The UN conference to do something about massive global species loss kicks off this week. Ironically, the host country is Japan. Earlier this year, Japan helped stop international agreements that would have limited trade in tuna, sharks, and other depleted and important marine species.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that even for glass half full people, the challenges of species extinction are extremely daunting for the UN and the 190 nations involved. A big win would be a solid agreement to set aside more land and sea for protection. These kind of protected places have huge economic value.
Why should we care? Unless steps are taken to reverse the loss of Earth's biodiversity, scientists warn that the rate of extinction will climb and natural habitats will be degraded or destroyed — contributing to climate change and threatening agricultural production, fish stocks in the oceans and access to clean water, according to the Associated Press.
It's easy to be in denial because it's such a huge problem. It's easy to not want to hear still more bad news. But it's like killing the future. And it's a tragedy because we know better. So we have to hear it, and we have to try to do something about it.
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