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We won't even have to bother with nukes!

Excuse me, don’t want to alarm anyone, but it’s looking like we’re further along the road to the end of the current era of life on Earth than we thought. We’re not just talking about humanity dying off in a few hundred years; we’re talking Sixth Major Extinction stuff. Don’t worry, your stock portfolio will be fine. Just don’t invest in any thousand-year bonds, because a new study published in Science Advances, indicates that, “using extremely conservative assumptions,” extinctions of vertebrate species — that’s everything with a spine, from tree frogs to blue whales — are dying off at increasing rates. Biggest mass die-off of species since the dinosaurs. Life on the planet will undoubtedly continue, but we big clumsy mammals are probably goners:

Using fossil records and extinction counts from a range of sources, the researchers calculated the normal ‘background rate’ of extinctions and compared it with a conservative estimate of current extinctions.

Natural population changes in the wild usually lead to two species of mammals dying out every 10,000 years. But the current rate is 114 times that level.

So it goes.

Using the typical rate of two vertebrate species extinctions a century, the researchers write, it would take between 800 and 10,000 years for various vertebrate types to go extinct. But we’re in trouble, the researchers say:

[Their estimates] reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

But honestly, do we really need every dumb little fish, especially the kind that are keeping it from raining in California? Turns out, we need a whole bunch of critters, or so say the nature-worshipping hippies who believe in “the environment,” which has never done anything for us — even though we bought reusable shopping bags.

The problem with all these extinctions is that a whole bunch of different species depend on each other to keep life going. You lose your pollinators, and there goes agriculture and food and soil replenishment, and pretty soon it’s more dire than just the price of gas going up and not having polar bears outside of zoos:

The study found that given these extinctions, the benefits of biodiversity like crop pollination and water purification could disappear in as little as three lifetimes, putting the human species in serious danger before others.

“If it is allowed to continue,” lead study author Gerardo Ceballos told BBC News, “life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on.”

Pfft, then again, they said in the ’70s that the planet would be overpopulated beyond its carrying capacity by now, and everything’s just fine; we don’t have 20 people in our apartment unless we invite them, so this is probably just a bid by liberals to scare people into accepting socialism. Pay no attention to Neil DeGrass Tyson strolling down the “Halls of Extinction” in his Cosmos remake. We’ll be OK. Maybe. No need to panic until the Telescreen announces that the world’s top thousand richest people are building a Space Ark in the Mohave desert. Now hush up and eat your Soylent Green.

Hey, light at the end of the tunnel!

[HuffPo / Telegraph / Science Advances]

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  • dslindc

    “Well I’m not a scientist, so I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t pay any attention to these scientists.”

    -the GOP

    • “What does the Pope say? Specifically, does he agree with me?” – Rick Santorum

      • nmmagyar

        “No, I don’t agree with you – pinche bofo!” – Il Papa

  • FlownOver

    1% response: OK, then, but where’s the profit angle?

    • JustPixelz

      Extinction-proof AR-15s.

    • Antimassacree

      Soylent Green Shacks?

  • JustPixelz

    If mass extinction will shut Donald Trump the fuck up, it’s worth it.

    • Tallmutha

      Thing thing on his head isn’t going anywhere, though.

      • Viva La Tabula Raza

        Like Skynet, that thing on his head has achieved sentience, and will destroy us all.

  • Swampgas_Man

    Does this mean I can skip lunch?

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Anyone have Glenn Beck’s phone #? I’ma buy some gold.

  • Wild Cat

    Look, if it solves my roach problem, all’s good.

    • Anarchy Pony

      More likely it’ll solve your roaches’ you problem.

  • bikerlaureate

    Humans won’t disappear until Jesus returns, so we can ignore this news.

    • Bob@Bob.com

      I saw him yesterday at Walmart – giggling at the women’s panties

      • Pat_Pending

        in a display, or on display?

        • Bob@Bob.com

          I’m not sure what he had going on under the robe. But good question…

  • JustPixelz

    I, for one, welcome our insect overlords.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSmm2uERUR4

  • elviouslyqueer

    Gloom and doom post? Check.
    Dire, death to errbody prediction? Check.
    Images of apocalyptic hellscape? Check.

    Dok Zoom has finally morphed into Ken Layne. Good to know.

    • weejee

      zing, rimshot too, also

    • doktorzoom

      Pfft, I don’t even like tortoises.

