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Biodiversity Article

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Taking a Brief Look at Biodiversity

We often hear about how forms of life, whether plant or animal, are permanently disappearing around us. This extinction process leads to questions about what biodiversity is and why biodiversity is important. Of course, the answers we get depend on who we ask. Business, governments, scientists, and environmentalists all give us different answers to these questions. This just furthers the interest of the inquisitive mind to find the truth. Just as those giving the answers vary the answers based on their backgrounds, those seeking the answers also need answers that will fit in the contexts from which they come seeking.

Biodiversity can be thought of simply as the variation of lifeforms within an environment. There are many different environments on this planet. We typically break down these environments into 34 different locations across the world with their own unique features, characterized by the diversity of life within each environment.

If we are looking at solutions to dying species, we will need to recognize that solutions in one type of environment will be different than the solutions in another. For example, a water-based ecosystem will have a much different healthy equilibrium of environmental factors than a land-based ecosystem. You would deal with water shortages differently in one than you would in the other. Further, you must separate consideration of macro factors such as water available from micro factors such as a new strain of bacteria. Even within these types of environments, a land-based ecosystem in North Africa will have a very different equilibrium than a land-based ecosystem in Alaska.

Back at our human society level, biodiversity information must channel through several levels and uneducated interpretations of scientific data before it reaches the masses of society. The information is tainted by the objectives of specific groups, such as environmentalists, elected officials, and business enterprises. The adversarial nature of these relationships make it necessary that we each do some self-investigation for the truth, rather than simply listening to the leaders we normally trust. This is the only way we can begin to make the right decisions to maintain our planet's rich regions of biodiversity.

The biodiversity of our planet as a whole is the culmination of the diverse relationships between lifeforms in all of our planet's ecosystems. We, as humans, are one small part of that. Our existence is reliant on the activity of the other lifeforms. If we lose too much of our biodiversity, life will itself cease to be sustainable as necessary natural processes are halted. This is why it is so important for us to preserve as much biodiversity on our planet as we can. In preserving biodiversity, we are saving our own existence.


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