Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie

Reposted from Fabius Maximus Website

Larry Kummer, Editor Climate change 24 May 2019

Summary: The latest chapter of the climate campaign consists of warnings about a coming mass extinction of species. Here is a stunning analysis of these claims by Gregory Wrightstone. This made a big impact at Wednesday’s House hearings. I doubt you will see this in the news (it does not fit the narrative).

the-sixth-extinction

The mass extinction lie exposed: life is thriving

By Gregory Wrightstone at his website, 13 May 2019.
Posted with his generous permission.

One million species will become extinct in the not-too-distant future and we are to blame. That is the conclusion of a new study by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) was issued on May 6th {the full report will be issued “later this year} and warns that “human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before” and that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss.”

It also asserted that we have seen increasing dangers over the last several decades, stating “the threat of extinction is also accelerating: in the best-studied taxonomic groups, most of the total extinction risk to species is estimated to have arisen in the past 40 years.” The global rate of species extinction claimed “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years.”

The release of the report spawned a media frenzy that uncritically accepted the study’s contention that we will see more than 20,000 species per year bite the dust in the not too distant future. PBS called it the “current mass extinction,” and the New Yorker’s headline read “Climate Change and the New Age of Extinction.

The only chart in the SPM that supported the claim of increasing extinctions is shown here (bdlow). The graph covers 500-years and appears to present a frightening increase in extinctions and extinction rate.

Species extinction since 1500

This chart and the accompanying “analysis” are a case study of how those who promote the notion of man-made catastrophic warming manipulate data and facts to spread the most fear, alarm, and disinformation.

First, note that the title of the graph itself (Cumulative % of Species Driven Extinct) is confusing even to scientists used to interpreting such data. More importantly, the data were lumped together by century rather than shorter time frames, which, as we shall see accentuates the supposed increase in extinctions.

The base data were derived from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List, which catalogues every known species that has gone the way of the dodo and the [passenger] carrier pigeon. Review of the full data set reveals a much different view of extinction and what has been happening recently.

Below, all 529 species available from the Red List with a known extinction date are shown below in Figure 2 by decade of extinction. This chart reveals quite a different story than that advanced by the new report. Instead of a steady increase in the number and rate of extinctions we find that extinctions peaked in the late 1800s and the early 20th century, followed by a significant decline that continues today. It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).

Species extinction by decade

A closer review of the most recent information dating back to 1870 reveals that, instead of a frightening increase, extinctions are actually in a significant decline.

What is apparent is that the trend of extinctions is declining rather than increasing, just the opposite of what the new report claims. Also, according to the IPBES report, we can expect 25,000 to 30,000 extinctions per year, yet the average over the last 40 years is about 2 species annually. That means the rate would have to multiply by 12,500 to 15,000 to reach the dizzying heights predicted. Nothing on the horizon is likely to achieve even a small fraction of that.

Graph of Species Extinctions by Decade, from the Red List

This new extinction study is just the latest example of misuse and abuse of the scientific process designed to sow fear of an impending climate apocalypse. The fear and alarm over purported man-made catastrophes are needed to frighten the population into gladly accepting harmful and economically crippling proposals such as the Green New Deal.

Rather than an Earth spiraling into a series of climate catastrophes that threaten the planet’s life, we find that our planet and its estimated 8 million species are doing just fine, thank you.

Postscript: In an incredibly ironic twist that poses a difficult conundrum for those who are intent on saving the planet from our carbon dioxide excesses, the new study reports that the number one cause of predicted extinctions is habitat loss. Yet their solution is to pave over vast stretches of land for industrial scale solar factories and to construct immense wind factories that will cover forests and grasslands, killing the endangered birds and other species they claim to want to save.

————————————-
Editor’s afterword

Wrightstone notes one of the most important aspects of the new report: that they released the Summary for Policymakers alone, orchestrating a media barrage before releasing the supporting information. Considering its vast claims and their weak basis in the peer-reviewed literature, this should arouse our suspicions. People should not decide about such a vital issue before experts have reviewed the full report.

For more about the data and papers about modern extinction rates, see About the mass extinctions supposedly occurring now.

See the pdf of Wrightstone’s testimony at the May 22 hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee about the new Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Also see his article about the hearings and Dr. Curry’s analysis. My favorite quote from the hearing was made by Patrick Moore (pdf of testimony).

“The IBPES claims there are 8 million species. Yet only 1.8 million species have been identified and named. Thus the IBPES believes there are 6.2 million unidentified and unnamed species. …This is highly unprofessional.”

Gregory Whitestone

About the author

“Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience researching and studying various aspects of the Earth’s processes. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Waynesburg University and a master’s from West Virginia University, both in the field of geology. {Many climate scientists began in geology, some climate science programs are in the geology departments.}

“He has written and presented extensively on many aspects of geology including how paleogeography and paleoclimate control geologic processes. His findings have allowed him to speak at many venues around the world including Ireland, England, China and most recently India.”  {From his website.}

See his website and his Twitter feed. He has an app, Inconvenient Facts, based on his book (see below), available for both Apple and Android.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see The keys to understanding climate change and these posts about climate propaganda. The good news is that the very bad news is wrong.

  1. Frogs and butterflies, important players in the climate wars.
  2. Let’s defend the oceans, before it’s too late.
  3. The oceans are dying. See their condition on World Oceans Day!
  4. Are 30 thousand species going extinct every year?
  5. Warning: dying insect populations threaten our future – A real threat overshadowed by the climate hysteria.
  6. About the mass extinctions supposedly occurring now.
  7. Important: The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
About Wrightstone’s iconoclastic book
Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn't want you to know

Available at Amazon. Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.

From the publisher …

“You have been inundated with reports from media, governments, think tanks and ‘experts’ saying that our climate is changing for the worse and it is our fault. Increases in droughts, heat waves, tornadoes and poison ivy – to name a few – are all blamed on our ‘sins of emissions’ from burning fossil fuels and increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Yet, you don’t quite buy into this human-caused climate apocalypse. You aren’t sure about the details because you don’t have all the facts and likely aren’t a scientist. Inconvenient Facts was specifically created for you. Writing in plain English and providing easily understood charts and figures, Gregory Wrightstone presents the science to assess the basis of the threatened Thermageddon.

“The book’s 60 ‘inconvenient facts’ come from government sources, peer-reviewed literature or scholarly works, set forth in a way that is lucid and entertaining. The information likely will challenge your current understanding of many apocalyptic predictions about our ever dynamic climate.

“You will learn that the planet is improving, not in spite of increasing CO2 and rising temperature, but because of it. The very framework of the climate-catastrophe argument will be confronted with scientific fact. Arm yourself with the truth.”

195 thoughts on “Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie

    • Wiki has a list of mammals that are recently extinct (since 1500) it’s a little different in totals than the graphics from the icunredlist.org info in that it only lists 83 confirmed since 1500 and three icun lists almost 350 since 1870. So…is the ICUN data more reliable other WIKI
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_mammals
      I’m aware of just how untrustworthy WIKI can be given its bent but ….

      • Wikipedia ( Wiki is free software, not a pet name for Wikipedia ) is totally unreliable for any remotely contentious or political issue since it is policed by an army of zealots who prevent and pervert the intended process of corrective editing. I would not even bother reading it, unless it’s just to keep an eye on what BS the public are being fed ( a bit like reading the Guardian ).

        [MODS] it seems the article got the wrong link for the testimony

        See the pdf of Wrightstone’s testimony

        That does not link to Wrightstone’s testimony but some alarmist’s effort. Please give us the correct link.

        • I refer to as WIKI because it doesn’t warrant the -pedia…
          And, for the record, I completely agree with you regarding the reliability of WIKI articles.
          But I would never imagine them to report fewer potential extinctions than other sources, given their bent toward anything proving potential catastrophic effects of GW/CC

      • Use of cumulative percent in this case is malfeasance in science. The classic legitimate use is in recording distribution of size fractions of material grains and particles. When you crush an ore for example it is screened and plotted in this fashion for analysis.

        https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Javed_Alam9/publication/288554956/figure/fig2/AS:311848525156353@1451361890697/Particle-Size-Distribution-Curve-for-Plain-Flyash.png

        If you had 5 creatures die in the latest century, piling them at the top of the grapgh would not show this easily because it is sitting on top of the previous centuries’ extinctions. The cum% curve can only grow taller, never decline which gives a highly deceptive, obscuring image of the data.

