The Statistics behind the destruction of our planet!

These two sets of statistics are the core stark realities behind global warming, migration, and pressure on food and water resources.
In just 70 years:-

Growth in total world population:
1951 — 2,584,034,261
2021 — 7,874,965,825

Growth in total world emissions of CO2:
1951 — 6 billion tonnes
2021 — 36 billion tonnes

Sadly, with COP26, it looks like the can, containing the ‘greener solutions’, will get kicked, yet again, further down the road. ☹️

Those are the stats during my lifetime!!

What do I glean from this?

  1. There are far too many of us!
  2. We have having far too big an impact on a fragile ecosystem!
  3. We need to do something about it!

Thanks John Crosby!!

Poetry – Time we cared – For Greta!

Time we cared

Ice is melting – water rising

Up to their knees

And still denying.

Bird croaks its last fanfare

Frog’s last gasp

Of heated air.

We carry on without a care.

Heat increases – animals frying

Floods and droughts –

Not surprising.

Still they believe scientists are lying.

Concrete and plastic – land and sea,

I’m alright Jack,

Don’t worry about me!

Trophy hunting – forest clearing,

Sounds to me

That no-ones hearing!

At least that’s what I’m a fearin’.

Making room for bird and tree

Before they pass

Into history.

Buried under life’s debris.

But it’s always the cash that counts,

Stashed away

In large amounts.

Whatever they do, it’s the cash,

As long as they’ve got

Their share of the stash.

I think we’re heading for one ginormous crash.

Opher – 22.18.2019

I wrote this for the politically motivated climate change deniers! May they wake up soon!

Poetry – There is a War

There is a War

There is a war raging

Using chemical and machine,

Counting the casualties

In numbers astronomically obscene,

Laying waste the land,

Hunting the helpless in fantastic amounts,

Spraying poison indiscriminately –

Where profit is the key

And the only line that counts.

Opher 13.9.2016

There is a War

There is a war going on. It is a war against nature. Pest and weed are being decimated. There is collateral damage.

A pest is a creature that we don’t happen to like. It wants to live. It eats our crops and lives on our land.

A weed is a plant we don’t like. It grows on our land. It takes nutrients and light from our crops. It makes our garden look untidy.

We have to eradicate anything that encroaches on ours.

We can take what we want but nothing should dare to intrude on what we have claimed as ours.

We wage war on it. With chemical poison and machine we slaughter in huge numbers. The bees, butterflies, frogs, newts, and toads are all collateral damage.

The invertebrate population has been decimated. 56% have gone. That’ll teach them! 10% of all wildernesses have been claimed by us in the last twenty years. We have laid waste to it all. It is now denuded, coffee plantation, palm oil or simply desolate.

There’s a war going on. We won’t be happy until we have beaten it all.

Poetry – The Game

The Game

The game of avoiding catastrophe

                Played against an opponent

                                Who does not care.

What can be more important

                Than fighting for the future?

Jumping off a cliff

                Into the unknown

                                As the corals bleach.

Populations crash.

                An ecosystem

                                That took billions of years to build,

Destroyed in decades

As time runs out.

People are ready for change.

We are desperate for hope.

Opher – 22.4.2021

We are standing on the brink of that cliff.

We are unbalancing the ecosystems.

We are killing the wildlife.

We are destroying habitats.

We are polluting the world.

We put money before the future.

Enough is enough.

It has to stop.

We have to start to repair the world.

It is too beautiful to allow it to die.

Poetry – Shifting – Change comes

Shifting – Change comes

Shifting air currents,

                Later rains,

                                Drier vegetation,

                                                More fire.

Change comes.

Fossil fuels,

                Mass pollution,

                                Tropical storms

                                                Hurricanes

Change comes.

Opher 22.4.2021

We are reaping the results of three hundred years of abuse.

Our numbers are a bacterial scum rotting everything we touch.

The oceans and forests are not infinite.

We are tipping the balance.

Change is coming.

WE will not like it – not one bit.

Biblical floods, fire, plagues, drought, famine, migrations and desperation.

Change comes.

We are responsible.

Poetry – Sucked Dry

Sucked Dry

No more words or reason,

No love or hope,

No friendship or dreams,

To sully the day

With false expectations.

Now reality must rule

And bathe the world in grey –

For colour has fled

And joy has been vanquished

So that we are doomed to live

In among the dregs.

Empty as the void,

As the vacuum of space,

Sucked dry of humour

And devoid of wishes

With which to kindle any flame.

Opher 10.7.2016

Sucked Dry

Once life was full of hope and wonder, laughter and friendship; it was so easy.

There were sufficient discoveries for a thousand life-times. It burned.

Now I am much older than that and my idealistic naivety has been replaced by the mundanity of life. Lately I have felt the energies dip on every front, the person I am change, and my dreams have become tainted with too much reality.

All my words haunt me with their imperfections. My hopes are sullied. I have had to step back and take a good hard look at where I am in life – I am not the cheerful, optimistic individual I have always felt myself to be. I am no longer optimistic or full of self-confidence.  My ideals look like silly dreams.

So I wrote it in this poem. Perhaps it is just the Brexit Blues and I will re-emerge in full optimistic mode? Or perhaps the Brexit vote awakened me to the futility of fighting the global monster that corporate society has become? I have to find a way of saying goodbye to the gorillas, chimps, elephants and rhinos, the rainforests and wilderness, and get used to a future of war, inequality and greed, where exploitation is the currency and profit the only consideration?

To turn my back on it all and feather my own nest?

I despair.

Five Existential Threats and how to deal with them.

Five Existential Threats and how to deal with them.

