Jump to content
MadonnaNation.com Forums
Sign in to follow this  
pjcowley

We are doomed, speeding up extinction

Recommended Posts

Personally I find the below truly alarmingly sad and very upsetting - not the first time for me hearing about it anyway, but it does not change how devastating it is .... we are doomed folks:

Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace

image.png

WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

merlin_87896002_43d24469-4121-46f3-9948-

A previous report by the group had estimated that, in the Americas, nature provides some $24 trillion of non-monetized benefits to humans each year. The Amazon rain forest absorbs immense quantities of carbon dioxide and helps slow the pace of global warming. Wetlands purify drinking water. Coral reefs sustain tourism and fisheries in the Caribbean. Exotic tropical plants form the basis of a variety of medicines.

But as these natural landscapes wither and become less biologically rich, the services they can provide to humans have been dwindling.

Humans are producing more food than ever, but land degradation is already harming agricultural productivity on 23 percent of the planet’s land area, the new report said. The decline of wild bees and other insects that help pollinate fruits and vegetables is putting up to $577 billion in annual crop production at risk. The loss of mangrove forests and coral reefs along coasts could expose up to 300 million people to increased risk of flooding.

The authors note that the devastation of nature has become so severe that piecemeal efforts to protect individual species or to set up wildlife refuges will no longer be sufficient. Instead, they call for “transformative changes” that include curbing wasteful consumption, slimming down agriculture’s environmental footprint and cracking down on illegal logging and fishing.

“It’s no longer enough to focus just on environmental policy,” said Sandra M. Díaz, a lead author of the study and an ecologist at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina. “We need to build biodiversity considerations into trade and infrastructure decisions, the way that health or human rights are built into every aspect of social and economic decision-making.”

Scientists have cataloged only a fraction of living creatures, some 1.3 million; the report estimates there may be as many as 8 million plant and animal species on the planet, most of them insects. Since 1500, at least 680 species have blinked out of existence, including the Pinta giant tortoise of the Galápagos Islands and the Guam flying fox.

Though outside experts cautioned it could be difficult to make precise forecasts, the report warns of a looming extinction crisis, with extinction rates currently tens to hundreds of times higher than they have been in the past 10 million years.

Human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before,” the report concludes, estimating that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken."

Unless nations step up their efforts to protect what natural habitats are left, they could witness the disappearance of 40 percent of amphibian species, one-third of marine mammals and one-third of reef-forming corals. More than 500,000 land species, the report said, do not have enough natural habitat left to ensure their long-term survival.

Over the past 50 years, global biodiversity loss has primarily been driven by activities like the clearing of forests for farmland, the expansion of roads and cities, logging, hunting, overfishing, water pollution and the transport of invasive species around the globe.

In Indonesia, the replacement of rain forest with palm oil plantations has ravaged the habitat of critically endangered orangutans and Sumatran tigers. In Mozambique, ivory poachers helped kill off nearly 7,000 elephants between 2009 and 2011 alone. In Argentina and Chile, the introduction of the North American beaver in the 1940s has devastated native trees (though it has also helped other species thrive, including the Magellanic woodpecker).

All told, three-quarters of the world’s land area has been significantly altered by people, the report found, and 85 percent of the world’s wetlands have vanished since the 18th century.

And with humans continuing to burn fossil fuels for energy, global warming is expected to compound the damage. Roughly 5 percent of species worldwide are threatened with climate-related extinction if global average temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the report concluded. (The world has already warmed 1 degree.)

“If climate change were the only problem we were facing, a lot of species could probably move and adapt,” Richard Pearson, an ecologist at the University College of London, said. “But when populations are already small and losing genetic diversity, when natural landscapes are already fragmented, when plants and animals can’t move to find newly suitable habitats, then we have a real threat on our hands.”

So, in addition to advocating the expansion of protected areas, the authors outline a vast array of changes aimed at limiting the drivers of biodiversity loss.

Farmers and ranchers would have to adopt new techniques to grow more food on less land. Consumers in wealthy countries would have to waste less food and become more efficient in their use of natural resources. Governments around the world would have to strengthen and enforce environmental laws, cracking down on illegal logging and fishing and reducing the flow of heavy metals and untreated wastewater into the environment.

The authors also note that efforts to limit global warming will be critical, although they caution that the development of biofuels to reduce emissions could end up harming biodiversity by further destroying forests.

merlin_146083860_80ce1e0a-9505-4d73-b913

None of this will be easy, especially since many developing countries face pressure to exploit their natural resources as they try to lift themselves out of poverty.

But, by detailing the benefits that nature can provide to people, and by trying to quantify what is lost when biodiversity plummets, the scientists behind the assessment are hoping to help governments strike a more careful balance between economic development and conservation.

“You can’t just tell leaders in Africa that there can’t be any development and that we should turn the whole continent into a national park,” said Emma Archer, who led the group’s earlier assessment of biodiversity in Africa. “But we can show that there are trade-offs, that if you don’t take into account the value that nature provides, then ultimately human well-being will be compromised.”

In the next two years, diplomats from around the world will gather for several meetings under the Convention on Biological Diversity, a global treaty, to discuss how they can step up their efforts at conservation. Yet even in the new report’s most optimistic scenario, through 2050 the world’s nations would only slow the decline of biodiversity — not stop it.

