To a new study published in Nature, “Earth has pushed past seven out of eight scientifically established safety limits and into “the danger zone,”. The article in Associated Press is quite sobering. Don’t read if you are already having trouble sleeping :
“The study by the international scientist group Earth Commission published in Wednesday’s journal Nature looks at climate, air pollution, phosphorus and nitrogen contamination of water from fertilizer overuse, groundwater supplies, fresh surface water, the unbuilt natural environment and the overall natural and human-built environment. Only air pollution wasn’t quite at the danger point globally.
Air pollution is dangerous at local and regional levels, while climate was beyond the harmful levels for humans in groups but not quite past the safety guideline for the planet as a system, the study from the Swedish group said.
The study found “hotspots” of problem areas throughout Eastern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, parts of Africa and much of Brazil, Mexico, China and some of the U.S. West — much of it from climate change. About two-thirds of Earth don’t meet the criteria for freshwater safety, scientists said as an example.
“We are in a danger zone for most of the Earth system boundaries,” said study co-author Kristie Ebi, a professor of climate and public health at the University of Washington.”
There is hope however, and solutions are pretty straightforward but we gotta act FAST :
It’s not a terminal diagnosis. The planet can recover if it changes, including its use of coal, oil and natural gas and the way it treats the land and water, the scientists said.
One of the institution that authored this report, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is not sugarcoating this :
Humans are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization and everything that lives on Earth
Of course some will keep on denying the evidence as there there are none so blind as those who will not see. Even the paragon of neoliberalism, the Financial Times, reported it on it. We are barelling towards a dystopian future but as the super rich are filling their pockets like never before, I guess nothing will change. I’ll admit that after 15+ years of writing on such topics, I don’t see no hope…
Image credits : Aishwarya Gunde on Unsplash