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HUMANS vs OUR PLANET – THE ANTHROPOCENE

Oluwagbemi Amojo Written by Oluwagbemi · 2 min read >

We need to find a balance and fast!

With our growing population on earth alongside the continued impact of humans comes the need to create a balance between humans and nature. Recognising that we have repeatedly milked the planet on various fronts and transformed about 30-50% of the earth’s surface, we are nearing a point when ground-breaking efforts must be made to ensure sustainability.

Once upon a time in history, humanity subsisted entirely on what nature provided. I mean, we lived in caves, gathered fruits, and survived solely on what nature had to offer. However, as sentient beings, we have sought answers to our issues as they emerged, consuming immediately from the planet without giving back or allowing the earth time to replenish since population growth has inevitably resulted in increased demand.

HOW WE TOOK OVER THE PLANET

Managing the growing population has been as tasking as providing the needs of the increasing population. Increasing demand coupled with the unlimited wants of humans led us to the “Age of Industrial Revolution.” With industrialisation came better living standards and the generation of wealth for humans, which also significantly reduced the earth’s resources.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

We drew beneficial raw resources from the earth at alarming rates to suit our desires and requirements. We only returned harmful waste materials to the planet on land and our oceans.

Consequently, human actions began to have a noticeable impact on the globe. Our imprints are visible all over nature, ushering in the “Anthropocene” age. An age that changed the world’s dynamics and put humans in charge of the globe. The control change resulted in the loss of our “BIODIVERSITY,” leading the system to get out of balance. It also necessitated deliberate efforts to restore it, which is the fundamental issue we confront.

Earth is a gigantic machine, with each component necessary for the engine to run properly. The loss of biodiversity reduces the planet’s ability to satisfy the needs of our growing population. We need to force an urgent transition to achieve the stability we require.

THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

Biodiversity is essential for preserving equilibrium within any ecosystem and on the planet as a whole. Many artificial actions directly connected to climate change and ozone layer depletion result from some loss in the ecosystem’s equilibrium.

For example, the constant deposition of petroleum pollutants on the Niger Delta’s coastal regions destroyed numerous acres of mangroves. On the other hand, the mangroves serve as a grazing place for fish and a means of decreasing erosion owing to their above-ground roots. Loss of mangroves has directly affected coastal communities due to erosion and a food shortage for grazing fish.

Who suffers the most?

Our activities against the earth eventually affect us, not the planet. As a result, we must reach a human-nature balance as soon as feasible. According to research, “the countries/individuals who contribute the least to climate change are likely to bear the brunt of its consequences.” Already, shifting weather patterns in Nigeria mean that small-scale farmers who cannot afford an irrigation system must undergo prolonged droughts. “Isn’t it strange that the rainy season is now from July to September?”

ACHIEVING EQUILIBRIUM IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

Already, efforts are being made to educate the general public on the impacts and factors causing climate change. Also, a reduced population growth rate means we can reclaim our relationship with the earth by limiting our influence and considering the long-term consequences of our actions. Some other efforts required towards improving our biodiversity are;

  • Making steps to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewable and sustainable energy sources. Apart from slowing the pace of global warming and lowering ocean acidification, this would also balance out the impact of pollution in densely populated places, ensuring everyone has access to clean air.
  • Improving food production and lowering meat consumption increases access to grasslands and mitigates deforestation concerns. This provides more individuals with access to healthier food and a more positive way of life in general’
  • Creating regulations to aid in the management of our seas would aid in the restoration of the health of our water bodies and in the production of more fish for everyone;
  • Preserving our wild population and promoting nature wherever possible.

By pursuing these aims, we may get closer to living our best lives in a stable world that has accommodated us. Only at this stage are we capable of achieving true ANTHROPOCENE.

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