By Mª José Navarro
Scientists from Mexico have evaluated data on the extinction of vertebrates around the world in a study based on the last 500 years. The researchers compared the data with natural extinction that takes place without human influence, and according to their calculations since 1900, 9 vertebrate species should have become extinct naturally, not 468.
But the cause of this extinction of species of gigantic dimensions (the largest in 65 million years), is not a cosmic event like the collision of a meteorite. The cause is quite another: it is we, human beings, who destroy other species at breakneck speed. Humanity has already exterminated countless species without us ever getting to know them, and without knowing what function they fulfilled. In most cases it was about the destruction of natural habitat: forests that fell victim to agriculture, intensive fishing that depletes the oceans, fertile soils poisoned or devastated by storms at the hands of global climate change.
Today we know that this extinction, which is not just a few species, has the effect of a snowball. The extinction of a single plant species can trigger the destruction of the food chain of an entire ecosystem from its base. In just three generations it could all be over. Of course this is also valid for us, because without nature no future is possible.
The fact that the death of nature is silent, a silent death of billions of plants and animals is what makes us believe that it is not so bad. There were enough warnings but they all fell on deaf ears in recent decades and valuable time was wasted to correct the course of events, because all of nature including human beings make up a great collective, a community with the same destiny. This is something that we can now see more and more dramatically.
Dear reader, if you consider yourself a Christian, know that Jesus of Nazareth taught that we must protect all life, and that we should not kill deliberately. He also came for nature and animals. Today we know that He did not teach prohibitions, but helps to treat the life around us fairly. It is becoming increasingly clear that in His simple teaching the solution is also found for the very serious situation in which we find ourselves. And although much has been lost, the Golden Rule of Jesus of Nazareth is still valid: Whatever you want others to do to you, that you should do first to them, which is also valid for nature.