Going … Going … Gone

This morning the United Nations released a report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the premise of which is that as many as one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction.  Think about this one, folks … one million

That in itself is cause for grief, but the report goes a step further than previous studies by linking the loss of species to humans and analyzing its effect on food and water security, farming and economies.  According to the report, more plants and animals are threatened with extinction now than any other period in human history. Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, it says, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely.”

Now, personally I do not, as some do, see the human species as superior to all others.  Obviously, if the human species were so superior, we would not be willfully destroying every living creature on the planet.  No, I think humans are without doubt the greediest, most selfish species on earth.  But, since we broke it, it is up to us to fix it, and yet the very people with the greatest ability to do so, refuse, putting their own convenience and profit ahead of the future of all life on earth.

It isn’t only the effects of climate change that are causing the global crisis. The report emphasized the effects humans have on animals that are key to their own survival. Pesticides sprayed by farmers that kill pollinators such as bees and other insects will likely have a devastating effect on crops. Homeowners contribute to the problem by purchasing “bug zappers” that target mosquitoes but also eliminate key pollinators such as butterflies and moths, as well as common flies that some animals rely on for food.

The report has a positive spin, saying that “it is not too late to make a difference.” But that difference requires more than 100 developing and non-developed nations to work together to bring about change.  Today.  Not tomorrow or next year – TODAY!

A friend recently told me that she believes God gave the earth to humans for the purpose of their enjoyment and that there is nothing to worry about, for in essence God wants people to be happy and will replenish the earth without us changing our lifestyle.  Well, folks, guess what?  That is the biggest line of bullshit I’ve ever heard.  The owners of those factories spewing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the companies that produce the killing pesticides, the fossil fuel industry have all contributed to convincing people to “stay calm”, that the scientists are all wrong, and that everything will be alright.

EVERYTHING WILL NOT BE ALRIGHT!

So, why am I carrying on again about the same topic I’ve written about multiple times?  Because we’re not getting through to the politicians who can make the biggest difference through legislation.  Because we’re not getting through to our friends and neighbors.  Because … we all have children and grandchildren and we are allowing their future to be destroyed.  I know you’re tired and so am I, but we need to do more.  We need to do our own small part, sure, but we also need to get back on a letter-writing, phone-calling, e-mailing campaign and tell our elected officials to get off their sweet patooties and do the right thing.

An anonymous comment I read this morning in The Washington Post says it all …

“For many decades, environmentalists have been sounding the alarm that people are destroying the Earth through their callous disregard of nature, because of the misguided thought that we are supposedly lords over the planet instead of another species that is PART of the planet.

People who think of themselves as separate from nature rather than part of it fall in to the dangerous assumption that they can just keep on killing off whatever plants and animals they want, in as large numbers as they want, without it affecting human life too.

For many decades, politicians have been ignoring these calls for people to have a greater respect for the natural world of which we are a part. For many decades, those calls have been answered with criticism from those who believe there should be no environmental regulations, no protections for wildlife, and that humans should be able to just destroy whatever they want, whenever they want, as often and as much as they want, because to them, making money by destroying the environment is awesome.

Now they’re going to learn the hard way that it’s not awesome at all. The environmentalists have been correct about this all along, and the greedy selfish people who think environmental regulations are bad just keep on trying to claim they’re not.”

This isn’t just another political issue.  This should rise far above partisan politics, should take precedence over trade wars, over corporate profits, and every other issue, for frankly, if we don’t do this now, none of the rest will matter a whit by the end of the century.  You won’t be around to see it nor will I, but our great-great-grandchildren will.  Think about it.

46 thoughts on “Going … Going … Gone

    • I will be looking for it! I’ve gotten behind in checking out my friend’s posts … actually, I’ve gotten behind on everything including breathing! But I will watch for that one!

