“It’s no longer helpful to speak about ‘environmental issues,’ as if we face discrete problems that have clear solutions. Without major changes to the way humans live, we face the collapse of the ecosystem’s ability to sustain human life as we know it. Every basic indicator of the health of the ecosystem is cause for concern — inadequate and dwindling supplies of clean water, chemical contamination in every part of the life cycle, continuing topsoil loss, toxic waste build-up, species loss and reduced biodiversity, and climate change.”
Thomas Kostigen (who seems to be focusing on Americans) -
“There is more to being green than the fight to stop global warming. All of our [biosphere is] in peril because of what we do and what that does to our planet. Yet, to hear the battle cry of environmentalists these days you’d think there’s only one war to be fought — over our energy supply and its consequences.
We are facing a fresh water crisis. We are facing a food crisis. We are facing a crisis over deforestation. And we are facing crises in our oceans. While carbon emissions from fossil fuels pollute the air, so does a lot of other stuff.”
“We must increase our freshwater supply by about 20 percent by the year 2025 to meet [projected] world demand, and 90 cities still dump sewage into the Great Lakes, which supply water to 10 percent of the US population.”
The price of most food has doubled over the past year, forcing millions deeper into poverty and malnourishment. There is now six times as much plastic as zooplankton in parts of the Pacific Ocean, and 90 percent of the big fish on Earth have disappeared.
Meanwhile, we have an ever-increasing waste and electronic-waste burden on our hands. We each create twice as much trash per day as we did 40 years ago. The average size of our landfills has multiplied 25 times in that period as well. And our e-waste burden is so bad that we ship 80 percent of it overseas to countries with weak environmental standards. These countries in turn make products from our discards and ship them right back to us. (And we wonder how lead paint gets in toys.)
As well, up to 40 percent of global wood production is from illegal timber operations. Deforestation not only displaces people and endangers species, it is the second biggest cause of climate change. (It isn’t only fossil fuels that cause global warming.)
To be sure, an alternative energy supply is needed and important. But let’s not forget the importance of other environmental factors crucial to our health and well-being, not to mention the [biosphere]‘s.”
A couple of related posts -
- “Socio-environmental refugees”
- “Social and environmental problems and opportunities“