(ORDO NEWS) — The future of humanity, as usual, is usually viewed in a positive way, especially since we have something to rejoice at. As the historian Yuval Noah Harari writes in his book Homo Deus “A Brief History of the Future”, throughout the history of existence, humanity has fought with three “horsemen of the apocalypse”: hunger, pestilence and war. But our latest achievements are such that we are able to curb both “hunger” and “war” and even “pestilence” – the vaccine against COVID-19 was invented in record time, is this not a triumph and cause for joy? But history does not tolerate emptiness and the place of the “three horsemen of the apocalypse” will definitely take something else. This is something, alas, looming on the horizon: according to a study published in early 2021, loss of biodiversity and accelerating climate change, combined with ignorance and inaction, threaten the survival of all species, including our own, in the coming decades. An international team of scientists from the United States and Australia came to this conclusion. The authors of the scientific work argue that the state of our planet is much worse than most earthlings assume.
What is happening to our planet?
Despite the fact that a huge number of people around the world do not know about the problem of climate change or even deny it, the scientific community has come to the conclusion that global warming is indeed occurring and threatens our civilization. So, in 2019, more than 11 thousand scientists from various fields of science published a statement on a “climate emergency”, which called on citizens and politicians to assess the scale of the crisis and change priorities. These include eliminating fossil fuels, declining fertility, and phasing out meat consumption.
The study’s goal, published in January in the journal Frontiers in Conservation Science, was to clarify the severity of the human predicament. As lead science writer Corey Bradshaw of Flinders University in Australia notes, humanity is causing the rapid loss of biodiversity, and with it the planet’s ability to support complex life. Bradshaw was co-authored by researchers at Stanford and California Universities.
“It is difficult for the mainstream to grasp the magnitude of this loss, despite the steady erosion of the structure of human civilization,” Bradshaw quoted schitechdaily as saying.
Disappointing conclusions were obtained after analyzing more than 150 scientific studies devoted to various aspects of the deteriorating state of the Earth’s ecosystems, problems of economic and political systems, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, etc. “In fact, the scale of threats to the biosphere and all its forms of life is so great that it is difficult understand even well-informed experts. The problem is compounded by ignorance and short-term self-interest, when the pursuit of wealth and political interests impede actions that are critical to survival, ”the authors of the scientific paper write.
Economy and climate change
The world’s population could reach 10 billion by 2050; explosive population growth contributes to a wide range of other problems for the planet. As study co-author Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University notes, no political or economic system or leadership is prepared to deal with predicted disasters, or even capable of doing so. Halting biodiversity loss is not a priority for any country and lags far behind other issues such as employment, health, economic growth or currency stability.
“Humanity runs the Ponzi ecological scheme, in which society plunders nature and future generations in order to pay for today’s short-term economic improvement. Most economies operate on the premise that opposition is now too expensive to be politically acceptable. Combined with disinformation campaigns to protect short-term profits, it is doubtful that the massive changes we need will be made in time, ”says Ehrlich.
Professor Dan Blumstein of the University of California, Los Angeles believes that scientists prefer to speak boldly and fearlessly, because the future literally depends on it. “What we say can be unpopular and really scary. But we must be sincere, accurate and honest if humanity wants to understand the enormity of the challenges we face in creating a sustainable future, ”he notes.
Population growth and consumption continue to rise, and we remain focused more on expanding human entrepreneurship than on developing and implementing solutions to critical issues such as biodiversity loss. By the time we fully understand the consequences of environmental degradation, it will be too late.
“Without a full assessment and translation of the scale of the problems and the scale of the required solutions, society will not be able to achieve even modest sustainable development goals, and disaster will undoubtedly follow,” concludes Blumstein.
The authors of the work note that their “forward-looking” document aims to clearly and unequivocally outline the likely future trends in the field of declining biodiversity, mass extinctions, climate change, since all these factors are associated with consumption and population growth, in order to demonstrate almost complete confidence in the fact that these problems will worsen in the coming decades with negative consequences over the centuries. It also explains the consequences of political impotence and the ineffectiveness of current and planned actions to combat the ominous scale of environmental erosion.
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