Our planet is under enormous strain. Population growth, biodiversity loss and a growth dependent economic system have pushed us into an unsustainable cycle. Now at the ceiling of Earth’s capacity to cope with the pressures we put on it, climate change, deforestation and water scarcity have led to mounting pressure on our global food system.
In a single lifetime, humans have grown into a phenomenal global force. Due to the burning of fossil fuels, greenhouse gas levels this high have not been seen for over one million years. Global temperatures are breaking records consistently with heatwaves set to become the norm. The Arctic and Antarctic are melting. Sea levels are rising. We now use more ecological resources than nature can regenerate. Experts estimate we are losing biodiversity between 1,000 and 10,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, causing a mass extinction of species. As a result of human's impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems, we have now left the Holocene epoch and entered a new geological era: the Anthropocene.
At the heart of the problem lies a flawed economic system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital, regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment we depend on. With an obsession to make ever increasing amounts of money, we have undermined the foundations of life. In addition, there exists a collective silence that ensures international conversation and action rarely, if ever, touches the unprecedented scale of the risk and opportunity our society faces.
This relentless pressure on our planet risks huge destabilisation. But our creativity, energy and industry offer hope. We have shaped our past. We are shaping our present. We can shape our future.
Copyright 2017 Charlie Watson