Why Is Biodiversity Important- A Primer

Any number of people want to know Why is biodiversity important? One answer is that is important because it represents the almost infinite variety of plant and animal life, and the variety of the types of Earth’s ecosystems that support life as we know it. It enables humans to survive in what would be otherwise be some very adverse conditions.

Any study of why is biodiversity important can yield fascinating results. Biodiversity is the very stuff that supports the evolution and differentiation among the varying species. It’s why cats are cats and horses are horses and humans are humans. And, further, it is responsible for the differences among groups within the larger species. Look at how many seemingly different types of humans there are. Or jungle cats. Or birds.

Water, wind, and sunlight generate much of the energy we use, and the action of the planet on various substances over the course of centuries create and provide things like coal, which is used to generate heat and more energy. Energy from wind, water, sunlight, and coal heats our homes and powers all our appliances Decaying animal matter has, over the centuries created the fossil fuels we use on a daily basis to power the vehicles that make transportation relatively easy and convenient.

Without biodiversity we would be (if we existed at all) a homogeneous population, with each of us having the same vulnerabilities. This would mean that in, say an epidemic, we would all be killed since there would be no biologic differences that would enable some of us to survive and adapt. Much of our modern medicine is based on combinations of biologically diverse substances isolated from various plants (which we, therefore, label medicinal). Even before the rise of modern medicine, shamans and wise women used various plants to achieve various results. Without those plants, and the great variety of insects that pollinate and cross-pollinate them, humans would be much more vulnerable to disease.

Various industries consider the question of why is biodiversity important, because their industries provide lumber, granite, and marble to name a few of the building materials much human habitation depends upon we would largely be without shelter.

While humans are omnivorous, without biodiversity there would be virtually no variety in our diets. One reason to ask why is biodiversity important? is because biodiversity provides a literal treasure trove of foods, from things as common as wheat or corn to things as exotic as some of the seafood used in sushi. Further, not all the nutrients we need are in any particular food, so without a diverse base of foods to make combinations from our general health would suffer.

The most important reason for asking why is biodiversity important? is that biodiversity sustains the bodies we live in, and affects the lives we lead, and the societies we form.