The Semantics of Apocalypse

According to this BBC article, world wildlife populations have been halved in the last 40 or so years:

The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago.

The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.

Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.

The rest of the article is comprised of different scientists arguing over the significance of the statistical data. Did we kill 30% of all species, or only 29%?

Meanwhile, the world burns.

According to the article’s numbers, there are an estimated 3,000 tigers, total, living on earth at present. I’m reminded of Derrick Jensen’s line about how people care way more about the LSU Tigers than they do about actual tigers. They also care more about Jaguars than about jaguars, and so on.

But judging by the outcry and global revolution that was sparked by the news of the extinction of the Western Black Rhino… okay you get my point. Nothing’s going to change—at least, not willingly.


3 thoughts on “The Semantics of Apocalypse

  1. Hm, I don’t think saving the world — as defined as sustaining the current number of people at their current lifestyles in this finite habitat — is within the realm of possibilities, since we’re past the point of no return on too many ecological tipping points. Also, the concentration of wealth and power makes any substantive, positive change impossible. But we can and should help humans and nonhumans in whatever ways we can.

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