Plant and animal species are disappearing faster than at any time in recorded history. We know who is to blame.
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On Monday, I wrote about a sweeping new United Nations report warning that humans were destroying Earth’s natural ecosystems at an “unprecedented” pace. The findings were sobering: Millions of acres of wetlands and rain forests are being cleared away. As many as one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction because of farming, poaching, pollution, the transport of invasive species and, increasingly, global warming. Almost everywhere you look, nature is vanishing before our eyes.
It’s rare that you get to see, in sharp focus, opposite world views fighting for the planet’s future at the same time, but it happened on Monday. First came the summary findings of a fifteen-hundred-page United Nations report on biodiversity—that is, on everything that isn’t us. And it was as depressing a document as humans have ever produced. We find ourselves, the scientists who wrote it said, in the early days of an auto-da-fé that is consuming a staggering percentage of creation. Humans have destroyed many of the habitats on which the rest of nature depends and caused the temperature of the earth to rise; as a result, “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken.”
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.
We all can consume less, waste less food, reduce water use, eat less beef and more to help other living species.
One million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with alarming implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released Monday.
Revamping global food production, retooling the financial sector, moving beyond GDP as a measure of progress and other “transformative changes” are needed to save Nature and ourselves, a major UN biodiversity report is set to conclude.