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A Global Environmental PerspectiveBruce CoetzeeThe illegal trade in endangered species is second only to the illicit drug industry which generates billions in profits yearly. Multiple species of plants and trees have been pushed to the brink of absolute decimation through agricultural land demands and the forestry sector, which feed an endless cycle of irresponsible resource use on humanity's part. The air we breathe, and the water we drink must be treated with chemicals before it is safe for human consumption. With new legislation regarding carbon taxes, it seems we have missed the point once again. By presenting a "pay to pollute" principle when an unequivocal stop to every and all detrimental environmental actions should be the priority!
It is convenient to focus on summits and legislation which aims to set boundaries in place as a deterrent and measure of governance that will, by hopes and prayer, see an effective improvement to a global environmental system, which is essentially on life support. Some of the most recent and critical global initiatives that systematically include social and economic criteria in formatting a detailed plan for a sustainable future, are those like the UN Environmental Assembly held in Nairobi from February – March 2022, and The Paris Climate Summit in 2016. We are currently facing an obscure and difficult decision as a species. When approached analytically, it presents a clear answer based on relevant evidence that we have pushed Mother nature a little too far! The resolutions that provide both practical and environmental governance protocols fall into a set of Global Environmental Outlook subsections and, by virtue of the findings, formulate set initiatives presented in each of the seven GEOs, which should result in a progressive change on a global scale, according to the international consensus at the UN Environmental Assembly. Several factors contribute to the steady decline of our conjoined Earth biospheres; however, the main culprits stem from the daily actions of our species, as opposed to mass actions derived from industrialisation. Climate change is directly linked to greenhouse gas emissions volume, the most important aspect determining our continued survival, together with that of our planet's. A subtle rise in global temperature, 1.5 C to be precise, is all that is required to tip the scales in favour of our demise. At the current human population density and the rate of natural resource consumption, we would need an additional Earth to comfortably cope and ease the strain placed on nature's various functions by the present human population. Our planet is in peril, and most of our species understand the resounding impact of this now global problem, indifferent of class, race or creed—mass bleaching of reef ecosystems in 2020 ties in with extreme environmental phenomena occurring worldwide daily. Over the last few decades, coal mining in Australia is finally seeing a decline. A unified consensus, strengthened by a global drive to implement carbon taxes and the opposing carbon emissions goals set by countries like Finland, has begun to see positive results. Preserving and protecting animal and plant species can have no effect if the elements which sustain life on our planet have failed! Weighing up the facts and evaluating the human response presents an important question that must be addressed impartially. Have we succeeded in moving the needle and essentially allowed Mother Nature to begin a long and complex recovery process?There is no question in stating that we simply are not doing enough! Actions speak louder than words, and when each of us realistically considers our personal impact on the environment, it becomes apparent that most people have every excuse as to why they cannot help and fail to find one reason as to why they should! It's time to unify and understand the consequences of negligent, selfish actions fueled by greed and a lack of respect for life. Our judicial systems endeavour to provide a balanced means of determining guilt or innocence and, by all effects, should act as the starting point if we are to see change; however, laws will only do so much. It is, in fact, the accumulation of determined everyday efforts from each of us that will tip the scales.
We have, in all honesty, only begun to understand how deeply we are connected to all life on Earth, and regardless of the information mass media, "greenwashes" to downplay our daily destruction of the environment, the situation is indeed dire! It is time to move the needle and get Mother Nature off life support; the very future of your children and their children will be determined by the actions each one of us takes today!