Sunday, October 24, 2010

Richard Leakey: Man Will Cause Next Great Extinction

He's speaking in Houston this Thursday at Progressive Forum (no, I won't be there), in part about the next great extinction:

Richard Leakey, one of the world's most famous paleoanthropologists and a conservationist, will speak in Houston on Thursday at the Progressive Forum. Leakey, noted for helping to ban ivory trading, has become increasingly outspoken about conservation issues, suggesting human proliferation puts many of the planet's ecosystems and species at risk and warning that we will cause the next great extinction. He spoke with Chronicle science writer Eric Berger.

Please read the interview. If you think Leakey is alone in his concerns, note what Wikipedia says:

According to a 1998 survey of 400 biologists conducted by New York's American Museum of Natural History, nearly 70 percent believed that they were currently in the early stages of a human-caused extinction, known as the Holocene extinction. In that survey, the same proportion of respondents agreed with the prediction that up to 20 percent of all living populations could become extinct within 30 years (by 2028).
(Boldface mine.)

It could never happen, you say? Well, I won't directly call you a damned fool, but here's a clue, again from Wikipedia:

There have been at least five mass extinctions in the history of life on earth, and four in the last 3.5 billion years in which many species have disappeared in a relatively short period of geological time. The most recent of these, the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period, is best known for having wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs, among many other species. The massive eruptive event is considered to be the likely cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.
Nothing is forever, including the increasingly ill-named Homo sapiens. Much more behavior like that which humankind has exhibited in the past half century, and especially in the past decade, could very well spell our catastrophic exit.

1 comment:

  1. Nonsense! God made us to use the earth and ALL of its resources so I can keep on building and dumping and consuming ....



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes