Saving The Planet Is More Than Going Green
Like much of the US and Europe, I live in an area that got quite a bit of snow over Christmas weekend. As such, I spent a few days at home without venturing about very much other than taking the kids sledding. Not a bad way to enjoy some unexpected downtime!
At any rate, during my snow induced captivity, I caught a documentary on the blue fin tuna. As I was watching, it struck me that while the state of the environment and the need to slow down climate change are topics of much discussion, we don’t tend to talk much about the other things we humans are doing to deplete the natural resources on this planet.
Maybe I’m out of touch, and this isn’t news to any of you, but the rate at which we are decimating the blue fin tuna population is truly alarming. Scientists who specialize in tracking and studying the blue fin tuna estimate that, if we do not reduce the over fishing of this species, it will become extinct in less than a decade. And don’t think for a minute that this is the only animal we are in danger of eliminating!
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, of the 5,490 mammals tracked, 1,142 of them are either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. And those numbers are just for mammals! While many of the threatened species are in danger because of natural causes, the vast majority of the problems facing endangered plants and animals are man made.
It may be over fishing or deforestation or poaching or water pollution, but no matter the cause, the effect is the same. We are responsible for the decimation of thousands of species and large numbers of ecosystems. And, in turn, we are impacting our future on this planet.
It may sound like some new age nonsense, but everything on earth is connected. Our ancestors knew that, yet somehow, we have forgotten it. If we don’t wake up to the fact that we are not the only inhabitants on this planet that deserve to survive, we jeopardize our own existence.
We need to be aware of what is going on in the world and be active and vocal about demanding changes in policies that will protect our environment and the other species who live here with us. So much of what is endangering wildlife and the environment is driven by industry and profit. It is our responsibility to make sure that our governments enact and enforce policies and laws that protect that which does not have a voice. For what good is money if we don’t have anywhere to live?
Here are some great resources to read up on the struggle of some of the world’s most endangered species as well as to find out how you can make a difference: