Much has been made in the last few decades about how humans are destroying the world and if something isn’t done now to stop the destruction we will lose many things that we enjoy now. We are already starting to see that this process has already begun as many species are becoming extinct and many land features are becoming unrecognizable. Man has held a long belief that the earth acts as a permanent life source of goods and products that will always be available to us for our use. Only recently has that view started to change but is it too late?
There was a study done about the rate of extinction and I can’t exactly remember what the exact study was about but the moral of the story is what stood out the most to me. The results came back that after 10% of the “unnamed” goods had been eliminated over the past few years nobody had really noticed the difference or loss. After the pace of extinction picked up over the next few years to 25% people started to realize that something should be done in the future to combat the loss, but after all was said and done nobody did anything. Only a few short years later the extinction rate had jumped to 50% and people and legislation were beginning to realize that something needed to be done now and they started to make the appropriate actions to fight the extinction. Amidst their efforts the rate of extinction had grown too fast for them to overcome the destruction and all was lost. What I remember from this study was that by the time people began to realize that it was “go time” to act and do something about it, it was too late and something that they cherished was completely wiped out.
Another image that has stuck with me was a demonstration showing lots of clocks after different hours representing the earth and its age. 1:00 AM being the first, noon following later going all the way to midnight. Each clock had a percentage associated with it and it represented the amount of extinction the earth was experiencing. From the first clocks in the morning until about 11 o’clock at night the percentages were really low in the single digits with not much change. The rates then began to slowly rise exponentially. By 11:15 the number was around 10%. But compared to earlier times it was not that much different. By the time 11:30 had rolled around the number was around 25%. By that time it was a significant change and noticeable. By the time 11:45 rolled around it was near 50% extinction. Then by 11:59 it was around 95%. Again, this was another display like the previous paragraph that shows that we have lived on this earth taking and taking and taking and eventually it not only going to catch up with us but it is going to eliminate everything that we know. Our expectations and way of life is going to have to change dramatically in the very near future in order to preserve what we currently enjoy.
There has been much debate about whether government should step in and take control or should the people be left to decide where our money is spent and the best way to use it to combat the extinction of the earth’s resources. Because the economy is where it is at today I just don’t see many of the legislatures caring enough to take an active role with money to make a difference at least in the near future as it is going to take at least a decade to get out of our current recession. This puts the ownership on our shoulders. Although great things probably can’t be done like the gov’t could and its billions of dollars, a large accumulation of little acts can make dents. Although groups and organizations are gathering and pooling resources for their cause it just might not be enough. It might just be a little too late to really stop what is happening in the world today. I guess it all really depends what time is it? Is it noon, dinnertime, late night snack time? Or is it 11:30 or even 11:45???? Is the time to act already past us?