Recognize Environmental Actors

Climate Crisis is a Threat to Species-Wide Existence

Humans are high­ly adapt­able. We con­tin­ue to exceed pre­vi­ous lim­i­ta­tions. But if we want to stick around, we bet­ter learn to respect Earth’s boundaries.

“If you knew she could feel, you would stop.”— A mes­sage from the Kogi peo­ple of the Sier­ra Madre in Colom­bia to mod­ern soci­ety (aka ‘lit­tle broth­er’)33

Earth has nine plan­e­tary bound­aries with­in which humans remain safe. Accord­ing to an arti­cle in the jour­nal Sci­ence, our species has already trans­gressed four of those bound­aries through cli­mate change, loss of bios­phere integri­ty, land-sys­tem change, and altered bio­geo­chem­i­cal cycles (phos­pho­rus and nitro­gen).34

Chart from Stock­holm Resilience Cen­tre dis­play­ing our trans­gres­sion of plan­e­tary boundaries

We are rapid­ly deplet­ing our earth’s forests, ani­mals, fresh­wa­ter, and even the top­soil we need to grow our crops. We rec­og­nize the poten­tial­ly irre­versible and dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences of our trans­gres­sions. We know that the answers to these ques­tions, about how to ade­quate­ly devel­op human endeav­ors on a chang­ing plan­et, will require a new state of innovation.

We have the choice, right now, to begin choos­ing approach­es to indus­try that can shift course from unsus­tain­able and waste­ful prac­tices. The pow­er­ful slo­gan taught to ele­men­tary school stu­dents, that can, and should, be adopt­ed by every­one is: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Beyond these three prin­ci­ples, we can all rethink how we approach our indi­vid­ual wants. We can learn to bet­ter lis­ten to the Earth. We can rec­og­nize that we are part of every­thing we come into con­tact with. We can see that all of our actions have con­se­quences. We can remem­ber to place a more appro­pri­ate inten­tion of recon­nec­tion with our envi­ron­ment as we employ nat­ur­al resources to meet our needs. We believe that we can advance past the tox­i­c­i­ty that our indus­tri­al waste has made of our plan­et and remain safe­ly with­in the pro­tec­tion of Earth’s bound­aries through a revised set of per­son­al, soci­etal, and indus­tri­al stan­dards. By col­lec­tive­ly agree­ing to work toward repair­ing our rela­tion­ships with one anoth­er, and the Earth, we can stop caus­ing harm and start relearn­ing how to live in healthy, bal­anced relationships.

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