Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Humanity's Horrifying War On Animals
If the animals who share this planet with us could send us a message, it would be that one.
But is it already too late?
For at the rate we naked apes are going, there soon won't be many of them left.
And this couldn't be more depressing.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
So many creatures we once shared the world with gone in such a short time.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
While we focus on what climate change could do to us, ignore what we are doing to them.
The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. Three-quarters of all land on Earth is now significantly affected by human activities. Killing for food is the next biggest cause – 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction – while the oceans are massively overfished, with more than half now being industrially fished.
While failing to realize that we are only killing ourselves.
“Nature contributes to human wellbeing culturally and spiritually, as well as through the critical production of food, clean water, and energy, and through regulating the Earth’s climate, pollution, pollination and floods,” he said. “The Living Planet report clearly demonstrates that human activities are destroying nature at an unacceptable rate, threatening the wellbeing of current and future generations.”
And this at a time when Jair Bolsonaro, the new fascist leader of Brazil, is threatening an all out assault on the already battered biodiversity of the Amazon.
Mr. Bolsonaro — who once said that Brazil’s environmental policy is “suffocating the country” and on Sunday triumphed in the national election — has promised to champion his country’s powerful agribusiness sector, which seeks to open up more forest to produce the beef and soy that the world demands.
Mr. Bolsonaro has said he would scrap the Environment Ministry, which is mandated to protect the environment, and instead fold it into the Agriculture Ministry, which tends to favor the interests of those who would convert forests into farmland.
He has dismissed the idea of setting aside forest land for native Brazilians who have lived in the Amazon for centuries, promising that “there won’t be a square centimeter demarcated as an indigenous reserve” under his leadership.
Can our greedy species handle the challenge of climate change and biodiversity at the same time?
I think we can, but the challenge is the same:
Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: “We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.”
And failure means extinction...