Do you love Planet Earth? Remember the biblical story of Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth…”, and God gave the love and protection of the Earth to man.
Today, the seemingly-insatiable human tendency to consume is changing our planet and the life on it. Whether needed in life or not, most humans are surrounded by material objects. For every bit of this material used, there is a growing web of global actions that is slowly stripping human’s emotional health, depleting Earth’s resources and degrading our planet’s habitats, but can we change our behavior?
When the topic of global catastrophic risks is brought up, most people associate this phenomena with asteroid impacts, supervolcanic eruptions, and climate change — which have all received the Hollywood treatment — that have taken a devastating toll on our planet’s life in the past.
Recently, a new global threat capable of destroying life itself has been brewing in the shadows of our everyday lives. It is driven by the immense human desire for material consumption.
If left unchecked, is there a risk that human consumption may finally turn the Earth into an uninhabitable world? Do we have it in us to stop this wasteful consumption pattern before it is too late?
Studies have shown that the scale and size of this global threat is alarming. And noting the case of plastic — the birth of the modern-day plastics era only happened in 1907 — humans today produce 300 million tons of this non-biodegradable plastics every year.
Further, the realization that after water, concrete is the most widely-used substance on Earth, it is evident in massive geo-engineering process initiated by humans resulting in an accelerated upswing when materials like concrete and aggregates became widely available.
Even the relatively recent human adventures of space exploration, which began about 60 years ago, is triggering a disastrous space junk problem.
After many years, stronger and more frequent typhoons, massive rains and floods, polar cap melts, permafrost thaws, acidification of rising oceans, and global temperatures getting hotter have occurred.
So why have these happened?
Worldwide, it is observed that materialism is learned and shaped by culture, with the desire to accumulate stuff.
Should the inclination to be materialistic be extreme, to the point of our own destruction? Is it because our belongings can offer us a sense of security and status?
Humans are naturally disposed to disregard issues that are challenging their daily lives or those which dilute their convenience.
Nevertheless, as Prof. Abraham Loeb of Harvard University puts it, “The mark of intelligence is the ability to promote a better future. If we continue to behave this way, we might not survive very long. On the other hand, our actions could be a source of pride for our descendants if they sustain a civilization intelligent enough to endure for many centuries to come.”
Now is the time to act: Let us love Planet Earth!
Happy birthday, Sherlene!
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