    • “Increases in droughts, heat waves, tornadoes and poison ivy–” all of this comes and goes, but poison ivy? I’d be a happy as a rabbit in a briar patch if poison ivy disappeared. The panic attack/alarmism approach isn’t working on most people. Name-calling and other personal attacks are their last resort. And they haven’t identified or defined any of the alleged 6.2 proposed extinct species as yet, so it’s baloney and fear-mongering, and they are all tiresome bores.

      • At this point when reading the “news,” I dismiss out of hand any “data” attributed to NGO’s, the UN or any of its branches, or “activists” of any kind. It’s very unlikely to be factual. Today “science” is being used as clickbait.

    • The IUCN Red List is also capable of exaggeration. I covered the reliance of such claims on the Species-Area Model in my 2007 book ‘Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science’. I had a lot of fun with Pseudonovibos spiralis, the spiral-horned ox that was on the Red List, but there was no good evidence it had EVER existed.

      • Dear Aynsley Kellow: 2007 book ‘Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science’ is one of the first-rate reads of the previous decade.

        Perhaps a new introduction to this highly topical thesis is in order for the many interested readers here who missed it? (Charles the mod, would you be so kind as to arrange this, please?)

  1. Perhaps the most important aspect of Wrightstone’s work: the near-total blackout about it in the major news media.

    Testified about this at Congress. No news coverage. Search for “Wrightstone” on Google news: one hit about his testimony – my post at the FM website. That’s it. Nothing by anyone else, skeptic or activist.

    This is a huge advantage to climate activists and their supporting scientists. Since challenging data and analysis are hidden from the public, they can just ignore skeptics. No need for all that annoying debate.

      • Alarmism sells. A prophecy of doom gets widely analyzed. Without looking for them, how many prophecies of better times to come can you name right now? (Reminds me of an old Soviet joke .. When will the life get better? – It did already.)

        If you want to save the planet, make sure that your neighbor can’t drive her gasoline car.

    • AAPG published an interview with Greg last year… And had to spend the next issue of the Explorer apologizing for it… When our generation retires over the next decade, I’m afraid the AAPG will become just as unscientific on the issue of climate change as the AAAS, AGU, AMS, etc.

      • Well, David, I’m afraid you’re just going to have to continue to fight the good fight and instill that in upcoming people. Not all of them are brainwashed into believing this nonsense.

        • Or else we need the rich to endow professorships in Junk Science and quality control. In and outside of in universities, eg, think tanks.

    • What makes Wrightstone an expert in this area whose opinion should be covered by the MSM?

      • Chris,

        “What makes Wrightstone an expert in this area whose opinion should be covered by the MSM?”

        (1) His work was part of Congressional testimony about a vital issue. The media often features such testimony as useful evidence, even when given by celebrities with zero relevant training and experience. Wrightstone’s findings are solidly founded on data.

        (2) From the “About the author” section:

        “Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience researching and studying various aspects of the Earth’s processes. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Waynesburg University and a master’s from West Virginia University, both in the field of geology. {Many climate scientists began in geology, some climate science programs are in geology departments.}

        “He has written and presented extensively on many aspects of geology including how paleogeography and paleoclimate control geologic processes. His findings have allowed him to speak at many venues around the world including Ireland, England, China and most recently India.”

        • You notice how the detail is incredibly vague? It’s because his consulting has been for the fossil fuel industry – that’s the “various aspects of the Earths processes”. So what? What does consulting for oil companies have to do with expertise on extinction of species and climate change? The answer – nothing. He’s an American version of Viv Forbes.

          His company is called Wrightstone Energy Consulting. Gee, I wonder why he goes to such great lengths to hide that fact on his web site?

          • Gosh, Chris!
            You must have been all for this.
            Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, no longer will allow scientists with EPA funding to serve on its scientific advisory boards.

          • Chris demonstrates for us the response of alarmists to inconvenient facts: change the subject. The results in America after thirty years of this tactic shows its futility.

            This is the exact opposite of what people expect from those warning of coming disasters. They expect answers to the inevitable questions and objections. Games-playing like Chris gives us only shows the hollowness of the alarmists’ case.

            I discuss this in “Lessons from the failure of the climate change crusade.” It is good news, showing that American’s ability to process information is greater than many of us believed.

          • By your (apparent) logic, Chris, all we need to do to debunk any science funded by government, the UN or environmentalist NGOs is mention their funding and the bias is then obvious. Right? If you can’t falsify his research with data, facts and logic, you have no argument. Shooting the messenger is NOT an argument.

            He’s not trying to “hide” anything, because that “fact” is irrelevant to his research.

          • Chris, thank you for admitting that once again, you’ve got nothing.

            You seem to feel that merely pointing out that the man has worked for a fossil fuel company is sufficient to prove he’s wrong.
            Rational people don’t agree and would like you to actually address the man’s work.

          • I’d like to ask Gregory Wrightstone, does he think a species not seen since the year 2000 is on the extinct list or the Table 9: Possibly Extinct and Possibly Extinct in the Wild Species here file:///C:/Users/tony/Downloads/2019_1_RL_Stats_Table_9.pdf ?

            I’m guessing he knows the answer to that question but is choosing to hide it.

            Wrightstone 2019
            This isn’t research. It’s bs that doesn’t even pass the sniff test. Three extinctions in the recent decade? The graphs purport to be from International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) but in reality he is a self-published author, natural gas consultant and member of the Heartland Institute’s advisory board.

            “CO2 has increased. I will argue that’s a good thing,” Wrightstone said after the hearing. “Carbon dioxide increases have been benefitting Earth and humanity.” https://www.penncapital-star.com/

            Sceptics? SMFH.

          • I’d like to ask Gregory Wrightstone, does he think a species not seen since the year 2000 is on the extinct list or the Table 9: Possibly Extinct and Possibly Extinct in the Wild Species here

            well apart from the fact you screwed up the link since we don’t have access to your PC, I guess the reason he does not count it as extinct is the same reason as the IUCN doesn’t. Read the intro to the Possibly Extinct and Possibly Extinct in the Wild data.

            Long story short : facts.

          • Joel O’Bryan:

            Refute the work. Not the man.

            It is not ad hom to check someone’s credentials. Wrightstone presents his profile to give credibility to his writing. It is therefore equally legitimate to verify his pedigree and add any details he may not have chosen to highlight himself.

            Most professional geologists work for the energy sector. That is not surprising.

            He does not claim to be an expert on extinction or climate change and he does not need to be to uncover the highly misleading way the data is being presented which he does very effectively.

            Now does Chris have any comment about the validity of Wrightstone’s work or the misleading nature of the IPBES report, apparently not. Since he is clearly out criticise him, I guess he must accept what he says.

          • “Scientists announced that three bird species vanished from the Earth for good in 2018.”
            https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2019-01-02-extinct-animal-species-2018
            Three, in one year. Just the bird species.

            “the trend of extinctions is declining rather than increasing”

            This and Wrightstone’s graphs and his “all 529 species” (from his link – RESULTS (872)?) are lies of omission. They omit the hundreds of species that haven’t been seen for decades.
            Wrightstone 2019 is a gross distortion of the “facts”.

          • You did not read Wrightstone’s post, or if you did, you did not comprehend the methodology.

            1. He used DOCUMENTED extinctions. The IUCN and CREO are both quite clear on this. Thus, DOCUMENTED extinctions are DECLINING, as claimed.
            2. Wrightstone’s chart ended at 2009. This is quite clear in his description.
            3. Wrightstone used only extinctions with a DOCUMENTED DATE in his study. Without a date, how do you assign a decade to it?
            4. As stated in the CREO and IUCN, there are a number of reasons why those “hundreds” of extinctions are not DOCUMENTED. There may be a surviving population; they might not be separate species; etc. But they are NOT DOCUMENTED EXTINCTIONS.

            Your post is a “gross distortion” of the methodology and understanding of extinctions and its terminology.

          • No, Larry, I did not change the topic in the slightest. You are the one who highlighted from Wrightstone’s web site “35 years of experience researching and studying various aspects of the Earth’s processes.”

            I asked what that work had to do with being an expert on species extinction. You did nothing to refute my point, nothing whatsoever.

            Gee, I bet when Wrightstone was pitching for consulting gigs with fossil fuel companies, he highlighted his background and it was a critical factor in them deciding to hire him. But somehow, on matters of climate change or species extinction, we should instead look to laymen/laywomen who have no relevant experience.

            Tell you what, Larry, next time you need a root canal, why don’t you go to your nearest barista who happens to have read a lot about dentistry and have him do the work for you. Deal?

