From The Atlantic‘s Niraj Chokshi: “Seed magazine explores the idea that humans are eradicating cultural, language and species differences. Rates of species extinction have grown by as much as 10,000 because of us and half of the world’s languages are expected to vanish by the end of the century. A worthwhile read.”
Even before we’ve been able to take stock of the enormous diversity that today exists – from undescribed microbes to undocumented tongues – this epidemic carries away an entire human language every two weeks, destroys a domesticated food-crop variety every six hours, and kills off an entire species every few minutes. The fallout isn’t merely an assault to our aesthetic or even ethical values: As cultures and languages vanish, along with them go vast and ancient storehouses of accumulated knowledge. And as species disappear, along with them go not just valuable genetic resources, but critical links in complex ecological webs.
Here’s the article by Seed’s Maywa Montenegro and author/blogger Terry Glavin.
UPDATE: The New York Times picked this article as their Idea of the Day for July 14.
Today’s idea: Is the loss of language and culture connected to the extinction of plant and animal species in a globalized “epidemic of sameness”? Welcome to the “science of resilience” — an interdisciplinary study of the value of diversity in complex systems.