Happy International Day for Biological Diversity!

Not only that but Marine Biodiversity (yeah, it caught us by surprise too — I think the Convention on Biological Diversity needs some marketing advice . . .) Anyway, they have a cool logo which is worth a post in its own right.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, today, 22 May 2012, is the official International Day for Biological Diversity. And this is the year: 2012 I have just learned is the year of Marine Biodiversity (It’s about time!).

What’s it all about?

There’s a slick illustrated pamphlet, “One Ocean. Many Worlds of Life” (available as PDF here).

There’s a bunch of vignettes on various ocean topics.

There are celebrations all over the world! Hmm, so where are all the USA parties?

Oh wait, I forgot! the US declined to join the other 193 countries that ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. We decided to join the exclusive club of non-signers that includes . . . (are you ready?) Andorra, Iraq, and Somalia!

Why this strange state of affairs? Because we’re Americans!  And biodiversity is our property! And if ever there was a god in this country it’s property. Well, and money. Ain’t no one-world gummint gonna take that away from us!

Here’s what CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf had to say in a speech at George Washington University in 2008, in the midst of the financial meltdown that provided an eery parallel of the burgeoning biodiversity meltdown (full text here):

“In the wake of the financial collapse, Governments around the world scrambled to create  bail-out plans totalling trillions of dollars.  But when a fringing coral reef, which provides food,  protection from storms, and removes climate-change-causing carbon dioxide from the air,  collapses, what government rushes in to bail out that intricate ecosystem and the thousands of  human lives it supports?  Yes,  Governments  do contribute to the conservation of biodiversity  generally, but there is no real sense of urgency.  And yet the collapses are truly a matter of life  and death.”

So, I guess we’ll just sit on the sideline here.

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