An update of Part One of the forthcoming WEBINARS 2021 on Sustainability in Science and Technology – “The Performance of Planet Earth”. It gives an extended but yet short introduction that includes also the human impacts on life and the associated malfunctioning in the different spheres of the Earth’s system.
Our renewable life on Earth is fading away as consequence of the malfunctioning of the three main drivers; water, energy and natural resources that are feeding on each other for their production, processing, distribution and use.
The ever increasing speed of unsustainable extraction and consumption created an unprecedented acceleration in scarcity and demand of life drivers by being the motor of our agricultural, industrial and urbanisation sectors.
The ongoing multi-layered interactions within and between water, energy and natural resources triggered wicked webs of negative and irreversible impacts in the biosphere and its underlying supporting spheres of the Earths system; the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and the cryosphere. These existential spheres for life have undergone severe degradation in eco-system services and the quality of our natural environment as evident in water insecurities; climate threats; water and ecological pollution, decline in biodiversity and irresponsible use of the mineral and materials in the lithosphere.
The footprint of human trash is apparent and felt everywhere all over the planet with huge loss in both the abundance and diversity of animals and plants. Another example is the expansion of animal farming and dairy production on the expense of arable land and the enormous emission of air and water pollution as well as the excessive freshwater withdrawal.
The Earth is a living organism that lost its natural functioning symmetry what concerns material consumption versus conservation and protection of the wealth and health of life. Air pollution has direct negative effects on health and indirect threats on all life forms through cycling, transport, atmospheric reactions and deposition on land and in water resources. Aquatic eco-systems are facing diverse hazards because of acidification and eutrophication, in addition to increasing severity due to environment and climate change.
The technosphere and associated human activities have directed planet Earth towards a new era, the Anthropocene, where the overall human-made mass of materials and products are currently surpassing the global biomass of renewables.
These are warning clocks calling our attention to what can we do for Earth? so we can still enjoy it more. Thank you for your kind attention.
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