Eyes on the Environment

IS THE END NEAR ? 

Throughout history, there have been countless assertions by some humans and organizations alike, proclaiming that the end of the world is near, and even offering dates for the ever awaited catastrophe!

This event is popularly referred to as the doomsday/rapture and its chairperson being the “devil”. Will this proposed event ever occur?

The celebrated and famous scientist, Sir Isaac Newton in 1704 CE asserted that the world will end in 2060 CE. Well, Newton later wrote that he proposed such a date to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end.
Also, the German professor of theology, priest and monk, Martin Luther predicted that the end of the world would occur no later than 1600 CE. We are now in the 21st century and we are still here with better science and advanced technology. Whatever happened in 1600 CE was definitely not the end of the human species.

The Shakers, a Christian sect founded in the 18th century in England, asserted that the world would end around 1792-1794 CE. Well, we are still here eating fried plantain and beans. The 18th century rather saw a change in production and many great inventions.

There are several notable persons in history who predicted the end of the world and these include Pope Sylvester II, John Wesley, Christopher Columbus, Sextus Julius Africanus and Hippolytus of Rome just to mention a few.

As a skeptic, I suspect such “prophecies” and thus engage only pure reason on my quest to understand the earth, mankind and the ways that humans are contributing to the destruction of the earth. 

Now let us consider these assertions with utmost intellectual honesty and skepticism and ask ourselves:

  • Will the earth be destroyed? 
  • If YES, then we ask further
  • Will it be an inter-planetary collision that would annihilate the entire human race?       OR
  • Will it come from an external agency hidden in space ?            OR
  • The lifestyle and activities of mankind?

According to the statistics gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there has been an increasing rate of carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere over the past few years. These emissions include methane and carbon dioxide. In high concentrations these air pollutants could cause acute health problems for the entire earth, which could lead to faster death rates.

“Global Warming is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth.”
Simply put, the gradual increase in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is termed Global Warming.

Climate scientists have reported that the planet is warming and data shows that the average temperature of the earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 Degree Celsius over the past 100 years. If this trend progresses, are we sailing towards the doomsday?

If YES, then who is taking us there?

Industrial waste discharged into water bodies harm aquatic life and some terrestrial organisms. In our quest for increased industrial production and revenue generation, we have heavily polluted our water bodies and are enthusiastically cutting down trees for construction. If we are finding new and better ways to pollute our environment, then we also do have the power to mitigate the effect of our activities.
The pollution mechanisms that we have created in the name of business and industrialization has, since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, taught us through the data and statistics of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and simple observations, that if there would ever be a doomsday then we humans will chair the event. 

We hold the keys to making the earth a paradise. You can check out respected American actor Morgan Freeman’s documentary: The Story Of God as he searches for the origins of spirituality.

Also, American actor and environmentalist Leonardo diCaprio’s film/documentary Before the flood for a quick insight into the above topic. 

As things stand now, we are not the only but the prime inhabitants of this planet; the duty falls on us to make it a place worth living for our generation and generations yet to come, just as our ancestors did their part to preserve it.

Now, the question one might ask is : “How can I contribute to minimize the problem of Global warming as an individual?”

I think the first and most important step is Awareness Creation on the adverse effects of human activities on the environment. Many organizations such as the EPA, Green Advocacy Ghana, National Geographic Channel, Friends of the Earth and many more in Ghana and all over the world have championed this cause but there’s still more room for improvement. It’s time policy makers took seriously the threat Global Warming poses to the existence of mankind as well as the animals and the plants we share the earth with. So what do we do as a people?  Tell a friend to tell a friend. Let’s employ social media for a good cause. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Whisper and many more provide a big platform for sharing with others. In your own way, you can tweet about it, share a post or picture about the topic on Facebook or any other social platform. Let’s get social and interactive on Global warming because even the US President Donald Trump refuses to accept the negative effects of Global warming. 

Since the policy makers have turned a blind eye to this fact, it’s upto us to cause the change we desire. 

 We hold the keys to making the earth a paradise. Awareness is a key. Don’t forget that.
This article is geared to relate the “doomsday” theory to the impact of human activities on the planet and how we are naively prepping our own doomsday. The authors hope the reader will be able to apply simple reason to the above discussion. For further reading and research on the topic, one can visit any of the websites listed below:

Some Global Warming Related Websites

  1. IPCC site: http://www.ipcc.ch : Try the Summaries for Policy Makers for starters. These are concise, well written documents that also contain some of the best and latest data.
  2. US Global Change Research Program: http://www.usgcrp.gov
  3. Weathervane: an online forum designed to provide the news media, legislators, opinion leaders, and the interested public with analysis and commentary on U.S. and global policy initiatives related to climate change. http://www.weathervane.rff.org/
  4. The global warming primer and discussion at website of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory: http://www.igpp.lanl.gov
  5. Just Google Global warming. There are tons of info waiting for you. Have fun and help save the world. 

By: Kumah Kwadwo (The Herbalist) and Kwame Adjei Nuako…

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