Are we going extinct?


Earth has lived through five extinctions: Ordovician-Silurian Extinction, Devonian Extinction, Permian-Triassic Extinction, Triassic-Jurassic Extinction, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction. Volcanoes, climate change, and natural causes have been responsible for these extinctions. However, scientists have come to the conclusion that we are currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction event called the Holocene Extinction. Except now, these damages are due to human activity. Scientists concluded that the extinction rate is currently higher than all the previous mass extinctions. At this rate, in a few centuries about 75% of all mammals will be extinct, and more than 500 species that roam the land today will be extinct within 20 years.
Some people believe that we’re not going through a mass extinction, and that it’s just a way to frighten people into action. Although this is a possibility, many scientists have evidence that the sixth mass extinction is happening right now. Also, if we aren’t in the middle of a mass extinction then what is the explanation of so many animals and organisms becoming endangered or extinct?
Although humans are the primary cause of the Holocene Extinction, they can also be the one to reverse it. If we slow down the population growth and preserve more land and water, over 80% of species can be saved. People feel as though they don’t have the power to make a difference, but even small changes such as eating less meat, not burning fossil fuels, and even just going out into nature and realizing how bad the environment is, can all contribute to making this planet better.
I interviewed a few students on how they feel about the situation, and surprisingly, this is a controversial topic. Kemet Crawford said, “Animal life on this planet is very important so I don’t feel too good about being a part of the reason for their extinction.”
Another student said, “Animal extinction is bad, but it’s needed for humanity because it gets rid of the animals who hurt us for development.” This shows how even for the simplest topics, everyone can have a different opinion.
The sixth extinction has begun and it will ruin the world if we don’t step up and start doing something about it. So many animals are becoming endangered and their habitats are being destroyed because of us. How long will this continue before we do something about it?
“EarthSky | 6th Mass Extinction Happening Now? These Scientists Say Yes.”, 21 Jan. 2022,, Tammana.
“What Is Mass Extinction and Are We Facing a Sixth One?” Natural History Museum, London, 19 May 2021,
h-mass-extinction-in-progress-invertebrates/. Accessed 4 May 2022.
Brannen, Peter. “Earth Is Not in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic, 13 June 2017, Accessed 4 May 2022.