Humanity is Destroying the Planet! – Labour Article
The human race has become the most harmful and damaging species to exist. Reaching the peak of our evolution, it seems that we are now moving towards a destruction of our planet. Unfortunately, we as humans are the primary cause behind this destruction. We have become less tolerant towards our own kind, and cannot let any other living species exist in peace.
In the name of development, we are making the planet uninhabitable and a living hell for everyone. It seems that humankind has had the most detrimental and ruinous effect on the planet. We are not the ‘most sensible creatures’ that we appear to be.
One of our worst habits is that we don’t worry about cleaning up our own mess. We have polluted our land, air, water, and even space. Marine life that covers more than 70% of our earth is abominably affected by our lifestyles. We dump everything into the ocean. And then, make the mistaken assumption that oceans are so big that they can swallow our waste and it will magically disappear.
Oil spills are one of our major contributions to polluting oceans. The most recent incident happened in July, near the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, when a Japanese bulk carrier ship ran aground into the coral reefs. Causing the leakage of oil from the ship into the ocean. More than 1000 metric tonnes of oil has spilled in the ocean. The Mauritian government, the carrier company, and many others did step in to clear oil from the wreckage before it could all spill in the water. But 1000 tonnes of oil is not a small number, especially when it is endangering the environment.
The impact of this negligence will be very severe on marine life. Dozens of dolphins have already washed up dead on the shore since the incident. Potentially, many more have died in the ocean that we could not witness.
The damage to coral reefs and hundreds of other marine species living in that area is unknown and can not be estimated. It is possible that some species might have become extinct due to it. The damage to coral reefs and its inhabitants can never be compensated. Marine life from that area will migrate because they cannot live in a poisonous environment.
Just to ease imagination, keep in mind how great of an impact virus polluted-air can have on humans; it can kill. Compare this to the impact the oil spill might have left on the marine life of that area. They must either move away or keep dying because obviously they cannot create a vaccine against oil, or against humans.
This is just one of the many incidents occurring too often in our oceans. On the other side of the world, another ship spilled oil in early August near the coast of Venezuela. The damage to the Venezuelan coast will probably take half a century to recover or maybe even longer. Another similar case happened in 2010 when the Gulf of Mexico suffered from the biggest oil spill in the Caribbean waters. This was approximately 130 million gallons of crude oil poured into the ocean. Ten years on, marine life is still fighting the damage and struggling to survive.
Given the consistent performance of us humans, there is a high chance that we will cause much bigger damage to marine life again before it can recover from the previous damages. And, not to forget that this is just one of the many types of pollution contributions that we offer to oceans. There is also plastic, chemicals, wreckage, and other solid waste, not to forget about the disastrous effect of the Fukushima nuclear plant damage.
However, the data shows that there has been a remarkable reduction in the number of spillage accidents as compared to previous decades. This might be due to improved ships and better sail courses or improvement in carrier technologies.
However, the data also suggests that statistics only record the major spills. Most of the small scale spills are not recorded; they make up almost 80% of total oil spills. So essentially, the data we have is very limited and doesn’t provide any proper statistics on our performance of how much oil we have spilled into the ocean.
In other words, we haven’t got any better. We just haven’t recorded our failures. Many oil spills happen every year. Yet, only the major ones are recorded in the data. And, even fewer ones make it to the news. If we could gather the oil we have spilled into oceans, we might make a small sea of oil. Just like if we could gather all the solid waste, plastics and wrecks that we have dumped into the ocean, we would be able to build an island of waste. This is such a shame for humans, the most advanced creatures on the planet.
Most living species like to live in their natural habitat and do not bother or even like to intrude on nonfamiliar areas. Their exploration is also limited. Humans are gifted with intellect and abilities to develop themselves and explore as much as they can. However, this adventure should never be at the cost of risking the lives of other creatures.
