Sixty-six million years ago, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction eliminated about 80 percent of all species on the planet, including nearly every dinosaur — the former masters of the earth.
That was earth’s fifth mass extinction. Today, we live in the sixth.
When the dinosaurs disappeared, mammals were able to gain a foothold and eventually evolve into more complex beings. We humans like to think we are the epitome of that evolutionary progress, and in a way we are. Like the dinosaurs, we are the clear frontrunners of this planetary era. However, unlike the dinosaurs, we will be the cause of our own destruction, and the bringers of the next great evolutionary epoch.
The idea that humans may be responsible for increased rates of species extinction has been around for a while, and has widely been met with controversy. However, a study published last week, which used pointedly modest data, found that, conservatively, vertebrate species extinction rates in the last century are 114 times higher than historical levels.
The authors conclude that, with such an “exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity,” the sixth great dying, called the “Holocene extinction,” is already underway. But, there’s hope.
With concerted conservation efforts, we may yet be able to save the many ecosystems that are in danger of disappearing. And that just so happens to be what we’re all about at The Rainforest Site. With the click of a button, you can protect wildlife. You can also donate directly to a cause at our store — like saving a couple acres of the Amazon.
Most importantly, however, are the actions you take every day. Each of us is responsible for the state of this planet, so each of us must work toward living a more sustainable lifestyle in order to protect ourselves and our fellow earthlings. Use less plastic, eat less meat, use less fuel, clean up more, and you will be an integral part of saving our planet from the brink of disaster.Whizzco