Mother Earth Day: 'Humanity Is Well Aware of the Devastating Damage It Wrought'


Human Wrongs Watch

Humanity is well aware of the devastating damage and pollution it have wrought on planet Earth, and “even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways,” United Nations Secretary-General on 22 April 2015 said urging people to reset their relationship with nature and every living being it sustains.*

Workers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, building rock walls and planting vegetation as ways to save arable land and avoid flooding in lower areas. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

In his remarks on International Mother Earth Day, marked worldwide on 22 April, Ban Ki-moon called Earth humanity’s “ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms.”

This year’s celebration marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations from Morocco to Uganda, Armenia to India. 

“This can be the year our children and grandchildren will remember as when we chose to build a sustainable and resilient future – both for Mother Earth and all those that development has until now left behind. Let us seize this historic opportunity together,” he said.

“But the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for world leaders and policy-makers. Today, on Mother Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations,” he added.

“Not everyone is able to make sustainable choices, but for those who can, simple decisions such as switching to energy-efficient lighting or buying only what you will consume – when accumulated across billions of people – can transform our world. The power to change begins with you,” the UN chief added.

Humanity’s dependence on Earth makes it all the more astonishing that “we have allowed rapid and often unwise human development to disrupt so many of the delicate systems that have functioned harmoniously for millennia,” he said.

Source: UNEP

Source: UNEP

“We are increasingly aware of the damage our species has wrought – the pollution, the dwindling resources, the species of flora and fauna forever gone, the rush towards tipping points that may alter the way our planet functions. Even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways,” he said.

“As a global community, we have the opportunity to make 2015 a turning point in human history,” Ban emphasized. (*Source: UN).

Could Be the Most Exciting Day in Environmental History

According to UN Environment Programme (UNEP), “Earth Day’s 45th anniversary – could be the most exciting year in environmental history. The year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands. The year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate change treaty.**

The year in which citizens and organizations divest from fossil fuels and put their money into renewable energy solutions. These are tough issues but we know what’s at stake is the future of our planet and the survival of life on earth.

“On Earth Day we need you to take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction. It’s our turn to lead. So our world leaders can follow by example.”

Healthy soils are essential to food security and play a critical role in the carbon cycle. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

Healthy soils are essential to food security and play a critical role in the carbon cycle. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

Low-income, Marginalized Populations, the Most Affected by Climate Change

One billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day. One of the biggest controversies over a treaty has been the issue that developing countries don’t want to give up economic growth no matter the environmental cost, since the US and other developed countries got to pollute their way to the top…

Those most affected by climate change are low-income or marginalized populations. The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, for example – one of the poorest places on Earth — was the first country to declare its land uninhabitable due to sea level rise from climate change, and has asked for help in evacuating its population. Even more people will fall into poverty and food will become more scarce if we don’t stop our misuse of the planet.

Eradicating global poverty is possible but only in a world where all countries commit to a low carbon future. We’ve got the technology. All we need is the will. Sustainability can be the answer to development, the only answer.

Healthy soils are essential to food security and play a critical role in the carbon cycle. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

Healthy soils are essential to food security and play a critical role in the carbon cycle. Photo: FAO/Olivier Asselin

Grassroots

Over 400,000 people came together this past September in NYC for the biggest climate march of all time. Their call for action from the city streets reverberated around the world. They rallied for their leaders to recognize the catastrophic implications of climate change.

Their call did not fall on deaf ears. As Obama said in his speech at the NYC Climate Summit that week, “We cannot pretend we cannot hear them. We must answer their call.” Let’s make 2015 the year when our world leaders pay attention and answer our call.

FAO and the World Water Council (WWC) warn that in 2050 water supplies will dwindle in parts of the world, threatening food security and livelihoods. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Venturi

FAO and the World Water Council (WWC) warn that in 2050 water supplies will dwindle in parts of the world, threatening food security and livelihoods. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Venturi

Time for a Treaty

Over the past 20 years, there have been a series of failed attempts to create an effective international treaty on climate change mitigation.

In 1997, the first major international agreement was passed, The Kyoto Protocol. The US—one of the top polluters—didn’t ratify. Since then, many Summits and many efforts to come to agreement—Rio, Copenhagen—have ended in a flop.

But Paris must be it! Governmental, business, and non-profit leaders must come to an agreement that will cut our emissions and limit our warming to 2°C.

Let’s make 2015 the year when our leaders pass a historic binding, global climate treaty. (**Source: UNEP).

Read also:

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‘2015 Pivotal for Finalizing Universal Climate Change Agreement’

Climate Change Advances Faster than Expected — Critical Role of Genetic Resources in Feeding the World

Cost of Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries Set to Be as High as $250-500 Billion Per Year By 2050

‘Never before have the risks of climate change been so obvious and the impacts so visible’

‘Climate Change Threatens Irreversible and Dangerous Impacts’

What Is Known and What Is Not Known about Impacts of Climate Change – Report

UN Summit: Tackling Climate Change Requires “All Hands on Deck”

Climate Summit: Extreme Weather Hits Asia, Europe… a Further Indication of the “New Normal”?

Beating Climate Change, Either Lead or Get Out of the Way

No ‘Plan B’ for Climate Action as There Is No ‘Planet B’

Economic Growth Possible Even While Tackling Climate Change — Report

‘We Are Running Out of Time’, Experts Warn as Climate Change Debate Heats Up

Climate Change Impacting Entire Planet, Raising Risk of Hunger, Floods, Conflict – UN Report

Impact of Climate Change Could Reverse Decades of Development in Africa ‘Majestic’

Greenland Provides First-hand Look at Impacts of Human-induced Climate Change

Bangladesh: the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation

Overall Energy Consumption for Lighting Will Have Grown by 60 to 70% by 2030 with dramatic consequences for climate change

Looming Problems: Not Enough Energy; Too Much of Climate Change

Clean Energy, Water Strategies to Halt ‘Runaway’ Climate Change – Experts 

The ‘Future We Want’, Nowhere to Be Found in Rio+20

Demand for Life’s Essentials: 50% More Food, 40% More Energy and… 35% More Water

Food Inequality Equation: 1.5 Billion Obese; 925 Million Hungry 

2015 Human Wrongs Watch 

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