Our current epoch has now come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’ for the impacts man has had on our planetary environment. It is also called “The Great Acceleration..”; being the sixth event in the life of this planet where species loss has become so pervasive and devastating.
A May 2017 study for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America was entitled “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines”. The paper notes in conclusion that: “The massive loss of populations is already damaging the services ecosystems provide to (human) civilization…Thus, we emphasize that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short, probably two or three decades at most.. All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life. .” In other words, without the survival of significant complex bio-systems of multiple species, each with sustainable population numbers, humans too are rapidly headed towards extinction.
While we talk (and talk) about global warming, what we also ignore is the combined impacts of man-made emissions into the atmosphere with the steady destruction of the biosphere through human “progress’ – the literal cancer of inert dead non-organic edifices being built over the top and at the expense of the natural world that make up humans’ cities and towns and transportation systems, agribusiness destroying countless wilderness areas into single species ‘dead’ environments, the ongoing deforestation of native habitats, increasing wildfires, needless human consumption, acidification and over-fishing of the oceans, human over-population, meat-production, war, pollution, global warming, water-loss .. the list goes on and on… Incrementally, humans are destroying the liveability for all species on the planet at an ever increasing rate, with carbon monoxide production being just one aspect of our ongoing destruction of this planet.
Wikileaks notes: At present, the rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than the “base” or historically typical rate of extinction (in terms of the natural evolution of the planet) and also the current rate of extinction is, therefore, 10 to 100 times higher than any of the previous mass extinctions in the history of Earth.
What is urgently needed is a recognition of this fact by humans, and an understanding that the model of human’ progress’ we have espoused for the past few thousand years is killing our planet. An understanding that all life- regardless of species, is inherently sacred and our mutual survival is intertwined, and that consequently human ‘needs’ must be balanced against the rights of other species. One small step to delay or even possibly reverse this destruction, is the urgent massive scale planting of native vegetation in every possible locality and an end to our model of human “progress”.
Supporting appendix to Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines