The impacts of biodiversity loss is not a well-researched topic in EA. A small group of us have begun doing some research into the impacts of biodiversity loss (including mass extinction and its connection to ecosystem collapse) as a potential cause area that deserves more attention and resources.
After preliminary research we found very little active research within the EA community about this topic and only minor explorations from core EA organizations. If you know of substantial, recent research on this topic we would love to read it.
As a quick way to help our community by contributing to an under-explored topic, we invite you to fill out this 3 minute survey or respond in the comments to the question:
What is the strongest argument you know of for & against biodiversity loss as a cause area?
We also want to acknowledge that we have seen substantial research into climate change. We believe biodiversity loss warrants its own targeted research as a separate but related trigger for compounding devastating risk for life on Earth.
Even if the only point that matters at the end of the line is an individual's conscious experience (which I think is highly debatable), species themselves are inherently valuable in that the complex interplay of species, which we do not fully understand, is a huge part of the whole system that allows any individual consciousness to exist.
We know bees are critical and valuable because of their role in pollinating plants we eat. We know whales are critical and valuable because of their role in fertilizing the ocean so that phytoplankton (who produce most of ... (read more)