BILL MOYERS: Why... should we care if the woodpecker goes? I mean, we've lost---how many species have we lost? We don't know how many species we've lost in the millennium.
E.O. WILSON: No. But-- how many species going extinct or becoming very rare do you think it takes before you see something happening? ... And more than that-- we lose the services of these species.
BILL MOYERS: The services of these species.
E.O. WILSON: Yes services of these species to us. Like pollination and water purification…
BILL MOYERS: That we get free from nature.
E.O. WILSON Yeah. Here's an easy way to remember it. We get from nature scot-free, so long as we don't screw it up and destroy it-- approximately the same amount of services as far as you can measure them in dollars as we ourselves produce each year. It was about $30 trillion a year. T. Trillion.
E.O. WILSON: If we do not abate the various changes we're causing-- climate, habitat destruction-- the-- continuing pollution of major-- river system-- systems and so on we will, by the end of the century, lose or have right at the brink of extinction-- about half the species of plants and animals-- in the world, certainly on the land.
BILL MOYERS: I'm sitting here trying to believe-- is this distinguished man, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, author of 25 books, telling me that he conceives of the obliteration of nature?
E.O. WILSON Yes.
BILL MOYERS: The end of nature. The end of-- what do you mean by--
E.O. WILSON I mean the end of-- a large part of the rest of life on-- the planet.
Well, there you have it. We're all going to die. Thanks, Dr. Wilson!