Species Extinction is Nothing New

Species Extinction is Nothing New (2012-06-04). Anthony Watts thinks that Australian denialist Viv Forbes’ reviewed scientific paper unposted Letter to (no particular) Editor deserves a wide audience, so he makes it a “Top Post”. “Steam engines” didn’t kill the mammoths, so why would a few puffing coal plants? This is pure stupidity being given a gold star.

DId you know that them “professional alarmists” are trying to replace the “deflating” “global warming bubble” with a crazy new scam called “species extinction”? Anything to force us back into caves with the commies, I guess.

Humans (well a few of them at least) will be able to use their “freedom” to innovate out of any theoretical environmental crisis, so them animals should stop complaining and start innovating too. Otherwise tough luck and rightly so.

Anthony with his usual acumen uses a Dodo (unequivocally hunted to extinction by humans) to mis-illustrate Viv’s deep environmental insight, but I think he just forgot about the Ostrich.

Anthony’s proudly ignorant commenters are near universal in espousing libertarian tough love for the critters…

3 thoughts on “Species Extinction is Nothing New

  1. Thanks for this. If it weren’t for the fact that a whole lot of people are going to die because of the imbecility of Forbes, Watts and Co., this sort of stuff would be very funny. As it is, because their nonsense is likely to have the consequence that my grandson’s life is drastically shortened, I’d lose not a whole lot of sleep if someone put them up against a wall.

    [Not a fan of putting anyone up against a wall… – Ben]

  2. appeared in our regional paper yesterday, it was too stupid to be worthy of a reply.

    [But not to stoopid for Anthony to single it out as S-M-R-T. – Ben]

  3. So lets ignore for a minute that Forbes claims that high CO2 has never caused mass extinctions before- despite the fact that it’s one of the leading candidates for the cause of the Permian extinction, the largest mass extinction ever (and that we know with virtual certainty that high CO3 was a major player in the loss of marine species at that time). Lets just play a little numbers game-

    Over the past 250 years there have been about 900 documented extinctions. Virtually all of those documented extinctions were due either directly or indirectly (e.g. through the introduction of invasive species) to the actions of humans. The real number of extinctions is far greater than the number we’ve actually documented, usually estimated at 10,000-30,000 species per year, but lets give Forbes the benefit of the doubt and assume for the sake of argument that those 900 species really were all that went extinct in recent history. If that rate of documented extinctions were carried out for the 1.2 million years it took for the Permian extinction to run its course, we would lose about 4.3 million species in total. That’s about 4 times as many species as are known to science or about half of the estimated number of species, known and unknown. So best case scenario, we’re currently on track to destroy half of the world’s diversity. No big deal.

    [They’re just numbers anyway, right? – Ben]

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