A current mass extinction is waving through the whole planet. About sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs went extinct due to extreme changes in the weather that made them unable to survive and multiply. Now, after sixty-five million years, another mass extinction is occurring that would drive out as much as one half of the total number of species that exist here on earth.
However, unlike in the past when climate and weather conditions were the basic factors that swept away the dinosaurs, this time it is not climate monsters anymore but pointless human beings that sweep away the inhabitants, food supply and the perfect environment that would make nature proliferate in large numbers across the world. According to David Ulansey (2007), “If present trends continue, one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change” (par.
1). Once this happens, then there is no exact estimation on how serious and awful the consequences would be, since the extinction of plants, animals, habitats and ocean species like coral reefs would affect our sources of supply of food, water, climate, medicinal supplies and energy. Thus, it may be that the extinction of plants and animals may be the beginning of the future extinction of men.
In this paper it will be revealed how serious the current mass extinction is, and what the impact will be concerning the sustainability of our anthropogenic home planet. It shall be discussed why the issue is important to human beings—even now that science and technology is driving fast and remarkable changes in societies. In a world where human beings rule and affect the world, what exactly is at stake? And what can be done given the present condition of the environment?
In the end, we come out with the conclusion on the best strategy that would help make our world a better place to live in. The Extinction of Species Based on the report printed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it was revealed that there are about 11,000 endangered species in the plant and animal category (Podger, 2002, par. 3). This number includes a total of 1,000 mammals, which is “nearly a quarter of the world’s total” (Podger, 2002, par. 3).
This will take place in a matter of just three decades, due primarily to the destruction of habitants, which have been made faster due to tremendous increases in illegal fishing and logging, the conversion of forests to farms, cities and villages, as well as the destruction made by pollution and greenhouse gases that lead to a global climactic change that gives threat to these species. Also, another reason for the destruction of habitants is the transferring of alien species to a far-away, different habitat in which the species are unable to bear or sustain.
Aside from plants and animals, the bird species is also at the threat of extinction, since more than 5,000 birds are enlisted by UNEP as being endangered (Podger, 2002, par. 4). Yet what is most threatening is that, despite the condition nowadays on how half of all species are about to get extinct, still, the factors that lead to their extinction are continuing and strengthening with an ‘ever-increasing intensity’ (Podger, 2002, par. 3).
Perhaps the most basic and hard-to-prevent factor that leads to this extinction may be under illegal human settlements in areas that have been prevented by governments, such as the wilderness, the rainforests, and the wetlands. Worldwide denial or ignorance could also be an important factor that led to this. As stated by Joby Warrick (1998) of Washington Post, this mass extinction of species has been declared as the ‘gravest environmental worries’ of time (par. 2).
The Impact of Mass Extinction The extinction of 11,000 endangered animal and plant species reveals serious consequence that could depreciate as much as a quarter of the world’s human population. With as much as 6. 1 billion living and relying on nothing more than these creatures for the sake of survival and nourishment, the extinction will draw problems that would especially trigger the third world countries.
Nowadays, even the present sources of food and living are scant by as much as 20%, as stated by Jeffrey Kluger and Andrea Dorfman (2002) of the Time Magazine. The traditional way of managing natural resources can be defined as ‘putting people first, and the environment second’ (Kluger&Dorfman, 2002, par. 4). However, as administrator Mark Malloch Brown of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) initiated, “[W]hen you exhaust resources, you destroy people” (Kluger&Dorfman, 2002, par. 4).