Science

Humanity and Wild Nature Will Likely Both Be Flourishing in 2100

Human ingenuity is enabling us to get ever more goods and services from fewer and fewer resources.

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"Human activity has wiped out two-thirds of the world's wildlife since 1970," CNN reported on September 10. Later that month, The Guardian reported that "40 percent of [the] world's plant species [are] at risk of extinction."

In an even more worrisome article, published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in July, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich and his colleagues asserted that "the ongoing sixth mass extinction may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization." Around the same time, The Daily Mail warned that "human civilization stands a 90 percent chance of collapse within decades due to deforestation."

These dire calculations and projections come from authoritative-sounding reports issued by international agencies, conservation groups, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. But is the future of wild nature and human civilization really so bleak?

Not according to the demographic and ecological trends that Marian Tupy and I describe in our book Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know (Cato Institute). Data from uncontroversial mainstream sources strongly indicate that both humanity and the natural world are likely to be flourishing rather than collapsing at the end of this century.

World population, today about 7.7 billion, likely will peak at 8.9 billion by 2060 and decline to 7.8 billion by the end of this century. This projection is based on the fact that women around the world are choosing to have fewer children, causing the global average fertility rate (the number of children per woman of childbearing age) to plummet from 5 in 1960 to 2.4 now.

According to a July analysis in The Lancet, that rate will fall to 1.5 by the end of this century. Other global trends—such as steeply falling child mortality rates, increased urbanization, rising incomes, expanding education of women, and the spread of political and economic freedom—all strongly correlate with the choice to have fewer children.

Human ingenuity, enlarged through free markets, is also enabling us to get ever more goods and services from fewer and fewer resources. Arnulf Grubler, an energy researcher with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, documents how modern smartphones "dematerialized" computers, calculators, cameras, televisions, radios, recorders, and many more gadgets, replacing equipment weighing a combined 57 pounds and using 72 watts of stand-by energy with a device that weighs 2 ounces and uses 2.5 watts. In recent research, Grubler outlines a scenario in which a larger and richer world population using disruptive social and technological innovations reduces the amount of food, fuel, metals, and minerals that humanity annually consumes from about 100 gigatons now to 83 gigatons by 2050.

Humanity is becoming an urban species, and that's good for the environment, since city dwellers generally use less electricity, emit less globe-warming carbon dioxide, and have smaller land footprints than people living in the countryside. Today, about 55 percent of the world's 7.7 billion people live in cities. That means about 3.5 billion still live on the landscape, many as subsistence farmers. By 2100, demographers project that 85 percent of people will be city dwellers, which would leave only 1.2 billion still living in the countryside.

The amount of farmland needed to sustain humanity peaked at the beginning of this century, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Considering that agriculture is the most expansive and intensive way in which people transform natural landscapes, that is really good news for other species. The trend will reinforce ongoing depopulation of rural areas, freeing up ever greater swaths of land. In a reasonably optimistic scenario, increases in crop productivity will allow nearly 1 billion acres of farmland to revert to nature by 2060. That's an area almost twice the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River.

Aquaculture is already supplying about half of the fish that humanity consumes. Much as rising crop productivity is freeing up land for nature, fish farming could help relieve pressure on overfished wild stocks in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. At the same time, awarding secure property rights to fishers would incentivize them to safeguard stocks, making the fisheries sustainable. As a result of such privatization in Iceland and New Zealand, their fish stocks, which had been declining, are now on the rise.

Developed land is already reverting to nature. In 2018, researchers at the University of Maryland reported that the global tree canopy increased by 865,000 square miles between 1982 and 2016. That's a land area larger than Alaska and Montana combined. Using satellite data to track the changes in various land covers, the researchers found that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics.

Forest area is expanding even as areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. Furthermore, forests in mountainous regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow at higher altitudes. A 2011 study found that global forest growth and regrowth act as a carbon sink, annually taking from the atmosphere between one-fourth and one-third of the total carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels.

The tree canopy in Europe, including European Russia, has increased by 35 percent since 1982—the greatest gain among all continents. The Maryland researchers attribute much of that increase to "natural afforestation on abandoned agricultural land," which has been "a common process in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union." The tree canopy in the United States and China has increased by 15 percent and 34 percent, respectively, since 1982.

