Beginning in 1974, the world has celebrated World Environment Day and that tradition continues in 2020. This year’s theme is biodiversity and the urgent action we must take to protect it. However, this time around, it needs to be celebrated online due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Biodiversity is the variety of life that lives on Earth and it includes all 8 million species and the ecosystems they live in. It is thanks to this diversity that humans are able to live healthy lives with a diverse diet.
However, due to the growing demands and destructive habits of humans, it is at risk.
In fact, if humans continue on their current pace, It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make on nature each year.
How the Environment Helps Humanity
The environment gives us what we need and even tries to correct our mistakes. It provides us with oxygen, removes carbon from the atmosphere, purifies the water we drink, keeps farmland fertile, and provides us a rich and nutritious diet.
Plants also play a vital role in medication. In fact, in just the United States, out of the top 150 prescription drugs, 118 of them are plant-based. And there is plenty of promising research being done that could raise this number even higher.
And of course, the environment plays a huge role in the global economy. Agriculture and Fishing play a key role in providing food to the world. The wide array of food allows us to survive and stay healthy.
In honor of this, we celebrate World Environment Day each year because without a healthy environment, there is no healthy humanity.
Humanity is Not Helping the Environment
With all of the help and wonders nature provides us with, you would think we are doing everything we can to keep it safe. But, that is not the case. In reality, it’s much closer to the opposite.
We are polluting the air, land, and ocean, and releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere each year. This, in turn, is raising the overall temperature and making it harder or in some cases, impossible for some species to live.
We are constantly clearing land to create more farmland, cities, and other structures. This even goes so far as to intentionally light fires to clear the land for human use. And as a result, we are pushing many species towards non-existence. There are currently 1 million species that are facing extinction.
That is one-eighth of all species on the planet!
The Demand Is Increasing Too Fast
What is truly the tipping point for the environment is how large the human population has gotten. In just the last 50 years, the size of humanity has doubled. And there is no sign the population will be decreasing anytime soon.
This has put a tremendous strain on the environment, and nations around the world are not taking the proper steps to adopt environmental policies to support this large of a population. As a result, our world is not on track with the Paris Agreement to fight climate change.
Instead, the thirst for natural resources will end up destroying the planet.