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altAccording to a survey by the American Museum of Natural History, seven out of ten biologists believe we’re experiencing a mass species extinction: one that poses a major threat to human existence in the next century.

The phenomenon is known at the Sixth Extinction and we humans are the cause. Human overpopulation, overconsumption and technology contribute to the loss of a living species every 20 minutes. According to Jeff Corwin’s article featured in the LA Times, The Sixth Extinction, “If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth."

Those mindlessly tuning into Fox News will never understand the ethical implications of our species causing such a mass extinction. They certainly won’t shed a tear over the suffering we impose upon “lesser” living creatures. Perhaps arguments do exist that will catch their attention? What if we explain that nature provides medicines that cure human disease? No, that’s probably not strong enough an argument. It’s best that we lead with their ass… as it’s literally on the line.

Corwin explains why we humans should be concerned, “Meanwhile, around the planet there are massive die-offs of amphibians, the canaries in our global coal mine. When frogs and other amphibians, which have existed for hundreds of millions of years, start to vanish, it is a sign that our natural world is in a state of peril. Bat and bee populations are also being decimated. Without bees, there will be no pollination, and without pollination, the predator that is decimating these other species -- humankind -- will also be headed toward its own extinction.”

 

 

Additional Resources:

http://www.lli-manassas.org/uploads/Documents/classes/The%20Sixth%20Extinction%20%28ActionBioscience%29.pdf

http://www.eoearth.org/article/Edenic_Period?topic=49480

http://atlas.aaas.org/index.php?part=1&sec=theory

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/Default.aspx?id=3897120&p1=0

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/myers_knoll.html

 



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