Increasing global wealth, agricultural efficiency, and urbanization are also providing countries ever greater scope for taking active measures to protect and preserve natural land and seascapes.

Governments began formally setting aside protected parks and nature preserves in the late 19th century. The Yosemite Valley was dedicated in 1864 as a California state park, while Yellowstone National Park was established as the world's first national park in 1872. As of 2018, according to a global database, protected areas covered about 15 percent of the earth's land surface: about 7.7 million square miles. That area is nearly double the size of the entire United States. Marine protected areas now include more than 10 million square miles, nearly 7 percent of the global ocean and more than double the size of South America.

Humanity does face big environmental challenges in the coming century. But the bulk of scientific and economic evidence shows that most of the trends are positive or can be turned in a positive direction by human ingenuity. Rather than an age of extinction, the 21st century promises to be an era of environmental renewal.

NEXT: Brickbat: Unexcused Absence

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  1. “Humanity is becoming an urban species”

    How many of these demographic projects were done pre-covid? Why would anyone live in a city…ever…now that most people can work remote?

    1. Cities have more choices. You can get Thai food in the boonies — if you drive a ways or already did and stocked your freezer.

      I’ve lived in cities (no privacy, lots of variety within walking distance), suburbs (no privacy, drive to everything), and the boonies (plenty of privacy, drive a long ways to everything); where “privacy” == how many neighbors know everything you do. Everything is a tradeoff.

      1. Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ… Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ…EFd Mᴀᴋᴇ $80 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $13000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ..Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ……….. Home Profit System

      2. 2020 was peak city. Who wants to be around more people if they’re going to make you sick and burn down your business? What good are all the entertainment and cultural and dining options offered in big cities if everything gets shut down every time there’s a new virus? No one wants to be trapped.

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        2. These viruses seem to originate in places where people and animals live in close proximity.

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        3. One long-term positive from this whole COVID-19 mess is that humanity has figured out how to create mRNA-based vaccines. That’s a huge accomplishment, and something we will get better at in the future.

          1. We think we know how to do it. Time will tell.

      3. That’s funny. My answer was also going to be, you can get decent Thai food.

    2. I’m pretty sure “city” for purposes of this article includes small cities and Metro suburbs. Its not necessary to live in the the deep boonies to enjoy the benefits of working remotely.

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    6. Personally, I only stay in the city for the sex, the drugs and the rock and roll. Can I get that more better in the country?

  2. In an even more worrisome article, published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in July, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich and his colleagues asserted….

    Like shooting fish in a barrel. How the hell is this guy still getting attention? He’s most famous for being spectacularly wrong about things that he’s supposed to be an expert on. And that certainly does not reflect well on the National Academy of Sciences.

    1. I figure they keep him around for laughs.

      It’s kinda mean-spirited, laughing at a senile old man whose popularity peaked 50 years ago with a book that was spectacularly wrong and whose achievements have steadily shrunk since then. But no one said scientists are kind hearted.

    2. Its worrisome that Ehrlich is still being published.

    3. Ehrlich is Exhibit A in the case for why “follow the science” parrots aren’t worth their weight in birdshit.

      What they really mean to say is “help us superman!”

      Following the science requires discarding ideas that don’t prove true

    4. How the hell is this guy still getting attention?

      Progressives are all about population control, they always have been. Paul Ehrlick is their poster child, he has been guiding them for years on the path to killing billions of people. The Green New Deal is their path to murderous glory.

      1. To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke: Concern about overpopulation is how leftists get to be racists without being explicitly so, because when they talk about the “too many babies being born,” they’re not thinking about the hay haired, pink skinned, milk fed kind.

  3. Erlich, Krugman, they are always wrong. But I’m not putting money on most of humanity being around in 80 years.

  4. This is fake news, obviously, because all news about the environment has to be dire.

    1. If there are humans involved, they must be at fault

      1. Well, at least the white male capitalists.

      2. I love that humans are the only species that consciously hate themselves for the good of other species incapable of moral and philosophical systems.

