Disparate Liberal Debutante

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7/20/2006

Biodiversity...eh?

So I’m not going to make that colossal and ever so enlightening biodiversity post that I promised would be made for you fine readers. I admittedly started doing it, and then decided that I really didn't feel like going and looking for sources and being all responsible for everything I spewed out… So, as an alternative I will do a shorter post on the existing state of biodiversity, using easy to locate sources that can speak for me. The big news behind biodiversity today is the current call for the establishing of an Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity (IPB). There has been an undeniable trend recently calling for people to take serious deliberation to the fact that we are losing biodiversity faster than ever before. The two mega faunas that were most recently added to the biodiversity list are the polar bear and the hippo.
[link]“The planet is losing species faster than at any time since 65 million years ago, when the earth was hit by an enormous asteroid that wiped out thousands of animals and plants, including the dinosaurs. Scientists estimate that the current rate at which species are becoming extinct is between 100 and 1,000 times greater than the normal "background" extinction rate - and say this is all due to human activity.”
The big thing there is that it is due to human activity. There is a responsibility here for us to take action… and fortunately some people have recognized that.
[link]“"The international community is failing on its biodiversity targets," said Alfred Oteng-Yeboah from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ghanaian government's science advisory body.”
What are the international community’s obligations? Well, in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit the Conservation of Biological Diversity plan was born stating that all countries must try to have *some* sort of decline in species and ecosystems loss by 2010.
[link]“The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a vast four-year international research programme which began to report its findings last year, found that two-thirds of "ecosystem services" - the benefits which humans derive from the natural world - are being eroded.”
It’s been recognized and efforts have been put forth, but obviously not enough. And of course, as with most things in the environment, everything is interconnected.
[link]“Nearly one-quarter of the world's mammals, one-third of amphibians and more than one-tenth of bird species are threatened with extinction. Climate change alone is expected to force a further 15%- 37% of species to the brink of extinction within the next 50 years.”
So as we continue to take over the earth, drive our SUVs, destroy habitats for our homes, we continue to heat the world, take away the homes of species and wipe out nature that has so diligently and patiently housed and cared for us for thousands of years 13 scientists did a report in nature suggesting some serious change. These scientists included some of the most distinguished scientists who I can only dream of being taught by. (Half because they’re not professors and half because I don’t really take science classes…)
[link]“The scientists believe that a body similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could help governments to tackle the continuing loss of species. "Biodiversity is much more than counting species. It's crucial to the functioning of the planet and the loss of species is extremely serious," Dr Larigauderie said. "Everywhere we look, we are losing the fabric of life. It's a major crisis."”
That is an extremely bold statement, and it’s being made by a creditable person, but really, who listens to creditable people these days? As if the climate crisis wasn’t enough for the people of this fine world to comprehend we’re tacking onto that a biodiversity crisis. If they’re not attended to, what happens? Not that I like playing the doom and gloom role, but there really isn’t much hope for a future if it’s not taken seriously. A lot of people will say “We fixed the O Zone problem…” but in comparison, the O Zone is peanuts. Fixing the O Zone took a lot less than fixing these other two issues. The O Zone was being destroyed by chlorofluorocarbons and all those other tasty things that come shooting out the ends of our hair spray. We ban those and its all good. We can live our lives just as before while saving the O Zone. Reversing climate change, and attending to the loss of biodiversity involves *life style* changes. Who is prepared to make those changes? Celebrities in their Escalades? How about people in the sweltering heat with their ACs? Universities and their ludicrous policies of leaving hall lights on 24/7 in residences? People who refuse to support local farmers and continue to buy transported foods because they look better? *coughgmoscough* Everyone says they’re concerned, but they hold that “not in my back yard” approach. We’re all okay with helping attending to climate change – but as long as that doesn’t mean sticking up an ugly windmill anywhere near our houses, or solar panel fields. We’re okay with helping animals, as long as it doesn’t interfere with all of our expanding cities, like Mississauga. Mississauga is my pet peeve city. It has expanded in the past 5 years so far north that it takes an hour to get from one end to the other by bus. But the population? It hasn’t really been inclusive to the geographical expansion, its unnecessary expansion is only inclusive to the idea that they want to have a pretty city. (That isn’t even pretty; go to Oakville, its pretty.) We’re looking at lowering out energy consumptions and telling a consumerist nation, to stop consuming. I’ve become embarrassingly partial to watching Sex in the City, and it does the opposite to me that it does to most other avid watchers. The girls in Sex in the City are horribly consumerist. Sarah Jessica Parker buys new shoes for new dates, and just shops to drown her sorrows. But it’s not just Sarah, tons of girls do it. Like the girl I work with that I mentioned before… She told me that when she goes to the bar, she *has* to go buy a new outfit first so she isn’t seen in pictures or two different nights wearing the same things. *Hangs head in pity…* I however strive to be nothing like Sarah Jessica Parker and even bolted it out of Bentley’s today as I picked up a purse and thought “hmm, a new purse would be nice..”. Climate change and the biodiversity crisis aren’t as easy as banning harmful chemicals. We need to get our countries to commit to changing their life style, we’re looking for a complete paradigm shift before it’s too late – and I’m really not so optimistic on it happening in time. And I feel like I should point out - Biodiversity loss is not reversable. It requires...immediate response.
|| Kian, 8:27:00 PM