Year 2, Month 1, Day 26: Bellwethers

The Taipei Times runs a piece from the NYT’s Elizabeth Rosenthal, discussing the fate of endangered species in a climate-changed future. I have a cold and I’m sniffling constantly, which doesn’t help my mood.

The next few decades will see increasing loss of animal and plant species due to climate change. These localized tragedies, unintended consequences of humanity’s ongoing environmental transformation, are harbingers of our own future. Biodiversity is a planetary survival strategy; the greater variety of life exists, the more likely it is that something will always survive. Similarly, cultural diversity is under threat from the same forces that are wreaking havoc on our climate. Pervasive industrialization and consumerism are homogenizing our humanity, making it ever harder for indigenous cultures to sustain themselves, and making our own lives ever less integrated with the global ecosystems of which they are a part. We human beings are doing to ourselves what we are doing to animals like the Hartlaub’s turaco and Aberdare cisticola; their endangerment is saddening for its own sake, and for what it foretells about our own future.

Warren Senders

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