While I try to keep a positive outlook on life it seems to get harder each day to see the best in people and events that occur around us. One recent report from the U.N. Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity had a very troubling effect on me. I have tried my best to have a small hand in trying to save as much of God’s creations as possible before it is all destroyed, but does man really care what God has created? Sometime I wonder.
It seems humans want to cut down the few virgin tracts of forest still left that has been created for us to enjoy and treasure. When we rip open the landscape to extract what minerals it contains it just seems it’s a “get it all” and not leave anything for the future. We pollute the air, make the water unsafe to drink, erode the land and destroy all of God’s nature if it gets in our way. What has happened to this world? The recent U.N. report is a graphic example of man’s greed and destroy-what-you-can attitude before someone else has a chance to get a little bit of your good life. This science report is not a fly by night quickly put together facts and figures. It is an assessment of the causes and consequences of the environment over the past 50 years and has been obtained from over 15,000 sources all over the world. What it found was very stark and troubling.
Just a few facts should give you concern and make you take notice of what is going on in this world we call home and should cherish. As much as 25% of the world’s species of plants and animals are now in danger of extinction. This includes a third of marine mammals and over 40% of amphibians with frogs really being in trouble. Even something we probably never even think about should give us pause. Around 10% of domesticated animal breeds that in the past have been used as a source of food or in some form of agricultural usage are now believed already extinct. The report states that one million species of plants and animals are now in danger of extinction, which is more than ever before in human history. Do you even care? I do. The report goes on to say this rapid decline endangers global food security and quality of life.
Up to four billion people worldwide rely on many of these plants as a source of natural medicines. Now here is something that may cause some people to sit up and take notice. Money. Loss in species that help pollinate much of our food may reach up to $577 billion in crop loss each year. Now you’re talking about something that does interest many, their wallet. The U.N. report lists five main reasons for this grim news.
One at the very top of the list is land and sea use change. This is conversion of ecosystems to agriculture, aquaculture, and human development. Number two is direct exploitation of organisms, uncontrolled logging, hunting and fishing. Three is climate change including rising sea levels, wildfires, floods and droughts. Four is pollution, especially plastics, non-native species and invasive species. These non-native species are ones that can displace or kill native plants and animals.
There are some other threats to life on earth, some we cannot control, but most of the above humans can help to control if they will. This is the problem. Judging from the past, I’m afraid we much have a change in our concerns and even lifestyles before we can even turn the corner and start to be good stewards of what has been given to us. With stewardship comes responsibility. Have we been good or terrible stewards of God’s creation? Have we wasted what has been given us to preserve and defend? You be the judge. I’m sure God has His own opinion.