World Environment Day Calling

World Environment Day CallingWorld Environment Day Calling

The 43rd anniversary of World Environment Day will be celebrated on Friday, June 5, in over 100 countries around the world. This year’s theme aims to draw attention to the issue of sustainability, for a reason: Our lifestyle is unsustainable.

The planet is breathing laboriously. You cannot fault it though; humans are killing its lungs by carelessly cutting trees. Over 17% of the Amazon has been lost in the past half a century, and official reports indicate that the rate of deforestation is increasing year on year. In China, only 2% of the country’s forests remain intact. Demand for paper, agricultural products, timber, and meat is driving the destruction of forests – and the lives of 1.6 billion people that depend on them – at an alarming pace.

Human greed and obsession with oil have pushed the planet to the brink of a disaster of biblical proportions. Driven by humanity’s dependence on fossil fuel, climate change is drying up rivers and lakes, not to mention melting ice caps in the Arctic which has shrouded the fate of Polar bears in doubt. The dangers of global warming and its consequences, such as the ongoing heatwave wreaking havoc in India which has taken the lives of over 2000 people so far, cannot be overstated.

The push for modernization, high population growth, and economic development is threatening many of the planet’s ecosystems. If current trends hold, it is estimated that by 2050, when global population is expected to reach 9.6 billion underscoring the need for three more planets for humankind and its visibly unsustainable ways!

World Environment Day, and similar international events, demand delivery. They help expose the dire state of the environment, and prompt people to pause for thought and weigh the alternatives. It is up to each and every human being to heed the call of the Earth and step up efforts to leave a planet worth protecting for the next generation.