During spring of 2016, I took an environmental biology course as one of my science pre-requisites. Honestly, it was one of my favorite courses I’ve taken in college so far – even though science is my worst subject.
For an assignment we were required to take an online quiz to calculate our ecological footprint. Basically, this tells us how many worlds we would need in order to sustain the population if every single person used resources in the same scarcity as we did. I recommend doing this and coming up with ideas to reduce yours.
My point is, if everyone in the world lived as the average American, it would take five worlds to sustain the entire world population.
Last year, mine was 4.2 worlds so I was already better than the average. But still, I would need 4.2 worlds to sustain an entire world population of people exactly like me.
I took it again today and we would now need 3.3 worlds to sustain a world population of me.
The number is still fairly high but it does show progress being made – and a lot of this has to do with my changes in my diet and being completely vegan.
There are still areas I need to focus on, such as reducing my travel and electricity use, showering less, and changing my diet even more to eating more locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Changes need to be made pretty soon. What the future holds is shocking.
1. One of the main things that I remember learning in class, is that fossil fuels will be depleted completely by 2050 if we keep using them at the rate that we do.
2. According to Eco-Faith, small, Pacific island countries are going to disappear, leaving about 100,000 environmental refugees.
3. 20 million people are likely to experience flooding by 2050.
4. By 2030, the average temperature for Australia should increase from around 85 degrees Fahrenheit to over 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Britain’s snow cover will decrease by 80 percent near the coast and Scotland’s snow cover will decrease by 60 percent.
6. Winter rainfall will increase up to 35 percent.
7. Record-breaking temperatures for heat will become average temperatures. You don’t like those 110 temperatures do you? How about those 80+ degree days in December and January that everyone complains about?
8. Malaria is expected to increase at an even quicker rate (it currently infects half a billion people each year and kills a person every 30 seconds).
9. Biased sex ratios are being formed in several reptiles and amphibians, leading to extinction for an innumerable amount of creatures. Within the past few decades, what we’re living in now could actually be considered a mass extinction.
10. Spring will forward by 2.3 days each decade.
11. Frequency and intensity of hurricanes will increase as the seas and tropospheres continue to warm.
12. Oceans could be fish-less by 2048.
13. The poles will warm quicker than the rest of the world. In fact, the North Pole might have already entered a runaway melting.
14. There will be a drinking water shortage, thus also a food shortage. There is already a huge famine crisis in several other countries.
Half of the world’s forests have already been cleared. This reduces greenhouse gas emission by 12 to 70 percent annually. (For those of you who aren’t sure of what greenhouses gases do, they help make the world comfortable and quite a bit warmer – without them, the average daily temperature year-round would be about 30 degrees Fahrenheit). Trees are our friends, they produce the oxygen that we all breathe and habitat millions upon millions of species.
The Great Barrier Reef is in terrible condition but not completely dead yet. If I’m correct, I think it was around 30 percent of it that was declared dead.
Again, changes need to be made. Quit turning your head at the things to come.
Global warming is most definitely not a hoax by China – it is a REAL thing and it will affect a lot more than what you think. It’s not just the polar ice caps – it’s the entire world that will be affected by this.
The animal production industry will affect a lot more than what you think.
The excessive traveling you do will affect a lot more than what you think – carbon emissions, fossil fuel depletion, global warming.
Do your part.
If you have to, make a competition within your household on who can recycle the most. Buy a filter and use a water bottle to carry every single day instead of plastic bottles. Start walking more and driving less – car pool if you absolutely have to drive. Make sure you turn the lights off when you leave a room. Eat from your local farmer’s market; buy less processed foods. Don’t use so much hairspray or anything aerosol really – that stays in our atmosphere FOREVER. Eat more fruits and veggies – sure, meat can taste good, but it’s not as healthy and not as environmentally sustainable. I do not care what it takes. Just do your part.
I’m not hear to preach to you on how to live your life. But I am here to remind you that we only have one world and it’s going to be completely uninhabitable for animals and insects, and for us, if we don’t get a grip pretty soon.
This includes you and me.