Environmental Crisis for Dummies

The title was intended to refer to the DUMMIES series of books, that usually explain topics in a concise and clear manner.  I hope the following will explain why I have been writing so much about Indigenous peoples lately.

  • Plant photosynthesis produces oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide
  • Rainfall keeps soil hydrated for plant growth, and water supplies clean and replenished
  • Humans and animals need oxygen, food and water to survive, and they exhale carbon dioxide, and produce organic waste
  • Human and animal waste can fertilize the soil
  • Keeping consumption of food, oxygen and water within the limits of the earth to replenish them, and production of wastes, including carbon dioxide, within the limits of the earth to process them, will maintain a livable, sustainable environment
  • Fossil fuels (such as coal, oil and natural gas) were discovered to be dense, easily transported sources of energy
  • There are limited supplies of fossil fuels and clean water
  • These energy sources powered the industrial revolution, which produced pollution and greenhouse gases
  • Greenhouse gases trap heat, increasing air and water temperatures
  • Refined oil (gasoline) stimulated the widespread production and acquisition of personal automobiles
  • Mechanized agriculture and fertilizer produced great quantities of crops for food
  • Human populations have grown at exponential rates, in part because of this increased food production
  • Populations in industrial societies moved to urban areas to work in factories
  • Economic systems made it possible for more people to own larger homes, which were air conditioned as well as heated, consuming more fossil fuels
  • The increasing populations, industrial processes, electricity generation and numbers of automobiles began to overload the air and water with greenhouse gases
  • Urban populations lost touch with the natural environment
  • A social philosophy of dominance prioritized personal gain, and disregarded the overconsumption of resources, and runaway production of greenhouse gases
  • Our environment is now dangerously out of balance.
  • Consumption of resources and energy, and resulting production of wastes and greenhouse gases have many detrimental effects that have us on a path to human extinction
  • Greenhouse gas emissions must stop now, meaning the use of fossil fuels must stop now, if we are to have any chance of long term survival
  • The social philosophy of dominance has to end
  • Government regulations to protect the environment are needed
  • Reforestation is important
  • Coal plants must be shut down
  • No more fossil fuel infrastructure should be built
  • Economic development must sanction environmental harm
  • Mass transit networks must be developed
  • Communities must be redesigned to be walkable
  • Renewable energy development must be promoted, and priority given to those areas that have suffered from fossil fuel industry
  • Returning to honoring Mother Earth, protecting the water, air and land is absolutely critical now
  • We must follow the lead of Indigenous peoples, who know how to do this, without delay.  Indigenous peoples have continued to maintain a lifestyle that does respect the environment, and a spiritual culture that honors the Earth.  It is this spiritual approach perhaps more than anything else that will help us find a way forward.




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