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  1. Jill, the report released on Monday is but a summary of a 1500 page full report that is set to be released at some point this year. This report was compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies. Robert Watson, the chairman of the IPBES group that conducted the assessment said : “For a long time, people just thought of biodiversity as saving nature for its own sake. But this report makes clear the link between biodiversity and nature and things like food security and clean water in both rich and poor countries.” One would think that this would be the wake up call for the World, but one would probably be wrong. As long as the few that hold the wealth and power throughout the world refuse to acknowledge and address the realities set forth in this report, there will be little done on the grand scale that is demanded to save our planet. Yes, there will be important things achieved on a small scale, but it will not be enough. Do we give up…NO, we can not! But, we must find more effective ways to move those in the can do positions to finally do the things that should have already begun. To stop looking at the short term profits in their pockets and focus on the long term profits of life for future generations. If not, there will come a day at some point in the not so very distant future, when those with the power and wealth are left with nothing but their power and wealth to eat and drink…will they then wish that they could go “back to the future” for a redo? There fate will be well deserved, but unfortunately, it will be too late for the rest of humanity as well. Thank-you!

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    • I must admit, my friend, that of late I feel like giving up. No, I don’t bury my head in the sand like some of our republican friends, but I feel overwhelmed and outnumbered, or out-gunned, by those with the money, for money translates into power and we are mere peons in the shadows of such power. There are days that I feel that if the human species destroys itself, it will be a good thing for all other life forms on earth, for then the earth can begin to heal and once again support life. No more belching factories, no more toxic chemicals being sprayed upon the earth and killing the bees, no more tall buildings blocking the sunlight, no more of those infernal blasted cars revving along at 80 mph and emitting choking carbon fumes. No more of those arrogant two-legged creatures with their big guns killing beautiful animals in the wild just because they can. 😥 Frankly, some days I don’t know if humans are worth saving.

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  2. I am not sure that our Great Grandchildren will be here to see what we neglected to do… Nor our Grandchildren! And our children will live through hell on earth, if we, us (the voting public) don’t get off our behinds and demand it. We sit, chewing on the words of liars, deceivers, greed mongering elitists in our Governmental systems, and do nothing. Disobedience to the system may be required to save the planet. Just say No to anyone who wants to put profit before nature. If we do not protect the natural world, there won’t be one. That one million species,… It will include us!

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    • If all humans ceased to exist today, the earth would begin to repair itself at that very moment and would continue to provide for all the other species indefinitely. Sigh. We are a greedy, arrogant species who will destroy earth for all.

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      • It is worthwhile for your readers to become familiar with the work of Guy McPherson https://guymcpherson.com/ (an Evolutionary Biologist who made climate change his specialist subject). He was the first to raise the alarm on abrupt climate change due to feedback loops and exponential changes. People used to laugh at his dire prognosis, but are not laughing now. Guy would argue your point of a recovery should humans suddenly stop all pollution of the atmosphere. The feedback loops will not resolve now (in his opinion). He says that it would take about three weeks for the pollutants to drop out of the atmosphere. That sounds very positive, but he says that the sun would then be brighter with the Global dimming gone. That means more heat. Why? Because the CO2 and water vapour produced by trees, is also reduced due to our vast deforestation of the planet. That water vapour in the atmosphere is crucial to our life cycle. In a way, pollutants have offered something of a barrier from radiation.
        In my opinion, the most restorative thing we can do is to restore forests, wild spaces and encourage biodiversity. Leaf litter will, over time improve our soil and restore fertility to land.
        If we don’t do this, we are on our way to extinction ourselves in very short order

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        • Colette, this — our vast deforestation of the planet — is the point I was trying to make in my comment on this post. You just did it so much better! 🙂

          As the number of people occupying this planet continues to grow, more and more resources will be needed. The deforestation is just one of the damages as the greedy cut down trees and pollute rivers to build shelter. So from my standpoint, It’s also about the raping of the planet. The effect of these actions on the climate is just one of the many side effects.