        1. What about lemmings?

  5. By 2100, Covid-19 Mutation #63 will have wiped out the entire population of the earth. Don’t you “science” or anything?

    1. It won’t take that long. I’ve heard of at least 3 mutations and it only been 9 months.

  6. In an even more worrisome article, published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in July, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich and his colleagues asserted that “the ongoing sixth mass extinction may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization.”

    Too bad Ehrlich and his delusional apocalyptic ideas did not go extinct.

    1. Paul Ehrlich…wrongest man in the Galaxy.

  7. “In 2018, researchers at the University of Maryland reported that the global tree canopy increased by 865,000 square miles between 1982 and 2016.”

    I’ve pointed this out before, but cutting down old growth forests and replacing them with slightly larger monocultural tree plantations is not a plus. It’s a loss of diversity.

    1. DIVERSITY!

      BINGO!!!

      1. Diversity is the watchword of the environmental movement. Environmentalists can be relied on to oppose uniformity and monoculture. The idea is that diversity leads to robustness and resilience.

        1. And rainbows.

          1. Food trucks!

    2. but it’s way better than just cutting them down, like we used to do

      1. Better still would be not to cut down old growth forests to be replaced by slightly larger areas of moncultural tree plantations. Because of diversity.

        1. Let those old trees die and fall down so we can have a nice forest fire.

    3. Actually, the reforestation is largely expansion of central African rain forests into the savannah scrub and expansion of the savannah scrub into the desert, along with expansion of the arboreal zone northward, not “monocultural tree plantations.”

      1. Replacing old growth forests with palm oil and rubber plantations is bad environmental practice. Because of the degradation of biodiversity. Old growth forests have been on the decline since people started to take interest in the matter. An increase in ‘tree canopy cover’ does not address the issues I raised.

        1. An increase in ‘tree canopy cover’ does not address the issues I raised.

          Nor does the issue you raised respond to “In 2018, researchers at the University of Maryland reported that the global tree canopy increased by 865,000 square miles between 1982 and 2016.”

          1. Sure it does. Read it again. Increased canopy cover is not a bad thing but when it is achieved by replacing old growth forests with slightly larger monocultural plantations, the environment is degraded as a result. Because environmentalists stress the desirability of diversity over uniformity. As I mentioned before, a more diverse environment is more robust and more resilient than a less diverse environment.

            1. Nature also produces monocultures. Take the west slope of the bitterroot mountains at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ninety percent of the forests were made up of two species, western white pine and western red cedar, the former was by far the dominant species. These tree species crowd out and shadow out all other tree, and most shrub and grasses. The Cascades were about 90% western red cedar. The forest today in these areas are actually far more diverse because of logging, not inspite of it.

              1. Substitute Doug Fir for cedar and you would be a lot closer. Cedar is only dominant in low lying, very wet areas. And in them Sitka Spruce usuallywins out.

                1. The western Bitterroot a and cascades both receive enough rain to support large red cedar forests.

              2. “Ninety percent of the forests were made up of two species, western white pine and western red cedar, the former was by far the dominant species.”

                Mono means one, not two. Agriculture gives us plenty of examples of monoculture. The huge swaths of palm oil trees that have replaced old growth forests are one example. They are not naturally occurring but have been planted by people.

                1. Red cedars dominated the draws and creeks white pine the rest of the land. So yes monocultures.

                  1. Look up the word monoculture in your dictionary. It means something other than what you think it does.

                    1. Even in a monoculture corn field, planted go straight corn, I can find many other plants species living in the field. And again you are missing the point. The majority of the forest was white pine exclusively, with red cedar exclusively in certain locations, ergo it was a monoculture where white pine dominated and red cedar where it dominated.

              3. You have to be careful about assuming that was nature. I don’t know about the Bitterroots, but native Americans did all kinds of things (like purposely using massive fires) to shape California’s plant life.

                1. ” but native Americans did all kinds of things (like purposely using massive fires) to shape California’s plant life.’

                  Modern Americans are very much taken with the idea of monculture. Google images will give you an idea of the practice. Corn fields, palm oil plantations etc. I don’t think native Americans had anything like the faith in the practice as modern Americans do. They planted what they called “the 3 sisters,” corn, beans and squash together in small clusters. The idea is that each of the 3 would somehow benefit the other two. It’s an idea that environmentalists and others who stress diversity would appreciate.

