Rushing to the threshold
We are moving on, actually? Everything feels proceeding to an ever growing unchecked ownership of things and people. Inequalities are overspreading. No control on us and our lives.
Urban sprawl and extermination of rural idyllic places, dreams of far planets to escape and experiments of intensive farming, ideas of resiliency and exploitive practices. We have all of that. We are all of this.
WWF Living Planet Report 2018 finds that population sizes of wildlife decreased by 60% globally in the period from 1970 to 2014. The wide consumption of food and resources by humanity is destroying the web of life. The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, ¾ of all land on Earth is affected by human activities. The next biggest cause is killing for food, at about 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction and the oceans are overfished, with more than half now being industrially fished.
Polluted air is the biggest environmental risk of early death, kills 7 million people a year, far more than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria together. Walking along a busy city street you will inhale roughly 20m particles in a deep breath.
It’s a global health crisis.
Walking along a busy city street you will inhale roughly 20m particles in a deep breath.
In 1950, ⅔ of the global population lived in rural areas, but this distribution will be inverted, about 70% of the world will live in urban areas by 2050; 2.5 billion people could be added to global urban areas and a very large 90% of this hike will happen in Africa and Asia.
So large shares of the urban population will be massed in megacities, areas having 10 million or more inhabitants.
Rural areas appear neglected, in the meantime the process of urbanization will keep on. The countryside shows sharp contrast to the advanced cities. Rural life could get into desolate relics, where scavengers and exiles live.
We’ve got more than 100 years of fanciful reveries of future cities. The countryside is largely glossed over.
The city’s destiny is closely tied to rural areas. The seasonal upheaval of floods and droughts and the fossil-fuel pollution walk together, tragic consequences fall upon areas not equipped to afford with the present issues. So many nations are unprepared for heat waves and wildfires, too. Environmental degrade are so evident, even from the skies.
The very young, the sick, and the very aged perish first.
In a rural setting, we see herds of animals missing from traditional migration routes and villages lying weirdly silent.
Up to 30% of land is at risk of aridification, so relevant engineering projects will be required to break off the overstepping deserts.
Efforts to double food production over the next half century are observable from the air. Intensive farming is becoming imperative. Hydroponics, LED lights, and biodomes get to be supported even more. After all smart cities cannot exist without smart agriculture. Life risks to become more hazardous meanwhile.
So no city is self-sufficient, depends on the countryside. Cities have pushed out “nasty things”. The rural reaches into the urban, with water, electricity, harvests and takes away waste.
Rural has to be deployed in urban areas such as vertical gardens, wetland zones, greenery as a sponge for rising waters and towers that channel polluted air into greenhouses.
Nature contributes to human wellbeing culturally and spiritually, as well as through food, clean water, energy, etc.
The stretch of environmental questions linked to armed conflicts like deforestation, loss of biodiversity, tensions about natural resources, conflict pollution and damage to ecosystems suggest that the environment can play a role in peacebuilding, so that preserving the environment has become existential.
The dream of terraforming Mars is just a deranged elite getaway idea!
Many intentions were declared to the good, the facts of many are headed to the worse. Mankind seems running up to the pursuit of the catastrophic limit.