With all our technologies and advanced knowledge, comes a greater responsibility on our shoulders. We can do so much to preserve life and this planet. But before all this, there is a dire necessity that we try to learn how to coexist and save the planet from dying of suffocation.
Written by Guest Labour writer, Shamamah Dogar
Point of Information
Blame it on capitalism and globalisation – A Liberal Response
Overall, I agree with Shamamah’s points. Humans have not gotten better. We see these oil spills in the news and feel distraught, yet the next day we drive our cars to work. This due to capitalism fuelling society’s decision-making. I am usually an advocate of the benefits that capitalism brings, such as free-markets and competition reducing monopolisation. However, our judgment is clouded by the number in our bank accounts.
In our society, money is the driving force. Most people want money, even if it isn’t for the same reason. The statement that ‘money can’t buy happiness’ is incorrect. You cannot walk into a shop and purchase an object called ‘happiness’. However, money can open the door to a happier life.
Companies are no different. Their businesses are run on how much money they can make, with spending the least. Oil spills are the price paid for cutting corners. Although there is a lot of speculation about why the Japanese ship hit the coral reef, is it impossible that it cut corners to reduce fuel usage?
Every day we see companies using cheaper methods to dispose of their waste, to reduce their costs, allowing greater profits. It’s how a large part of the world works. The blame can’t only be placed on the producers. We as people are to blame as well. We can sit there and be angry at the people who create waste in the oceans, but we are the ones who buy their products.
In a similar way to companies, we look to cut costs. Instead of buying expensive products, from companies who are trying their reduce their waste, I could easily buy a cheaper, mass-produced version of the product. At the end of the day, it’s the same product. However, we don’t see what is going on behind the scenes. We are in denial.
This may sound all doom and gloom but it doesn’t have to be. If we as a society make a conscious effort to reduce our waste, by using products or services fighting to reduce the waste, then we can help.
Written by Senior Liberal Writer, Charlie Papamichael.
Maybe the future of the Planet isn’t so bleak? – A Conservative Response
My colleague Shamamah has raised several concerning points about the future of our Earth. Indeed, climate change is occurring at an alarming rate. And, year after year the conditions only degenerate further, and in a more intense manner.
However, my main issue lies in the claim that humanity has made “this planet a living hell for everyone”. This is simply not the case. The most commonly used metric to assess the quality of life in a given country is the Human Development Index (HDI). As with any metric, HDI has its shortcomings but does demonstrate in an albeit overly simplistic manner at times the quality of life in that given country. If we observe HDI trends over the last three decades, globally HDI has risen significantly.
Obviously, numbers don’t mean everything. However, the world today compared to the world 100 years ago, or even as recently as three decades ago is overall a better place for humanity.
Of course, we must keep in mind the costs of this development. Natural disasters are getting stronger and occurring more frequently. My colleague Shamamah is correct in highlighting how humanity has destroyed the planet. Yet, falls short when it comes to acknowledging the efforts being made globally to not only prevent further damage, but to hopefully begin rolling back on that damage.
Most notably, Elon Musk and the work he has done to bring electric cars not only into the mainstream through his automobile company Tesla. But, also develop affordable and simple solar panel solutions through his acquisition of Solar City. Through the substitution of combustion engines and traditional fossil fuel energy plants, humans can begin to reduce their carbon footprint. And, slowly can do so in a more accessible manner, with these technologies rapidly establishing themselves in the mainstream. It gives consumers the option, often at a competitive rate, to lives a more sustainable lifestyle. Keeping in mind of course there is still much work needed to be done to make sustainable options more accessible.
The future of our planet lies in our hands. As my colleague Charlie stated, we have the ability to make educated decisions on how we choose to live our lives. And thus, we need to make efforts to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. As long as companies such as Tesla continue to work on mainstreaming renewable technology, there may be light for us at the end of the tunnel.
Written by Guest Conservative Writer, Sebastian Calcopietro
I am a second year student currently reading International Relations and Modern Languages at the University of Exeter.