THE TRIPLE THREAT
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When I look at the environment, I see three big problems: consumption, population, and pollution. Consumption is what we take in. Population is the multiplier, the number of people currently living on the planet. Pollution is what we put out.
What is consumption? Things like water, air, and food. It's also raw materials like metal and wood, as well as habitat. When we chop down a forest to build a corporate farm, we consume the forest. When a corporation goes in and burns a rainforest that took millions of years to evolve, we consume the rainforest. When a poacher goes in and drives an entire species into extinction, we consume the species. Humans are consuming at a faster rate than ever. Consumption is a big problem.
Population is a big problem. As population increases, biodiversity decreases. What is biodiversity? Basically, it's every other species on the planet except humans. As population increases, biodiversity decreases. Why is that? Well, there are currently over 7 billion people living on this planet, and that number is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. People are living longer and reproducing faster. As population increases, people start spreading out. They start pushing for more space and living places they never lived before, pushing their footprint out into more places until we start occupying every square inch of the planet. This creates bigger cities, more pollution, more consumption, more highways, more farms, and less biodiversity. If the current trend continues, all that will be left will be people, corn, and cows. That is not a sustainable environment. Population is a big problem.
Pollution is a big problem. When we create factories, we increase air and water pollution. Our energy needs create pollution as we burn coal into the atmosphere. Transportation creates pollution. We have trash and sewage that creates pollution. Our oceans are filling with plastic. What is plastic doing in the ocean? In 1960, it was estimated that 5% of seabirds had ingested some type of plastic. In 2020, that number has increased to over 90%. There are also less noticed forms of pollution such as light and air pollution that have an impact on natural processes. Pollution is a big problem.
Are these problems getting better? NO! They are getting worse! Consumption is increasing. Population is growing. Pollution is on the rise.
Albert Einstein had a definition for insanity. He said: insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Do we honestly think we can continue to do what we have always done and these problems will go away on their own? That is the very definition of insanity. To fix these problems, we must do something different.
In my book "The Greatest Moment in Human History" (available on this site), at the back of the book there are a series of questions that prompt the reader to develop an action plan that they can use to make a profound and positive impact on the planet. If the reader doesn't want to ask the questions, there is also a list of actions they can take. These are simple, every day actions that actually save time and save money. Imagine that! Doing something positive for the environment that saves you money and saves you time! Imagine if every person now living - seven billion people - bought a copy of this book and took one simple action. Would that make a positive impact on the planet? YES!
We stand on the cusp of what will either be the most tragic moment in human history or the greatest. It is a choice. My question is: what will be our legacy? What will we do to make the world a better place for ourselves and for future generations? What will you do today to contribute to the greatest moment?