All the lions in Africa and All the Tigers in India are dead

John Derewitz

How much do you want to see those headlines in the news, wherever you get your news?  In a report issued by the United Nations supported, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on the condition of our biosphere this prediction is relevant.  In their Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, one of their conclusions is, “Nature and its vital contributions to people, which together embody biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are deteriorating worldwide.”

As we all watch our biosphere spin out of balance, we at the Tarrant Chronicle hope to put issues in front of you to encourage you to appreciate the damage humans have done to the earth and how we can change it.   We want our readers to have real information so they can better support eco-friendly legislation in the national, state, county and city contexts.

We’ve all seen the statistics on the damage to the plants, animals and vital habitat before.  The above report is a call to help the biosphere before it’s too late.  Some of the facts are:

  • “More than 2 billion people rely on wood fuel to meet their primary energy needs.”
  • “4 billion people rely primarily on natural medicines for their health care.”
  • “Nature, through its ecological and evolutionary processes, sustains the quality of the air, fresh water and soils on which humanity depends, distributes fresh water, regulates the climate, provides pollination and pest control and reduces the impact of natural hazards.”

Consider this point; “Nature is essential for human existence and good quality of life. Most of nature’s contributions to people are not fully replaceable, and some are irreplaceable.”  Currently, we have myriad stresses on natures contributions.

  • 2 billion people burning trees for their energy needs.  A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old, according to the North Carolina Colleges report on Tree facts.  Think of all that carbon dioxide absorbed and then re-released by burning only a single tree.
  • Fully 70 per cent of drugs used for cancer are natural or are synthetic products inspired by nature.
  • Frenetic trends that humans have caused in farming, fishing, energy production and mining of materials have had an extremely negative effect on our planets’ ability to adapt to the constantly increasing populations of humans on earth.

The most damning point here is that some of this damage is conditionally reversible if we can blend alternatives to give the planet time to heal.  When we leave the planet alone it can rebound from some of the damage we have inflicted, to a degree.  But can we leave the biosphere alone and support at least 8 billion humans?  That number is expected to grow as we move forward in longevity research and medical procedures. 

We must find way’s we can avoid all the lions in Africa and all the tigers in India joining the massive amount of species, both plant and animal, that we have propelled to the horrible door of extinction.  For our own sake we need to understand our biosphere’s function and critically focus on how we all live our lives recognizing that reality.  We must understand how we can make new goals to extend protection to all our species, plant, animal, human and others to make us all collectively safe and at home on Earth, the only known biosphere in the universe.

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