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The biological global revolution...

The point I want to make is a simple one. The biological revolution that we're seeing is equal to or even greater than what we normally call global change. Look at the rate of biological turmoil, restructuring and reshuffling, the rate of how fast that's happening, and then compare it to something crucial like the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is driving climate change. The rate of biotic change is as great as, and in many cases much greater than, the change to the physical environment.

Looking at California again, we have over eight thousand frogs, birds, plants, and butterflies. More than a thousand of these are new species to the system. They have appeared in the past 100 years or so We have biotic enrichment. Invasions, or new species additions, at this point in time greatly out number the losses that were seeing.

Worst case
scenario invasives

What were essentially doing is taking the continents of Earth and shoving them back together again. Were recreating the Pangea that Bruce Tiffaney spoke about and were doing it in a very short period of time, not millions of years but tens of years or hundreds of years. For an ecologist, though, tongue in cheek, this is a great thing because ecologists are notoriously bad taxonomists. Now all you need to know is a few plants, a few animals. You go around the world and find the same things everywhere. Were getting a uniform flora in many parts of the world. Get up, get off the plane, get in the car, you're driving along and seeing all your old friends, wherever you happen to be. Its quite extraordinary.


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