Wednesday, July 11, 2012

LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY






Humans have a mixed relationship with the organisms with which we share the planet.   We likely think we are the most important, the most significant but I remember hearing somewhere (I believe it was the television series 'Life after People')  that if humans disappeared off the face of the earth, ten years later the natural world would be thriving.   But if bees and ants became nonexistent, survival would be seriously threatened for all. 


Yet, it has been established that extinction of a species is a routine event which has been occurring since the world came into existence.  Have some extinctions occurred due to the natural progression and evolution of the world?   It's difficult to imagine a peaceful co-existence with dinosaurs today much as most six year olds would support the notion.    But never before has human action contributed to species extinctions to the extent that is happening today.   It's beyond the scope of this blog to detail the ways and reasons but this information is widely available and to some extent, widely disputed.    


In my novel, When Bees Die  I tried to explore some of these ideas and concepts and how they would affect individuals, families and society.   These outcomes are not inconceivable but perhaps thinking about them can delay or extinguish the possibility.   One can hope!


"The worst thing that can happen (during the 1980s) is not energy depletion, economic collapse, limited nuclear war, or conquest by a totalitarian government. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired within a few generations. The one process ongoing in the 1980s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly that our descendents are least likely to forgive us."

- E.O. Wilson, 1985




E.O. Wilson is an American scientist and researcher and the world's leading expert on ants.  (Wikipedia)  He is still Professor Emeritus at Harvard University from which he retired in 1996.  He won the Pulitzer Prize (with another scientist) for the work  The Ants.

There is another quote, attributed to a different scientist, Albert Einstein which is on the back of the softcover version  and on the first pages of my e-book   When Bees Die.     This quote is as follows:



“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man 


would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no 


more pollination … no more men!” 





                                                                 

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