What do Charlie Sheen, iPad 2, Lady Gaga, and the 6th great mass species extinction have in common?
Well not much. The first three are popular and much talked about, the other one hardly rates a mention in popular media. Certainly not surprising. Who wouldn’t rather read news about the latest exploits of Hollywood bad boys, pop icons, and the latest shiny tech gadget from Apple?
So goes the problem of communicating concerning environmental news that people would rather not hear, and sure, there is so much of it now. You don’t see this kind of news on front pages in mainstream media. If it’s there, it’s buried way in the back somewhere, mostly.
So bear with me while I lay this on you, it’ll only take a sec. It’s not great, but there is hope.
The 6th Mass Extinction
- Humans are currently on the verge of causing a mass extinction on the magnitude of the one that killed the dinosaurs, according to new analysis.
- Mass extinctions include events in which 75% of the species on Earth disappear within a geologically short period of time.
- It’s happened only 5 times in the past 540 million years of life on Earth. The last was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out.
- Mass extinctions happen when that balance goes out of whack, when extinctions outpace the beginning of new species.
- “When we kick over into a mass extinction regime, results are extreme, they’re irreversible and they’re unpredictable,” David Jablonski, paleontologist, University of Chicago.
- More than a third of species assessed in a major international biodiversity study are threatened with extinction, scientists have warned.
- The culprits for the biodiversity loss include climate change, habitat loss, pollution and overfishing, the researchers wrote.
- “In our lifetime, we have gone from having to worry about a relatively small number of highly threatened species to the collapse of entire ecosystems,” – Professor Jonathan Baillie, dir. of conservation programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
- We still have time to stop this mass extinction.
- We will need to address climate change, habitat loss, pollution and overfishing, scientists have said.
- There’s time to cut dependence on fossil fuels, alleviate climate change and commit to conservation of habitat, the study scientists say.
Will we do it? When will we do it?
Now you know, if you didn’t already. Thank you for your time.
Hat tip to Dean Whitbread for pointing to the IUCN survey.
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