Can extinction of species be a threat to our public values and for a personal, social or environmental stability. We think it is. We feel extinction is often being dismissed out of hand, downplayed, put in ‘perspective’ and seen as irrelevant – as if new species can develop within years – and not seen as a not essential part of resilience. Species are often not be considered as part of a system, as element in a ecological chain, as stand alone creatures.
Here an article from the old box, but still up to date, from the hand of Elizabeth Kolbert for The New Yorker. Subtitle: There have been five great die-offs in history. This time, the cataclysm is us.
“The town of El Valle de Antón, in central Panama, sits in the middle of a volcanic crater formed about a million years ago. The crater is almost four miles across, but when the weather is clear you can see the jagged hills that surround the town, like the walls of a ruined tower…
Of the many species that have existed on earth—estimates run as high as fifty billion—more than ninety-nine per cent have disappeared. In the light of this, it is sometimes joked that all of life today amounts to little more than a rounding error.
Once a mass extinction occurs, it takes millions of years for life to recover, and when it does it generally has a new cast of characters…”