That climate change is happening, cannot be denied. Many argue climate change has happened before, that cannot be denied. Some commentators predict that damage to the environment will lead to the extinction of life on Earth. The truth is that mankind may be decimated, but Mankind will kill and plunder to survive, how many will die we do not know, and just as happened after the Dinosaurs became extinct, the Earth will recover and begin again, and that cannot be denied.
The proper question we should be asking is:
Can we manage the Earths resources in such a way as to provide for the survival of all life, in all its diversity, with which we share this planet, and allow for human evolution to continue with dignity and hope.
There are 3 distinct threats to the Environment:
Global Warming, Air Pollution, Water Pollution
Global Warming is happening and to all sane people is blatantly obvious. Extreme temperatures, Ice Caps melting, and sea levels rising. Hurricanes and Typhoons are devastating large areas of the globe, and are getting stronger each year. Forest fires are raging out of control around the Globe partly due to Global warming and partly because of human encroachment on afforested area’s. Large coastal area’s are being flooded repeatedly, with damage to homes on an unprecedented scale.
No one as yet has defined the Earth’s capacity to support the “Human Race” and according to the United Nations Population Division, the human population hit 7.3 billion in 2018 and, we’re en route to a population of 10 billion by 2100.
However the Earth has limited food, land and water resources, and control of these scarce resources may eventually lead to war as nations fight for access to, and others seek to protect their resources from aggressors. Rising sea Levels will force many millions of coastal inhabitants to flee from the rising oceans, seeking refuge in more hospitable environments. Whether they will be welcomed or not depends on our humanity.
But why is the climate changing so alarmingly. With every human being consuming on average 2,000 calories per day (equivalent to 2.4 kw of energy per day) multiplied by 7.8 Billion persons in the world today. (18.72 Billion Kw per day). With the world population expected to rise to 10 billion by 2100 the worldwide consumption of energy will rise to 24 billion Kw per day. That does not include the energy expended on manufacturing or the energy required to grow, produce or transport the goods and services we consume.
The uncontrolled growth of the human population is the single biggest threat to the continued existence of the Human Race. Family planning could help to stabilize or even reduce the Global population, and redistribution of the Global population over the 5 habitable continents to achieve optimum population density relative to land mass could also help to achieve Global stability, and lessen tensions caused by migration. Terra-forming of depopulated land masses (The Sahara Desert and Central Australia) to support more people could also help in the redistribution of the Global population. But ultimately a Global population of just 5 billion people may be more sustainable.
Capitalists however may not agree. A serious obstacle to population management, is the desire for uncontrolled consumer growth, by producers and financial services providers. But encouraging consumerism is exactly why our planet is warming. Capitalists see the growing world populations not as human beings but as consumers, and therefore a source of wealth. Listen to politicians and economists demand for greater “Expansion” and “Growth” and understand that that means more people, higher consumption and rising profits. which also requires more energy and therefore more global warming.
Apart from contributing to the damage caused by global warming The burning of fossil fuels whether Oil, Coal or Wood, releases into the air tiny particles which when inhaled by animals or humans, has a detrimental effect on the health of all life-forms. Whether we burn fossil fuels to heat our homes. generate electricity, or fuel our transport we are endangering our health. The same applies to the burning of waste in incinerators. to generate electricity. Some of the gasses released during the combustion of fossil or solid fuels, rise into the upper atmosphere and create a blanket around the Earth, preventing excess heat from escaping into space. This is another reason for global warming. But the main concern should be the sickness and bad health such air pollution causes to humans.
The pollution of the land and the water table by burying waste in landfill sites leading to a significant loss of fresh clean water, The pollution of our oceans as we dump billions of tons of Sewage into our rivers and oceans. Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers on our gardens and farms which contaminate the water supply and kill insects and bees at the bottom of the food chain but which are essential for propagation of fauna and vegetation without which the environment is doomed. The building of factories and houses on natural flood plains without regard to the threat to life or the consequences of the loss of natures own water storage and purification process.
All human beings have a right to live in a clean, safe, and pleasant environment. They have a right to live in safe homes, breath clean air, drink clean water, Eat wholesome food, and move about in a safe and secure manner. They have a right to peace of mind, and should not have to be concerned with hidden dangers, to themselves or their children. They have a right to expect that their government will not endanger their lives, but will ensure they have a place where they can shelter, raise their children, and enjoy the fruits of their labours without undue concern. They have a right to expect that governments will protect our environment and our heritage, for today and for future generations. Ireland has accepted and committed to protect the environment, under the Paris climate accord.
People’s environmental ambitions are often defined on the basis of where they live. Infrastructure and waste management is recognised as necessary (even urgent) but not in my back yard. Nimbyism is very much alive in Ireland. And to be honest government climate protection solutions are usually made on the basis of social and economic expedience, and where they are likely to cost the least votes.