Scientists Warn That the Earth Is Dying
They point to climate change, a loss of biodiversity and overpopulation as major threats.
As a home for humans, our planet is dying. Or so claim some researchers. According to a new paper, published by 17 scientists from the United States, Mexico and Australia in the journal Frontiers in Conservation Science, today’s environmental problems will get much worse in the future.
The scientists point to what they see are three major crises which could affect life on Earth: biodiversity, climate disruption, and overpopulation. However, they say they aren’t giving up hope for the future.
"Ours is not a call to surrender," the authors wrote in their paper. "We aim to provide leaders with a realistic 'cold shower' of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a ghastly future."
Regarding biodiversity, the team says that Earth has lost 50% of its plant species and about 20% of its animal species since the dawn of agriculture. If present trends continue, another 1 million plant and animal species could go extinct in the near future. This could mean fewer insects to pollinate plants, fewer plants to filter air, water and soil, and fewer forests to protect against floods and other natural disasters. And with fewer species, Earth would be a lonelier planet.
Climate change, they predict will lead to more frequent and more intense natural disasters. Droughts caused by the climate and sea-level rise could mean 1 billion people might become climate refugees by the year 2050.
The scientists also see overpopulation as a concern. “By 2050, the world population will likely grow to ~9.9 billion, with growth projected by many to continue until well into the next century,” the study authors wrote. A larger population could mean more problems such as food insecurity, housing insecurity, joblessness, overcrowding, inequality, and pandemics.
The scientists admit their dire forecasts are not guaranteed, but they insist the world’s leaders must immediately take steps to make changes in order to conserve our planet.
Comments: These scientists say they want to “tell it like it is” in order to wake up sleepy world leaders to the environmental dangers which surround us. But are they really completely telling it like it is when many experts seem to have different viewpoints?
In regard to biodiversity, nobody can deny that extinction of species has been a common occurrence during the history of our planet. The loss of saber-tooth cats, dinosaurs, passenger pigeons, and pterosaurs are just a tip of the iceberg. But from a biblical perspective, our ability to reduce the loss of species might be limited. One major reason for extinctions, Noah’s Flood, will never be repeated. Then there is genetic entropy, caused by the introduction of sin into the world which in turn is causing the harmful mutations which are making all species over time less able to survive. Admittedly, there are things we can control to some extent such as protecting endangered species. As an aside, it is interesting that in a scientific world dominated by the theory of evolution, we keep talking about the loss of species and not the evolution of new kinds of creatures, which doesn’t seem to be happening.
Climate change is a very controversial topic. At least some creation scientists agree that the world is indeed warming up, but the slight warming that seems to be going on might have more to do with the Ice Age continuing to lose its grip than anything humans are doing. Because more people die from the cold than from the heat, maybe a little global warming isn’t all that bad. Keep in mind that God has promised to protect us and that our seasons will continue. (“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” Genesis 8:22.)
The idea of overpopulation being a serious threat is a myth. The world population is continuing to increase, but the rate of increase is rapidly slowing down. The ability to produce more food per acre of land because of better seeds and farming techniques is promising to keep up with a growing population as long as it keeps growing. Distributing this food to all the people who need it may be a concern but not the ability to produce enough food. And then there are the problems that a projected trend of eventual falling populations would pose—fewer workers; fewer young people to care for aging populations. Consider that some countries at the present time such as Japan, Russia, and Australia are actually paying parents to have more children.
The bottom line is that we need to fear God more than fearing the future. Jesus Christ has said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unbelievers chase after all these things. Certainly your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:31-34, EHV).
Reference: Brandon Specktor, “The planet is dying faster than we thought,” Live Science [January 14, 2021).
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
Can wearing a hat contribute to baldness?
The evidence for this belief is weak. One study involving 92 identical male twins found that wearing a hat actually resulted in a lower risk of temporal hair loss. On average, a man will lose 50 to 100 hair fibers each day, but it is unlikely that wearing a hat, as long as it isn’t too tight on the head, will increase this process.
Source: “Ask Dr. Lang,” Men’s Health Advisor, [December, 2020], page 8.
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