Monday, February 7, 2011

"Lost and Gone Forever"

Thomas Jefferson was quite bright, but he and his contemporaries were quite confused about biodiversity and the fragility of species. 
“Such is the economy of Nature,” he wrote, “that no instance can be produced of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be broken.”
It would be nice to think we'd learned better, by now. But mass extinctions are accelerating in our day, and too many of us continue to be indifferent. We still don't get it.  Richard Coniff: 

Species die. It has become a catastrophic fact of modern life. On our present course, by E.O. Wilson’s estimate, half of all plant and animal species could be extinct by 2100 — that is, within the lifetime of a child born today. Kenya stands to lose its lions within 20 years. India is finishing off its tigers. Deforestation everywhere means that thousands of species too small or obscure to be kept on life support in a zoo simply vanish each year... [more]
Slideshow: "species on the brink"

1 comment:

meredith j. said...

Thousands of new species are discovered every year. It is sad about the lions and tigers though. They're so much cuter than, say, a bombardier worm. I reckon it is a cyclical Tao type thing... Accelerating Intelligence News