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Study: Earth Lost 50% Of Wildlife In Last 40 Years

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According to a new study from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London, planet Earth has lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years. The metric used to make the determination was the Living Planet Index (LPI) which has declined by 52% since 1970. The LPI measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish according to the WWF website.

The destruction of the planet’s wildlife is caused by, you guessed it, humans. Specifically, increases in human consumption have cleared the land, air, and oceans of wildlife to make room for more humans as well as provide resources for said humans. Though it is not clear that human population levels are necessarily as problematic as the wasteful economic system that supports that population.

The bottom line, according to WWF Director General Marco Lambertini, is that the current economic system is not sustainable “Today it is rather the absence of the birds in the sky and other wildlife in our forests and in the oceans that actually sends a very clear signal that we are not living sustainably.” Lambertini also notes that the study shows the human footprint is increasing.

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found…

The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

Will more evidence of the deleterious effects of unbridled consumption have any influence on the debate? Not in DC for sure and likely not in Beijing, Moscow, or the capital of other high polluting countries.

The WWF is placing their hopes on something worthwhile coming out of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. It seems most the environmental movement is placing their hopes on a positive result from that conference as nothing else seems to work. Though if past performance is indicative of future results there is little reason for such hope.

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Study: Earth Lost 50% of Its Wildlife in Last 40 Years

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.

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