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Three Reasons the Earth is Dying and Humans Face Extinction by 2100.

Updated on November 18, 2017
TessSchlesinger profile image

After reading Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' in 1970, Tessa Schlesinger became a dedicated environmentalist.

Human beings face extinction. The biggest factor will be breathing in carbon dioxide.
Human beings face extinction. The biggest factor will be breathing in carbon dioxide. | Source

The Earth is Adapting But We Will Die.

I know that people concerned about many things. They're concerned about their dreams. Perhaps, they're worried about what’s going to happen to them after they die. Or maybe they're busy keeping up with the Jones’ because they also want to wear fashion labels and drive a fancy car. The thing is simply this. Unless we all start downsizing and forgetting about our personal dreams, our species will be extinct by the time our grandchildren reach adulthood. It’s as simple as that. Our planet is becoming something that is dangerous to our health. We will die.

A report shows that an area twice the size of Alaska has been destroyed by human encroachment and industry during the past ten twenty five years.
A report shows that an area twice the size of Alaska has been destroyed by human encroachment and industry during the past ten twenty five years. | Source

16,000 Scientists Say

The Word of 16,000 Scientists

You and I have no more choice. If we want our grandchildren to have a world, we need to get rid of our cars, start seriously cutting down on our clothing and our electronics, and accept that, collectively, personal fame and fortune is too high a price to pay for the destruction of our species and the many other species we are taking with us.

Sixteen thousand scientists (the cleverest, most informed people on earth) from 184 countries (there are 194 countries in the world) have told us repeatedly that our earth is dying. They say that if human behavior does not change, we will damage our planet to the extent we can't change it back again.

There have been many books that have been written about the damage our commercial system is damaging our environment I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1970 and I have been an environmentalist since then. Jared Diamond wrote Collapse. It’s an easy and interesting read, and I’m sure it is available at your local library. It’s worth a read.

Three Factors That Will Kill Us

They are the profit motive, Consumerism, and Religion.

How the Profit Motive is Destroying Our Planet

It is difficult for those who have an incorrect definition of what profit is to understand how it is the driving force in destroying our planet. So let me explain the difference between profit and income.

Your income is what you derive from your job. It is your salary check. What you receive from shares, investments, or end-of-the-year excess from your business is profit. Interest earned on money is also profit.

Profit is always the result of an unequal exchange of services or goods. The one gets less than the goods or service/labour is worth, and the other gets more than the goods/labour is worth. The one who receives more is the one taking the ‘profit.’

So, for instance, Alan has eight sheep and he desperately needs a cow. John has a cow. In fact, he has six cows, and he has been thinking of adding six sheep to his farming operation.

Alan and John meet. As there is twice as much meet on a cow as there is in a sheep, it seems fairly obvious that in order to be equal, Alan would give John two sheep for his cow. But John is in a position of power. Nobody else is prepared to ‘sell’ Alan a cow, and he is Alan’s only hope. So he drives a hard bargain. He tells Alan that he will only accept six sheep for the cow.

This is a unequal exchange – a profitable one for John and one of loss to Alan. Those who are more accepting of the profit motive see it as a win-win situation. The fact of the matter is, though, that John has become richer through the exchange, and Alan, while gaining a cow, has lost considerably. He has, in fact, become poorer, because, in real terms, the cow is only worth two sheep, and he has lost six.

So why are some comfortable with, essentially, cheating others? Why are they prepared to take more than the goods are worth? Basically, because most people have been indoctrinated to believe this is acceptable. However, it is the number one reason for poverty in the world.

Why So Many People Chase Profit

However, there is a more deadly aspect to profit.

We are a social species, and therefore is it necessary for our well-being to be connected to and accepted by others. We have also always looked to our leaders, and our leaders are, supposedly, stronger and cleverer than we are. We expect them to make decisions that are beneficial to the group.

That is not what is happening.

Somehow, in our modern world, admiration and status has been allocated to those with power and money. There are many people on our planet who, in their desire for admiration and acceptance by others, are doing everything they can to make more and more money. The way to gain money and power is through profit.

So we have billions of people on this planet trying to make a profit, i.e. money over and above their monthly income.

And they will do anything and everything to get that money.

We are using and disposing of so much trash that we are destroying our water as well as our land.
We are using and disposing of so much trash that we are destroying our water as well as our land.

