Dear 21st century humans,
I mentioned in my previous blog that the one thing we need to worry about right now is how fast our climate is changing.
Sure, we are worrying.
But there’s also a lot of talk about how WE are responsible for this fast rate of climate change. I’d like to tell you something about that in this post.
We, as a species, are special. You know why?
We are the ONLY species ever to walk this earth that has been able to influence the environment in which we live in.
And that is something…ominous. Because while we can, and have influenced the world in ways that we do want, we have also made mistakes. And the potential to make mistakes are still looming large.
Climate changes. That’s a fact. And it changes really really slowly. That gives all beings on the planet to assess, and adapt to this change, or die trying. But at least, the beings have a fair chance. Unfortunately, with the current change that’s going on, most beings don’t even have a chance. Not even us at the moment, despite all our superior intellect and technology. And the reason for the unadaptable rate of climate change, I’m sorry to say, is our influence on the environment we live in.
It was since the agricultural age that we began to have a real mark on the environment. Since then, that mark has been increasing, spreading globally. Today, it’s everywhere.
Let me highlight some of the things we have done that has ABSOLUTELY contributed to the fast climate change.
- Fossil fuels- This is a no-brainer. You have heard of it, and there is no running away from it. We have been burning a lot of these fuels for a variety of purposes, and the gases released have enormously contributed in making our planet hotter than it should have been otherwise.
- Another effect that we have had is during the process of extracting fossil fuels and other resources. We mine, we drill, and then we transport. Along the way, a lot of mishaps can happen, have happened. Both unintentional, unavoidable and totally avoidable. Oil spills are the avoidable kinds that have caused huge disruptions in the marine ecosystems. And for mining, we basically obliterate wildlife habitats. That’s, I suppose, an “unintentional” consequence of this.
- Forests are a huge commodity for us. We have been depending on it for our survival even before we started agriculture. But lately, we have been over-depending on it. And that has caused a whole host of problems in the ecosystem, the survival of many species and more importantly, the balance of the world climate. Forests act as a buffer in the ecosystem, moderating the climate when it gets too hot or too cold. That buffer, is reducing. Why? Because 1/3 of the forests in the world are no more.
- Everything basic for life comes from the ocean. I mean, there is a reason why there is so much of it. Our activities are having a major impact on the functioning of oceans in a way that is unimaginable. I will highlight this in blogs to come.
So, yes. Climate change would have happened anyway. That is perfectly true. But we as a species have been instrumental in making it happen a lot faster than it should, a lot faster than it has been happening in the past.
So we not only need to worry about our survival. We to take responsibility of this fact that WE have caused it to hasten, and we are the only species that can do anything about it. Honestly, do you expect monkeys to help with this?