There is a complex relationship between plants, animals and their abiotic environment. When we change only one component, we can impact this environment in unforeseen ways. The lesson is clear: we must carefully reflect on how we take care of creation. We live on a rapidly deteriorating planet.
The impact of humanity has been devastating and evident.
Approximately one quarter of the Earth's land area has been converted for human use.
Nearly half of the temperate and tropical forests were cut or devastated.
Air, land and water pollution has become global.
Because of excessive and neglectful exploitation, plants and animals are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Thousands of species become extinct every year. By transporting microbes, plants and animals to new places, we have inadvertently spread diseases and accelerated the destruction of native species. We wish to awaken in you the "gift" to participate in actions, which amid the contrast of the current situation of the planet, being the closest to what it once was.
WE MUST PRESERVE FOR ECONOMIC REASONS:
Nature has gifted us with extraordinary natural resources that make life comfortable and productive. However, these resources are finite. We can characterize natural resources as ecosystem services, upon which our very existence depends.
They include the provision of food and drinking water; pollination of wild and agricultural plants; repleneshiment of nutrients; moderation of extreme climates, including flood and drought mitigation; protection against erosion; regulation of pests in plants and disease-causing organisms; decomposition and detoxification of waste; purification of air and water; and maintenance of biodiversity.
These services, provided free of charge to us, were valued globally at $ 125 trillion per year (click here to access the survey). Obviously, they are irreplaceable. Without these services, which are rapidly degrading, our quality of life and that of future generations would be drastically decreased.
We must care for health and social justice Healthy human beings need healthy environments that provide natural resources and processes that sustain human life. Degraded environments provide poor resources and promote disease, tension, conflict and inequality.
Unfortunately, it is the poor who usually bear the brunt of problems arising from degraded environments. Selfish people and corporations exploit the environment and diminish their ability to sustain the local population. Rich nations often benefit at the expense of developing countries.
Inconsistent environmental standards, corruption and disregard for environmental laws threaten the health and livelihoods of millions of people. It is estimated that one in seven deaths in 2012 resulted from exposure to either contaminated soil and water, and or air pollution and 93% of those 9 million deaths occurred in developing countries (click here to read the full report).
We need to be in the forefront advocating for the victims of environmental injustice, which include not only human beings, but also other forms of life as well.
As inhabitants of our planet, we have an obligation to preserve creation and alleviate human suffering and all other creatures whenever possible. However, understanding how we should act is made more difficult by the polarized opinions we hear.
When it comes to environmental issues, we should seek to keep ourselves informed by the most reliable sources. We must recognize the language of advertising we encounter daily in the media and blogs, as there are many experts who understand little about the complex interactions of the natural world.
We need to be open-minded, apply critical thinking to the best of our abilities, and treat others' opinions respectfully, even when we believe they are wrong. For instance, a more in-depth study questioned the role of wolves in restoring the Yellowstone Park ecosystem.
Although wolves certainly contribute to hunting elks, the issue seems to be more complicated than originally thought, since it also involves interactions between bison, beaver, hunting by humans, rainfall patterns, and temperature changes.
As a human initiative, science has its imperfections, but when used correctly to test alternative hypotheses, it eventually corrects itself.
Science provides a way to gain knowledge and discernment about the creation.