By EDA Co-Founder, Ina Pockrass
When an international group of 500+ scientists joins together and goes public with warnings of an environmental “tipping point”, it seems like we should at least hear them out. Calling upon policymakers worldwide and every one of us to take action, the scientists set out five issues we need to resolve asap. Fasten your seat belt, each one of these is a “biggee”!
- Climate Disruption: Surprise, surprise, our climate is changing more rapidly than even the so called “alarmists” of yesterday predicted. You don’t have to tell the folks digging out from a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, or the survivors of recent floods in Southern China that the weather is getting weirder and weirder by the day. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell us that the burning of carbon-based fuels is overloading our atmosphere with carbon.
- Extinction: Not since the cataclysmic confluence of environmental forces that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs has our planet suffered more loss of species, that’s plural species. Remember, extinction is forever.
- Restoration of Eco-Systems: We need to stop paving over paradise. Already, more than 40% of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans.
- Pollution: We need to stop ignoring the fact that all of our waste needs to go somewhere and there is no extraterrestrial dumping ground available. We’ve got to get serious about conserving, re-using, yes recycling, but more importantly rethinking how our waste stream is created and managed.
- Population Growth: We’ve got more than 7 billion people living on Earth now, and 5 billion of them already have a cell phone. Every person has basic human needs that our planet must provide: food, shelter, medical care. Scientists tell us there will be more than 9.5 billion people living by 2050 and we’ve got to quickly figure out how to attend to their needs without adding to the Earth’s burden.
This is a call to action, not a call to put our heads in the sand or under our pillows. Scary, yes. Paralyzing, no. In the words of our good friend Kevin Henry from Dental Economics: “No-one can do everything but everyone can do something.”
What are you doing?