          • Still no refutation of Gregory Wrightstone’s facts and analyses, Chris? People here have been asking you for your deep thinking about those.

          • To Joel, MarkW, Rory, Larry and Greg – there are hundreds of people who have written articles/blogs or put up YouTube videos on the topics of climate change and species extinction. My question is simple – what makes Wrightstone more qualified than the rest as someone we should pay attention to?

          • Because there is absolutely no empirical data supporting any assertions that a slightly warming world has lead to any species extinctions, Chris. Since no climatic metric has worsened in over 100 years, how could climate change cause any species extinctions? Modelturbation is not proof.

          • Are you willing to give your full name and identify your qualifications to opine, Chris? How do we know you are not Greta?

          • Chris, so what?
            When “Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, no longer will allow scientists with EPA funding to serve on its scientific advisory boards”, did you think it was a good thing?

          • Hey Dave Fair,

            I’ll tell you what. Next time you need a doctor for, say, reconstructive knee surgery, why don’t you ask your accountant to do it? You know, the guy who has posted YouTube videos about surgery, and blogged about it. Deal?

            I’ve asked 3 times here for what credentials Wrightstone has in the area of species extinction. I’ve gotten exactly zero answers.

            We use experts for medical matters, for pest extermination, for road building, for bridge building, for designing satellites. But hey, when it comes to species extinction or climate change, none of that “experience” stuff matters. That’s the philosophy here among the commenters on WUWT.

          • You still have not addressed what Gregory Wrightstone said, Chris.

            So long, for good.

          • And so …! You’re therefore going to assert that that’s not Science! Right? Well, man up (with courage and convictions based in rectitude, observing fidelity to the best data) or be a moron (and go on without, much like Michael Mann). You have a career as a troll for the Junk Science (TM) industry – why stop now?

      • His bio lists his credentials, whereas people like Al Gore and AOC, who have no credentials, are repeatedly covered by the MSM.

      • Chris,
        Reporting Inconvenient Truths is the duty of the press.
        The fact is that cumulative graphs always go up but extinctions are going down. And those of us who believe in evolution expect extinction rates to never reach zero.

        I suspect that the media ignore the facts because, like you Chris, they don’t believe in evolution and that some extinctions are natural.

          • Macroevolution is a farce – it’s a sick joke, in which the person telling it is the punch line.
            Macroevolution is the only scientific hoax bigger, worse and more toxic than globaloney warmunism.

          • Wrong. Your claim is on other fashionable lie. And with any educated Bible Believer you can prove it to yourself, too.

            (Pardon my OT aside.) Evolution can be presented as a logical deduction: populations show varied inherited characteristics; these change over time (eg, the incidence of light eyes); ergo, populations evolve.

            I have yet to find a Bible Believer yet who denies this logic. The problem remains for so-called macro-ecvolution and the great timescales needed for evolution to work.

            If they can be motivated to read
            Jerry Coyne on “Why Evolution is True,” you might be surprised at your results.

      • Larry,

        So your proof that Wrightstone is an expert is because a known climate skeptic, James Inhofe, invites Marc Morano to testify before Congress, and Morano mentions Wrightstone. That’s it???

        Hahaha. So if Marc had mentioned Homer from the Simpsons, then therefore Homer must be an expert. No need to have actual qualifications, or to have published peer reviewed research. Just get mentioned. Got it.

      • Chris,
        You don’t need to be an expert in extinctions. You just need to care about the integrity of science and the data.
        All Wrightstone had to do was collect the IUCN data and plot it. The actual data completely trashes the wild claims in the IPCC report.
        If you can see a flaw in his methodology then fine, post it. But you can’t. In future please address people’s arguments rather than their fields of expertise. Apart from anything else, “experts” are often hopelessly wrong. Just a century all the “experts” knew that the continents were fixed and unmoving. And, before the concensus changed, all the “experts” lined up to claim Einstein was wrong.
        A Chris who cares about the science and data.

        • Chris Wright,

          Newsflash – I choose not to spend my time reading papers or reports by unqualified people. You have every right to read anyone’s postings you want. I don’t waste my time that way.

          On a daily basis, WUWT commenters say things like “anything published by NASA is junk science.” Or “climate scientists get paid, so therefore can’t be trusted.” Or “All temperature data records have been corrupted so can’t be trusted.” I’ve seen paywalled articles attacked by folks who haven’t even read the paper, yet attack it.

          So if you really cared about science and data, you would call out your fellow climate skeptics. Do you?

          • “Newsflash – I choose not to spend my time reading papers or reports by unqualified people.” Are you aware Einstein was originally a clerk, Chris?

            I choose to ignore Chris, a close-minded bigot. Or is he just paid to post here?

          • Chris,
            “Newsflash – I choose not to spend my time reading papers or reports by unqualified people….”
            Just off the top of my head, here’s a list of famous people who have made many comments about climate change:
            Al Gore, the various heads of the UN and UN officials, the Pope, Prince Charles, too many politicians to list etc etc
            The previous head of the IPCC wasn’t a climate scientist, he was a railway engineer – and a writer of saucy novels to boot.

            So, are you seriously saying you ignore all these people because they are not qualified climate scientists? What is your answer?

            “On a daily basis, WUWT commenters say things like “anything published by NASA is junk science.”….”
            Are you serious? Can you provide a specific sample similar to one of those quotes? If anyone did make those specific quotes then I would certainly criticise them. Nobody would seriously state that *all* of NASA’s work is junk science. That would be nonsense. Ironically a major NASA study a couple of years ago showed not only that the planet is getting dramatically greener, but that the two main reasons are increased CO2 and – the true irony – global warming. I seriously doubt many sceptics would call that junk science.

            But there is plenty of evidence that some of it is junk science, for example the “adjustments” that magically nearly always increase the apparent warming trend.

            If you can provide a specific quote similar to your examples, then I will be happy to publicly criticise it. Otherwise, please retract that offensive claim.
            Chris

    • CO2 is a good gas, like oxygen. All life on the planet is ultimately based on CO2. If the planets surface is warming because of human activity its because the oceans are reflecting less sunlight due to water pollution.

    • Search for “Wrightstone” on Google news: one hit about his testimony – my post at the FM website.

      That may be because “Wrightstone” did not appear at the hearing and did not submit testimony !!

      His work was referred to by Moreno in his testimony. That probably explains by MSM is not covering it and why your site is the only hit. 😉

      Thanks for this article though, Wrightstone’s analysis of the data is very interesting. It’s a shame we don’t get a clear link to where the decadal totals come from. The generic link to Redlist leads to a pile of alarmist gunk and I don’t find any such numbers.

      • Greg,

        “That probably explains by (sic) MSN is not covering it.”

        Why does that explain why the press isn’t covering this information from the House hearing? If they are skeptical, they could get some experts to give a rebuttal.

        They have given front page attention to lower quality information.

  2. So what caused the surge of extinctions in the 1800s?
    Better knowledge of species and record keeping?
    US civil war?
    End of LIA?

    • That was my thought as well. All of those gentlemen scientists in the 1800’s getting active in the natural sciences and starting to keep proper records.

      As Larry says, the almost complete blackout of contrary data, opinion and research is very damaging. It also looks like a coordinated approach by the media to ensure that only the official narrative is delivered.

      It isn’t working very well though. They had to drop the catastrophic limit of 2 deg to 1.5 deg because reality isn’t cooperating. They also say extinction when they mean just not seen around a particular place any more but is doing pretty well elsewhere.

      They make me angry but hopeful as they are obviously becoming more frantic to peddle their fear.

      • “All of those gentlemen scientists in the 1800’s getting active in the natural sciences”
        Let’s not forget the vogue, indeed the necessary fashion, for both amateur and professional biologists, botanists, zoologists etc to collect specimens, usually dead. In every large museum in the world are displayed or archived vast collections of pressed flowers, stuffed animals, pinned Lepidoptera and blown birds eggs all slowly undergoing entropy. We will never know how many of these were the last viable reproductive members of their species.

        • Probably very few. However there are quite a few species that were collected once by the first european explorers to visit an area. When the next ones showed up, perhaps a few decades later they were all gone….

          • Because of rats probably mostly. Rats have a lot to answer for, but don’t seem to care. Goats, swine, cats all did what they could, but rats are really amazing extinction machines on islands.

          • Aplonis mavornata, Turdus ulietensis, Caloenas maculata, Myadestes woahensis and Eclectus infectus are cases that immediately come to mind. There are more.

