Become a 21st Century Hero!

Discover how “simply living” is putting Life as we know in Check & Engage to reverse this calamity!!!

As a World Environmental Day initiative I chose to share with you some of my thoughts on environmental issues. Basically I see humanity racing against time, but as the clock is already grabbing the steering wheel and accelerating, humans are running in the wrong direction…

Source: Link

Correct me if I’m wrong, but those goals are very present in most of Homo sapiens that lives on Earth:

  • Be a good person
  • Make friends
  • Study hard
  • Get a job
  • Build a family
  • Etc, etc, etc…

During the daily life, to achieve those goals people need to think, need to breathe some air, to eat some food, to move from place to place and to talk to each other. But what happens during this process is that almost nobody is aware about the negative environmental issues from the modus operandi of the modern society.

Here are some examples of terrible externalities we evidence today:


The worlds best pollinators are rapidly vanishing: “The bee’s plight is widespread: Serious declines have been reported in both managed honeybee colonies and wild populations. Jennifer Sass, an NRDC senior scientist, says there are multiple factors at play (pesticides, habitat loss, disease and climate change). Each on its own is bad enough, but combined they are quickly proving too much to handle. [Source]

So, basically the pesticides used in agribusiness to make food faster are putting the World food provision at risk. Found this bizarre? keep reading:

A single coral polyp. Image: Jeannot Kuenzel supermacro project

Corals are bleaching because of ocean warming and ‘baby corals’ might not even grow because of ocean acidification and deoxygenation processes. Some scientists say that Coral reefs could be extinct by 2050, and this may subsequently lead to the extinction of the 1,000,000 species that rely on them, imagine how many other species will be vanished in this century if people don’t stop carbon dioxide (among others greenhouse gases) emissions soon.

Rising seawater temperature, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation will cause substantial changes in marine physics, chemistry and biology. These changes will affect the ocean in ways that we are only beginning to understand.” All three together are caused by the increasing greenhouse gas emissions, specially carbon dioxide, to the atmosphere. [Find out more in this Source]

In a lab experiment, a sea butterfly (pteropod) shell placed in seawater with increased acidity slowly dissolves over 45 days. Image courtesy of R. Feely, PMEL. — Link

So, to be crystal clear, let’s get ‘Google definitions’ concerning two main concepts: ecosystem services and the importance of biodiversity:

  • Ecosystem services can be divided into “four broad categories: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; supporting, such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits”. Economists calculate the monetary value of those services provide for humanity and it’s about $46 trillion US Dollars per Year, and no human technnology is subtitute for any of those services.
  • “Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms”.

If you take a step back and analyze the life on Earth history and cross with human life on Earth history, it becomes clear that humans are a real menace to most of the life form on this planet, including our own(!). Take a look at those two charts to better understand it:

Human Population Growth in the past half a million years — Link
The 5 waves of extinctions in the past half-billion years. Extracted from the book The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert.

We seems to be the causing of the 6th Mass Extinction !! “It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago”. [Ref.] See What’s Missing already.

Essentially the most dangerous issue is easy to diagnose but pretty complex to solve: GHG Emissions

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Accumulation from the Ocean Health Index.

The over accumulation of GHG’s in the Atmosphere and Ocean are responsible for fast changes in the natural ecosystems services that we take for granted, so let’s take a long look at the main sources of those pollutants:

Sources and Sectors responsible for the World GHG Emisssions — Ecofys 2010.

In a nutshell, anthropogenic actions are generating colossal ecological footprint in a level of compromising several ecosystems services among most of the biosphere, FOR REAL!

Now, if you wish that future generations may have a chance to get to know the Earth as you did, you must become a Hero ASAP! But how to start?

Blue Marble — NASA.

In the next post I’ll talk about what I think we (humanity) need to do to try to prevent us from this mass collapse of plants and animals species, but you can send me you thoughts by commenting on this post or by email at ariel(@)cidadao10(dot)com(dot)br. Thanks for reading & let’s save the world together!

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