Part One: The Five Biggest Threats to the Environment and What We Can Do About It

The Five Biggest Threats to the Environment

Mass extinction. Arctic sea melts. Collapsing world fisheries. Raging fires. Crippling droughts. And modern dust bowls. haltonmachining

The environment-and our ability to survive on it-is being pushed to the brink.

I interviewed long-time environmental professional and community activist, Tim Vendlinski, to discuss the five gravest issues facing the environment today and-more importantly-what each of us can do to help to save the planet.

Tim Vendlinski began his career as an environmental advocate when he was 10-years-old. “In the elementary school I attended there was this big oak forest behind us. Then one day, all these bulldozers showed up and started tearing the oak trees down,” Vendlinski said. “Well, to the horror of the school principal and teachers, I led a band of students to the construction site and stopped them from cutting the trees down.”

Vendlinski later earned his associate’s degree from the American River College, saved Arcade Creek-the last intact watershed[1] forest in Sacramento as a teenager, and completed his bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and planning from the University of California. wrdesignprint

Now at age 53, Tim has been fighting for the environment for over 40 years.

1. The Loss of Biogenetic Diversity

The earth is now experiencing one of the greatest mass extinction in the planet’s history. The rate of species extinction is now 1,000 times as great as it was before the coming of humanity.

“This is the biggest ecological disaster-in terms of sheer extinction,” Vendlinski said. “We have lost more plants and animals today, then when the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.”

Although extinction is a natural process, human activities like deforestation accelerate these natural processes. In the past, an individual species disappeared naturally at a rate of about one species per year and was replaced by a new species. Scientists are now calling this environmental disaster the “modern extinction crisis.”

If current extinction rates continue, one half of all species on earth will be extinct in 100 years. “It’s a philosophical and spiritual problem. We should be protecting life. Life has an intrinsic value. We should honor life,” Vendlinksi said. “But practically speaking, almost all of the pharmaceutical chemicals on the market were derived from natural sources.”

2. Deforestation:

At the heart of these modern environmental disasters lie corruption, greed, and economics. Lumber, petroleum, and mining companies build roads into the jungles. Governments encourage the poor people to settle in these regions, who must clear it for farming. Cattle ranchers require vast expanses for their herds, and land speculators clear huge areas for expected profits.

However, the recovered land is fragile creating a cycle of further destruction.

This process is known as deforestation.

Tropical rainforests cover about 7 percent of the earth’s dry land. But those rainforests are being cleared at a rate of about 8.5 million hectares per year. “When you look at the rate of the Amazon deforestation each year, it’s 100s if not 1000s of miles each year,” Vendlinski said. For more info please visit these sites :-

According to the National Geographic’s website, “Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.”

Deforestation is also responsible for regulating water cycles, absorbing greenhouse gases, and stabilizing the earth’s climate.

3. Climate Change:

The earth is warming. The arctic ice is melting, glaciers are shrinking, and sea levels are rising.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international coalition of the world’s top scientists, declared climate change real and man made. According to their data, IPCC concluded warming of the climate system is “unequivocal.”

“We have the highest temperature ever recorded in the United States,” Vendlinksi said. “In fact, every year now breaks the previous record.”

These increased temperatures are also causing more extreme weather across the count


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