Accelerating Extinctions on Spaceship Earth

Another Guardian article adds weight to the WWF report on the 50% loss of vertebrate wildlife over the last 40 years. Here is and extract:

Humans, said TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough last year, are a “plague on earth”, but WWF claims there is still time to stop the rot. Its UK chief executive David Nussbaum said: “The scale of the destruction highlighted in this report should act as a wake-up call for us all. We all – politicians, business and people – have an interest, and a responsibility, to act to ensure we protect what we all value: a healthy future for people and nature.

“Humans are cutting down trees more quickly than they can regrow, harvesting more fish than the oceans can restock, pumping water from our rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them, and emitting more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb,” he said.

“A  healthy future for people and nature” at least implies that the world does not simply exist for the benefit of humans. Nature in the form of the entire web of life has it right to exist. Attenborough’s frightening metaphor of humans as “a plague on earth”, echoes the view of James Lovelock that our species (the dominant passengers of Spaceship Earth?) is an infestation, an invasive species, that is threatening Gaia, the material and organic planet. Responding to this planetary threat is the greatest challenge of our Age of Accelerating Extinctions brought about by the impact of human population, affluence and technology.

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