Friday, June 17, 2011

Sixth and last mass extinction?

Threat status of comprehensively assessed species by IUCN. Source: IUCN, compiled by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, May 2010, p. 28 (visit for larger image) more info see: Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions
UPDATE: Scientists Warn That Ocean's Marine Life on "Brink of Extinction", Truthout, June 23, 2011

Here and there, insightful and eloquent essays and articles pop up, and they remind me that there are a few thoughtful, observant, and empathetic folks around. And I think, maybe we can head off ecological (and economic) calamity. Who knows? Gotta keep swingin' for the fences, right? The following quote comes from one of those thoughtful people, sad though it is:
And yet, in the earth's sixth great extinction event, currently under way, many organisms — great and small — are silently sliding unnamed into oblivion. According to some estimates, by the end of the 21st century, one-quarter or more of all species of plants and animals now living will have gone extinct or been issued a non-refundable one-way ticket off the planet. And they are being snuffed out at a rate that is 1,000 times more rapid than that of any extinction event documented in the fossil record. This great disappearing act, as Gruchow points out, is "one of destroying, and thereby rendering forever nameless, more information about life than we are gaining."
A Home Before the End of the World, Adelheid Fischer, Design Observer Group
Read the whole story, ponder its implications, and then go out and learn the names of a few plants and trees and animals...before they are gone. Forever.

Have a nice weekend.

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