Life on this tiny planet is very fragile. It is very precious. This could be the only planet in the whole universe to give rise to life.

We are not the only important form of life. All life is equally important. We are all interconnected. We have all evolved from the same incredible single event.

We are the only species able to appreciate this. We are the only species with the ability to destroy the planet. We are the only species with the ability to do something about it.

We are custodians of life.

It is a heavy responsibility.

  1. Asteroids

Life could all we wiped out in one horrendous asteroid strike. It is an event that has happened a number of times in the past. It very nearly wiped everything out. The next big one could finish the job. One is going to happen at some time.

We have the ability to protect ourselves against such an event. We can scan the heavens and identify threats. We have the means to destroy or deflect asteroids.

  • Pandemics

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused global chaos but it is not even a serious pandemic. We could easily encounter a virus to which we have no defences. It could wipe out all mankind. It could even be one that we have weaponised ourselves in our warfare laboratories.

We have had numerous warnings – Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, HIV, Ebola, Avian Flu, Swine Flu. The next one is probably out there.

We could put finance into developing effective generic antivirals.

We should put a stop to the opening up of wilderness areas for logging and mining.

We should stop the trade in wild animals.

We should put a halt to ‘wet markets’.

We should carefully monitor what is going on around the world and have a fast global response, through the WHO, to isolate and contain an outbreak.

We should stop this national tendency to cover-up outbreaks.

We should prepare with adequate resources and strategies.

  • War

Back in the sixties we were all too aware of the threat of us destroying the planet with nuclear war. We set up a great number of bodies to prevent such an occurrence.

We have become complacent.

The threat has not gone away. It has become worse. We now have the break-up of our protective mechanisms, far worse nuclear and biological weapons, far shorter warning time, rogue states, religious fanatics, terrorism, genetic splicing, computers and technology.

The two main threats are still nuclear war and biological warfare, although chemical warfare and even A/I are looming.

The move back to nationalism, discrediting of global institutions, rise of new powers, such as China, Iran and North Korea, and return of the cold war with Russia has increased the risk.

We need to give more power to global institutions such as the UN.

We need to work more internationally to bring closer relationships and cooperation between countries, in particularly trading links, such as the EU, and in particular those countries presently outside the global community (North Korea, China, Iran and Russia).

We need to ensure greater diplomatic communication.

We need to counter religious fanaticism and terrorism.

We need counter nationalistic populism and fascism. It has been the root cause of most wars.

We need to create greater global equality and prosperity.

We need to take a global view of problems that beset certain nations – overpopulation, lack of employment, droughts, heatwaves, floods, famines, disease…………………

We need to become a collaborative global community not insular self-interested nations.

  • Biodiversity and the destruction of nature

All life on this planet is interconnected. It has evolved for billions of years to create a self-sustaining web. The soil structure, atmosphere, oceans, weather and fresh water systems are dependent on this interrelationship.

This biodiversity is being threatened like never before. We have been clearing rainforests, overfishing rivers and seas, polluting, draining lakes, marshes and ponds and killing wildlife at an alarming rate.

Our activities and numbers are having a dramatic impact on the population levels of a large number of our invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.

We act as if we no longer recognise that we are part of this system.

If we continue this trend we will cause a collapse in these communities. It will not only lead to the loss of many common and iconic species. That collapse will have a huge impact on soil fertility, air quality, ocean health, food production, weather and our ability to survive on this planet.

Put a stop to deforestation and habitat destruction.

Rewild areas that we have destroyed.

Fish and hunt sustainably.

Go vegetarian or introduce ‘clean’ meat (produced in a lab)

Farm responsibly with limited use of chemicals.

Reduce our global population.

Conserve endangered species.

Value nature.

Educate people to the importance of this unique interconnected web of life.

  • Global Warming

No it isn’t a hoax. It is real. The only scientists refuting the evidence are those employed by the industries with vested interest – the petrochemical industry, the agriculture industry, mining and logging.

The world is warming up due to the huge amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The trouble is that we are approaching a number of tipping points. Once past those points things run out of control whatever action you take.

For example:

If the icecaps recede heat is not reflected back into space from the white snow and ice.

If the permafrost melts huge amounts of stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.

We are very close to this occurring.

If global warming takes off and global temperatures rise by just a couple of degrees we end up with heatwaves, desertification, climate change, a big rise in sea levels, massive changes in animal and plant populations, migrations and species creep.

This would result in most of our major cities being under water, many areas of the world being uninhabitable, mass migration, droughts, floods, drastic alterations in crop viability and farming.

There would be a huge impact on the entire environment with species migrating and extinctions.

There would be uninhabitable regions and low-lying countries would disappear. This would lead to mass migrations, competition for resources, devastating weather patterns (monsoon failure, droughts, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, tornadoes, freezing winters).

There would be wars and terrorism.

In the past humans would have coped. We would simply have migrated. Now our numbers are too big. We are no longer hunter gatherers. We live in cities. Most of our cities are by the sea or on rivers. They are low lying and would be flooded.

Move from fossil fuels to green energy (sustainable)

Rewild with massive tree planting.

Sustain marshland.

Educate the population.

Refute fake news and conspiracy.

Remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Never before have we held such power. We can use our intelligence to develop technologies, science and strategies to make our future safe in a dangerous universe.

We might not be able (yet) to deal with catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions or solar events but we can deal with many of the threats we face.

Hopefully we will put aside our greed, selfishness and petty political/religious differences and take a responsible attitude.

We are custodians of a unique and beautiful planet.

It is tiny and fragile and we alone have the ability to sustain it and enable it to prosper or to destroy it completely.

Are we intelligent or too selfish?