As it turns out, 60 Minutes‘ featuring anti-human pundit Paul Ehrlich was part of an attempt to push the so-called Sixth Mass Extinction scare that was unsuccessful five years ago and four other times before.
Proponents of this ecological disaster state that three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries and humans are the cause of the catastrophe. But, like Paul Ehrlich’s predictions, this event has been debunked as well. For example, in an interview published in 2017 for The Atlantic, paleontologist Doug Erwin said claims about the Six Mass Extinction are junk science:
“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.”
This is because by the time a mass extinction starts, the world would already be over.
“So if we really are in the middle of a mass extinction,” I started, “it wouldn’t be a matter of saving tigers and elephants.”
“Right, you probably have to worry about saving coyotes and rats.
“It’s a network collapse problem,” he said. “Just like power grids. Network dynamics research has been getting a ton of money from DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]. They’re all physicists studying it, who don’t care about power grids or ecosystems, they care about math. So the secret about power grids is that nobody actually knows how they work. And it’s exactly the same problem you have in ecosystems.
“I think that if we keep things up long enough, we’ll get to a mass extinction, but we’re not in a mass extinction yet, and I think that’s an optimistic discovery because that means we actually have time to avoid Armageddon,” he said.
Dr. Erwin made these remarks in response to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences headed by ecology professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Gerardo Ceballos in which one of his co-authors was (you guessed it) Stanford University biologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich.
Unfortunately, some species will go extinct. They live, adjust and sometimes die resulting to climate changes or choosing another area to occupy that has a different environment. That is a natural fact of life but not solely or even mostly due to human activity.