Shocking headlines today from WWF. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970. This isn't just bad for wildlife, we are destroying our own habitat & won't survive if this continues this way. All over the world, we are cutting down forests, using too much water from rivers, choking our oceans with plastic & pushing many animals to extinction, which will lead to our own.
Humans are just 0.01% of all life, but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals. Many scientists believe the world has begun a 6th mass extinction, the first to be caused by a species – Homo sapiens.
This is the Big Warning. Globally we are all using the planet’s resources faster than nature can restore itself. We are the last generation that is able to change the world before it's too late.
It finds that the vast & growing consumption of food & resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water & everything else.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China & Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe.
Humankind has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants since the dawn of civilisation.
Chemical pollution is also significant: half the world’s killer whale populations are now doomed to die.
African elephants: With 55 being poached for ivory every day, more are being poached than are being born.
Orangutans: 100,000 were lost in Borneo alone between 1999 and 2015, largely due to forest destruction for timber & palm oil.
Whale sharks: Numbers of the largest fish have collapsed by two thirds in the last 75 years in the Indian and-Pacific Oceans, due to overfishing and ship collisions
90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs just like us!
The worst affected region is South America, which has seen an 89% drop in vertebrate populations, largely driven by the felling of vast areas of wildlife-rich forest. In the tropical savannah called cerrado, an area the size of Greater London is cleared every 2 months,
We are now covered in plastic inside & out! We swallow tiny plastic particles in our food & cover our bodies in plastic for cleaning, Plastic in the gut could suppress the immune system & aid the transmission of toxins or viruses.
Deforestation - for animal feed, land & Palm Oil.
The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland, to feed animals, so we can eat meat. Rivers & lakes, where wildlife populations have fallen 83%, due to the enormous thirst for agriculture. “Again there is this direct link between the food system and the depletion of wildlife,” said Barrett. Eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses, he said.
Deforestation for palm oil is being driven by ever expanding agriculture producing soy, which is being exported to countries including the UK to feed pigs & chickens,” Palm oil is a thickener used in most food products, Iceland supermarket has now removed it from all its own products.
The UK itself has lost much of its wildlife, ranking 189th for biodiversity loss out of 218 nations.
SOLUTION - There is a way :-)
Marco Lambertini, director of WWF said the fundamental issue was consumption: “We can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models & wasteful lifestyles.”
We can change the world buy what we BUY & don't buy! Consumer influence is powerful! When there was a campaign against single use straws, overnight they disappeared from restaurants & bars, but they are starting to come back!
Avoiding meat & dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth. Giving up beef will have more of an impact than giving up driving. Meat quality has dramatically reduced in quality as a result of the demand. In fact, world hunger could be eradicated if we gave the food to humans instead of livestock to get fat.
Single use Plastic - Don't use them! Use Reusable cups, Don't use plastic straws, it's quite easy.
Help Animals Directly - Conservation efforts can work, with tiger numbers having risen 20% in India in six years as habitat is protected. Giant Pandas in China and Otters in the UK have also been doing well.
Support WWF with donations or sponsor an animal.
“We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet & the last one that can do anything about it.”