Azara Blog: Rate of biodiversity loss is allegedly not decreasing

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Date published: 2009/07/02

The BBC says:

An unacceptable number of species are still being lost forever despite world leaders pledging action to reverse the trend, a report has warned.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says the commitment to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 will not be met.

It warns that a third of amphibians, a quarter of mammals and one-in-eight birds are threatened with extinction.
Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of the IUCN's Species Programme, warned that the scale of "wildlife crisis" was far worse than the current global economic crisis.

"It is time to recognise that nature is the largest company on Earth working for the benefit of 100% of humankind," he said.

Vie is completely wrong. Nature is not the "largest company on Earth". And Nature is not "working for the benefit of 100% of humankind". What Vie was really probably trying to say was that Nature happens to provide benefits for humans, such as water meadows which can help reduce flooding. But of course Nature also provides disbenefits for humans, such as viruses. The so-called conservationists just happen to always ignore the latter and focus on the former. In any case, the phrase "working for the benefit of 100% of humankind" is just completely misguided, no matter what side of the equation you are looking at. Nature just is.

On the question of extinction, there are more and more humans consuming more and more resources of the planet, and so it follows pretty trivially from that that there will be less and less of other species. So does the IUCN want there to be fewer humans or poorer humans or both? And by how much?

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