OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- Humans are responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010, a U.N. report said on Monday.
"In effect, we are currently responsible for the sixth major extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago," said the 92-page Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 report.
A rising human population of 6.5 billion was undermining the environment for animals and plants via pollution, expanding cities, deforestation, introduction of "alien species" and global warming, it said.
It estimated the current pace of extinctions was 1,000 times faster than historical rates, jeopardizing a global goal set at a 2002 U.N. summit in Johannesburg "to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss".
[We should be proud about this: it used to take god-like natural disasters to extinct this many species. We’re being much more tedious and maniacal about it. I guess we win! But what does it say about a species so intelligent that their complex, dysfunctional orders eventually extinct themselves? At best, we can suppose the answer.]