        • The original penguin (pingiunus impennis) was finally killed off by specimen hunters

    • From the article, “It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).”

      • DocSiders
        Not just gunpowder. Dynamite was used to kill Passenger Pigeons roosting in trees. They were put in barrels and shipped by rail to major Eastern cities to be served as squab. Market hunting has had a disproportionate impact on the population of game species, coincident with the population growth, expansion of railroads, and urbanization. Killing bison for their tongues would not have been practical without rail lines.

    • @Gary D.

      FTFA: ” It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).”

    • Gary D,

      “So what caused the surge of extinctions in the 1800s?”

      Wrightstone briefly explained that.

      ” It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).”

      Rats, goats, dogs, rabbits, etc. These were destructive alien invaders to the countless island ecologies visited by western explorers and settlers. War of the Worlds’like invasions to them, but without the happy ending.

      • Larry Kummer …
        Further to your thesis citing, rats, goats, dogs etc. as probable domestic invaders of pristine wilderness locations, you failed to mention the PIG, used by all navies as food for their sailors and regularly kept them aboard as livestock. Feral pigs, an omnivore, are capable of destroying both plant and animal life. On islands they have altered entire ecologies. In the American South West they’re considered vermin.

        • Not only did they keep the animals on board ship, but the British navy (amongst others) had a deliberate policy of releasing a small number of goats and/or pigs into island habitats. The hope was that the population would increase and would supply fresh meat and live animals to future visiting ships.

      • Also weasels and ferrets.

        And the introduction of food animals on small uninhabited islands was probably mostly intended to help shipwrecked sailors. One must remember that there is hardly a single island in the Southern Ocean that has not seen several shipwrecks. Sailing ships habitually sailed in “the roaring forties” to take advantage of the strong and reliable west wind. However the bad weather there also made astronomical navigation chancy and an amazing number of ships were wrecked on small uninhabited islands in the nineteenth century.

    • It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).

      In the late 1800s, world trade increased a lot. link

      • so did the ability to buy furcoats from rarer animals and also the millinery trade using plumage of “exotic” species have a huge impact. victorian times were when fashion really took off.

        meanwhile in us we still have idiots having hissy fits over anyone in a fur coat…even if its doing GOOD by using trapped feral bunny skins

    • Mainly the increased contact and population of previously isolated islands like New Zealand and Australia. The arrival of rats, goats, etc. drove a lot of species extinct then.

    • The biggest cause of extinctions is humans bringing cats with them to new Islands and territories. Cats are really good hunters

      • Rhys R.,
        I agree, but:
        Rats, mice, and snakes are greater in number,
        and eat eggs.
        Cats kill rats, mice, and snakes.
        Hmm?

      • Rats are actually worse. Even the smallish Polynesian Rat Rattus exulans. And Ship Rats and Norway Rats are much worse.

        For example the famous Dodo was almost certainly exterminated by rats predating their eggs. They went extinct long before humans penetrated inland on Mauritius. And no european ever saw a snake on Mauritius. They only survived on small outlying rat-free islands.

    • Probably mostly availability bias. There were many species we don’t even know about that went extinct before this time, species that we didn’t even know existed. We have a lot more information about current and recent historical species, and thus when one goes extinct we know about it.

      • I won’t believe it until I see some bodies. Everyone is telling me things are dying everywhere but show no pictures and no bodies. It is like the phantom island of floating plastic in the pacific, if it is there, where are the pictures? If, as they say, it is the size of manhattan I should be able to see it on Google earth but it isn’t and I can’t. The only floating garbage pictures I’ve seen are in far east harbours.

    • “So what caused the surge of extinctions in the 1800s?”

      As briefly mentioned in the article, one good guess is the increase in travel and exploration around that time led to the spread (both intentional and unintended) of invasive species.

    • @Gary D.
      “So what caused the surge of extinctions in the 1800s?”

      In the short term, it is hard to see a common theme. But in the long term I think we can see that Nature tends to reinvent the animal kingdom every 100 million years or so. 200 million years ago there were no mammals, but dinosaurs were all over the world. Now mammals rule the world and dinosaurs are gone (except for those cute little ones with feathers).

      I think the common theme (asteroids notwithstanding) is the evolution of the pallium, that clump of neurons found in all vertebrates which “enlivens” the organism, by integrating sensory, motor and associative functions.

      With the arrival of mammals, the pallium acquired a new layer called the cerebral cortex, endowing most mammals with higher powers of perception, thought and memory.

      Lastly, in some higher order mammals, such as primates and dolphins, the outer layer of the cerebral cortex is called the neocortex, which provide even higher powers of reasoning, language and consciousness. In humans, these powers encompass what we call “modern technology”, and includes the ability to design and launch spacecraft which can carry humans to other planets.

      Now it is widely accepted by all geneticists (ok, maybe only 97%) that these enhancements to the pallium were accomplished under the gene-centric principle of “survival of the fittest”, which states (in my words) that random mutations will cause genetic damage in certain individual mammals. So if this damage does not cause reproductive failure, then the succeeding generations of those genetically damaged mammals will be called the “fittest”. But only if they manage to survive, otherwise they are called the “extinct”.

      Mammals socialize. More or less. Some mammals find their neighbor mammals so annoying that they decide to move to a far off place which is less annoying. I’m sure this is what motivated men to join the crew of Christopher Columbus, Ernest Shackleton and other early terrestrial explorers.

      But some of us mammals still find ourselves annoyed by our mammalian neighbors. Unfortunately these latest annoying mammals have somehow taken over most of the earth, so there are not anymore “far off” places to move to.

      I’m sure the first Homo Sapiens who evolved 50,000 years had no idea what a “spaceship” was, or that they possessed brains big enough to build spaceships, or even that many millennia in the future they would discover far off, extra-terrestrial places, free of those annoying mammalian neighbors, and want to move there. To become the “fittest” of their kind.

      • @MOD
        Looks like I messed up the terminating angle-bracket on “neocortex”. Can you fix? Tnx

      • [Fixed it myself, plus a few typos]
        @Gary D.
        “So what caused the surge of extinctions in the 1800s?”

        In the short term, it is hard to see a common theme. But in the long term I think we can see that Nature tends to reinvent the animal kingdom every 100 million years or so. 200 million years ago there were no mammals, but dinosaurs were all over the world. Now mammals rule the world and dinosaurs are gone (except for those cute little ones with feathers).

        I think the common theme (asteroids notwithstanding) is the evolution of the pallium, that clump of neurons found in all vertebrates which “enlivens” the organism by integrating sensory, motor and associative functions.

        With the arrival of mammals, the pallium acquired a new layer called the cerebral cortex, endowing most mammals with higher powers of perception, thought and memory.

        Lastly, in some higher order mammals such as primates and dolphins, the outer layer of the cerebral cortex is called the neocortex, which provides even higher powers of reasoning, language and world-view consciousness. In humans, these powers encompass what we call “modern technology”, and includes the ability to design and launch spacecraft which can carry humans to other planets.

        Now it is accepted by all geneticists (ok, maybe only 97%) that these enhancements to the pallium were accomplished under a gene-centric principle called “survival of the fittest”, which states (in my words) that random mutations will cause genetic damage in certain individual mammals. So if this damage does not cause reproductive failure, then the succeeding generations of those genetically damaged mammals will be called the “fittest”. But only if they manage to survive, otherwise they will be called the “extinct”.

        Mammals socialize. More or less. Some mammals find their neighbor mammals so annoying that they decide to move to a far off place which is less annoying. I’m sure this is what motivated men to join the crew of Christopher Columbus, Ernest Shackleton and other early terrestrial explorers.

        But some of us mammals still find ourselves annoyed by some of our mammalian neighbors. Unfortunately these latest annoying mammals have somehow taken over most of the earth, so there are not anymore “far off” places to move to.

        I’m sure that the first Homo Sapiens, who evolved 50,000 years ago, had no idea what a “spaceship” was, nor that they possessed brains big enough to build spaceships, nor even that, many millennia in the future, they would discover far-off, extra-terrestrial places free of annoying neighbors, and that they would want to move there — to become the “fittest” of their kind — that is, to survive.

    • The surge in in extinctions in the 19th Century was caused by the increase in global commerce. Ships began to visit Islands that had been very isolated and had evolved unique ecosystems. The ships carried rats and cats and goats. These were sometimes deliberately and sometimes accidentally loosed on those islands. The result was wholesale changes in ecosystems that took out a lot of Island species. It is not something that can happen again.

      • Unfortunately it can very easily happen again. Read up on the Brown Tree Snake on Guam for example.

