Here is my friend Jackie’s backyard, with the remaining forest from her development behind the bush. They came first and now have less land on which to graze. The movie’s message is to regain our biodiversity before all wildlife has no place to live.
I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can
(Fear of Climate Crisis’ Impact on Earth’s Survival)
On Sunday I watched “Life on Planet Earth,” the latest and perhaps best of all the documentaries I have seen with David Attenborough as the narrator. Only this film is as a “witness” to what he has seen since the 1950s, when he started traveling the world to visit, explore, and report on wild places. This documentary eclipses all his previous excellent documentaries in that he shows us, through photos and comments, that we are headed toward the sixth extinction on the planet after the long, successful period of the Holocene Epoch: (Direct quote from https://www.livescience.com/28219-holocene-epoch.html.)
The Holocene Epoch is the current period of geologic time. Another term that is sometimes used is the Anthropocene Epoch, because its primary characteristic is the global changes caused by human activity. This term can be misleading, though; modern humans were already well established long before the epoch began. The Holocene Epoch began 12,000 to 11,500 years ago at the close of the Paleolithic Ice Age and continues through today.
Pressure from the human population has had far-reaching effects on the biodiversity of the planet. Earth has undergone at least five major mass extinction events (times when at least 60 percent of extant genera became extinct within a span of no more than a few hundred thousand years.)
What scares me about all of this is that major corporations who are big polluters are not slowing down their production, especially those that depend on fossil fuels, which are not finite. I also want to emphasize that the documentary talked about biodiversity in the diminishing wild areas, such as the Brazilian Rainforest. We need to restore the balance of people to places and stop killing off entire species. As David Attenborough stated, we are using up or destroying many of the resources on our planet and once they are gone, they may not be replaceable. (For example, killing of specific species of whales for oil until none of that species is left—extinction!)
My anxiety about COVID is superseded by my fear that our grandchildren and perhaps even our children will be part of the end of the planet as we know it, and beyond that, the possibility of extinction of the human race is possible.The examples that David Attenborough introduces as positive steps for the environment indicate that we have the capacity to turn things around. Yet, the greed of big companies to be richer and richer at the expense of the planet seems unconscionable. (Example, Exxon stated in Oct. 6th in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the company plans to continue producing an additional one million barrels of oil per day, with those emissions increasing Exxon’s gas emissions, rather than decreasing them because of their detrimental effects on the environment.)
I cannot stand by to watch this happen, so I am forming (another) green team to take steps to do more than eliminate plastic bottles and household items that pollute the environment. In the book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, the author suggests taking smaller steps at first and then increasing your ability to go further into the fear until you’ve conquered it. That’s my plan!
I think the only way to conquer this fear is to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. If you are interested in being on this green team to send emails to your congressmen and women, sign petitions, make changes in your living habits, and stay informed, please email me* and I will add you to the team list. I plan to post much of this on my website, www.menupause.info, so subscribing would be helpful. There is no fee.
While my fear is the driving force for this effort, I also see a glimmer of hope as more and more people watch the documentary and realize that in 10 years, we won’t be able to make these changes quickly enough to save humanity; thus we still have a small window of time. As the documentary showed, trees and animals returned to a town that was evacuated because of Chernobyl. The abandoned buildings are falling apart, but the forest and wildlife have returned. We can restore biodiversity, but it must be an all-planet project. Everyone needs to do his or her share. Will you help?
*Contact me at: email@example.com
P.S. The Wilderness Society’s Summer 2020 newsletter is linked to the documentary in that their new vision is: Uniting people to protect America’s wild places. Collaborating with other organizations, local and national, they want to achieve the following by 2030, which is when the tipping point is supposed to happen if we do nothing to change our lifestyles and overuse of resources:
- 30% of US lands and waters protected.
- Net zero fossil fuel emissions from federal public lands.
- A critical mass of people reflecting America’s diversity taking action to protect wilderness and public lands.
- All people in the US benefit equitably from public lands.
- Full funding for the conservation, restoration and protection of public lands at all levels.www.wilderness.org