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Quote of the Century: “Much of Nature is Near Collapse and that Means Society is Too”


“Human-made threats are pushing more and more of our animals, and their habitats, to the very brink of extinction,” says Philip Mansbridge, UK regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “With so many species at a tipping point, we must all act now to protect our land and marine environment and the vast array of animal and plant life, which are vital to healthy biodiversity and all our futures.”

These grim outcomes are predicted by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES), the biodiversity counterpart of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Today in Medellin, Colombia, IPBES launched four reports assessing biodiversity in four key regions: the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.

The reports emphasise that human survival could itself be jeopardised in each region. Nature provides services that are worth trillions of dollars worldwide, such as food, shelter, water, weather and clean air. Unless these “ecosystem services” are safeguarded, we will lose them.

A major assessment of Earth’s biodiversity concludes that exploitable fish stocks along Asia-Pacific coastlines will completely collapse by 2048. Meanwhile, half of all Africa’s mammals and birds face extinction by 2100, as do 37 per cent of Europe’s freshwater fish.

This grim news is from a report in “New Scientist”, a venerable weekly magazine that explores developments in science.  This means that the fish which Asia and the West Coast of America will lose all of its edible fish in the next twenty years.  Africa, which is dependent on natural sources for its food, will face worsening famine as its ecosystems collapse.  America will be completely dependent on its own, degraded farmland.  Human population increase has prompted the destruction of habitat all over the world, and humans will be forced more and more towards artificial production of food stocks to avert famine in this country.  This is the premise of the recent movie “Blade Runner 2049” in which artificial humans are out-competing naturally born people, and all are producing their food in tanks instead of from the ground.  Ecological destruction has forced people into cities, and the country-side is given over to food production tanks and solar power installations.  The natural world is a memory, sensations of which are artificially created in computers for the increasingly common “skin jobs.”  Even the task of eliminating errant “skin jobs” is tasked over to more of their own kind.

(photo courtesy of and jplenio)

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