Guess which article was written by a BBC journalist:
One statement… claims: “We are indeed experiencing the greatest wave of extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.” While that may (or may not) be true, the next sentence is spuriously precise: “Every hour three species disappear. Every day up to 150 species are lost’”… The International Union for Conservation in Nature (IUCN) has listed 801 animals and plant species (mostly animal) known to have gone extinct since 1500. But if it is really true that up to 150 species are being lost every day, shouldn’t we expect to be able to name more than 801 extinct species in 512 years.
Nearly one third of all species are now endangered due to human activities… the extinction of species is now happening between 1,000 and 10,000 times quicker than scientists would expect to see… more than 142,000 species have been assessed [by the IUCN] and 29% are considered endangered, which means they have a very high risk of extinction… it is hoped that an agreement can be reached to stop what scientists are calling the ‘sixth mass extinction’ event.
Correct, whichever one you chose – both articles were produced by BBC writers. But what a difference a decade makes. The first quote came from an article written in April 2012, while the second appeared a few days ago. The first article by Richard Knight reports the statement about a great wave of extinction. But it correctly shows it as a claim, and the author then goes on to examine whether it has any validity. The evidence suggests that it does not.