We're Fiddling With Our Phones While the Planet Burns

By Gary Cutlack on at

Environmental collapse is on the way according to the latest research into the health of the planet, with four of the nine most critical planetary systems pushed past their safe levels and to the brink of no return.

Claiming we're "eating away at our own life support systems" by attacking the planet on so many different fronts, Prof Will Steffen, lead writer of this latest grim report says of the future of earth: "We are clearing land, we are degrading land, we introduce feral animals and take the top predators out, we change the marine ecosystem by overfishing -- it’s a death by a thousand cuts."

As well as the high-profile ways we're ruining the planet with cars and farting cows etc., there are numerous other methods we're using to crap in our own beds. Phosphates used in farming are flooding into the sea eight times faster than they were 60 years ago, resource use is rocketing and showing no signs of slowing, land is being cleared and the economic system is "driving us towards an unsustainable future."

Steffen also warned against the complacency of us humans in thinking that someone's probably going to come up with a science answer to fix the world as if we're living in an enormous episode of Breaking Bad, saying: "History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn't change. That's where we are today."

We're making a right mess of the planet, basically, and stand no chance of getting the full deposit back when our future selves jet off to sunny Kepler-438b. [Guardian]

Image credit: Rain forest from Shutterstock