The ABC reports that marine geophysicist, Mike Coffin (great name), says that we humans will cause 75 per cent of Earth’s species to be extinct within 240 to 540 years – a ‘mass extinction’.
Coffin stated at a conference in Hobart
Based on all threatened species as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature … assuming all of those threatened species become extinct then we would reach mass extinction somewhere between 240 and 540 years from now.
Later he told ABC radio
I think of that 8.7 million we think there are now, we’ve only [discovered] about 15 per cent. So there is still 85 per cent that are yet to be discovered and or described.
So Coffin thinks that the 8.7 million species known are a small fraction of potentially 58 million species. Yet he thinks that the extinction of 75 per cent of those known species – 6.525 million – would represent a mass extinction. Even if he were right about 6.5 million species becoming extinct – using the typical extrapolation favoured by the Club of Rome and others who do not know how to apply statistics – that would only be 11 per cent of total species.
In fact we are discovering new species at a faster rate than known species are becoming extinct. And humans have been acting to preserve species that would have become extinct if left to nature.
I think the final nail has been driven into Coffin’s theories.