Living in a Material World...
The New York times writes about how
"The United Nations says that the world is facing the worst extinction crisis since the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago, driven by a rising human population and spinoffs such as pollution, expanding cities and global warming."
The focus of the article is all about how this might harm the economy from the first line, "Losses of animal and plant species are an increasing economic threat" and all the way through:
"Apart from food production, less obvious sectors such as tourism, medicines or energy production with biofuels all depended upon nature and diversity of species.
"There is an economic opportunity here," said Finn Kateraas, a co-chair who works at the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, told Reuters. Protecting species can help safeguard long-term economic growth."
I think it says something that the only way people see of preventing humanity from wiping out a huge chunk of the other species we share the planet with is by appealing to our economic (material) self-interest rather than any concern with the survival of other species for their own sake.