Australia is a nature superpower, boasting some of the most amazing flora and fauna on Earth. Sadly, that beauty is under threat. And not just in Australia.
A horrifying report produced by the World Wildlife Fund and scientists from around the world suggests that humanity has wiped out 60 per cent of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970.
Spare a moment to take that in: 60 per cent.
The very web of life that sustains us as humans is under threat. Water, clean air, countless species – all are in peril. Like a demented Samson, we seemed determined to tear down the pillars of life down with us.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff,” says Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF.
You would think that these shocking revelations would galvanise humanity into action: that we will put aside such ephemeral nonsense as reality TV competitions and what star did what to who to concentrate on one of the greatest crises we will ever face.
Movies like Blade Runner – where nature has presumably died out and artificial owls are the luxury items of the mega-rich – are seemingly less and less like works of science fiction and more like documentaries.
Once those species are gone, they are gone. Believing we can bring them back with science is a pipe dream best saved for Jurassic Park.
From the horses whose efforts helped create the modern world, to the birds that led humans to one day believe they could fly, we owe a debt to our fellow creatures.
Much in the same spirit of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, we almost need to construct some kind of Noah’s ark to protect as many declining species as we can, storing them in some high-tech location built by the world’s best minds.
Sounds unfeasible? Maybe. But we have to start doing something now.
Then, at least, we can say we did something when future generations ask.