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On the day that you read this article, 200 species of life on Earth (plants, birds, animals, fish, amphibians, insects, reptiles) will cease to exist. Tomorrow, another 200 species will vanish forever.
The human onslaught to destroy life on Earth is unprecedented in Earth’s history. Planet Earth is now experiencing its sixth mass extinction event and Homo sapiens is the cause. Moreover, this mass extinction event is accelerating and is so comprehensive in its impact that the piecemeal measures being taken by the United Nations, international agencies and governments constitute a tokenism that is breathtaking in the extreme.
And it is no longer the case that mainly ‘invisible’ species are vanishing: those insects, amphibians and small animals about which you had never even heard, assuming they have been identified and given a name by humans.
You and I are on the brink of driving to extinction some of the most iconic species alive today. For a photo gallery of threatened species, some of which are ‘critically endangered’, see ‘World’s wildlife being pushed to the edge by humans – in pictures’.
If you want to read more about some aspects of the extinction threat, you can do so in these recent reports: ‘World Wildlife Crime Report: Trafficking in protected species’ and ‘2016 Living Planet Report’ which includes these words: ‘The main statistic from the report … shows a 58% decline between 1970 and 2012. This means that, on average, animal populations are roughly half the size they were 42 years ago.’
And if you want to read just one aspect of what is happening in the world’s oceans, this recent UN report will give you something to ponder: ‘New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions’.
Of course, some of what is happening is related to the ongoing climate catastrophe and there isn’t any good news on that front. See ‘What’s Happening in the Arctic is Astonishing’.
But not everything that is going badly wrong is well known either. Did you know that we are destroying the Earth’s soil? See ‘Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues’.
And did you realise that even nitrogen is now a huge problem too? See ‘Scientists shine a spotlight on the overlooked menace of nitrogen’.
Of course, military violence has devastating consequences on the Earth’s ecosystems too, destroying land, water and atmosphere (not to mention killing human beings) in the fight over resources. You will get no joy from the article ‘Iraq’s oil inferno – government inaction in the face of eco-terrorism’ or the website of the Toxic Remnants of War Project.
But every single aspect of military spending is ultimately used to destroy. It has no other function.
While 2.5 billion human beings do not have enough to eat. See ‘One in three people suffers malnutrition at global cost of $3.5 trillion a year’
As you read all this, you might say ‘Not me’! But you are wrong. You don’t have to be an impoverished African driven to killing elephants for their tusks so that you can survive yourself. You don’t have to be a farmer who is destroying the soil with synthetic poisons. You don’t have to be a soldier who kills and destroys or a person who works for a corporation that, one way to another, forces peasants off their land.