Animal Law Review


Kieran Suckling

Author Details

Kieran Suckling is Science and Policy Director, Center for Biological Diversity.

First Page



Although it is a truism among conservation biologists that humanity is in the midst of the Earth's sixth great extinction spasm, overt public awareness of the crisis is dim, and understanding of its implications even dimmer. The house is burning down around us, and even as the beams begin to cave in, we have but the vaguest intuition of the enormity of the danger. How is it possible to ignore the biosphere careening toward an extinction catastrophe unparalleled not only in the brief span of human history, but in the last sixty-five million years of life on Earth? The question is not entirely rhetorical. It places us before the most profound and difficult task facing the environmental movement: how to reach through the maze of denial, information overload, biological disassociation, cynical politics, and economic struggle to turn our fellow humans toward the fire consuming plants, animals, and the ecosystems without which life, including our own, cannot exist.



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