Tuesday, December 15, 2015

These problems are real

Hello again! Sorry it has been a while - I have been strategically thinking about blog posts and what to talk about next in amongst a mountain of University work!

Anyway, I have decided to make this post about how nature, wildlife and biodiversity are all very much present in our everyday lives - we just sometimes fail to see that. 

My problem with everything related to trying to teach people about everything to do with saving the planet - rainforest destruction, rising sea levels, climate change - is it is often made to seem so separate from our lives. And it makes it seem like a distant problem that we don't need to worry about.

Let's take deforestation, for example. So they cut an entire forest down somewhere in South America, for example. It destroys the homes of a lot of animals living in that rainforest. But some of those animals are endangered and in need of these habitats in order to keep the species alive. It isn't just a case of losing one - its a matter of contributing to the loss of an entire species. The forests enhance the livelihoods of a lot of people living near them. If they are cut down, those people have nothing and are left empty. Finally, cutting down tree's releases the carbon dioxide they store into the atmosphere, which isn't good for us. We need tree's to absorb carbon dioxide and keep the planet alive. Ultimately, cutting down trees anywhere in the world has a negative impact on humanity and the planet. And deforestation is still a thing right here in the UK.

Still not convinced?

Let's take rising sea levels. The world is getting hotter and the icebergs are melting in the coldest regions. And this causes a lack of habitat for animals living in these regions, and makes the sea levels rise. Other than again contributing to the loss of a species, we are causing the sea to become much higher and erode coastlines faster all over the world. Including in the UK. The shorelines will start to disappear. It is a force that cannot be reckoned with.

Need more? 

Take climate change in general. The melting ice caps come from a hotter planet, and carbon dioxide being released from the trees is being poured into our atmosphere, along with other greenhouse gases from coal and oil burning. Climate change is also to blame for extreme weather conditions and differing temperatures in differing seasons. Ultimately, this is all going to lead to more problems for biodiversity and the world as a whole. 

The Paris conference that has only just finished aimed to find an international solution - keeping climate change below 2 degrees celsius. It has been said that climate change above 2 degrees will have serious consequences - so, countries are taking steps and working together to help reduce this. The action plans include things such as getting all countries mobilised in the fight against climate change, encouraging greener economies and creating country specific adaptations to tackle the problems already imminent. 

I liked this video. It really illustrates all the problems I have mentioned with some statistics that make it all seem a bit more real:


I guess what I am trying to say is that these problems really do affect the entire planet, including you and I.

It might not have an instant effect in your life time while you are reading this, but it most definitely will for future generations. And that is what matters to me. I want to be able to tell future generations about an animal that lives deep in the rainforests of South America. Not that there used to be deep rainforests where animals once lived. I want it to be a reality, not a fairy tale. 

I think what is important to realise is that what goes on all over the world does have an impact on the entire planet and not just where it is happening. We all need to wake up and realise it before it is too late.