I’m sure you’ve heard people say that some random facts are happening in the world right now. It’s not just your imagination. Some of these things are more obvious than others, but they’re all worth thinking about. So let’s dive into them:
Running out of Fossil Fuels
We’re running out of fossil fuels. The world can’t continue to run on fossil fuels. The amount of oil left in the ground is just too small for us to continue to use it at our current rate of consumption. That’s not even mentioning all the environmental damage that comes with it, or that we may have already reached “peak oil” i.e., there may be no more easy-to-get oil left.
Restriction in DNA
We don’t share nearly as much DNA with chimps and bonobos as we thought. This one is pretty up-in-the-air science right now, but a lot of people are really excited about it when the studies come out: apparently we only share about 95% of our genome with bonobos and chimps (compared to 98.5%-99% with most other mammals).
we’re running low on water. Water is absolutely essential for human life and 70% of Earth’s surface is covered in it. Unfortunately, 97% of it is salty seawater or ice. And we’re running low on freshwater too; the supply of fresh groundwater is less than 1% of what it was millions of years ago, and one-third of humans currently live in places where it’s either difficult or impossible to get.
We’ve got no idea how bad climate change will be. Scientists believe that climate change could result in a 5-9 degree increase in global temperatures by 2100 which would have devastating effects on life across Earth. If we keep going along our current path it might not just affect us through natural disasters like floods and drought in some parts of the world, but also through food shortages in others due to decreased agricultural yields.
Our economic system encourages growth. There are limited resources available for us to use, but our economic system demands growth. This means that companies have to constantly compete with each other for resources and market share in a never-ending cycle of expansion which exacerbates problems like environmental degradation and resource depletion.
Not Optimizing Food Supply
we’re not optimizing our food supply. The way we produce food at the moment is incredibly inefficient; using up 28% of all ice-free land surface (around 33% of arable land), while producing only 14% of all our food according to some estimates. And around 30-50% (some say up to 70%) of the food we produce goes to waste, either due to overproduction or spoilage / poor transportation methods/storage. You can read more about this here.
we’re not optimizing our energy use either. Energy production is also incredibly inefficient, consuming 65-70% of all-natural resources according to some surveys. Fossil fuels are still dominant sources of energy that produce greenhouse gases, while alternatives like wind and solar are difficult to implement on a large scale due to their reliance on rare earth metals. And other renewables like tidal power can have negative effects on ecosystems unless they’re implemented extremely carefully.