report claims we have reduced the numbers of other animals in the world to half what they were 40 years ago. The numbers are based on measuring representative populations of more than 10,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish around the globe.
And how do we do this? Where to begin. We do it by destroying their habitats.We clear too many forests for lumber and for farms. We exhaust too many rivers to irrigate crops, and we spray too many pesticides and fertilizers. We pave over too many meadows for streets and parking lots. We introduce too many alien species that overwhelm local species. We poach and hunt and fish excessively.
We just demand too much, much more than our fair share, and the Earth can no longer satisfy our demands. According to the report, it would take 1.5 Earths to satisfy our current appetite for the planet's resources. Unfortunately, we only have one at our disposal. Some of us are much more demanding than others. For example, if everyone on the globe lived at the same standard as Canadians, we would need more like four planets.
As other species' numbers decline ours steadily increase. Not only do we demand more and more, but there are more and more of us demanding it. Yet one thing never changes—human society depends entirely on the environment. If we don't come to terms with the other species on Earth, we have no future.