The Sixth Mass Extinction

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The Sixth Mass Extinction

Evy Peyovich, Journalist

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I’m sure that most of you are aware of the current ecological situation: we are killing the wonderful beings on our planet through poaching them, eating them, and also, we’re introducing exotic species and disrupting our food chain. And finally, the worst of them all; climate change, which causes habitat loss.

Climate change, or global warming, as it is widely known, is a major threat to our environment, the animals and plants on this earth, and believe it or not, us. Not only are we running out of time as far as fossil fuels go (we have 50.7 years until oil runs out, 52.8 years for natural gas, and 114 years for coal), but so many animals are dying out that a lot of our food sources are diminishing; plus, when animals die out, their prey thrive, and their predators decline. Long story short, it’s an enormous scale domino effect with living beings.

Another “fun” fact about this terrifying story: we need to act now. Yes, people are acting out, protesting climate change, and urging leaders to make a move. But it’s not even close to a large enough scale. Everyone needs to be in on this, for the good of us and our planet.

Put yourself in a wild animal’s shoes. (I know, it’s odd, but roll with me). First, you were without all this horrible stuff. Before climate change, before all us dare I say stupid, humans completely changed your world. Then, us humans came. We pretty much ruined your life: killed your friends and family with plastic, burned all sorts of chemicals to murder you, and then ate you and used your skin, horn, nails, bones, etc for our profit. Nice life, right?

In 500 years, we are aware of a thousand extinctions, including the infamous Dodo bird, passenger pigeon, and the lesser known Stellers Sea cow (yes, it’s real) and the Baiji White dolphin. Of course, this doesn’t account for who knows how many species died out before scientists even knew they existed. We are at the worst rate of die-offs since the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

But we can do something! Even if these things are small improvements, once we do these people might just catch on. Baby steps, guys, even though that’s cliché, it works. We need to act now, like I said before, but even if it’s tiny steps, it might help.

 

WAYS TO SAVE WILDLIFE AND STOP CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • Volunteer – if you can’t give money, or wouldn’t like to, your time helps.
  • Clean up – if you see some trash anywhere, pick it up, unless it is something toxic or extremely harmful, (in that case you can call the Needle Cleanup Hotline, or if it is another hazardous item, Google is a great tool). Also, don’t litter, please, for the good of us and our animals.
  • Recycle – phones and other electronics especially, are not trash.
  • Plant – habitat destruction is a real problem, and planting can really help.
  • Speak up – this is one of the most important ones. Talk to friends, family, local leaders and councils, etc. about this problem. It helps!

 

Sources-

https://ourworldindata.org/how-long-before-we-run-out-of-fossil-fuels

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/ga12131.doc.htm

https://share.america.gov/top-10-ways-save-wildlife/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/toxic-waste/

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/illicit-pubs-needle-kit-ques-toc~illicit-pubs-needle-kit-ques-ans~illicit-pubs-needle-kit-ques-ans-13