A worldwide study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been warning for more than ten years now that the human race is plundering the planets resources into a state where it cannot keep up. In other words, if my home ran completely on solar and I have batteries to store the energy but I use more energy than my devices can make and store, then my energy system is no longer effective. I either need to look at the amount of energy I consume and alter my consumption or look into getting a new system. Like the planet, we still have time to change to that new system.
It’s estimated in less than 40 years time with the way we currently consume that we will need to source two more planets that offer the same level of resources as our planet has. In other words, we either have to change our habits or continue on the track of no return. According to some of the leading scientists in their field we are heading towards the 6th mass extinction. It’s estimated that the last time the planet went through this kind of event was around 65 million years ago. Considering the fact that the planet has been in existence for 3.5 billion years, it’s clear that something is going majorly wrong.
How will we be affected by the loss of the diverse eco system? Every part of our existence depends on biodiversity and every part of the cog in the chain lost will affect the next cog which causes another effect until eventually we have a problem. Is it right to consume at such levels where we are putting other forms of life at danger, is this like an addiction and are we acting like a parasite?
Being fortunate enough to see much of the world, it’s clear that the west has had things easy as far as materialism goes comparing to the east. The east however is changing and becoming more and more able to consume products. If current research is saying we are completely out of balance with our consumer habits, just imagine what the future holds when 4.4 billion more consumes just like the west. I’m not saying that the east should not have growth; I think it’s more about the need for change in such a connected world where all can benefit.
There are small changes that we can all make on changing our own consumer habits. As we eat every day, we can try to source local food as much as we can, organic as much as we can in order to work with eco systems, writing to companies who continue putting our food in packaging that cannot be recycled. Companies are very keen on getting their marketing right in order for you to buy their products, they will do just about anything to see your money. The consumer, if we are smart can change the way businesses work. “We” as much as businesses should be taking responsibility and trying to change it if it feels incorrect. We often follow fashion items such as mobile phones; perhaps we can start to question whether we need to buy the latest model.