A widely touted United Nations report predicting mass species extinction took a beating Wednesday at a House subcommittee hearing, with Republican-called witnesses blasting the claims as “highly exaggerated” and “authoritative propaganda.”
The executive summary released May 6 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services concluded that “transformative change” was needed to save as many as 1 million species at risk of extinction.
Evidence - Biodiversity - Right - Well-being - Activities
“The evidence is unequivocal. Biodiversity, which is important in its own right and essential for human well-being, is being destroyed by human activities at a rate unprecedented in human history,” Robert Watson, former chairman of IPBES, told the Natural Resources subcommittee on water, oceans and wildlife.
Rep. Jared Huffman, the California Democrat who chairs the subcommittee, said Earth is “currently in what they call the sixth mass extinction, and species are disappearing 100 times faster than historic rates, mostly because of things that we are doing.”
Premise - Patrick - Moore - Greenpeace - Leader
Challenging that premise was Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace leader, who argued that species extinction has declined in the past century thanks to international efforts. He insisted there was “zero evidence that any such event is occurring now or has even begun to occur.”
“As with the manufactured ‘climate crisis,’ they are using the specter of mass extinction as a fear tactic to scare the public into compliance,” Mr. Moore said in his prepared remarks. “The IPBES itself is an existential threat to sensible policy on biodiversity conservation.”
Result - Hearing - Mr - Huffman - Aim
The result was a feisty hearing in which Mr. Huffman took aim at the credentials of the Republican witnesses and Republicans accused the subcommittee of holding a hearing based on a document that nobody had read.
The report was prepared by 145 authors over three years using 15,000 peer-reviewed publications and 15,000 comments, but the full document remains classified and has yet to be released. A summary was...
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