The Bell Tolls For Thee!

Its not until you get really old and have experienced the changes that have overtaken the world and its people, that you get some idea of what the future could be.  What will life be like in fifty or a hundred years time? That is a question many people would love to know the answer to, but as we all  know, unless someone invents a time machine that is impossible.

Our Ailing Planet

Our Ailing Planet

The only ones who can give us any idea of the future are the scientists who study life on Earth, our environment, and the changes taking place on an annual basis. Right now they are warning us of terrible changes that will happen in the years to come.

Age Of The Dinosaur

Age Of The Dinosaur

This planet has always been home to not only humans, but thousands of species of creatures that share this world with us. Throughout its history there have been major changes in this world’s inhabitants, like for example the dinosaur age that ended 65 million years ago with an asteroid colliding with Earth. After that cataclysmic event life almost had to start again.

We as a species have developed and become dominant in the social order of things, so why are we hell-bent on destroying our home. Scientists from the universities of  Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley have issued a report which says in effect, “We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event.” Bold words indeed, for it says that humanity will not be around for much longer in Earth history terms.

The Majority View

The Majority View

I can well imagine that the majority of the public who took the time to read the article will have scoffed and declared the report pure nonsense. But just take the time to think about it in more than cursory terms. Think about the way the human race is today, how we are slowly but surely destroying everything nature has built up over millions of years.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

People also scoff at the idea of climate change, but again, think about it. When in our recent history have we had such droughts as in Central USA, California, or the United Kingdom among many other parts of the world? When was the last time we had hurricanes the size of Katrina a few years ago, typhoons that ravaged many Far Eastern countries, and so many since then? When was the last time countries like the USA, Britain and some central European states among many others had massive flooding? When was the last time the the Arctic and Antarctic ice retreated so far? The answer is – Not in living memory!

Think what you like, but all these events are abnormal in the recent history of man, and signal dramatic changes in the Earth’s environment. These changes are being brought about by us because of our uncaring attitude to this planet we call home, to greed, to over-population and ignorance.

Gerardo Ceballos

Gerardo Ceballos

Gerardo Ceballos, the lead author said, “If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on.” Professor Paul Ehrlich, another of the lead authors, said: “Without any significant doubt … we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event. There are examples of species all over the world that are essentially the walking dead. We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on.”

The main concern of the scientists is that mankind is killing off much of the animal and plant-life on the planet and that can only lead to our extinction. Every creature, plant and human on the planet is inter-dependent for survival despite what most people think.

Burning The Rain Forest In Brazil

Burning The Rain Forest In Brazil

Nature is a finally balanced instrument, like for example trees. Without trees there would be no life on this planet at all, although few think of that. Along with the oceans, trees provide the one essential to life on this planet – oxygen! But what are we doing, many of the old forests and wooded areas in developed countries have disappeared thanks to agriculture requirements. We are also destroying huge swathes of these life-giving essentials by chopping down or burning massive areas of our tropical forests like the Amazon, Africa and the Far East, and for what, greed!

Even the humble bee is essential to life on the planet because it is necessary for plant growth through pollination, but we are poisoning them at an unprecedented rate with our chemical pesticides, and many other essential species of insect I might add. Science has estimated that they could disappear completely within the next three generations.

Fields In My Day - Surrounded By Hedgerows

Fields In My Day – Surrounded By Hedgerows

In my youth almost all fields were bordered by hedgerows that were teeming with animals, birds and insects. The birds in particular kept down the pests that invaded our crops, but once the hedgerows had been ripped out to increase profit, man found a better way, spraying them with often deadly chemicals. This removal of the hedgerows annihilated the many species that lived in them and did such a valuable job. And I might add, the crop spraying started poisoning us.

These are the kind of changes that are being highlighted by the scientists, for they say that animal species have been dying off 114 times faster since 1900 than at any time in Earth’s history. The report says, “In the last 115 years, over 400 more vertebrates (animals with backbones) have vanished than would normally be expected – including 69 mammals, 80 birds, 24 reptiles, 146 amphibians and 158 fish species. Today, more than 26% of all mammalian species and 41% of all amphibians are in danger of being wiped out.”

Value Of Rhino Horn

Value Of Rhino Horn

You only have to look at the plight of elephants and rhinoceros in Africa that are being consigned to history at an ever increasing rate by poachers. Kill an elephant and sell its tusks to some Far Eastern trader who will then make a ‘miracle’ cure for the masses that has no medicinal value whatsoever. So we destroy an entire species for what – nothing, except profit! What will these people do when there are no more elephants or rhino’s, probably turn to some other species and then proceed to wipe them out too.

World's Top Polluters

World’s Top Polluters

Many people will say, “So what. We are still here.” But they forget about the interdependency between species and plant life on the planet. Its like having a completed jigsaw in front of you, and then someone starts taking away pieces one by one. Very soon the picture is hard to recognize for what it is.

As the population of Earth continues to explode, areas that were the habitats of essential animals and insect life are being swallowed up and increase the annihilation of these species.

Ocean Pollutants

Ocean Pollutants

As we continue to pollute and rape the seas of its life we are hastening the end for all life on the planet. Some ship captains think nothing of flushing out their oil or chemical tanks and dumping the contents into the ocean. None of them think about the harm they are doing to the fish stocks that we eat. In Japan the favourite dish is Sushi (raw fish), little do they know that most fish caught in the oceans these days have a high level of mercury because of man’s continued contamination. Personally, I would not eat Sushi if you gave it to me for free.

The Affects Of Climate Change

The Affects Of Climate Change

You can look at your own uninterrupted daily life and think this is all hogwash because it does not affect you in the slightest, but what of your children and their children. What sort of world are we leaving them? If you do not see past the current problems and try to do something about them you are condemning your children, and their descendants, to a very hard life, or no life at all!

What About Us?

What About Us?

I know that it is hard for the average person to make big changes, that is up to the politicians (Heaven help us), but we can all contribute in the way we dispose of rubbish, when we are shopping by refusing plastic bags for example and minimizing car use by taking the bus. Small things but on a national scale they all help. The main thing we can all do is make the politicians take heed, and put forward some concrete proposals that will help save our species.

There can be little doubt that if the human race is to continue on this planet many things have to change, like social attitudes and caring for nature. We have to stop being the most destructive force on the planet, and start thinking about the life of future generations.

Roy.

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