  • FauxAntocles

    I wonder if a new intelligent species will evolve, look back and say “Hmm, looks like the 6th extinction was caused by an intelligent species”.
    I wonder if they’ll be willing to commit mass suicide to save the planet… or just not destroy it.

  • Tallmutha

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end

    • FauxAntocles

      Dude, you owe me some coin.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      There might soon actually be a Lizard King, by the sound of it.

      • coozledad

        The killer awoke before dawn. Then he died of dehydration.

    • Anarchy Pony

      It’s a mad world.

  • Lizzietish81

    The good news is that we’ll destroy ourselves long before we reach Permian levels of loss.

    I’ve been seeing this story around and it always has the KT Asteroid pictures. People think that extinction is going to be sudden, one day here the next day gone. But the other 4 events were longer (though geologically speaking very quick). The Permian, the big one, was caused by Siberia just opening up and oozing gas and lave for half a million to a million years.

    Think about that, that means that the extinction of 95% of all species was a slow, painful process. If you were Gorgonopsid born in the middle of this, you wouldn’t know that there was something going on, only that there wasn’t much food, the air wasn’t good and your entire life would be in a constant state of hunger.

    Even the decay of a civilization isn’t something that just one day happens. The Western Empire of Rom took centuries to fully collapse, and while the citizens knew it was in decline, they had no way of knowing that there would be no more Rome in a few decades.

    In Make Room, Make Room, the book Soylent Green is loosely based on, a mad prophet is very surprised to find that the world doesn’t just end at Midnight on New Years Eve and desperately asks “How much longer can this go on?”

    The answer is indefinitely.

    • elviouslyqueer

      This is the way the world ends.
      This is the way the world ends.
      This is the way the world ends.
      Not with a bang, but a whimper.

      • Tallmutha

        God knows I’m whimpering right now.

      • Pat_Pending

        Damn you, I was just gonna write that!!

        • Pat_Pending

          Ok, how about,
          This is the way the world ends.
          Not with a bang but with a three-year-old rerun of Desperate Housewives Atlanta.

          • Dudleydidwrong

            “What rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born.” I don’t know, but he better hurry or he won’t make it.

      • Bill Slider

        We Are the Hollow Men, my favorite poem.

    • proudgrampa

      Well. Aren’t we Susie Sunshine this morning?

    • marxalot

      Which only reminds me of the Three Themes of speculative fiction (as “Make Room, Make Room,” described as an “anti-utopian” novel, is): What If, If Only, and If This Goes On.

    • A Big Sarcastic Fairy!

      Soylent green is PEOPLE!!!

      • Lizzietish81

        Would you believe that in the book that’s not a plot point at all?

        • A Big Sarcastic Fairy!

          Yep, I know. It was just added for Charlton Heston to spout histrionics. :-)

        • A Big Sarcastic Fairy!

          Yep, I know. It was just added for Charlton Heston to spout histrionics. :-)

  • Viva La Tabula Raza

    The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, science contributor to The New Yorker.
    Read it. Weep.

    • weejee

      We should be more like birds and not poop in our nest. Poop on Rethuglicans instead.

    • expipiplus1

      Good book. Our AI successors will look forward to finally being freed from the pernicious meddling of meat-humans.

  • AntiDerpomeme

    I can only hope that when the cockroaches evolve into the new dominant species on the planet, they do a better job of safeguarding the place than we humans have done. Ug, we are the WORST.

  • LarryHoudini

    Something something mass extinction. LISTEN: I have been waiting for like three weeks for my Joe Biden coffee mug. What the fuck? Could someone call the factory and China and tell them to slap those decals on a little faster?
    Thanks.

    • weejee

      They come from Montana and those Conestoga wagons are soooo slooooow.

    • Bob@Bob.com

      No shit. I am still waiting for my Bernie 2016 bumper sticker.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …I’m kind of skeptical, that “Scientist” didn’t mention Gay Marriage once!!!!!!

    • weejee

      And also skipped talking about taking down the stars and bars, so obvs the big tent Replican Predjudential candidates will not embrace the cause.

    • AntiDerpomeme

      Or legal abortion either, and contraception also too.

      Not that wingnuts would recognize that if we did a better job of regulating the birth rate we might actually not be in such a mess. But they never much cared about responsible social planning and environmental impact outside of how it could be exploited for profit anyway.

  • Msgr_Moment

    Soylent Green is Hitler!

    • Blank Ron

      That would explain the subtle hint of Vienna sausage.

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Sheesh, intelligent life forms in Arizona are barely hanging on as it is.

