Professor Paul Ehrlich: “The Annihilation of Nature”.

In this months episode of Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM podcast, I was honoured to re-interview Professor Paul Ehrlich on his book “The Annihilation of Nature”,the show is embedded here:
“The numbers are sobering: Over all, there has been a human-driven decline in the populations of all species by 25% over the past 500 years, but not all groups have suffered equally. Up to a third of all species of vertebrates are now considered threatened, as are 45% of most species of invertebrates. Among the vertebrates, amphibians are getting clobbered, with 41% of species in trouble, compared to just 17% of birds—at least so far. The various orders of insects suffer differently too: 35% of Lepidopteran species are in decline (goodbye butterflies), which sounds bad enough, but it’s nothing compared to the similar struggles of nearly 100% of Orthoptera species (crickets, grasshoppers and katydids, look your last).“The Sixth Great Extinction is Underway and We’re to Blame;

 The Annihilation of Nature

Johns Hopkins University Press, The Annihilation of Nature

Published on Apr 23, 2015  

“In this beautiful book, three of today’s most distinguished conservationists tell the stories of the birds and mammals we have lost and those that are now on the road to extinction. These tragic tales, coupled with eighty-three color photographs from the world’s leading nature photographers, display the beauty and biodiversity that humans are squandering.”
For a slide show of the wonderful photo’s and illustrations in this book click on the following link;The Annihilation of Nature

“The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear.” Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.

I mentioned in the interview; “The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) simply blows out of the water anything else that’s been attempted in human history. As currently planned, it will involve some 7,000 separate infrastructure or extractive industry projects scattered across 70-odd nations, with a total price-tag of $8 trillion. It’ll span half the planet — from Asia to Africa, Europe and the South Pacific.”
It’s hard for me to think where the sand, let alone the energy for this project will come from,considering to all intents and purposes we have consumed the planets ‘construction sand’ already.China’s Global Infrastructure Initative Could Bring Environmental Catastrophe
Also mentioned was this quote from Joanna Macy:
“Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche”. The Greatest Danger;

On a similar theme this great You Tube presentation from ” Human Decimation of Earths Creatures:”
I’ve embedded below another important discussion between Professors Paul Ehrlich and Guy McPherson titled: A Conversation with Paul Ehrlich

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Habitat, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE, Podcasts
137 comments on “Professor Paul Ehrlich: “The Annihilation of Nature”.
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    Paul Ehrlich and Guy Lane having a laugh at the edge of collapse;


  2. Kevin Hester says:

    “The lack of pollinating insects in some areas of fruit production in China has forced producers to pollinate their fruit trees by hand.”

    “In these areas, the excessive use of pesticides and the lack of a natural habitat put an end to all the pollinators that inhabited the ecosystem.”


  3. Kevin Hester says:

    There’s no shortage of evidence to prove that we are undermining the fabric of the biosphere leading to collapse.
    Like chipping away at the foundations of a building everything seems fine, then you hear a ‘cracking’ sound and then collapse unfolds.
    I’ve been hearing the cracking sound for decades, brace for impact.


  4. Kevin Hester says:

    “The decision to suspend data collection was not made lightly but was necessary given available fiscal and program resources,” said a department statement.”

    They have trillions to spend on the military industrial complex and nothing for keeping the planet habitable.


  5. Kevin Hester says:

    I suspect the title of this article is derived from the book and peer reviewed paper written by Paul Ehrlich and Geraldo Ceballos which I covered on Nature Bats Last.


  6. Kevin Hester says:

    When I was a young fella I remember ‘Blizzards of moths’ at streetlights at night.
    I had to wash the front bumper, headlights and windscreen of my mums car if she drove at night.
    “Young people can’t remember how much more wildlife there used to be

    Read more:


  7. Kevin Hester says:

    Professor Paul Ehrlich, Professor Guy McPherson and myself will be discussing this aspect of collapse on Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM on Feb’ 4th 3pm EST. The episode can be found after broadcast at the NBL archive.
    The situation is always worse than we think. If anyone finds the “Precautionary Principle” lying around can they send it to the IPCC for me please?


  8. Kevin Hester says:

    Professor Paul Ehrlich has just been interviewed by Michael Dowd in his superb series titled “Post Doom”.


  9. Kevin Hester says:

    They get it wrong at many levels;
    “But the low numbers – down 34% on 2019 and worse than the dire wet summer of 2012 – may not be as bad as they appear because a record-breaking sunny spring caused many butterfly species to emerge earlier and complete their adult lifecycle before the count began on 17 July.”
    The seasons are completely fucked up and the Guardian makes it sound like a good thing ffs.


  10. Kevin Hester says:

    “At any given moment, it’s been estimated, there are 10 quintillion insects flying, crawling, hovering, marching, burrowing, and swimming around. In terms of variety, the numbers are equally impressive: Something like 80 percent of all the different kinds of animals are insects.”


  11. Kevin Hester says:

    On episode #3 of Josh’s Worst Nightmare, host Josh Schlossberg bugs out with Lindsay King-Miller, author of THE FRUIT, to uncover matricidal spiders, tear-drinking moths, and beetles that lay eggs in corpses.


  12. Kevin Hester says:

    Another update on his work from Geraldo Ceballos: “We Are in a Very Critical Situation. What Is At Stake Is the Survival of Mankind”


  13. Kevin Hester says:

    Silent Earth by Dave Goulson — a plea for the pollinators
    Insects are essential to life on Earth — so what can we do to reverse their startling decline?


  14. Kevin Hester says:

    “The global biodiversity framework replaces the plan for the last decade, which missed all 20 targets.”


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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

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