                  1. No, they aren’t. You again are talking out your ass. Intercropping is becoming a very popular trend in agriculture. Try again.

                    1. Intercropping is not monoculture. Again, you don’t appear to know the meaning of the word. Google images should give you a nice picture if the words are proving too difficult.

                    2. That was my point idiot. Intercropping is becoming popular (again) thus Americans are not in love with monocultures.

      2. Replacing old growth forests with any new growth is better for the environment, once trees get older than 25 years their greenhouse gas absorption drops to neutral and over 35 starts to actually become negative in relation to the amount they add to the environment. Contrary to popular myth the rainforests are not the lungs of the world. That is not to say planting diverse tree species does not have its advantages but if greenhouse gas reduction is really the priority than massive 150-year-old forests are not the optimum.

        1. ” if greenhouse gas reduction is really the priority than massive 150-year-old forests are not the optimum.”

          I don’t think it is the priority. Environmentalists see biodiversity and its preservation as tantamount.

          1. Environmentalists see the preservation of their grift as tantamount.

            1. That’s the fashionable view for cheap jack cynics, but I think it falls short of the mark. Diversity, in terms of both species and habitats, is the watchword of the movement.

              1. Diversity is sometimes a good thing, but it isn’t necessarily natural. Nature will nd does create monocultures. In fact, many of the forests in North America are more diverse because of logging and replanting than at the time of our independence.

                1. Dominant species such as cedar, oak, redwoods, white pine outcompete their neighbors creating huge cathedral monoculture forests with diversity really only on the fringes. Given its course nature creates these monocultures and did for millennia. The modern convey of bio diversity really is not one supported by biological or geological history.

                  1. Certainly in every habitat, some species dominate. No habitat is welcoming to all species equally. This is not monoculture. Google images have good examples of monoculture palm oil plantations. You should have no trouble distinguishing monocultural plantations from naturally occurring forests. Nor should you fail to see which has the greater biodiversity.

                    1. White pine and red cedar inhibit ny other plants and trees from growing under them. So does mature redwoods. They are monocultures.

                    2. These species just don’t dominate they eliminate competition. You pick a single example that is not common to the US. And an extreme example (rubber trees would be a better example). These types of plantations occur in specialized locations and do present a problem, however, they are not what happens in America and Europe when forests are logged. In fact, logging in America has increased forest diversity, not decreased it.

      3. Just let idiot truman hang himself with his stupidity, it’s fun to see….

        1. I promise you, environmentalists treasure diversity of species. I’m surprised this idea is so controversial.

          1. But not diversity of views on the environment, right?

            1. But not diversity of views on the environment any subject, right?

            2. Diversity of species and habitats. That’s the concern of environmentalists.

  8. By rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, Biden and his carbon emission alarmism and control freak appointees (whose goals are to severely restrict all fossil fuels in the US and keep opposing carbon free nuclear energy, while China, India and other countries continue increasing their carbon emissions) will help his Chinese Communist blackmailers to replace America as the world’s most dominate economy and military.

    Also, according to real estate data, many Americans have moved out of cities (especially cities run by Democrats) in 2020 due to covid fears, lockdowns, stay at home orders and mask mandates by totalitarian Democrats, higher taxes, and violent riots by BLM and antifa that were endorsed by Democrats and left wing media outlets).

    While the natural environment continues to improve, it appears that Ronald Bailey’s partisan bias has interfered with his objectivity.

    1. “By rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, Biden and his carbon emission alarmism ”

      Trump’s leaving the Paris Accord has done nothing to stop China’s progress. It didn’t stopped them from taking a trip to the moon and back, building a 1000km/h maglev rail system, advancing their Tokarev fusion research, or spending a trillion dollars on infrastructure development while Trump bails out failing industries.

      1. You know who else made amazing technical, scientific and military progress before their empire collapsed?

        1. Someone who didn’t leave the Paris accord?

        2. Now I want to watch the documentary on the bear guy who got eaten, along with his girlfriend, for thinking that wild animals liked him instead of simple tolerating him (till they got hungry).

