James D. Agresti | President | Just Facts
Contrary to 60 Minutes, the facts are overwhelming that earth isn’t in the midst of an “extinction crisis.”
On 1/1/23, 60 Minutes reported, “A World Wildlife Fund study says that in the past 50 years, the abundance of global wildlife has collapsed 69%.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/earth-mass-extinction-60-minutes-2023-01-01/
The World Wildlife Fund study cited by 60 Minutes is based on its “Living Planet Index.”
Scholars in academic journals have documented that the Living Planet Index (LPI) “does not measure abundance.” Yet, the World Wildlife Fund claims that it does and receives “high media coverage” that makes the “common mistake of interpreting the LPI as measuring abundance loss.”
The claim that the Living Planet Index shows a “mean vertebrate decline of more than 50% since 1970” is “driven by less than 3% of vertebrate populations,” while “no global trend remained across typical populations.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2920-6
A study using the world’s largest database of long-term species abundances found, “Most populations (85%) did not show significant trends in abundance, and those that did were balanced between winners (8%) and losers (7%).” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ele.13242
The figure of “up to 100 times” from Barnosky’s research actually “varied from 8 to 100 times.” https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.1400253
A Cambridge University Press book on biodiversity explains that no “serious” attempt has been made to “judge the reliability” of extinction rates based on fossils because the “uncertainties at each stage of the calculation” would make the effort worthless. Thus, the book states, “Probably no one will be surprised if this estimate is off by a factor of 10 or even 100.” https://www.amazon.com/Biodiversity-Environmental-Philosophy-Introduction-Cambridge-ebook/dp/B000SHMQES
Barnosky’s research counts all “617” vertebrae species that have become extinct or “possibly extinct” since 1500. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.1400253
An academic journal documents that 95% of bird and mammal extinctions since 1500 “were on islands.” Thus, “it is useful to consider islands as a special case” because species have “smaller geographic ranges” and other differences that make them more prone to extinction than continental species. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00856.x
Per the textbook Conservation and Ecology, “The estimates of the background extinction rate” from fossils “derive from the abundant and widespread species that dominate the fossil record. By contrast, the species most likely to become extinct today are rare and local.” https://www.amazon.com/Conservation-Ecology-Living-Earth-Rafferty/dp/1615303073
Per the textbook Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, “A particularly important bias of the fossil record is expressed against organisms that are rare and/or geographically restricted.” https://www.amazon.com/Vertebrate-Paleontology-Evolution-Robert-Carroll/dp/0716718227
A 2011 paper in the journal Diversity and Distributions revealed that “only six continental birds and three continental mammals were recorded in standard databases as going extinct since 1500 compared to 123 bird species and 58 mammal species on islands.” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00856.x
A 2015 paper in the journal Science disclosed that there were “only 15 global extinctions of marine animal species in the past 514 years” and “none in the past five decades.” https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1255641
A paper in the journal Endangered Species Research by an Australian scientist states that certain scientists overstate “the risks of wildlife becoming extinct” by using “deliberate and gross” exaggerations. The paper also states that scientists who designate species as “endangered” are “often beneficiaries” of funding that flows as a result of these designations. Thus, “the potential for self-serving assessments has long been recognized.” http://www.int-res.com/articles/esr2008/6/n006p161.pdf
The scientists who authored the paper in the journal Diversity and Distributions state, “Our results do not support statements or projections by others of grossly elevated extinction rates for continental bird and mammal fauna over the last 500 years compared with background rates.” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00856.x
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter tasked the EPA, State Department, National Science Foundation, and several other federal agencies to produce a “study of the probable changes” to the “world’s population, natural resources, and environment” up through the year 2000. This turned into a herculean effort, involving hundreds of people, including “informal advisors” to the study representing the world’s leading environmental institutions. https://www.justfacts.com/document/global_2000_report_president_carter_1979.pdf#page=4
In 1979, the dream team of scientists released The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S., which stated that “at least 500,000–600,000” species “will be extinguished during the next two decades” under “continued technological progress” and “no departures from present public policy.” https://www.justfacts.com/document/global_2000_report_president_carter_1979.pdf#page=357
In 2004, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported, “At least 27 species are recorded as having become Extinct or Extinct in the Wild during the last 20 years (1984–2004). … For example, eight species of birds are thought to have become Extinct or Extinct in the Wild over the past 20 years, but they are not included, as further research is needed prove the last individual has died.” https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/RL-2004-001.pdf
The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S. states, “How many extinctions are implied by the Global 2000 Study’s forestry projections? An estimate was prepared for the Global 2000 Study by Thomas E. Lovejoy of the World Wildlife Fund.” https://www.justfacts.com/document/global_2000_report_president_carter_1979.pdf#page=353
The 60 Minutes footage from CBS is reproduced under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law for “purposes such as criticism” and “comment” (17 U.S.C. §107). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107Show less
It would be nice if climate change made leftists extinct.
