British studies suggest we're in the midst of a mass extinction
. Perhaps you've seen this story.
"By 2050, between 25 percent and 50 percent of all species will have disappeared or be too few in numbers to survive. There'll be a few over-visited parks, the coral reefs will be beaten up, grasslands overgrazed. Vast areas of the tropics that have lost their forests will have the same damn weeds, bushes and scrawny eucalyptus trees so that you don't know if you're in Africa or the Americas.
Without its natural diversity the world will be a poorer place. It will be boring."
--conservation biologist Stuart Pimm, in a Wired
For some reason, this evokes for me the criticisms people make about, like, malls and suburban sprawl and the ubiquity of places like Starbucks and Wal-Mart. There seem to be a lot of widely disparate forces, in many different arenas, pushing toward the same kinds of homogenous monocultures. And how stable, how sustainable, is a monoculture? Ask a conservation biologist, or somebody who keeps up with Windows security patches.
Is it unreasonable to find parallels between extinct species of butterflies, endangered indigenous cultures and threatened mom-and-pop businesses? (I hate the cliche, but you know what I mean.) At the risk of oversimplifying, I might suggest that, frequently, it's the same people who are profiting.
Also: if I had Lexis/Nexis access, I could do a search for articles which contain the words "Courtney Love" and the words "reign of terror." For now, here's one from the NYT
, and some Google results