With the start of a new year, I am troubled with the fact that so little has been done to alert the public to the damage that has been done to the natural world, and what means to humanity’s future. Climate denier’s, many of our Politicians and turmoil in our religious institutions; have me questioning why people seem to lack concern that we are rapidly destroying Earth’s ability to sustain human life. I have spent years researching and studying the work of the few scientists and scholars that have been attempting to alert us to the truth about the conditions and limits of Earth. Apparently, people are unwilling to accept the fact that we are rapidly approaching the carrying-capacity of our planet and unacceptable changes in living conditions are already occurring. These changes are primarily occurring on the outer fringes of our world population where life has always been challenging. With just a little effort, you can find documentation of how rising sea levels are flooding crop lands, increased temperatures are causing drought conditions resulting in the destruction of food crops, the artic tundra is melting releasing large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and causing the loss of food sources for reindeer grazing and the list of adverse impacts continues to expand. The people directly affected are screaming for help, but we don’t hear! People living in these fringe areas tend to be invisible, so we ignore the facts as long as our needs are met. We must realize these devastating impacts start with the challenged and poor, but eventually reach the entire world population. In the end, the effluent and elite simply suffer for a longer period of time, but still experience the same devastating ending.
I guess people are so focused on everyday living issues, they just don’t see or care about the rapidly changing condition of our natural world and what it means to humanity’s future. We have also been conditioned to believe advanced technology will provide for our future needs. The truth is we are observing species extinction almost daily as a result of ecosystem destruction. We are also being alerted to significant climatic changes that are occurring worldwide, and food shortages are expected to increase in the near future.
I recently read a brief statement from a young scientist about her interest in expanding studies on sustainability. I responded with a question of “sustainability of what”. I have observed several studies on sustainability which tend to focus on a sustained flow of products and renewable resources from the planet. I was once asked to review a research proposal which was recommending an experiment to fertilize a section of the ocean to provide an increased sustainable flow of fish and other sea food. Imagine the impact of dumping tons of artificial nutrients into the sea along with the tons of chemical fertilizers that are washing into the seas from surrounding land uses. This was another example of humanity’s belief that we can control and improve on creation! When will we realize our advancements in technology are destroying the natural world, not improving it! We simply cannot continue the current affluent life style our developed countries enjoy without triggering disastrous consequences for humanity. Learning how to live and reducing our destructive impact on nature will require adjusting to major decreases in our demand for energy, natural resources, and food.
I am encouraged that some people are concerned about sustainability, but our focus must be on sustainability of our remaining natural world. Continued efforts to provide a sustainable flow of products and resources from the land will result in disastrous consequences and accelerate species extinction, including humans.
I have presented the fact earlier, that we cannot survive without trees and forests. It is the life sustaining elements provided by nature that must be sustained! The future of mankind is dependent upon forest and ocean conditions, controlled land development, reduced deforestation, reduction of toxic chemical usage, reducing climatic changes and adjusting our life-style demands.
We need these young scientists to study and find solutions to saving our remaining natural world. We do not control Earth or our own destiny, for we are only one small part of the “circle-of-life”. A desirable future requires us to understand the multitude of relationships provided by the natural world, and refocus our attention on sustaining NATURE! The next generation is depending on us!
Mankind was placed in the Garden of Eden (paradise), and we have done our best to dominate, conquer and control Earth ever since we arrived! The truth is we were directed to care for and nurture the Land, not DOMINATE and CONTROL it! Our so called “advanced intelligence” is taking us in the wrong direction! Humans are simply a part of NATURE and nature requires help! I hope 2023 intensifies our concern for humanity’s future and alerts us to the necessity of involvement and action!