2. Going, going..... Gone?


"...Species are vanishing 100 times faster than usual..." 

Sarah Kaplan 2018 
- need to improve sustainability, ie protect biodiversity (especially endangered species), habitats (marine, aquatic, land-based, sky, etc), environment, global climate, ecosystems, etc.
- human activities like
i) rapid industrialisation and resultant pollution (like
- electronic waste (ewaste) is one of the world's fastest growing challenges. Informal recycling using crude heating methods to extract metals exposes communities in many developing countries to significant health risks
- human-induced greenhouse gas emissions which are trapping the sun's heat within the Earth's atmosphere leading to increased temperature (including the sea which will change patterns of ocean circulation) and changing weather patterns with more extreme events (like cyclones, droughts, flooding, etc); a previously1 in 20 year event is becoming a 1 in 5 year occurrence
ii) habitat destruction (such as deforestation of rainforests, pollution of coral reefs, residential and agricultural development encroaching on natural habitats, etc) are threatening many species.
  a) most of these habitats are very fragile and a minute change can have disastrous consequences
  b) it is estimated that there are around 9 m. unique plant and animal species with the majority not being formally described;
  c) rainforest habitat (tropical and temperate) being home to 50+ % of the world's plant and animal species; also these habitats help regulate temperature and weather pattern, and are a possible sources for medical treatments
  d) it is estimated that normal rates of background extinction are in the range of 1 or 2 species lost per year; however, the current rates of extinction are thousands of times this
  e) since mid 20th century, there has been increasing public awareness and action around environmental issues, ie existence value (people derive value by merely knowing that particular species or habitats still exist) (see below for more detail on this)
  f) increasing chance of inhospitable climate patterns that will challenge our current concepts of how we live, etc


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