As humans at the tip of Manhattan worry about the crash in value of electronic accounts that represent paper that represent real wealth, the IUCN has reminded us that there is another crash coming along to worry about – a crash in biodiversity.
Last week came their report on the threatened biodiversity in mammals – one quarter are in danger of going extinct. This week, we’re hearing about the birds – populations of avian species around the world are plummeting.
Fish around the world are in trouble. So are corals. So are amphibians. So are reptiles. Jellyfish are blooming in massive amounts, though, thanks to climate change and overfertilization of ocean waters. Earth may soon be known as the jellyfish planet.
The steady march of bad news about the loss of biodiversity on Earth comes along with continuing discoveries about how rich the biodiversity of our planet really is. Hundreds of species never seen before have just been photographed off the coast of Tasmania, for example.
In human civilization as well as in nature, loss is an opportunity for new adaptations to come to the forefront. Let’s hope that the human downturn this year clears out enough conventional wisdom to make way for ideas about how we can change our lives so that we are enriched by the living wealth of our planet without leaving it spent.