At least it does make them Stink
Especially their stinkin’ thinkin’!
Well, the total estimated number of species of living things on Earth is on the order of one million. That is not a hard count of individual species but just an extrapolation based upon the numbers of identified species. Most of the million species are microbiological species.
So the Jimmah Cahtah admin said more than half of all species in the world would disappear within 21 years.
So where are all those extinct species? At that rate we should be down to no species left at all by 2023. Yet I’m pretty sure that I see lots of species … in fact as I still see all the species that I saw back in 1979.
Yeah, but I really miss that last remaining rat from the microscopic island.
Ah yes the little rat. I read up on him a while ago. Australian ‘scientists’ claimed some distinction as this being the first mmmal to disappear entirely due to climate change. As I recall and I am no expert, this little beast was the sole mammalian inhabitant of this very low lying sand bar in the Torres Strait. Obviosly it could not have evolved there so must have arrived by some means. Driftwood, boat, who knows? It is identical to a thriving species in nearby New Guinea. Distinguished only by some skin folds at the base of its tail. It was declared extinct after some scientists failed to find it on one visit years ago. To the best of my knowledge no one has been back there since. Nobody actually knows how it died out.
Is it really a separate species?
Was it dumped there by accident?
Was it wiped out by birds, disease, Tsumani or starvation? Or human induced sea level rise as claimed.
I know nothing but remain highly sceptical.
Maybe old age and the inability to find a mate?
The strait wasn’t inundated until 8000 years ago.
The skin folds at the base of my tail make me a different species? I just thought I was getting old and out of shape.
How many species went extinct by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai event ?
Willis Eschenbach once posted on WUWT, “Where Are The Corpses?” asking much of the same.
As others below mention, the total number of species is controversial but is far greater than
1 million. Forgive the wiki reference but they list just over 2 million in the current catalog.
Stuart Pimms’ book reviewed the issue and found estimates anywhere from 8-15 million possible species. IMHO mostly just extrapolation [ie, guesswork; Hey! they should become “climate scientists” and get grant funding more easily! Lol ]
And two other points:
1) “mass extinction” means > 30% loss of all species worldwide and
2) IIRC None of the 500 or so extinctions since 1500 were due to climate [mostly loss of habitat, introduced predators or pollution].
I read a lot, and all that I know is the the discovery of new species far out weigh any reports of a specie extinction. As to whether those new species are newly evolved, or just new to science, who knows, and IIRC, there have been reports of species becoming extinct, when actually, all they did was move.
The Eloi are sure reproducing quickly.
As long as the Morlocks aren’t around
It makes sense that human activity is causing habitat loss and plays a role in current extinctions, how ever many there are.
I’m also sure that the “How ever many there are” number is grossly exaggerated by the The World Wildlife Fund and our wonderful left wing press.
The WWF needs to expend $$$ studying the habitat loss and avian death rate associated with Wind Turbines then extrapolate what that would be provided the greater than 100 fold increase (500,000 – 50,0000,000) in quantity of turbines required to replace FF as the dominant energy supply
Some sites report that only 4,000,000 are needed to replace current global generation but this is a low figure as it doesn’t include storage, or generation to recharge storage. Also not included is transportation or additional storage recharging to allow for quick charging. Nor does it include global transportation (flying, shipping and rail) of goods and people. Nor does it include growth in demand that will occur in the intervening years that electrification will require. It isn’t going to happen overnight and demand will increase with time.
