“There have been five known mass extinctions in Earth’s history, the most recent of which took out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Uncovering this history was a scientific triumph, but if we manage to prevent the next one that would really be something.
“This June, a team of six biologists calculated that since 1500, vertebrate species have been going extinct at rates up to 100 times faster than is typical—and the number is rising. In other words, the paper’s authors claim, a sixth mass extinction is now underway, and it’s being caused by human activity.
“Two of the paper’s authors, Gerardo Ceballos and Paul Ehrlich, along with Paul’s colleague and wife Anne Ehrlich, have just released a book on the topic. In The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals, Ceballos and the Ehrlichs meticulously document a representative sampling of extinct, endangered and threatened birds and mammals. They assess the causes of each animal’s woes while making the case that humans should start caring.” Sourced through Scoop.it from: inthesetimes.com
GR: At a recent wildlife discussion meeting, a newcomer to our rural neighborhood commented that throughout most of her life growing up in Los Angeles, she hadn’t thought about wildlife. Now, living in an area where small mammals, birds, and reptiles are common, she had become interested. So, here’s our problem: Most people in rich urban cultures have no reason to think about wildlife. Thus, they have no reason to conserve energy and goods that are depleting Earth’s resources and wildlife carrying capacity. Adding to this problem, the people responsible for much of the land outside the cities–and live there–are concerned with harvesting the resources. For them, wildlife is just a nuisance.