An expert in overpopulation fears a mass extinction event could doom not only humanity but the planet as well.
The co-author of "The Annihilation of Nature" Paul R. Ehrlich told C2C that human overpopulation may be responsible for the extinction of numerous animal species and that our reproductive proclivities may very well spell doom for us.
"People are very concerned about climate disruption which is already hurting us in many areas," he told George. "One of the things that we're doing that's equally as serious is destroying our life support system by wiping out the other organisms on the planet."
"Crowding out the rest of nature, we've lost about half the wildlife of the planet in the last few decades – and that's a tragedy because we owe our very lives to the plants, animals and the microorganisms," Ehrlich said. "And we're getting rid of them. We're sawing off the limb that we're sitting on."
This systematic removal of our life sustaining ecosystem is being accomplished indirectly, he said.
"We're doing it by developing areas – a mall going in or a road being paved or a forest being cut down, you're seeing the extinction of populations – sometimes a species," Ehrlich elaborated.
"We've had in the past five great extinction events when we lost most of the plants, animals and microorganisms of the planet. The last one was 66 million years ago when all the dinosaurs except for the birds bit the dust."
"And at that time, as far as we can tell, an extraterrestrial object hit the planet and basically caused the nuclear winter over the entire planet."
Intriguingly, that mass extinction gave rise to the birth of humanity as we evolved from tiny mammals into Homo Sapiens.
We as a product of a mass extinction are causing a mass extinction. The action of human beings are what's causing this mass extinction and we're well into it already," Ehrlich warned.
At fault is the continuing out-of-control human population explosion, he said. There are presently 7 billion occupants of the Earth which is considerably higher than what the planet's natural resources can support.
"Every person you add to the planet adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and worsens climate disruption," he said. "Every person you add to the planet, means we have to grow more food."
But "there's lots of opportunities for a sudden reduction of the size of the human population," Ehrlich said. A nuclear war or a super-pandemic would suddenly decrease the size of the population considerably.
But more likely, Ehrlich surmised, the end of the human population explosion may come simply from a loss of food supply.
"The growth of our population reduces the chances of us being able to feeding the population in the future," he said.
For the full fascinating interview with Paul Ehrlich click here.
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