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Mass extinction lie exposed: life is thriving

May 17, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Geologist Gregory Wrightstone, who runs the Inconvenient Blog website has taken a close look at the latest claims of mass extinction, and finds the claims are baseless:


One million species will become extinct in the not-too-distant future and we are to blame. That is the conclusion of a new study by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The 1,800 page study was issued on May 6th and warns that “human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before” and that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss.”

It also asserted that we have seen increasing dangers over the last several decades, stating “the threat of extinction is also accelerating: in the best-studied taxonomic groups, most of the total extinction risk to species is estimated to have arisen in the past 40 years.” The global rate of species extinction claimed "is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years."

The release of the report spawned a media frenzy that uncritically accepted the study’s contention that we will see more than 20,000 species per year bite the dust in the not too distant future. PBS called it the “current mass extinction,” and the New Yorker’s headline read “Climate Change and the New Age of Extinction.”

Figure 1 - IPBES graph of Cumulative % of extinct species by centuryFigure 1 – IPBES graph of Cumulative % of extinct species by century

The entire report has not yet been released, but the “Summary for Policy Makers” was made public. The only chart within it that supported the claim of increasing extinctions is shown here (Figure 1). The graph covers 500-years and appears to present a frightening increase in extinctions and extinction rate.

This chart and the accompanying “analysis” are a case study of how those who promote the notion of man-made catastrophic warming manipulate data and facts to spread the most fear, alarm, and disinformation.

First, note that the title of the graph itself (Cumulative % of Species Driven Extinct) is confusing even to scientists used to interpreting such data. More importantly, the data were lumped together by century rather than shorter time frames, which, as we shall see accentuates the supposed increase in extinctions.

The base data were derived from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List, which catalogues every known species that has gone the way of the dodo and the carrier pigeon. Review of the full data set reveals a much different view of extinction and what has been happening recently.

Below, all 529 species available from the Red List with a known extinction date are shown below in Figure 2 by decade of extinction. This chart reveals quite a different story than that advanced by the new report. Instead of a steady increase in the number and rate of extinctions we find that extinctions peaked in the late 1800s and the early 20th century, followed by a significant decline that continues today. It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).

A closer review of the most recent information dating back to 1870 reveals that, instead of a frightening increase, extinctions are actually in a significant decline. 

What is apparent is that the trend of extinctions is declining rather than increasing, just the opposite of what the new report claims. Also, according to the IPBES report, we can expect 25,000 to 30,000 extinctions per year, yet the average over the last 40 years is about 2 species annually. That means the rate would have to multiply by 12,500 to 15,000 to reach the dizzying heights predicted. Nothing on the horizon is likely to achieve even a small fraction of that.

This new extinction study is just the latest example of misuse and abuse of the scientific process designed to sow fear of an impending climate apocalypse. The fear and alarm over purported man-made catastrophes are needed to frighten the population into gladly accepting harmful and economically crippling proposals such as the Green New Deal.

Rather than an Earth spiraling into a series of climate catastrophes that threaten the planet’s life, we find that our planet and its estimated 8 million species are doing just fine, thank you. 


Read the full post here.

  1. May 17, 2019 6:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  2. jack broughton permalink
    May 17, 2019 7:36 pm

    A factor that is conveniently forgotten by the doomsters is that species are being discovered far faster than they are disappearing. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 18,000 new species are discovered every year, with over 400 species of mammals discovered in the last 20 years. Much of the world (deep oceans in particular) has not even been explored.

    But, like all of the media driven fear-campaigns, good news is despised.

    Sadly, the young are being brainwashed by the idiocracy that control us all.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 17, 2019 7:45 pm

      I believe the models/counts of extinctions include unknown species that are assumed to have gone extinct before they were discovered!

      • jack broughton permalink
        May 17, 2019 8:05 pm

        Perhaps if we licensed spreadsheets to people who demonstrated common sense we could prevent the idiocy!

  3. Andrew Harding permalink
    May 17, 2019 10:01 pm

    99.99% of all species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct, most of them before Homo Sapiens evolved. The arrogance (or, most probably the ignorance) of these fools has sadly permeated societal thinking as has the lack of scientific understanding of the general population. The Mushroom Policy: Kept in the dark and fed on s**t!

  4. May 17, 2019 10:58 pm

    Beware “Summaries for Policy Makers”. Beware Policy Makers pseudo science.

  5. ScottM permalink
    May 18, 2019 7:16 am

    It can take decades to ascertain whether a species has gone extinct in many instances. So this is not the way to go about assessing the issue.

  6. Steve permalink
    May 19, 2019 10:57 am

    An opinion about living creature from person who study rocks. Great.

    • May 19, 2019 11:15 am

      You obviously can’t any errors in his analysis then! (Which if you bothered to read it is not his “opinion” anyway, but comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)

  7. Spurwing Plover permalink
    May 24, 2019 3:17 pm

    This whole Mass Extinction is the biggist scam ever nothing but a excuse to support World Ooverment all conctoled by the UN

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