QoD: The Gorilla is everything humanity is not

In referring to Life on Earth in the last post, I could not help but recall the incredible scene in which David Attenborough confronts the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.

In one of the most amazing and beautiful scenes in television history, Attenborough reflects upon humanity and how we have unfairly characterised the gorilla as brutish:

“There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know. Their sight, their hearing, their sense of smell are so similar to ours that they see the world in much the same way as we do. We live in the same sort of social groups with largely permanent family relationships. They walk around on the ground as we do, though they are immensely more powerful than we are. So if there were ever a possibility of escaping the human condition and living imaginatively in another creature’s world, it must be with the gorilla. The male is an enormously powerful creature but he only uses his strength when he is protecting his family and it is very rare that there is violence within the group. So it seems really very unfair that man should have chosen the gorilla to symbolise everything that is aggressive and violent, when that is the one thing that the gorilla is not — and that we are.”

There is a grandeur in this view of life and our relationship with nature – and a humility and reverence we all too often brush aside in the cause of efficient markets and personal enrichment.

Our debates, politics and discourse have become nasty, brutish and destructive.

We have forgotten what is at stake; and it is not just magnificent species such as the mountain gorilla.

We are at risk of losing that sense of who we really are; a species capable of both barbarity and genius, and whose only home is this planet.

52 thoughts on “QoD: The Gorilla is everything humanity is not

  1. john byatt says:

    David has been a very lucky man, but i am sure that he knows that. Brilliant observation David

  2. Eric Worrall says:

    A prime example of the anti-humanism at the heart of much of the environmental movement – praise for a dumb animal, and a sneer at your fellow humans.

    Perhaps you don’t care when policies which you support hurt your fellow humans, because, in your heart, you despise them.


    • Watching the Deniers says:

      And zing! Just as I expected. Actually I am philanthropic – a “lover of humanity”. But I’m also very, very familiar with the darkness humanity is capable of. And it’s brilliance.

      Those “dumb animals” are magnificent creatures, the product of millions of years of evolution.

      I am a conservative by nature – I wish to see them preserved.

      I also wish to see preserved the opportunities for the individual person to flourish. Poverty, violence, sexism, racism, homophobia and a degraded environment stymie the individuals ability to flourish.

      My concern over climate change is greatly motivated by the risk it poses to humanity.

      How very, very sad you take my appreciation of the wonder of the natural world for hatred of humanity.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Apologies if I misunderstood – “The Gorilla is Everything Humanity is Not” suggested to me that you like Gorillas more than humans.

        And perhaps I was making an unwarranted assumption when I thought that you support some of the more horribly destructive, damaging, impoverishing policies advocated by some of your fellow travellers – policies such as biofuel subsidies, which as even the UN says, cause widespread hunger and despair in the third world.

  3. rubber tatster says:

    Eric is a weird sort of troll. Sure he spouts the usual reactionary denialist mantra without engaging one brain cell in the process but then he tries to cover his foolishness with a mea culpa when it is obvious he hasn’t even read the post he comments on.

    Remember always – this is an individual who equates climate scientists with Nazi’s, believes environmentalism is part of some grand scheme to take over the world and that aliens are sending messages to earth via gamma rays from the sun.

    Another thing that is obvious – Eric is someone who is so quick to brand others as ‘haters of humanity’ but he does a pretty damn good job hating a fair chunk of humanity via his pathetic posts and feeble parroting of lies about climate science and climate scientists.

    Stick to writing stupid little apps Eric. Leave the big issues for the grown-ups.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      At what point did I suggest aliens are sending messages to Earth? Nice little lie there rubber.

      I am concerned about parallels between Climate pseudoscience, and other pseudoscience crazes, such as witch burning, Lysenkan Biology, and of course, Eugenics, but rather than have me explain it, why not read the words of the late Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park. http://www.crichton-official.com/essay-stateoffear-whypoliticizedscienceisdangerous.html

      Stick to your job, and let your betters do the thinking and make the decisions, is a sentiment from the feudal past, not something that belongs to an age of freedom.

      • rubber taster says:

        If you are worried about climate pseudo-science then you should stop reading WUWT because it is the home of climate pseudo-science (and crazies, haters and people inventing their own laws of physics).

        In your sad twisted mind, because you fail to understand climate science, then it must all be wrong. Maybe there just might be a few people smarter than you? Hard to accept but maybe the scientists who study the climate for their entire lives might know more than a piddling IT consultant?

        Worse than that, you accuse climate scientists of being Nazis. That is simply hate speech, is it not?

