5 Environmental Matters You Should Be Aware Of – And How You Can Help

We face an abundance of environmental problems. However, many people have acknowledged them with forms of denial: “Global warming isn’t real! The weather changes all the time!” Even Rupert Murdoch, the man who bought National Geographic, has expressed his skepticism towards climate change. This is pretty scary, considering National Geographic has been a resilient voice for these issues throughout the years. This could impact the future of the content of National Geographic because Murdoch will have more authority over science grants in the United States. As critical thinkers and consumers of news and media, bias is a very important thing to be aware of. This is because information can be misleading and facts can be left out. You need to get both sides of a story or topic to fully understand it and form your own opinion. What is happening in the world? What steps are others taking, and how can we help?

 

  1. Easter Island

We must become more aware and educated about the problems we face. In fact, we have an actual event that could foreshadow the fate of our planet. Have you heard of Easter Island? It’s incredibly daunting to think that we could experience the same decline and devastation this society faced. We believe we’re powerful, unstoppable, but we really need to take a step back and be reasonable.

“Easter’s End” by Jared Diamond details the research and findings following the decline of the Polynesian civilization of Easter Island. This island was once a flourishing society, until many of its resources faced overexploitation. An abundance of scientific evidence gathered through archeology, pollen analysis, and paleontology shows just how the decline of this once-thriving civilization came to be. It also takes into account the risks our world faces today in regards to a growing population and dwindling resources.

Overall, the main message of this article gets us thinking about our own lifestyles; just like the fall of Easter Island, we face a deterioration of resources today. With a growing population, it’s easy to overexploit what we have by depleting our fisheries, rainforests, fossil fuels, and soil. However, the article doesn’t end on a desperate note; the difference between Easter Island and us ultimately comes down to the education we have about these ruined societies. With history and information to guide us, we can work together to find ways to protect and save our environment.

You can check out the article here

 

 

  1. Wild Tigers

Wild tiger amounts are currently at an unprecedented low. We have lost 97% of wild tigers in just above a century. Tigers are of the most respected animals, but they are also susceptible and helpless to extinction. Only as little as 3,200 survive in the wild today. Experts say that tigers can be expected to go extinct in 12 years if no action is taken. This is due to habitat damage, climate change, poaching, conflict between beings and nature, and unlawful wildlife trade. What we can do to help is gain accurate knowledge to raise awareness around the world. The World Wildlife Organization is taking action by helping to preserve tiger habitats, monitoring tigers, and abolishing tiger trade. They have many projects to do so. In fact, what did Mr. Dicaprio say? “We must be their ambassadors. We must be their protectors. We must stop their slaughter.”

You can visit the WWO website here

 

 

  1. The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is a collection of legislation that administers a range of agriculture and food plans. It is usually reintroduced every five years. The provisions are split into Titles. The latest bill incorporated farm service expense and income funds, farm credit, employment, agricultural preservation, research, rural expansion, bioenergy, foreign food assistance, and local nutrition support. Various individuals and groups have a hand with the Farm Bill, such as government affiliates and special interest groups.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, the Farm Bill influences your life and other nations in various ways. Here are just a few:

           -You will be more informed about your food, specifically meat. The Farm Bill requires that food labels (on chicken, beef, etc.) in the United States tell you where the animal was born, killed, and processed.

           -The Farm Bill strives to help with land problems. There has been an increase in soil erosion. The Farm Bill intends to defend more grassland by cutting aids in half for those who farm on some virgin territory. It also requires cultivators who want subsidies to obey a sequence of preservation practices.

-The farm bill chooses which crops the government needs to upkeep or defend. This provides reasons to grow extra of them. This ultimately determines what you will consume more of, specifically corn, which is a funded crop.

-Cash food services and support can offer not only more suitable distribution, often of adequate supplies, but can furthermore encourage economic growth when those buys are made in developing countries.

-The expected need for ethanol is likely to maintain the value of corn and other commodities at generally elevated quantities. This has effects for developing countries, helping those who grow corn, soybeans, and other harvests that can be utilized for the production of energy.

You can learn more about the farm bill here

 

 

  1. The Great Green Wall Initiative

So what are some steps that other countries have taken to combat environmental issues? What can the United States learn?

The Great Green Wall Initiative of the Sahara Desert is a plan to fight insufficiency, poverty, and desertification in the Sahel-Saharan territory. Inhabitants in this part of Africa are among the poorest and most susceptible to climate change and wearing down of land. Population growth puts pressure on what they depend on, which are healthy and strong ecosystems for cultivation and livestock. Climate change and droughts have increased soil erosion, as well. To fight this environmental degradation, the previous President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, proposed the idea of the Great Green Wall and President Abdoulaye Wade of Senega encouraged it. Eventually, it progressed into an ecosystem management approach, confronting the effects of climate change, depletion of resources, and desertification. Not to mention, The Global Environmental Facility has provided $100.8 million to the Great Green Wall contributing countries to help increase sustainable land.

You can check out the website here

 

 

  1. The Green Belt Movement

The Green Belt Movement, initiated by Wangari Maathai, is an eco-friendly organization that inspires communities, particularly women, to protect and sustain the environment and improve living. It started when Kenyan women were struggling with water and food supply. The Green Belt Movement encouraged the planting of trees to help the soil, store rainwater, and deliver food and wood. This ultimately leads to a cleaner earth. Their principles include desire for conservation, morality, and self-empowerment. This is just another great reason to support the feminist movement. You never know when women such as Maathai are going to help save the future of our planet. Although she passed away in 2011, her legacy lives on.

You can visit the GBM website here

 

Sources:

http://discovermagazine.com/1995/aug/eastersend543http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2703979/Leonardo-DiCaprio-makes-passionate-plea-save-endangered-species-inaugural-Foundation-gala-raises-25million.htmlhttp://www.worldwildlife.org/species/tigerhttp://www.nbcnews.com/id/40298964/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/wild-tigers-could-be-extinct-years-if-unprotected/#.ViKnjSn4vFIhttps://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22131.pdf   ,http://www.snaptohealth.org/farm-bill-usda/u-s-farm-bill-faq/http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/04/politics/farm-bill/index.htmlhttp://www.agritrade.org/Publications/documents/farmbillpaper.pdfhttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=farmbillhttps://www.thegef.org/gef/great-green-wallhttp://www.greenbeltmovement.org

 

Photo Credit:

Jennifer Hurand

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