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Call of Life

2010, Environment  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 8.58/10 from 38 users.

There's a mass extinction occurring on our planet today. We may well lose half of the world's biological diversity, but do we know enough about what's going on to be scared by? Natural structures that have been solid for millions of years are now in chaos.

Plant and animal numbers are quickly dropping and species are becoming extinct faster than ever before. Scientists have begun to call this a mass extinction event.

Extinction happens, that's a fact. Something like 95% or more of all the life forms that have lived on Earth went extinct naturally. The difference today is that the rate of extinction vastly exceeds the rate of evolution of new species. So over time we've typically had the situation where more species were evolving into being than were going extinct. Today we have a dramatic cutback in what's out there.

The natural rate of extinction is about one in a million. Within a year the natural, geological background rate of extinction should involve one species in a million going extinct. Today we estimate that there could be several dozen species effectively going extinct every day. Extinction rate now is at least 100 hundred times, soon will be 1,000 times, conceivably 10,000 times greater than it has been in the prehistoric past.

It's like looking out at a beach and seeing that it's disappearing. You don't need to have identified and put a name to every grain of sand out there, much less counted all those grains of sand to see very clearly that they're disappearing. There has never been anything like this in human history. The only precedence we have are really catastrophic declines in the geological past.

We've documented five mass extinctions in the geological record over the last 500 million years and these are quite dramatic events. 65 million years ago an asteroid is believed to have hit the planet somewhere near the Gulf of Mexico and the result of that impact was the destruction of systems that supported life all over the world. It was something like 85% loss of life.

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6 Comments / User Reviews


    Even if we are conscious about the problem,nothing is going to change if the change is blocked by Corporal greed and ignorance.We all know what is the problem and we would have the technology to fix this but is easy to turn the other way because give us a few more year Oblivion and unfortunately Humans selfish enough to choose that rather clean up their mess.We have Environmental groups ,Animal rights groups ,and who know what else and still can do nothing against the Corporate World but is always two side of the coin we would not have Corporations who stuff things down our throat unless we asking for it .so if you like to stop consuming don't buy all that crap because your friend has them and you have the need to prove yours is more expensive and you don't have to live in a 32 bedroom palace and fly around in your private jet and so...We could live on much less if we would know how to share this documentary stating the happiness level in America is the same so we are not happier because happiness is happening only if you share it with others and we need to learn what is really make us happy an Apple computer ,or a short trip to the Lake with your kid's

  2. tim

    Once I saw that Paul Ehrlich was part of the Doom and Glumers I felt much more relaxed about the state of the planet seeing as pretty much everything this i*iot ever predicted has been wrong.
    If they had to reach so far to the bottom of the bucket, I have to assume the other pundits are equally incompetent.
    I don't like the idea of anything going extinct, but then again how many insects do we really need, and that is what most of the loss is or will be and as I said before Ehrlich's predictions have always been so far off target I have to assume that the extinctions will be a very small fraction of what these self serving pundits are predicting.


      you should wake up is not too late is too easy to criticize others rather take your precious time and listen.if all the predictions come true because i*iot like you

  3. Icepick

    Excellent! Moving and candid. Humans are at once the problem and the solution. May we act in time.

  4. Doris

    I will answer the call

    1. a_no_n

      i'll go get Elton John then.