December 1

Reflection’

 

Yesterday was the Remembrance Day for Lost Species. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200  of plant, insect, bird and mammal species bscome extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, many biologists say it is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago. For the first time, our species is ruining whole ecosystems and aborting entire groups of interdependent species. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many people throughout the world who dedicate their time and efforts to keeping habitats and species alive. Even as we mourn the species that have been lost, we are encouraged that 90% of species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act are recovering at the rate specified by the federal recovery plan and we are grateful for all of the habitats that have been saved in order that the interdependent species within them can escape extinction.

 

Prayer

Forgive us for the harm we are causing to creation. Forgive us for the harm we are causing to other inhabitants of this earth.

 

Action

 

Be informed about the impact human demand on the planet is having on other species. Rethink any conviction you may have that other living creatures are there for our use.
Support people and organizations doing serious work to save endangered species. Examine your own habits that strain sustainability.

Suggested Reading

 

What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.
Matthew 10:29

 

Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.
Pope Francis

 

In the area of species protection, we should concern ourselves with what is right as opposed to what might be easier, or popular in the short term.
Richard Leakey

 

Most people know that forests are the lungs of our planet, literally playing a critical role in every breath we take. And that they’re also home to incredible animals like the orangutan and elephant which will go extinct if we keep cutting down their forests.
Chris Noth

 

Biodiversity is the greatest treasure we have. Its diminishment is to be prevented at all cost.
Thomas Eish

 

Every time we lose a species we break a life chain which has evolved over 3.5 billion years.
Jeffrey McNeely

 

We consider species to be like a brick in the foundation of a building. You can probably lose one or two or a dozen bricks and still have a standing house. But by the time you’ve lost 20 per cent of species, you’re going to destabilize the entire structure. That’s the way ecosystems work.
Donald Falk

 

It is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion. The losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys.
Elizabeth Kolbert

 

Measuring the rate at which new species evolve is difficult, but there’s no question that the current extinction rates are faster than that; I think it’s inevitable.
Simon Stuart

 

Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth.
Harrison Ford

 

hTe current massive degradation of habitat and extinction of species is taking place on a catastrophically short timescale, and their effects will fundamentally reset the future evolution of the planet’s biota.
National Academy of Sciences

 

People are beginning to realize that we need to live in accordance with the law of ecology, the law of finite resources, and if we don’t, we’re going to go extinct.
Paul Watson

 

The effects of human activities on biodiversity have increased so greatly that the rate of species extinctions is rising to hundreds or thousands of times the background level.”
United Nations Earth Watch

 

Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It’s that simple.
Wildlife Habitat Canada

 

The world is currently undergoing a very rapid loss of biodiversity comparable with the great mass extinction events that have previously occurred only five or six times in the Earth’s history.
World Wildlife Fund

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