The Earth has always changed, its climate has always fluctuated and life on Earth is constantly evolving, these are facts. The problem is that many people are trying to use these facts to distort the debate about the environmental crisis. If the climate has always changed and life on Earth has always adapted, why are environmentalists panicking ?!
Changes are too fast
The climate is changing because of our industrial activity, but this is not a problem in itself. If these changes were slow, there would be little to no problem. Unfortunately, this is not at all the case, the changes we produce are extremely rapid, compared to the pace of nature, which means that animal and plant species can not keep up and adapt. There is plenty of evidence, I will not list a whole list in this article, but if you doubt that climate change is already affecting ecosystems I recommend you read this recent article based on a study that illustrates its effects on tropical forest insects .
And then, when we talk about changes caused by the industrial society, it’s not just climate change, but also habitat loss caused by deforestation as well as widespread pollution, and the extinction of a large number of species that began long before the agricultural revolution.
Life on Earth has experienced many disasters in its long history and still managed to survive by gradually restoring its diversity. The Permian-Tria extinction was more catastrophic for life on Earth than the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs and was caused by very similar patterns to those seen today: a rise in the concentration of Co2 in the atmosphere, rapid warming and ocean acidification. The difference is that the sixth extinction is caused not by an external disaster, but by a species, Homo Sapiens. And if members of this species would like to survive the disaster they are causing, they must take urgent action.
A disastrous trajectory
We are witnessing the collapse of virtually every ecosystem on Earth. If we continue to pursue this trajectory we can be certain that despite our ingenuity, the existence of our species, or at least of human civilization, will no longer be possible. We do not exist in a vacuum, we depend on the services of all ecosystems. Our agriculture depends on soil health and climate stability. The oceans can no longer meet our demand, their ecosystems are also collapsing completely.
Technological progress since the agricultural revolution has made us believe that we do not need the ecosystem to survive. Our intelligence has made us believe that we will always be able to manipulate plant and animal species to ensure our survival. The industrial revolution strengthened the illusion of our power while aggravating the damage caused by our civilization in an exponential manner.
The only solution I would like to mention in this article is communication. I am sure that the vast majority of people who read this article are already convinced of the existence and probably the severity of the ecological problems. We must therefore find the time and energy to communicate about the environmental crisis with people around us. We must use all the means of communication that are available to us to start a public debate. Social networks are a good start, but we need to think of them as a trampoline to real life conversations. One of the problems of social networks is that they limit us in a group of people who already share our point of view. Algorithms work this way, because it is both the profitable and because people like to hear ideas that are already part of their consciousness. However, the situation surrounding the environmental crisis is urgent and it concerns everyone. Our future and the future of our children depends on the political and personal choices we are making today. Let’s talk about it as often as possible!