This article is part of our “Youth Head Delegate Blog Series” — written by our YHDs!
By Gwynneth T.
The world is full of amazing animals. Little pieces of life that we could stand to learn a lot from, in the way that they live and interact with the world around them. But, one thing that doesn’t get quite as much attention is the loss of plant biodiversity. From what we know, 39.4% of plants are now threatened with extinction. This is an unimaginable number when you consider the impacts of this on the way we live, and how the world functions around us.
First of all, we are barely on the brink of understanding plant consciousness. We are starting to see that forests and ecosystems are more interconnected than we ever thought. That they can communicate with each other using chemical signals bearing similarities to human emotions. Knowing this, it seems much more important that we give ourselves enough time to understand them before we assume there won’t be any negative impacts due to letting huge numbers of them go extinct. We’re finally starting to understand that plants are much more beautiful and complex than we could have ever imagined.
Another consideration is that the world is starting to tilt back towards natural forms of medicine. We are starting to see the long-term impacts of more chemically processed treatments. For all we know, the cure for cancer could exist in a certain plant. We could also be missing out on food sources that are more resilient to climate change. A great example of this is that it has been discovered that feeding livestock seaweed dramatically decreases their output of methane. If we let these seaweed species go extinct, we would be missing out on this opportunity to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Every plant species that go extinct means missed opportunities for the advancement and protection of our society in the face of a rapidly changing world.