10 Fastest Animals On Earth Fastest Animals In The World Part One: The Five Biggest Threats to the Environment and What We Can Do About It

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Part One: The Five Biggest Threats to the Environment and What We Can Do About It

The five biggest threats to the environment

Mass extinction. The Arctic Sea is melting. Collapsing world fisheries. Raging fires. Crippling droughts. And modern dustpans.

The environment – and our ability to survive in it – is being pushed to the brink.

I interviewed longtime environmental professional and community activist Tim Vendlinski to discuss the five most pressing issues facing the environment today and—most importantly—what each of us can do to help save the planet.

Tim Vendlinski began his career as an environmental lawyer when he was 10 years old. “In the elementary school I went to there was this big oak forest behind us. Then one day, all these bulldozers showed up and started tearing up the oaks,” Vendlinski said. “Well, to the horror of the school principal and teachers, I led a group of students to the construction site and stopped them from cutting down the trees.”

Vendlinski later earned his associate’s degree from American River College, saved Arcade Creek—the last intact watershed[1] forest in Sacramento as a teenager, and completed his bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and planning from the University of California.

Now aged 53, Tim has been fighting for the environment for over 40 years.

1. Loss of biogenetic diversity

Earth is now experiencing one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the planet. The rate of extinction of species is now 1000 times greater than it was before the arrival of mankind.

“This is the biggest ecological disaster — in terms of complete extinction,” Vendlinski said. “We’ve lost more plants and animals today than when the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.”

Although extinction is a natural process, human activities such as deforestation accelerate these natural processes. In the past, an individual species naturally disappeared at a rate of about one species per year and was replaced by a new species. Scientists are now calling this environmental disaster the “modern extinction crisis.”

If current rates of extinction continue, half of all species on earth will be extinct in 100 years. “It is a philosophical and spiritual problem. We must protect life. Life has an intrinsic value. We must honor life,” Vendlinksi said. “But virtually all pharmaceutical chemicals on the market are derived from natural sources.”

2. Deforestation:

At the heart of these modern environmental disasters lie corruption, greed and economics. Lumber, oil and mining companies build roads into the jungles. Governments encourage poor people to settle in these regions, who must clear it for agriculture. Cattle ranchers claim large tracts of land for their herds, and land speculators clear large areas for expected profits.

However, reclaimed land is fragile creating a cycle of further destruction.

This process is known as deforestation.

Tropical rainforests cover about 7 percent of the earth’s dry land. But these rainforests are being cleared at a rate of about 8.5 million hectares per year. “When you look at the rate of deforestation of the Amazon every year, it’s 100 if not 1,000 miles every year,” Vendlinski said.

According to the National Geographic website, “Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is the loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of the earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive deforestation.” that destroys their houses”.

Deforestation is also responsible for regulating water cycles, absorbing greenhouse gases and stabilizing the earth’s climate.

3. Climate changes:

The earth is warming. Arctic ice is melting, glaciers are shrinking and sea levels are rising.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international coalition of the world’s top scientists, declared climate change real and man-made. According to their data, the IPCC concluded that the warming of the climate system is “ambiguous”.

“We have the highest temperature ever recorded in the United States,” Vendlinksi said. “In fact, every year now it breaks the previous record.

These increased temperatures are also causing more extreme weather across the country.

“We have accelerated the increase in temperature with human activities and make the weather more extreme,” Vendlinski said. “So events like drought, record highs or hurricanes are now more extreme.”

Climate change is now creating an unsustainable world and affecting global food production.

4. Unsustainable energy policy and over-reliance on fossil fuels:

During the Industrial Revolution, human beings harnessed the power of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas. For the first time in history, machines replaced human and animal power. Global population skyrocketed. Economies flourished. And empires were born.

But progress came at a heavy price.

First, fossil fuels are a non-renewable energy source. They take millions of years to develop and are being depleted much faster than they are being formed. And second, burning fossil fuels produces approximately 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

This is where the lines start to blur. Fossil fuels, deforestation and global warming are so closely related that it is difficult to see where one issue ends and the other begins. Like glaciers, differences melt.

After all, carbon dioxide, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, is the main contributor to global warming.

And when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions today, the United States is public enemy number two, behind China. Indeed, the American economy is built on fossil fuels. In fact, we consume more oil and natural gas than any other country and rank second only to China in terms of coal consumption.

“When Vice President Dick Cheney was in office, the Bush administration’s energy policy was designed by the oil companies,” Vendlinski said. “The administration has formulated its energy policies only with the energy companies.”

Although the United States has 4.5 percent of the world’s population, it produced 18 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

For years, scientists and climate experts around the world have warned us that 350 parts per million was the upper limit of CO2 in the atmosphere. Once it exceeded 350 ppm, they warned that global warming could spiral out of control.

Today, the planet has 392 parts per million of CO2. According to 350.org, we must act fast if we want a livable planet.

“While the Bush administration was disparaging climate change scientists and environmentalists,” Vendlinski said, “they were simultaneously preparing to take advantage of the melting ice sheet to exploit oil resources.”

Our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels has many other consequences, including: pollution of local environments from oil drilling, leaking pipelines, discharging underground tanks, oil spills from ship accidents, routine tank flushing and accidents deep sea drilling.

5. Drainage of water and land resources:

Across the planet, a thin, three-foot layer of topsoil provides food crops for 6.8 billion people and grazing for about 4 billion domesticated animals, but this nutrient-rich topsoil is at risk.

“All life relies on the first leg of the earth around the planet,” Vendlinski said. “We’ve got the atmosphere and we’ve got that foot of land.”

Scientists now estimate that we are losing approximately one percent of our land area each year to careless animal husbandry.[2]urbanization, ploughing, overuse, irrigation and chemical fertilisers.

“In addition, we are destroying our fresh water supplies around the world,” Vendlinski said. “Through direct pollution, the mismanagement of our rivers and the depletion and poisoning of our groundwater.”

Our rivers, lakes, and oceans are being polluted by industrial waste, farm byproducts (such as herbicides, fertilizers, and animal waste), city sewage, and oil spills.

Today, contaminated water kills more than 5 million people worldwide, and nearly 1.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.

Like the rest of these issues, the distinction between land and water issues evaporates upon inspection.

“Rivers are an expression of their terrestrial surroundings,” said Vendlinski, “Rivers are there because of everything around them. Trees. Forests. The way water moves through the land.”

In addition, fish populations are on the brink of extinction, oceans are becoming more acidic, and coral reefs are disappearing.

[1] According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, a watershed is “the area of ​​land where all the water that underlies or drains from it goes to the same place. John Wesley Powell, geoscientist, put it best when said that a watershed is: “that area of ​​land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course, and where, as humans settled, simple logic required that they became part of a community”.

[2] Animal husbandry is the care, cultivation and breeding of crops and animals. It is also the management – or mismanagement in this case – and conservation of resources.

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