Commentary

The most important editorial of the weekend

Image: Natural Resources Defense Council

This week’s entry was actually published last evening by the Winston-Salem Journal, but its blunt and terrifying message is one that needs to be heard and repeated over and over in the weeks, months and years ahead.

The headline is “We are destroying our future” and the editorial that follows calls on all of us to arise from our suicidal slumber and get serious about saving our planet. Here are a couple of excerpts:

We are slowly killing ourselves.

The human race is stubbornly pursuing self-destructive behavior, rapidly destroying much in the world that is essential for human survival.

A summary of a new United Nations report on the alarming decline in biodiversity around the world offers stark warnings that we humans must do more — a lot more — to protect the natural habitats we haven’t already destroyed,

The report is not the casual opinions of extremists, not some unproved “theory.” It was prepared by hundreds of international experts drawing on thousands of scientific studies.

They found that, largely because of human activity, the abundance of native animal and plant life has dropped by at least 20 percent, with the decline mostly in the last century.

The essay goes on to explain the close link between climate change and the planet’s rapidly declining biodiversity. Here’s the conclusion:

Losing animal and plant species is not a problem just for “nature lovers.” It’s potentially a problem for human well-being, the scientists say.

Biodiversity is essential if we are to have the food and water we need.

Everything in nature is interrelated, and the more we destroy the balance, the more we are likely to suffer.

Wetlands purify drinking water. Coral reefs are critical habitats for the fish we eat. Plants, especially tropical plants, produce life-saving medicines, including, no doubt, some we haven’t yet discovered. Domesticated animals and plants feed us, and we have fewer and fewer varieties of those. With less genetic diversity, there’s less resilience to disease. Increasing heat and drought will make things worse. Our food system will be endangered.

If we don’t take action.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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