Other scary findings from the UN on Biodiversity.

The UN report has put together a series of scary findings that summarise the effect we have been having on the environment.

I don’t know about you but I consider this slightly more important that the birth, and subsequent naming, of some Royal child!

• Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.  • More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.  • The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980. • Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection. • In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% were maximally sustainably fished, with just 7% harvested at levels lower than what can be sustainably fished. • Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992. • Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom. • Negative trends in nature will continue to 2050 and beyond in all of the policy scenarios explored in the Report, except those that include transformative change – due to the projected impacts of increasing land-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, although with significant differences between regions.

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Some things that need doing to stop this dramatic damage to Biodiversity.

There is a whole sense of doom and gloom around what is happening with regard to both climate change and the grave issue of biodiversity.

People seem to form into 4 camps:

  1. There are the usual deniers who are being fed by the Trumpist Breitbart litany of fake news. They deny there is any climate warming or mass extinctions. Indeed, in their view there is no damage to the environment at all.  They believe all experts are liars and the UN is a tool of the global elitists. I think we can discount this minority. They are a hopeless case.

2. Then there are those who believe things have gone too far and there is nothing to be done – we are doomed. I do not believe that – and neither do the scientists investigating the situation. They believe that we have to take action but that it is not irreversible.

3. Then we have those who believe that it is not too late but that we have to have drastic actions – banning cars and planes, not eating meat etc. Things that would dramatically change our lives and cost a fortune. I think they go too far and would not take the public with them.

4. But I am of the opinion that it is not too late  and that we can make changes which would not greatly impact on our lives but would rectify both global warming and the impact we are making on biodiversity. I believe there is a middle way.

The views of a moderate 

I think much of what needs doing requires a global perspective and government legislation.

  1. We need to stop this incessant drive for growth of the economy. It is simply unsustainable.
  2. We need to reduce human population to take pressure off the environment. Simply continually expanding into natural environments is bound to create immense problems.
  3. We need legislation to encourage companies to produce non-polluting, energy efficient goods. We are currently producing goods that have a short life and are then thrown away. I believe we need to produce goods of superior quality, with a longer life and that are repairable (like things used to be).
  4. We need to put an end to this consumer pressure where people replace their goods or a regular basis. There is no real need for new phones, new TVs, new computers – other than to make profit for companies. A change in behaviour would help enormously.
  5. We need energy efficient machines. Cars, planes, trains, fridges, ovens, heaters – all can be made much more efficient.
  6. We need our electricity produced by sustainable means – wind, tidal, solar, hydro and geothermal.
  7. We need to stop food waste – a third of our food is currently wasted.
  8. We need to set aside large national parks in which animals and plants are protected. I am in favour of 50/50. 50% for human use and 50% for nature.
  9. We need sustainable logging and prevent the further loss of rainforest.
  10. We need responsible mining without damage to the environment.
  11. We need to put aside marine areas where fishing is prohibited to enable fish to breed and restock.
  12. We need to ensure we do not overfish, or overhunt.
  13. We need to reduce our meat consumption and find better ways to produce meat – such as growing meat in the laboratory (as we do with plants and hydroponics) or use meat substitutes.
  14. We need to reconstitute wetland habitats, woodland habitat, pond and river habitats and conserve the full range of other habitats.
  15. We need to find an alternative to the massive use of pesticides and herbicides that are not only destroying our wild plants and insects but are damaging our soil structure. GM might provide a solution to this. Insecticides could be incorporated into the genome of crops which would remove the necessity to spray. The results would be far more environmentally friendly.
  16. We need to stop all poaching and put an end to trade in ivory and animal parts.
  17. We need to stop trophy hunting.
  18. We need good conservation programmes.
  19. We need to find a way for business to flourish without damaging nature and for agriculture to flourish without taking over more natural habitat or polluting it with chemicals.

We need to stop profit coming before the environment or people!

I believe all this could be achieved without drastically altering our lifestyle, hampering our travel or costing enormous amounts.

It is more a matter of will.

DO WE CARE ENOUGH???

  • if anybody else has any serious suggestions I would be pleased to hear them!

Painful extracts from the UN report on Biodiversity

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.” 

transformative change can expect opposition from those with interests vested in the status quo, but also that such opposition can be overcome for the broader public good,”

“Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net’. But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point,”

“The diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems, as well as many fundamental contributions we derive from nature, are declining fast, although we still have the means to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet.” 

The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reefforming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16th century  and more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still threatened.

“Ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. The essential, interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly frayed,”

To summarise what they are saying:

We are doing immense harm, on a global scale, to the ecosystem we depend upon for our lives. We are creating mass extinctions and hugely reduced populations of plants and animals.

This can be rectified but the people who have a vested interest in causing this damage (the ones profiting) will resist and obfuscate.

WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW AND NOT ALLOW THOSE WHO ARE PROFITING FROM THIS CARNAGE TO PERSUADE US OTHERWISE!!

The Human Flood – a poem

The Human Flood 

 

One million victims

Of the human flood.

One trillion fossils

No longer flesh and blood.

 

A holocaust of thoughtlessness;

An Armageddon by intent.

Caused by human hands

A catastrophic event.

 

From pesticide and chainsaw;

From pollutant and gun;

From climate change to farming;

We’re killing every one.

 

They have nowhere to go,

No means to escape.

We’re harrying them to death

In an everlasting rape!

 

One million victims

Of the human flood.

One trillion fossils

No longer flesh and blood.

 

Opher – 6.5.2019

 

 

The natural world I love is being systematically destroyed. Our constant mantra of expansion; our consumer paradise; our relentlessly burgeoning population is creating a concrete and plastic jungle.

 

It will be the death of us all unless we do something about it!

Oblivious – a poem

Oblivious

Oblivious to what is going on.

