The finding is frightening: Humanity is currently responsible for a species extinction on a scale that is in no way inferior to the previous mass extinctions in the history of planet Earth. While hundreds of millions of years ago massive volcanic eruptions or the impact of huge meteorites threw the biological balance on earth out of balance, today it is the exploitation of the planet by the highly engineered human species. It is only logical that geologists refer to the current age as the Anthropocene, the age of man that begins with industrialization around 1800. Ice cores show that the proportion of climate-damaging gases (CO2, methane) in the atmosphere rose abruptly at that time.
Species Conservation Day
March 3rd is International Endangered Species Day. This means preserving the diversity of wild plants and animals, and specifically means: Their habitats must be protected. Because species extinction has progressed so far that scientists are now talking about a sixth mass extinction.
Of the ten million species on earth, one million are threatened with extinction. Researchers at Stanford University (USA) say that humans have wiped out half of the animal world in the past 40 years and that 75 percent of species will disappear from the earth in the next few centuries. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that the current rate of extinction is 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal background rate.
Through hunting, early humans almost wiped out the large animal fauna. With agriculture, he pushed back countless animal and plant species, with man-made climate change, with insecticides, soil sealing and river structures, the extinction wave is accelerating. “We think in terms of geologically ridiculously short periods of time, and our actions will continue to influence life on earth for millions of years,” says Mathias Harzhauser from the Natural History Museum in Vienna.
It is not known whether man will still walk the earth. But what is known is that it takes a long time for fauna and flora to recover. Namely five to twelve million years.