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Right @kritiper?!

They just wanna bring back the mammoth for the hell of it.

JLeslie's avatar

@LostInParadise It was something with the green prairie land in that area being better than trees. The mammoths would stomp down trees, and that helps keep things colder and the carbon trapped. Something like that. Here’s a link. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/siberia-pleistocene-park-bringing-back-pieces-of-the-ice-age-to-combat-climate-change-60-minutes/

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Whaaaaa…? The trees wash the carbon out of the air.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I guess I’d be more impressed if I watched it.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I guess I’m thinking this is like “Which came first, the chicken or the egg.” And it seems to be he thinks he can recreate ice age conditions by bringing back ice age animals.
It’s backwards.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Just guessing but it’s completely feasable that grasslands would be a better CO2 absorber.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Here is an interesting article Cowboys Let Their Grass Grow – Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carbon-cowboys/

They do absorb it but not as effectively as trees.

kritiper's avatar

Plants absorb carbon dioxide like we absorb oxygen. Plants expel oxygen, we, carbon dioxide.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. They use it for fuel to grow. The article above says that the grasses expel the CO2 into the earth where it may get “stabilized.” I suppose the trees do the same.

JLeslie's avatar

The point is the permafrost melting is releasing excessive amounts of carbon into the air. They want to freeze it back up. I guess they think the trees won’t absorb enough of it. They could be wrong I guess, but they are the scientists.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

But bringing back ice age animals is not going to freeze the permafrost again.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We’ve been “creating” animals for as long as we’ve been ourselves domesticated. And don’t we want MORE trees in which to concentrate carbon, thereby retarding global warming?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III The scientist in the report believe it will.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The “scientist” in the report is being questioned and doubted by other scientists.
I don’t know if he’s right or wrong but my common sense tells me that just bringing back the mammoth is not going to reverse man made global warming or return us to the most recent (10,000 years ago) ice age, when they went extinct.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not saying I for sure I agree with him. I have no idea.

kritiper's avatar

Too little, to late, IMO. Al Gore, in his most excellent film “An Inconvenient Truth,” 2007, said humankind may have less than 10 years to correct the problem, if at all possible.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well we’re 2 years over due now, aren’t we.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Those were sensationalist predictions than never came to pass. If anything we actually improved the climate for the growing human population. If we continue down this path though… We’ll start seeing some pretty negative consequences IMO.

kritiper's avatar

The problem I stated was that mankind would reach the point of no return, not that man could correct the problem in so short a time. I guess you had to see the film…

Dutchess_lll's avatar

You said that in 2007 Al Gore said that we would reach the point of no return in 10 years. That 10 years has come and gone.

kritiper's avatar

That isn’t what I said. Reread my third post. What I said in my forth post was what I meant to imply in my third. (Assuming you had seen the film.)
And if the point of no return has been met, well, no harm in continuing to make amends to the climate.
I see no point in just giving up. Or is there, @Dutchess III???
The forth post was meant specifically for @ARE_you_kidding_me ‘s last post.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

You are assuming I have read your 4 posts more carefully than the other 28 posts AND put them all in to perspective?

jca2's avatar

It seems to me that before we can really understand and comment on what @JLeslie is talking about, we’d need to see the show.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_lll I have to assume you haven’t seen the film.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I haven’t but I read the synopsis of the 60 Minute story and read through the article above that I posted. I’d repost so you don’t have to go looking but I’m on my phone.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I don’t get 60 Minutes anymore. :/. I’d have to go looking for it.

kritiper's avatar

The film covers just about everything including the thawing of permafrost.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The thawing of the permafrost is what is releasing the carbon dioxide that was stored thousands of years ago by the grasslands absorption of the CO2. I get that.
Simply bringing back mammoths is not going to refreeze the permafrost.

@kritiper, as I said, I didn’t see the article, but I did look over @JLeslie‘s link to it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He said “film!” Giggle!

I’ll look for it. What was the title?

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