“Despite our many advances, our environment is still threatened by a range of problems including; global climate change, energy dependence on unsustainable fossil fuels, and loss of biodiversity.” – Dan Lipinski
Should humans be concerned with the extinction rate?
If humans are not concerned with terrestrial or aquatic extinction they should be, especially when it comes to the trophic cascade of the African Forest Elephant which is a keystone species in Kenya. Trophic cascade is defined as the “cascading effect that a change in the size of one population at the top of the food web has on the population below it.” (Turk & Bensel, 2014) Because of the rapid decline of the African Forest Elephant due to human-wildlife conflict other r-selected and k-selected species that rely on elephant activity for their survival will also be affected.
African Forest Elephants are a lot like humans whereas they are family orientated, social, self-aware, mourn the loss of family members, and the calf’s are dependent upon their mother’s milk the first few years of their life. Without their mother or families to protect them it would only be a matter of time before the calf would succumb to the elements or from a broken heart. (Bradshaw, 2004) Because African Forest Elephants gestation period is roughly two years, when herds of elephants are killed by poachers for their ivory the chances of extinction increases as maturity levels for reproduction do not occur until around 15 years of age. Continue reading
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
Hundreds of trillions of dollars are filtered into space exploration which provides humans with an opportunity to explore low-Earth orbit and Translunar space in search of answers to our origins, distinguish life on other planets, and colonization on Mars. Space exploration has further provided satellites, telescopes, the ISS [International Space Station], and data which helps sustain our armed forces when protecting our country. NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration], together with their constituents, have paved the way into 21st Century technology and living across our nation and with all of this money invested into space exploration, one has to wonder why we are spending so much in space when we could invest into ocean exploration. Ocean exploration does not require lift off from our planet, rather, it allows us to go deep under water and explore unknown territory in search of answers pertaining to climate change, global warming, cleaning carbon dioxide from our environment, and maintaining proper mollusk supplies to decrease the chances of world hunger if the situation became an exceptional scenario. Continue reading