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        • Thanks for sharing Mr. McPherson’s work … I don’t believe I had ever heard of him before. I’ll look into him more soon, but what you say makes sense, for we have been cutting trees down for centuries and even now, Brazil’s president Bolsonaro is intent on destroying the Amazon rain forest. Yes, it seems sometimes as if the human species is intent on self-extinction … live for today seems to be the motto.

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  3. If the United Nations cannot wake the sleeping dead up, nothing will. This requires global action, with the industrialized nations paying the biggest share, because they polluted the worst over the longest length of time.
    But at the same time we cannot unleash a new Pandora’s Box on the world. A fast-reproducing bacteria that eats plastic and turns it into plant food might sound nice, but in 100 years the oceans might be so full of plants there is no room for fish and marine mammals. Every system in nature is complex, but it is only as strong as its most vulnerable component. We have to be careful not to destroy systems by trying to fix them.
    This is just another reason we have to save nature.

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    • Agreed … and the industrialized nations should really foot the entire bill, for it is their polluting factories and lavish lifestyles (lavish relative to third world nations, at least) that have put us in this mess.

      A bacteria that eats plastic, eh? I would say it sounds like sci-fi, but then, much of todays world would have sounded like sci-fi in the 1950s. You’re right … radical solutions might well come back and bite us in another 50-100 years. Common sense would be nice for a change.

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  4. I have fundamentalist relatives who say the same things. Delusional. I was raised on the Bible and I have read so much of it. Genesis tells the story of Creation as God creating the heavens and eart, the firmament and the seas, then all the animals before man was created. Humankind was created to be stewards of ‘God’s’ creation, the caretakers of Earth. Not the pillagers of all that existed until there was nothing left to use up. No excuse.

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    • I figure it’s about like anything else … your home, for instance. You can either take care of it, else sooner or later it will become unlivable, perhaps even fall down around your ears. The earth is our home … the only one the human species will ever have, for no other planet known so far can sustain human life, contrary to the beliefs of some. We have neglected it pitifully, and now we must spend the time and money to repair it, else it will fall to the ground in rubble and we will be homeless (dead). I am not a Christian, so I cannot speak to what the bible says, but it does seem, from what you and other friends have said, that it makes it clear that humans were intended to take good care of the earth, not to destroy it and then ask for another. Sigh. When will we ever learn? Apparently only once it’s too late.

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  5. Jill, this is an incredibly important report and must be taken seriously. If legislators do not, we must not vote for them. I am a tree hugger and a capitalist. We make more money long term by treating our environment well. When we squander for short term gain, there is a diminishing marginal return, plus additive cost. The best example is coal energy, which has a long term cost well beyond the date it is burned.

    Sometimes science fiction movies provide a wake-up moment. In the movie “Interstellar,” a space ship launches humans to maintain the species once the earth could no longer grow any more crops. Everything is related and the enemy is our own arrogance and short-sightedness. Keith

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    • Indeed, it is the most serious of the problems facing us, for if we get this wrong, then none of the issues will matter 100 years from now. And thus far, we seem to be getting it very wrong. You’re right … as I told Larry a comment or two ago … greed, arrogance and ignorance will be our downfall. What’s sad is that our choices today affect not only us, but every living, breathing creature on the planet.

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  6. If mankind was on the brink of extinction we would all be looking for ways for us to survive. I suspect a lot would be going to church on a Sunday to appeal to a higher power and making all kind of promises. When it eventually gets through to them that the answer was fairly easy back in the here and now, doing the things we urge people to do, they will be so angry at all the selfish people who don’t bother to do them and anxious to show they aren’t part of the problem.
    Cwtch

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    • Are you certain that mankind isn’t on the brink of extinction? I mean, relative to the billions of years the earth has been in existence, of course. Sure, another 80-120 years may seem like a long time, but it is a blink of an eye, relatively speaking, and our own government is doing nothing … in fact, is working in the opposite direction to allow unfettered pollution. As you know, I’ve got zero use for those whose solution is to go to church and ask their deity to fix what they broke. Fortunately, it is highly unlikely that I … or you for that matter … will be around to see the day that people cannot leave their houses without wearing masks, that drinking water is rationed, and that food is scarce. Sigh. 😥
      Cwtch

