The protection of biological diversity - a manifesto
We humans intervene massively in the ecosystems of the earth. The destruction of the environment not only triggered a global climate crisis, but also caused species to become extinct at an unprecedented rate. But it is not too late to save the ecological diversity of our planet.
When I was writing my book "The Triple Crisis" in the summer of 2020, years later I read a paper on the risks of species extinction that I had written between 2008 and 2010 together with colleagues. Based on the scientific knowledge known to us, we outlined several conceivable developments. Among them was a scenario for possible pandemics including their consequences. I was shocked at how close our worst-case assumptions were to today's reality: back then, we could imagine tens of thousands of deaths, overcrowded hospitals, people being forced into isolation, and largely collapsed economies.
This is exactly what the world is experiencing today: A virus that made the leap to humans is bringing death, pain and grief to every continent, as well as severe economic and social upheaval. No government can claim to have been unaware of such risks. Covid-19 is by no means the first deadly infectious disease that came to us through animals. Zoonoses also include malaria, AIDS, Ebola, Mers, Sars and various forms of influenza. The buffer zones between nature and people are disappearing more and more because forests are being cut down and turned into pastures, fields, plantations or building land.
Even in times of a pandemic, nature can hardly recover…