        And you keep the hate and slurs coming. Your constant climate denier catchphrases show everyone that you are incapable of independent thought – when all else fails and you have no facts or science to state, you repeat the tired slurs – ‘Eugenics’, ‘Lysenkoism’…

        (do you even see the irony of citing a fiction writer as an expert on climate science? Maybe have a look at how real scientists dismantled Chrichton’s bullshit here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74)

        And when i say stick to your job, I mean it. You’re too stupid to understand climate science – your friends wont tell you how ridiculous you are acting, your wife will just roll her eyes and hope you grow out of your fixation and when they are old enough, your children will shun you for acting like such a dick..

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Having run out of intellectual arguments against the points I raised, you are now trying to shut down the debate through wilful distortions of my positions on a number of subjects, and insults.

          When I suggest Climate Scientists are NAZIs, I don’t mean they have nasty little uniforms in their closet, or hate Jews.

          What I am suggesting is they are helping to promote catastrophist junk science.

          But you already knew this, didn’t you?

      • john byatt says:

        Had not seen that RT. noticed that it was 2004 and the statement that SLR was 2.8mm per year. now it is 3.1 mm per year. appears to be heading in the wrong direction than claimed by the deniers.

      • Nick says:

        Linear extrapolation was something I remember you pooh-poohed in another context,Eric….

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I can create a computer model which suggests that the Earth will be at absolute zero, knee deep in liquid helium in 100 years. The model contains an exponential component, so temperatures will remain relatively static for the next 50 years (until well after I am dead), after which my predictions will be vindicated!

  4. rubber taster says:

    No lies Eric see your below:

    Posted in GLAST sets its sights on gamma-ray bursts
    Posted Thursday 12th June 2008 17:45 GMT Eric Worrall

    Alien Communication?
    One possibility that is being ignored is that high energy gamma rays could be residue from an alien communication system.
    As technology advances, we have moved to using higher and higher frequency radiation to carry our communications.
    Higher frequency systems can carry denser payloads of information, which is why fiberoptic systems, which use laser light, can carry far more information than any radio system.
    Similarly, blu-ray discs are displacing older CD-Roms. Blu-ray discs use blue light, which is higher frequency than the red light used by CD-Roms. The higher frequency allows larger amounts of information to be packed onto the blu-ray discs.
    Researchers are already looking to use ultra-violet for high density media. X-rays will be the next step after ultra-violet.
    Advancing this trend to its logical conclusion, an advanced interstellar alien communication system could conceivably use hard gamma rays, generated and manipulated using technology we have yet to discover, to pack enormous payloads of information into their communications stream.
    That could be the source of the anomalous hard gamma rays detected by observatories.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      No mention of “sending messages to Earth” – that was the lie.

      You were trying to paint me as a tinfoil hat nutter who believes aliens are sending messages to humans.

      What I said was a little different.

      Millions of dollars are spent every year, on the SETI project http://www.seti.org , run by Berkeley University among others, by serious scientists hoping to detect alien communication signals – are they all tinfoil hat nutters?

      My post was a speculation that the SETI people are looking in the wrong place.

      As human technology has advanced, we have used progressively higher frequency radiation to carry our data. The reason is higher frequencies can carry more data – you get faster internet, clearer audio, more channels, if you use a higher frequency.

      In many cases we have already ditched radio waves, a lot of our data is now carried by much higher frequency light waves, in optical fibres.

      And light is now showing its limitations – just as DVD has given way to blue ray (so called because it uses higher frequency blue light, rather than red light which old DVD systems used – blue light can pick up more densely packed data), so soon we shall make the jump to using ultraviolet light, and perhaps even to soft x-rays, when we figure out how to handle them.

      Is it so ridiculous then that an alien civilisation thousands, or millions of years more advanced than us, might use even higher frequency gamma rays for their data signals.

      Of course, this is pure speculation – it might not be possible to use gamma rays in this way (certainly not using any known current technology), and they may have moved onto something else completely unknown to us.

      Or they might not exist at all.

      • rubber taster says:

        So you can confirm that you believe aliens are sending messages via gamma rays?

        Do you personally hear the messages or do you get them via WUWT?

  5. john byatt says:

    Fishermen demand action


    HOMER, Alaska – Kris Holderied, who directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, says the ocean’s increasing acidity is “the reason fishermen stop me in the grocery store.”

    “They say, ‘You’re with the NOAA lab, what are you doing on ocean acidification?’ ” Holderied said. “This is a coastal town that depends on this ocean, and this bay.”

    This town in southwestern Alaska dubs itself the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. But worries about the changing chemical balance of the ocean and its impact on the fish has made an arcane scientific buzzword common parlance here, along with the phrase “corrosive waters.”

    In the past five years, the fact that human-generated carbon emissions are making the ocean more acidic has become an urgent cause of concern to the fishing industry and scientists.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Hilarious – the ocean acidification lie.

      When you fail to get traction on that one, Marc Morano of Climate Depot has provided some helpful suggestions to get you started on some other ideas.


