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Inheriting Earth

Updated on January 11, 2021

What will earth be like for our future generations to come?

Most would have wondered what will the world become in the next 10-20 years?..what will it be like for the future generations? What can we do now for tomorrow?

Ask ourselves honestly, while reading an ever increasing emphasis on environmental issues, how much have we done or contributed to make this planet a better home?

Severn Suzuki
Severn Suzuki | Source

Severn Cullis Suzuki

In 1992, Severn Suzuki, 12 at that time, addressed the delegates at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro with environmental issues from a youth's perspective. Her video 'The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes' became viral on youtube and her speech got a standing ovation and even brought tears to some of the delegates.

" I am only a child, yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this would be. In school, you teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share, not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things that you tell us not to do? You grown ups say you love us, but I challenge you, please, to make your actions reflect your words." - Severn Cullis Suzuki, Earth Summit, 1992

Michael Jackson's Earth Song

The late Michael Jackson's Earth Song was meant to raise awareness on ecological issues and climate change amongst it's viewers.

While this song was released in 1995, shows Michael Jackson walking through a deserted drought ridden landscape - A peek into what the future what earth would look like if deforestation and climate change issues were not challenged.

That was 17 years ago when the video was made and it is very close, if not already a reality today. Is this the world we want to pass on to our future generations?

In this video, a large part of the forest that was filmed in Amazon was destined to be destroyed within a week it was filmed. So how much of the forest are we losing today and how much is grown back?


Current Rate and side effects of Deforestation

  • net reduction of world's forest - 7.3 million hectares per year (about the size of Panama).
  • 5% of tree species have become valued, endangered & critically endangered.
  • 38 million km² prone to desertification, 23 percent of which is in sub-saharan Africa
  • Africa loses an estimate of 5million hectares of forest each year. Land is mostly fragile and unwise to use - estimate land degradation of 230million hectares a year.
  • Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rising rate - 0.5% per year
  • Loss of habitat for millions of species
  • 70% of earth animals & plants lives in the forest. Many will not survive deforestation.
  • Drives climate change


CO2 emmisions

  • World CO2 expected to rise - estimated in 2004 (26.9billion tonnes) - 2015 (33.9billion tonnes) - 2030 (42.9billion tonnes)
  • Transportation sector is the greatest producer of CO2
  • Within Residential, Commercial and Industrial Sectors - Electricity generation is the major contributor
  • Flights of around 1000miles - 180-240kg of CO2 per passenger (between New York - Miami, or London - Malaga, or Singapore - Vietnam)
  • A single detached family home of 3 bedrooms, 4 residents - emits 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • An apartment in a large building - 1bedroom/ 2 residents - emits 0.9 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Driving a late model mid size car of 6000 - 10000 miles/ 9656km - 16,093km - emits 3.4 tonnes of CO2.
  • Emissions from electricity depends on how it is generated. The UK government published a figure of 0.43kg of CO2 per kWh of electricity - In layman terms: About 10 x typical 100W lightbulbs turned on per hour.

What have we done so far?

Not enough!

18th June 2012 at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, got the world's countries to commit to restoring only 18million hectares of forest by 2020 barely 12 percent of the target of 150 million hectares.

But 2 billions hectares are currently in need of restoration., if i do my maths correctly this is what I've figured out about our "Forest Bank Account" (FBA)

From my computation and information gathered - We are not planting enough trees to offset our deforestation - Will we ever be able to 'repay' back our FBA - There will be no credits or support from another FOREST BANK!! Because this is the only one we have! What happens when we run out? Who would be at the losing end? Us of course! The earth will eventually heal itself, but at our cost! We will be the next in line to be extinct if we don't act now!

The Forest Bank Account

In (Million)
Out (Million)
Balance (Million)
What is left - 30% of Earth*
Currently owing to Forest Bank Account
Estimate returns Per Year 2012 till 2020
Estimated deforestation Per Year
Estimate balance by end 2012

*The Forest Coverage was once 50% of Earth and have been declining rapidly since the start of the 20th century.


What can we do as individuals?

Many of us get caught in the web of managing our daily lives and leave the 'big job' of protecting the forest to the governments and activist. But as we can see, from the Rio+20 report, that not enough is done.

We can as individuals take matters in our own hands and make this place a better environment for our future generations.

I will be adding on links of other hubbers who had raised the same concern of the list of activities that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint or alternatively you can check out a new and upcoming eco networking site : Motley Green - sign up and they will plant a tree on your behalf - that's part of reducing your carbon footprint as well and that is the very least you can do. Also what I found interesting about the site is that you can check out what your carbon footprint or savings you have made by entering the 'green' activity you have contributed.

Help make a difference for our future generations!

Our future generations are dependant on us for a better future for them and their children to come. We can make that change and make a difference so that our future will inherit a world that they too would like to live in.

The Green Hubbers

There are already many good hubs from fellow hubbers who had written about what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and I would like to share them with you.


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