Earth’s 'Sixth Mass Extinction'-Caused by Human Driven Climate Change
September 22, 2014
“Scientists say we are now experiencing the sixth extinction, with up to 50 percent of all living species in danger of disappearing by the end of the century. But unlike previous extinctions, the direct cause this time is us — human-driven climate change” (i.e. The Sixth Extinction, 2014).
In this week’s blog post, I wanted to mention the work of Elizabeth Kolbert, a journalist, who visited four continents to document the massive historic “die-offs” along with the current biological disappearances which are vanishing as we speak. In her latest publication, "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History," the author “explores how human activity — fossil fuel consumption, ocean acidification, pollution, deforestation, forced migration — threatens life forms of all kinds” (i.e. The Sixth Extinction, 2014).
During an interview earlier this year, Kolbert pointed out that “everyone has seen the pictures of the poor polar bears, you know, as the sea ice shrinks. But really, where climate change could have an even more devastating impact is in the tropics, both because most species live in the tropics—that’s just where the abundance of life is—and also because these species tend to have a very, very narrow tolerance for climatic change. They’re used to a lot of climatic stability” (i.e. The Sixth Extinction, 2014).
In her recent publication, Kolbert states “it is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion." In addition, “the losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys” (i.e. The Sixth Extinction, 2014). Despite of all the ambiguities regarding climate change, it is important to research this topic from an educated, well informed and scientific point of view.
Please note that I would like to conclude this week’s blog content with the following quotation; in hopes that it will motivate you to become more educated regarding this very important issue, and hopefully, inspire you to be a part of sustainable living.
“We need to shift that to a better understanding that we are part of a vast web of interconnected species, that it is the biosphere, the zone of air, water and land, where all life exists. It’s a very thin layer around the planet. Carl Sagan told us that if you shrink the Earth to the size of a basketball, the biosphere, the zone of air, water and land, where all life exists, would be thinner than a layer of Saran Wrap, and that’s it. That’s our home, but it’s home to 10 to 30 thousand—30 million other species that keep the planet habitable. And if we don’t see that we are utterly embedded in the natural world and dependent on nature, not technology, not economics, not science—we’re dependent on Mother Nature for our very well-being and survival. If we don’t see that, then our priorities will continue to be driven by man-made constructs like national borders, economies, corporations, markets. Those are all human-created things. They shouldn’t dominate the way we live. It should be the biosphere.”– David Suzuki
This is exactly why the global market needs to provide sustainable, compostable & earth-friendly products.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
"The Sixth Extinction: Elizabeth Kolbert on How Humans Are Causing Largest Die-Off Since Dinosaur Age." DemocracyNow. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.