The Cost of Commerical Production to Our Earth

You wear denim jeans?

Here’s what we’re guilty of.

We’re guilty (collectively) of destroying entire rivers in China where the annual production of jeans numbers 600 million pairs, and America buys 320 million of them annually. In Guandong Province in China, the rivers are now so toxic from denim jean production that people can no longer put their hands in the water, and it would be deadly to drink it.

Just that single pair of jeans you’re wearing produced 44 pounds of carbon dioxide and took 2,700 gallons (10,000 litres) of water to make.

Incidentally, in general, business marks up the price of jeans five or six times what they cost. So if the cost of jeans (this includes delivery, cost of running business, etc.) is $20, the retailer will sell them for $120. That’s a lot of profit!

Now imagine the hundreds of millions of manufacturers and businesses on our earth, and imagine the collective damage they're doing in search of profit.

How many pairs of Jeans to you have?

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The Deadly Bottom Line of Profit

The real price of profit is that, in the manufacture of virtually all goods by all major companies and corporations internationally, our world is being polluted to the extent that people are dying of air pollution, extreme climate events (floods, hurricanes), extreme heat, and many other circumstances. In addition, we are in the middle of the 6th greatest extinction on planet earth. And, of course, the sea is dying of plastic pollution.

So that’s how the profit motive is guilty of destroying our planet. We wouldn’t produce most of this stuff if business didn’t want to make huge profits.

The Collective Effect of Consumerism

We consume more than we need. That’s obvious to all of us. Most of us are unwilling to give up what we have. We’re more concerned with our status and appearance to others than the fact that our grandchildren will live (if they are alive at all) in a Dystopian world, breathing toxic air, with no fresh water, and nothing to eat. Mad Max’s world will be a kinder version of what they will face. But we are not willing to take the first steps to downsizing our lifestyles. We are scared of losing friends. We are scared of being thought ‘poor.’ We are scared that we will no longer be accepted. And mostly we are scared that if we don’t achieve that dream of being a famous and rich writer, inventor, actor, singer, businessman, we won’t have any worth.

Collectively we consume and discard enough products to negatively effect our planet. This is called pollution. We are polluting our planet to such a degree that the climate is changing, some 170 species are going extinct every day, and our earth is beginning to look like a trashcan. Oh, yes, and we are developing more and more health issues.

Garages and barns are filled with stuff that people no longer use. And then there are the landfills...
Garages and barns are filled with stuff that people no longer use. And then there are the landfills...

How We Are Brainwashed by Advertising and Marketing

Most people associate brainwashing with bright lights and some form of torture. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brainwashing is the simple repetition of a piece of information until we believe it. It happens in churches all the time. The same information is repeated week after week until people accept it as fact. We grow up being exposed to certain pieces of information until we accept them as fact. Advertising on television, on radio, and on the internet repeat the same old stories, and we eventually accept them as fact.

So we go out there and buy a particular brand. If we thought about it, and if we were truly educated, we would not buy a high status brand that costs us six month’s salary because we want to be like the other people who wear that brand. We would, instead, look at the way the item is worth.

I spent some considerable time at college studying textiles and fashion. I also have some other qualifications in that area. I can give you a 100% guarantee that brand is an illusion and a delusion. You’ve been brainwashed you’re something special if you buy them. You’re not.

So we want a larger house (more bricks and timber, and sand is running out on earth, and entire virgin forests are being cut down). We want a fancy car because we are too posh and too proud to take public transport. We work ourselves to death, eat plastic foods made in profiteering factories, and we wonder why we are taking Prozac and opoids.

Without us, the mass of business on this planet could not exist. In fact, the Great Depression was caused by the fact that 75% were rural, hadn’t been indoctrinated by advertising, and they didn’t want all the goods that business produced.

How Many Pairs of Jeans Do You Buy Each Year/

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The documentary "RiverBlue" follows conservationist Mark Angelo around the world,examining rivers in China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Zambia, England and the U.S., and notes the ways that they've been effected by the garment industry.
The documentary "RiverBlue" follows conservationist Mark Angelo around the world,examining rivers in China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Zambia, England and the U.S., and notes the ways that they've been effected by the garment industry. | Source

How Religion Contributes to Pollution and Climate Change

When people believe that a white knight is going to rescue them, they see no reason to do anything about the situation themselves.