          The event was apparently captured on audio, but the tape has never been released.

          1. Odd placement for this accidental double post.

      2. It hasn’t stopped the Chinese from discrimination and human rights violations either.

        1. “It hasn’t stopped the Chinese from discrimination”

          Very true. But you support these empty gestures in any case, don’t you?

          1. I’m flattered, but this really isn’t about me.

            1. It’s not about stopping discrimination and human rights abuses in China, is it?

      3. But the Paris Climate Accord will destroy the US economy, while explicitly allowing China to continue expanding its carbon emissions, which will render all emission declines by the US as irrelevant.

        1. “But the Paris Climate Accord will destroy the US economy”

          I think America will continue its decline relative to China and the Paris Accord has little or nothing to do with it. Americans seem set on the fool’s errand of recovering former greatness while China is looking to the future.

        2. But the Paris Climate Accord will destroy the US economy

          The Paris Climate Accord has never been anything but an empty gesture.

  9. But what about the Polar bears? I bet trump has been painting (white-washing?) Black bears to hide the near existential decline in numbers.

    1. What if a white bear identifies as black?

      Oh, and

      BLACK BEARS MATTER!

    2. Polar bears can outrun humans. If you find yourself being chased by a polar bear, remove an item of clothing while you are running and drop it. The curious bear will always stop and pause to inspect what is dropped, giving you a chance to gain ground.

      1. Citations? Pics? This curious mind, who has no intention of going any where near a place polar bears are known to inhabit [ditto Komodo dragons] just wants to know, for the hell of it.

        1. Check out the Svalbard videos on Youtube. The archipelago is north of Norway and you can apparently travel there without a visa. Residents carry a rifle about with them, however, rather than trying to outfox them with strip tease.

      2. Now I want to watch the documentary on the bear guy who got eaten, along with his girlfriend, for thinking that wild animals liked him instead of simple tolerating him (till they got hungry).

        The event was apparently captured on audio, but the tape has never been released.

        1. I’m pretty thick skinned and things like that don’t usually bother me… but that audio gives me nightmares.

  10. Well I’ve heard we’ve only got 10 years left before the global warming we’ve caused makes the planet an uninhabitable hell, so all of these minor concerns are irrelevant.

    1. I was thinking that clock has wound down a couple of years since our National Cassandra [AOC, if you have to ask] put us on notice.

    2. How can that be? The world ended (at least for people) in the 70s. Any sense of your consciousness is just a computer simulation run through the matrix.

      1. Wasn’t that the day after the oil wells went dry?

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  12. Matt Ridley has been on this topic for the last 10 years or so…

  13. Only the Fourth Industrial Revolution will save us.

  14. The thing about extinctions, especially animal extinctions, is that it generally impacts specialist species while generalists survive, and even thrive. If you look at the ESA list the majority are specialist who can only survive in a very narrow range. Evolutionarily speaking specialism tends to be a dead end, it can improve your chance of survival in the short run, taking advantage of ecosystem niches that others don’t utilize or rarely utilize, thus decreasing competition for resources. However, any sort of disruption of this ecosystem severely impacts your chances of long term survival as a species. Generalist however, can weather ecological disturbance and nature is always a series of disruptions.
    Many of the species on the ESA would likely have gone extinct without human interference as climate changes (which was already going on before the industrial revolution and without AGW we would likely be entering an ice age in the near geological future anyhow).
    Man, as much as greenies don’t like to admit it, is part of the natural world. We aren’t separate from it, but we modify it to suit us. This is not unique, as many other species also alter their environment suit them. Some species benefit, others are adversely impacted. Humans on the other hand have the ability to understand how our efforts impact the rest of the environment. And, contrary to widely held environmental dogma, most of us do try and minimize our impacts. Even before the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act industries were already making changes to clean up their impacts, in fact many of the requirements and actions in the Clean Air and Water Acts were taken from what industry was already doing. The environmentalist tend to point at the subsequent impacts as evidence of success of these acts. However, these impacts take time and their origins predate the passing of these laws. Electricity, internal combustion engines and indoor plumbing have probably been the biggest contributors to improving environments. Electricity allows us to heat our houses, stores food long term and allows more people to derive income from sources not tied to natural resource intensive industry. Internal combustion engines allowed transportation of resources from distant locations, made farming far more productive and resulted in less need to use domesticated animals, which require huge resources themselves to function, as draft animals. Indoor plumbing cleaned up water drastically and also decreased disease and improved health not just of humans but also of the “natural” world. Of course, as with anything these come with trade offs. Nothing is free of trade-offs, but efficiency and innovation tips the scales in favor of more desirable outcomes.
    Wind and solar require huge resources, and take up huge deaths of land. They create waste and mining for the resources produces pollution in its own. It is possible that these undesirable outcomes may be less than the desired outcomes but in several decades I suspect we will be hearing from the greenies about the environmental damage caused by the very solutions they are pushing today.
    Environmentalism can only survive in a wealthy, secure world, were you aren’t spending energy on survival. If resources become scarce, people won’t have energy to worry about the environmental impacts of their survival. The environmentalism can only exist is an industrialized society that produces excess and wealth. And thus security.

