The Earth is in the middle of its SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION in the history of life. Some estimates suggest that as much as 50% of all known species could be extinct by the end of this century.
So says the National Academy of Science, and they're not alone.
It's really a simple equation to ponder: Our environment works in partnership with the life forms which inhabit it. If, as is happening now, less and less plant life grows in diversity, then less and less species will survive who depend on that diversity. The less life that exists on the planet, the less food nature will produce in its natural diversity. Works either way: The more plant life we kill out, the more probable extinction becomes for species not meant to die out en masse, since nature responds to environmental demand. Man has demanded far too much.
I'm thinking in particular of those mammals which depend on certain trees and their leaves. They live in the trees and eat the leaves. We cut the trees. The small mammals disappear. Where do they go? Those that survive seek other habitats which, if history is any gauge, will also be distroyed. Isn't it awful?
Imagine if there were no farms, no cows, no vegetation. Would humans become extinct? Obviously, science has already predicted that and every country on the planet keeps a "seed bank" composed of the seeds which make up every variety of grain on earth. Wheat, rye, barley, there's hundreds of varieties of wheat alone. We keep the seeds in the event of world catastrophe so whoever is left standing will be able to re-farm the planet. We'll survive. Sort of.
But why can't we think this way about our fellow species, who share this spaceship earth with us? Think about this :
HALF of all living bird and mammal species will be gone within 200 to 300 years, according to the Life Sciences Department of the University of Texas, Austin. Although the extinction of various species is a natural phenomenon, the rate occuring in today's world is 100 to 1,000 times greater than normal. Yikes.
Here's another one - little tree frogs. They need trees, they live in them. Rsearch done mostly by zoologists and biologist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, discovered a deadly fungus that is killing off frogs all throughout Central, South and now North America. This little guy here, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, is only ONE of the 43% of all amphibian species at grave risk.
Take a good look at this beautiful Sumatran Tiger because his forest home is almost gone, and your grandchildren's children will only have pictures like this to learn about such incredible creatures. No less than HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of acres of tropical forests and peat swamp have been totally cleared in the last 25 years.
I haven't even mentioned what climate changes and unsustainable human activities are doing to our environment, turning forest into desert.
Yet something encouraging, almost miraculous as nature itself, is happening - something to give us hope. Do you know what a specialist is? That's just someone who obsesses on a particular area of expertise long enough for it to become his whole life. We have environmental specialists, zoological specialists, bio-diversity specialists, and just plain ethical specialists who refuse to let this scenario of total extinction happen. While we look to them, perhaps we can join them in some way? I'll give you an easy example:
Do you send ecards? Course. Think about how nice it would be if, each time you sent one, you saved a tree. Yeah. You can do that, this is the place to go Care2 - the global network for organizations and people who Care2 make a difference! this is their home page. Just click on "ECARDS" Care2 eCards, Free Online Animated Greeting Cards right here. I know a few belong to this site, friend Maire (valphish) for example. Really, it's so easy to do JUST ONE THING to help save our planet, ourselves. I'm not going to "hope" the other guy does it first.