By August 1, 2018, we had consumed a whole year’s worth of the planet’s resources. This is called the Earth Overshoot Day. By July 29th, 2019, we used up all the natural and regenerating resources for this year. We are now using our overdraft. It will take 1.7 Earths to replenish the natural resources we have collectively wasted on our small planet. This is just NOT sustainable. As I have said in previous articles on the environment: Planet Earth is Plan A. There is no Plan B.
The biggest issue facing inhabitants of this planet is carbon dioxide (C02) gas. According to the latest reports, the global aviation industry produces around 2 percent of all human-induced CO2 emissions.
Approximately 80% of aviation CO2 emissions are created by flights over 1,500 kilometers to destinations where there is no practical alternative mode of transport. Every time one person flies from where they live to somewhere they want to go (not where they HAVE to go if a tourist), that person generates more than 20% of the greenhouse gas in that one flight than their internal combustion car emits in one year. This number is based on a North American based average. Keep in mind, even if you own an EV, greenhouse gases are still being generated through the manufacturing of your vehicle.
C02 is also generated by the creation of electricity used to power the car, more so if this electrical power is generated by coal or natural gas-powered power-plants. Even hydroelectric dams create greenhouse gases through their building process. Material such as concrete and earthmoving machines, trucks, portable generators, and slash burning all create C02. Therefore, it is not a matter of not generating C02 gas in any form, it is a matter of reduction. According to some estimates, there are roughly 20,000 planes in use around the world serving three billion passengers annually.
By 2040, more than 50,000 planes could be in service and they are expected to fly more often. The total worldwide ocean cruise capacity at the end of 2018 was 537,000 passengers and 314 ships. Annualized total passengers carried worldwide were 26.0 million passengers, a 3.3% increase over 2017. This is 6 times the population of New Zealand or Ireland or the equivalent of the population of Australia each year.
However, I digress. My curiosity was aroused by what I perceive to be disinterest by a majority of people in the dire warnings of an impending climate crash by reputable climatologists, environmentalists, and scientists. People who choose to ignore warnings of climate peril or scoff at the warnings of the climate science community fall into 5 categories:
People who are climate change deniers. Therefore, it is fake news.
People not wanting to know or pretend that everything really is OK
People frightened of these warnings and choosing not to believe them?
People who believe an invisible man who lives in the sky is going to save the pure of heart and thought so why bother doing anything.
People with plenty of money who just want to enjoy all the earth has to offer with little to no thought of their effect on the planet; IE cruise ships, constant overseas vacations, unlimited consumerism and so on.
Most people in the western world are very comfortable in their own little worlds. Those who are retired with plenty of money in the bank, think very little of the environmental ramifications of the cruises they go on or the extended travel trips to exotic parts of the world they undertake.