Scientists tell us we are entering the age of the sixth mass extinction. Will that extinction include the human race? It could. This is not a problem of the far distant future. My great-grandchildren will face a world far different than the pleasant planet we live in today.
We are not dealing with science fiction. We are facing science fact.
Billions of people will be displaced by rising seas. People will fight for scarce water and food. Rising temperatures will create more tension between people. Storms and droughts will be more severe. Ocean acidification will disrupt ocean food chains and destroy the food supply of billions of people. Famine and disease will ravage the earth.
In the 25 July 2014 issue of Science we are warned:
“We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and populations of the remaining species show 25% average decline in abundance. Invertebrate patterns are equally dire: 67% of monitored populations show 45% mean abundance decline. Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Much remains unknown about this “Anthropocene defaunation”; these knowledge gaps hinder our capacity to predict and limit defaunation impacts. Clearly, however, defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet’s sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change.” http://bit.ly/1zqF45Y
Is it any wonder scientists have trouble communicating with the general public. Translated, that quote means human beings are polluting the earth at a rate that is causing extreme changes in the earth we depend on to survive. We do not know the full impacts of what we are doing, but we do know they are bad.
Our only hope is for people worldwide to come together with one voice and demand our Governments address the core problems of population growth, unsustainable demand on the resources the earth can provide and the impacts of pollution. Governments will not take action unless they are forced to do so by their people. Governments deal with current problems and at best have 5 year plans.
There is a yawning chasm between public opinion and scientific reality. 97 percent of scientific papers on global warming and climate change agree that climate change is caused by human activity. Less than half the American people believe their is a scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity. http://bit.ly/UIKU2Q. Unless that perception changes, there will be little public support to curb greenhouse emissions.
We need a plan to care for the earth to the seventh generation. Individually, we can vote with our wallets against polluting corporations. We can support legislators who understand the problem and will work to minimize pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change. We can do all we can do to reduce our personal carbon foot print.
Also we must accept the fact we must be prepared to take care of ourselves and our family.
You need the supplies to deal with inevitable disruptions in supply chains. And, you need the financial resources to deal with the crises in our lives.
Personal resilience requires us to have the knowledge we need to live productive, purposeful lives. Financial resilience, based on multiple sources of recurring income, makes our personal resilience possible. People who are living pay check to paycheck and struggling to survive can not be resilient.
I donʻt subscribe to the theory that each person must look out for themselves. Of course, our first responsibility is to our family, but we are also obligated to help each other.
Our hope for the future lies in small groups of people working together to solve local problems and coordinating their efforts globally. Governments around the world have proven themselves unable to deal with the problem. Only grass roots efforts can change public opinion and bring pressure on governments to change their ways.