Author: Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
Extinctions, of course, have been happening for millions of years: animals and plants were disappearing long before people arrived on the scene. But what has changed is the extinction rate. For millions of years, on average, one species became extinct every century. But most of the extinctions since prehistoric times have occurred in the last three hundred years.
And most of the extinctions that have occurred in the last three hundred years have occurred in the last fifty.
And most of the extinctions that have occurred in the last fifty have occurred in the last ten.
It is the sheer rate of acceleration that is as terrifying as anything else. There are nore more than a thousand different species of animals and plants becoming extinct every year.