Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Red List

If I had my way the fact that we're killing off species faster than ever before, including all the previous 5 major extinction events, would be front page news, using the largest font, and it would appear every day.
Something like this:
In memoriam:
  • Golden Toad (1989)
  • Zanzibar Leopard (1996)
  • Po'ouli (2004)
  • Madeiran Large White (2007)
  • Pyrenean Ibex (2000)
Extinct in Our Lifetime — 11 Species We've Lost Forever
I don't know who is keeping track of individual extinctions.
But here's a blog Exit Stage Right dedicated to it.

The Sixth Great Extinction: A Status Report [2004]

The average extinction rate is now some 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the rate that prevailed over the past 60 million years. Throughout most of geological history, new species evolved faster than existing species disappeared, thus continuously increasing the planet's biological diversity. Now evolution is falling behind

The worst impact of climate change may be how humanity reacts to it
In particular it notes that one fifth of the world's remaining tropical forests lie within 50km of human populations that could be inundated if sea levels rise by 1m. These forests would make attractive sources of fuel-wood, building materials, food and other key resources and would be likely to attract a population forced to migrate by rising sea levels. About half of all Alliance for Zero Extinction sites – which contain the last surviving members of certain species – are also in these zones.

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