Friday, October 10, 2008

Mammals Aren't Loners in Extinction Threat

Earlier this week, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reported that 25 percent of the world's mammal species are at risk of extinction in our lifetimes due to habitat destruction and hunting. The IUCN is to be commended for its report.

The untold story here, which is far more ominous, is that the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which in 2007 won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work) projects that even we if succeed at reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, approximately 20-30 percent of the species on earth are already at increased risk of extinction due to climate change. So this extinction crisis doesn't just involve hundreds of mammals, but instead, hundreds of thousands and perhaps more than a million species are at risk.

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