Loss of Biodiversity

An article from the Laudato Si Animators UK on how our eco-systems are being destroyed in the main by human activity.

Many of you will have seen the David Attenborough BBC 1 video “Extinction: The Facts”. If not, you can watch it here.

David explains how we are destroying critical parts of the earth’s ecosystems everywhere on the planet. Because we are all interdependent, the resulting loss of species threatens our food, our waters and our climate, and is causing pandemics.

The main ways we are destroying eco-systems are:

Killing wildlife
For example, for ivory, furs, skins, quack medicines.

We are emptying the waters of fish and disrupting the balance of species in the oceans.

Our methods of manufacturing, farming, use of products and disposing of products cause pollution which threatens the survival of species.

Climate change
Species have to look for cooler areas. Failing to find them results in the threat of extinction.

We cut down rainforests and clear natural savannahs, and replace them with a monoculture agriculture which kills off the wildlife that had been living there. We have more than enough cleared land for our needs if we use it properly and sustainably.

The five main drivers of loss of biodiversity are:

Cocoa, coffee, palm oil, beef, soy for animal feed (poultry, pigs, dairy cows, beef cows, farmed fish).

We have to reduce our dependence on these monoculture cash crops. Forests are cut down and natural habitats cleared to grow a single crop. All wildlife is driven off and chemical sprays are used. This sort of crop is not a healthy food crop. It is grown to feed a demand, not to feed hungry people. It destroys wildlife and destroys the land. It is not sustainable. We should be growing food in sustainable ways.

We need to change our economic model, presently based on supplying a demand regardless of consequences. If we continue in our present course, we will need two Earths by 2030 and three Earths by 2050.

Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.

Laudato Si paragraph 33

This content was written by the Laudato Si Animators UK.

Dedicated to spreading the teachings of the Pope’s Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’