The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Strategic CSR - Extinction

The article in the url below quantifies the effect humanity has had on the other animals sharing our planet:
"Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet."
"The world's 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds."
As noted in earlier Newsletters, the impact of humanity is leading to the declaration of a new era, the Anthropocene (see Strategic CSR – Anthropocene), but this article suggests a new indicator of this impact:
"One suggested marker for this change are the bones of the domestic chicken, now ubiquitous across the globe. The new work reveals that farmed poultry today makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, with just 30% being wild. The picture is even more stark for mammals – 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals."
This era is characterized not only by the indicators of human life (such as plastic and nuclear fallout), which will remain for millennia, but also by the devastation that humanity as caused:
"The destruction of wild habitat for farming, logging and development has resulted in the start of what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth's four billion year history. About half the Earth's animals are thought to have been lost in the last 50 years. ... Just one-sixth of wild mammals, from mice to elephants, remain, surprising even the scientists. In the oceans, three centuries of whaling has left just a fifth of marine mammals in the oceans."
The graphics accompanying the article demonstrate this effect particularly well, for example:
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Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals
By Damian Carrington
May 21, 2018
The Guardian