"We've got out of balance with nature. That's why we're threatened by climate change and that's why we got this crisis. We got this crisis because we have kept to deforestation, our climate change and unbridled urbanization and development, we have invaded ecosystems and destroyed them all over the world. From the Amazon to America to India to China, you know to Japan all across the world. And what we've done in these ecosystems is that we've killed the apex predator and we have killed the iconic species sometimes because we wanted their rhino horns or their elephant tusk or their tiger fur or whatever, and once you kill the apex predators in these ecosystems, all you're left with are the generalized species who then have no predators and they proliferate. They're called rats, they're called bats and they're called primates, different kinds of monkeys basically. And these, these rats bats and primates basically have co-evolved with these viruses in the wild. Well, when they proliferate, come closer to humans, and then we hunt them, and sell them in wet markets in Wuhan, next to domesticated beef, what happens? What happens is these viruses that actually co-evolved in the wilderness were never meant for human exposure, jump to humans and you end up with a global pandemic. SARS happened that way and Covid-19 happened that way."
~ Thomas Friedman, 06-05-2020. Full Transcript: Thomas Friedman on the world after novel coronavirus pandemic. India Today - Web Desk.
"...once you kill the apex predators in these ecosystems, all you're left with are the generalized species who then have no predators and they proliferate. They're called rats, they're called bats and they're called primates..."
This isn't what Friedman meant, but one significant species without predators that's proliferating quite a bit is H. sapiens, on course towards an estimated 11 billion on the planet by 2100. And that proliferation has its own effects!