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By Senator Tom Udall and Subhankar Banerjee on October 20, 2020

“Recently, thousands of migratory birds suddenly dropped dead across New Mexico. Sparrows, warblers and swallows that normally wheel across New Mexico’s iconic landscapes as they fly south for the winter instead fell lifeless across the land, weakened by extreme conditions. While scientists are still working to conclusively explain this tragedy, their initial findings clearly indicate that we are witnessing a canary in the coal mine moment—as we face down dual climate and nature crises gripping our planet.
As New Mexicans, we watched reports of this wave of bird deaths with alarm. But as a U.S. senator and a scholar of biodiversity, we saw this disaster as just one link in a chain of threats to our planet’s life support system. The World Wildlife Fund recently found that human activities have wiped out two thirds of the monitored populations of vertebrate species worldwide in the past 50 years—the blink of an evolutionary eye. Rachel Carson warned us of a silent spring; today, we face the prospect of a lonely Earth. Ecosystems worldwide are on the verge of collapse, and with them, the resources humanity needs to survive.”




Senator Tom Udall and I are co-hosts of the UNM Biodiversity Webinar Series, which launched on September 14, 2020 and will conclude on December 3. Our next webinar, “Indigenous Kinship and Multispecies Justice” is scheduled for Thursday, November 19. 


What is multispecies justice? I offer you one possible articulation that it is action, which I elaborated in a short essay two years ago “Resisting the War on Alaska’s Arctic with Multispecies Justice” that appeared in “Beyond the Extractive View” special issue in Social Text online edited by Professor Macarena Gómez-Barris. But we can also discuss multispecies justice through other lenses, including ethnography and ethics.
TODAY, we welcome our newest Partner in Education—the Office of Sustainability at the New Mexico State University. We are also pleased to share below the announcement of a biodiversity webinar that Climate Change Education Seminar and the Office of Sustainability at NMSU will host later this evening. The webinar can be accessed from the NMSU website: No pre-registration is required.

FOR NOW, OF IMPORTANCE: If you are eligible to vote in the United States—please do vote!

Best wishes in this time of peril,

Subhankar Banerjee

Director and Founder, Species in Peril project at UNM
You are receiving this email because of your past and/or ongoing affiliation with conservationist Subhankar Banerjee.

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