The Sixth Great Extinction

Thank you to EP Support for drawing my attention to International Biodiversity Day.

Biodiversity matters for a whole range of reasons, but basically what it comes down to is that it is about making sure our life support system is healthy. So there is every reason to be worried that, with the fossil record showing that life on Earth has suffered five mass extinctions (mostly recently the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period, which finished off the Dinosaurs amongst others) we are probably in what scientists like Jared Diamond have called the Sixth Great Extinction, with a loss of biodiversity at a comparable rate to the other five.

This matters, not because we are going to wipe out "Life on Earth" - the bacteria will do fine whatever we do - but because we are wiping out the things that are like us and the things we rely on and, in the end, if humans don't wake up to what is happening, we will wipe ourselves out.

So Biodiversity matters. We don't need to weep for every little bug that goes extinct (that happens all the time) but we need to be aware of the pace of extinction and what it tells us about the underlying health of the ecosystems we rely on to stay alive.
clairemeredith clairemeredith
46-50, T
1 Response May 22, 2012

I agree!