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What better evidence than a mass extinction could there be of the power, dominance, and evolutionary supremacy of Homo sapiens over all living things? The problem is that the body count is missing. 20 There is no evidence that extinctions have occurred at a magnitude that would even remotely bear out the predictions of the 1990s or the claim that we are in the midst of a mass extinction event. 21

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a highly respected scientific organization, keeps tabs on the number of species that have gone extinct. The IUCN Red List database of 2017, which looks at around 24,230 plant species, lists about 118 of them as disappearing since 1500, while another 35 are extinct in the wild but survive in cultivation.A mass extinction among the 24,230 plant species surveyed would require the loss of 18,000 of them. Given observed extinctions, at the current rate, the extinction of these 18,000 plants would take more than 70,000 years.

Or take insects, by far the largest faunal group in nature. Entomologists have good information on butterflies, tiger beetles, dragonflies, and damselflies. Over 25,250 of these species have been evaluated; only three are known to have become extinct in the past 500 years. 22 A mass extinction will therefore take three million years, although some data are hard to assess.

If plants and insects don’t suffice, consider animals. IUCN manages data on 67,222 animals. It lists 748 as extinct since 1500 and an additional 34 as extinct in the wild.For a mass extinction to overtake 67,222 animals, 50,000 of them would need to disappear, which would take more than 25,000 years. All told, IUCN estimates that about 900 plant and animal species — 150 plants and 750 animals — have gone extinct since the year 1500. If one “ballparks” these numbers, 1,000 species went extinct at a rate of approximately two species per year during the past 500 years in a sample of roughly 100,000 species. A “mass extinction” at this rate will take 34,250 years. Solid Linen Blend Drawstring Skirt Plus Size SUSINA Free Shipping Enjoy S3cuns4

Nonetheless, a Google Scholar search of the phrase “sixth mass extinction” generates almost 6,000 hits, nearly all of which concur that such an extinction event is well under way. Within this vast scientific consensus, it is difficult to find even a single article that questions the extinction predictions of the 1990s. Contrarian papers are often denied publication, biologists Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier have found, because reviewers worry “as much about political fallout and potential misinterpretation by the public as they do about the validity and rigor of the science.” 24

The belief that the world has embarked on a sixth mass extinction, it turns out, is based on theory, not data. The first model, which most ecologists defend, originates from the theory of island biogeography presented in 1967 by Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson. 25 MacArthur and Wilson argued that the number of species that will come to an island (the “immigration rate”) will fall over time “because as more species become established, fewer immigrants will belong to new species.” Conversely, “the extinction curve must on the other hand rise,” they reasoned, since the more species colonize, “the more there are to become extinct” and the more likely each will succumb to “ecological and genetical accident.” The theory of island biogeography, although centered on islands, is often used to model fragments of natural biodiversity surrounded by human development on the mainland as well.

Against his better judgment, Livingston ordered the sleeve into production. Three quarters of a million albums were printed, with a reported 60,000 copies sent to media contacts and retailers in advance of the June 15threlease date. Predictably, most balked at the gory cover. “Word came back very fast that the dealers would not touch it. They would not put the album in their stores,” Livingston said. Lennon, however, remained defiant. “It’s as relevant as Vietnam,” he said during a press conference at the time. “If the public can accept something as cruel as the war, they can accept this cover.”

Capitol Records found themselves in the unenviable position of either sitting on an album they couldn’t sell or pissing off their star attraction by changing the artwork. The Beatles could have flexed their formidable muscle, but to the surprise of all concerned, they backed down.

The band’s manager, Brian Epstein, was in the midst of renegotiating their American distribution contract. Though it’s hard to believe today, offers from other labels were not forthcoming. Industry insiders, including Columbia kingpin Clive Davis , felt the Beatles had peaked and weren’t willing to match Epstein’s figure. Rather than risk future negotiations with reps at Capitol, Epstein (who apparently loathed the photo) convinced the Beatles to substitute a new shot – also taken by Whitaker – showing the band crowded around an old fashioned steamer trunk. “They stuck that awful-looking picture of us looking just as deadbeat but supposed to be a happy-go-lucky foursome,” Lennon grumbled a decade later.

On June 14th, Capitol began a massive recall effort dubbed “Operation Retrieve.” They sent a letter to retailers and reviewers requesting that copies of the album be returned immediately. “The original cover, created in England, was intended as ‘pop art’ satire,” Livingston explained in the message . “However, a sampling of public opinion in the United States indicates that the cover design is subject to misinterpretation.” The strategy was largely successful, although a handful of stores jumped the gun and sold the illicit album for a single day.

Workers at Capitol’s four major pressing plants toiled through the weekend stuffing discs into new sleeves. According to an internal memo, 50,000 “butcher” sleeves were dumped into a landfill, where they were covered with layers of water, dirt, and trash. Rational minds ultimately hit upon a more efficient solution of pasting new cover slicks onto the existing sleeve. This saved time as well as money, and the inoffensive version of Yesterday and Today was in stores on June 20th, 1966, five days later than scheduled. The controversy didn’t dampen the public’s ardor for the Fab Four, and the album shot to Number One on the Billboard charts. Even so, the recall cost the label over $200,000, reportedly making it the only Beatles’ album to lose money for Capitol.

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