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Welcome to the 'Ecological Recession': Global Biodiversity on Unsafe Decline


#1

Welcome to the 'Ecological Recession': Global Biodiversity on Unsafe Decline

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

A global assessment of ecosystems across the planet shows that "exploitation of terrestrial systems"—in other words, human land use from road-building to industrial agriculture—has pushed biodiversity below "safe" levels.


#2

Nature is all -- it is everything --

and our system of Capitalism is based in destruction of it every day.


#3

Something that I have yet to hear talked about is the increasingly severe near-absence of fireflies the last few summers. In years past, they would completely light up the borders of fields with the woods - far too many per second to count. Now, just an few per minute are spotted at best.


#4

From the article:
... "exploitation of terrestrial systems"—in other words, human land use from road-building to industrial agriculture—has pushed biodiversity below "safe" levels. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, finds that for 58 percent of the world's land surface, which is home to roughly 71 percent of the global population, the level of biodiversity loss is "substantial enough to question the ability of ecosystems to support human societies."


This is a point i've made repeatedly in these threads, primarily in articles about climate chaos:

"Climate chaos" is NOT THE TOTALITY of "ecological crisis," and solving climate chaos WILL NOT "solve" the ecological / civilizational crisis.

LAND USE is presently the PRIMARY DRIVER of mass extinction. It's not getting better, it's getting worse. We WILL NOT SOLVE the ecological crisis with "energy transition." The fix we need is more radical - to the root of the problem - than any techno-fix on the energy front.

[Not that we do not desperately need to stop burning fossil fuels! We absolutely do. But that is "necessary, but not sufficient."]

We need to grasp what is required:

Complete transformation of the economy:
End colonialist extractivist corporate rule and war;
Adopt holistic ecological and social economics.

We must DE-PRIORITIZE technological industrial "solutions" to the ecological / civilizational crisis. We must instead prioritize ecosystem complexity and integrity, and social equity and justice, and construct an economy that rewards behaviors that support these basic needs.

If that sounds ridiculous or impossible, remind yourself: Omnicide, mass extinction, and civilizational collapse are not desirable outcomes...


#5

While it is important to see something in the news about life on the Earth. This is a very tepid, watered down view of what is actually going on and with an urgency that would only be appropriate for a couple hundred years ago. The authors seem to be bending over backwards to not alarm anyone.

Numerous studies over the last few years has shown most ecosystems are in rapid decline, and ecosystem services are in equal decline. Species extinction rates are thousands of times more than normal, and has been clearly and widely shown to be one of the greatest extinction events in the history of the planet. The Earth's ability to sustain life is collapsing. What could be more important and urgent?


#6

I see the decline accelerating year over year. Tree die off, invasive species, and more development everywhere. The city of Eagan, Minnesota has leveled in the last year thousands of square acres for new housing subdivisions and retail space. EVERY single mature tree was cut down (thousands of them) so that the bull dozers could move in. Good paying construction jobs....that's what's important! Really!?! And think of all of the animal and insect habitat that was destroyed in the process? I shake my head with grief and shame as to what the Human species is doing to this planet. At the very least, could Eagan have at least selectively cut trees so that construction crews could work around them? I honestly don't have any hope for us in the near term. Maybe Dr. Guy McPherson is right and Near Term Human Extinction will come to fruition between 2030 and 2050. I just don't want us to take everything else down with us....


#7

This for me, the paring down of the natural world is perhaps one of our time's greatest challenges and brings me personally the most sorrow. The terrible callousness with which we as a species interact with other living beings. Ignoring their part to this passion play and their vibrant awareness.

Reading Vine Deloria as of late has reminded me of the power of the sacred in our natural world and our connection to it. He said that: "The future of mankind lies waiting for those who will come to understand their lives and take up their responsibilities to all living things."


#8

I have or we have been experiencing something similar.... in the Southern Tier of NY ...There first was Tioga Downs... which now, is getting much bigger... Then, down the road aways..... They built Best Buy Warehouse... Then a military reservist something, then during all of this, they tore up a beautiful huge meadow ... acres worth... for gravel... now, there is a massive gravel pit with piles 30 stories high... Now, they are building a "can manufacturing factory".... or some stupid thing.... also a UPS.... So, an area that WAS ONCE BEAUTIFUL FARM LAND IS NOT AN INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX....


#9

More importantly, OUR species is in deep trouble!

"Complete transformation of the economy:
End colonialist extractivist corporate rule and war;
Adopt holistic ecological and social economics."

Why even mention these things, given that none of it will happen!


#10

What hasn't been said but was implicit is that even those places that are the last gems of nature's still pristine glory that man has attempted to preserve will fall before climate change. National Parks and wildlife preserves all around the world - the very last of the best still extant in our rapidly overpopulating world - will succumb not to the encroachment of man or to development but will fall intact to the climate change extinction event. Consider the plight of the Polar Bear? Climate change will take the last paradises on Earth that we have tried so hard to save.

The last of the best... had no place left to go. Land bound Islands of diversity which will succumb to climate change just as will oceanic islands that will be submerged by rising seas.

Palm trees are not supposed to grow in Yellowstone.


#11

Some of us are old enough to have seen pristine nature, nowhere to be found today. This is another fine mess conservatives got us into.


#12

Certainly with no mention made, the problem will likely never be addressed.
Self-fulfilling prophesy I believe is the term.
Giving up might be another way of describing it.
However, some of us foolish idealists refuse to quit/
There's that belief that though there's not much that can be done to save the whole world, an individual can create positive change right where they are.
Maintain that last oasis for a migrating Monarch, keep at least a few acres free of toxic chemical contamination, plant native botanicals...


#13

Humanity has created a New Reality on this Planet and needs Awareness of the Following that will greatly impact its success or failure on this Planet:
1. Humanity needs to know that its activities are causing the collapse of this planet's ecological and climate support systems that serve to support humanity.
2. Humanity needs to know that it is emerging into a Greater Community of Life in the Universe amongst many other intelligent races of physical beings. And that the biological resources of this very wealthy-biological planet are of great value to other foreign races...And that our destruction of these biological resources are of great concern to these races.....causing them to take action.
3. Humanity needs to know that there exists a great inner spiritual poverty amongst most of humanity. And that a new spiritual awareness is emerging on this planet. A new awareness that will address these three areas of concern...... NewMessage.Org