Humans are a plague on Earth – but can we mend our ways?

Optimism and education are essential in the race to preserve what’s left of the natural world, writes Harry Cockburn

Tuesday 10 December 2019 21:44
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Climate change is having devastating effects around the world but there is a ‘spark of hope’
Climate change is having devastating effects around the world but there is a ‘spark of hope’

The glaciers are melting, the forests are burning, animals and plants are vanishing. Fossil fuel extraction is at an all-time high. The hills aren’t alive with the sound of music but are barren dead zones. Many scientists believe the Earth is already in the grip of a sixth mass extinction event – one driven by a plague of humans.

But the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains its Red List, chronicling species judged to be at imminent risk of extinction, has published results it says provide a “spark of hope” amidst the mass exterminations of species.

Given the scale of the numerous environmental catastrophes currently unfolding, it is tempting to succumb to despondency and resignation over the crises ravaging the natural world, but this is neither constructive nor is it a fair assessment of the possibilities which still lie before us.

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