Fight for them. Biodiversity is as crucial as climate.
Our relatives are dying. Every year now, dozens of species are declared extinct, meaning no one will ever see them alive again. Scientists say the current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times the normal rate, which had been 1–5 species per year. Thousands more are at the brink of extinction or live only in captivity. Do we mourn their loss?
Indigenous people do grieve the murdered animals and plants, but do the rest of us? Have we even noticed the 80% drop in insect populations worldwide, or the sharp declines in birds, and fish, as well as mammals and amphibian populations?
Without their animal friends, 69% of flowering plants are at risk of extinction, according to Andrea Thompson, writing in Scientific American. Plants need animals to move their seeds around by eating them and shitting them out, or by flying pollen from one plant to another.
Insects aren’t just delightful to watch, like fireflies and butterflies. They help reproduce the plants that we eat. They also feed birds and small mammals with their bodies. The small birds and mammals feed the larger ones, and they all fertilize the soil. It’s the same in the water with fish.
That’s what is called an ecosystem, lots of diverse species feeding each other and enriching the ground for those who come after them.
Rich ecosystems like old growth forests, grasslands, or wetlands may have thousands of species, and nearly all have vital roles to fulfill. When one species dies off, others are threatened, as with the plants suffering from the loss of seed-eating mammals.
The variety of species is called biodiversity, God’s greatest gift, Nature’s greatest creation. According to National Geographic, “Scientists have estimated that there are around 8.7 million species of plants and animals in existence. Only 1.2 million have been identified and named, and scientists are racing to find and catalog the rest before they become extinct.”
All these living things are our relatives. I’m not speaking poetically or spiritually. This is fact. If you go back far enough, you and I, and a fish, or a cow, or a turtle, have a common ancestor. You might have to go back 100 million years or so, but you and that bird over…