“At this point,” said Jake Rice, a fisheries scientist who led an earlier report on biodiversity in the Americas, “our options are all about damage control.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/climate/biodiversity-extinction-united-nations.html

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is easily one of the biggest fears we face - if not the biggest fear.  Humans with their greed, ignorance, arrogance and denial,  are letting the Earth and the animals down in a way that is beyond inexcusable.   Am proud to see so many young people fighting for the environment and hope to God that they can turn this around and put pressure on those in charge to take drastic action.   It is needed desperately. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the most alarming thing about this is that, in today's political world, this isnt making the headlines that it should be. the world is dying and our 'leaders' dont care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This makes me so sad. I am a big animal lover amd a lover of the world in general and it makes me mad that people are too concerned about money and their greed to worry about destroying the world.

In Australia we are about to have our election and everytime there id discussion about saving the planet people say what about my job, what about the economy etc. At the end of the day if the world becomes extinct your money won't do shit for you.

Im just sad that after 30 odd years of global warming discussions the world hasn't really done anything to try and stop the distruction of the animals and the world we live in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly this is unstoppable. The way our world and societies work now, nothing is gonna change, unless you can profit from change immediately and monetarily. 

You’d need Science Fiction or some extremely climate focused global dictatorship to turn things around. 

We will all live to see things go downhill. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lolo said:

Sadly this is unstoppable. The way our world and societies work now, nothing is gonna change, unless you can profit from change immediately and monetarily. 

You’d need Science Fiction or some extremely climate focused global dictatorship to turn things around. 

We will all live to see things go downhill. 

All true.  Not enough people care enough to change it.  The picture of the sea turtle made me cry.  Humans are the worst animals to ever roam the Earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George Carlin put it best - the planet will survive and rebound with relative ease, people will not. Simply natural selection at work: the weak/foolish/unfit species go extinct, and life carries on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Human beings are the worst thing happened to planet Earth. Really, really sad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SADLY the only way humans will change is if nature or meteor makes them change. because we will damn well have to at that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it becomes too hot to step outside and resources run day "BUT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE!!!!"

Humans are the worst thing to happen to this planet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It takes concerted efforts that many humans - sadly - are not willing to make, hence the situation we are in, not just the scumbag lying politicians of the world. Efforts to massively reduce traffic pollution in all urban areas, by changing people's habits of leaving their stinky fawny engines on at traffic light for example, or when vehicle are parked off somewhere yet the stinky fucking engine is left on and on, for instance. In some developed countries this has been the norm for decades, but in many others that regards themselves as super-power that ain't happening at all. Electric cars anyone? Renewable alternative energy sources? Changing eating habits, more veg, fruit, more sustainable produce. Severely going after the fucking poachers of all endangered animal species of the world, land and sea. Recycling. Just naming very few here without going into much details, but unless there is a strong alarming campaign to urge people to make collective drastic changes in their daily lives for the benefit of our planet ecosystem therefore for us, shitty humans as well, nothing will ever change for the better.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 8:03 AM, pjcowley said:

It takes concerted efforts that many humans - sadly - are not willing to make, hence the situation we are in, not just the scumbag lying politicians of the world. Efforts to massively reduce traffic pollution in all urban areas, by changing people's habits of leaving their stinky fawny engines on at traffic light for example, or when vehicle are parked off somewhere yet the stinky fucking engine is left on and on, for instance. In some developed countries this has been the norm for decades, but in many others that regards themselves as super-power that ain't happening at all. Electric cars anyone? Renewable alternative energy sources? Changing eating habits, more veg, fruit, more sustainable produce. Severely going after the fucking poachers of all endangered animal species of the world, land and sea. Recycling. Just naming very few here without going into much details, but unless there is a strong alarming campaign to urge people to make collective drastic changes in their daily lives for the benefit of our planet ecosystem therefore for us, shitty humans as well, nothing will ever change for the better.

 

 

Poaching of endangered animals is inexcusable.   The pollution and plastic disposal in our oceans is disgraceful. 

Last year in Melbourne they stopped providing plastic bags in supermarkets to help the environment.  People would have to pay to get bags.  They gave plenty of warning about it to so people could get used to it.  I have been taking my own chiller and cloth bags to supermarkets for years so I found it no problem at all. .  However, the amount of people that originally were complaining and whining was amazing.   They seem to be used to it all now though thank goodness.  Recycling is also so under-used.  Most of Australia's recycling products were sent to China for processing and we they stopped accepting them, there were hardly any recycling plants here.  Just a mess.  Should be a major industry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/7/2019 at 12:21 PM, MadFan said:

George Carlin put it best - the planet will survive and rebound with relative ease, people will not. Simply natural selection at work: the weak/foolish/unfit species go extinct, and life carries on.

  I live in Southern California and I think that when we get the big one, we are going to lose a lot of people. This will be part of that statistic. In other places, you will have wildfires, tsunamis, radiation accidents like the one in Japan or Chernobyl. I am not looking forward to it and I am doing my part to be prepared. Because of this, this is why I don't want to have kids. Overpopulation is another factor here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, HarleyQuinn said:

Because of this, this is why I don't want to have kids. Overpopulation is another factor here

Well said, I agree - definitely overpopulation is another major factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...