The following is an extract from Michael McCarthy's last post on The Independent where he has been Environment Reporter for 15 years
We thought it was definitely worth a read
"If, over the past decade and a half, you have closely observed what is happening to the Earth, week in, week out, you may take a dark view of the future; and I do. The reason is that the Earth is under threat, as it has never been before, from the ever more oppressive scale of the human enterprise: from the activities of a world population which doubled from three to six billion in four short decades, between 1960 and 2000, and which, in the four decades to come, will probably increase by three billion more.
These activities are now wiping out ecosystems and species, across the world, at an ever increasing rate: the forests are chainsawed; the oceans are stripmined of their fish; the rivers, especially in the developing world, are ever more polluted; the farmland is rendered sterile of all but the monoculture crop by demented dosing with pesticides; the farmland insects and wild flowers and many of the birds have gone.
The vanishing species come from all locations and in all shapes and sizes: in South Africa last year, 668 rhinos were illegally killed for their horn, which has a soaring value in Asia because of the myth of its medicinal qualities, while in Britain in the next 10 years, the turtle dove, beloved bird, will go extinct. The trashing of the natural world is now a global phenomenon and, as the century progresses, it will combine and interact with another great human-caused threat, climate change, until the very viability of the biosphere, the thin envelope of life surrounding the Earth which supports us all, is put at risk.
People are doing this. Let’s be clear about it. It’s not some natural phenomenon, like an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. It’s the actions of Homo sapiens. What we are witnessing is a fundamental clash between the species, and the planet on which he lives, which is going to worsen steadily, and the more closely you observe it – or at least, the more closely I have observed it, over the past 15 years – the more I have thought that there is something fundamentally wrong with Homo sapiens himself. Man seems to be Earth’s problem child. We humans have always thought ourselves different in kind from other creatures, principally for our use of language and our possession of consciousness, but there is another reason for our uniqueness, which is becoming ever clearer: we are the only species capable of destroying our own home. And it looks like we will"