Our ecology and the future of Earth. Is it darker than we could ever have imagined?

The impact on Earth of man-made ecological damage is not yet taken seriously. That’s why it’s time to really worry and take action.

Anyone who cares about the future of the Earth and the next generations must surely be concerned about the decline of biodiversity, mass extinctions, the climate crisis and other highly critical situations triggered by man. But the point is, we are almost certainly not worried enough to turn that intermittent uneasiness into an immediate urge to act, as if our house is on fire.

The Biosphere Alarm. A new analysis that examines about 150 previous studies, draws a precise, comprehensive and merciless picture of the state of the natural world, while trying to hypothesise the reasons that lead to their underestimating the gravity of the situation. As explained in a previous article on the Hermit of Saint Bruno website, a first order of difficulties consists in dealing with the difficulties that concern the biosphere: the difficulties that we have brought to the most serious than not only ordinary people, but also academics themselves currently believe. Read World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

The first part of the review concerns the perception of the real scale of the dangers facing the Earth and its inhabitants. According to the authors of the study, an underestimation of the environmental consequences took place by the scientific and academic world itself. Usually they specialise in only one discipline, and as far as the situation is in that reality, is the relationships between the problems and their repercussions on a planetary scale that make the future of our planet and therefore for humanity and other living organisms extremely precarious.

Future Generations. The proposals for change that have been advanced by the scientific world clash with the political obstacle that have been raised and the lack of vision by the various political parties: these being the same ones who during the pandemic were called to revive the fate of mankind now criticised, insult and ignore the science when it comes into conflict with their personal agenda and immediate interests.

To end the problems of perception a common mistake of the human mind is added into the mix: our a certain innate propensity for optimism, which thrusts us to place the worst consequences of our labours upon the shoulders of our unborn future generations.

A partial overview of the environmental crisis highlighted within the work includes a reduction of plant biomass which begun during the agricultural revolution 11,000 years ago, and the alteration of two-thirds of the earth’s soil mass due to human industry; 1300 extinctions have been documented in the last five centuries, and an average decline of more than two-thirds in bird populations, mammals, amphibians and reptiles which began in the 1970s and continues to our present day.

Loss of Habitat and Species. It is estimated that over 90% of life on Earth lives in the oceans. Most of the volcanic activities take place in the oceans. The largest animal, the blue whale, lives in the ocean! The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, about 36,037 ft deep! Approximately one million species of plants and animals are currently threatened with extinction, insects are rapidly disappearing from many regions of the Earth. In three centuries we have lost 85% of marshlands, whilst 65% of the oceans are affected to a major extent by human activities. The underwater forests of kelp algae and posidonia oceanica better known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed (an essential part of the ecosystem) have thinned, they are the lungs of the oceans; the amount of living coral within reefs has halved in the past 200 years, their loss would gravely decrease biodiversity directly and impact about half a billion people worldwide, people who depend of coral reefs for sustenance, livelihoods, coastal protection, and others reliant on the ecosystem. Ocean food webs — interconnected systems such as pteropods, bivalves, krill and fin fish that transfer solar energy and nutrients from phytoplankton to higher animal species — will see increasingly higher risks of impact. A large number of marine predators have already reduced by 30% over the last 50 years. Many marine and coastal ecosystems are at an increased risks of irreversible loss

Human population, has doubled since the 1970s and now (sun 25 July 2021 13:36hrs) numbers 7.9 billion and counting (click here to see World population clock live). In 2050 the forecast is 10 billion human beings, an increase that translate’s into greater food and water supply instability, risks for groundwater depletion and droughts will occur more frequently, air quality will be affected, a need for extensive use of land, increased pollution by plastic, greater risks and an increase in the number of pandemics, unemployment, disabilities, more disadvantaged and vulnerable people [the elderly, children, women, those with chronic diseases and people taking certain medications will be at highest risk], mortality rates would be effected, a stress would be placed on housing stocks and availability, the risk of civil insurrections and wars increases. And all this, within a context of humans using far more of the natural resources that the Earth has the ability to renew; and with global warming due to increase by one and a half degrees from what it used to be during the pre-industrial era between 2030 and 2052 I would say that the forecast seems bleak. We’ve personally all felt the increase in temperatures over that past ten years. Furthermore, if all the signatories of the Paris Accords fail to respected or achieve their individual commitments, global warming would increase to between 2.6 and 3.1°C by the year 2100. More people would die from vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever when global warming increases. Yields from crops such as maize, rice, wheat and other cereals and grains will be far smaller whilst rice and wheat will become less nutritious. Ultimately these risks include a rise in sea levels, leading to coastal flooding and erosion; changes to the salinity of coastal groundwater supplies, resulting in a strain of our freshwater supplies; risks to marine ecosystems, such as mass coral bleaching and die-offs; and more intense tropical cyclones. Whilst this is an image of a worst case scenario, to date we have done very little to nothing to actually prevent the worst case scenario from unfolding. It seems as though it is being allowed to happen. The spread of populist leaders with agendas against sustainability and responsible growth, favouring instead opinion movements and disinformation campaigns which attribute their political colours to an environmental commitment, rather than seeing climate activism as our one steadfast chance to safeguard all living species from extinction.

Economic Impact: I’ve purposely left out the economic impact as I strongly believe that as our economies are controlled by the large corporations whom lobby governments to get what they want are a great part of the problem. Their only interest is profit. Our politicians leaning toward economy and finances already disadvantage millions of people around the world. Global economic growth and industrial productivity are the major consequences of globalisation also causing immense environmental consequences as it is the main contributor to the depletion of natural resources, deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. A good example of this was during the coronavirus pandemic, where if you watched the news you would have noticed that economy and finance always seemed to dominate a large part of the news. We need to seriously look at how large corporations, business and finance impacts upon the wellbeing of the planet and the creatures that live upon it.

The steps required in order to prevent the worst case scenarios from unfolding: How do we overcome this standstill and our indifferences? How can we transform our fears into a passion for change? The study suggests that some crucial and immediate actions need to be taken, such as abolishing the goal of infinite economic growth [economic growth is very often associated with environmental degradation]; disclosing the true cost of the products we use and the activities we carry out, forcing those responsible for environmental damage to bear the brunt economically (for example through taxes and fines for companies and the greenhouse gases they emit); gradually but rapidly abandoning fossil fuels and its derivatives including plastics, feedstocks, generating heating and electricity, kerosene and propane; abolishing monopolies and eradicating the influence that companies exact upon politics (such as legislation making lobbyist activities unlawful); guaranteed access to education for everyone at all levels, right to work and self-determination in family planning choices.

Note: if the politician you have elected is acting blindly with regard to our Ecology do not vote for them again. Instead during elections research your candidate (not to what they say but what they have done in the past) ask yourself:

  • will the person I am voting for truly represent eco-friendly policies for the planet or will they simply just play lip service telling you what you want to hear (just think Tony Blair) whilst pushing their own personal agenda. Unfortunately these days politicians are consistently failing to be honest…
  • above all you need to ask yourself does the person I am voting for know what they are talking about, are they genuine, what have they done in the past with regard to being honest, representing their constituents, protecting our planet? if you are unsure check … or simply don’t vote for them.
  • finally just because a politician or political party say’s that they are ‘Eco-friendly or Green’ doesn’t actually make them so.
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