A United Nations intergovernmental analysis released last Monday said the extinction rate of many species of animals and plants is approaching “unprecedented” levels. This will cause a decline in global biodiversity and have alarming implications for human health, prosperity and long term survival because we depend on many species for food and livelihoods.
The 1,500-page report, “Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” (IPBES), said “more than a million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction — many are predicted to be extinct within a few decades — because of rampant poisoning, looting, vandalism and wholesale destruction of Earth’s forests, oceans, soils, watersheds and air.”
The report said the devastation is proceeding at a rate tens to hundreds of times faster than during the past 10 million years — and could plunge the planet into a sixth mass extinction event.
Based on a systematic review of about 15,000 scientific papers and government reports assessing changes over the past five decades, complied and analyzed by 455 experts in 50 countries, the report, said GrrlScientists at Forbes.com, “finds more than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened, and at least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16th century. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened.”
Driving biodiversity extinctions are, (1) land and sea use, including development, logging, mining and harvesting, and (2) hunting and fishing for food or for trade in body parts.
Climate change is third. Pollution and invasive alien species are fourth and fifth. Causes of pollution are 400 millions tons of heavy metals, toxic sludge and other wastes dumped in oceans and rivers every year. Causes of invasive species are rats, mosquitoes, snakes and plants hitchhiking on ships or airplanes.
All of which pose serious threats to human health, prosperity, security and the future of modern society said Robert Watson, atmospheric chemist at the University of East Anglia who chaired the seventh IPBES session this month in Paris.
“It is not too late to make a difference,” he said, “but only if we start now at every level from local to global. Through ‘transformative change’ nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably.”
Saying the report provides the most systematic accounting of the toll humans have had on Earth’s biodiversity, a Wall Street Journal story said the global population has grown to 6.7 billion from 3.7 billion in 1970, causing increased farming, fishing and energy use. Which has changed an estimated 75% of the land and 66% of the marine environment. Reversing extinction trends means reducing food waste, adopting more sustainable fishing practice and improving land and water management.
Knowing the very politically left media is accepting this report without question, we recall other ominous predictions of calamity.
In 1969, The Washington Post warned “… get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters, the worst may be yet to come … there’s no relief in sight. The prediction at the inaugural Earth Day celebration in 1970 said billions of people would die because of a disastrous ice age and lack of food. In June 1989, a U.N. official said “governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect.”
In June 2017, wrote Peter Brannen in the Atlantic, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin addressed a ballroom full of geologists on the dynamics of mass extinctions and power grid failures —which, he said unfold in the same way.
“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument. To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology,” he said.
Citing the 2003 power grid collapse that darkened huge sections of Canada, the eastern U.S. and parts of the Midwest because of a software bug in Ohio, he said Earth’s mass extinctions might unfold from secondary cascades of devastating chain reactions no one understands.
“It’s a network collapse problem,” he said. “Just like power grids. Network dynamics research has been getting a ton of money from DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]. They’re all physicists who don’t care about power grids or ecosystems. They care about math. The secret about power grids is nobody actually knows how they work. It’s exactly the same problem you have in ecosystems.
“If we keep things up long enough, we’ll get to a mass extinction, but we’re not in a mass extinction yet.” he said.
A study by National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2015, said American Thinker columnist Jack Hellner, said only 477 species have gone extinct since 1900, 4% a year.
“Purpose of the dire predictions is to clearly transfer freedom, power and money from the people to the government,” he said. We agree. Instead of enriching government, making people more dependent on socialist government, instill capitalism, which improving society, will stem mass extinctions.