The human impact on earth has been so great that the “Anthropocene”, this being the time period in which humans have held dominion over the earth, has changed the course of earth history.
Earth Day is celebrated to remind us that the earth and all of its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.
Every day the focus should be promoting harmony and create a balance in the face of social, economic and environmental needs.
Human cleverness, inventiveness and self absorption have been drivers of all global problems that we now face.
Global warming, whether one thinks authentic or not, reveals substantial evidence to support the claims.
Population growth is a huge problem and the sentiment of “be fruitful and multiply“ seems to prevail. Have human beings lost the ability to monitor increasing populations relative to the capacity of the environment to sustain these numbers?
It is doubtful if the agricultural eco-system will be able to accommodate the predicted 7 billion people by the end of the century.
Deforestation has reached frightening levels and our seas and oceans have become so polluted that “oceanic dead zones” are on the rise with deletion of oxygen unable to support marine life.
Fortunately the “green revolution” is expanding and the resultant awareness could inspire communities to become more pro-active.
One European country has the incentive named “One citizen, one tree“. It does not take much imagination to visualize the outcome of thousands of trees being planted to replenish parks and neighbourhoods.
A group of 5 countries in Europe has a project “a clean sweep“ whereby citizens pull their weight and gather up tonnes of trash in designated areas.
China, a country with the highest carbon emissions has initiated “students for a green China“ For each contribution of re-cyclables, students receive seeds for planting.
The joint efforts are remarkable but individual dedication can never be ignored. One United Nations employee, having a passion for nature, planted 8000 trees in Afghanistan during his 5 years stint.
It is short sighted to think that only mass contributions make an impact. Each and every one of us can make a difference. Let us be “proudly South African“ in not only what we produce commercially but with the consciousness to respect and treat our planet with dignity and create a better world for future generations.
Wriiten by Sandy Harvey.
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