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Is even humanity now an endangered species?

The planet is entering a new period of extinction with top scientists warning that species all over the world are “essentially the walking dead” ~ including our own.

The report, authored by scientists at Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley universities, found that vertebrates were vanishing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

The damning report was published in the Science Advances journal.

Gerardo Ceballos, lead author of the research, added: “If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on”.

The research, which cites climate change, pollution and deforestation as causes for the rapid change, notes that a knock-on effect of the loss of entire ecosystems could be dire.

You may wonder to what extent does this matter? Why should we worry if the natural process of extinction is amplified by humans and our expanding industrialised civilisation?

One response to this question essentially points out what the natural world does for us. Whether it’s pollinating our crops, purifying our water, providing fish to eat or fibres to weave, we are dependent upon biodiveristy.

Ecosystems can only continue to provide things for us if they continue to function in approximately the same way. There may be gradual and reversible decreases in function with decreased biodiversity. There may be effectively no change until a tipping point occurs.

The analogy here is popping out rivets from a plane’s wing. The aircraft will fly unimpaired if a few rivets are removed here or there, but to continue to remove rivets is to move the system closer to catastrophic failure.

The report, which builds on findings published by Duke University last year, does note that averting this loss is “still possible through intensified conservation effects,” but that “window of opportunity is rapid closing.”

Read more ~

1 comment to Is even humanity now an endangered species?

  • Tom Livanos

    One need only ask: are we sustainable? Was the way we operated in the 20th (and now 21st) Century sustainable? I do not think you need to be a scientist to work out that the answer is a resounding no. Virtually by the same token (i.e. as the previous realisation), we can make ourselves sustainable. We can decarbonise the economy, we can relocalise food production, we can place greater importance on human relationships rather than television sizes, car models, what style of blinds one buys…