“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction and governments must end the ‘orgy of destruction’, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said at the beginning of the biodiversity Cop15.

As a biologist I have watched the decline in biodiversity with mounting horror. The declines in populations of wild animals is horrific. Does nobody care?

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction and governments must end the ‘orgy of destruction’, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said at the beginning of the biodiversity Cop15.

“We are out of harmony with nature. In fact, we are playing an entirely different song. Around the world, for hundreds of years, we have conducted a cacophony of chaos, played with instruments of destruction. Deforestation and desertification are creating wastelands of once-thriving ecosystems,” he said.

Ecosystems have become playthings of profit. With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction. We are treating nature like a toilet and ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy.

“Our land, water and air are poisoned by chemicals and pesticides, and choked with plastics … The most important lesson we impart to children is to take responsibility for their actions. What example are we setting when we ourselves are failing this basic test?

“The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B,” Guterres told the opening ceremony of the conference in Montreal, Canada, where governments will begin formal negotiations for this decade’s UN biodiversity targets on Wednesday.

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