There is little doubt left in the minds of professional biologists that Earth is currently faced with a mounting loss of species that threatens to rival the five great mass extinctions of the geological past. As long ago as 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that Earth is currently losing something on the order of 30,000 species per year — which breaks down to the even more daunting statistic of some three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that this biodiversity crisis — this “Sixth Extinction” — is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had supposed.
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
Can we navigate our way through this crisis? Wilson thinks that the answer will be decided within the lifetimes of many of us alive today. We are the ones. The integrity of Earth's life and the destiny of the human species are in our hands.