Science

Collaboration of experts sounds the alarm about the “catastrophic” situation on Earth

Human activities have grown to such an extent that their consequences on the planet, particularly with regard to global warming, are now perceptible by all. From the drying up of rivers to the desertification of land, through deforestation, massive melting of ice or the increase in temperatures, these harmful effects on all the ecosystems of the world continue to progress without any countermeasures. truly effective is taken by governments. This is the observation made by a collaboration of several researchers from different institutions, concluding that if the leaders persist in their inaction, the situation will then become catastrophic to the point of threatening the very existence of our civilization.

A loss of biodiversity and the acceleration of climate change in the coming decades, coupled with inaction, threatens the survival of all species, including our own, according to experts from institutions such as Stanford University, UCLA and Flinders University. Researchers say world leaders need a “cold shower” about the state of our environment, both to plan and to act, to avert a catastrophic future.

Lead author Professor Corey Bradshaw of Flinders University in Australia says he and his colleagues have summed up the state of the natural world in dark form to help clarify the gravity of the human situation. ” Humanity is causing a rapid loss of biodiversity and, with it, of the Earth’s ability to support complex life. But the mainstream is struggling to grasp the scale of this loss, despite the constant erosion of the fabric of human civilization. Says Professor Bradshaw.

In fact, the magnitude of the threats to the biosphere and all of its life forms is so great that it is difficult to grasp, even for knowledgeable experts. The problem is compounded by ignorance and short-term self-interest, with the pursuit of wealth and political interests blocking action which is crucial for survival. “.

An ecological Ponzi scheme

Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich asserts that no political or economic system, or leadership, is ready to cope with anticipated disasters, or even capable of such action. ” Stopping biodiversity loss is far from a country’s top priority, far behind other concerns such as jobs, healthcare, economic growth or monetary stability. “.

Video of researchers explaining the principle of the ecological Ponzi scheme:

While it is positive that President Biden re-engaged the United States in the Paris climate agreement during his first 100 days in office, it is a tiny gesture given the scale of the challenge. Humanity runs an ecological Ponzi scheme in which society deprives nature and future generations of paying today for short-term economic improvement “.

Most economies operate on the basis that counteraction is now too costly to be politically acceptable. Combined with disinformation campaigns to protect short-term profits, the scale of the changes we need are unlikely to be made in time. Says Professor Ehrlich.

Looming catastrophe in the face of government inaction

UCLA Professor Dan Blumstein explains that scientists choose to speak boldly and fearlessly because life literally depends on it. ” What we are saying may not be popular and is in fact scary. But we must be frank, precise and honest if humanity is to understand the enormity of the challenges we face in creating a sustainable future. “.

Graph summarizing all the major categories affected by environmental changes, indicating the severity (in%) of the damage suffered (blue = little affected, red = severely affected). © Bradshaw et al 2021

Without political will backed by tangible action that adapts to the enormity of the problems we face, the additional pressures on human health, wealth and well-being will perversely diminish our political capacity to mitigate erosion of the world. Earth’s life support system we all depend on “.

The growth and consumption of the human population continues to intensify, and we are always more focused on expanding the human enterprise than on designing and implementing solutions to critical problems such as loss of business. biodiversity. By the time we fully understand the impact of ecological deterioration, it will be too late. Without fully appreciating and disseminating the magnitude of the problems and the enormity of the solutions required, society will fail to meet even modest sustainability goals and disaster will surely follow. », Concludes Professor Blumstein.

Experts say their perspective article, which cites more than 150 studies, seeks to describe clearly and unambiguously the likely future trends of biodiversity decline, mass extinction, climate disruption, planetary toxification, all of which are linked to human consumption and population growth to demonstrate the virtual certainty that these problems will worsen over the coming decades, with negative impacts for centuries to come. It also explains the impact of political powerlessness and the ineffectiveness of current and planned actions to deal with the worrying scale of environmental erosion.

Video of the researchers explaining the urgency of the situation:

Back to top button