    • As any environmental scientist knows, the clinax of the age of Agriculture resulted in certain invasive species – especially on islands, but also in Australia – with powerful consequences for habitat destruction and species decline. In Australia, the horse, the camel, the honey bee, and especially noxious, the rabbit, are pests destroying natural cover and the landscape. The Koala bear is almost extinct. But as with the Panda bear, poor reproductive adaptability may be the greater problem than human agriculture.

  3. We have these silos of schooled people. There is a big problem with calling them experts. There are two kinds of experts. One type has demonstrated performance. That would be engineers, surgeons, airline pilots, chess masters, etc. Their performance is reliable. When an engineer predicts that her bridge design will not fail, she’s right 99.9999% of the time.

    The other kind of expert has a lot of knowledge. That would be university professors and many of the talking heads you see on TV. Yes, they know a lot. On the other hand, their predictions are no more accurate than those that would be generated by a dart throwing chimp. When an economist predicts that his design for the economy will work, he’s wrong most of the time.

    Anyway, we have these silos of schooled people who are commonly called experts. They protect themselves from criticism by noting that the critic is not a member of their silo. They will protest that Wrightstone is a geologist, not an extinction scientist.

    Time after time, we see schooled people making egregious errors in statistics and basic science. When those errors are noted, they drag out the same tired incantation that they always use to deflect criticism. It’s really an ad hominem and it’s pathetic. What’s really required here is a retraction. /rant

    • As an engineer, my thinking is the complete opposite of climate alarmists. I actively seek out skeptics. I’ll give you all the data, drawings, calculations, etc. that I have with the hope that you can find something wrong that I can fix.

      And then we test and test and test. The end results might have a few minor flaws but these are clearly indicated and it’s up to the user to acknowledge them. E.g., most of the time, the shortcomings do not matter to the overall operation of the whatever system. Devices like cars break down once and awhile. To make them perfect would be to make them cost prohibitive.

      The recent 737 Max aircraft crashes are quite distressing to us engineers. Aircraft engineering is probably the most stringent in the world. The testing that new aircraft (including upgrades) undergo is mind-boggling. And this is completely my speculation, it makes me think the system/software that likely caused those crashes had an unusual approval process (e.g. some sort of political aspect directly against engineering advice).

      • Here’s my problem with the 737 Max issue. There were 130 of those planes in service for over a year. They made 41,000 flights and logged 118,000 hours in the air in that time.

        During all that time, I don’t recall any media reports of terrified passengers describing the plane nosediving toward the ground right after takeoff. No incidents. No crashes. Until there were, in Africa.

        Kinda puzzling. I wonder how many people who say now they’ll never fly a 737 Max already have, without knowing it.

        • My problem with the 737 max events is that Boeing was charging airlines for two safety updates which MIGHT have detected erroneous sensor readings and prevented the crashes.

          “I’m very sorry, Mr Smith, that your car caught fire in your garage and burnt your house down killing your family. If only you had purchased our safety update when we offered it to you ….. ”

          Yes, I know that some car safety features (lane detection, automatic braking etc) are sometimes sold as add-ons, but the fundamentals which are going to save your life (seat belts, ABS, ASC etc) are not. If a manufacturer is subject to a safety recall there will not be a charge for remedial work. Something has gone very wrong with aviation industry oversight, probably not an engineering decision, but taken in a boardroom, out of sight of the regulatory authority.

  4. “The mass extinction lie exposed: life is thriving“

    Wildlife is not thriving. It is under assault and losing ground all the time.

    • Javier,

      “Wildlife is not thriving. It is under assault and losing ground all the time.”

      I thought about adding a note to that in this post. But the subject is too complex, with varying pictures over different time horizons. Your summary is a cartoon.

      As Wrightstone’s graphs show, the extinction wave (mostly on islands) is slowing. Plus, efforts to protect endangered animals are increasing in number and funding. Water and air pollution is slowing in the developed nations. Many animals are recovering, even being re-introduced to areas from which they were exterminated.

      But in the Third World, increasing populations and industrialization are destroying entire areas. Loss of habitats plus unregulated emissions of water and air pollution.

      How this will play out in the next 30-50 years is unclear. After that, we will have vastly cleaner tech (likely but not certain) and the start of what’s probably a long population crash. So there is good reason to hope that the world – both us and wildlife – will be in far better shape by 2100.

      • But not from CO2, Javier.

        Certainly not. More CO2 is good for wildlife in general. And neither from climate change. The modest warming of the past 300 years benefits more species than it harms. There is a gradient in biodiversity that increases from the poles to the tropics and most experts believe it is associated to the temperature gradient.

        But the problem remains that we are not good stewards of wildlife. The main problem for a lot of species is us.

        • Please don’t include me in your “we are not good stewards of wildlife,” Javier.

          The Western World spends copious amounts of money, does research, writes laws, etc. for protection of wildlife. That said, however, there is no “no impact” path for humankind; we simply mitigate what harm we are able.

          • I must include you, Dave Fair. The Western World also ships lots of its trash to Third World countries where it ends up polluting and contaminating the land, the rivers and the oceans. We do it because it is cheaper than cleaning our mess at home and we pretend to ignore what happens to our trash, as if it went to a different planet. So while protecting wildlife in our countries, we are harming wildlife in other places as if it was not our problem.

          • Actually, it was supposed to be recycled, Javier. Anybody can build a landfill.

            The polluting Asian countries are just bandits. Don’t blame it on the West.

          • Like we don’t know what they do with our trash and still wash our hands. That’s called hypocrisy and shows we really don’t care about the planet, hence not good stewards.

          • For the last time, Javier: Free, Capitalistic societies clean up after themselves; maybe just not as fast as socialist activists want. You would not want to live under socialist thought and behavior control.

        • “The main problem for a lot of species is us.” Including us. The old Pogo line from the first Earth Day. “We have met the enemy and he is us”. There is the obvious problem of us crowding out the wildlife and the less obvious problem that sometimes the things we do to help just make it worse. We can’t help ourselves, we have to try to fix things, even if the fix doesn’t work. But however bad we are, we are not at all in the same league as the first five extinction events.

          Going back to land use, this series of graphics is very interesting. What is the land of the US used for, with percentages and areas for each category?
          Here’s How America Uses Its Land
          https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/

          Livestock get the most land. Don’t tell AOC; she might make us all Vegan.

          • I think she has already noticed. That is why she wants to get rid of cows, even it she has not worked out which end the GHG comes from.

    • In some places it is under assault, in other places it isn’t.
      Even in those places where it is interfacing with man, most species are doing well.

        • Javier, please name the experts that say most species are not doing just fine. Some impact by Man does not threatened make.

          • The Impact of Humanity on the Biosphere. Over the relatively short span of human history, major innovations, such as the domesti- cation of livestock, adoption of an agricultural lifestyle, and the Industrial Revolution, have increased the human population dramatically and have had radical ecological effects. Today, the biomass of humans (≈0.06 Gt C; SI Appendix, Table S9) and the biomass of livestock (≈0.1 Gt C, dominated by cattle and pigs; SI Appendix, Table S10) far surpass that of wild mammals, which has a mass of ≈0.007 Gt C (SI Appendix, Table S11). This is also true for wild and domesticated birds, for which the biomass of domesticated poultry (≈0.005 Gt C, dominated by chickens) is about threefold higher than that of wild birds (≈0.002 Gt C; SI Appendix, Table S12). In fact, humans and livestock outweigh all vertebrates combined, with the exception of fish. Even though humans and livestock dominate mammalian biomass, they are a small fraction of the ≈2 Gt C of animal biomass, which primarily comprises arthropods (≈1 Gt C; SI Appendix, Tables S13 and S14), followed by fish (≈0.7 Gt C; SI Appendix, Table S15). Comparison of current global biomass with prehuman values (which are very difficult to estimate accurately) demonstrates the impact of humans on the biosphere. Human activity contributed to the Quaternary Megafauna Extinction between ≈50,000 and ≈3,000 y ago, which claimed around half of the large (>40 kg) land mammal species (30). The biomass of wild land mammals before this period of extinction was estimated by Barnosky (30) at ≈0.02 Gt C. The present-day biomass of wild land mammals is approximately sevenfold lower, at ≈0.003 Gt C (SI Appendix, Pre- human Biomass and Chordates and Table S11). Intense whaling and exploitation of other marine mammals have resulted in an approximately fivefold decrease in marine mammal global bio- mass [from ≈0.02 Gt C to ≈0.004 Gt C (31)]. While the total biomass of wild mammals (both marine and terrestrial) de- creased by a factor of ≈6, the total mass of mammals increased approximately fourfold from ≈0.04 Gt C to ≈0.17 Gt C due to the vast increase of the biomass of humanity and its associated livestock. Human activity has also impacted global vertebrate stocks, with a decrease of ≈0.1 Gt C in total fish biomass, an amount similar to the remaining total biomass in fisheries and to the gain in the total mammalian biomass due to livestock hus- bandry (SI Appendix, Pre-human Biomass). The impact of human civilization on global biomass has not been limited to mammals but has also profoundly reshaped the total quantity of carbon sequestered by plants. A worldwide census of the total number of trees (32), as well as a comparison of actual and potential plant biomass (17), has suggested that the total plant biomass (and, by proxy, the total biomass on Earth) has declined approximately twofold relative to its value before the start of human civilization. The total biomass of crops cultivated by humans is estimated at ≈10 Gt C, which accounts for only ≈2% of the extant total plant biomass (17).

