Ecological Apocalypse approaches

  • Humans are in danger of extinction along with other species


Global biodiversity is on the brink of destruction. Not only are threats being posed to human existence on the planet but animals and plants are also being afflicted with the issues which are erupting as a result of industrialisation, capitalistic economic ambitions to expand business for more profits and self-centred approach of inhabitants of the globe. The United Nations and other leading institutions dealing with ecology and environmental issues have documented an unprecedented decline in the biodiversity of the world on a large scale. They warned about lethal and severe implications of the prevailing deplorable ecological conditions for health, prosperity, safety and long-term survival of all species.

Approximately one million species, plant and animals, are threatened with extinction. Since the Industrial Revolution, urban areas have been expanding. In the last 30 years, space occupied by urban areas has doubled in size. More than 85 per cent of wetlands have lost their features of water, salt, and much more. More than 90 per cent of the fishes of the oceans have been harvested, according to the report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

It is time to not bring luxury to our lives to win temporary praises, but to adopt the living patterns which can give our next generation a clean and safe world

More than 15,000 research publications were the basis of the report in which these alarming statistics were revealed. The report further proclaims that more than 40 per cent of amphibians are living in the danger of extinction. A third of marine mammals, a third of sharks, and a third of corals are also in the same danger of extinction. It is also revealed that roundabout 10 per cent of insects living on the surface of Earth are on the brink. A researcher also said that the one-million figure of extinction of animals and plants was a minimum estimate. It could be more than that.

The highest level of carbon dioxide emissions had been noticed in the atmosphere of the world from plants industry. It is the first time that CO2 emission has neem measured above 415 ppm on a daily basis. The latest measured CO2 emission in Earth’s atmosphere is greater than it was three million years ago. According to Wolfgang Lucht, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), “It shows that we are not on track with protecting the climate at all. The number keeps rising and it’s getting higher year after year.”

Ralph Keeling, who is director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s CO2 Programme, shed light on the contemporary condition of global warming and our individual attitudes towards it by stating that the trends are expected to continue throughout 2019, and the temperature will rise because of warmer oceans.

The pre-industrial level of carbon emission was 1.5˚C. But the level increased by 1.0˚C because of the industrial revolution in the shape of plants, factories and man-made emissions. To address the situation and make the globe liveable for all living entities, the Paris Agreement of 2015 calls for precautionary measures which can thwart the unprecedented rise in carbon emission gasses by maintaining the level below 2˚ Celsius (3.6˚ Fahrenheit). In spite of the mutual consensus of world industrial powers to reduce the emission of CO2, the countries fail to meet the targets by contributing more CO2, and the last four years were the hottest on record.

The most appalling part of the situation is that developed countries are making the dream of “Green World” fade under the aegis of industrial and economic vibrancy just for the sake of booming national economic interests. They are more committed to their national interests rather than the interests of other living creatures and the world.

According to the recent report on the usage of natural resources, countries of the EU are devouring natural resources at an unstable rate. People of the EU use up the natural resources at a higher level than the rate of replenishment of these resources by nature. “If everybody in the world had the same ecological footprint as an average EU resident … May 10th would be the date by which humanity would have used as much from nature than our planet can renew in a whole year”, according to the report.

That is the time when we, as individuals and citizens of the world and as national leaderships, should give utmost attention to resolve the issue of environmental deterioration instead of making an excuse for inaction. The philosophy of “reverence for life” presented by environmental ethicist Albert Schweitzer should be followed to let all living entities live in a safe environment by creating a safe world. It is time to not bring luxury to our lives to win temporary praises, but to adopt the living patterns which can give our next generation a clean and safe world so that they may breathe non-polluted air or wind, eat non-contaminated food and live safely from pollution. All countries, especially leading economic powers, and individuals ought to follow environmental ethics in their conducts, policies, and decisions. Their preference must be the world instead of a country or society, otherwise human beings will be also in the danger of extinction.