    • jmk

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        I guess I asked for that one.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Sure we destroyed the planet, but for one beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for our shareholders.

  • memzilla

    The death of everything with a spine? Damn, so politicians will survive.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      At least the Democratic National Committee is safe.

  • JohnnyZhivago2

    Since spineless creatures are not threatened, we can be sure the the US Congress will continue as usual?

  • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

    Sooo, nothin’ left but cockroaches and conservatives?

    • Bob@Bob.com

      Difference?

      • Cockroaches have the decency to hide when you shine a light on them.

        • Anarchy Pony

          *golf clap.

        • r m reddicks

          Mine already don’t give a rat’s ass. Now I know why.

      • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

        0.0

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Cockroaches know how to look out for their own best interest?

  • Viva La Tabula Raza

    Think I’ll just drink myself under the table for the rest of my time on this here rock.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Was there ever any doubt?

    • eggsacklywright

      It’s a bitch trying to time it just right…how to run out of booze and money at the same time.

  • deanbooth

    If the mountains fall in the sea, let it be. It ain’t me.

    • Viva La Tabula Raza

      Well, the hippies did cut off all their hair (for the most part). I don’t care.

    • Gorillionaire

      Nothin’ but existin’.

  • The Lagomorphic Long Game is finally coming to fruition.

    • SufferinSuccotash,Entitled

      Wascally wabbits!

  • So long, and thanks for all the fish.

    • data_ninja

      As a professional telephone sanitizer, I’ve already got my ticket and seat ready on the B Ark!

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Ahh, a world with nothing but roaches, old plastic, and invertebrates. Is this the new Republican paradise we’ve been promised?

  • Oblios_Cap

    I’m sure God will step in and save all of us who believe the right version of The Fable.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      “And the correct answer is, the Eleusinian Cult. Wait, what do you mean, you don’t do that anymore?”

  • LesBontemps

    Finally, death panels for everyone!

  • Bob@Bob.com

    Don’t worry, The Donald will buy us a new planet. It will be the greatest planet god ever created and will be made of solid gold

  • deanbooth

    No more kitteh videos?

    • Blank Ron

      Maybe no more kittehs. *sad*

      • spacecat in space

        TT-TT

  • Lizzietish81

    If you need to be cheered up, according to this bit “Population Zero After People” the world will start recovering like the second we’re gone (in this version it’s apparently the Rapture.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUqHECc5rPo

  • Sharkey

    On the bright side, being reincarnated as a jellyfish might not be so bad.

  • cousin itt
  • Tallmutha

    And I don’t wanna hear any gloating from you, Mr. Blobfish.

  • cheetojeebus

    Deep below the studios of Fox news a small group of prescient thinkers is carefully teaching amoeba to type.

  • marxalot

    You know, it’s probably just the silent psychosis of the apocalyptic West talking, but this is actually kind of a relief. I mean, we’ve spent the past two thousand years waiting for the end of the world, so it’s kind of nice to be alive when the confirmation came.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The problem of course being that there will be no Jesus to make us all feel better about it.

  • Pat_Pending

    The apocalypse is boring.

  • cousin itt

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    T S Eliot

    • weejee

      Hitting the saucers instead of the sauce?

  • Latverian Diplomat

    Pollinators? Agriculture is so 20th century. Soylent is the future. And it comes in different, bright, happy colors!

  • Oh well – we weren’t going to write Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony anyway.

  • proudgrampa

    Well, I think I’m gonna take the rest of the day off. Time to restock my liquor cabinet.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Call us when it’s time to destock it.

      • jmk

        Ummmm…that time is always.

    • marxalot

      Welp, guess I no longer have any reason not to blow my money on tattoos and hallucinogens. Cool.

  • Me not sure

    My wife’s been telling me to sell my collection of LP’s for years. Maybe I ought to get on that, pronto.

    • I blew lots of green on Criterion DVDs – and now the damned things are all on HULU.

      Burn, Baby, burn!

      • Me not sure

        A certain pirating community who shall remain nameless has them too.

  • cheetojeebus

    Guess i better prep the shopping cart….

  • weejee

    none bang?

