Guns, nets and bulldozers

Causes of biodiversity loss

While climate change is a major threat to all species on Earth a new report published in Nature shows that overexploitation and agriculture are the two biggest culprits of biodiversity loss.

75% of all the plant, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species that have gone extinct since 1500s were caused by humans. A growing global population will only put other species under more pressure, and eventually impact human mortality too.

Biodiversity underpins all ecosystem services (e.g. climate regulation, flood protection, pollination, nutrient cycling, water purification etc) that we currently consume "for free" but will have to replace with costly infrastructure or restoration project once they are gone.

Now that we are reaching limits to what these ecosystems are able to withstand without collapsing or drastically altering states we will see a steep increase in costs for the most basic of resources. Those costs are often dumped on the public by the private sector and may not turn up in prices of goods but instead in  form of increasing taxes, poorer health, growing debts etc.

It is truly a sad fact that most people are so disconnected from the land and oceans that they are blind to the fact that Earth's resources are finite. Once a fish stock has collapsed it may never recover, on a timescale relevant to us.

There is no "replay" button that we can magically push and turn back to some previous healthy state. All we can do now is to minimize the damage. And the best way to do that is by not having more kids than we can feed and not consuming more than we actually need for basic needs.


Out of the ashes into the fire

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