The World Wildlife Fund announced in 2014 that the world has lost over 50% of its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) in the last 40 years. The cause is primarily due to an exponential growth in human consumption.
Here are two good articles on the subject:
The Guardian Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF
George Monbiot The Kink in the Human Brain
If you do anything this summer, take a couple of hours to read the original text of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, “On Care for Our Common Home.” The media has portrayed it as a statement on climate change. It is much more than this. It is a visionary call to enrich the cultural and spiritual foundation of our common world. It speaks to the underlying values that have led to environmental degradation, hyper-consumerism and lack of meaning, and points to a better way forward.
The Pope’s encyclical is perhaps the most thoughtful and progressive discussion that has been presented by any world leader on our current predicament. As our political leaders have avoided these issues, it is remarkable, and probably appropriate, that this has come from one of our most preeminent spiritual leaders. As a non-church-goer myself, I found the document to be accessible, smart, and highly actionable.
It is notable when religious leaders and the scientific community are in such agreement, particularly on an issue as important to our future and to that of creation as climate change. It’s now time for our political and corporate leaders, as well as all of us, to evaluate how we got here and what we can do going forward. Pope Francis presents a thoughtful diagnosis and a powerful vision for change.
Just google “Laudato Si.” It is well worth a read. Laudato Si