Our Environment Is Collapsing Just As Severely As Our Society
I read somewhere that to really understand something is to be liberated from it. Yet, how can we liberate ourselves from our vain attempt at global progress which is, in all intents and purposes, destroying the very place in which we live? Our world is collapsing, an implosion on a scale unimaginable just a few years ago. Without a doubt, if we continue on our current path we will lose our home and everything in it. Mankind’s environment is collapsing just as fast as its society. Planet Earth’s resources are dwindling at an alarming rate. Animals, plants, fossil fuels, minerals, water, air and soil are all diminishing at an unsustainable speed while the world’s population is increasing. We will shortly have a situation where nearly 8 billion dying people will be trapped on a dying planet with no food to feed them and, “Superman” will not come to the rescue. If our natural world can no longer support our basic needs then our civilisation will quickly descend into chaos.
As many people in the southern U.S. hosted neighbours who had no heat or water during the vicious February storm and deep freeze, Kate Rugroden provided a refuge for shell-shocked bats. Starving and disoriented, the winged mammals tumbled to the snow-coated ground as temperatures plunged to levels rarely seen in the region. "They burned through their energy reserves as they tried to wake up and get away from the cold and ice," said Rugroden, of Arlington, Texas, one of the numerous rehabilitation specialists nursing stranded bats plucked up by sympathetic people. "And there aren't any insects out there for them to eat yet." Bats are among numerous wildlife believed to have taken a beating in the South, a region unaccustomed to such a severe and prolonged cold snap.
Many species migrate there for winter precisely because of its normally mild weather. It might take weeks or months to determine the extent of the harm, but anecdotal evidence is already turning up - including dead robins on yards and sidewalks. Alligators in Oklahoma's Red Slough Wildlife Management Area were photographed with snouts protruding from frozen waterways - a survival manoeuvre enabling them to breathe while their bodies go dormant to conserve energy. Fish kills were feared in Arkansas and Louisiana. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it expected casualties among exotic deer and antelope. Across the Gulf of Mexico coast as far east as Florida, naturalists worried about monarch butterflies and the milkweed plants essential to their survival as they prepare to migrate northward. "Animals can respond to events like this by moving elsewhere, but if it's beyond your flight range or your walking range you have to hunker down," said Perry Barboza, a wildlife biologist at Texas A and M University.
"Some animals like small birds can do it just a night or two. The duration becomes the killer." Sea turtles stunned by frigid Gulf coastal waters were still being cared for at facilities this week. More than 10,600 had been found and officials were tabulating how many died, said Donna Shaver, Texas coordinator for the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network. Sea Turtle Inc. took in so many that it used the South Padre Island Convention Center to accommodate the overflow, executive director Wendy Knight said. "Our hospital is now completely filled to the gills," Knight said. While extreme weather is particularly dangerous for imperilled species, the whooping crane - listed by the federal government as endangered - appears to have weathered the storm, said Joe Saenz, manager of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.
About 500 of the majestic birds spend winters at the refuge before returning to Canadian nesting grounds. During the cold spell, some were spotted feasting on dead fish floating on the Gulf waters. Biologists are concerned about monarch butterflies, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December designated as a candidate for endangered or threatened status because of a sharp decline in recent decades.
The last six months will be remembered as a month of extremes in the US: Historic wildfires burned across the West in September and October, unprecedented tropical activity churned up the Atlantic, and parts of the country saw record heat. What’s more, the first nine months of 2020 brought record-tying billion-dollar weather disasters to the nation, according to scientists.
2020 will be remembered for the Covid-19 and the chaos it brought to a world not prepared for such a pandemic. However, and somewhat hidden because of Covid-19 and other major events Climate Change continued its relentless march in 2020 and causing the US alone, a record-busting 22 billion dollars in weather-related disasters in 2020. 2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record, this was despite a La Nina event which should have caused a cooling effect. 2011-2020 was the hottest decade ever recorded and the six hottest years ever have been in the past six years and this trend is set to continue because of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This heat will render previous thriving communities to become unlivable and cause the deaths of an untold number of wild animals and insects. The wildfires in the US is an example of this scenario in 2020, as well as the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic season. These unlivable areas will escalate in the coming years no doubt.