Why the Environmental Crisis is Urgent and Why We Need to Make Changes Right Away
A couple months back I read a book called The Crash Course by Chris Martenson. In this post I will be review the main points Dr. Martenson addresses. Please check out his website here.
The various components of the world we live in are connected in ways that many of us have not fully considered. One ecosystem affects another. Our Economy, Energy, and Environment all affect each other as well. Recently this cause and effect relationship hasn’t been so pretty for mother earth, and it seems things are only getting exponentially worse.
The term economic growth is used quite frequently to refer to the creation of jobs, the success of businesses both small and large, and the overall well-being of the people who are a part of that economy. However, when it comes to the well-being of our planet, economic growth might not be the best thing, at least not given our current habits and circumstances.
For the most part, economies tend to thrive on the consumption of goods and services. We work to earn. We earn to spend. And we spend to live. This is the way in which almost everyone goes about their lives. Therefore, it only makes sense to fuel the growth of our economies.
And of course, when all is well with the economy and families are making a substantial income, they begin having children. Those children will then grow up in a world where their growing economy provides them with the best and most current healthcare which allows them to perhaps live longer and safer lives than the generation that came before them.
This sounds great, right? Yes. But it is also one of the main reasons for the population crisis that we face today. Whether we like it or not, the world population is destroying the planet, and it is happening at an exponential rate.
Our society faces a large dilemma when it comes to the topic of energy. There is a term called peak oil, which refers to the fastest possible rate at which oil can be extracted from the earth. After this rate is reached, the rate at which oil can be extracted will begin to continually decrease until there is hardly any oil left at all. Read more about peak oil here.
Considering that the GDPs (Gross Domestic Product) of countries across the globe and human populations are both projected to grow exponentially in the coming decades and given society’s current philosophy and lifestyle that revolves around consumerism and eternal economic exponential growth, we will undoubtedly continue depleting our energy stores at an exponential rate.
It is crucial that various world economies begin to place an intense focus on the research and development of alternative renewable and clean energy sources. Keep in mind that making a global transition to clean energy would initially require an enormous amount of non-renewable energy. This being said, it is crucial that we implement clean energy into our economies before we run out of oil.
The fact that we will eventually run out of oil alone tells us that the practice of drilling for oil is not sustainable. Not only will we eventually run out of oil, but all the oil drilling that continues to happen before we run out will be detrimental to the environment. Fracking has been known to pollute water supplies and harm the ecosystem in which it is taking place.
Also, we are depleting the minerals in our soils as we continue to farm conventionally. Not only do we use harmful synthetic fertilizers, but we produce, in mass quantities, corn and soy year after year to feed the billions of people on our planet and the unfortunate animals that we will also eat. This lack of crop variety will eventually destroy the underground ecosystem that agriculture so heavily relies on.
Then there is the topic of water. Water will not last forever if we are not careful. South Africa almost ran out of water completely. For more on that check out this article on Cape Town’s Day Zero. We use water for almost everything, especially food production. Yet we use it carelessly and we even risk contaminating it by drilling for oil, oil which is going to run out anyway.
Tips for dealing with the above issues:
- Consider adopting children rather than having children of your own
- Invest in clean energy stocks. Not only for financial gain, but for the sake of our planet
- Become a minimalist
- Use minimal water, take quick showers
- Buy organic and local produce
- Choose to live in a resilient community that practices sustainability.