We constantly hear about how humans are causing planet-wide harm and devastation. There is rampant deforestation and habitat destruction, record levels of smog and air pollution, petitions put forth to rip funding away from the sciences and from education. There are wars, famine, plagues, and a host of other tragedies that (although not always intentionally caused by humans) can be linked to issues like overpopulation, bigotry, and sheer ignorance. Consequently, it often seems like, every moment, we are dashing forward towards the tipping point.
Now, I am not claiming that we are going to “destroy the planet.” To be frank, the Earth is huge and we are small. Even if we do our very worst (cause the entire planet to become uninhabitable), the irradiated hunk of rock will continue to orbit the sun just the same. And eventually, it will probably set things right–and life will spring forth anew. According to this view, we cannot “destroy the planet.” But we can destroy species. We can destroy habitats. We can destroy ecosystems. We can cause mass extinction events. We can do many, many terrible things, and we are.
That said, we can also do some very generous and amazing things. And we are doing those things as well. The end isn’t likely coming tomorrow, or even the next day. And if we make smart decisions, it won’t ever come (at least, not because of us). So I’d like to take some time to go over what we can do to combat some of the more troubling trends and create a truly sustainable future:
These are just a few things, but this is a start.