Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.
Contributing to the urgency, is Global Warming, and the resistance of the Trump Administration to accept its reality and causes. As a result, policies in place to slow down and mitigate the impact of Global Warming, are being intentionally cut or ignored.https://youtu.be/B9K8jgUcZ00
The unthinkable has become our reality. Short term economic advantage has trumped a responsibility for the well being of generations not yet born.
What are people of conscience to do?
First, it is important to support good science. The overwhelming scientific community affirms that the science is incontrovertible. Global Warming is a reality and primarily caused by human actions.
Second, to collaborate with like minded organizations, local and global, that advocate for progressive governmental policies that limit carbon emissions and protect natural resources. For example, on a local basis I’m a member of the Ipswich River Watershed Association, http://www.ipswichriver.org which protects the watershed I call home. On a local and global level I support https://350.org founded by Bill McKibben to limit and ultimately begin to draw down the amount of carbon being emitted.
Third, vote for local and national politicians who will work to protect our environment.
Fourth, don’t give in to despair. Take the long view. Advocating for the well being of our planet is a marathon, not a sprint.
Fifth, spend time in nature and with children. Nature restores and inspires. Spend time every week in the outdoors. Savoring and soaking up the beauty and wonder of our natural world. And, hang out with kids. We are protecting the earth for the well being of children and generations of children to come.
Sixth, draw strength from a philosophical/spiritual foundation that fuels your passion. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and a mystic at heart said:
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
Seven, hold on to a righteous anger. We must on behalf of creation, challenge and confront the selfish impulses of political and economic forces. We are to offer positive, sustainable alternatives to the selfish ambitions of the few who seek to gain the most, in the short term.
Eight, draw wisdom from your spiritual tradition. As a person who draws from the well of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I believe that the willful destruction of the natural world is a deep and profound expression of Sin. I believe these words to be true: ‘If you love the Creator, then take care of creation.’ To turn our back on this truth, is to turn our back on the Creator.
God saw all that was made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day. ~ Genesis 1: 31
What is your conscience calling you to do? May we choose wisely. For the sake of generations to come.