Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Extinction Underway - Can We Save The Earth?

We have constantly failed to prevent extinction of species since modern civilization took roots. The reason being that nature often comes in the way of  economic urgency. The shape of our economy in modern times is much dependent upon industrialization, agriculture and our own consumption based lifestyle that does not conform to salient principles of rational resource management.      

Let's invoke the truth, human prerogative dominates all forms of life on Earth. The extermination of wildlife accelerated whence the gun came into the picture. Earlier times hunting was not a passion, it was at many places where agriculture was lacking a deemed necessity. The vermin concept proved deadly and brought many species to brink of extinction if not their complete annihilation.

The modern day hunting, and the rapid loss of wild species was further compounded by uncontrolled population growth. The expanding humanity ravaged all habitats that came its way from grasslands, rivers to dense forests. There was no place for natural inhabitants to go and they perished. This was done to make way for agricultural fields especially in countries like India and China, food was a major priority to feed its teeming millions - and ever growing. Damage done, the rot continued as industrialization made its appearance. In many countries there was extreme loss of habitat and complete extermination of wildlife.

To be fair it was not only rampant hunting and habitat destruction that completely wiped out many species on Earth a major factor that was responsible for this irreversible loss was our lack of understanding as to how ecosystems of Earth work. This gave rise to many fallacies like not giving importance to habitats and  preventing their destruction. It takes millions of years to create ecosystems which made life on Earth sustainable.

Tree felling was done to appease our uncontrollable appetite for wood, and then  commercial forestry in nascent stage added to the great loss. Even till this day our green lungs are being felled because many countries in South America and some parts of Asia are totally dependent upon wood for their economic survival. The remaining forest ecosystems are under severe threat.

The resultant disorder that already prevails thanks to consumption of fossil fuel will be worsened if nothing is done to stem the rot. Eventually climate change due to emission of warm gases will consume us, well if not now then in time to come. Our progeny will definitely pay the price for our follies. The effects are already being felt and in many places, the rising temperature and frequent weather disturbances have started to take a toll.            

Nevertheless we continue to pursue industrial policies and developmental goals that are taking a heavy toll of nature. The obsession with rapid economic growth can be understood but what is alarming is that we manage to circumvent  the concern that arises out of  resultant damage to the environment in the process. Our policy makers, the wise men are always able to justify damage to the environment that arises due to developmental agenda. Who cares? Well some people do. But their voice is lost in the vast milieu that comprises of greed filled people and those in the race for attaining economic goals.  

We are held for ransom in absence of sound developmental policies which may take their own time to emerge but this is an antithesis for quick economic resurgences. Sane innovative ideas and practices develop over a period of time if the pursuits are sincere; they would in turn mitigate the damage to  our environment. But who gives new emerging  paradigm the weighted consideration.

According to the report in The Guardian UK scientist warn that the sixth mass extinction is already under way. Already the space for existence of many keystone species  is constricted. In absence of effective conservation efforts and proper planning many more species are bound to become extinct in time to come.  

Public apathy, greed and mismanagement will hinder all actions that could stem the rot.  The species are becoming extinct at much faster rate than before. After already having lost billions of life forms  environmental concerns should be widespread prevalent, that which along with sound policies will continue to make the Earth a livable place.                    

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