50% wildlife loss in last 40 years

Research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London has found that the number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats. The report is summarised in this article from the Guardian newspaper.

One thought on “50% wildlife loss in last 40 years”

  1. I received this response to the article from a concerned friend:


    This is an astonishing statistic, one whose significance cannot be overstated: a sign of irreversible decline, taking place in the blink of an eye (in terms of the evolution of species) and in our own lifetimes. Of course, the total wildlife population decline since the dawn of “civilisation” will be much greater but clearly the rate of decline is accelerating.

    Can you imagine the reaction if the headline were: “human population declines 50% in 40 years”? But where is the outrage, the deep sadness, the examination of conscience, the commitment to real action?

    This report will receive little attention and will quickly be forgotten. Next year’s elections will be about other, relatively trivial issues. The non-democracies will be even less interested. All countries will find ways to say it’s not really their problem, that someone else is more to blame. The global corporations will say it’s not their responsibility. Consumers buying the iPhone 6 and its equivalents and all the other gizmos filling the shops, will not be alarmed because (for now) the supermarkets are fully stocked, petrol stations are refuelling their cars, and planes are flying around the world. Scientists will propose all kinds of techno-fixes to distract attention and give the impression that we don’t need to worry. Environmentalists will justify their own actions by publicising small-scale local reversals and say there are still five ways to “save the planet”. The human population will continue expanding at around 1.1% per annum and the world economy at 3%. In 5, 10 years’ time there will be another report of this kind and still almost no-one will pay attention.


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