UN Trumpets An Extinction Crisis

Michael Cook

No one bats an eyelid at guys walking down Fifth Avenue with placards warning, “The World Ends Tomorrow. Read the Book of Revelation!”.

But if they put a critically-endangered Hawksbill Turtle on the placard, it turns all heads.

This week the UN's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a summary of a terrifying 1500-page forecast of humanity's relationship with Mother Nature (yes, “Mother Nature” is back in vogue). The full report will be published later this year.

“Around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history,” says the IPBES, “and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating.”

Grim, unparalleled, catastrophic, shocking, terrifying were just some of the adjectives decorating the world’s headlines. One summed up the media consensus: “UN: Life on Earth is nearing a state of collapse”.

What’s to be done? Walk down Fifth Avenue with another placard, “We’re all doomed. Revolution NOW”?

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