COMMENT:

Imminent mass extinction of all manner of species, and likely to be followed swiftly by us, is not a particularly cheery topic.

But it's helpful to understand what's occurring so as to mentally prepare for the inevitable bad hair day ahead. A day when your hairbrush may not be all that helpful.

When the apocalyptic rubber meets the melting road, as it's now doing daily, it pays to be mindful about how one is publicly seen to react. Panic is never attractive, and neither is sheer terror. So, how to take humanity's demise all in your stride, and barely raise a sweat? It's possible you may even find a new mate if you wear your fear well.

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The current voguish response is denial via distraction. There's always another Married at First Sight to relax and watch — and, anyway, you're only watching it ironically, right?

And none of us can actually do anything about the political inaction, the weather extremes, the looming food and water shortages, the mass movement of the suffering hordes. Oh, no. We have zero control over any of it. May as well keep going to the half-price sales at Briscoes, and taking the quick trips to the Gold Coast. Life's for the living.
Until it isn't.

Here's just a few of the salient headlines over the past two months from reputable, mainstream, global news organisations. If you haven't read them, or even seen them, let me avail you of their contents. Just to make your day even more magical.

"Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature." I concede bees may not be your favourite find on the toilet seat, but we kinda' need them, and all their ilk.

Their rate of extinction is happening eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles according to the first global scientific review. Humanity's increasing use of pesticides in intensive agriculture, along with urbanisation and climate change, are the main drivers. Those animals that rely on them to survive are simply disappearing.

The researchers say insects are "essential" for the proper functioning of all ecosystems. The upshot? Insects are fair steamrolling it towards annihilation, followed by all manner of species including guess who?

"Almost certain extinction: 1200 species under severe threat across world." Yeah, not just insects.

Bottom line? More than 1200 species globally face threats to their survival in more than 90 per cent of their habitat and "will almost certainly face extinction" without conservation intervention.

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Basically, it all boils down to biodiversity loss caused by, wait for it, humans. Surprise! Those threats were found on species across 84 per cent of the Earth's terrestrial surface.

Interestingly, the top five countries most affected by these impacts are all in southeast Asia. Malaysia was the most affected, followed by Brunei. Yeah, Brunei. Their new barbaric policy of stoning gay people to death will provide them with a distraction from their severe biodiversity loss for a bit longer before, you know, it won't.

Then, closer to home, came this headline: "Record numbers of Australia's wildlife species face 'imminent extinction'." Crikey. We're all heading up the Murrumbidgee in a barbed-wire canoe. Because, s'truth, this is seriously gnarly reading.

The report, "Abandoned — Australia's forest wildlife in crisis", identified 48 federally listed threatened species of forest-dwelling vertebrate fauna living in areas subject to state-run logging operations. Australia already has the highest rate of mammal extinction in the world, so this new data is in line with that.

But it's Australia, you know. Coal central. Climate change's home base. The devil's dungeon of denial. Let's get real. Will the Aussies be able to pull back on this species loss? Not on your Ned Kelly. So, chuck another shrimp on the barbie.

Now this one's a doozy. "The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change." It's as if the headlines are increasingly shouty and urgent but no one is listening, ain't it?

Anyway, the short version is that a three-year United Nations-backed study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has "grim implications for the future of humanity". Okie dokie. Tell us something we don't know.

Scientists are practically pleading and begging Governments to act now to stop nature's freefall into the abyss. It uses words like "destruction" and "crisis" liberally, and the "extinction" word furiously. Pesky scientists. Always so dramatic and verbose.

Monday's headline, "Alarming trends continue in latest UN climate report", is more of the bloody buggery same! The World Meteorological Organisation is pointing out how far off-track the world is from meeting its emissions reduction targets.

I mean, how much more are we expected to take of this factual, scientific negativity before we explode off our collective arses and seek some much-needed advice about some new hair products?