Extinction: The Facts

One million animal and plant species are on the brink of extinction because of human interference. These facts and figures are no longer predictions, we are seeing it happen before our very eyes. If we want to change this, we must act NOW.

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What Are The Problems And How Do We Solve Them?

On Sunday evening a few weeks back, this programme, presented by David Attenborough, was aired on BBC1. The programme detailed the uncomfortable truth about what we are doing to Mother Earth; excessive food waste, rampant consumerism and the ever growing scale of commercialism.

We continue to channel billions into yet another tech company but do not invest those billions into saving the very thing that sustains us? Where do our priorities lie?

The truth of the matter is that one million animal and plant species are on the brink of extinction because of human interference. Even worse, the rate at which species are becoming extinct is now much higher than ever recorded. These facts and figures are no longer predictions, we are seeing it happen before our very eyes.

What many may not understand is that with the loss of these species and the gaps in the food chain that they will leave, the knock-on effects of this will threaten our sources of food and water and also our climate.

As we continue to carry out widespread deforestation and ruin the homes and habitats of hundreds of thousands of animals, we will continue to diminish our planet’s essential level of biodiversity leading to more epidemics – some with the potential to be even worse than what we are experiencing now.

So, what are the main problems?

  1. Illegal wildlife trade
  2. Overfishing – massive and widespread
  3. Population and consumption – it’s not just about the global increase in population (which is higher in the developing world) but also about the huge increase in levels of consumption levels (far higher in the developed world).
  4. Pollution – we need to enforce GLOBAL production and manufacturing laws to protect the environment, not just move our footprint to developing countries.
  5. Destruction of natural habitats – we have converted 75% of all available land into farming land, most of it with the sole purpose of feeding just one species; us.
  6. Climate change – we are on track for a 3-4 degree temperature increase. As many of us know, the more the earth warms, the worse the problem is.

How do we change this?

The important thing to note here is that change needs to be implemented NOW. This is no longer a future problem. The devastating effects of the damage that we are doing to our planet are coming into play now.

           1. Consumerism

Earth suffers as consumerism spreads! Nearly half of global consumers reside in developing countries, including China and India, markets with the most potential for expansion. While rising consumption has helped meet basic needs and create jobs the unprecedented consumer appetite is undermining the natural systems we all depend on. With devastating impact on the Earth’s water supplies, natural resources and ecosystems; impacted by a plethora of disposable items, plastic garbage bags and other cheaply made goods leading to our “throw away” mentality. We can all do better; making conscious buying decisions that help lessen the burden before we pollute ourselves out of existence.

          2. Food waste

About 40% of food is wasted globally every year yet we continue to clear land for even more agricultural crops. This equates to almost 10 million tonnes of food wasted every year in the UK alone. We need to reduce our food waste for a more sustainable agricultural system.

          3. Education

If we don’t act now we are damaging our future generations. This is the pivotal moment we have to change our world and make it better.

“I do truly believe that together we can create a better future. I might not be here to see it, but if we make the right decisions at this critical moment we can safeguard our planet’s ecosystems, it’s extraordinary biodiversity and all its inhabitants. What happens next is up to everyone of us”

David Attenborough

Although many many of us are already aware of the issues above, the enormity and gravity of the situation that we find ourselves in the midst of is certainly not fully understood nor comprehended. We feel that as parents, teachers and human beings, we have a responsibility to educate and pass the stark message on. If we do not act now, there is no turning back.

If you haven’t watched this program we encourage you to do so; knowing empowers change! 

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