            Bar-On, Y.M., Phillips, R. and Milo, R., 2018. The biomass distribution on Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(25), pp.6506-6511.
            https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/25/6506.full.pdf

          • You did not list any threatened species, Javier. Biomass is an interesting, but irrelevant metric; fewer doesn’t mean threatened.

            Most species are not threatened. I guess, however, “doing just fine” is an emotionally laden term. And “threatened” can mean whatever you want.

            To be flippant: The world is just going to have to get used to Man. Rich peoples can afford to be nice.

          • You did not list any threatened species, Javier.

            I don’t have to. IUCN red list does that. Check it.

          • Javier, does the IUCN Red List show that most earth species are threatened?

            Indisputably, the various impacts of Man has not resulted in a majority of species being threatened. The majority are doing OK, some even rather well. Only wealthy, capitalistic Western democracies can afford, or even want, to help those in distress.

            You really do need to get a grip, Javier; the world is not collapsing. You have said nothing that warrants the fundamental alteration of our society, economy and energy systems as proposed by the watermelons.

          • You keep raising strawman arguments. MarkW said most species are doing well. How can that be if wild life has decreased by several fold? Would you say the human species was doing well after losing 80% of its numbers?

            The experts know what is the situation. You appear to know nothing about the issue and just have an uninformed opinion. Opinions have no value. The evidence is absolutely clear that wildlife is under assault and losing ground all the time. The evidence is published in the scientific literature of which you have no knowledge. I have no time for political unfounded opinions about a scientific issue.

  5. Greg is doing a great job countering the Enviromarxist agenda. Too bad AAPG won’t follow his lead. They published an interview with Greg in the Explorer last year, and they had to apologize to all of the snowflakes they offended (mostly young, academic and/or Euro AAPG members).

  6. If you want to keep an animal off the endangered species list … put it on the menu.

    • Craig W,
      I’d add “Make it legal and economic for farmers and ranchers to raise the endangered species and profit from the sale of the breeding animals, as well as the fur/feathers, hide, and meat from surplus older or genetically inferior animals.”

    • “If you want to keep an animal off the endangered species list…”

      …don’t destroy its habitat.
      Biodiversity hotspots are chiefly tropical regions that feature high concentrations of endemic species and, when all hotspots are combined, may contain over half of the world’s terrestrial species. These hotspots are suffering from habitat loss and destruction.
      The current rate of deforestation is 160,000 square kilometers per year, which equates to a loss of approximately 1% of original forest habitat each year.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_destruction

      • The only things to counter that are economic development and declining birthrates. Everything else is socialist sustainable development fantasizing and SJW horse shit.

        Free market capitalism continues to be the only way to raise living standards such that the world can afford wildlife preservation.

          • Explain to me how well socialist, planned economies have done in wildlife preservation, Loydo.

            Armchair generals such as yourself can pick all the nits they want, but it is stable, law-based economic systems that provide for the advancement of people. Socialism always devolves into unrestrained corruption and lawlessness by the elites. Historically, all socialist systems have failed, usually killing millions in the process.

            There is no perfection in this life, despite the whining of environmental purists.

            In the future, Loydo, please fully identify yourself. Your arguments may carry more weight.

  7. I shouldn’t but it still amazes me that otherwise reasonable and normally open minded people (including some of my friends) constantly believe these type of doomsday prophecies – why, why, why!! Doesn’t history clearly show that ALL doomsday prophecies whether it concerns the planet , man, fauna or flora just never occurred!! and almost certainly won’t.

    What is is going on?

    • “What is is going on?”

      That right there is THE sign of the coming apocalypse.

    • Patrick,

      “What is going on?”

      Historians will answer that generations from now. But here is one perspective on your question.

      Straight to Hell: Millenarianism and the Green New Deal” by David Adler at Quillette. Conclusion:

      “With the Green New Deal, secular apocalyptic ideas have entered the mainstream of American politics. Millenarian thinking has always been present in the US, but it was avowedly religious. Today, those warning of the imminent Apocalypse are not just cranks in sandwich boards on street corners; they are seated in Congress. The radical millenarian ideas that flourished in the Middle Ages or unstable European societies in the early twentieth century can now be found at the heart of the Democratic party.

      “Can the radical millenarian vision offer salvation for American current darkness? AOC says, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” But we have seen what secular apocalyptic movements look like. Not one of them has delivered on their prophecies of a Third Age and their promises of a paradise on earth. They have all reliably delivered something else: visions that, if implemented, invariably take us straight to Hell.”

    • Patrick,

      Here is a different answer to “what is going on?” We are a fearful people. Perhaps we enjoy being fearful. Exploring this quickly takes us into deep water. Here are two of my posts about this.

      America suffers from the Crisis Crisis, making us weak – About Peter Moore’s great article: “The Crisis Crisis” in Playboy, March 1987.

      We love scary stories. The reason why reveals a secret about America.

      See the other posts about fear: https://fabiusmaximus.com/tag/fear/

  8. The UN report considers (with no proof) that there exist 8 million species of plants/animals in the world (of which we know just 1.7 million). Supposing that it took 1 million years for a given species to split their gene pool and become 2 different species (it takes probably much less, especially for insects), that would mean that we get 8 new species in the world every year. Which is a greater ammount than the number of species that we know are going extinct. Biodiversity is on the rise! lol

  9. How many new species are created each year? Unless CO2 has a massive genetic effect, new species will continue to proliferate. Evolution is relentless.

  10. The facts in the “1 million species at risk” are the following:
    * 27000 species at some level of risk (which includes “Least Concern”) in the Red List, which ammount to approximately 25% of the total ammount of species covered by the Red List.

    …and that’s it. From there, the ammount of unproven assumptions:
    * The risk assessment of the around 100.000 species in the Red List can be extrapolated to the other more than 300.000 non-insect species not covered by the Red List because their threat level has never been assessed.
    * The same risk assessment can be extrapolated to the other 2 million of non-insect species that are believed to exist despite we have no proof, zero, of their existence.
    * 10% of the known insect species (1 million) are in risk of extinction, despite we have never ever assessed the level of risk of any one single species of insect.
    * The above 10% can be extrapolated to the other more than 4 million species of insects that are believed to exist despite we have no proof of their existence.

    And tadaaaaa… we have a million species at risk.

    The good thing is that, once all of them have gone extinct (never, but this is a whatif scenario), with the same assumtions we will have an amazing list of 7 million species which will be perfectly safe. This is more than 5 times the ammount of species of whose existence we have any notice currently. Our known biodiversity is going to expand incredibly.

  11. From the article: “Also, according to the IPBES report, we can expect 25,000 to 30,000 extinctions per year, yet the average over the last 40 years is about 2 species annually. That means the rate would have to multiply by 12,500 to 15,000 to reach the dizzying heights predicted.”

    Well, that ought to be easy to prove or disprove. Just wait a year and then the IPBES can give us a list of all the species that have gone extinct during that time. And/or they could give us a list of the 25,000 species that went extinct last year. That might speed things up as to demonstrating the validity of these claims.

    • The problem is they invented 3.5 million new species for the report, they can easily extinct 20,000 of those a year.

      • Nope, they say there are 8.1 million, and we only know 1.7 million, so they have invented 6.4 million, and they already know how much at risk they are, go figure.

