Analysis: UN claims a million species face extinction? Time to burn fossil fuels to save them! – ‘Best way to save wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty’

By Jo Nova

A baby-IPCC of biology has just been born

UN logoThe new 145-expert-committee has just uttered its first words, and the headlines are Hollywood-apocalyptic: A million species face extinction.D addy-UN is proud.

Nature is in its worst shape in human history, UN report says

Nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over one million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday in the UN’s first comprehensive report on biodiversity.

Naturally, these are estimates from unverified models that count species we haven’t even discovered yet. This is truly a  scare-based-on-air, except air is real and has weight, and this isn’t that substantial.

Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, explains how vaporous this really is:

 “Since species extinction became a broad social concern, coinciding with the extinction of the passenger pigeon, we have done a pretty good job of preventing species extinctions.”

Moore bluntly mocked species extinction claims made by biologist Edward O. Wilson from Harvard University. Wilson estimated that up to 50,000 species go extinct every year based on computer models of the number of potential but as yet undiscovered species in the world. Moore: “There’s no scientific basis for saying that 50,000 species are going extinct. The only place you can find them is in Edward O. Wilson’s computer at Harvard University. They’re actually electrons on a hard drive. I want a list of Latin names of actual species.”

Consider that the only mammal extinction officially due to “man-made” climate change was a little brown rat colony which had washed up on a sand dune a few hundred meters long in the middle of the ocean. The hapless rats survived for unknown years 50 km off Papua New Guinea. More rats will wash up there again sometime and the cycle will start over. The entirety of mankind’s industrial revolution disaster and that’s it, that’s the only actual mammal anyone can name as “caused by climate change”?

The species scare is bigger than just “climate change”. But in an era when we have more land protected in national parks and more funding to guard and research natural spaces, arguably we’re at a high point in human history. Humans have been wiping out species for 100,000 years, possibly mammoths, mastadons, giant sloths, cave lions, and sabre tooth tigers.

The UN is reviving the old Species Extinction Scare. It’s a handy excuse to get power, increase regulations, demand money, and launch twenty years of nice annual junkets:

 – Climate Depot, explains:

The UN has now officially expanded its mission now to include the “climate change” species extinction scare. The UN is once again calling for putting itself in charge of “solving” the newly hyped species “crisis.” “A huge transformation is needed across the economy and society to protect and restore nature, which provides people with food, medicines, and other materials, crop pollination, fresh water, and quality of life,” according to the new UN report. The AP quoted one of the activist scientists claiming “this is really our last chance to address all of that.” Hmmm. This is the same tactic the UN has used on climate for years. See:Every climate summit is hailed as the ‘last chance!’

The solution is cheap energy and spare wealth:

For the first time in human evolution we’ve reached a point where we can finally plan and save and study life on Earth. Three things we know for sure –

1. The worst pollution is in countries with a low income per capita — when people are hungry they raze forests. The most polluted cities are in places like Ghana, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Zambia, Argentina, and Nigeria.  The most deforestation occurs in Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, and Mexico. The worst air is in India and China.

2. Only rich nations have the resources to save the environment.

3. Countries that produce more CO2 are richer.

Findings of the Report include a lot of big meaningless numbers

  • Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
Trends in indigenous controlled lands are only less now because prehistoric indigenous people wiped out the mega fauna years ago. The trends just reached an equilibrium.
  • More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.
We’ve tied up lots of land, so the last thing we want is to use wilderness for useless solar and wind farms, or palm oil plantations. Why keep coal and uranium underground when we can save forest instead?
  • The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980.

And this is bad, how? Better yields means we need less land to feed more people.

  • Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection.
And wealthy countries are solving all of these problems faster than poor countries are. The best way to save wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty. Free trade, fair agricultural markets. Less red tape. Less corruption.
  • In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% were maximally sustainably fished, with just 7% harvested at levels lower than what can be sustainably fished.
Again, in nations where there are healthy economies, fish stocks are being protected and are recovering. Whales too. Even great white sharks.
  • Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992.
  • Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom.
The oceans cover 510 million square kilometers. So those dead zones cover 1 part in 2,081 parts –  or 0.05%. Sure, we should fix it. Let’s do that. Isn’t that problem mostly in South East Asia?Again, rich countries clean up pollution…

Don’t mention the Sixth Great Extinction

The UN team learnt that calling this the “Sixth Great Extinction” was an invitation for skeptics to mock them with reminders of real death and destruction which made their current scare seem pathetically light. To get around that now the blob somehow gets people who were”not part of the report” to mention it, then they can discuss how they are not discussing it. This is the “have cake, eat cake” Psychology 101 rule — if you want people to think of an elephant but have plausible deniability (so you can quash discussion of said-elephant), tell the people not to think of an elephant.

[CBC] “We’re in the middle of the sixth great extinction crisis, but it’s happening in slow motion,” said Conservation International and University of California Santa Barbara ecologist Lee Hannah, who was not part of the report.

Five times in the past, Earth has undergone mass extinctions where much of life on Earth blinked out, like the one that killed the dinosaurs. Watson said the report was careful not to call what’s going on now as a sixth big die-off because current levels don’t come close to the 75 percent level in past mass extinctions.

h/t to Marc Morano and CFACT


Media Release: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,