In a civilised part of the world, you live in to keep your phone down for a moment and head over to your balcony or the window you have or even on your terrace. Just for a moment glance the scene in front of your house. What do you see? Is it a forest or is almost everything covered in cement that can never be degraded?
I guess both of us know the answer to that question. Both of us exactly know that we are occupying more than we should. Both of us know we are using more than we should. But do both of us know what implications is it having on us? Maybe yes or maybe not.
I only ask you to stay with me through the end of this article, and if you do not have an idea what is it costing the earth and us, you’ll have it soon enough. If you know the implications, then it’ll be better to reflect on yourself because we need people to come forward and stand up for our earth’s rights. Remember this fight is not just mine or yours it is ours, just as this planet is.
Let’s start it all from the beginning, shall we?
Where it all started?
Almost all of us might think it started in the past hundred years or maybe in the past 500 years, but in my opinion, I’d say it all began when humans started to take everything for granted. It all started when humans first started to want more than they need. It all started when humans first burned the entire forest just to grow crops. People would say it was necessary to produce the crops, but was it necessary to burn down everything?
Where are we now?
From the time when humanity first flourished, they never stopped and thought about nature; instead, their greed kept on striving, and they kept on scorching the earth. If we look at the start of civilization, that’s where the doom of humanity began.
They (humans) cleared the forests to make homes, cleared some more for metals, some more for firewood, some more for farming, and more and more and more. We never stopped, and we kept on going, but what has gained from it other than satisfying our greed?
There is the blood of hundreds of billions of animals on our hands, there are species that lost existence because of us, and now we can’t do anything but find their fossils and imagine how they used to look. We also burned down forests, knowingly or unknowingly but we did, and we’ll never come to know what that forest might be holding in for us. There was a possibility that we might have found out the cure for cancer or aids in the roots of some planet far away in the middle of a forest in Australia or India. Still, now we’ll never know that, and we’ll continue to strive for a cure for these diseases.
In the past five decades, we have managed to lose almost 68% of our wildlife. That number is huge for us to lose. But it’s not just the loss of our wildlife we should be worried about, losing the wildlife has made much more way for more incoming pandemics. The World Wide Fund for Nature released the data on September 9. Still, you might be wondering how it affects the pandemics happening, well as per studies, the total number of disease outbreaks has more than tripled each decade since the 1980s and to be precise that’s the decade when we finally started to notice the global warming.
The other fact is almost 71.8% of these diseases originated in animals, and most of those were directly transmitted from wildlife to people, for example, Ebola, HIV, malaria, SARS, swine flu, etc.
When I was a kid, I used to go to my village, and there was a forest near the village, and it had a lake too. Ten years later, I went there, and there were some mango trees, and the lake was shallow beside it. Now there’s just a garden in the place of the forest, and the lake has been filled with mud and farmers ploughed their crops on it. So what has changed over time?
Is it greed or population? When we have tonnes of food grains stored still why almost 7000 people only in India are dying of hunger? If we are so careful about surviving and would scorch the earth to any level in doing so, why are people dying?
In the present situation, the major reason for the degradation of our forest areas is the industries that don’t care about anything but rather filling their own pockets. And on a recent note, none of our political or world leaders is worried about the impact we are having on the environment. Instead, the kids who should be learning stuff at the age of fourteen or fifteen are protesting against the harsh climate conditions.
Recently the world bank took a pledge to fight climate change. There was a hope to seek a reduction in the worsening of our environment. But the world bank is itself fueling global warming by investing in fossil fuels. In a recent study by the same bank, it was shown that without urgent measures to save the earth or control climate change, about 100 million people would be pushed out of poverty by 2030. On the other hand, the big multilateral institution is still contributing to shoving them on the brink of death due to hunger.
A German environmental lobby group, Urgewald reports that in the past five years, the world bank has spent almost 14 billion USD on coal, gas, and petroleum. In contrast, they have only spent 7 billion USD on renewable resources. Even if the bank is not directly spending the funds, the world bank group members like MIGA recently granted a financial guarantee of 783 million USD to Escom, an energy producer group in South Africa, who will be using these funds for a new coal-powered project.
As we all know about the harsh impacts of climate change but what we don’t know is that the oil industry knows how their products would contribute towards climate change yet they aren’t bothered a bit by the suing by more than a dozen cities or counties. These industries tampered with data to make us overlook the effects of their products. One such company is Exxon which is accused of manipulating the data.
Are you affected? Yes.
There is not just the environment which is in danger; it is us too, we are in trouble too. Our lives are at stake also, and not just because of climate change or because of increasing global warming.
There is a village in the arid and desert region of northeast Senegal called Sinthiou Diam Dior where only females live. This has happened due to the changing climatic conditions which have brought no rain in the region for the past five years, and their main source of income is completely destroyed hence all the male population of the land has migrated out to the cities to earn a living for their families.
The biggest and the worst recent disaster of animal life had occurred in Russia, where almost more than 95% of marine life has been found dead and swept off the shore. This incident has occurred along the 1250km long Russian coast of the Pacific where these sea animals were found dead offshore. On doing further expeditions, divers found a mass death of benthos at a depth of ten to fifteen meters. The reason for these deaths is still speculated. Still, there are rumours about the leaked wastes from Koselsky and Randy Gino military waste sites, leaked rocket fuel, seismic or volcanic activities, and wastewater from ships causing environmental damage.
Do you take part in harming the environment? Yes.
According to a recent UN study, the number of natural disasters has doubled in the past twenty years, and climate change is going to be a major factor in increasing this number to a surmountable amount. On a total count, we have recorded 7,348 natural disasters in a span of mere twenty years that is from 2000 to 2019 which has cost us more than a million human lives and 3 trillion dollars, and this count doesn’t even include the number of non-human living organisms dead or extinct.
Many people have no idea, but most of the products we use or consume are also prepared from animals, for example, there is a type of animal fat which was used in the production of soap. Also, the oil from the liver of the sharks or the fat called squalene is extracted from sharks and is a major component of the cosmetic industries. The maximum number of beauty and skincare products contain squalene which amounts to the death of almost 100 million sharks every year just for the beauty products.
Are we protesting? Yes.
There are various trees plantations and awareness drives conducted by environmentalists around the globe. The most shocking thing is the world leaders aren’t a bit concerned about environmental degradation, and on the other hand some fourteen-year-olds are marching in protest walks.
But what are the protestors gaining from the protests? Now, this is a harsh truth but nothing. Even after all the protests, petitions, public marches, and many other things, the decision of the government remains unchanged about cutting down trees and destroying even the safe zones of animals and plants.
The most heartbreaking phenomenon is that the environmentalists meet their death bed during their fight to save the environment. According to a recent report produced by the NGO Global Witness, almost 212 environmental activists were killed worldwide in 2019. You might wonder why are they dying? The answer is always money and power. Most of the deaths were related to the mining industry, and almost 80% of deaths in Asia were related to Agribusiness. Whereas the case even worsens with women as they are sexually threatened, and their families are also threatened.
Can we still save it? Yes, but not for long!
We can definitely save the earth at this exact moment, but it might not be possible to save our beloved planet once we are out of time. According to a very recent survey by the NGO, it was known that only spending one-third of the total spendings on masks and sanitisers during the global pandemic COVID-19 we could save the earth.
So is it that we cant save our planet or we don’t want to? I guess I’ll let you decide that.
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