  12. Extinction causes were (and still are) primarily 1) over hunting, 2) introduced species to islands wiping out native fauna, and 3) habitat loss. People argue the latter is being accelerated by climate change, but that is simply not true. Over foresting and clearing and opening land up to #1 (hunting) is an issue in places like Africa and Asia and parts of South America. It is far less of a problem in Europe and North America, where the trend is going the opposite direction on habitat preservation.

    If we want to preserve species, preserve habitat in sufficient sizes to allow species to flourish and curtail poaching and over hunting.

    • Evi L B.,

      RE: over hunting

      In the USA this was recognized as an issue long ago and resulted in several actions.
      One, known as the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 provides money to states for fish and wildlife agencies. Funds are derived from an 11 percent Federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10 percent tax on handguns.
      There is also an Act, commonly referred to as the Dingell-Johnson Act (1950) directed more at fish restoration programs.

      There is an introduction here, via Connecticut, with links:
      https://www.ct.gov/deep////////////cwp/view.asp?q=326164

  13. Gregory Wrightstone,
    Thanks for an instructive rebuttal of these fraudulent extinction claims!

  14. A couple of terms that should be used widely and often:

    industrial scale solar factories

    immense wind factories

  15. There is another big problem with the IUCN statistics: they start in 1500. This is a legacy of the old “noble savage” ideology according to which only modern europeans ever exterminate anything. However it would be more correct to say that only modern europeans are interested enough in nature to notice extinctions.

    Palaeontology actually shows that in most parts of the world more extinctions occurred before than after 1500, though we can’t date them well enough to make pretty charts.

  16. The “Figure 3” above is a scientific crock. One of my brothers tried it on me some time ago.

    Look carefully: the background extinction rate is from the fossil record. It has a resolution of about 1 million years. One can’t see any structure of shorter term extinction events, at all. Short term rates of extinction are entirely invisible.

    The recent articles making these claims on the grounds of that resolution were Ceballos, et al., (2015) Sci. Adv. 1:e1400253 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253 and C.N Johnson, et al., (2017) Science 356, 270–275 doi: 10.1126/science.aam9317.

    They’re comparing that extremely low-resolution data with the modern record that has a resolution of about 1 year.

    It’s like comparing the average temperature across 1 million days with the rise and fall in a single day.

    One might think think that scientists publishing in self-acknowledged top science journals would know you can’t compare a very high resolution rate with a very low resolution rate and use that as the basis for a conclusion of relative rates.

    One might think the top-science reviewers would object. One might suppose that the top journals’ top editors would understand and apply science basics in their judgments.

    But such expectations are dashed. Yet again.

    The comparison in “Figure 3” is a parody of bad science. It’s yet one more example of the incompetence on which climate alarmism battens.

    • Let’s see if this study and/or others using the same data/analyses are reflected in the upcoming UN IPCC AR6. Any bets?

    • On top of that… Extinctions in the fossil record are generally resolved at the genus level and above.. and mostly among critters that are readily fossilized.

      “So you can ask, ‘Okay, well, how many geographically widespread, abundant, durably skeletonized marine taxa have gone extinct thus far?’ And the answer is, pretty close to zero,” Erwin pointed out. In fact, of the best-assessed groups of modern animals—like stony corals, amphibians, birds and mammals—somewhere between 0 and 1 percent of species have gone extinct in recent human history. By comparison, the hellscape of End-Permian mass extinction claimed upwards of 90 percent of all species on earth.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/17/paleo-expert-earth-is-not-in-the-midst-of-a-sixth-mass-extinction/

    • Just about the only animals where the fossil record is good enough to judge “normal” extinction rates are Pleistocene Holarctic Mammals (though we know that even in this case there are cryptic species, and species with extremely sparse fossil record). Among these a species “lifetime” of about 0.5 million years, i e a species extinction rate of 2 species per year and million species is a reasonable figure.

      As for other animals and other areas, nobody knows. I think extinction rates for birds might be lower, since they seem to evolve more slowly than mammals, at least osteologically, but on the other hand most small birds are not distinguishable at species level as fossils, so the data are very shaky.

      Most fossils, as David notes, are not really determinable at species level, and remember that there are whole phyla that have no fossil record, so for something like 99.9 % of those 8 million species we really have no data at all to determine “normal” extinction rates (which in any case are probably very abnormal during this extremely unstable glacal epoch).

    • @Pat Frank: Exactly correct, comparing the fossil record’s background extinction rate to modern observations demonstrates a political, rather than scientific, intent. There is no common species concept to compare between the two measurements. It’s not even close to an apples to apples comparison; it’s more like apples to Christmas ornaments.

      Another consideration is that even if 99% of biological species were to go extinct, we would not achieve extinction rates comparable to the fossil record’s mass extinction events until and unless those extinctions extended to higher taxonomic levels.

  17. Let me first say that my article and exposure of the report is concerning the “Summary for Policy-Makers” that was released. There are many hundreds (thousands) of technical studies that were quoted, most of which, I assume are well-researched pieces of true science, but we don’t know because the detail has not been released. The “Summary” was written by the political class, intent on advancing their of man-made catastrophic warming.

    When I first dove into this abuse of science that the UN released, I was stunned at the arrogance and disregard for science on display. That they would manipulate the data to fit their preconceived notion of man-made warming-driven catastrophe, I suppose, should be expected. But they actually thought that they could get away with such blatant manipulation of the facts is stunning.

    This is worse than the National Climate Assessment report late in 2018 that cherry picked fire data of “Area Burned” and then ignored the voluminous data showing a worldwide decline in forest fires. https://inconvenientfacts.xyz/blog/f/new-climate-report%E2%80%99s-alarmism-undercut-by-wildfire-facts

    I am confident that we will look back in the coming decades and be ashamed of the nearly complete dismembering of the scientific process.

    • Gregory: Did you get the IUCN data from one site, or do you do what i have to; trawl through every frickin year?

      If you do have one site, please share!

    • Gregory,
      As a geologist I am also horrified at how our profession, as well as the larger scientific one, is allowing its integrity to be rolled over by political manipulation. Until recently I have been pretty passive about this as I was sure that the whole climate alarmism would blow over soon as just another fad, but I am now truly concerned at the state we are now in. I feel it is the responsibility of all us scientists to strongly voice our concerns as these political waves are creating real har to us as a global society.

      As an independent contractor, I work across many industrial sectors and as such do not get holtered by employee pressures to tow the line so I can freely voice my opinion but it is those individuals that cannot due to these pressures that need to find a way of expressing themselves.
      Keep up the great work

  18. In the Editor’s afterword on this site the following line is quoted from the Fabius Maxumus website: “See the pdf of Wrightstone’s testimony at the May 22 hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee about the new Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.” Both the text and the hyperlink are erroneous.
    However, the current version on Fabius Maxumus website reads: ” See the pdf of Marc Morano’s testimony about Wrightstone’s work at the May 22 hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee ….” and it has the proper link now.

  19. The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) annoys me. Policy makers should know the details.

    I suspect the discovery of new species is substantially higher than the extinction of species.

    • Gamecock,

      “The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) annoys me. Policy makers should know the details.”

      The Working Group I report for AR5 is 1,552 pages. It is extremely technical. It is not realistic to expect policy-makers to read or understand it. Based on my experience working with senior managers of investment firms, I doubt that many read the 33 page SPM. Rather one or two of their staff read the SPM.

      They get several such documents (25 – 50+ pages of analysis) per week. In addition to their countless briefing sheets and reading the general news.

      • So people who hardly know anything set policy.

        I guess my real complaint is ‘policymakers.’ Who are they, and why we need them? Autocratic central planners? Rules should be made by legislatures, not ‘policymakers.’

        • Gamecock,

          “So people who hardly know anything set policy”

          That’s a silly way to characterize them. Policy is set by generalists, who have a broad view, not technical experts. IMO that’s a good thing.

          “Rules should be made by legislatures, not policy-makers”

          Policy-makers is a broad term including elected officials of both the Executive and Legislative branches, plus appointed officials with specific authority granted them by elected officials.

    • Gamecock

      SPM is for creating / supporting panic. Everything must be Panic First.

      It´s the name of the game.

    • Many are asking where to find the data that I used.
      Go to the IUCN Red List site and select extinct near the bottom https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?redListCategory=ex You can select your criteria.
      There are two lists available, one is for taxonomy so you can sort by Class, but it does not list Estimated Extinction Date EED
      The other provides EED but not Class. So I cross referenced them to be able to graph each such as Reptiles, Fish, etc. I did a lot more than presented in the article.

