The Sixth Mass Extinction Event

I find this subject to be so upsetting, I seldom talk about it. Still, folks need to know it’s happening. There have only been five mass extinction events in the entire history of our planet. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event.

Background

The last mass extinction event was 65 million years ago. You’re familiar with it because that’s when almost all of the dinosaurs went extinct. In fact, every species that weighed more than fifty pounds disappeared. Only small animals with limited energy needs survived. Current scientific theory says it was caused by a combination of a large asteroid strike, outrageously large and continuous volcanic eruptions, and possibly disease.

Today

Now, it’s happening again. Species are disappearing so fast, it’s hard to comprehend the speed of the destruction. This time, it’s not uncontrollable natural disaster that’s causing the extinctions. It’s us. We have destroyed enough natural habitat and altered the Earth’s climate so much, the status quo in the wild cannot be maintained.

Many years ago, a pair of photographers were consulting with a professional zoologist. They were taking massive cameras into the wild to get shots of wildlife in great detail. I saw the interview in a documentary. The zoologist had tears in his eyes. He told the photographers he was grateful for their project because many of their images would be the last humanity ever saw of the animals.

Consequences and Actions

If we knock life back to single-celled organisms, it will be millions of years before complex life evolves again, if it ever does. Even if we only reduce Earth’s species to man, our domesticated animals, and the vermin that can survive among us, it will be a tragedy. It breaks my heart that so many species will be mythical to the children alive today. It may well be too late to do anything about it, but politicians who lift hunting restrictions on endangered species at a time like this contribute to the problem.

Fight them. Do not approve of trophy hunting and let your representatives know you don’t approve. The entire web of life on Earth depends on our conservation efforts. That’s no exaggeration because this is an extraordinary time.


May 24, 2019

tiger - mass extinction event

Tigers are among the many species endangered by the current mass extinction event


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