The Age of Extinction
This year’s G8 summit in Germany was unusual in that, a month later, people are still talking about whether or not it achieved anything. But one breakthrough at the summit is undeniable: amidst all the talk of economic growth and exchange rates, a new statistic appeared on the agenda of the world’s richest countries: extinction rates.
For the first time, the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations took notice of a constituency that they have largely ignored – the wild animals, fish, and plants that make up all the millions of living species on the planet besides humans.
Scientists predict that at least a third and as much as two-thirds of the world’s species could be on their way to extinction by the end of this century, mostly because people are destroying tropical forests and other habitats, over-fishing the oceans, and changing the global climate.