[Marxism] Fwd: 2611. How to Stop the Sixth Extinction: A Critical Assessment of E. O. Wilson’s Half-Earth

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 16 07:46:56 MDT 2017

The anthropogenic Sixth Extinction is an existential threat to much of 
life on Earth, including the human species.  In this essay, I critically 
examine the renowned entomologist, naturalist, and conservationist E. O. 
Wilson’s proposal in his recent book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for 
Life (2016), to stop and reverse it.  In section I, I will outline what 
is meant by biodiversity and why it matters, and provide the basic facts 
about the Sixth Extinction and its salient causes.  In section II, I 
will outline Wilson’s proposal identifying tensions in his arguments for 
its efficacy.  In particular, I will show the tension between Wilson’s 
love for the natural world and his knowledge of biology and ecology on 
one hand and his inadequate understanding of human history, in 
particular, the capitalist civilization, which results in wishful 
thinking.  The Half-Earth proposal is necessary but not sufficient for 
stopping and reversing the Sixth Extinction. Finally, I conclude with a 
brief outline of what I consider to be necessary in order to make 
Wilson’s proposal effective.


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