Scientists sound the alarm (again!) in a new report in Frontiers in Conservation Science
Solutions to climate change must be devised and implemented fast, if we’re to have any hope of a decent future for our species and our planet. A team of 17 scientists has published a sobering report, titled Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future. It states that ‘future environmental conditions will be far more dangerous than currently believed. The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms—including humanity—is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,’ and wonders if any of our existing political or economic systems are capable of dealing with the disasters that lie ahead. The report also calls on scientists to speak out ‘candidly and accurately’ when engaging with government, business and the public.
The good news is, we have a plan…
Biodiversity loss is terrifying
A mass extinction is defined as a loss of around 75% of all species on the planet over a geologically short interval—generally anything <3 million years. It is undeniable that we are now on the brink of the 6th mass extinction since the Cambrian period.
Human population growth
The global human population has approximately doubled since 1970, reaching nearly 7.8 billion people today. Large population size and continued growth are implicated in many societal problems. The impact of population growth, combined with an imperfect distribution of resources, leads to massive food insecurity. By some estimates, 700–800 million people are starving and 1–2 billion are micronutrient-malnourished and unable to function fully, with prospects of many more food problems in the near future. Population growth also directly contributes to biodiversity loss and soil degradation.
We’ve failed spectacularly up to now, running an ‘ecological Ponzi scheme’
None of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020 have been met. And most of the nature-related UN Sustainable Development Goals look likely to fail also. The report puts it well: ‘humanity is running an ecological Ponzi scheme in which society robs nature and future generations to pay for boosting incomes in the short term.’ And it’s highly likely that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 2 million lives at the time of writing, was caused by humans encroaching more on wildlife habitats, trading and eating wild animals, and upsetting the natural biodiversity balance. Previous deadly viruses, such as AIDS and SARS, can also be blamed on the human disregard of nature. If we don’t find balance and respect towards nature and biodiversity fast, we can look forward to more deadly pandemics.
Solutions to climate change, here’s how you can help avoid a ghastly future for life on Earth
We need to ask ourselves, individually and as a species, whether we want more pandemics. When we conclusively answer ‘No way!’, then we must act to preserve biodiversity and natural habitats. We must also act fast to start cooling the atmosphere, by taking billions of tons of CO2 out of the air that we all share. The solution starts with you. But you’re not alone. Let’s do this together.
Ready to save the world?
Join our Hempoffset project, which aims to plant one billion acres of hemp worldwide, and stop climate change, while increasing biodiversity.
Read the full report, Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcosc.2020.615419/full
Check out our post on what you can do this year to help the planet.
Check out David Attenborough’s documentary on Netflix. It will change you, promise.
What’s a Ponzi scheme? Robbing Peter to pay Paul, essentially. Read this Wikipedia explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme
Environmental change: From Frontiers report detailed above.
Human population: By Bdm25 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89215845
Sustainable Development Air GIF By United Nations, source Giphy.com
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