England's Prince Charles has always been something of an environmentalist, and now he's begun to share his concern that Earth is in the middle of a sixth mass extinction. The term "sixth extinction," popularized by anthropologist Richard Leakey and New Yorker environment writer Elizabeth Kolbert, refers to the fact that Earth has already been through five events over the past couple billion years where the majority of all life on the planet died out. The Telegraph summed up the Prince's speech to the World Wildlife Fund:
Referring to himself as "an endangered species", he warned that the world is already in the "sixth extinction event", with species dying out at a much faster rate than at any time since the death of most of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Despite campaigning for years on global warming, he said climate change was not the only problem but merely speeding up the "rapacious" destruction of natural resources like water, land and food that humans need to survive.
The Prince said if the world carries on "business as usual" then the human race itself could be in danger.
"We are, of course, witnessing what some people call the sixth great extinction event – the continued erosion of much of the Earth's vital biodiversity caused by a whole host of pressures, from the rising demand for land to the corrosive effects of all kinds of pollution," he said.
"This is an important point that needs to be stressed more than it is, because its ultimate impact is plainly not at all clear to most people – without the biodiversity that is so threatened, we won't be able to survive ourselves."
Read more via The Telegraph.
(Thanks for the tip, Gerry!)