According to the UN Environment Programme, scientists estimate that every 24 hours, 150 to 200 species of plants, insects, birds and mammals become extinct. Although extinction is a natural occurrence, it is now happening at nearly 1,000 times the previous “natural” rate. For millennia, species became extinct as they died off due to natural disasters or the fluctuation of evolution. In more recent history, the infliction of human development has become a major cause. Now climate change has become yet another way humans threaten species’ existence. In the modern era, multiple extinctions happen within a human’s lifetime.
Are we doomed, as some scientists believe, to a sixth mass extinction? Or can we learn to protect species and in the process save ourselves?