  • Blank Ron

    Anyone remember this?
    Mr. Richfield: I don’t know what you’re talking about. This sudden coldsnap is a godsend. Dinosaurs are flocking to stores buying WESAYSO heaters, WESAYSO blankets and WESAYSO old-fashioned hot cocoa mix! (chuckles) We’re going to have the best third quarter in history!
    Earl: Uh…sir, I think this could be the last third quarter in history.
    Mr. Richfield: Oh, don’t turn into one of those environmental doomsayers, Sinclair. “Boo-hoo!” “It’s raining acid!” “There’s a hole in the ozone!” “You’re hurting Flipper!” Bah! Bunch of tree-hugging pantywaists! They’re always standing in the way of progress and it’s our job to pave right over ’em!
    Earl: I think you’re missing the point, sir. The world may be coming to an end!
    Mr. Richfield: Well, that’s a fourth quarter problem.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone!”

  • Randy Riddle

    The only question now is whether we should be playing the Sinatra or Elvis version of “My Way”.

    • Lizzietish81

      Pfft. Sex Pistols.

      • Blank Ron
        • alwayspunkindrublic

          Yeah, but now they’re using to sell Acuras. Because Honda is SO punk.

          • Blank Ron

            Yeah, I’ve been having a hard time imagining the kind of person who was listening to Sid Vicious 35+ years ago becoming the kind of person who’d be shopping for an Acura today.
            For the record, I’m one of those people, and my taste runs more to rat rods than Hondas. I have no idea if I’m typical.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            Salud…I’m one of those guys too. Been driving a ’54 GMC truck most of my adult life….not sure if that is staying true to the punk ethos or just stupid and stubborn!

          • Blank Ron

            As I recall, that IS the punk ethos.

    • doktorzoom

      ‘Nearer My God To Thee” has a nice relaxing tune.

      • Blank Ron

        Make sure you have your scotch on the rocks.

        • jmk

          That got a titanic giggle out of me…

          • Blank Ron

            *awards you a white star for your comment*

          • jmk

            The whole floe of these comments would make me smile…if comments were allowed.

    • Blank Ron
    • janecita

      As a Jersey girl I say, Sinatra all the way!

    • eggsacklywright

      I’d go with Nina Hagen’s version.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q22N1dSXiN0

      • BeliTsari

        Gott segne dich, mein Schatz!

  • shastakoala

    I guess this means stores are gonna nix their layaway option.

  • Well, if it doesn’t happen before Fallout 4 comes out, I’ll probably handle it like a champ.

    • doktorzoom

      What do you think those games are for, anyway? Training, man…

      (Checks InfoWars’ freelancing rates, decides against nihilism after all)

      • I will be totally prepared for a coyote-rattlesnake hybrid if I come across one in the apocalypse.

  • Angry_Cop

    No kids, no pets, I AM GOING SHOPPING FUCKERS

  • r m reddicks

    Good news for spineless politicos! Though they may miss some of those vote-y things. But the Kock will be with them forever and ever.

    • r m reddicks

      I should have known that about (numbers) people would have beaten me to that.

  • JohnR

    Pretty much how I feel.

  • docterry6973

    And just before the end, the GOP will successfully blame the liberals.

    • jmk

      Yeah. Thanks, Obama.

  • proudgrampa

    Just read the article at the Science Advances website.

    “… 9 vertebrate extinctions would have been expected since 1900; however, under the conservative rate, 468 more vertebrates have gone extinct than would have if the background rate had persisted across all vertebrates under that period.”
    We are freakin doomed.

  • Ryan Denniston

    My guess is that the Right is saying to itself “it’s all good as long as it takes out those nasty liberals.” Because projection.

    • AKLynne

      They’re just waiting to fly up into the sky anyway.

  • SadDemInTex

    I don’t care about the human species…good riddance. I’m just sad we are responsible for killing off all the other mammals. I honestly wish there would be a Great Pandemic that just killed humans.

    • Lizzietish81

      Please, rodents are very adaptable, they’ll be fine.

  • goonemeritus

    But all my favorite barbeque ingredients have spines.

    • eggsacklywright

      Like Spiny Norman.

      • Doug Langley

        “Dinsdale . . .”

  • Bill Slider

    A space ark by the wealthy and for the wealthy. I will contribute towards the movie camera so we can watch on pay-per-view. They will forget to load the animals two by two. There will be no poors and limited to whites only. They will have no one to tax, or to do the work when they decide to colonize another planet. They will have no hard workers and honesty will become a thing of the past. They will lack the skills for even sammich making. Hopefully they will include Jindal, Bush, Brownback and Palin to be their new governors.
    They will need Walker and Huckabee for diversity, the Koch brothers to harness the oil, and Trump because he’s really rich.
    Time for Shy to design another T-shirt, then sell popcorn futures. I’m excited.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      And then, surprise, they discover the navigation computer is rigged to fly them into the sun!

