Surprise: ‘Climate Change’ Isn’t The Biggest Threat To Biodiversity

I’ve noted for a long, long time that ‘climate change’ has become a catch-all boogeyman for environmentalists, which sublimates real environmental problems in favor of anthropogenic climate change, often placing those real issues under the banner of Hotcoldwetdry. Now we get a refreshing and honest (mostly) look at true environmentalism

(Huffington Post) Global climate change, including sea-level rise, drought and extreme heat, is no doubt taking a toll on our planet ― but it’s far from the biggest threat humans have imposed on Earth’s plant and animal species.

A new analysis of threatened wildlife has provided a much-needed dose of perspective, showing that age-old human activities, including logging, hunting and farming, continue to pose a greater and more urgent threat.

Despite a “growing tendency for media reports about threats to biodiversity to focus on climate change,” over-exploitation and agriculture are “by far the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline,” the authors write in a comment published Wednesday in the journal Nature. (snip)

The group found that over-exploitation, including logging, hunting, fishing and the gathering of plants, tops the list of biodiversity’s “biggest killers,” affecting 72 percent of the 8,688 species listed by IUCN as threatened or near-threatened. Agricultural activity impacts 62 percent of those species, while urban development and pollution threaten 35 and 22 percent, respectively.

Overall, climate change came in 7th out of 11 dangers (though I’m not sure what #11 is, since only 10 are listed. See the “new analysis” link). If you want to worry about things caused by mankind that are truly a danger to biodiversity, there are many things which are much, much worse than climate change. But, let’s face it, those other issues do not provide the vehicle to institute heavy handed government with more control over our lives and economies, while passing more laws and redistribution schemes, like ‘climate change’.

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2 Responses to “Surprise: ‘Climate Change’ Isn’t The Biggest Threat To Biodiversity”

  1. Jeffery says:

    from their Discussion in the Nature article:

    Crucially, ensuring that overexploitation and agricultural activities today do not compromise ecosystems tomorrow will help to ameliorate the challenges presented by impending climate change. Healthy ecosystems are better repositories for carbon. They are also more likely to provide the physical connectivity and genetic diversity needed to enable species to adapt to the large shifts in climate expected later this century.

    In fact, the threats to biodiversity they evaluated do not exist in a vacuum but rather in a world where the ecosystems are being altered by the changing climate. Just as they described.

  2. Stosh says:

    Dang, if it wasn’t for logging and SUVs we could go to a real Jurassic Park…

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