Since 1970, as our populations explodes (doubling in just 40 years) and growth-oriented economic ideals bring industrialized production, agriculture and resource extraction to most parts of the globe, the extinction rate has quickened to over 1000 times the pre-human rate, close to that of the Fifth Extinction which wiped out the dinosaurs.
As a consequence, habitats are rapidly being destroyed and polluted with over 50% of tropical rainforests and their rich biodiversity decimated. Moreover, we are now feeling the cumulative affect of 200 years of burning fossil fuels as glacial and polar ice begin to melt and the planet’s climate quickly shifts.
Yet, this period has also brought with it the rise of the environmental movement and widespread consciousness of the impact we are having on the environment and climate.
We are critical period of fear and hope for the planet’s future. We are now more conscious of the impact we have on the environment than ever before, and at the same time, our impact increases with our growing population and demand for more resources.
|Image||Species||Date Extinct||Geographic Region||Cause of Extinction|
|Baiji||2002 AD||Yangtze River||Overhunting & Habitat Destruction|
|Pyrenean Ibex||2000 AD||Pyrenees||Overhunting|
|Tecopa Pupfish||1981 AD||California||Habitat Destruction|
|Golden Toad||1989 AD||Costa Rica||Climate Change|
|Javan Tiger||1980 AD||Java||Overhunting & Habit Destruction|
|Saint Helena Olive||2003 AD||Saint Helena||Habitat Destruction|