2020-10-17 “A Life On Our Planet”; IPBES Report On The State Of World Biodiversity

We are soiling our only nest — there is no other planet we can go to. It’s not a pretty picture of the future.

From p.105 of “A Life On Our Planet” by Sir David Attenborough.

>> I fear for those who will bear witness to the next 90 years, if we continue living as we are doing at the present. the latest in scientific understanding suggests that the living world is on course to tip and collapse. Indeed it has already begun to do so, and is expected to continue with increasing speed, such that the effects of its decline will become greater in scale and more impactful as they follow one after the other. Everything we have come to rely on — all the services that the Earth’s environment has always provided us for free — could begin to falter or fail entirely. The forecast catastrophe would be immeasurably more destructive than Chernobyl or anything we have experienced to date. It would bring far more than flooded real estate, stronger hurricanes and summer wildfires. It would irreversibly reduce the quality of life of everyone who lives through it, and of the generations that follow. When the global ecological breakdown does finally settle and we reach a new equilibrium, humankind, for as long as it continues to exist on this Earth, might be living on a permanently poorer planet. <<

From p.98 of “A Life On Our Planet” by Sir David Attenborough.

>> 70% of the mass of birds on this planet today are domesticated. The vast majority are chickens. Globally, we eat 50 billion of them each year. 23 billion chickens are alive at any one moment. Many of these are fed on soy-based feed derived from deforested land.

Even more startling is the fact that 96% of the mass of all mammals on earth is made up of our bodies and those of the animals that we raised to eat. Our own Mass accounts for one third of the total. Our domestic mammals — chiefly cows, pigs, and sheep — makeup just over 60%. The remainder — all the wild mammals, from mice to elephants and whales — account for just 4%.

* * *

We have replaced the wild with the tame. We regard the Earth as /our/ planet, run by humankind for humankind. There is little left for the rest of the living world. The truly wild world — that non-human world — has gone. We have overrun the Earth.


This is from the reference notes, p.250 of “A Life On Our Planet” by Sir David Attenborough.


18. The situation in the Arctic and Antarctic is rapidly changing year on year. For the best source of the latest data, both these sites are very interesting and authoritative: National Snow and Ice Data Center, https:// nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/ and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, https://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card. For more detail, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) also collects yearly data of all the world’s monitored glaciers (https://wgms.ch/).

19. The most comprehensive report on the state of world biodiversity is the IPBES Global Assessment (2019). The summary report is available at https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers _en.pdf. In addition, the WWF’s biannual Living Planet Report offers an authoritative and highly accessible stocktake; visit www.panda.org for the latest edition.

20. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) publishes the most comprehensive review on the marine and freshwater fish sector every two years, entitled The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. Find the 2020 edition here: http://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture.

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