Sir David Attenborough has observed wildlife and people for the last 50 years and is a of the charity Population Matters
He sends a warning to mankind to sort out its root problem, and that is to reduce population growth in order to build a sustainable future.
They say "one man's junk is another man's treasure". If you've got "stuff" to get rid of in your house, how about recycling it by letting others have your "junk". Alternatively there may be "stuff" that you could use or repair.
See www.freecycle.org or http://www.ilovefreegle.org to find groups in your area and let's reduce what goes into our landfills.
The UN has declared this year to be the International Year of Forests. What does that mean? It is to try to encourage people to celebrate people's actions to sustainably manage the rainforests: http://www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/
I only heard of it from researching on the web. Have not heard news about it or did we miss something? Perhaps the devastations on our planet have been hogging the headlines. Was the Queensland flooding an effect of Global Warming (so easy to blame Global Warming for everything) or is it because it once was covered in rainforests?
Some more web research reveals that when Captain James Cook landed on Australia, it was covered in rainforests. Since 1788 over 50% of the rainforests were cleared. Rainforests act like sponges, soaking up vast amounts of water rapidly.
Another web search indicates on a number of sites that 14% of the world was once covered in rainforests. This is now down to a mere 5-6% and we are still decimating large areas. The 2011 flooding and mudslides in Brazil were purely due to clearing of rainforests. More and more "natural" disasters seem man made
So the call for an "International Appreciation of Rainforests" needs more action and less talk! We know what we should be doing but are we going to do anything or will we continue to sit apathetic because we do not want to see beyond our immediate brick surroundings? Will governments and corporates take more responsibility and think more sustainably rather than the profits of declaring carbon trading!
I will research and read more and perhaps my cynical views of how we enjoy destroying our world will be lessened. I hope so.
Image from unthinkable.com
In 2008, the Independent reported on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a mass of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, located between the US and Japan. In 2008 this was estimated to be twice the size of the US continent and still growing at an alarming rate as we continue to dispose of plastic wastes.
Wikipedia indicates that it is thought that 80% comes from land wastes (presumably coastal landfills and from rivers) and 20% from boats.
The type of waste found ranges from toys, bags, shoes, abandoned fishing nets, bottles, containers, etc. Besides the obvious unsightliness of it, why should we care since we also dump this in the ground in landfills?
Plastic is a man-made substance that will photo-degrade in the oceans into smaller toxic polymer units. So big marine life can get entangled in our trash or eat our trash and die and smaller marine life and plankton will absorb it put it back into our food chain. Some of these plastic nurdles attract other man-made chemicals such as pesticides, which again will enter our food chain via the aquatic life that ingests it.
So do we want to care about:
1. The unsightliness
2. It killing over a million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine life a year
3. The chemicals from plastic degradation being leached into our oceans and thus into the food chains directly or indirectly in products such as fertilisers.
4. For many of us around the world, it will be on our dinner plate whether served as a fish or camouflaged as fish fingers, or some other marine life.
If you do care then look at how you can reduce your usage of plastic.
If you're from the US, you might consider joining this organisation: http://www.greatgarbagepatch.org/take-action/