UN report warns of accelerated mass extinction, but the world hardly seems to care

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Published: May 8, 2019 3:21:36 AM

Current extinction, a paper published in Science says, is 1,000 times higher than what would have been if there were no people. Scientists have been sounding the alarm since 1992, but no nation seems to be inclined to pay heed.

UN, accelerated mass extinction, mass extinction, earth, environment, financial express, financial express, financial express editorial, financial express epaper, financial express newspaper, financial express todayUN report warns of accelerated mass extinction, but the world hardly seems to care

The theme of this year’s Earth Day (April 22) was protecting the planet’s species diversity. Days after, the UN has warned that nearly a million species of plants and animals are fast going extinct, thanks to anthropogenic reasons. The implications for human survival are disastrous. Current extinction, a paper published in Science says, is 1,000 times higher than what would have been if there were no people. Scientists have been sounding the alarm since 1992, but no nation seems to be inclined to pay heed. The global population’s pressure on the planet’s resources is unsustainable—75% of the land environment and more than half the marine environment have been altered by humans.

The report, tellingly, speaks of how the losses will undermine food and water security, and thus human health—after all, if you don’t talk in terms of what mankind stands to lose, it is difficult to get it to understand that the sixth mass extinction, ushered in by human activity, that is under way poses grave risks. Not more than four nations, as per Climate Action Tracker, are on a path that can ensure restricting of the global temperature rise to 2oC above the pre-industrial levels by 2100 if all countries were taking a similar path. Collapse of fish populations, key pollinators, —even unrestricted travel to forests are pushing species to the brink. Global trade has also caused over-exploitation. The question now is can mankind be persuaded to go slow or give up any of this?

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