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Posted Tue Feb 10 2009: from Stanford University, via EurekAlert:
No joy in discoveries of new mammal species -- only a warning for humanity
In the era of global warming, when many scientists say we are experiencing a human-caused mass extinction to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs, one might think that the discovery of a host of new species would be cause for joy. Not entirely so, says Paul Ehrlich, co-author of an analysis of the 408 new mammalian species discovered since 1993. "What this paper really talks about is how little we actually know about our natural capital and how little we know about the services that flow from it," said Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford. "I think what most people miss is that the human economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the economy of nature, which supplies us from our natural capital a steady flow of income that we can't do without," Ehrlich said. "And that income is in the form of what are called 'ecosystem services' -- keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, supplying fresh water, preventing floods, protecting our crops from pests and pollinating many of them, recycling the nutrients that are essential to agriculture and forestry, and on and on."
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, sixth extinction, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Michael says:
Another of those "we're all interconnected" messages. Didn't we already hear that once before?

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