The destruction of nature is as dangerous as climate change!
The destruction of nature is as dangerous as climate change and it should be a crime to commit harm to the environment.
We are reaching a point of no return when it comes to our climate, but what is not mentioned very often in the media is that our ecosystems are also facing a similar fate. I came across an article in today's paper where human activity has caused the destruction of 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. Read the full article here. This new estimate of the destruction of our wildlife is a report produced by 59 scientist from across the globe. One of the major causes is due to the growing consumption of food and 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 and everything else. We are rapidly running out of time to fix the problem. And brings me onto the question of whether we should criminalise the destruction of our ecosystem.
Plastics, do we really need them, can we live without them!? Research tells us that half the worlds Whale populations are now doomed to die from PCB contamination. The global trade in plastics and their inadequate disposal causes fungal disease to spread among amphibians.
The worst affected regions are South and Central America which has seen a drop of 89% of its wildlife populations, this of course has been driven by the felling of vast areas of tropical forests. To give an idea of the size of the destruction, an area the size of Greater London is cleared every two months!
The deforestation is being driven by the expanding agriculture industry mainly producing soy bean to feed animals like pigs and chickens due to the ever increasing demand from the human population.
What can we do to change this dramatic change to our environment? We can bring in legislation that will criminalise those individuals and companies who damage our ecosystems.
I have recently come across an advocate for legislation in this area. Polly Higgins is a Scottish advocate and expert in ecocide. She presented to the United Nations Law Commission a proposal for ecocide to be recognised as an international crime. Higgins is also the author of Eradicating Ecocide and creator of the first non-commercial trust fund for Earth Protectors. You can follow Polly on her twitter feed here.
I urge you to follow her and to encourage your friends and family to get involved and do your own bit for the environment. If we fail to act, then it is highly likely that the destruction of our environment, our way of life as we know it will change dramatically in the next ten years, we will see more extreme weather patterns, more localised flooding, more heatwaves, more forest fires, more disease outbreaks and more migration of large populations affected by climate and environmental damage. These factors and events cannot be stopped unless we start to change our everyday habits and our way of thinking about our environment, as it does not have borders and does not discriminate, we will all be affected.