And finally, the NUMBER ONE biggest crime of all against nature, the great MASS EXTINCTION currently taking place globally – caused by overfarming, overfishing, overpopulation, slash & burn agriculture, overhunting, habitat destruction, invasive species (brought by humans), greed, ignorance, war, disease, pollution and other human activity– and ONLY human activity.
We are the sole species responsible for the of wiping out of many of our fellow beings on this planet at a rate possibly thousands of times higher than normal (although estimates vary). We have no idea of what we are doing to this planet, or its other inhabitants. The normal background rate of extinctions is about one species every 4 years. We are managing, by some estimates, about a thousand species –plants, animals, insects, etc.– a week.
And yet governments still continue to pay bounties for “pest” animals– usually anything other than farm animals. This is why the thylacine, pictured here, was wiped out; the only large carnivorous marsupial to live until modern times.
The Bush administration was a big player in promoting such extinction, by constantly pushing to weaken the Endangered Species Act during their entire tenure, especially in the last few months in office. The government responsible for protecting America’s resources failed miserably and deliberately, all for–what else?– money. Their helping of greedy, rich owners of corporations, factory farms and ranches to make even more money while raping the environment will damage the planet forever and be their shameful legacy.
The main cause, and one that nobody likes to talk about, is simply this: overpopulation. People thoughtlessly multiplying like rabbits with no concern for the consequences– and this is the entire human race, not just the ones in developing countries– is the main cause of mass extinction. Every new human requires more resources from an ever-diminishing ecosphere. Food shortages are already happening, water is growing scarce in many places, and the land, plants and animals are the ones that pay for our thoughtlessness.
Each species is a priceless, one-of-a-kind global treasure, each one having taken millions of years to evolve, and once gone will never come back. The number of species humans have made, and continue to make disappear is staggering. The only time mass extinctions have occurred in history is when immense natural destructive forces occured such as huge asteroids, supervolcanos, and global cooling. It’s sobering to think that we humans are causing the same amount of damage to life on this “island Earth”, if not more, than cataclysms ever did.
As Bill Bryson wrote, “We don’t know what we are doing right now [to the Earth] or how we will affect our future; what we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species capable of making a difference.”
I find it recklessly foolish to experiment on our own biosphere with little regard to future consequences, and many nations eager to help indusries strip our planetary habitat of its rich diverstiy of life. It seems to me we would get a failing grade in any science class for such poor judgement.
Who’s fighting it: National Wildlife Federation, CNN (Planet in Peril series), HSUS, PETA, and all the many other animal welfare organizations in the world that help to protect other species than ourselves. We are just one of millions of species, and the most destructive by far. There is nothing “special” about us.
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