Sustaining Planet Earth’s Life Is in Our Hands, by John H. Fitch, Ph. D., Affiliate Full Professor, Warner College of Natural Resources and Morgan Libraries, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado, June 4, 2019.
The newly released Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report states that “Nature’s dangerous decline and unprecedented species extinction rates are accelerating.”
The all-too-familiar “nightriders” of rapid climate change, widespread crop failures, starvation, disease, crime, and war are here again. Our species has predicted the reasons for our own demise as well as the extinctions of other species and yet has lacked the collective intelligence, will, resolve, courage, and ability to work to avoid this tragedy cosmic proportions.
We still have time to script a different ending if we can cast aside our hubris and begin resolving petty political and power quarrels. We can turn the approaching tide of global destruction into a Spring Tide that renews and sustains the Earth’s biosphere and we have an earlier example to follow.
During the first Earth Day nearly half a century ago, the U. S. Congress came together to produce the “Magna Carta” of environmental legislation. Let us follow this earlier example of bipartisan courage to designate this coming year and decade as “The 2020 Restoration and Renewal of Our Earth’s Life for a Sustainable Future.” The sustainability elements of ecology, economy, and society are constructive and interactive forces that must work together to restore and sustain life as the Bruntland Commission recommended 32 years ago.
In this global effort, we will rediscover the wonder of living together cooperatively and sustainably with all other life on this marvelous spaceship we call “Planet Earth.”