Destructive human behavior based on selfishness, greed and ignorance has created the interrelated environmental emergency. A global crisis of unprecedented scale that threatens the survival of over a million plant and animal species, the security of tens of millions of people and the health of the planet.
Unlimited irresponsible consumption of goods, services and animal food produce is the underlying cause; destructive unhealthy behavior encouraged by short-term political and business policies rooted in nationalism and the ideology of competition and greed.
Land sea and air are contaminated everywhere, more or less; the natural climatic rhythms have been radically disrupted, chaos created where order once held sway; the great rain forests of the world are being decimated, trees cut down, land turned over to cattle, or agriculture – principally to grow soya for animal feed – indigenous peoples displaced or killed, cultures shredded, ecosystems shattered, animal habitat destroyed, plant species crushed under the vile weight of corruption and money.
The scale and urgency of the crisis is impossible to overstate; with every new scientific paper that appears the reality becomes more and more overwhelming, the task of salvage more daunting, the need for action more urgent. Most people of course don’t read such texts or notice the rare piece of news coverage that they, or the natural world more broadly receive. And despite being the most pressing issue of this or indeed any other time, within government circles, corporate boardrooms, as well as far too many individual households, the environmental catastrophe remains a marginal matter within the relentless urge for profit, economic growth and personal pleasure; little more than an afterthought within the business plan, a political add-on to appeal to the green contingent or customer base.
In opposition to this crippling complacency there is a growing army of people ringing alarm bells, trying to instill a sense of urgency and wake people up. Loud voices, some well known, like Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Prince Charles, who has been ‘banging on’ about environmental abuse for thirty years or more, together with movements like Extinction Rebellion and the Schools Strike for Climate, and a raft of environmental campaign groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. All work tirelessly to share information about the scale and depth of the crisis and raise awareness.
And awareness is growing, behavior shifting; the details and scope of the emergency may not be known but there is a general awareness (in developed nations at least), however vague and inadequate, that the natural environment is in crisis, particularly among young people, who, in many cases are rightly appalled (and extremely worried) at the level of environmental vandalism perpetrated by previous generations. But the scale of change is nowhere near what is needed and it’s too slow; gradual changes over decades or generations will not cut it, neither will reliance solely on technology.
The response among corporations and governments is consistently inadequate, and the reaction of the mass of people is often indifference and/or a sense of individual inadequacy in the face of such massive issues. Most people live hard insecure lives, are physically tired, emotionally drained and mentally confused, overwhelmed by their own difficulties and trying, for the most part, simply to get by, to feed themselves and their families and find some lightness within what are often heavy days and dreary nights.
If, and it’s a large ominous if, humanity is to reverse the damage, education and widespread environmental/social responsibility are essential.
A global public information campaign is urgently needed. Coordinated by the UN Environment agency utilizing national media outlets and designed in conjunction…
Read More:Saving Our Planet Is Our Responsibility