Human Dominance is a Catastrophe

by zjabbar on October 16, 2015 - 8:45pm

In Thomson Reuters article “Humans causing catastrophic ecosystem shifts, study finds at least 468 creatures have been eliminated from the planet since 1900”, it is shown that ecosystems have been altered by human dominance like never before. Reuters specifies that the shifts in world ecosystems due to human dominance are unusual compared to the past 500 million years. The radical ecosystem shifts seen are unusual which increases the criticality of the issue. He adds that human activities have caused a decrease in the international variety of plants and animals.  Moreover, organisms, which are not useful to human needs, are the one going extinct whereas creatures domesticated my mankind such as cats will increase. Reuters puts a lot of emphasis on the unfamiliarity of the situation where “some human-made changes have genuinely not been seen before on planet Earth” (Reuters, 2015, para.7), which makes it difficult to contain or avoid the problem. The reporter blames technological advances and the increase in resource use as key components in shifting the ecosystems. In contrast to human altercations to the ecosystems, Thomas Reuters presents volcanic eruptions, complex biological breakdowns or meteor strikes as being natural changes. He believes that there has been the creation of a new nature due to climate change, ocean acidification and loss of biodiversity. Finally, global warming is presented as being a phenomenon that has merely begun.

            In my opinion, the issue of ecosystem change is very interesting because of the omnipresence of humans in causing this catastrophe. The stakeholders in this situation are mainly the industries. Industries use the environment without considering the effects of their actions. For example, to produce hydroelectricity dams are created which alters the ecosystems of species. Evidently, the government is always a stakeholder when it comes to environmental issues such as in the hydroelectricity example, Hydro-Quebec is owned by the government. Moreover, the author mentioned the creation of a new nature as a consequence of human dominance over the natural environment, which I believe is the roadblock to solving the issue. The consequences of the altercations made to the environment have created a new nature and there is lack of knowledge not only on the situation but also on the consequences of human actions. Economy is also a setback to finding a solution since industries or stakeholders are willing to look over the environmental damages in exchange for personal enrichment. A solution that I would propose would be to use science in order to study the impacts of ecosystem change and also use preventative methods, which would be to know the effects on the environment. The government and the population could also work together in order to decrease ecosystem destruction. The population could decreases its usage of resources and the government or the industries can produce less. By producing less, the industries would not have to expand over a larger amount of ecosystems affecting less the biodiversity.

 

Reference:

Reuters, T. (2015, June 30). Humans causing catastrophic ecosystem shifts, study finds at least 468 creatures have been eliminated from the planet since 1900. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/humans-causing-catastrophic-ecosystem-shifts-study-finds-1.3133752

Comments

Hello,

First of all I would like to say that this was a very intriguing post, from start to finish, and brings many issues to light about just how destructive a species us humans really are. To think that in a little over a hundred years 468 creatures have been eradicated from the globe due to rapid ecosystem changes because of human activities is outrageous. As you mention, climate change, ocean acidification and loss of biodiversity are major drivers of loss of ecosystems and the subsequent elimination of hundreds of species, but to think that global warming has barely begun is an even scarier thought.
I agree that the human species has mainly caused this massive issue of ecosystem alteration although I am curious to your solutions. In your post you propose that government and it's people could work together to decrease ecosystem destruction and also that the population of any given country could decrease its usage in resources and the government and industries could produce less. While on paper this seems like a good idea, and I do agree with it, it is also realistically much more difficult to make a reality. I would ask you, what incentives would each person in a population have to reduce their resource usage, as most individuals would be reluctant to unless they knew they knew their fellow citizens were doing the same, and who would monitor this? While I do agree that industries and governments need to produce less, industries are vital to keeping our economy stable so what economic alternatives could governments offer in order to make up for the proposed industrial cutbacks?

All in all, great post and would love to hear back from you!

Hello, i decided to comment on your summary because your title really does say it all. Us humans truly are the superior creatures on this planet. Because of our superiority, we have accomplished many amazing things and at the same time caused much harm to the environment and other creatures we share the planet earth with. Its almost unbelievable how nearly 500 different creatures have been eliminated in such a short time span and i fully agree that this problem isn't an easy one to solve since we have yet to experience such human made changes. I think there is still a lot we can learn from all the damage that has been done over the past few decades and that starts with getting the big corporations involved ( as you said ) because with these companies eliminating ecosystems with no regard, all thats going to happen is a decline in creatures and wildlife with more issues to come. That being said I do believed that proper steps in recovering wildlife must be taken into consideration if companies continue to extract resources so that there will be a green future. Overall great summary!

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