Unprecedented Loss of Species in Coming Years

Madagascar endangered lemurs

May 7, 2019

A report by the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), states that one million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species on the planet are at risk of extinction within the coming decades unless drastic steps are taken stop human intervention and destruction of habitat throughout the world. threats include climate change, rapid unbanization, plastic contamination of the oceans, introduction of invasive species and increases in many other forms of pollution.

The long term effects of this war on nature are unpredictable, but can only be negative, including destruction of the food web that allows life on earth to survive, loss of food sources, both cultivated and naturally occuring and increasing climate destabilization due to loss of forests.  For example, the new Bolsonaro goverment in Brazil is moving to eliminate environmental protections in the Amazon Basin, arguing that current regulations are too stringent, including a requirement to maintain a certain amount of land as natural,  and that agribusiness should be allowed to expand without any restrictions.

The destruction of the Brazilian rain forests, referred to as "the lungs of the planet" is only a part of the worldwide elimination of the few remaining large tracts of undisturbed habitat remaining. Conversion of these regions to farming, mining and industrial use will have catastrophic effects on climate stability throughout the world.

So far there has been little comment by the Trump administration on the report, but there clearly is great excitement on their part, concerning the melting of the arctic ice sheet, as this will open up vast opportunities for cpmmercial development of this region.


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