To keep Earth hospitable to human life we need to live within the carrying capacity of the planet. The carrying capacity consists of several pillars that mankind is systematically sapping. Several are close to collapsing. When they do, they may drag the others into their fall and accelerate the global environmental collapse, that will no doubt, lead to the death of billions of people.
Because it is fundamental that people would realize the magnitude of the existing destructions and the threats that result from it, in order for them to participate and demand immediate action, we will constantly provide the facts and science about these pillars.
1. Pollutants in the biosphere
2. Freshwater depletion
Two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue. http://www.fao.org/post-2015-mdg/14-themes/water/en/
Nearly a third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are being drained faster than they are being replenished. The aquifers are concentrated in food-producing regions that support up to two billion people.
3. Destruction of agricultural soils
-Sustainable management of the world’s agricultural soils and sustainable production intensification have become an imperative for global food security. However, 25 percent of land is highly degraded and a further 44 percent is slightly or moderately degraded due to the erosion, salinization, compaction and chemical pollution of soils. http://www.fao.org/post-2015-mdg/14-themes/land-and-soils/en/
-Steadily and alarmingly, humans have been depleting Earth’s soil resources faster than the nutrients can be replenished. If this trajectory does not change, soil erosion, combined with the effects of climate change, will present a huge risk to global food security over the next century, warns a review paper authored by some of the top soil scientists in the U.S.
4. Destruction of life in the oceans
Stresses caused by human activity on the oceans’ life support systems are widely acknowledged to have reached unsustainable levels. Today, 61 percent of commercially important assessed marine fish stocks worldwide are fully fished, 29 percent are overfished. About 90 percent of large predatory fish stocks are already depleted. Our oceans and seas are under risk of irreversible damage to habitats, ecological functions, and biodiversity because of overfishing, climate change and ocean acidification, pollution, unsustainable coastal area development and the unwanted impacts from the extraction of non-living ocean resources.
If the current trend in unsustainable uses of marine resources is not reversed, their ability to deliver food for future generations will be severely compromised. At risk are hundreds of millions of people who depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods, food security and nutrition, with small-scale coastal fishing communities particularly affected. http://www.fao.org/post-2015-mdg/14-themes/fisheries-aquaculture-oceans-seas/en/
MARINE VERTEBRATE POPULATIONS DECLINED 49 PER CENT BETWEEN 1970 AND 2012
In the Amazon around 17% of the forest has been lost in the last 50 years.Some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 36 football fields every minute.
6. Loss of biodiversity
The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. These experts calculate that between 0.01 and 0.1% of all species will become extinct each year.
If the low estimate of the number of species out there is true – i.e. that there are around 2 million different species on our planet – then that means between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.
But if the upper estimate of species numbers is true – that there are 100 million different species co-existing with us on our planet – then between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.
7. Ozone depletion in the stratosphere
Ozone hole over Antarctica expands to near-record levels, now four times size of Australia
8. Climate change
IPCC report on climate change