Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Just The Earth.....Why Bother?

I first saw this over at Kyle's blog, Out Left, but it bears repeating.

We're not very good at keeping our promises. and by we, i mean us, you and me, the human race. We have a tendency to say one thing and then, either do another, or simply ignore what we just said we would do.

Case in point: it was only eight years ago when world governments promised to put a halt to ever-increasing growing biodiversity loss by 2010. This year. But we failed; in fact, we failed in an astounding way. Biodiversity loss is an even greater threat than it was in 2001 when we vowed to stop it. Some say we are in a "full-on extinction crisis."

Thanks to human development and expansion, our need for more space and more things and just more, species are now going extinct faster than ever before--at 1,000 times the natural rate.

Good for us, huh? all this talk of "save the planet" and we're killing it faster than ever.

Many in the scientific community are now calling this increased biodiversity loss "the sixth great extinction,' though it isn't happening naturally, like, say, from an asteroid hitting the planet and wiping out nearly every living thing. This extinction is caused by the development of human infrastructure, and the expansion of farming and of cities.

More. And more. We always need more, and we never think about what we're doing to the planet, to ourselves, while we getting more.

The UN is launching the International Year of Biodiversity, to bring attention to, and to try and protect the world's ecosystems and those species that live there. According to UN Secretary General Mr Ban-Ki Moon, this loss of the Earth's species at about 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate must stop, and "business as usual is not an option".

In order to make his point, Moon will put this impending disaster in economic terms, something we are all too familiar with these days. You see, as we continue to expand into rain forests and wetlands to farm or build cities, we begin to lose the very services that these natural habitats provide to us, for free.

Things we probably take for granted, like purification of our air and water. Yes, we're destroying the planet's ability to clean up after us. We're making it impossible for the Earth to protect us from extreme weather events, to provide us with materials necessary for shelter and fire. If that doesn't spark your interest, how about the dollar signs? Deforestation alone costs the global economy $2-5 trillion each year.

But, hey, we're okay for now. I mean, we handing down the next generation an enormous economic debt, why not give them a planet in peril to worry about, too? Why not put off until tomorrow what we could be doing today?

Put off what we promised to do eight years ago.

To see a slideshow of the Earth's most critically endangered species, go HERE.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Bob, thanks for the exposure for the article and your additional commentary.