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The doomsday extinction rhetoric ignores the speciation mess

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extinct European wild ox, believed to be the ancestor of modern cattle/Sturm

A veteran newser dissects recent UN apocalypse meltdown about wildlife extinction:

For starters, how many species are there? This is a fundamental question, but, surprisingly, all scientists can do is guesstimate. An influential 2011 paper in PLOS Biology estimated that there are 8.7 million species in the world, plus or minus 1.3 million. The IPBES seems to have adopted this figure. (There are no footnotes in its summary, making it difficult to check its claims, and the full report will be released later this year.) Previous estimates of the number of species ranged between 3 and 100 million. But of these 8.7 million, only about 1.3 million have been named and catalogued.

So the claim that a million species are at risk of being wiped out means that species are disappearing before we even know that they existed. This may be true, but it illustrates how mind-bending the extinction claim is. Taxonomy is a subtle science which depends upon algorithms nearly incomprehensible to the public. But that’s the job of journalists: to make the incomprehensible comprehensible. Before repeating the IPBS’s claim, they should have tried to understand the algorithm or at least ask questions about how the calculations were made. Michael Cook, “UN trumpets an extinction crisis” at MercatorNet

Without a clearly understood concept of speciation, it’s hard to know what extinction even means. If all individual life forms are unique, then every death is an extinction. Where do we draw the line and why, exactly?

Actually, the entire concept of speciation is an acknowledged mess, which is why no one wants to deal with it. In the absence of a clear way of determining how many “species” there are, games with numbers can focus attention on the freakout of the day, which means less attention for core questions of wildlife management and ecology.

See, for example: Polar bears overrun small northern Russian town The people who fear the bears will go extinct are not taking into account another possibility: They will become quite habituated to human food waste and thrive that way.

We face serious problems but doomsday rhetoric is often a cover for extraordinary politics more than anything else.

See also: A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans


Insectologists swat insects are doomed papere

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Well fasteddious is incorrect for stating BB is correct! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!
:) Brother Brian
Well fasteddious is incorrect for stating BB is correct! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH! I’m just kidding I am full of BS AaronS1978
BB is correct,...
Those are a combination of words that are seldom seen in this site. :) Brother Brian
BB is correct, and there are additional wrinkles. For example, when you read, "the lesser eastern variant of the purple aardvark is being extirpated in its traditional habitat", or something like that, what are we to think? Has a species actually become extinct? Has this variant merely moved to another locale? Has this type merged with the parent population? Is this variant even accepted by most zoologists? How are the other variants fairing? Is this variant "evolving" to become a new species? And so on. As the OP says about the "speciation mess", how is one to understand articles about mass extinctions caused by humans? Fasteddious
The term extinction is also confused. People understand that dinosaurs are extinct, that the Dodo and the great Auk are extinct. But we can also talk about local extinctions. The species as a whole still exists and, in fact, may even be increasing in numbers, but it may be locally extinct. This was directly observed and recorded as Europeans settled the Americas. Brother Brian
We do need to note that when an Endangered Species (i.e., eagles) are being endangered by Clean Energy (or Clean Anything Else), then the extermination of THAT Species is perfectly OK. This includes the Flaming Birds in Flight project and ALL of the Wind Farms. (Note that since the Flaming Birds in Flight project REQUIRES that its Sulfur REMAIN at a high temperature regardless of the setting of the Sun or overcast skies of anything else. So the "back-up" system is a HUGE battery of natural gas furnaces. The Flaming Birds in Flight project is therefore the largest consumer of Natural Gas in the State of California. When a Green Project burns Carbon, HAT is perfectly OK.) vmahuna

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