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Tragedy—Nature Is ‘Unraveling’ Before Our Eyes

Fire consumes land deforested by cattle farmers near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil, on Aug. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

by Arden Dier

Nature is “unraveling” at a rate not seen for millions of years. That’s according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, which finds wildlife populations have fallen by an average of 68% since 1970.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, populations have fallen by an average of 94%. The numbers hail from an analysis of 4,392 animal species that were monitored from 1970 to 2016. “We destroy the planet at our peril,” says WWF-US President Carter Roberts, noting that by devastating wildlife species and “exacerbating climate change,” humans are also “increasing the risk of zoonotic diseases [meaning ones transmitted to humans from animals] like Covid-19.”

The report places the blame on humans for our current state, noting we have altered three-quarters of the planet’s ice-free land surface. That destruction of habitats, the introduction of non-native species, and overexploitation of wildlife have been in support of what the report sees as an unsustainable food system.

Freshwater biodiversity is experiencing the most dramatic decline, with populations of freshwater species falling by an average of 4% each year since 1970. This is largely “because of the use of freshwater resources for producing food to feed a growing population of people worldwide,” WWF Chief Scientist Rebecca Shaw tells CNN.

The report notes humans need to consume less meat as our current consumption habits—which emphasize animal protein and see us wasting 1.4 billion tons of food each year, per the BBC—also trigger deforestation, per NBC News.

Through deforestation, “we are opening up more and more tropical forests to the poaching of its animals for sale in a worldwide market” and “exposing ourselves to a dizzying array of new diseases,” Shaw says. “Covid-19 is only the beginning.”

In case you missed it: Kazakhstan Village Struck by Mysterious Sleeping Sickness

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on September 10, 2020. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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4 Responses to Tragedy—Nature Is ‘Unraveling’ Before Our Eyes

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 10:55 am

    What we are destroying is the environment we’ve decided represents how it’s supposed to be. Massive extremes have been the real experience and virtually every species that ever existed is extinct. Our massive extinctions have sometimes lasted millions of years, but there’s hope. We may go extinct before everything else does this time.

    I hope so because my racist opinion is that life on earth matters even if it’s only to other life on earth.

    There’s no saving the planet. It will die and become devoid of all life but long before that it will be devoid of us. “Save the planet” means “buy my products” and little more. If we want to prolong our survival, we have to evolve massively, because we are not adapted to living with our own success.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 10:57 am

    We will not evolve “massively” as you no doubt know. Also, in MY racist opinion life on earth matters.

  3. jess Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I am okay with this even if it means my demise.

    • Glenn Geist Reply

      September 11, 2020 at 10:31 am

      All things end. Perhaps even endings will have an end. Our misfortune is that we often figure that out,

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