5 Environmental Crises To Care About

By Mickey Z., Planet Green

Imagine for a minute if corporate-sponsored mouthpieces like Limbaugh and O’Reilly were correct on either of these points:

  • Global warming is a hoax
  • Humans are not responsible for climate change

Well, guess what? It wouldn’t change the green movement’s primary mission. Because while some waste valuable time debating deniers, every 24 hours:

  • 13 million tons of toxic chemicals are released across the globe
  • Over 100 plant or animal species go extinct
  • 200,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed
  • 45,000 humans die of starvation

And that’s just the tip of the melting iceberg…

Climate change, of course, connects to many of the pressing green issues but our eco-system would be in peril even if the deniers are right. We’d still have 80 percent of the world’s forests gone. We’d still have 90 percent of the large fish in the ocean gone. In other words, we’d still have an urgent need to dismantle industrial civilization and work towards a greener future.

Next: 5 eco-problems Al Gore may never make a movie about (but should)

5 Eco-problems (of Many) Al Gore May Never Make a Movie About (But Should)

1. Nuclear Waste

Imagine tomorrow that global warming were reversed, slaughterhouses shuttered and closed, pesticides banned, and the auto industry no longer received corporate welfare. Even as we celebrated, the reality would remain: radiation is forever. The half-life of DDT in the environment is 15 years — which is bad enough — but the half-life of uranium-235 is 704 million years; and for uranium-238, it’s about 4.47 billion years.

Note to Al Gore: Stop supporting nuclear power.

Take Action: Learn why nuclear power is not and can never be clean energy.

2. Factory Farming

For just a snapshot of what this insane institution can do to the environment, we’ll turn to PETA:

  • Each day, factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure, which ends up in lakes, rivers, and drinking water.
  • Of all the agricultural land in the U.S., 80% is used to raise animals for food and grow the grain to feed them — that’s almost half the total land mass of the lower 48 states.
  • Chickens, pigs, cattle, and other animals raised for food are the primary consumers of water in the U.S.; for example, it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cow flesh, whereas it takes about 180 gallons of water to make 1 pound of whole wheat flour.

Note to Al Gore: Why were burgers and hot dogs sold at the Live Earth concerts?

Take Action: Go vegan.

3. Deforestation

Deforestation, put simply, is the permanent destruction of indigenous forests and woodlands. Greenpeace tells us that an area of natural forest the size of a football field is being chopped down every two seconds. The Nature Conservancy adds that over 32 million acres of the planet’s natural forests are lost each year due to logging, much of it illegal. Other reasons (sic) for deforestation cattle grazing, agriculture, mining, oil extraction, population expansion, dams, pipelines and other infrastructure projects.

Note to Al Gore: Without trees, we’re doomed.

Take Action: Recognize the connection between what we eat and why trees are clear cut.

4. Overfishing

“Populations of top predators, a key indicator of ecosystem health, are disappearing at a frightening rate,” explains Greenpeace, “and 90 percent of the large fish … have been fished out since large scale industrial fishing began in the 1950s.” The connection between human survival and the oceans has never felt more vital.

Note to Al Gore: You shouldn’t have served endangered Chilean Sea Bass at your daughter’s wedding.

Take Action: Transition away from fish in your diet.

5. The Use of Pesticides

“Prior to World War II, annual worldwide use of pesticides ran right around zero,” says author Derrick Jensen. “By now it’s 500 billion tons, increasing every year.” As a result of such a massive toxic overload, about 860 Americans suffer from pesticide poisoning every single day; that’s almost 315,000 cases per year. Worldwide, the death rate from pesticide poisonings is more than 200,000 per year.

Note to Al Gore: Those tobacco farms used an awful lot of pesticides.

Take Action: Go organic.

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