Mass Extinction Quotes (4 quotes)
The extinctions ongoing worldwide promise to be at least as great as the mass extinction that occurred at the end of the age of dinosaurs.
The rate of extinction is now about 400 times that recorded through recent geological time and is accelerating rapidly. If we continue on this path, the reduction of diversity seems destined to approach that of the great natural catastrophes at the end of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras, in other words, the most extreme for 65 million years. And in at least one respect, this human-made hecatomb is worse than any time in the geological past. In the earlier mass extinctions most of the plant diversity survived even though animal diversity was severely reduced. Now, for the first time ever, plant diversity too is declining sharply.
We have very strong physical and chemical evidence for a large impact; this is the most firmly established part of the whole story. There is an unquestionable mass extinction at this time, and in the fossil groups for which we have the best record, the extinction coincides with the impact to a precision of a centimeter or better in the stratigraphic record. This exact coincidence in timing strongly argues for a causal relationship.
With or without us, the wild will return. It seems that, however grave our mistakes, nature will be able to overcome them, given the chance. The living world has survived mass extinctions several times before. But we humans cannot assume that we will do the same.