This morning the United Nations released a report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the premise of which is that as many as one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction. Think about this one, folks … one million …
That in itself is cause for grief, but the report goes a step further than previous studies by linking the loss of species to humans and analyzing its effect on food and water security, farming and economies. According to the report, more plants and animals are threatened with extinction now than any other period in human history. Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, it says, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely.”
Now, personally I do not, as some do, see the human species as superior to all others. Obviously, if the human species were so superior, we would not be willfully destroying every living creature on the planet. No, I think humans are without doubt the greediest, most selfish species on earth. But, since we broke it, it is up to us to fix it, and yet the very people with the greatest ability to do so, refuse, putting their own convenience and profit ahead of the future of all life on earth.
It isn’t only the effects of climate change that are causing the global crisis. The report emphasized the effects humans have on animals that are key to their own survival. Pesticides sprayed by farmers that kill pollinators such as bees and other insects will likely have a devastating effect on crops. Homeowners contribute to the problem by purchasing “bug zappers” that target mosquitoes but also eliminate key pollinators such as butterflies and moths, as well as common flies that some animals rely on for food.
The report has a positive spin, saying that “it is not too late to make a difference.” But that difference requires more than 100 developing and non-developed nations to work together to bring about change. Today. Not tomorrow or next year – TODAY!
A friend recently told me that she believes God gave the earth to humans for the purpose of their enjoyment and that there is nothing to worry about, for in essence God wants people to be happy and will replenish the earth without us changing our lifestyle. Well, folks, guess what? That is the biggest line of bullshit I’ve ever heard. The owners of those factories spewing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the companies that produce the killing pesticides, the fossil fuel industry have all contributed to convincing people to “stay calm”, that the scientists are all wrong, and that everything will be alright.
EVERYTHING WILL NOT BE ALRIGHT!
So, why am I carrying on again about the same topic I’ve written about multiple times? Because we’re not getting through to the politicians who can make the biggest difference through legislation. Because we’re not getting through to our friends and neighbors. Because … we all have children and grandchildren and we are allowing their future to be destroyed. I know you’re tired and so am I, but we need to do more. We need to do our own small part, sure, but we also need to get back on a letter-writing, phone-calling, e-mailing campaign and tell our elected officials to get off their sweet patooties and do the right thing.
An anonymous comment I read this morning in The Washington Post says it all …
“For many decades, environmentalists have been sounding the alarm that people are destroying the Earth through their callous disregard of nature, because of the misguided thought that we are supposedly lords over the planet instead of another species that is PART of the planet.
People who think of themselves as separate from nature rather than part of it fall in to the dangerous assumption that they can just keep on killing off whatever plants and animals they want, in as large numbers as they want, without it affecting human life too.
For many decades, politicians have been ignoring these calls for people to have a greater respect for the natural world of which we are a part. For many decades, those calls have been answered with criticism from those who believe there should be no environmental regulations, no protections for wildlife, and that humans should be able to just destroy whatever they want, whenever they want, as often and as much as they want, because to them, making money by destroying the environment is awesome.
Now they’re going to learn the hard way that it’s not awesome at all. The environmentalists have been correct about this all along, and the greedy selfish people who think environmental regulations are bad just keep on trying to claim they’re not.”
This isn’t just another political issue. This should rise far above partisan politics, should take precedence over trade wars, over corporate profits, and every other issue, for frankly, if we don’t do this now, none of the rest will matter a whit by the end of the century. You won’t be around to see it nor will I, but our great-great-grandchildren will. Think about it.