Think of all the species you’ll never get to see

The headline screamed from the CBC page last week: “Two-thirds of wildlife will disappear by 2020”.

The headline screamed from the CBC page last week: “Two-thirds of wildlife will disappear by 2020”.

This according to a Living Planet Report by the World Wildlife Fund that found that populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have dropped by almost 60 per cent since 1970.

It’s all about humans taking over the earth.

Basically, our biodiversity is on the rocks and things are only getting more bleak.

Creatures that we take for granted as being there, whether we see them daily or not, may well become something your children and grandchildren will never even have the option to see in person.

All that will be left are images and a sad and inadequate explanation about how people indiscriminately cleared all of the land they called home for industrial development, farming and sprawling subdivisions.

Or our justifications for how we just had to pollute the land, air and sea they depend upon, or hunt them to extinction for increasing amounts of money.

We tend not to pay too much attention to the smaller species that are disappearing all the time.

But we should.

These species often form the bottom layer of the food pyramid; they are the food source for the more well-known, larger species with which humans knowingly clash for habitat.

As these sometimes tiny species disappear, the entire web of life around them cannot continue.

It is not possible to poison just one creature in isolation. Like ripples from throwing a rock into a pond, there are repercussions of which we are all too often careless.

Millions of passenger pigeons became thousands, then hundreds, then dozens, then none.

One day soon, that could be the barren ground caribou that decorate the back of our Canadian quarters, with herds declining at an alarming rate due to climate change and our relentless push for resource extraction, according to James Snyder of WWF Canada. They’ve already been reduced by more than half.

Almost half of all frog species could be gone in next 20 years.

Our own Roosevelt Elk are carefully coddled.

In some ways, we humans continue to erode the world far more than we add to it.

We tend to have little respect for life when money is at stake.

We’ve got to change that — the way we look at the world as one big treasure trove for us to loot for our own gain.

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