The World Wildlife Foundation report states that man is destroying wildlife at an “unprecedented” rate

A new report by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) shows that since 1970 the population size of “mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish” is down 68 percent, which is “unprecedented” in the destruction of Earth’s diverse species. Rate. .

The WWF states in its report, “Biodiversity is fundamental to human life on Earth, and the evidence is unequaled – it is being destroyed by us unprecedentedly in history.” The authors cite several reasons for the massive loss of wildlife including industrial revolution, human population growth, increase in global trade and consumption, urbanization and climate change. WWF argues that humans are using at least 56 percent of the planet’s bio-potential, in the process of polluting most of our oceans, destroying 85 percent of the wetlands and freeing the planet’s ice-free land surface. Greatly replace 75 percent of.

“Very few people making our economic and financial decisions know how to interpret what we’re hearing, or worse, they don’t pick a tune at all,” the author explains. “An important problem is the mismatch between the artificial ‘economic grammar’ that drives public and private policy and the ‘syntax of nature’ that determines how the real world operates.”

Salon spoke with Jeff Opperman, the Global Freshwater Lead Scientist at the World Wildlife Fund, who co-wrote the new report’s Freshwater section. In that section, Opperman and his colleagues learned that the population of freshwater species experienced the most dramatic population decline, with their population declining by 84 percent.

“Our planet is sending alarm signals amid recent wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other extreme weather events,” Opperman told Salon. “We are seeing our broken relationship with nature in our own backyard. The massive global decline in wildlife populations is a major indicator that ecosystems are in crisis. Healthy ecosystems provide many benefits to humans such as clean water, clean air Does. A stable climate, flood protection, and pollination of food crops. Nature’s ability to support human health and livelihoods when population declines and ecosystems begin. ”

He argued that the situation, though not serious, is inexplicable.

“Scientific models show that we can ‘bend the curve’ to prevent the loss of nature,” Opperman explained. “Modeling predicts that declining trends can be leveled and reversed with immediate and unprecedented actions. These tasks include the production of food; aggressive movements to combat climate change; and investment in nature-based solutions Those that provide direct benefits to society, such as coastal security. It is also imperative that we change our economic systems to reflect our natural capital, which actually reduces our economic prosperity. ”

He concludes, “In short, the report urges world leaders to treat biodiversity conservation as a strategic investment to preserve human health, wealth and safety.”

Penn State University Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Michael E. Mann told Salon by email that the WWF report is another indication that “human consumption, extraction of resources, exploitation of ecosystems and careless pollutants are destroying the planet.” . “He argued that” we need more comprehensive conservation and conservation policies, international agreements to protect key terrestrial and marine ecosystems, consequences for corporate pollutants and an ethics that values ​​conservation of life over accumulation of wealth . ”

The WWF report is not the only recent scientific study that indicates that humanity is moving towards a mass extinction event. A paper published in Science found that the current pace of man-made global warming exceeds any natural climate fluctuations because they existed in the Cenozoic era, or periods in the history of the planet since an asteroid struck Earth. Hit about 66 million years ago.

“This study reinforces the fact that we are now impacting the climate and the planet – in ways that are unprecedented even on geographic timeframes. It’s a warning shot on the bow if ever there was,” Mann wrote to Salon .

In response to the report, English broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough told the BBC that we live in a new geological period known as the Anthropocene, one of which human activity radically changes the planet. He argued that this could be a period in which people regain balance with the natural world and become caretakers of our planet rather than destroyers of it.

“Doing so will require a systematic shift in how we produce food, create energy, manage our oceans, and use materials,” Attenborough said. “But above all it will require a change of perspective. A change from looking at nature that is the best ally to be the alternative or ‘best’ that we make to restore balance in our world.”

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