2026: Year Zero for wildlife?

A friend recently told me about this; I’ll let them speak for themselves:

And another site here:

This seems unlikely to me, but this is the first I’ve given the matter any thought, so I don’t have much invested in it either way.

And they do have numbers, I just don’t know if those numbers are correct or even applicable in the way they used them (I’m not a statistician; I’m a snowboarder, eh).

If true, it definitely seems like something to be alarmed about tho.

So I’m turning to my fellow Dopers on this one. Is the planet doomed to have virtually no newborn wild animals in just 7 years so, or is it considerably less dire than that? What’s the Straight Dope here?

‘Biased’ doesn’t even begin to cover that site, and the ‘other site’ was using the same wording, it looks like just the same people with a different name.

For better data, looking at actual individual species and ecosystems, try the IUCN. A huge project that’s been assessing conservation on a species level for over 50 years.

From there; 27% of species on their database of 98,500+ species are currently assessed as at risk of extinction (at least in the wild) without action. A large number, extremely concerning, but not close to 100% or thereabouts in 7 years.

Oh yeah. From the get-go the bias/purpose is real obvious; that’s part of why it seemed “unlikely”.

But bias doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. Plenty of people speak passionately about stuff that is real.

The numbers at the Climate Healers (CH) website all come from the National Academy of Sciences or the World Wildlife Fund; are those number incorrect?

You think? Let’s just put their dodgy-ass math and wild assumptions aside and just apply a tiny bit of logic to this. Just to pick some random examples out of a hat, what exactly do you think is going to eliminate the 30 million+ deer( of all species )estimated to live in the U.S. in the next six and a half years? Every raccoon rooting through your garbage? Every seagull stealing your sandwich on the beach? Every betta fish swimming in a rice paddy in Thailand?

It’s absurd. And it kinda pisses me off, because the outlook for global diversity is truly pretty grim. A LOT of big mega-vertebrates are in fact in pretty awful shape, especially large predators. A lot of fish stocks are threatened. Many amphibians are struggling. Habitat loss issues are everywhere.

But these sensationalist assholes don’t help. Because by putting out absurd claims it just trivializes the real threats out there. Honestly it makes me want to go on a shooting spree*.

  • With my camera of course, for my upcoming gallery show Morons of the Internet.

One can gain a wealth of information by extrapolating current trends.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good information.

They may be technically correct. They’re not saying the die-off would actually happen. They are saying “at the current rates of decline, 100% of wild vertebrates will die off by 2026.” That’s a statement of fact about the current rate of decline, not a prediction.

I’m old. There has been pending planetary doom as long as I’ve been alive, and I’ve heard every version of it - from climate change, global warming, global cooling, peak oil, nuclear winter, the population bomb – going all the way back to the 60s when we hid under our school desks because missile attacks were coming.

The world has been on the brink of total Armageddon my entire life, and the science has always been settled. So I learned a long time ago to ignore the doom-sayers. They’ve been shrieking at me as long as I’ve been alive – and I will not insult my own intelligence by giving them a second’s consideration any more. The world (and the animals) will be fine in 2026. And it will be fine after whatever following end-of-the-world event they dream up next. Whenever I see an imminent doom article, I just skip over it. Trust me, you’ll be a lot less stressed if you ignore this stuff.

Extrapolation from a small observation window is useless. One of my kids just moved back home. Based on last week, we should have 523 people crowded into this house in just 10 years.

pullin – my position and sentiments on this matter, match yours fairly closely. Decades of experts declaiming on forthcoming doom and woe, for a succession of different reasons – cannot but bring to mind, in the end, boys-crying-wolf thoughts.

Concerning various elements in his Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift has at times been suspected of having prophetic powers. The third volume of Gulliver, telling of the land of Balnibarbi and its associated territories, is particularly rich in seeming prescience about various human follies and abuses, some of them particularly in evidence a couple of centuries down the line. From what I remember – can’t give a cite, I’m afraid – one of the specialities of the mad scientists or “projectors” who ran Balnibarbi (their most famous programme, being that for extracting sunbeams from cucumbers), was endless successive doom-and-gloom tirades about the perceivedly probable civilisation-ending threat du jour – there was always, without fail, a new one when its predecessor didn’t happen. I’ll admit that there are in real life, plenty of large-scale issues which are worrying – but the sometimes hysterical way in which those who trumpet the threats, do so; tends to have an “overkill” effect on many hearers.

Arguably, there is no “wildlife” now - there are virtually no places on Earth (at least, on its surface) that humans can’t reach and indiscriminately kill whatever plant and animal life they find there. There are just places that nobody bothers to, as yet, or have been declared protected, for what that’s worth.