Editor’s comment on tropical bats and agriculture in a changing climate

This Issue considers the consequences of climate change in two quite different mammalian populations, caused by the growth of one of them in two most important world regions.

Nevertheless, there is a vital connection between the bat and human population. Both these populations are affected by the destruction of tropical forests, as measured by the deducible effects on rainfall, ambient temperature, biodiversity and food supplies.

The adoption of smart agricultural practices, properly administered, should reduce the areas required for food production and so eliminate further destruction of tropical forests.

Such an adoption could stem the tide of climate change, including that of increased drought frequency, reducing scarcity of food for insectivorous and fructivorous tropical bats. This, in turn, should favour an improvement in the welfare of the poorer end of the human spectrum.

Of necessity, such an improvement assumes the acceptance of birth control in the human populations. Birth control inevitably will depend, itself, on promotion of welfare, literacy and general education. So unfortunately it is unlikely to be rapid.

Will it be rapid enough?

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