It seems like there is an uptick in terrible environmental news.
For roughly a decade, the land snail species Achatinella apexfulva, which used to be plentiful on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, was believed to be down to a single survivor. His name was George, and he lived his last days alone in a terrarium in Kailua, Hawaii, alongside an ample supply of fungi (a food his ancestors liked to scrape off leaves in the wild).
But on Jan. 1, George died, according to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. He lived to about age 14 — a good, long life for a snail of his kind, experts say.George the Snail, Believed to Be the Last of His Species, Dies at 14 in Hawaii
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit group that conducts a yearly census of the western monarch, said the population reached historic lows in 2018, an estimated 86 percent decline from the previous year.
That in itself would be troubling news. But, combined with a 97 percent decline in the total population since the 1980s, this year’s count is “potentially catastrophic,” according to the biologist Emma Pelton.With 86% Drop, California’s Monarch Butterfly Population Hits Record Low
Scientists say the world’s oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change because almost all the excess heat absorbed by the planet ends up stored in their waters.Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds
Sure, in the long run we are all dead, but this is not ok. We are immorally depriving future generations of the bounty of life that four billion years of evolution has provided.