    1. “This is not unique, as many other species also alter their environment suit them.”

      Humans are unique. The idea of background extinction rate is to compare extinctions before and after human intervention. No other species has necessitated such a measurement.

      1. Not unique in nature, just in the animal kingdom, and even that is debatable. In fact survival of the fittest model of evolution actually requires background extinctions as new species crowd out and eliminate older species. You obviously don’t understand evolution or biology.

        1. I don’t think I’ve made myself clear. The concept of ‘background extinctions’ is only relevant when humans come into the picture. Scientists have been noting extinction rates for species for hundreds of millions of years, to the extent the fossil records allow them. The number they come up with is the background extinction rate. It’s a tricky concept, to be sure, but you should have a rough idea. What scientists have found is that when man, especially in his modern guises, enters the picture, the extinctions of species dramatically increases, several orders of magnitude over the background rate. This is happening today with amphibians in central and south America, for example.

          1. Some scientist. It is a controversial hypothesis and many evolutionary biologist reject it, as similar things can be seen in geological time when new species move into an area and compete with resources, generally when generalist move into an area and compete with specialist. And as for the models predicting mass extinction rates, it should be noted that 40-60% of the species that they predict as going extinct are hypothetical species which haven’t been documented yet. They’re species the modelers predict will be discovered soon based upon rates of discovery. However, actual documented extinction of known species is not supporting background extinction.

            1. Some species, mainly specialist species are going extinct, but they are being replaced by generalist species. This has been going on since the first single cell species evolved. The rate may or may not be accelerated. Contrary to what the media reports, and the apocalyptic papers they trumpet, a number of evolutionary biologist disagree or are at least heavily skeptical.

              1. Take the amphibians in the southwest US. They tend to be specialist, and they biggest contributing factor to their decline is the introduction of bullfrogs, a generalist and predatory species. Yes man introduced the bull frog, but the bull frog is more competitive and thus better able to survive.

                1. Man also introduced the fungus to amphibians in central and south America that is thought to be behind the extinctions of many species. Contaminated bilge water discharged by ships in Panama is suspected, though nothing is known for certain.

                  1. So, it isn’t known for sure but must be man. How scientific.

                    1. The frogs that originally carried the fungus reside in Africa and are incapable of traveling to Panama on their own. That’s why man’s shipping facilities are suspected.

                    2. Thus the word suspected. Thus it isn’t scientifically valid to claim man is responsible until it is proven.

                    3. At this point it is an unproven hypothesis.

                  2. And as some amphibians have decreased, other species have moved into the habitat.

                    1. Nature abhors a vacuum, so when one species decreases, another moves in and takes its place.

                    2. There’s still a loss in biodiversity. Which is why environmentalists are concerned about species extinction.

                    3. Biodiversity is a buzz words used by people that don’t understand evolution.

                    4. Bio diversity is used by people who think nature is static.

  15. These dire calculations and projections come from authoritative-sounding reports issued by international agencies, conservation groups, and peer-reviewed scientific journals

    Who cares? They’re proven liars who will say anything to help their allies in government consolidate power.

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