I Saw A Statistic I Don't Believe

Vintage Words


I saw a statistic that I do not yet

believe. Fifty Two Percent of

vertebrate species have gone extinct

over  the last forty years. Who posts

this stuff? We are vertebrates, upright

and owning spines and backbone

for holding us vertical. Dislocated

takes on a whole new definition.


1976 was 40 years ago. I was 26

and should have become an activist

for the environment. Habitat is

vanishing for Pandas and no one sees

the crisis extinction event as

inevitable. We are linked, a chain

of life that may be broken sooner 

than our brains may conceive.


And the survey answer is: This

is the sixth mass extinction event

in human history. "Habitat

degradation, human exploitation,

and climate change" were listed as

the most frequently agreed upon



If I'd been born in the 1920's

I'd be dead now and would not

have encountered that statistic.

I don't believe it the way far

too many don't believein El Nino

or the ecological disaster we

perpetuated on the environment.

I'm with the blissfully ignorant.

Duck.It's head in the sand time!







Author's Notes/Comments: 

The sheep will eventually look up. - slc

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and_hera_met_zeus's picture

i take this stuff very seriously

so i'm really glad you draw attention to it.  i couldn't find your stat (and am very relieved), the closest i found was a projection that 50% of vertebrates will be extinct by 2100.... i do believe that. i HOPE it's a future projection and not something that has already happened. 


habitat loss is a BIG factor.  a study came out revealing that wildlife was surviving rather better than expected near chernobyl (that's the kind of hope that i like).  the conclusion was that human habitation is worse for wildlife than ionizing radiation.  a lot of people erroneously came to the conclusion that radiation isn't really that bad.  in reality, radiation is still bad, but turning a prairie into a field of corn and then spraying poison on it is worse.  turning a forest into a parking lot.... etc.  how many animals can live on a parking lot?  how many plants grow on a highway?  another problem is that when a parking lot is abandoned, it doesn't turn back into the same prairie it once was.  usually it's a field of invasive species (mostly brought from europe a few hundred years ago) that take advantage of the fact that the balanced ecosystem that was once there has been entirely displaced. 


but honestly, all my favorite animals are severely endangered.  i really don't want to watch them disappear.

allets's picture

The Numbers Game

Invention is not always what should be sold or built. North Korea has tested five hydrogen bombs - in future the surrounding countries dependent on the fishing industry will be subjected to radiation, Flint Michigan has children full of lead poisoning attempting to save money on water (not paying Detroit for purification). Old Chinese curse: May you live in intersting times. - :S



and_hera_met_zeus's picture

yes, interesting times indeed!

i almost said that.  :)