      Another good site for extinction data is the Committee on Recently Extinct Organisms CREO here but they only provide data for mammals and fish. http://creo.amnh.org/

  20. The main cause of pressure on the biosphere is habitat loss due to conversion of land to agriculture and grazing. As agriculture productivity continues to rise, this will allow more and more land to be returned to nature. Last century, increasing yields were overwhelmed by a human population that quadrupled, and wanted to eat more and more meat which is requires even more inputs. But rising yields have allowed total farmland to remain steady around the world for last few decades, while substantial land in North America and Europe have been taken out of production. In this century, if yields continue to rise at a modest 1-2% per year, we will be able to move even more land back to nature. The extinction pressure was at its peak 30 years ago and has already peaked.
    I disagree that there is some land area issue with solar and wind. Solar panels generate 100 watts per meter square, a square km is 100 megawatts, an terawatt of solar would take up 10,000 square km, a grid 100 km on a side, that would provide enough power for the US. Plenty of room in the Earth’s deserts. Wind power is even less of a land issue, you can put wind farms on grazing lands or other marginal lands and it has no real consequence to land use below.

  21. [MODS]

    See the pdf of Wrightstone’s testimony

    This links to “Malcom’s” testimony, not Wrightstone’s testimony. In fact Wrightstone did not even appear at the hearing !

    Presumably this should link to Moreno’s testimony, where he refers to Wrightstone’s work.
    https://naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Morano%20Testimony%20WOW%20Ov%20Hrg%2005.22.19.pdf

    This may reflect an earlier error by Larry Hamlin, but the Maximus site does not currently contain this error.

  22. Another hockey stick graph as useless as the last one and it will disappear even quicker.

  23. Another useless hockey stick graph as useless as the last one and it will disappear even quicker.

  24. Wrightstone may look a bit more credible on species and extinction thereof if he did not confuse Colomba livia ( homing pidgoens used as carrier pidgeons ) and the passenger pidgeon.

    It was the passenger pidgeon which went extinct.

    In fact carrier pidgeon is a ‘job’ like guide dog, not species. The species is Colomba livia and is doing fine.

    • Greg,

      Thanks for catching that. I’ll mention this to him.

      Those of us doing this gig on the side do not have access to the proofing resources of the establishment – who are paid for it. A certain level of errors are inevitable. The best we can do is limit them to minor details.

      These take incredible amounts of time and effort to produce – mostly thanklessly.

      • Yet the establishment continue to produce peer-reviewed, demonstrably false reports. Santer instantly comes to mind.

      • Arrrrgggghhhh… Yes that was an error. Don’t know how I didn’t catch that. Passenger pigeon is extinct.

  25. Extinction averted on Lundy Island (in the UK)

    The seabird population on Lundy has tripled in just 15 years thanks to the eradication of the island’s rats. The rocky island off Devon in the Bristol Channel has seen a dramatic increase in the the bird population. The RSPB said the population of seabirds on Lundy has tripled to 21,000 birds, with the Manx shearwater population growing from 297 pairs to 5,504 and puffins increasing from just 13 birds to 375.
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/lundy-seabird-population-triples-in-15-years-following-eradication-of-rats/ar-AABZVPz
    and
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/28/seabird-numbers-soar-15-year-rspb-conservation-project-kill/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    So by removing the rat population from the island then the bird population recovers. How much difference would this make if all invasive (and often foreign) species were eradicated from all location where humans introduced them?

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Still the glories of Lundy Island can’t probably last.
    Maybe it’s a good time to put a few industrial wind generators on the island, after all it’s often very windy there.

    • Tom,

      Thanks for mentioning that – putting some good news in this thread.

      Lundy Island is a success story of this global program to fight invasive species. Many islands have similar programs. Over time these might have large effects. Here is a paper about their potential.

      “Globally important islands where eradicating invasive mammals will benefit highly threatened vertebrates”

      https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0212128

    • Rat eradication has been done on a large scale on islands around New Zealand (and around Mauritius) with great success. However eradicating invasive species also has risks. Eradicating cats for example can result in a rat explosion that does more damage than the cats did.
      The Australians have even managed to eradicate both cats, rats and rabbits from Macquarie island which is impressive considering how large and rugged the island is. The rabbits don’t predate birds, but they had quite literally eaten the island bare. I’ve seen it since I visited the island just as the eradication started.

  26. Where I can find source data for graph “All Extinct specises” ?

    2000’s seems bit low.

    • Its not ALL the 2000s, its 2000-2009. As far as I can tell, you need to look at each year at the IUCN site.

      This site gives the changes in status for every year, but only from 2006-2009 (to cover the decade of Wrightstone’s chart). There are ZERO net extinctions 2006-2009 (look in Tables 7). I count 4 that moved from Extinct to non-extinct, and 4 that went the other way.

      Remember, these are DOCUMENTED extinctions only, using the IUCN criteria.

      If you can find earlier years, let us know.

      https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/summary-statistics#Summary%20Tables

  27. Gregory,
    As a geologist I am also horrified at how our profession, as well as the larger scientific one, is allowing its integrity to be rolled over by political manipulation. Until recently I have been pretty passive about this as I was sure that the whole climate alarmism would blow over soon as just another fad, but I am now truly concerned at the state we are now in. I feel it is the responsibility of all us scientists to strongly voice our concerns as these political waves are creating real har to us as a global society.

    As an independent contractor, I work across many industrial sectors and as such do not get holtered by employee pressures to tow the line so I can freely voice my opinion but it is those individuals that cannot due to these pressures that need to find a way of expressing themselves.
    Keep up the great work

  28. This incident – Wrightstone’s rebuttal to the mass extinction hysteria – shows key aspects of our perilous situation.

    As yet not a single journalist has contacted Wrightstone to follow-up his work presented at the House hearing. It is a blackout of information that would ruin the narrative. If they thought his work could be easily disproven, they would cite some experts who did so. That would be an easy way to discredit skeptics. But they can’t, so they don’t.

    More broadly, all severe weather has become extreme weather, becoming evidence of climate change, which is evidence of AGW, which proves the threat of CAGW. Q.E.D.

    Today pouring facts on alarmists’ fictions is necessary, but seems futile. The people affected by alarmists’ stories probably won’t see rebuttals – and won’t believe what they see.

  29. There are 39 million estimated species on the Earth. What is the natural extinction rate? What is the natural species creation rate?

    In order to determine if there is any abnormal extinction going on we’d need to understand this.

    We aren’t sure how many species really exist. The above is just an estimate. We’ve actually only documented 1 million or so species. These are guesses just as the data in all the charts are guesses.

    Frequently when a species has been called extinct it turns out some years later they find it hasn’t.

    Like a lot of data we just don’t have the information to make conclusions. It points out how little we actually know about our planet, life, the history of it.

    Certainly we should be cautious and the fact there is declining known extinction is a good sign that we are actually paying attention.

    Surely we need to know more so calling it a ball or a strike now is impossible.

    All we know is that no matter what we do nature changes and nothing stays the same. How much we have to do with the change and whether that change is good or bad is unknown.

  30. Couldn’t see where and how Mr Wrightstone obtained the data for the graphs of extinct species.
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/ web site quoted does not show this data – where and how was the data obtained please?
    Many thanks

    • IUCN site has a search function at the bottom of the page under extinct species. You can get two charts, one by taxonomy, the other by extinction date.

      • Thanks for your reply Gregory – unfortunately there is no “extinct species” link listed at the bottom of the iucnredlist.org page that I could see. I tried the search box at the top and entered “extinct species” and no (zero) information is found. I also tried other links at the bottom of the page that could be related with no success. I then wondered whether iucnredlist.org had removed the extinct species link, so went to web.archive.org and searched through older site versions but could not see any links to “extinct species”. Also tried the site https://www.iucn.org/ site and searched for “extinct species” with no success.
        Would you be able to direct me to the exact url you used for your graphs please?
        Many thanks.

  31. “The IBPES claims there are 8 million species. Yet only 1.8 million species have been identified and named. Thus the IBPES believes there are 6.2 million unidentified and unnamed species.”

    So that’s the game. When no one can find the 6.2 million unidentified and unnamed species, the claim will be that they recently went extinct because of climate change and that it’s worse than we thought!

  32. Sorry first comment was by mistake. This is the one I meant to post.

    I think you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater with this argument. Wildlife is in fact in grave danger of extinction not least because of the wind farms. Deforestation’s another threat. Most who support wind farms also support the forests, while those who oppose wind farms also support all the other forms of destruction.

    Both are wrong incidentally. All destruction is bad and wildlife is caught up in the middle of all this politics.

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