In the last 500 years only some 80 mammals are recorded as having gone extinct. In his book, More From Less, Andrew McAfee, a board member of HumanProgress.org, discusses how relatively rare recorded extinctions are – with some 530 across all species in the last five centuries. More importantly, he notes, the rate of extinction “appear[s] to have slowed down in recent decades; for example, no marine creatures have been recorded as extinct in the last fifty years.”
Matt Ridley, another board member and frequent contributor to this site, argues that despite the human population doubling in the last half-century, “the extinction rate of wild species, especially in the most industrialized countries,” seems to have fallen rather than increased. While absence of evidence isn’t the same as evidence of absence, and there might be millions of unrecorded species in the world’s oceans and tropical forests, the most aggressive claims rest on shaky foundations.
CNN: Jon Aars, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute: "Polar bears are optimistic animals," Aars says. "It seems that they are quite resistant, and they are doing quite well despite the fact that they've lost a lot of their habitat." Despite the odds, Svalbard's polar bear numbers do not appear to have decreased in the last 20 years, he says.
World Economic Forum: "The market research company predicts the global market for edible insects could grow to $1.18 billion by 2023. That’s almost triple its current level." ...
"Per kilo of live weight, bugs emit less harmful gas than more mainstream farm animals. A cow, for example, produces 2.8 kg of greenhouse gas per kilo of live body weight. Insects, on the other hand, produce just 2 grams." ...
"From the farmer’s point of view, raising insects is going to be radically different from raising sheep, pigs, or cattle. No more coping with mud, muck and filth. An end to shifting heavy sacks of feed. And forget about having to go outdoors in all weather to manhandle livestock." ... "It may not be too long before we can all buy a bag of edible insects at our local grocery store."
NYT: "Animal rights activists have a markedly different take on farms like Mr. Chittenden’s that satiate the nation’s appetite for milk, cheese and yogurt. To them, dairy farmers are cogs in an inhumane industrial food production system that consigns these docile ruminants to a lifetime of misery." ...
"Milk consumption has dropped by 40 percent since 1975, a trend that is accelerating as more people embrace oat and almond milk. Over the past decade, 20,000 dairy farms have gone out of business, representing a 30 percent decline, according to the Department of Agriculture. And the coronavirus pandemic has forced some producers to dump unsold milk down the drain as demand from school lunch programs and restaurants dried up. During his Academy Awards speech last February for best actor, Joaquin Phoenix drew rousing applause when he urged viewers to reject dairy products."
Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE: "We also need to take climate action to prevent the next pandemic." ... "Climate change alters how we relate to other species on Earth and that matters to our health and our risk for infections." ... "Many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of pandemics."
"If we really care about preventing this kind of problem in the future, we need to think hard about climate change and the biodiversity crisis. I was actually in a room with a child and a family when I first thought that this is exactly the time that we need to think more about the broader issues that we face. We simply cannot afford to deal with a crisis like this pandemic on top of another climate-related crisis—like a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or heatwave—when we absolutely know how to implement climate solutions, and can put them into action right now. Doing so will make us healthier today and protect our future."
WWF International: "Transformative change is urgently needed in our productive sectors, including our food systems, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure and extractives, and in the finance sector. These transformations need to happen fast if we are to limit risks of higher restoration costs and irreversible damage, including new pandemics and species extinction. We must transform our food systems so that enough healthy and nutritious food is produced for all, within planetary boundaries."
Since the 1980s, 29% of human CO2 emissions were cancelled out by the CO2-induced greening of the Earth. The post-2000 vegetative greening expansion has been so massive (5.4 million km²) its net areal increase is equivalent to a region the size of the Amazon rainforest.