The One Thing About Science That Keeps Me Up at Night

by Aaron Finch

The one thing that keeps me up at night is the question of the future. The big picture question, if you will. With a limited understanding of how our planet functions and a growing population, it becomes clear that we must change the way we

 Ecologists have been warning us for years now about what humans are doing to our natural habitats and climate, but society as a whole does not seem to take these warnings seriously.

 In order to pave the way for future generations, we must find ways to come together as world citizens and work towards sustainability as a global community.

Sustainability seems like a big word, but it’s really about keeping up with basic human needs without damaging the environment or causing harm to other creatures and plants.

So what is sustainability?

This is a question that humans have been asking themselves for centuries. It has become particularly relevant in this era of global warming, where climate change threatens to impact many aspects of our lives. 

But sustainability isn’t just an environmental issue; it’s also an economic issue because how much people spend in order to sustain their lives affects the economy as a whole, and vice versa.

 Sustainability also has implications for mental health through personal relationships and group cohesion. 

1. The magnitude of global challenges

We live in an exciting and disruptive time. Humans have achieved many wonderful things, but now we are facing challenges that threaten the way we live. 

Here are some of the biggest ones that face our planet today:

Climate change is a long-term trend in rising temperatures around the world.

 It’s very likely that this is caused by human activity, particularly the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by industrial processes like electricity generation and transportation.

 Climate change isn’t just a problem for ecology experts, it also impacts agriculture and can lead to stronger storms and heat waves that put people’s lives at risk.

2. The growing number of people on Earth

The world population has grown from less than 1 billion people in the year 1750 to over 7.2 billion today. 

That’s more than 35 times as many people, and that number is still growing. As more and more humans move around the world and live in rural areas for longer periods of time, we are causing a lot of destruction to natural habitats. 

Deforestation, climate change, and pollution are all occurring at an alarming rate as we encroach on other species’ habitats, upsetting ecosystems everywhere around the world.

3. Poverty and inequality around the world

There has been a decrease in poverty around the world in recent years, but still billions of people live on less than $2.50 per day. 

Inequality is also growing, exemplified by the gap between rich and poor communities in countries like the U.S., where many people struggle to make ends meet or get ahead in life. 

Global poverty and inequality are very much linked, as many of the poorest people live in remote rural areas with few opportunities for making a living. 

Poor economic conditions lead to illegal activities such as poaching and deforestation to support survival needs.

4. The decline of biodiversity around the world through deforestation, climate change, pollution etc.

Species of plants and animals are going extinct every year, and entire ecosystems are disappearing.

 We know that biodiversity is key to a healthy environment. Even if you don’t care about the individual species going extinct, it’s important to consider what we lose in terms of resources as humans if plants go extinct. 

For example, if the trees in the Amazon rainforest dry up and die, what will that mean for the people who live there?

5. The overuse of natural resources like water and oil to support human activities

The demand for natural resources is growing at an alarming rate, particularly as populations increase. 

This is putting a strain on the environment and is also affecting economic stability around the world. 

The world has only so much fresh water, and we must make sure that we use it carefully. The same goes for other natural resources like oil, which is used to power so many of today’s machines and technologies.

6. Global climate change

Our planet’s climate has been changing naturally for millions of years, but humans are now having a significant impact on the way our planet functions.

 Extreme weather events like heat waves and strong storms are more common because of human activity, caused by climate change from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

Our oceans are warming, causing sea levels to rise two to three times faster than previously predicted.

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