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Extinction of species - a threat to humanity

News: Apr 12, 2017

Three questions for Björn Billing, PhD in History of Ideas, who has written several articles on extinction of species.

Why is it important to preserve and protect endangered species?
The question can be answered in several ways. One argument is practical and economical. Individual animals and plants can play central roles in the ecosystem, and nature form the premises also for people's lives. Earth's so-called ecosystem services are estimated to unimaginable sums, many trillions of dollars annually. Another argument focuses on the species’ and the environment’s aesthetic and experiential values. And at the next level, life on the planet has values ​​of a deeper kind, which can’t be measured or outlined in terms of the benefits nature has for man. But when talking about values ​​- economic, aesthetic or "spiritual" - one must also be on guard, because it is easy to fall into an ethnocentric position. Nature conservation can and should also be a matter of social justice in a global perspective.

What do you think are the most important measures to stop this trend?
Extinction of species and threats to biodiversity are associated with the great environmental and climate issues. I have no solutions for that. There is clearly a need for tougher environmental policies, locally, nationally and internationally. But the most important change is probably the mental. As long as the idea of ​​community development is equated with economic growth and a good life with material abundance, I am afraid many of the planet's flora and fauna are in danger.

How can I as an individual influence?
One can think about their lifestyle and make conscious choices as a consumer. Naturskyddsföreningen has many good tips. You can also support organizations that work with nature and the environment. And last but not least, get involved politically. If nothing else, get acquainted with the parties and investigate their approach to these questions before you put the ballot in the envelope.
 

Björn Billings articles are in Swedish, read them in Göteborgs-PostenSvenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter

Read more about Björn Billing

 

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Page Manager: Katarina Wignell|Last update: 2/22/2017
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