Landmark Study: Human Population Growth, Consumption Has Increased Species Extinctions by More Than 1,000 Times Natural Rate. – Here is a study that confirms once again the damage we humans are doing to the environment. That we continue at such a rate is bewildering and will be astonishing for future generations. Much of the problem is that we are being held back by a large, well-funded minority of religious fundamentalist and free-market (itself a kind of religion) enthusiasts in almost unfathomably deep denial of science. The consequences will be dire if we do not break through the political, social,and intellectual wall they put up. Two recent rays of hope are president Obama’s new carbon emission reduction initiative and the fact that Neil DeGrasse Tyson,with his “Comos” remake, has both groups of these people running scared.