Mount Kilimanjaro - An Ice Cap Retreats
The ice cap on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania was formed almost eleven thousand years ago. Today, because of global warming, the ice cap is projected to disappear by 2020. Currently, eighty percent of the glacial ice on Kilimanjaro has melted, and in just 110 years (1910 - 2020) the ice cap will be gone. For glacial ice that took thousands of years to form to melt so quickly, one can only conclude that human activity during the last century has been a significant contributor to the change in the environment.
Our ability to influence a repair to the world environment may only be within the next few years. Without a significant global change in attitude and response to eliminate pollution, the world may soon enter an unrecoverable phase, bringing an uncontrollable demise to the Earth's ecology. If this occurs, no matter how hard we try, we will not be able to overcome the downward trend of the world's environment.
The scenario humanity must prevent is outlined in this paragraph. If global temperatures rise beyond previously recorded levels, the abnormally high heat will kill plant life. If a significant amount of vegetation dies due to high temperatures, the capacity for global conversion of CO2 to O2 on Earth will drop. Higher levels of CO2 will cause a further increase in Earth temperature and cause further plant destruction in a chain reaction. Global CO2 levels will then accelerate even higher, and vast areas will become deserts. Shortages of fresh water will occur and cause human populations to erode quickly. Even today, we may be close to entering this scenario. Scientists are already blaming the rise in ocean temperatures off the coast of Australia for the significant decline of the coral along the Great Barrier Reef.
Throughout the world, many species of plants and animals that took millions of years to evolve have already died because of pollution. There are 11000 species of plants and animals threatened at this very moment, and most from the destructive influences of air and water pollution created by humanity. Conservation of the planet and the building of environmental economic infrastructures to save it are essential. We have the intellect to survive, but are currently taking little decisive action to create sustainability for ourselves.
Working together within the United Nations, humanity could plan a solution for the Earth where all of us live with close to zero impact on the environment. The Earth will save us if we save it. Wars and religious differences must be overcome so that mankind can rapidly chart an economic path for survival. Humans are just one organic element on Earth, and the other animals, plants and micro-organisms are essential for our existence.
From an economic perspective, the restoration of the Earth will only occur when the word 'profit' is equated to environmental restoration and sustainability. The greatest challenge we have ever faced in our human existence is whether we have the capacity to collectively save the planet. We must act while we still have a chance!