      • eggsacklywright

        Wheeeee!

      • LarkintheAM

        Remember what happened the last time we tried that.

    • Biff52

      Idiocracy The Aristocrats!

    • Biff52

      Idiocracy The Aristocrats!

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      I’m very much looking forward to staying behind.

  • Steverino247

    Yeah, I was watching my grandchildren playing in the pool last night and I thought, “Enjoy it while you can, kids.”

  • Steverino247
    • Lance Thrustwell

      I love me some Vonnegut, but I think he might have been just a leeetle bit drunk when he wrote that.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        The man sure had his finger on the pulse of America, though:

        “Codpieces were very much in fashion, and many men were wearing codpieces in the shape of rocket ships, in honor of the Big Space Fuck. These customarily had the letters “ U.S.A.” embroidered on the shaft. Senator Snopes’ shaft, however, bore the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy.”

  • VandeGraf

    Using the average rate of pee production caused by the ingestion of diuretic agent, the typical bladder size, factoring in the distance and transit time to the loo, calculating the time it takes the beagle to move out from the doorway, and considering the amount of fluid ingested per dosage period, I’d say we’re going to piss ourselves to death before any other extinction event.

  • Me not sure

    Funny, I always thought that it would be like “On the Beach”, except that I would get to stay with Ava Gardner and make sweet love right up to the end.

    • Doug Langley

      We all thought that.

    • Angry_Marmot

      I get that. On the one hand, collapse of civilization; on the other hand, Linda Harrison in a leather bikini. I’m torn here.

      • Me not sure

        Everyone needs a dream, even if it’s apocalyptic.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        I’ll take Harrison. Give my apologies to everybody.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Too late for me to not have kids, but I suppose I can try to sell them on the joys of childlessness.

    • Relativicus

      Or just sell them. I’m not sure how that would help in regards to the extinction rate, or overpopulation, but it would likely take some stress off your Facebooking.

    • Overpopulation is NOT the problem. The problem is overconsumption. If 7 billion humans lived in a sensible, low-impact fashion – rather than like People of Walmart – there’d be plenty for everyone.

      Really, considering that the birthrate in Western countries has plummeted, “overpopulation” is just another way of blaming THE BROWNS for everything.

    • Biff52

      Try this?

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    I for one welcome my new cockroach overlords.

  • JohnE_o

    As a child of the late 70’s – early 80’s I kinda always thought this was how it was going to be anyway and never had kids.

    Bummer for those who are going to have to live through all that, though. Hey future people – I’m sorry it worked out the way it did – I would have much rather had the Star Trek future happen.

  • Rufus T. Firefly

    Eh. Backbones are over rated anyway.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      GOP candidates seem to do fine without.

  • LarkintheAM

    Something you forgot to mention, Doc. All of the previous mass extinction events were correlated to large geological happenings like the coalescing of Pangea or the smacking of the earth with an asteroid the size of a city, and even then, the planet-wide extinctions occurred fairly slowly – over thousands of years. This latest mass extinction is happening rapidly, over hundreds of years rather than thousands, and there is no preceding geological catastrophe. Nope, the calamity is *us* and our species’ mechanized, large-scale habitat destruction and the unintended consequences of our attempts to shape the environment to better do our bidding. About the best we can say about this is that we are unlikely to sterilize Earth, no matter how hard we work at it. There will always be politicians cockroaches.

    • Biff52

      “We” have been a pretty terrible lab experiment.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        So long as God takes good notes.

  • Enfant Terrible

    You mean, we won’t be around in 5 billion years when the sun goes nova? That’s disappointing.

  • Hardly Ideal

    Damn, Wonkette. You’re starting to make me regret this Having A Baby With Your Highschool Sweetheart thing. If anyone needs me, I’ll be crying under my desk.

  • Snarx

    Bring down the flag!!!|!!1!!!

  • LoveSW_Prequels

    Probably should just colonize a new planet at this point.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Like we’d treat that one any better?

  • Angry_Marmot

    On the one hand, collapse of civilization; on the other hand, talking apes and Linda Harrison in a leather bikini. I’m torn here.

  • Biff52

    But I get to keep my guns, right?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Whoever has the biggest ones gets to turn out the lights.

  • Scooter

    I promise to start working out tomorrow.

  • Shock Armstrong

    scoff

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