The graph is provided by USGS, but I think it shows exactly what you are asking. To explain what is happening, we must realize that the human population is increasing unsustainably. The more people, the higher the demand for water, land, resources and fossil fuels. There are finite resources and we are taking away from the other species that depend on them. Species are said to be disappearing 1000 time faster than typical and that is thanks to us.
While I certainly agree with everything that paprika says about human consumption habits, I just wanted to add that estimating the total number of species is extremely difficult. There are so many species that we have not even identified–and others that we thought we had identified, thought went extinct, but then “rediscovered.” This is the aptly named Lazarus Effect, and I think it shows that we need to demonstrate a little caution (or modesty) when making pronouncements about the existence or extinction of a species.
We are definitely consuming more than we need to and altering more habitat than we should. But do read conservation’s “facts” and figures with a critical eye!
Kareiva, P. and M. Marvier. 2011. Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature. Roberts and Company Publishers, Inc.: Greenwood Village, CO.
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