Humanity may seem like a really big deal, with our smart phones and our 24 hour news and whatnot, but we're actually a very tiny part of the earth. According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we make up something like 0.01% of the biomass on the planet. In comparison, plants make up 83%, our gross little friend bacteria,13% of all biomass (I'm sure bacteria is great and all, but it's gross, don't @ me), and all other forms of life make up 5% of the total weight, according to the same report.
In the grand scheme of things, humanity seems pretty Small Potatoes, right? But humanity, the original 1% is responsible for the extermination of 83% of all other life on the planet. Those that remain are mostly of our choosing. For example, 70% of all the birds still in existence are poultry raised for our consumption. 60% of the mammals left are livestock, 36% are pigs, and a scant 4% are wild animals.
As far as our sea-faring friends, marine life has dropped a staggering 80% in the last hundred years. Where there were once schools of fish, now you're lucky to find a single student out there.
Hahahaa, joking about the sixth wave of extinction is fun!
“It is definitely striking, our disproportionate place on Earth,” Ron Milo, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel who led the report, told the Guardian. “When I do a puzzle with my daughters, there is usually an elephant next to a giraffe next to a rhino. But if I was trying to give them a more realistic sense of the world, it would be a cow next to a cow next to a cow and then a chicken.”
Guess the cause? Overpopulation? Yep. Industry? Yeppers. Pollution CAUSED by said industry? Oh big time. Our meat-heavy diets and the effect that this has on animal populations AND all those cow farts in the atmosphere? Oh you betcha! Fast fashion and its ludicrous wastefulness? Absolument! The fact that the oil industry has been ruining habitats and enabling our planet turning into a massive smoke stack? You may be onto something there. Fracking? Well, hell, let's add it onto the pile. A vast network of rich plutocrats enabling climate change deniers to dominate the conversation, thereby allowing them to continue their dangerous practices on an international scale? That's a big ten-four, good buddy.
Anyway, you can read more of the analysis in The Guardian. As for me, I'm going to vote correctly, use less disposable stuff, consume less meat, and play video games until the lights go out.