Fellow members of the human race as we approach the 20th century of our semi-recorded history, the dangerous reality of what we are doing to our Earth sets in. Global climatic change is the most important issue facing the world today.
Many of these vast figures have now been tagged to our environment, population and changing ecosystems. When we can start to appreciate the magnitude of such figures we will begin to understand how sick our planet has become.
An exploding world population since the beginning of the 19-century, has put compounding pressure on our planets unique resources. The agricultural revolutions meant the clearing of ancient forests for both new civilizations and there trade earning crops. As populations continued to climb so too did our need for increased production. The world welcomed mechanization. Industry that fueled our needs escalated the abuse of our planet.
Fossil fuels are being burnt continuously spewing out billions of tons of air polluting substances, including the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide; levels are expected to triple in the next 100 years, pushing them to the highest point in 50 million years. The "blanket" that resulted is trapping the suns heat, which has raised the earth's temperature by 0.5 ° C. Enough of an increase to see tropical cyclones, reaching further away from there normal equatorial confines. Such small changes can be appreciated when you understand that the last ice age was due to only a 3° C fall in temperature. What of an increase of 3° C?
The scary thing is that we will find out within the next 45 years at our current rate of increase. Record storms and floods are now ravaging all continents of the world. The ozone hole over the Antarctic has continued to grow increasing the amount of ultra violet light entering our atmosphere. Deserts have appeared where once Tropical Rainforests survived.
Brazils beautiful Amazon Rainforests is what scientists refer to as the Earth's lung. Soaking up Carbon dioxide and releasing the air that we breathe. Satellite photos show almost seven thousand fires burning simultaneously throughout the region. The equivalent of a football field is either burned or cleared by heavy machinery every second. Brazil is only one example of a country desperately trying to use a resource to cure debt and poverty problems.
There is a clear comparison to be made with Brazil and other developing nations. By the year 2015 27 of the worlds 33 largest cities will be in Asia 50% of the total world population will be in the Asian region. Many of these people, some 3 billion are demanding their turn at a modern life style glorified by the western world. The very practices our modern industrial world used to develop are soon to be adopted by these hugely populated Asian countries. Consequent pressures on the environment are obvious. If they do embark on their journey through western ideologies our planet is sure to send out more devastating systems of stress.
Already China has witnessed how unecologically sound development policies can spell disaster. Some 77% of water running through cities are no longer drinkable. Yes it did used to be safe to drink from rivers.
We are at an important point in human history. If we continue to upset the delicate balance of nature it will be at our own peril. Every year new signs emerge that the planet we occupy is changing, most of it due to our presence on it. Records are falling everywhere as nature is fighting back; size frequency, force and devastation of weather patterns are becoming very obvious for us all to see. The changes we are observing now will affect us all within our lifetime. Never before have things been deteriorating at such a rapid rate. We need not accept these changes as inevitable. These symptoms are messages being sent to us from a nonverbal planet. If we heed them now and learn to harness the power of the sun, wind and other forces, we may learn to live in harmony with the environment.
Time is a luxury we may not have so lets stop abusing our only source of life Earth.
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