Here’s yet another in our series of blog posts revealing how our food choices—especially the growing demand for meat—are having catastrophic effects on the global environment. Although all the issues we’ve brought up require individual solutions, none of them can safely be viewed as individual issues. They are all parts of the same overarching problem—one that needs to be addressed in an overarching, wholistic way. A highly revealing—and alarming—statement about how our food choices affect the global environment was detailed in a recent United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Millennial Ecosystem Assessment Report. This authoritative document delves deeply into the last half century of human damage to the world’s environment. Here are some of its more trenchant conclusions:
Humans have made unprecedented changes to ecosystems in recent decades to meet growing demands for food, fresh water, fiber, and energy. … Among the outstanding problems identified by this assessment are the dire state of many of the world’s fish stocks; the intense vulnerability of the 2 billion people living in dry regions to the loss of ecosystem services, including water supply; and the growing threat to ecosystems from climate change and nutrient pollution. … Human activities have taken the planet to the edge of a massive wave of species extinctions, further threatening our own well-being. … The pressures on ecosystems will increase globally in coming decades unless human attitudes and actions change.
That last phrase is particularly revealing: “… unless human attitudes and actions change.” We stand at a fork in the road, folks, and which road we decide to take is in our hands. Collectively, we have the power to change the bleak environmental future of our planet. The question is, do we have the moral and political will to make it happen?
So, where do we go from here? Stay tuned …
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
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