      My personal favourite is the laughing gas scare, but I guess even you will see the silly side of that one.

      • john byatt says:


        “Hilarious – the ocean acidification lie”

      • Nick says:

        Ocean acidification is a ‘lie’ that has been quantified,Eric. I can point you to two decades research on ocean acidification and oceanic CO2 sinks. Faced with a choice between heeding the collective insight of the oceanographic community or linking to the smug nonsense of a mouth for hire…you choose the reassuring nonsense.

        Marc Morano is a scientific illiterate who runs a PR business…and who formerly leached on the US taxpayer in propagandising for Senator James Inhofe. Congratulations,Eric,Marc just owned you.

      • Nick says:

        Eric, if the pH of the ocean suddenly changed by one atmosphere’s equivalent CO2’s input,then most sea life WOULD drop dead. Need to express yourself better…and explain the inconvenient details that your blandishments conceal

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Actually ocean life won’t suffer if CO2 levels rise. The evidence for this is the existence of thriving ecosystems in champaign reefs – reefs which are continuously topped up with CO2 from natural volcanic sources.

          Although various studies have tried to suggest champaign reefs are deficient in some ways, the fact is life in such extreme conditions survives and thrives – including life with carbonate shells, such as coral, which, according to the acidification lie, is supposed to dissolve if CO2 levels rise.

          Since most of the organisms in champaign reefs are the same species as life which lives in other places, though possibly with some genetic adaptions to extreme CO2 levels, any CO2 distress in the rest of the ocean will simply result in CO2 adaption genes rapidly spreading through the rest of the ocean population, as the progeny of champaign reef organisms outcompete their less well adapted cousins.

          The only way the rest of the ocean could ever even remotely approach the CO2 level of a champaign reef is if the entire atmosphere was replaced with pure CO2 – something which could never happen from our burning of hydrocarbons.

      • Nick says:

        Did you ever read Fabricius et al 2011 on sites in New Guinea with naturally low pH? probably not.

        And if we drop pH to 7.8 generally,the champagne sites will become even less diverse.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Champaign reefs are an impossible extreme – the general ocean will never reach that level of saturation, even if we burn every scrap of carbon on the planet. Yet life still thrives, albeit with some mild signs of distress, even in that environment.

          Like Is said, the ocean acidification scare is a crock.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      John, you’re going to have to try harder than this ocean acidification nonsense. A few fish dying simply doesn’t pack the punch of say the utter destruction of the biosphere.

      • john byatt says:

        Unable to provide any pseudo science to dispute Acidification, eric promptly changes the subject,

        you lost that one eric, want to try another?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Ocean acidification is so silly, I’m surprised even you believe it John.

          The world’s oceans contain 30 atmospheres worth of CO2. This means, if all the CO2 in the atmosphere were to suddenly dissolve into the ocean, the ocean’s CO2 content would only rise by around 3%.

          Of course, all the Earth’s atmosphere won’t suddenly jump into the ocean, so at most we will alter the ocean CO2 content by a fraction of a percent.

          CO2 isn’t a very strong acid – people regularly drink supersaturated carbonic acid, in the form of fizzy soft drinks. So that minute fraction of a percent of CO2 isn’t going to do diddly to the acidity of the ocean.

          We have the evidence of champaign reefs – despite supersaturation with CO2, from naturally occurring volcanic CO2 vents, life appears to thrive – including shellfish and coral, which are all supposed to dissolve away if CO2 rises by a few ppm.

          Finally, if you need more evidence of the absurdity of the acidification lie, consider that in past geological ages (up to 30 million years ago, before the start of the current CO2 drought), all life on Earth, including ocean life, quite happily existed in atmospheric CO2 levels up to 10x today’s level.

      • Nick says:

        The ‘fizzy drink defence’…you should publish that one, Eric.

      • Nick says:

        Once again,it’s your rhetoric: ‘OA is a ‘lie”. No it isn’t. ‘Fizzy drink didn’t burn me’. Glad to know it,but irrelevant. ‘What about champaign reefs [with their naturally lower alkilinity]’ Such sites have different populations of organisms to sites adjacent with typical pH. Typically not as diverse. Scale up that difference and you get a potentially very different biota,favoring highly pH tolerant species that may not leave you with the food chain you once had.

        Add to that the effects of existing problems,such as enlarging anoxic zones,nitrate pollution ,mechanical destruction of habitat by fishing,and depletions by same,and the pH lie becomes more than a Morano handwave can handle.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I’m not worried that champaign reefs are not as diverse as anywhere else – the fact the life shows mild distress in an environment which could only be matched elsewhere unless global CO2 levels rise to 1,000,000ppm (i.e. 100% – saturation) does not fill me with fear over what would happen if CO2 levels reach say 600ppm.

