In the spirit of Earth Day, let me be the messenger of some pretty shocking environmental news that is surely relevant to each and every one of us…..
Last year, the heat waves across Eastern Europe and Russia were unprecedented – the highest summer temperatures ever recorded in the last 500 years. An anomaly? Perhaps. But climate change scientists warn of a 4 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by year 2060; that is within our lifetime. This seems immaterial, until we learn that dry dams and river beds are becoming an increasingly common phenomenon across the globe during the non-summer seasons, that Mauritius triggered its disaster recovery plan as the country is expected to disappear off the face of the planet with rising sea levels; that United Nations projected that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of coastlines by 2010; that rising sea levels would mean writing off billions of dollars of damage as many of the world’s largest and densely populated cities are near coasts – New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Calcutta, Dhaka, London, Lagos, etc.
Resources & Consumption
Diplomatic wars on water rights are being waged in many parts of the world – Egypt, MEA, within India, and even within California. Ismail Serageldin, ex Word Bank vice president, predicts that the next world war is not going to be for oil or minerals, but for water. The right to clean air and potable water is no longer a right in the emerging world cities. It is a luxury. There will also be ugly decisions to make about in whose backyard we dump our garbage in as Western corporations cannot continue to rely on dumping grounds off shore forever. You may have heard statements like “if we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times.” While these lines may get old and can be corny, they hopefully put our collective environmental impact into perspective.
So, are you (and I) doing enough?
Read the full Harbus article to learn what you can do to make a difference.