*While the U.S. banks celebrate a record windfall from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts, our planetary life support systems are blinking code red emergency. The accelerating Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction is smashing head on into the Man-made climate crisis.
Accelerating fossil fuel emissions, along with the annual 250 billion metric tons of Man-made pernicious endocrine-disrupting chemicals, are laying waste to our brethren, the animals, around the globe.
Far North Queensland, Australia, went from an extreme drought to an exceptional flooding event overnight. Shocking scenes of dead kangaroos in trees, birds drowned in drifts of silt and 500,000 cattle strewn lifelessly across the paddocks are recent examples of the climate in crisis lashing the land Down Under.
Early in January, hundreds of emaciated guillemots began washing ashore along the Frisian archipelago of The Netherlands. An estimated 20,000 masterpieces perished. Overfishing, endocrine-disrupting poisons and petroleum-based plastics all collided.
Guillemots spend their entire lives at sea, they only return to land to nest. These remarkable Olympian divers reach an astounding 590 feet into the ocean in search of fish, crustaceans and marine invertebrates. No food. No birds.
Far North Queensland, Australia, went from an extreme drought to an exceptional flooding event overnight. ”
The breathtaking array of sea bird life in Alaska’s Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska is also unwinding at a horrendous rate. Record ocean heat is increasing avian mortality. It’s in lockstep with accelerating fossil fuel emissions. Populations of gorgeous fork-tailed storm petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, kittiwakes, crested auklets, thick-billed murres and puffins continue to freefall. Hideous biological annihilation.
Further north, the missing sea ice is a guaranteed death sentence for the majestic polar bears. These masterpieces require ice floes to feed upon the harp, the hooded, the ringed, the bearded, the spotted and the ribbon seals.
No ice floes.
No polar bears.
Melting sea ice, instead, has some of these supreme cold hardy specialists scavenging human waste for sustenance. Since December, 52 starving Russian bears have descended onto the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see these magnificent top of the food chain predators gorging on human trash.
As if all this death and disruption isn’t overwhelming enough, earlier this week a report revealed that since 2009, 41 percent of the planet’s insects have vanished. 49 percent of the beetles, a major contributor to decomposition that nourishes the soils, are missing. As are a whopping amount of caddis, may and stoneflies, vital food for freshwater fish.
…since 2009, 41 percent of the planet’s insects have vanished.”
Almost 50 percent of the pollinators are gone. Allow me to remind you that the pollinators facilitate 75 percent of all human food crops. Each year globally, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), the pollinators account for as much as $577 billion in commerce. No insects. No life.
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that in 2018, extreme heatwaves and drought water-starved another 18.6 million mature Californian trees. Since 2010, that brings the tally to 147 million dead masterpieces across the Golden State. No trees. No life.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need planetary change immediately!
- Fossil fuel emissions must be reduced now.
- End annual subsidies of $5.3 trillion for the fossil fuel companies forthwith.
- Mobilize all industries within 197 countries, dovetailing them toward attaining a zero-combustion world economy by 2030.
- Switch to a plant-based diet. It’s the single biggest thing that each of us can do right now to fight the climate crisis.
Animal agriculture is contributing to the expansion of 530 ocean dead zones. Each year, animal agriculture adds more climate-destroying greenhouse gases than the entire global transportation sector. Animal agriculture is bloody cruel. Our brethren, the animals feel pain. It’s time for healing and that begins by switching your diet and embracing compassion.
The banking system is devouring Nature. Already, Man has destroyed 83 percent of 5,416 mammals. We cannot exist on a planet without animals and insects.
We need a jubilee that forgives all debt to 197 countries thereby erasing all national debts. We also require strict laws with enforcement that protects all remaining fresh water. That means ending water-contaminating fracking post haste.
The only way Man can survive in the coming decades is to protect what’s left of Nature. Poachers and syndicated crime are looting $213 billion a year from our only home. Intolerable.
We all matter. It’s up to each of us to ensure that Abenaki Indigenous elder Alanis Obomsawin’s prediction does not come true: “When the last trees has been cut, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
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