The numbers are grim. Humans have significantly altered three-quarters of the earth’s land area, and leaving more than half a million species without enough habitats to survive.
Our forests are flattened. We’ve destroyed a third of the planet’s forest cover.
Our oceans are running dry. Our development of coastlines, drilling of sea beds, and plastic pollution make the seas inhospitable to healthy marine life populations.
Climate change, Industrial pollution, Epidemics, the list is endless.
And most of this is caused due to human interference with nature. Oceans have more plastic than fish; hills have more rubbish strewn by us than what it can sustain.
We need to understand the role nature plays in our life. We do not exist independently of nature. We need pollinators to grow fruits and vegetables, freshwater streams and wetlands to supply and filter drinking water, fertile soils to meet our agricultural demands, forests to provide medicines, and oceans to provide food.
So what is the tipping point before the earth around us totally collapses?
How more of the blame game are we going to be playing, before the planet totally caves in and disintegrates?
How much more collateral damage are we going to allow in the name of progress?
What are we leaving behind for the future generations to come?
Is rapid technological progress and human activity that continue to add heat trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, driving the Earth to the edge?
Every day, new evidence of our unsustainable impact on the environment is emerging. We are seeing the effects of climate change from the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between.
The UN estimates that, in the last 10 years, climate-related disasters have caused $1.4 trillion of damage worldwide. The unprecedented loss of biodiversity we are seeing today is an existential threat to human life and economic development. If the biodiversity index were considered akin to the stock market, our planet would be heading for a spectacular crash.
No human technology can fully replace “nature’s technology”, which is perfected over hundreds of millions of years in sustaining life on Earth.
We can’t have a prosperous future on a depleted planet. If we continue to produce, consume and power our lives the way we do right now, forests, oceans and weather systems will be overwhelmed and collapse.
Bottom line: We can fix this.
We have the power to stop the projected ecological catastrophe, but it will require a paradigm shift—a radical reorganizing of our technological, economic, social, and economic systems. We will have to say a Good-bye to extractive industries, like mining, biomass, and fossil fuels, and say hello to recycling, renewables, and reusables.
We must curb our consumption rates across the board, (ditching our plastic habits is just the beginning). And trade-offs—less meat for more vegetables, more public transit for less pollution.
And we must, above all, make the planet’s natural systems a leading priority in our collective fights for a better world. Anything less won’t cut it.
The moot question however is- are we willing?