Conservation Biology

Dreaming the Impossible

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Courtesy of Conservation Biology

We practice our science and conservation in the initial stages of what could be the sixth great extinction. We can feel it gathering momentum. The signs of it are everywhere, whether in dwindling individual species or in retreating forests and disappearing and degrading habitats of all sorts. Our impact as a species is global in scale: we have altered and continue to alter the basic chemistry and physics of the atmosphere and are changing the chemistry of the sea. If it had been debated in advance it is unlikely we would have blessed such change. Yet we seem unable to grasp the implications, including that the responsibility lies with us.

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