Monday, March 31, 2008

On The Way Out?

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.   

  

         

                               

 

17 comments:

swmpgrly said...

thats a pretty frog what a shame

princesssaurora said...

Cathy... you are always so wonderful to read!  Great ideas and great info.  Thank you!

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

rockoned7 said...

6th mass extinction: What happened in the other 5? Informative as usual Cathy. I agree Man asks too much as we are killing each other off in other diverse ways.  Forests are turning to deserts and they in turn are being turned into urban jungles.  In the natural process of evolution, what happened to the natural disasters of mammoths and the dinosaurs, 5000 years ago, were replaced with all the diversity we see now.

The problem is to persuade us humans that the Sumatran or Brazilian Teak looks better in a forest than the floors of some of our well adorned houses.  Our spontaneous seeking of absolute beauty and luxury may be the demise of some animals but we should have hope that others may be concerned that we can replace this nature and a balance can be restored.  

PS I prefer the tiger in a photo, as in their own environment I am a 200lbs of Kite- Kat food and they would eat me without thought. That is its natural way; so long live nature but don’t ask me to be dinner! ED

kirkbyj05 said...

Its such a big worry to realise what man is doing to the environment.  Even though we can see the devastation happening, our hands are tied regarding the deforestation.  It is still going on and Palm Oil trees are taking their place.  
It is catastrophic! In the end I foresee that the human race will become extinct as we carry on being the successful dominant species that we are. Its a nightmare happening whilst we are wide awake!

Jeanie  xx

daddyleer said...

This can be so overwhelming. Once in a blue moon it is nice to read somewhat of a nature success story:

http://journals.aol.com/daddyleer/musings/entries/2008/04/01/commuting-with-coyotes/1918

Caregivngly Yours, Patrick

pamal3 said...

Sad to watch our planet slipping away. I always send ecards so it Is good to highlight the benefits of doing this. Well done cathy. I agrred with my mister man when he suggested the goverment halt all flights until they came up with an eco friendly solution instead. He said He would bet It wouldn't take them long!!. I think It Is a magic Idea. Love Pam xx  

pharmolo said...

Homo sapiens is doing a good job, isn't he? However, without the humble honey bee, none of us will be around for longer than 7 years.

attitudeslc said...

UHG!!!  I'm sending your entry to a few friends wo care too!

~Rosemary

gazker said...

What I love about you is you tell it as it is. Others just park it at the back of their brain and deal with it when it's too late.
Gaz xxx

helmswondermom said...

This is very interesting.  I will visit the ecards site.  I probably already send more of that kind that paper ones anyway.  I try to not waste any paper or paper products, but I'm sure there is much more I can do.
Lori

ally123130585918 said...

Thanks for a very interesting entry ~ a lot of food for thought here ~ Ally x

wwfbison said...

I spend alot of time outdoors on the farm and sometimes I just sit on top of the hill and look around and almost find myself profoundly sad thinking what it will look like in the future.  It's so sad to see what humans have done to our earth & the animals we share it with - so many people have no regard for life, other than their own.  I always think of the movie "Soylent Green"..may not be so far from the truth in years to come.  Great entry, I love the way you think.
xx
Lisa

valphish said...

This makes me so sad.  I click dailly!!  Click, people, click!!!  It only takes a minute or two if you have DSL.  What is that out of your life???  And it FEELS GOOD =)!!!  Thanks for posting this, my Cateri!  Love you!! xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

bhbner2him said...

I found the care2 site not long ago and have been using it more and more.  While our proliferation does make it's demands on the eco system, I often wonder how many would be dieing out anyway if mankind was still at the point he was say 300 years ago.  There is no way we can save them all.  And surely all aren't meant to be saved.  But, we should make every effort not to go around being careless and crass.  After all, God gave us dominion over them all.  That's not as much a right as it is a responsibility.  -  Barbara

ma24179 said...

Isn't it amazing how we can slowly destroy ourselves? We all know what is happening but rarely do we really do anything about it. (((HUGS))) -Missy http://journals.aol.com/ma24179/MISSYZSTUFF

HERCULES HUNT BLOG said...

That's great that we can just do a simple thing like send an E Card and make a meaningful difference in our planet...wow, that's the one I'll use from now on, thanks Cathy for the inspiring read and great info!

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