And it doesn’t include the increased demand owing to the EV mandates and the extinction of gas-powered household appliances (e.g., gas stoves).
I’m not so sure. With the greening of the planet more food resources are becoming available, allowing species to move into areas that would not support them before. I don’t know if that outweighs habitat loss due to expansion of cities and farms.
When you control the media you control the narrative.
Only if there is credibility left in the media. I think we are past that and the media is recognized as a conduit for press releases.
They’re bought and we are all paying for it.
I think that’s why we saw “shakeups” at CNN and other MSM channels.
They weren’t changing their obviously biased coverage. They were sacrificing a few big names to try to regain the trust and credibility they once had among the gullible.
“Think of the press as a great keyboard
on which the government can play.”
The WWF is just that. A place where sentimentalists can send their money.
WWF still runs a TV ad soliciting money to ‘save the endangered penguins’. It shows Adelie birds suggesting they are on the way out, re: Attenbrook’s disinformation, ignoring a newly discovered colony with a million birds. Totally shameless these people are.
WWF, a few years back, ran a series of ads in our local public bus service soliciting donations from commuters to save the GBR from ‘bleaching’. A letter to the city Mayor saw those ads disappear within a couple of days.
Its late patron DoE said:
“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation”
No chance, west Europe is rapidly populated by people of religious beliefs to have as many offspring as you can and not as many as you can support.
Even if humans are to blame, it’s still the Evolution, stronger species make advance at the expense of the weaker.
Sometime in distant future AI desiged quasi humenoids will take over, their sustainability will be based on self regeneration powered by assimilation of solar radiation rather than the exploitation of biosphere.
All creepy crawlies strong enough to survive till then, rejoice!
Yes, and in the case of animals such as the Tasmanian Devil, spending tens of millions on trying to prevent the evidential extinction of an animal which has a genetic disorder just seems superfluous.
Looks to me that the only things in danger of extinction are truth, justice, and the American way. Where’s that super guy when you need him?
DC Comics has announced that he/she (currently uncertain of their pronouns) is away for a gender transition retreat.
Fortunately, the truth can be reincarnated. In fact, it even seems that some extinct species will be too, or so they say.
Nature evolves creatures to fill or conquer voids in life.
Evolution is a continuous activity.
DC Comics has changed “the American way” for “a better tomorrow”.
Patriotism is so blase’, don’t you know.
Jumping over tall tales with a single bound.
No lie is too small to justify your funding, no trend too small to exaggerate by a couple of orders of magnitude…your funding depends on proving your usefulness to society…
If memory serves, this is not the first time for Scott Pelley at CBS.
Some time back, he did a piece about how sea level rise was causing an island in Chesapeake Bay to lose land area. If I remember the piece correctly, he failed to mention that the entire Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence and has been doing so for a long time……
Land subsidence and relative sea-level rise in the southern Chesapeake Bay region | U.S. Geological Survey (usgs.gov)
“This land subsidence helps explain why the region has the highest rates of sea-level rise on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Data indicate that land subsidence has been responsible for more than half the relative sea-level rise measured in the region. Land subsidence increases the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, which in turn has important economic, environmental, and human health consequences for the heavily populated and ecologically important southern Chesapeake Bay region.”
Being a journalist is one thing, but being an activist is something else. War and activism have one thing in common — the first casualty of both of them is the truth.
Its as if the USGS never heard of polders. Hell, none of the SLR Cassandras ever heard of them!
The Honorable Albert Gore, former Vice President of the US, was holding a “town-hall” meeting on CC, being broadcast on CNN. On of the participants got to introduce himself as the mayor of that island, and stated that he had lived there more than 50 years, and had observed no sea level rise in that period. Gore was taken aback slightly, but then he went on the attack and said that “scientists” had told him of the island sinking, and, therefore, the mayor was wrong.
One issue is that no one knows how many species there are.Estimates vary by a factor of at least ten, and counting species gets really down in the weeds.
One method of estimating species was to fog a tropical tree with a strong insecticide, and see what fell out, and count and classify them. Then try another tree, and repeat. Then do math, and come up with a SWAG.
There is also the problem that there is no single definition of specie accepted across the sciences.
