Biodiversity—Why Is It Declining and What Can We Do About It?
Many people are making attempts at being good stewards of nature, effortssuch as recycling, taking shorter showers, or riding bicycles instead of driving cars. But the United Nations in a 2019 report nevertheless said the “health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.”
A major challenge for scientists and environmental activists is how to deal with biodiversity loss (the loss of species). “We are indeed losing species 1,000 times faster than the normal background rate,” says Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke University.“When Al Gore says that, he’s quoting me.”
Rather than being pessimistic about the future for species,Pimm is rather optimistic. “There are a lot of practical things we can do to stop species from going extinct," he says. "And I think we need to work diligently to get that optimistic message out there.”
Getting people to recognize biodiversity loss (e.g. the saber-toothed cat, as pictured) might be easier than getting them to accept climate change because the former is easier to see.People often notice loss of biodiversity because species they once commonly saw years before can no longer be found or appear in far smaller numbers. That could inspire more people to become concerned with the issue.
Kevin C. Elliott, a philosopher at Michigan State University who specializes in science and environmental ethicssays it is important how to communicate the threats to flora and fauna to the public. “Environmental justice” might be a more effective term with some people than “biodiversity loss.” Also, he suggests how pointing out how biodiversity loss might directly affect people, such as declining pollinator insects could reduce the availability of foods which depend on the insects.
The UN report advocates coordinated actions on the part of nations and not just citizens. But Pimm says citizens can make a difference. “When I give talks, I certainly tell people to start making choices that lead them to tread more lightly on the planet. But I also tell them to celebrate the fact that we live in a democracy,” he adds, and they can make a difference.
Comments: This article really didn’t give a reason for the declining number of species. The focus was on how to counter thisdecrease by enlisting public support for whatever solutionsare proposed. Such “solutions” as avoiding fur coats, hunting, poisonous bug sprays, and meathave been proposed by others. Butthese ideas, even if put into practice, can only slow down but not reverse the loss of species.
As Christians, we know the real reason why biodiversity isdeclining. It’s the same reason as to why we have illnesses, violent storms, and dangerousanimals—sin and what it did to the world. When God had finished creating the world, there was no death. Consequently, not even individual animals died, much less their entire species going extinct. Now with sin having entered the world, we are being overrun with harmful mutations which are doing their part to cause species to disappear. However,climate change and certain human activities are also involved.
Because our beautiful world and its amazing plant and animal creatureswere created by God as gifts for us, I feel it is a sign of disrespect to our Creator if we act as if we don’t care about our planet and its flora and fauna. Still, whatever we do to try to stem the tide against nature is not as important as stemming the satanic tide against the souls of people.
There will be no biodiversity decline in God’s paradise — the future home for all believers in Christ — because there will be no sin and death. Other than we saints, angels and God Himself, we do not know what living things will be there, but we do know we don’t have to be looking for solutions to problems because there will be no problems.
Let’s spread the message that heaven will be ours if we follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He is the perfect solution for the problem of sin and death. “Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” [1 Corinthians 15:55-57].
by Warren Krug
Reference: Avery Hurt, “Biodiversity Is Rapidly Declining. Here's What You Can Do About It,” Discover Magazine [May 31, 2021]
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
How far can fleas jump?
A flea can jump 40-160 times the length of its body. This would be equivalent to a six-foot human leaping over the Statue of Liberty.
Source: “Super Animals,” Kids Answers [April-June, 2021].
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