On the road to extinction.

We live in a time when the human influence on the planet has become so immense that it's difficult to see any natural balance anymore. Our way of living, mostly, is the reason why plenty of animals are either on the brink of extinction or have already gone forever.

Some people believe that every living thing in the universe is part of a single source of cosmic energy, and that when one creature goes extinct, the knowledge and type of energy those creatures possessed will be out to the universe for ever. And as we are part of that universe, humankind will not be able to learn for that knowledge or tap into that energy, nor will any other living being in the universe. So every extinction will negatively affect everything in the universe as everything is one.

But to other, everyday, people going about their everyday lives, checking twitter, Facebook and CNN, totally disconnected from Mother Nature, what about them? Did Tom, Dick or Harriet even noticed that the Wester Black Rhinoceros went extinct in 2011 (according to the IUCN)? If they did would they have cared?

Elephants are vital to the web of life in Africa. As a keystone species, they help balance all the other species in their ecosystem, opening up forest land to create firebreaks and grasslands, digging to create water access for other animals, and leaving nutrients in their wake. Sometimes called the “megagardeners of the forest,” elephants are essential to the dispersal of seeds that maintain tree diversity.
— George Wittemyer of Colorado State University

Yet when you read that the elephant population in Central Africa has declined by 60 percent in the last decade, people care. It's strange to image a world without elephants or giraffes, but imagining a world without Aedes aegypti would be much easier. Particularly because this little bug spreads so many diseases. Though the extinction of even such a small creature could have massive unexpected effects. 

Bees are a little bit bigger than mosquitoes, but still small enough for most people not to think of them as an integrated part of our own food chain. A bee that keeps circling your head, might get you annoyed enough to hit it with a newspaper to get rid of it. Yet the extinction of this small creature would be a catastrophe for the survival of humanity. That being the case, scientists have made models for what would happen is a part of, or the entire bee population goes extinct. But only because we can see what kind of impact it would have on ourselves as a species of our own.

Personally I would like to take a holistic point of view, but when I'm honest with myself I wouldcertainly cry when all dolphins go extinct and not so much, or at all when the dung beetle says its farewell.


What about you?