In quite a lot of ways, I’m afraid. Humans have thrived on the Earth for more than 200,000 years, but we have caused significant environmental damage – threatening the basic resources needed for the survival of our species, including water, air, soil and food.
By burning fossil fuels, we’ve sparked a rapid increase in global temperatures, which is predicted to cause a raft of issues from rising sea levels to more intense droughts and heatwaves. Intensive agriculture, deforestation and overfishing have damaged ecosystems and threaten many plant and animal species that we – and other species – rely on. We’ve contaminated our air and water with harmful gases, heavy metals, plastics and other pollutants. A growing population could exacerbate the problem.
But all hope is not lost. Tangible solutions to slow or even halt these trends are within our reach. Clean energy sources promise to replace fossil fuels; more sustainable agricultural practices might ensure our planet continues to feed us; and less wasteful consumption could preserve precious resources such as water.