With less biodiversity, we all lose

To the editor,

The Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Bio-diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released four reports by more than 550 experts from over 100 countries March 23 citing the causes, concerns and effects of biodiversity loss.

Biodiversity is fundamental for food, clean water, energy and lifestyle. The reports indicate humans must stop habitat destruction and unsustainable interactions with the natural world or risk our future.

The authors indicate a connection between human caused climate change and biodiversity loss. By 2050, they project climate change could replace land-conversion as the main driver of species extinction. Human-caused climate change is a significant contribution to the problem. Changing temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events affect biodiversity loss and worsen habitat degradation. The reports say continuing our current rate of climate change will be the fastest negative impact on biodiversity.

Currently in North America on average the populations of species in any given area are about 31 percent smaller than when Europeans arrived. As the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss continue, species loss is projected to reach 40 percent by 2050. The report described the effects of biodiversity loss else-where in the world.

IPBES has issued more than 140 scientific reports since 1977. Most warn of worsening of the climate on the natural world. With minimal pressure from citizens and media, legislators are unwilling to sacrifice short-term economic goals to meet long-term environmental challenges to the planet and human wellbeing. You can make a difference, check out Citizens’ Climate Lobby, citizensclimatelobby.org or contact us at durangoccl@gmail.com

– Andrew Zeiler, CCL group co-leader, Durango chapter