There’s gloom and anguished hand-wringing from a new U.N. report soon to come out, as reported in the U.K.’s Telegraph.

The world’s biodiversity is threatened by the economic growth of countries like China, India and Brazil, the study will say.

While Western countries are increasingly aware of the need to protect endangered species, the developing world’s appetite for raw materials is destroying vulnerable ecosystems, the report’s authors will warn.

Population growth, pollution and the spread of Western-style consumption are also blamed for hitting plant and animal populations.

It builds on recent work for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which showed that 21 per cent of all known mammals, 30 per cent of amphibians and 35 per cent of invertebrates are threatened with extinction.

Not stated in this report is the simple solution to protecting all these mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates: prevent the developing nations like China, India, and Brazil from developing. I’m sure that will be a tough sell to the people of developing nations. Imagine being in their shoes: would you rather have dependable electricity, or remain in the economic backwoods if it means the survival of the snail darter and the hairy-chested nut scratcher?

But I take a slightly longer-range view of extinction than the U.N. report does. History tells us that of all the species that have ever lived, 90% are now extinct. It seems to me that extinction is the norm.

And of course no news story about extinction is finished until the author can sneak in some jab at Western civilization in general or the United States in specific:

[Ahmed Djoghlaf, who heads the Convention on Biological Diversity] added: “It’s a problem if we continue this unsustainable pattern of production and consumption. If the 9 billion people predicted to be with us by 2050 were to have the same lifestyle as Americans, we would need five planets.”

What dear Mr. Djoghlaf doesn’t explain is that it is only in the developed nations of the West, like criticized America, that the common people can affords them the luxury of worrying about species extinction. When you are struggling for that next meal, it very well may be fried snail darter or roasted hairy-chested nut scratcher on a stick. And you’d be glad to have it.

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