Perhaps you have heard about or read about this: Half the Earth’s animals – birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, have disappeared between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund…and they don’t mean disappeared as in hiding, but rather disappeared as in no longer living on the planet! Two years ago they estimated the decline at 30 percent so we humans have really stepped up our exterminating efforts lately.
Actually I cheated and rounded out the decline. It’s really 52% and if you’re a fisherman the decline in fresh-water fish is even worse at 75%…so fishermen, start throwing them back!
PLANET EARTH!: Now with 60% fewer elephants and lions! Oh my!
And wouldn’t you know it, The situation is worst in poorer countries because richer nations actually saw a 10 per cent increase in wildlife numbers. So the rich get richer…even in animals! The report blames the animal loss on human activity, including deforestation, overfishing and hunting, and climate change…if you believe in such things. It seems that rich countries outsource biodiversity loss to poor countries by buying products, such as palm oil, etc. that are unsustainable…and I’m sure they do lots of other things too, like drilling and digging and fracking and slashing and burning and pillaging and other fun stuff…far away from where the wealthy folks live.
But don’t despair… because what do we have more of since 1974? We have more Humans! We’ve gone from 4 billion to 7 billion with a bullet…that’s almost 100% more humans…in just 40 years. So on the bright side, while being human has become more superfluous, being an animal has become more special! Or is that the dark side? Anyway, Back in 1955 when I was born I was 1 in 2,755,823,000…now I’m just 1 in 7,265,872,000. I’m becoming more and more insignificant everyday!
The report also ranked countries by their “ecological footprint”, which is the area of land each person needs to support their lifestyle. Being a Qatari is the worst, or most wasteful or most special, depending upon how you look at such things, because the lifestyle of each Qatari requires 25 acres of resources. The average American only requires about 17 and a half acres while Brits need a measly 12.5. The lowest ecological footprint was in East Timor at a mere one and one quarter acre per person. Ahhh, if only we could all live like East Timorians! (How do they live, I wonder?)
The report went on to add that If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets just to sustain ourselves…Those wasteful Qataris! We Americans could do it with just 3 and 1/3 Earths! Besides, most of us Americans don’t even know where Qataris and Qatar are, let alone how to live like one.
So What are we poor humans to do? Our world’s human population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, that was over 600 and 60 years ago! Since then we’ve done our best to control our own growth. We’ve tried religious wars, colonial wars, world wars, slavery. genocide, ethnic cleansing, holocausts, eugenics…but all to no avail. Ever since we solved our difficulties with food production and disease Our human population just keeps on keepin’ on…I suppose nothing can control animal populations like famine and disease can.
And get this. I recently read in a New York Times article that Louisiana loses one acre of land every hour to erosion, sea level rise and wetlands destruction. Thanks in part (and a big part) to our never ending search for more fossil fuels through drilling, fracking and extraction. But can you blame us? We all just want to live more comfortable, happy and exciting lives with the best technologies available for a modern society… can you blame us? Can you stop us? Can we stop ourselves? And that’s just land we’re losing in Louisiana, USA. What about the rest of the world’s land liquidation in the name of progress?
Did you happen to see that photo recently of the 35,000 walruses that came together in record numbers off Alaska’s northwest coast because they couldn’t find enough sea ice to rest on. That can’t be a good sign for anyone, let alone walruses.
PLANET EARTH: Now with 10% less earth!
How will it all end and where will we go from here? Today in the mail I received a brochure to attend a free Bible study class where we can discuss the exciting “End Times” that we are all living in. Whoopee! There’s a positive answer to our problems, which perhaps, according to my brochure, aren’t problems at all?
If you ask politicians they’ll say, “Endless growth is what we need!” Ask theologians and they’ll say, “Endless bounty and dominion over the Earth and its animals is what we’ve been promised!” Ask Red Lobster and they’ll say, “Endless Shrimp!” They can’t all be right…something’s gotta give sometime…doesn’t it?
Isn’t this all at least very interesting…and frightening? Will we humans finally learn to live more humbly and in harmony with each other and our mother, Earth? Will we all finally learn how to share and share alike with each other and with all of God’s creatures… or are we humans simply just modern age dinosaurs waiting to go not so quietly into that meteoric light of someone or something elses brand new day?
So Stay tuned!…because… whether you are interested or simply find this all quite droll and utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, considering all of the troubles you have already… How can you not? We Earthlings are a captive audience! We’ve no place else to go!
Now Playing: PLANET EARTH: In its 4.54th billionth season! And still…The only Planet in town!