Friday, May 16, 2008

Biosphere decimation

We all need to know this. Please take a look at the article entitled "An Epidemic of Extinctions: Decimation of Life on Earth". Please:

The world’s species are declining at a rate “unprecedented since the extinction of the dinosaurs”, a census of the animal kingdom has revealed. The Living Planet Index out today shows the devastating impact of humanity as biodiversity has plummeted by almost a third in the 35 years to 2005.

report, produced by WWF, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network, says land species have declined by 25 per cent, marine life by 28 per cent, and freshwater species by 29 per cent.

Jonathan Loh, editor of the report, said that such a sharp fall was “completely unprecedented in terms of human history”. “You’d have to go back to the extinction of the dinosaurs to see a decline as rapid as this,” he added. “In terms of human lifespan we may be seeing things change relatively slowly, but in terms of the world’s history this is very rapid.”

And “rapid” is putting it mildly. Scientists say the current extinction rate is now up to 10,000 times faster than what has historically been recorded as normal.
The implications of such drastic reductions in biodiversity are already having an impact on human life. “Reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or short supply,” said James Leape, director general of WWF.

And, of course, the most sobering implication of all is that we're headed for extinction ourselves if we don't do something about this - and soon.

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