According to the Center for Biological Diversity we are currently in the middle of one of the worst species die-offs in history, and unlike past periods of mass species loss due to natural disasters, shifts in the earths climate, or even the odd asteroid strike, this time it’s seems increasingly clear the crisis is largely being caused by humanity.
If you include Global Warming as a man made phenomenon, along with habitat loss due to development and farming, the report estimates that 99 percent of the species currently at risk are due to human activities.
Scientists explain that on average we lose species at rate of about 1 to 5 species per year when not considering human factors, however when the actions of humanity are included estimates indicate that we may be losing species at a rate anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times this “average”.
“We could be facing a 30 to 50 percent loss of all species by the middle of the current century”
Losing species at this rate, roughly equivalent to a dozen new species each day, means that we could be facing a 30 to 50 percent loss of all species by the middle of the current century, and according to CNN before things stabilize “three-quarters of all species could vanish”.
If things continue down this path, then within the very near future we will begin witness the dramatic disappearance of animals in a very noticeable way. For instance if poaching rates continue at current levels experts believe we could witness the disappearance of African elephants in only 20 years!
“If poaching rates continue at current levels experts believe we could witness the disappearance of African elephants in only 20 years”
Furthermore because species are often interdependent the loss of any one species potentially leads to the extinction of others that are bound to it within it’s local ecological system. This means that at the current rate of loss in the years to come “the numbers of extinctions are likely to snowball” as ecosystems around the world begin to unravel.
Interestingly the Old Testament book of Hosea paints an eerily similar picture of a world where humanity has come to “break all bounds” (Hosea 4:2 ESV).
“That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.” — Hosea 4:3 (NLT)