      • rubber taster says:

        So now Eric has moved on from being a climate scientist to an ocean chemist…

        For someone who likes to call others liars, this guy makes Pinocchio look like a saint!

        Tell us, dear piddling IT Consultant about your chemistry knowledge. How about a little information on congruent and incongruent weathering? Start with something simple; use aluminosilicates by way of example.

        We are waiting…

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I’ll leave the advanced geology to Ian Plimer, Rubber.

          I did some University Chemistry, so I know the basics – more than enough to know that the general ocean will never experience CO2 saturation levels at the level experienced by champaign reefs.

          You might prefer obfuscation and BS. I prefer evidence.

      • Nick says:

        All I’m hearing from you ,Eric,is that you’re not worried as long as you can maintain a suitable level of blithe ignorance. It won’t take 1 million ppm Co2 to drop the ocean to an average 7.8. We’ll be there by centuries end,with areas like the Siberian coast much lower.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Are you honestly ignorant enough to think that anything we can do to the atmosphere would compare to the level of saturation created by a stream of CO2 bubbles continuously rising from the ocean floor?

          The entire theory is so silly it hurts.

      • Nick says:

        Unlike your charming self,I actually read a few papers on ‘champagne’ sites…

      • Brian Dodge says:

        Science –
        “Here we show that as pH declines from 8.1 to 7.8 (the change expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase from 390 to 750 ppm, consistent with some scenarios for the end of this century) some organisms benefit, but many more lose out. We investigated coral reefs, seagrasses and sediments that are acclimatized to low pH at three cool and shallow volcanic carbon dioxide seeps in Papua New Guinea. At reduced pH, we observed reductions in coral diversity, recruitment and abundances of structurally complex framework builders, and shifts in competitive interactions between taxa.” http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n3/full/nclimate1122.html

        Nonsense –
        “I’m not worried that champaign reefs are not as diverse as anywhere else – the fact the life shows mild distress in an environment which could only be matched elsewhere unless global CO2 levels rise to 1,000,000ppm (i.e. 100% – saturation)”

        Did you just make that 1300-fold concentration error up, Eric, or did you read it on some denialist website? (BTW, it’s champagne, after the region in France famous for its bubbly; Champaign OH & IN are more famous for corn.)

  6. john byatt says:

    Oyster farmers losing millions due to ocean acidification


    ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2012) — Researchers at Oregon State University have definitively linked an increase in ocean acidification to the collapse of oyster seed production at a commercial oyster hatchery in Oregon, where larval growth had declined to a level considered by the owners to be “non-economically viable.”

  7. john byatt says:

    Nova’s site seems to up and down more than a brides nightie,

  8. john byatt says:

    Worrall “One possibility that is being ignored is that high energy gamma rays could be residue from an alien communication system’

    classic “communicating using ionizing radiation”

    that must by why eric wears a tin foil hat? .

  9. john byatt says:

    Under bat shit crazies

    Tinfoil Hats

    Pirat ponton models the latest in designer aluminumwear.
    Tinfoil Hats are the new Black (and make excellent replacements for jock-straps). The head wear of choice for conspiracy nuts like azad slide and puremisery. They keep the sunlight, UV rays, bird poop and evil alien mind control rays out out your head so you can continue to go throughout your day with the confidence of knowing all of your thoughts about the world and the government are completely unread and unaltered.
    You cannot actually make tinfoil hats. The ones that actually keep out all the alien mind control rays are manufactured by some guy out in Tucson who has perfected the process. I lost that guy’s number.
    If you are said to be wearing a tinfoil hat, that means that you are thinking on such a high level of rational thought that other more susceptible minds cannot fathom why you are thinking the way that you do. So, go get a tinfoil hat and wear it with pride!

    yep UV is on the list

  10. silverbeam says:

    three animals die every second in labs.

    Where is the outcry from all the moral scientists who love nature?

    There isn’t any. new zealand hypocrites make a river a person but still keep hens in little cages, tortured. pr bullshit, everyones for sale, green for green. pathetic.

    man who made a fortune off vivisection developing beauty products now runs the pr outfit wwf, liar and traitor to the earth. Earth hour is a fraud for the human animal masses so corps can go on killing our world.

    why would we believe the UN, WHO HAS SANCTIONED EVERY SLAUGHTER SINCE WW2.

    Why would we believe scientists who care nothing for the planet and who lives there. 3 animals every second, who cares?

    Liars and you work for them.

    • john byatt says:

      Don’t you think that making a river a person is actually for the creatures of the river?

      Should NZ not try to maintain the health of the river?

      what do you have against the river?

      Your self righteousness is hypocritical if you do not care about the river creatures.

      fight for what you believe in and please extend the same courtesy to others that fight for their beliefs for the betterment of the planet.



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