Endangered bugs raise the alarm
The Earth’s most severe mass extinction event was about 252 million years ago, and is commonly known as the “great dying”.
The Permian-Triasic extinction is distinct in that up until now it is the only mass extinction to wipe out genres of insect. It took about ten million years, but in the end even the bugs had a hard time of it.
That isn’t normal – insects tend to have very short life spans, so they can normally adapt.
The reason I bring this up is a story in Reuters about how one in five invertebrates are at risk of going extinct right now.
Because of climate change right now we are seeing greater ocean acidification bleaching corral reefs, we are seeing rapid shifts in climate patterns, and we are still getting pushback on doing anything about it.
Our population is growing, and our impact on the environment is becoming more marked as we deplete resources, and there isn’t all that much we are doing about it.
That is what struck me with the EU’s decision to place carbon taxes on airlines. The decision was derided by groups in the rest of the world because normally such decisions would be taken on a global level.
The world has tried coming up with agreements on a global level, and due to denialists having a lot of backing when it comes to politics, those agreements haven't amounted to much.
All too often politicians take a look at what is needed in the way of reforms and say, "Be realistic." Being realistic means not doing anything.
Environmentalism as a whole has had a constant battle with denialism. Figures like that bug-eyed liar Lord Christopher Monckton have risen to prominence on the back of climate denial, and any hint of anything that could be used to make the science look suspect has been grasped with utter fervency.
Conspiracy theorists have tried to paint the data as being the results of the UN trying to set up a New World Order, and the climate scientists as somehow having more money backing them than the entire world’s combined oil industries.
There has been a constant and largely successful movement against doing anything about what our species has been doing to our planet.
In compost heaps bacteria breed at a furious rate and thus generate heat. If you don’t turn the heap over every now and then, the heap will dry out.
The bacteria don't stop multiplying though, so as the heat rises and every now and then a dried out compost heap self-ignites.
Are we as a species so stupid that when it comes right down to it, we are no better than single celled organisms in a pile of organic waste?
We as a species hold ourselves as the pinnacle of intelligence, yet when it gets right down to it and we found our ecosystem warming up with catastrophic consequences, heck we see the droughts, we see the fires, and yet we still have that constant largely rightwing pushback preventing concrete action.
We need to stop thinking the scientists don’t know what they are talking about, we need to cut the conspiracy theories over global climate research agencies and start taking this seriously.
The last time a mass extinction event threatened insects, it was called the great dying. Right now one in five invertebrates are at risk of extinction.