"I don't know where that vertebrate statistic comes from..."
World Wide Fund for Nature's Living Planet Index:
"The Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures trends in thousands of vertebrate species populations, shows a decline of 52 per cent between 1970 and 2010. In other words, the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago."
This mind-boggling devastation is primarily NOT caused by climate change, although that is a significant and growing factor. But primarily this loss of animals has been caused by land-use practices and habitat destruction:
"Habitat loss and degradation, and exploitation through hunting and fishing, are the primary causes of decline. Climate change is the next most common primary threat, and is likely to put more pressure on populations in the future."
So EVEN IF CLIMATE CHAOS HAD NOT BEEN UNLEASHED, humanity faces a mass-extinction, civilizational crisis, from dis-integration of the ecosphere caused by the economy. WHATEVER our emergency response to climate chaos, we must reframe the entire construct of "the economy." We must accept the basic truth that "the economy" requires a healthy ecology, and therefore every economic process must SUPPORT and NOT DEGRADE the ecology. No matter what anyone steeped in the normal functioning of the modern industrial consumer economy "believes" is realistic. No matter what self-interested propaganda is spun by the humans who sit at the top of present-day economic pyramids.
We need to learn - very rapidly - to live as members of the ecology, not as members of the economy. There are powerful interests arrayed against us. But before we can face down those interests, we need to wrap our own minds, and our own lives, around this fundamental truth:
"No Ecology? No Economy."