Friday, May 1, 2015

The One-Sixth Extinction: Global warming is the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse for many disappearing species

A while back I blogged (linked here) about the stunning rapidity of the disappearance of plants and animals from this planet. Extinction of species is not new, but it tends to occur over long periods of time. What is different now is how fast we humans are, weed-like, transforming the planet and not for the good. I suggested you read the book The Sixth Extinction:

I grant that not many of us will run off and read original research articles in Science. But you can and should read the book The Sixth Extinction. It will scare the bejesus out of you. Us apes are transforming the planet at a rate never before seen in geological history. And we are not changing things for the better. Buy the book. Read it.

Now here is a consumable report that was published in Science magazine and reviewed by the NY Times. The new estimates are that we are likely to lose (at least) one in six species due to global warming. (Hence the title to this post.) I have no faith that left to our own devices, like the "free market", that we humans will change our policies and practices. That would require balancing the trade-off in favor of long-term gains vs. short-term losses.

We need a charismatic leader framing the issue as a moral imperative. I'm betting on the Pope.

No comments:

Post a Comment