Reading the editorial “Averting the collapse of nature” in the May 8 edition, I was shocked to learn that “as many as 1 million species are threatened with extinction” and it is a result of human behavior. The article tells us that “the principal causes are land use change, overfishing, pollution, climate change and population growth,” emphasizing the importance of “a rethinking of development and the meaning of economic growth.”
I fully understand and accept this argument, yet I feel I cannot help but add one more human behavior. That is, we have a lot of nuclear weapons. It is estimated there are 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world. If we use these weapons and fight one another in a total nuclear war, all life on Earth will be instantly put at the risk of extinction.
Therefore, it can be said we now live in an age when all life on Earth is threatened with extinction as “a result of human behavior.”
I cannot imagine our beautiful planet without different forms of life. All species are interconnected. We cannot breathe, drink and eat without all the benefits provided by biodiversity — so biodiversity keeps us alive.
Can we justify annihilating all species and destroying the balance of nature because of our behavior? We must change our behavior to protect biological diversity.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.