In just two generations, from 1970 to 2010, over 50% of mammal, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish have disappeared from off the face of the earth. Fully one HALF of these animals have been obliterated.
Last week the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) released its 2014 Living Planet Report which, as they put it, was not for the faint hearted.
It’s not a good time for Fauna.
All the details, in a very succinct readable report that I recommend everyone read can be found here.
This is not fantasy or theory. It is a scientific audit of the health of Earth and the massive imprint human activity is stamping on our planet.
Mankind lives and survives based solely on the resources of one and only one planet. WWF has inventoried the imprint of mankind on fauna in all countries with over one million inhabitants. You can see where your country stands but beyond that, let it be known that our planetary situation is not a mystery, it’s documented and what this state of affairs is happening and it’s happening now, right on our doorstep… or should I say, right in our front parlor.
- Ecology: Mankind is limited to the resources of planet Earth. It’s not expandable
- Society: Popluations are expanding substantially with the poorest nations leading the way
- Economy: The economy is consuming 1.4 times what the Earth can sustainably produce.
You do the math.
This report discusses today because tomorrow is already here in terms preparing for it.
You don’t turn a super oil tanker in the ocean around on a dime. Depending on size and speed you need around 8 kilometers distance and over 3 kilometers wide to make a full U-turn. Seven km might sound like a loooong distance but if you start the manouvre tooooo late, the supertanker simply will not make it in time.
Ecology, society and economy are all supertankers… they are sloooow mooooving massive entities that take time to shift into new paradigms.
WWF believes that humanity can live in our Earth cocoon with its set ecological resources but ever growing society coupled to a necessarily growing economy. But , and frankly we know it, we must make better choices to turn the super tanker around.
I am going to present WWF’s five areas of better choices in this blog post. I’d like you to keep in mind that this is in a particular context, that of ‘The Explanation’. My goal is not to detail those 5 points or the ecological history or consequences of losing 50 per cent of our wild animal population over 40 years. That is for the specialists like WWF and other scientists and ecologists.
WWF’s “One Planet Perspective” suggests better ways to govern, utilize and portion out natural resources within the planet’s limits – to ensure food, water and energy security for all.
The Explanation goes behind the propositions and suggestions to a deeper level. I call it mindlevel The Explanation analyses the ‘whats ifs and buts’ at the deepest level to which man can go: his mind. What is really going on there with regard to these five propositions for ‘Harmonious co-existence of ecology, society and economy’.
Remember that the fundamental question The Explanation has set out to answer is: How would you bring peace and prosperity to Earth? And it looks like the WWF is proposing a part solution in its area of competence.
Here are the 5 propositions each followed by the questions The Explanation proposes to answer:
1. Preserve natural capital:
Restore damaged ecosystems, halt the loss of priority habitats, significantly expand protected areas
- What pushes man to damage ecosystems?
- How can you turn around someone who is in favor of loss of priority habitats?
- What does it take for people to adopt a ‘more protected areas’ outlook?
2. Produce better:
Reduce inputs and waste, manage resources sustainably, scale-up renewable energy production.
- Is there a reason for man’s distaste for properly handling waste?
- Scaling down wanton use of resources and scaling up renewable resources are paradigm changes. Where do these concepts really start?
3. Consume more wisely:
Through low-footprint lifestyles, sustainable energy use and healthier food consumption patterns.
- Better consumption is at the individual level, what does it take for YOU and I to take charge of this?
- How would you analyze this: Michelle Obama’s Healthy Food in School Program is a failure
4. Redirect financial flows:
Value nature, account for environmental and social costs, support and reward conservation, sustainable resource management and innovation.
- Why isn’t ‘accounting’ for the negative and/ or ‘support’ for the positive not always working?
- Look at the ‘Carbon tax’, has that worked?
5. Equitable resource governance:
Share available resources, make fair and ecologically informed choices, measure success beyond GDP.
- Who makes decisions about what’s ‘fair’?
- Why aren’t fair decisions acceptable to some people if not many people?
This is not an exercise in negativism, this is an exercise to begin to realize where the real ‘workings’ of situations take place, whether those situations are negative (poaching rhinoceros), neutral (zero ecological imprint) or positive (protecting more natural habitat).
This is reality at the level we humans function.
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