An endangered species is a species categorized as likely to become extinct. Just 5 years ago in 2012 the IUCN Red List featured 3079 animal and 2655 plant species as endangered (EN) worldwide. In 2016 six species of bees (which play a critical role in pollinating 2/3 of all the food we consume) were placed on the endangered species list.
As humans we like to talk ourselves down from any fact that threatens our current comfort. We would much rather deny the logical consequences this reality leads us towards than be inconvenienced by (god-forbid) changing something we are doing today.
What does it matter right? Some might think, "few thousand species, we still have other cows and chickens, birds and fish. We still have cotton and corn. It's probably fine." What we often fail to pay tribute to is the importance of diversity. Earth biodiversity is critical because without a diverse system we lose the strength that this great biotapestry provides. Diversity is what creates stability. A system with fewer links in the food chain is much more unstable, and much more susceptible when one link fails. Biodiversity is therefore essential for survival not just for humans, but for the vast connected ecosystems of Earth.
The intricately connected systems of life on earth are fragile in many ways, like a web, if one thread breaks, it pulls on the whole. But these systems can be strengthened by humans working with the good of all life, not only its own generation, in mind. Native Americans had a concept of "seven generations", they believed (as we all should recognize) that we are not inheriting the earth from our parents and grandparents but that it has been loaned from our children, and their children. The earth it does not belong to man, it is man, instead, who belongs to earth.
The veins of our planet: rivers, streams, and waterways. Due to the obsession with energy independence, namely oil (as mainstream energy providers continually ignore the viable options and alternatives such as solar and wind based energy technologies) many of the once pristine lands and waterways have been perpetually ravaged. Destroyed beyond recognition in many cases. On the hunt to extract cheap oil humans have resorted to drilling in oceans, in vital habitats, created proxy wars to cover up the oil resources in occupied countries, and since the turn of the century began the dangerous and disastrous practices of fracking.
Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for tarsands (bituminous sands) not only destroys the land and water on the extraction site, but also (and often more relevantly) during transport. Shipped by trains, barges, and pipelines that often leak or spill creating catastrophes which those responsible have little answer to. These toxic spills poison and in some cases irreversibly contaminate soil, water, and air in one shot. This is not just a worse case scenario and goes far beyond the (uniquely) publicized BP Oil Spill of 2010 which leaked 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf and caused $17.2 billion in damage (I would argue you cannot put a price tag on something like this since we honestly do not know the long term affects such an event will create.) The majority of these great disasters are not reported at all.
Since 2010 during a 5 year band, there were over 3,300 incidents crude oil and natural gas leaks in U.S. pipelines.
Map of crude oil pipeline incidents 2010-2015 (below)
The endless drive for Palm Oil, cheap fibers for clothing, packaging, toilet paper, and wood for furniture has created a modern-day plague known as deforestation. Deforestation is clearing forests on a massive scale resulting in damage to the quality of the land (this is an understatement). Deforestation may not seem like a big deal to many who may believe well, it will all grow back. False. Deforestation means gone forever. It will never grow back. This is an irreversible process which only takes, and leaves nothing. Product of a 55 million year old rainforest all to quite literally, be flushed down the drain.
What are we losing?
A four-mile square mile patch of rainforest contains as many as 1,500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 60 species of amphibians, and 150 different species of butterflies. There are more fish species in the Amazon river system than the entire Atlantic ocean. The Andean mountain range and Amazon jungle are home to more than half of the worlds species of flora and fauna. At least 1/3 of the planet's bird species reside in the Amazon rainforest. 37% of all medicines prescribed in the U.S. have active ingredients derived from rainforest plants. At least 1,650 rainforest plants can be used as alternatives to our present fruit and vegetable staples. 70% of the plant species identified by the US National Cancer Institute as holding anti-cancer properties come from rainforests. One hectare (2.471 acres) of rainforest absorbs one ton of carbon dioxide per year. While the clearing and burning of the rainforests accounts for 20-25% of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
Learn How to avoid palm oil products here.
In the US many of us are battling a plethora of Trump administration initiatives so criminal and bizarre it is difficult to know where to begin. In this particular case some of the most relevant issues for the intent of this article are his vicious plan to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), his defunding of National Park Services (only to open National Parks to drilling by Big Oil), and his connections with the big oil companies such as Energy Transfer. You remember them right? The same company responsible for the pipeline running through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
As of April 2017, the EPA was forced to shut down one of its most significant climate safety programs which provided smart growth, regulatory innovation and climate preparedness due to steep Trump proposed cuts to funding. (While still enough funding to drop a billion dollars in bombs, but that is another article altogether). Trump's administration believes the program to be a "waste of money."
Headlines from January 2017 stated "Trump taps wells of protest with call for more drilling in National Parks."
Los Angeles California, before and after EPA regulations.
8 Easy Ways to Make it EARTH DAY Every Day!
1) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Recycling is easy. I have a lot of fun doing it at home. Many cities are now making it even easier by offering one combined recycling bin. (Just make sure to keep the plastic bags out because they clog up the system used to separate the materials.)
2) Use less, buy less- Live simply. For example: do you really need a new outfit? The fashion industry has created multiple environmental concerns. Choose a second hand store when you can.
3) Start with where you are, your communities. Start a cleanup effort with some friends in areas you like to bike, hike, and swim. Don't leave out the city areas, all that trash on the street goes somewhere too!
4) Read labels- know the companies you buy from and reward your business to companies that are making sustainable, ethical and responsible choices.
5) Be kind to animals- you don't have to be a vegan to make conscientious choices that make a big difference to our animal friends.
6) Boycott factory farming and buy local produce, eggs, milk, meat and cheese (if you are an omnivore) from farms engaged in ethical farming. Factory farming makes an enormous negative impact on the environment.
7) Speak up! Many people are simply unaware of the scope of the issues earth is facing. A polite and respectful conversation, or well placed "did you know" can go a long way to plant seeds of knowledge.
8) Be willing to change; you cannot change anything until you are willing to change something you do daily. Start with one thing at a time, and don't give up.
Clean water, clean soil, clean air should be the goal of every member of the human race. Remember, we are borrowing this earth from the seven generations that come after us, our children and their children, and we cannot take that for granted.
See more ways to make a difference RIGHT NOW below.
Banks to avoid that are funding projects like the Energy Transfer oil pipeline at Standing Rock. And how to contact them (here)
Not happy with Trumps climate denial? Let his ass know! (here)
Bonus: hit him where it hurts, top companies affiliated with Trump you can actively boycott. (here)
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more please visit the Universal Change Tab on this website and check out my book "Universal Hidden Insight" on Amazon.com which discusses many global issues, consciousness, reality, love, and so much more!!
~In a constant effort to bring the truth and healing,
Lisa Falcon G