One million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction…
ALEXANDRIA, VA. (PRWEB) AUGUST 06, 2019
NPG researcher Edwin S. Rubenstein has authored a new forum paper, titled The UN Species Extinction Report: Is it Science, or Something Else? Published by Negative Population Growth, Inc., this forum paper explores the findings of the UN Species Extinction Report and delivers some valuable insight as to its correlation to population growth. Rubenstein begins his paper with a sobering statement summarizing the UN report: “One million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, endangering ecosystems that people all over the world need for survival. This stark conclusion is from the most exhaustive report ever published on the decline in biodiversity around the world.” From this jumping off point, Rubenstein dives into the details, coming up with more questions than answers.
He asks: “What does the one million extinctions figure mean? Is it a gross figure, the number of species that are at risk of extinction, or is it a net figure – species threatened by extinction less the number of new species expected to appear over the same period?” Rubenstein also questions the algorithm and facts used to determine these numbers, saying, “Extinction scenarios are only as valid as the computer models used to generate them.”
After discussing patterns of species that are extinct and of some that have survived, Rubenstein surmises: “If climate change were the only problem a lot of species could probably move and adapt. But when populations are already small and becoming less diverse, and habitats are shrinking, a problem becomes a deadly crisis.”
He is quick to point at the obvious culprit, stating: “Since homo sapiens burst onto the scene (about 120,000 years ago) our growing population has presented a problem for countless other organisms. Our assault on biodiversity began in pre-history when we were still hunter-gatherers, accelerated in the agricultural revolution, and exploded with the industrial revolution and the ensuing population boom.” He further clarifies his position, saying, “Biodiversity loss is occurring because one species – homo sapiens – is infringing on the natural habitats available to the roughly 8 million non-human species.”
Rubenstein goes on to say: “Globally, small, remote animal populations have suffered the largest percentage biodiversity losses. Fewer and fewer local varieties of domesticated plants and animals are being cultivated, raised, and traded around the world despite efforts by indigenous peoples to maintain their unique animal and plant populations.”
He concludes by stating: “Global population is projected to grow to anywhere between 8 billion and 11 billion by the middle of the century, with much of it expected to take place in sub-Saharan Africa and other tropical regions where species diversity is highest. Slowing population growth in those places is the most efficient way of slowing global biodiversity loss.”
NPG President Donald Mann commended Ed Rubenstein by saying: “Ed’s attention to detail is evident in his search to better understand our loss of biodiversity and what that means for the planet. Simply put, if we do not find a way to work together to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth, we will continue to negatively affect biodiversity, to the detriment of all. We must work together to combat the devastating effects of population growth.”
Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at http://www.NPG.org, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.
If climate change were the only problem a lot of species could probably move and adapt. But when populations are already small and becoming less diverse, and habitats are shrinking, a problem becomes a deadly crisis.