Magazine article New Internationalist

Human vs. Nature

Magazine article New Internationalist

Human vs. Nature

Article excerpt

We have reached a frozen moment in a heating world.

Our natural world is being increasingly denatured. There go the animals: extinctions are now up to a thousand times the natural background rate,1 and between 150 and 200 species become extinct every 24 hours.2 Watch out, plants: a fifth of your sort, up to 100,000 species, could also soon be extinct.3 Some 80,000 acres of rainforest vanish off the face of the earth - each day.4

The gyres of capital, economic growth and consumption will make mincemeat of nature. It's a catastrophe being documented daily by alternative - and, increasingly, even mainstream - media. But we remain frozen in its glare.

Now, more than ever, there is a need to conserve and let be. Before the voraciousness of growth leaves us with a stripped, bare world.

Nature can be miraculously resilient - as in the amazing comeback of the Small Aral Sea (see overleaf). A twinkle of hope to set against the fact that dead zones in our oceans have doubled every decade since the 1960s.5

But where we should be fighting tooth and nail to conserve and restore, we often get swept away by corporate gfeenwash. Take the running sore of open cast mining in the Canadian tar sands (see NI 431 for extended coverage) which has disturbed an area of 530 square kilometres. …

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