Yes. For example, coyotes and wolves can fertilely interbreed to produce coywolve lineages (the ‘red wolf’ is a coywolf). But they are plainly different species. Wolves hunt big game in packs. Coyotes hunt solitary for small game (field mice). Wolves howl at the moon; coyotes yap at the moon. I have heard both on my Wisconsin dairy farm (both on the same magic cold full moon night during deer gun season). Wrote about red wolves phony climate extinction ‘risk’ in essay No Bodies in ebook Blowing Smoke.
When I hear coyotes at night, they are rarely yipping at the moon. The coyotes are in pack mode and foraging actively, together. So many coyotes yipping that their yips are a confused medley as they range over the local hills and farms. Usually between 2AM and 4AM, sometimes as early as 1AM even during new moon.
Like wolves, coyote packs are extended families.
Mice may be a main coyote food, they will eat chickens and rabbits when they can. Though neighbors lose more chickens to the foxes than coyotes, but the coyotes make a lot more noise.
Even domestic dogs revert to packs when they gather together.
The climate change/extinction thing has been an IPCC WG2 staple for a long time The peak of dishonesty was AR4. I deconstructed that in essay ‘No Bodies’ in ebook Blowing Smoke. Turns out all the dozens of claimed studies boiled down to just one. And that one used a flawed methodology in some already dicey special niche ecologies (like rifle birds in the Queensland highlands, or South Africa’s fynbos plants) to project rates way too high by using a bad climate model that ran 2x hot by 2050.
T paraphrase Willis Eschenbach and Rud Istvan, “show me the bodies”.
If extinctions seem to be localized to isolated islands, isn’t i obvious the sea level rise is the cause?
The gall of these disingenuous contemptible weasels. They are more than happy to profit from the extinction of a magnificent mammal, the North Atlantic right whale or the destruction of habitat and the corresponding human suffering in the pursuit of cobalt and lithium. All for the ephemeras quest for “green energy.” The demise of this hoax can’t come soon enough. I apologise for the slandering of real weasels.
If the jokers and clowns who act as spokesmen for Climate Alarmism, Inc., were not sitting so close to the levers of power, they would be laughable! They can not get even one prediction right, they never follow their own advice and they never consider any other solution besides the destruction of economic freedom that Marx, et. al., lambasted as “capitalism!”
I’ll start taking climate alarmists seriously as soon as they start arguing with facts and logic, or they start committing seppuku to save Gaia; whichever comes first!
It’s quite obvious that ‘gods’ were invented just a few moments after the first mirror came into existence.
OK: We’re told ‘ a million species’
Form your hands into a scoop and pick up some dirt. Black coloured dirt as any variation on red/yellow/orange means you’re already too late.
There will be that many species in your hands there and then.
There will be more living organisms in your hands than even the wildest fantasies of ‘how many humans will ever exist‘ could imagine.
Where are the corpses: Floating in the sky in the form of CO2. Also little fragments of their DNA snowing down at a rate of one billion pieces per square metre per day
Me you everyone is walking around inside a little ‘biome’ where our cells are outnumbered by a factor of at least ten to one, some speculations say we’re outnumbered by one hundred to one.
Bugs, germs, virus, moulds are= Life on Earth.
They been here for 4 Billion years and we are killing them wholesale.
That is: The Mass Extinction.
In some parts of the world, the process is complete – they’ve all gone. Those parts have been completely sterilised.
The Gods call those places ‘deserts’
Generally reckoned that 50 years ago, 33% of Earth’s land area was desert.
How many handfuls of dirt was that? How many species? How many organisms? Now reckoned to be 38% (1% per decade?)
Global Greening is a Sputnik and Computer Generated Hoax perpetrated by NASA – who could not be trusted to baby-sit a pet bunny rabbit let alone a planet.
We all love trend lines so:
33% of land surface is ice
38% is now desert
1% is becoming desert every 10 years..
Does that give us 280 years till all Earth’s land area is either desert or ice. ##
Both places are very cold places. High temperatures maybe, but Thermodynamically Cold
The usual: wrap up warm
## That has got to be an exponential hasn’t it. Because as the farmable area deceases, we are going to work/erode what’s left ever faster
Will it be 2% per decade by 2030
3% per decade by 2040
4% per decade by 2050….