According to a Yale study, 15% of Americans control the climate, and therefore people cannot be causing climate change. They, therefore continue to live as they are. Fourteen percent think that climate change is a sign of the end times, and therefore they do not feel any responsibility to lessen their eco footprint.

In terms of numbers, in America alone, these numbers equate to about 45 million people. But fundamentalism isn’t unique to Christianity. Each religion has their own particular group of fundamentalists, and fundamentalists tend to suffer from a certain absence of intellect and accurate information. Their religion is an emotional crutch to them, a reason for continued existence.

The fact, therefore, that their lifestyle affects the condition of our planet, is of little interest to them.

How We Can Play a Role in Preserving Our Planet

In order to ensure the continuation of humanity and other animals living on our planet, we all need to downsize radically. Please believe me when I say while our planet will be messed up for us, it will go on living long after we are gone.

Also, when I say there things, I am practicing what I preach. The full sum of all my possessions can be fitted into four large suitcases. That includes kitchenware, bedding, a sponge mattress, my laptop, phone, camera, and about one square foot of clothing when folded. I started seriously downsizing ten years ago, and it’s been quite a journey.

Zoning Should be Implemented in All Cities and Countries to Make Room for Tiny Housing

Downsizing Through Minimalism

Quite apart from being the number one solution to our planet’s problems, downsizing through minimalism will give you a sense of joy and freedom that is difficult to explain It will also free up resources because you will no longer be expending those resources on status symbols. Once you are okay with only owning three or four changes of clothing, you'll find that you have the money to travel the world, pay off your university bill, and party with your friends. You'll have a lot more fun, and you won't be so stressed.

Here are some ways you can downsize.

  1. Begin to use public transport. Each journey not taken in your car is a minute closer to maintaining the health of our planet.
  2. Opt for smaller living quarters. The tiny house movement is well worth investigating.
  3. Grow as many of your own foods as you can. Big farming is highly destructive to our environment.
  4. Try not to own more than 150 items. This is real minimalism. Think very seriously before purchasing something. Stick to items that have multiple uses. I have, for instance, a small wok that can be used as a bowl for soup, salad, oats, or something else.
  5. Stay away from brands. Examine the ingredients in each product, and don’t be fooled. You’re paying to make someone else richer than you are, and that’s bad for our planet.
  6. Practice zero waste. This concept means that you don't buy goods in packaging, but take empty bottles to stores to fill up. Also don't buy packaged food. Try to have as little waste as possible.

© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger

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    • TessSchlesinger profile image
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      Tessa Schlesinger 3 months ago from South Africa

      Yes, I've read some of his stuff. Actually I read so much on the topic that the names blur.

      I think with the source of heat under Antarctica melting the icesheets very rapidly now, sea rise will be rapid. If I remember correctly, his stance is that prior climate change happened rapidly.

      I think humans will survive in small pockets. Civilization will disappear. Mad Max is no longer sci fi.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 3 months ago from South Africa

      Yes, I've read some of his stuff. Actually I read so much on the topic that the names blur.

      I think with the source of heat under Antarctica melting the icesheets very rapidly now, sea rise will be rapid. If I remember correctly, his stance is that prior climate change happened rapidly.

      I think humans will survive in small pockets. Civilization will disappear. Mad Max is no longer sci fi.

    • Stella Kaye profile image

      Stella Kaye 3 months ago from UK

      Guy says there won't be a human on the planet by 2026. Some find his stance extreme but his research is all backed up by factual evidence.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 3 months ago from South Africa

      Stella, I think there is good chance that within the next 15 to 30 years, our sea levels will rise by 5 or 6 feet. I also think weather is going to be so extreme that countries will go bankrupt.

    • Stella Kaye profile image

      Stella Kaye 3 months ago from UK

      Very salient points raised in this article. Human extinction might even happen much sooner than the end of the century. Read the works of Guy Mcpherson - he's the world's leading authority on the topic of abrupt climate change leading to near-term human extinction.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 3 months ago from Ohio

      These tips are all very good. I think the tiny houses movement is wonderful. I can't wait till I can afford one. I have been a conservationist since I was a child. :)

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