A Decisive Moment
2007 was a notable year for the Environment. The world opened its eyes to the fact that humanity was living beyond its means and over consuming the available natural resources. More people became concerned last year about how pollution is impacting global temperatures on Earth than was the case in 2006. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on bringing awareness to the world of the negative impacts that all of us are currently having on the planet, and the need to act quickly to save it.
In Bali, Indonesia in December, close to 200 UN delegates concluded their meeting by stating that significant pollution reductions were required by all industrialised nations or severe environmental consequences would occur. The delegates referenced increased risks of flooding, further shortages of fresh water, and food shortages throughout the world.
Just before the start of the Bali talks in the end of November, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon toured the Antarctic and expressed his deep concern about the world being in an environmental crisis. His key message, which was supported by most scientists, was that global warming could impact the West Antarctic Ice Sheet representing one fifth of the Antarctic continent. Scientists predict that it soon may break off and float north to melt, which would raise worldwide sea levels by four to six metres, and flood many coastal regions and islands throughout the world.
In 2008 what all Nations decide to do towards saving the Planet will be the decisive moment for humanity’s future. There are many earth saving technologies being implemented like solar and wind but the progress is too slow, and the governments need to significantly support this technology with legislation. Coupled with this is the fact that some major polluting countries continue to accelerate their pollution by building more coal-fired power plants. Some nations are about to introduce huge numbers of low cost highly polluting cars to their marketplaces. This will make the global situation for all of us much worse. The projection of the course that humanity is taking today, which is without any massive change in world policy, will bring about catastrophic consequences for all of us.
For some, a desire to make short-term profits in polluting industries is contributing to a global mentality that ensures saving the Planet is just a noble cause and not something mandated with a list of global actions. Hopefully 2008 will bring a new approach to this, because nothing is worth the destruction of our future.