Uncaring towards the victims.

Callous towards the cruelty.

Living apart from the action;

Caught in their own bubble.

At best indifferent.

But also complacent.

Sure that it will all come good.

Nature is resilient.

Except nature is nowhere near as resilient as they would have us believe.

The proof is in front of our eyes.

 

Opher 5.5.2019

I am haunted by conversations with three individuals on an American site, who are not only incredibly in denial as to any environmental damage going on but really do not care even if it was. As far as they are concerned the immense harm being done to biodiversity, the reduction in animal populations and global warming are political lies produced to make them pay more. All evidence put forward is seen as political scaremongering. They believe nature is some infinite, resilient pool of life that we can used, abused and destroyed without any real impact.

I am haunted by my trip to South America. Out in the wilderness of Patagonia, Brazil and Tierra Del Fuego we were expecting to see plenty of wildlife. The first wooden whalers had encountered a land of plenty. They had harvested turtles, seal lions, seal, penguins and all manner of birds. They had visited the breeding grounds, slaughtered for fun, loaded up ships with hundreds of tons of fresh meat, boiled eggs and carcasses for oil.

In their wake are the vestiges, clinging on. What once was plentiful is now scarce. We had to search for signs of life among an emptiness that shouted at us.

The Will, the Means or the Might? – a poem

The Will, the Means or the Might

 

Gigantic cerebral power,

With electricity jumping neurones

In creative ways.

Huge invention and

Problem solving ability –

A progressive maze.

 

In a dichotomy

Of good and bad

Creating uncertain days.

We’re on the edge

Of disasters of our devise

And could go out in a blaze.

 

Can we use our giant brains

To solve the problems we create?

Or are they all too big?

Is it all too late?

 

I’d like to feel that we have the ability

To make it right.

But do we possess the will,

The means or the might?

 

Opher – 29th April 2019

 

 

I am always amazed by our ingenuity and ability to solve problems. When I look back over the last three hundred years what we have achieved is stupendous.

But in the process of developing our world of technology and science we have impacted greatly on the natural world and put our own future in jeopardy.

My frustration is that I am sure we possess the ability to put it right. I just don’t think we have the will.

While it doesn’t directly affect us we will remain complacent. When the impacts finally manifest themselves it will be too late

The Green Desert of Britain

What we now see as the beautiful green countryside of Britain is really a wasteland devoid of life. The once plentiful and vibrant communities of animals and plants has been reduced to a rump hanging on to life in the face of agricultural practices designed to kill both plants and animals. It’s a green desert sprayed with poisons supplying a burgeoning population of humans.

The plentiful populations of stickle-backs, newts, frogs, toads, grass-snakes, slowworms, lizards, insects, hedgehogs, swallows, swifts, butterflies, bees, bugs and birds of my youth are a pale shadow of what they once were.

Their habitats are largely gone. Their food is gone. They are poisoned and killed.

Nature is all but destroyed.

I don’t hate humanity – I love nature.

I don’t hate humanity.

I hate some of the attitudes and actions of humanity. It is important to understand the distinction.

Many humans are caring, responsible, compassions animals.

Unfortunately many other humans are savage, cruel, violent and uncaring.

I like the former and despise the ignorance and stupidity of the latter.

Throughout history it is the latter that have, and are, causing great damage with their greed, selfishness and cruelty. Their ignorance and disregard is appalling for both other humans as well as creatures. Many seem to relish causing pain.

Presently our numbers are causing great harm to the ecosystems of the planet. We are wiping out animals in huge numbers, destroying habitats and affecting the whole planet.

Unless we wake up soon and start doing something about it the effects will be terminals – not just for tens of thousands of species but for ourselves too.

Too many people are selfishly putting profit before either people or nature.

This is simply not sustainable.

The amount of pain and suffering we are leaving in our wake is appalling.

I think it is long overdue that the more compassionate and caring among us take action to prevent the selfish and cruel from doing irreversible damage.

As for me – I take a lot of care in how I live. But as individuals we are helpless to prevent this. It takes nations to act.

The scale of the problem is far too big for any individual to be effective.

Extinction Rebellion – a poem

Extinction Rebellion

 

The world is in a mess.

That’s not hard to see.

The plunder and the rape

Is killing bird and tree.

 

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

 

They are fighting for the future

They are making a huge din.

They’re trying to wake us up

To what is happening.

 

For profit and gain

We are busy plundering.

Without a care for pain

Or a moment spent wondering.

 

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

 

So long live the rebellion

I hope it wakes us up.

Greed is so destructive

We’ve got to give it up.

 

But there’s a wealthy bunch

Who just see the cash.

Unless they start to give a damn

We’re heading for a crash.

 

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

 

Opher – 24.4.2019

 

 

What we have done to the world over these last few hundred years is criminal. Without regard to the destruction or the agony of the creatures caught up in it we have devastated the environment.

Things have got to change.

Animal population numbers are decimated. Many face extinction. The wilderness is being destroyed.

Nowhere is safe.

Thank heavens some people are prepared to fight for a better future.

Happy Spring to Everyone!!

The Spring equinox was celebrated with a special fertility festival with much fun, frolics and cavorting – and I imagine quite a lot of ‘fertility’.

It was the celebration of light over darkness. The sun was returning. The land was blossoming. Creatures were coming out of hibernation. Birds were returning from migration and beginning to nest. It was the rebirth of nature.

Back in time humans were very close to nature. We felt part of it. We were involved in it and dependent on it.

Spring was time to celebrate, to give thanks for the rebirth of the land. It was miraculous.

This rebirth was associated with eggs – the nascent life. It would hatch into new life – the birth of the world  – the great resurrection of the land.

Something to give thanks for.

So

May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You

All love surround you

And the pure light within you

Guide your way on.