And chewing up vast areas to look for Copper, Neodymium, Lithium, Platinum etc is gonna speed it up even more…
Also now that China has realised its One Baby Policy was a hideous mistake and are now engaged on frantically persuading people to make more babies
Off Topic and a story tip
Climate change activist goes rogue releasing ‘mini volcanoes’ to cool atmosphere
“Every day we don’t do this is causing needless harm to people and ecosystems.”
I have no respect for the World Wildlife Fund. Does anybody know if they do any good?
Employment is said to be a good thing. It’s rate is a major statistic of at least all western governments. The WWF provides cushy employment for some favored individuals.
Glad to see that the paper by Craig Loehle and myself made it into your list.
I always understood that the whole process of Evolution depended on species going extinct continually while new species came along to take their place. In other words, extinctions are a necessary part of Life on Earth.
Trying to stop it is as stupid as trying to stop a rapidly evolving respiratory disease spreading around the world by wearing ill-fitting masks occasionally.. …. ah, wait….
You’re right, but greenies don’t actually believe in evolution. Their main bleat is that ‘something must be done to prevent <insert latest threatened extinction>’.
Thanks for posting this. We must be vigilant regards such false fear mongering. It is totally disgusting the way alarmists are trying to manipulate the public by falsely claiming extinction risks. It only misdirects resources that could actually engage in beneficial landscape improvements.
I exposed such false claims in Hopefulness Despite 2.9 Billion Lost Birds
I guess humans are being excluded from this mass extinction because their population keeps rising, life expectancies are increasing, food production keeps climbing and more diseases are being brought under control.
Humans are the target of much of the Church of Climastrology proselytizing! The grifters and clowns that make up church leadership are committed to reducing human population to a “sustainable” level.
They themselves are, of course, immune to this culling, but will enough human wisdom and ingenuity survive to prevent the rest of Life from being wiped out by CO2 falling below 150ppm? Alarmists do not often display the necessary intelligence to perform the tasks required to keep Earth from becoming a sterile wasteland!
This is my unscientific observation, but here in Colorado, it ain’t getting warmer, and our wildlife appears to be fine…
Facts are an irrelevance when “The Narrative ” is being created and repeated ad nauseum via all of the corporate media channels.
When people tell me that we are at the beginning (or middle) of the next mass extinction, I ask them to name five animals that recently got extinct.
I live on one of the smaller British Channel Islands. I don’t have a scientific background but keep my eyes open.
Anecdotally, I have never seen so many apex predators in the seas locally. These numbers are increasing year on year and would include grey seals, bottlenose dolphins (I’ve personally seen pods numbering over 200 individuals from the shore), common dolphins, pilot, sei, humpback and minke whales. We have also had an explosion in numbers of blue fin tuna. All these species must eat a prodigious amount. The only species we don’t see many of are harbour porpoise but I understand there is competition between them and dolphin.
I’m just wondering if with an increase of CO2 this is feeding phytoplankton at the bottom of the food chain and this is trickling upwards?
There are other species making a comeback, octopus after it is rumoured they were killed off by cold in the harsh winter of ’62. Crayfish are returning in large numbers after being overfished.
To quote — The most high Princess of Climate DOOM (read – lets destroy capitalism) — We are in the middle of a mass extinction.
Greta Thunberg: School strike for climate – save the world by changing the rules | Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm | TED Talk
We need to be in a mass extinction event, all those pushing leftist ideology need to drop dead.
Consistent with the global warming theory is a very mild 1.3 or so degree C warming of the surface accompanied by a significant blossoming of green spaces due to both warming and rising CO2. Clearly barren environments are becoming more productive, deserts are shrinking and the overall abundance of life in the biosphere is increasing. At the same time cheap reliable energy and technological progress allow human society to provide better living conditions, nutrition, wealth, health and longevity while having a lessening footprint on natural spaces once a reasonable level of development is reached. Clearly we should pay no attention to the rigged and invalid analyses that pretend to detect an extinction catastrophe, but rather we should expect that species diversity is in for a very good time in coming decades. Productive greening environments will only increase species diversity.
Is anyone surprised by the lies and BS anymore?
I appreciate the format here, a slightly annotated bibliography. Thanks.