210th Podcast: Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich Discusses the On-Going (and Accelerating) Sixth Mass Extinction

| August 7, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Audio

Date of Publication: July 26

Year of Publication: 2020

Publication City: Washington, DC

Publisher: The Healthcare Policy Podcast

Author(s): David Introcaso

Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our planet is currently experiencing its sixth mass extinction.  Over the past 450 million years the planet has experienced five previous mass extinctions.  Each of which destroyed or extinguished between 70% and 95% of all plants, animals and micro-organisms.  While these five previous extinctions were moreover the result of volcanization, the current extinction crisis is human caused.  According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (or the IPBES), the five main causes of the current mass extinction are, in descending order, man-made changes in land and sea use; man’s direct exploitation of animals and plants; man-made or anthropocentric global warming, i.e., the climate catastrophe, and man-made pollution. It should go without saying policy makers cannot coherently address human health without simultaneously recognizing or accounting for the state of the biosphere.  Nevertheless, federal policy makers refuse to discuss the ongoing extinction of life on earth.  For example, the House Select Climate Crisis Committee recently released report (I’ve cited in a previous post) fails to make any mention of the ongoing mass extinction or the loss of biodiversty nor did the committee discuss the issue during any of it’s hearings this Congressional session.

During this 25 minute conversation, Professor Paul Ehrlich discusses moreover findings he and his colleagues make known in their two recent PNAS articles, findings by the UN’s IPBES, e.g., half or more of all wildlife has disappeared from the planet over the past 50 years due in part to human caused reductions in geographic range, the relationship between the climate catastrophe and the extinction crisis, the decline in genetic variation moreover in foodstuffs, ever-increasing desperate efforts by the scientific community to bring this issue to the public’s attention and comments on national policy makers perverse and tragic indifference to human-caused biological annihilation on the planet.

Read more and listen to the podcast here.

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