Greetings Good People,
I posed a question in a previous post about the necessity of living and working outside of planet earth—with the evolution of technology, that conversation no longer seems like a far-fetched illusion. And based off of the research I’ve been doing, particularly on the treatment of the planet, leaving might become the only option for survival for future generations.
According to BBC News, more than 150 whales died recently from a mass stranding on the coast of Western Australia, Hamelin Bay. Experts say, “stranding can occur when whales are sick or injured, or make navigational errors, particularly along gentle sloping beaches.” But rescue coordinators have advised that this is a mystery, which I’m not convinced with because the environmental conditions for these whales have yet to be mentioned; low food stock, unusual temperatures, pollution, etc. Is it because we (humans) are playing a major role in the destruction of animals and our planet, and don’t want to be called out on it?
Well, World Scientists advised just that in a “Warning To Humanity” letter that was penned in 1992, and the second one was released in 2017. More than 1700 scientists have signed this letter arguing that “human beings and the natural world are on a collision course; if not checked, many of our current practices put at risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.”
This chart, from the second letter penned, highlights a few of the environmental issues spanning from 1960 – 2016. And I want to expand on a few critical areas as well.
According to CNN, Earth has seen a 26% reduction in the amount of fresh water available per capita since the 1992 World Scientist Humanity Letter. The UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has predicted that, if things don’t change, the world will face a 40% global water deficit by 2030. The increasing population growth, industrialization, pollution, and increase in water consumption has threatened our fresh water supply; which is lending to the death of sea animals. And scientists believe that there are 405 dead zones (hypoxic zones: areas in the ocean of such low oxygen concentration that animal life suffocates and dies) worldwide, including South America, Japan, China, and southeast Australia.
Between 1990 – 2015, the world has lost over 129 million acres of forest land, which is about the size of Africa. And with the population growth continuing, this country could lose 50 million acres by 2050. Why is this problematic, you might ask? The trees help clean the air and water, provide lumber for construction, help mitigate the impact of climate change, and create habitats for animals. And speaking of animals, there has been a 29% reduction in the number of animals since 1992 as well. Between 1900 and 2015, 177 mammal species lost at least 80% of their geographic range during that time; they lost 30% of their territory and more than 40% of those species experienced severe population decline.
Also, according to CNN, carbon dioxide emissions have increased by about 90% since 1970. 78% of that comes from fossil fuel combustion use of coal to heat our homes, driving cars (carbon monoxide), and basic processes and human activities. Excessive temperature increases can lead to a shortage of the world’s food crops, more damaging weather, more intense storms, rising sea levels, and all-around mass destruction. And this speaks volumes about the insane weather events that have taken place the past 2 years.
I want to encourage everyone to start paying attention to what is happening to our planet and start looking for individual solutions that can be made on your part. Finding the nearest recycling center, veganism, and energy preservation are just a few that I could think of, but it’s going to require a collective effort from the masses. If not, we’re in trouble.
Until Next Time…
Christensen, J. (2017, November 15). 16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet. Retrieved March 26, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/health/scientists-warn-humanity/index.html
Lusseau, D. (n.d.). Do Whales Commit Suicide? Retrieved March 26, 2018, from http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/do-whales-commit-suicide/
Hamelin Bay: Nearly 150 beached whales die in Australia. (2018, March 23). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-43519439
World Scientists’ Warning To Humanity. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2017/11/World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity 1992.pdf
World Scientists’ Warning To Humanity: A Second Notice. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from http://scientists.forestry.oregonstate.edu/sites/sw/files/Warning_article_with_supp_11-13-17.pdf