Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Bad news: humanity has killed 60% of animals in the last 50 years:

Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.

The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.

“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”

Habit destruction, hunting and fishing are the chief culprits. And its only going to get worse as climate change bites. We are committing ecocide, destroying the natural environment we rely on for our survival.

As for what we can do about it, in New Zealand at least we can try and protect what we have, by locking land away under DoC protection and imposing marine reserves and strengthening the quota system to limit fishing. But over 80% of our native animal species are endangered, so we need to be doing a lot more than we are at present to protect them.