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  7. As the world’s population increases, it will become more and more necessary to find the resources for food, water, housing, etc. Thus, it’s a given the planet will (and it has already started) become a barren world, devoid of sustenance, as well as beauty. I would add, “unless we wake up,” but I simply don’t see that happening. There may be a few world leaders who are visionaries and are willing to put “personal comfort and desires” aside for future generations, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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    • I agree with you, but … if we think that way, then we give up, and as long as there is any hope, I think we have to try to believe that we can make a difference, have to keep on trying.

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  8. And the President of the United States thinks its all a hoax. So, there’s that!! Thanks for sounding the alarm Jill. Of all the nightmarish things this President is doing, it’s what he’s doing in the environmental arena that might just be the worst. Onward and upward though. I know I will do my part in the future to address this. Public pressure does work. It’s going to take a village…as our REAL President Hillary Clinton said.

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    • Oh, I think Trump knows darn good and well that it is no hoax, but … first, it would cost him and his company money if he admitted it, and second, it would cost him votes and financial support of those such as the fossil fuel industries, the auto industry, and more. Now, you and I would care because we care about future generations, but Trump is an extreme narcissist who is incapable of caring for any but himself. He does not know the meaning of the word ‘love’ and thus doesn’t even love his grandchildren enough to protect the earth for them. His inaction on the environment is definitely the worst he has done because … it affects the entire globe, and every species on the globe. He is condemning tigers, whales, turtles … every living, breathing thing. The other species were fine without us, but then humans came and decided to see just how much money they could make inventing ‘stuff’, and building big tall buildings and polluting factories, and … well, the rest is history. Sigh. I like your last sentence! Yes, Hillary won the election, and if she were president, we would be at least trying to clean up the earth, and we would NOT be locking kids in cages and throwing away the keys! Sigh.

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    • How are the NRA fanatics going to feel when they have no big animals to shoot, because the big carnivores have no more herbivores to eat, and the herbivores, big and small, have no plants to eat, and the atmosphere is no longer able to remove the carbon dioxide from the air because the forests and jungles are being chopped down, which mean animals large and small have nowhere to live, birds have no bugs to eat, and bugs have no plants to eat, and there are again no plants to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Round and round nature goes, but humans have interrupted those cycles. And unless you want to try to survive on chemical vitamin pills to try to survive there will be no proteins or essential fatty or amino acids we need to stay alive. Everything lives on something else alive, so what are we going to eat when everything else is dead? Each other?

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      • Humans have decided that their convenience, their ‘happiness’, was worth more than the ecosystems on planet Earth, and now they are about to find out that once they are gone, the other species will survive quite well.

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      • You’re speaking to the choir my friend. Stupid is as stupid does with this crowd. No intellectual curiosity. No ability to look at nuance/science/history. None of that. We’ve fallen so far, and Trump is simply the result of that fall. He’s now the de facto leader of their stupidity. And you know what? He may win again. I keep hoping for a wake up call for these people. It ain’t coming!!!

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        • But Jill always has some from the unenlightened side waiting to jump on her, and those are the ones I am hoping to reach. Impossible, yes. But I have to try. I could not live with myself if I remain silent.

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          • I have been meaning to email you to thank you … I was gut-punched by some of ragnarsbhut’s and Scott’s comments and did not know how to respond. I appreciated you jumping in … more than you can know. Thanks, my friend. LuL

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            • No problem, Jill. Those are the kind of comments I like, they cause me to fill out what I call lazy thoughts. I think something, but if no one challenges me, it just remains undeveloped. Then when I do get challenged, I have to remember where the original thought was going. Like when an idea for a post comes to a satisfiable fruition, you hit the publish button, and smile.

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              • You respond to them better than I, for I tend to get angry and then my response is not what it should be. I was pleased with the way you and Scott came to a meeting of the minds … sometimes I can do that, other times it seems I let anger get in the way.

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