Our World Is In Crisis.
Backstory to the Charles Langham environmental novels
Whilst many of us do not come face to face with the environmental damage that is occurring around the world or sees the species driven to extinction on a daily basis, we may read or hear about it on an almost daily basis. Certainly, there are many organizations out there large and small fighting on our behalf. The damage inflicted on the environment and the creatures that are driven to extinction will ultimately over time affect us all and will most certainly have a profound effect on our grandchildren and their children.
Politicians and their policies are generally geared to the next election, terms of three to four years hence. Most policies geared to the long term will not engender them to voters and limit their chances of clinging to power. Large companies have far more money to lobby politicians than the public at large or the charities fighting on behalf of threatened land, plants and species facing extinction. Many governments put progress and money ahead of threatened land, plants, and species.
Herein lies the problem for the environment and species facing extinction, they require long-term policies way beyond the three to four-year terms for re-election.
Every day we put more pressure on our world, our home, the only one we have. Wars, commercial greed, overfishing, intensive farming. Politicians talk the talk but only walk to the next elections, usually a three-year window, when it comes to action. Our world is in need of long term leadership where politicians can look into the future not just the next election and corporate greed can be set aside for a while to correct mans past environmental mistakes and clean up the pollution of the land, rivers, seas and oceans. Reverse the extinction rates and reforest our lands.
A dream, maybe but what alternative is there?
Indonesia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, and just under half of the country’s original forest cover now remains. Although estimates vary widely, conservative studies suggest more than a million hectares (2.4 million acres) of Indonesian rainforest is cleared and lost each year.
The Sumatran Rainforest will mostly disappear within 20 years.
An estimated 80,000 acres of tropical rainforests are lost everyday.
Every day an estimated 100 plant and animal species are lost due to deforestation.
58% of the world's coral reefs are potentially threatened by human activity. We have already lost 27% of the world's coral reefs. If present rates of destruction are allowed to continue, 60% of the world's coral reefs will be destroyed over the next 30 years. 33-50% of coral reefs have been largely or completely degraded by a combination of local factors and global climate change. Reefs in many regions have lost half or more of their live corals.
Despite a moratorium on commercial whaling and the declaration of virtually the whole of the Southern Ocean as a whale sanctuary, each year over 1,000 whales are killed for the commercial market. Seven out of the 13 great whale species are still endangered or vulnerable after decades of protection.
Over 100 million sharks are killed every year, many for shark fin soup and culled.
Two-thirds of the world's fish stocks are either fished at their limit or overfished. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that 70 percent of the fish population is fully used, overused or in crisis.
300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production.
New Zealand Sea lions
Without protection, they could be functionally extinct by 2035.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture projects
An expansion of soy plantations from 21.5 million hectares to 26.5 million hectares by the crop year 2018/2019.
Rainforests and savannahs are feeling the strain, as are iconic species like the jaguar and giant anteater.
Deterioration of The New Zealand Environment
445,000 hectares of forestry land is at risk of being deforested and converted into pastoral use – the majority for dairying. This is equivalent to 910,000 rugby fields or over seven times the size of Lake Taupo. The national forestry plantation estate is currently 1.8 million hectares. This means that over 25 percent of the nation’s plantation is at risk of being deforested to convert to dairy.
New Zealand Water
Increased algae blooms containing toxic levels of bacteria are polluting our waterways and 75% of native freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction.
New Zealand Disaster on the Horizon
943 species of terrestrial invertebrate threatened with extinction, and a further 1316 species are thought to be threatened but too little is known about them to classify them as such.
New Zealand Frogs
New Zealand had seven species of frog, and now there are four, each of which is threatened with extinction.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Virus
The longterm prognosis for the environment and ability to cross species is still an unknown entity. Both New Zealand and Australia continue to ignore world scientific advise. This puts the rare New Zealand Enderby Rabbit at risk.
Poisoning of the Environment
1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) is a class "A Toxin." Lethal to all breathing animals. It is also an extremely effective insecticide, killing not only the insects at the bottom of the food chain but mammals, birds, bats, insects, lizards. The aerial application of 1080 poison is banned in the U.S. due to its "Extreme hazard to human health and the environment." (USA environmental Protection Agency).
Information contained herein taken from WWF, NHC and NHC.net.nz and many open sources