Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mass Extinction?

"Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change."

Did you know that:

• If current trends continue, one half of all species of life on Earth will be extinct in 100 years. (E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life, p. 102)

• One quarter of all mammal species face extinction in 30 years. (United Nations,

• For every person in the world to reach present U.S. levels of consumption we would need 4 more planet Earths. (Wilson, p. 23)

• Humans currently consume 50% of the Earth's available freshwater, leaving what's left over for all other species. (World Wildlife Fund,

• Humans currently consume 40% of all organic matter produced by photosynthesis on Earth, leaving what's left over for all other species. (Wilson, p. 33)

• Every species of great ape on the Earth (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos) is in imminent danger of extiction. (United Nations,

• Every species of tiger on Earth is in imminent danger of extinction. (World Wildlife Fund,

• The number of lions left in Africa has fallen 90% in 20 years -- there are now only 20,000 remaining. (BBC,

• 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century. (Nature Magazine,

• Human population is expected to increase by at least 50% over the next 75 years. (United Nations Population Division,


And what about Sharks?

"By 2017 it is anticipated that 20 species of shark could become extinct due to hunting, indiscriminate fishing techniques and, ultimately, man's greed."


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