Saving the planet?

Since Spring is here, this is a good time to talk about what we are doing to our environment and what as individuals we can do. This is a big topic so it won’t cover everything. And I’ll most likely have other posts about it. I’ll make this one more about clarification and again attempt to start a dialogue.

First of all I think most of the groups out there saying we have to save the planet are either lying to everyone or to themselves. The planet doesn’t need saving. Nature doesn’t need saving. Yes species are being eradicated but the planet itself was here billions of years before us (the dinosaurs roamed the earth for much much longer than humans) and it will be here whenever we disappear. I won’t start on if or when humans will disappear. In a mere 100,000 years the human specie has done extraordinary things and it seems we’re more a fluke than anything else as life seems to be rare in the universe and intelligent life even more! So to clarify the first point, the planet doesn’t need saving; we, the human race, need saving. This is the only home we have and if it becomes inhabitable what do we do? My bet is that other species will survive better than we might.

Second, it bothers me greatly that the environmental community and the scientific community have only been able to sale to the masses the idea of “global warming” or “climate change”. Why start there? It’s such a hard sale, difficult to understand and to fathom. You can’t see it, you can’t feel it. Plus it seems that if we fix that everything else is fixed. Wouldn’t it be easier to show the trash in the oceans? Or showing where our daily trash goes and easily explain that it’s of course unsustainable? Maybe explain how much land and water it takes to raise cattle and that if we want everyone to eat the same amount of meat than it’s mathematically impossible. Related to carbon dioxide, instead of talking how it increases temperatures, clearly show that there’s a finite amount of oil on this planet just like there is a finite amount of solar power… but that obviously the Sun is much more plentiful?

There is a study that I think very interesting which every year tells us when we’ve reached one Earth life. One Earth life is what the Earth can provide to everything that inhabits it in one year. Every year the “overshoot day” is sooner and sooner. In 2015 it came 6 days earlier than in 2014. It was on August 13th that our demands on the planet outstripped its ability to regenerate. In 2014, it was on August 19th. It’s estimated that our consumption first exceeded the Earth’s capacity in the early 1970’s. Today we would need 1.6 planets to cover our yearly consumption. Wouldn’t that hit home with many people? It’s not unfathomable that we are consuming the Earth too much. We can see it, feel it, smell it and even hear it. Once we understand it, human kind has the capacity to change… once again, see how we’ve changed in just 100,000 years. Or in the last 150 years for that matter.

So what are we doing and what can we do as individuals to make things better? That will be the next post as this one is already long.

By the way, I am not providing any links as I think it is very easy to research any of what is in this post. And its opposite!

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