As an environmental and health blogger, I research a lot. I come across a lot of facts and figures which indicate alarming trends in society and environmentally. I have literally read scholarly articles predicting the end of human life.
It’s a scary job, guys.
I confess to you now – At times, it gets too much.
I watch everyone around me, consuming, seemingly with no end. I watch my nearest and dearest, and their friends and their families eat a diet that is causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes. The physician’s signature on a prescription pad may as well be one on a blank cheque to pharmaceutical pockets. I see corruption through governments, bending over backwards for big business, for food production giants exactly as they did for tobacco, 50 years after it was proven to kill you. The institutions we trust, guiding us in part into temptation, sickness and death.
I watch my society, on a steady march to destroy my planet. We are eradicating habitats, obliterating our biodiversity, uprooting rainforests – ripping out the very lungs of the world. Pouring chemicals and waste into the sea. Our whales and dolphins stuffed full of plastic, half the world’s fish gone forever, and dead zones bigger than countries. Creatures stuffed into cages, tortured, trampled and drugged, torn apart for the grocery stores.
Twenty years ago, the distant polar ice caps were melting and nobody listened. Now? For the fourth consecutive year, it is the hottest year on record. British Colombia is on fire – and set to beat the record for its worst wildfire season of all time. Venice is drowning. Parts of South Asia are becoming unsurvivably hot and the Arctic is crumbling and cascading into the ocean.
The Earth, who supplies us with everything we need to live, is being swallowed by the inevitable march of progress. Sometimes, my hope is gone.
But we are the smartest, most incredible, most ingenious species put on this planet.
We can harness the power of the sun, to fly a plane across the world, to power incredible machines we designed from things we found in the ground. We can send messages across space using waves. We can understand through variations in intangible and complex measurements, what is happening millions of lightyears away from us. We have created artificial life – precise enough to perform surgeries on ourselves. Life that can think, learn, and beat us in games. We can restore sight; give new limbs, transplant hearts, brains, and faces. We can change our very genetic make-up.
In the exponential rise of planetary destruction, there is a mirroring explosion of human ingenuity and pure unrivalled genius.
And we are waking up.
Rates of veganism are rising – fast. Animal welfare standards are improving. Huge environmental breakthroughs are being made, from vertical farming and lab-grown meat, to carbon engineering – fuelling industry with carbon taken from the atmosphere. These start-ups are sucking thousands of tonnes of carbon out of the air with the potential to reverse the greenhouse effect.
Nuclear fission is close to safe commercial viability. A teenager just invented a gadget that can shut down oil spills. They are testing a handheld device that can detect cancer and other diseases. Algae-powered lamps suck in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen alongside their light. We have already created biodegradable plastic.
It is easy to give up, to throw your hands up in the air in despair, and dive head first into consumerism and indulgence because the battle is already over. But we have so much hope. The human race has revolutionised the world. If anybody now can save it, we can. And we will.
We should always keep fighting for a sustainable world, because there is a huge solution coming – and it is right around the corner.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!