Where are we now?
Why we need to take action
We have known for many years that we are driving the planet to the
brink. The astonishing decline in wildlife populations shown by the latest
Living Planet Index – a 60% fall in just over 40 years – is a grim remind-
er of the pressure we exert on the planet.
The causes for this are clear: Overexploitation and ever-expanding agri-
culture are driven by spiralling human consumption. Over the past 50
years our Ecological Footprint – one measure of our consumption of nat-
ural resources – has increased by about 190%.
Some of the changes in human society and our ecology in the last 50
years have been positive, some negative, and all of them are intercon-
nected. What is increasingly clear is that human development and well-
being are reliant on healthy natural systems, and we cannot continue to
enjoy the former without the latter.
But if humans can change the planet so profoundly, then it’s also in our
power to put things right. In the next years, we need to urgently transi-
tion to a net carbon neutral society and halt and reverse nature loss –
through green finance, clean energy and environmentally friendly food
production. We must also preserve and restore enough land and ocean
to a natural state.
What can you do? First, make simple changes to your daily life today.
Take an audit of your greenhouse gas emissions (your Carbon Footprint)
and see where to start reducing your carbon emissions. Second, sup-
port efforts to reduce the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere:
join a community garden or park care group, donate to put solar panels
on houses in East Timor, buy carbon offsets for all those flights and
cruises you’ve taken that will help reforest degraded farmland. You get
the picture – now let’s make it brighter.
- Barbara Burns
Based on: WWF “The Living Planet Report” (https://www.wwf.org.au/
Description of Carbon Calculator
One way to measure the impact your lifestyle is having on the environ-
ment is to estimate how much greenhouse gas emission (mainly carbon
Carbon Action Project
1 March 2020