UN Secretary-General: 'Humanity Has Become a Weapon of Mass Extinction'

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • At biodiversity talks in Montreal on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed multinational corporations for making the environment into "playthings of profit." He suggested, "With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction.”

    • "We are treating nature like a toilet," Guterres stated. He added, "And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy," with a resulting impact on food security, disease, and fatalities.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Acting to address biodiversity loss has never been more urgent. Humanity relies on clean air, food, and a habitable climate. A terrifying one million plant and animal species are under threat of extinction. More than half of the global Gross Domestic Product, equal to $41.7 trillion, relies on healthy ecosystems. Limiting global warming to +1.5°C over baseline and meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals is possible if we agree to protect our fellow species.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    One of the urgent topics for COP15 is to set a new 10-year framework. It was no surprise that the last 10-year target was pronounced a failure by the Convention on Biological Diversity. This decade's draft proposal is just too weak. If humanity wants to meet the 30X30 target, we can't afford weak, vague, toothless language — Indigenous communities, species, and ecosystems all deserve better.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 24.6% of Earth's land will be protected for wildlife by January 1, 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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