Well, I am back on the subject of it… Despite the British and Irish Lions winning in South Africa last weekend, the Ashes cricket getting going (with the first match in history being played in Wales!), ministers maybe illegally being phone tapped, swine flu potentially hitting 100,000 people a day in coming months and my beloved Nottingham Forest getting anew kit sponsor for the new season (ok, so that is only big news to me and my fellow Forest fans)… One thing continued dominating the news…
I have not seen anything like it since Princess Diana’s funeral here in England…
Thousands of people filled the streets of Los Angeles and New York following the death of Michael Jackson. The Associated Press reported that because of the cancellation of his very large run of gigs due to take place in London, Jackson’s death is actually going to harm our economy here in England!?? Seriously?
The Associated Press also reported that many Americans believe that President Obama has not been public enough in his grief for the passing away of the King of pop…. Hahaha… Is that crazy, or what? Did they expect him to pause at some stage during his summit meetings with Russia and other world leaders to point out a black armband he was wearing over his presidential suit to makr the passing of a pop icon?
Earlier this year, UK reality TV star Jade Goody passed away due to cervical cancer, as someone lambasted so publicly, by so many, on so many occasions, the filled streets for her funeral precession were very impressive…
These funerals and the death of public figures, do beg the question: why do we care so much?
So whilst someone with too much money for their own good was paying a million quid to attend Michael Jacksons funeral, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, released their “Wildlife in a Changing World” report last week – which could be renamed “Disappearing Wildlife in a Changing World” report.
According to their research more than 800 animal and plant species have gone extinct in the last five centuries… Which is sad. Another 290 are suspected extinct and there is insufficient data available on another 5,561 species to make any credible claim.
Add to that, there are currently 17,000 more species are threatened with extinction- incredibly, that is one out of every eight birds, one out of every three amphibians, and one out of four percent of all mammals…. Which is a hell of a lot!
What makes this news even less palatable and more grim, is that this data is very inadequate. The report covers a mere 2.7 percent of the current 1.8 million described species. It’s no exaggeration to say that if you factor out from what we know into what we don’t than the actual body count could be in the hundreds of thousands.
Nor does this include those species not yet dead, but well on their way.
So while everybody gets hypnotically blinded by celebrity death filling the headlines and engages in this public mourning to such lengths… I thought I’d mention this… There are less than 15,000 blue whales (the largest animal on our planet) left in existence. We’re also down to 5,000 Siberian tigers, 3,000 black rhinos and 1,000 giant pandas. Even more sad is the fact that there are only 720 mountain gorillas who perhaps have another twenty years remaining if things go well for them.
The real worrying thing is this… Conservation International’s so-called “extinction clock” currently records another species vanishing every twenty minutes.
Every twenty minutes!!???
So since I got up, had a cup of tea, read my emails and wrote this, five different life-forms have disappeared completely, gone forever!
…. but thousands of people took to the streets because a reality TV star, or a pop star died? Thousands more are crying and focusing on it heavily…
I am all for supporting good causes and legacies left by human beings… But perhaps human death affixes blinkers on many of us, no?