The book of extinction

March 20, 2021

If we would turn off our screen for just a bit and look outside, we would notice how much we’ve destroyed our only world. How much wild nature do you see? I see nothing (where I live in the Netherlands). Nothing but cultivated strips of green with horrendously little biodiversity.

Wild life is diminishing as well. Just 4% of the biomass of all mammels on earth is from wild life (see this article). The rest? Humans, and domesticated (i.e. farmed) animals. Sounds horrible? You’re damn right. We’re rapidly approaching the sixth mass extinction, which is happening now.

We. fucked. up. bad.

To get a better idea of the severity of the matter, the IUCN Red List has been measuring the health of the world’s biodiversity, since 1964. The stats on their website show a rather bleak picture. However, the stats are just that … stats. Abstract. To get the message better across – I hope – I’ve compiled two books1:

Now you can scroll through pages, and pages, of extinct and endangered species2. One after another. And you know what? It really does feel different. Especially the latter book, which weighs in at 419 pages!

We fucked up real bad.

  1. Yes, I’m using LateX, and I feel quite the novice.

  2. I’ve compiled these two books based on data from the IUCN Red List. They’ve assessed approximately 10% of all living species on earth. The health of our world’s biodiversity can thus only be worse.