Personally, I believe we are damaging our planet. I’m not here to review the MANY scientific articles on the topic – they are everywhere and almost every politician in the world has an opinion one way or the other about the scientific opinions. Then the public have opinions about the politicians’ opinions about the scientific findings/opinion/theories/hypothesises. Confused yet?
On top of that we have Carbon Prices, Emission Trading Schemes, agreements between countries to reduce emissions and so it goes on. And on.
The question for me, a non-scientist just hoping we leave a liveable planet for future generations, is more simple. I ask myself, are we damaging the planet in more ways that we are willing to recognise?
I look at what we do to sustain our materialistic lifestyle.
We raze forests, we dam rivers, we kill other living species to extinction, we dig much “stuff” (minerals, natural gas, etc) out of the ground. We destroy ecosystems and pollute our oceans and waterways. We generally talk about climate change being the result of just our emissions, but I wonder to myself, is that the only cause of damage? Are we not continuing to upset the balance of nature, the balance of the planet overall?
We drive cars massively bigger than we need, we build mansions instead of homes, we use electricity like it is as necessary as water for our survival.
We consume, consume, consume: anything and everything we can get our hands on basically.
There are SO many of us now. So very many of us. All wanting more and more and more. All this “more” has to come from somewhere! Perhaps the planet does have built-in recovery mechanisms, but are we outpacing the recovery? We take take take.
Of course, many millions of our billions care very much and fight very hard to try to curb our damaging rampage. Will we do it fast enough?
Update: Since I wrote my musings, I have been pointed to an article, Is placing a price on nature a betrayal or an economic necessity? It is a good article, but I am still left thinking that prices are not going to work fast enough or be globally applied, therefore may not solve the problem.
While Juniper has in the past argued that our forests and oceans should be valued in the spiritual dimension, he has since changed his mind and now believes bringing it into economic structures is the only way to prevent further widespread ecosystem collapse and the human misery that will surely follow.
Tony Juniper was Friends of the Earth Director.
- Emissions limit could cut climate change by two-thirds, study says (eco-business.com)
- At UN Climate Talks, Researchers Insert Facts on How Food is Driving-and is Driven by-Climate Change (enn.com)
- Can Climate Change Cause Allergy? (everydayhealth.com)
- Sceptics cool on climate studies (smh.com.au)