Masters of Health Magazine May 2022 - Page 29

Without accelerated intervention, this new era will come to define the health of people at every stage of their lives in every corner of the world.


Unless we have a drastic turn around, a child born in 2020 will live in a world that has a high amount of air pollution and food insecurity. People will experience more extremes, stronger storms, infectious diseases, extreme poverty, mental illness, and earlier death.


Mother Earth is one complex, interconnected giant ecosystem. Every living thing is affected down to the most minute micro-organism, and we all suffer the same.


Just one of the unintended consequences of our crisis is the giant Sequoia trees of the Sierra Nevada mountains. They are the largest living organisms on the planet and can grow over 300 feet tall. When they do die after 3,000 years or so, the oldest trees, known as monarchs, usually succumb to their own size and collapse. Their giant trunks will fall on the forest floor for another millennia.


These giants of the forest are succumbing to a perfect storm of environmental degradation, allowing a bark beetle (different from the pine bark beetle that killed tens millions of trees in California). Twenty-eight of the giants have died since 2014 according to the Forest Service. All of the effects of the environmental crisis on the giants weaken them to the point where they will die.


In May 2019, a prominent group of scientists around the globe voted to designate a sixth geological epoch, the Anthropocene, that reflects the commencement of substantial human impact on the Earth's systems.  It is hotly debated among scientists and anthropologists exactly when the Anthropocene may have begun. Perhaps its seeds were sown with the rise of agriculture and later, industrialization. What is clear is that our trajectory human dominance reached new heights with the Great Acceleration in the 1940s as the nuclear age began. Since then, nuclear testing and the use of nuclear weapons, combined with other human activities from water, agriculture chemicals, and fertilizer usage to environmental pollutants have dramatically accelerated the Anthropocene Epoch.


The scale of human impact is such that in many areas it threatens the functioning of the natural systems that sustain the health of human civilization. This is in reference to nine planetary boundaries that if transgressed could lead to non-linear, abrupt environmental change. 


These boundaries indicate critical risks arising from environmental degradation, ocean acidification, depletion of stratospheric ozone, biogeochemical flows, atmospheric aerosol loading, geoengineering, land-system changes, global use of freshwater, and biosphere integrity.


It is very short sided to believe that the climate issue exists in a climate vacuum. As my 23-piece body of work, Conversations of Consequence Inspired by an Artists Brush, clearly shows, the thread that weaves the interconnecting of everything on our planet is affected by large scale global corruption, profits before people and our planet, a falsely created narrative, and the belief that the global elites need to control the masses for the good of humanity.


Unless we focus on shared solutions, violent storms and devastating blazes could be the least of the world’s troubles. Civilization itself will be at risk.