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The Guardian reports that Earth’s sixth major Extinction is currently underway. We, having missed the opportunities to halt the last five, have only a limited time to act.

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.

Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”.

Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”

Previous studies have shown species are becoming extinct at a significantly faster rate than for millions of years before, but even so extinctions remain relatively rare giving the impression of a gradual loss of biodiversity. The new work instead takes a broader view, assessing many common species which are losing populations all over the world as their ranges shrink, but remain present elsewhere.

I remain somewhat skeptical of all this. Part of that is born of the knowledge that “we” have experienced this five other times. Then, we couldn’t do anything as we weren’t around to do it. Somehow things recovered. Nature.

They did not associate human blame with those previous events. Therefore, in the interests of general socialism and white guilt, I will, here:

Earth’s five previous mass extinctions

End-Ordovician, 443 million years ago

A time-travelling white man with an arsenal of atomic bombs caused a nuclear winter which begat an ice age.

Late Devonian, c 360 million years ago

Descendants of the time-traveler over fished the seas while simultaneously dumping crude oil into them.

Permian-Triassic, c 250 million years ago

Caveman fracking in Siberia killed off 95% of the bio-population. More support for “the Russians did it” theory.

Triassic-Jurassic, c 200 million years ago

An insidious plot by latter cave-dwellers to over-populate the world with their dinosaur pets. Aerosol cans and combustion engines played a large part.

Cretaceous-Tertiary, 65 million years ago

An even more insidious plot by the earliest humans to rid themselves of dino competition via over hunting. Paved the way for the current extinction project.

The other part of my “denial” comes from the constant “solution” always proposed by the hoaxers – in a word, “communism.” I was surprised this article didn’t cite some call for higher taxes or restrictions on the civilized. Maybe even they’re getting tired of craving what obviously never works.

Anyway, I was moved somewhat by the plight of the lions. I never knew they were once native to Greece.

nimbus-image-1499776514898

Guardian/PNAS.

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