Politics and the WWF – The New Alliance?
Today the Guardian’s article on the Earth expiring by 2050 has shocked many including myself. Whilst I cannot be said to be an ostrich Tory, burying my head in the sand about global warming and the Earth’s potential dilemmas, I certainly would not have guessed the Earth could possibly become uninhabitable within this time-frame. The Tories used to have the motto “vote blue, go green” and when the WWF’s study is officially released on Tuesday this will be more necessary than ever. UK elections have never really been won or lost on the environment, on pollution, global warming, save the rhino or any other liberal-sounding ideologies but it seems the time has come when this is indeed necessary.
The study is set to shame America who causes more damage than anywhere else (nearly double our own consumption footprint) but we clearly must do more. High levels of consumption and wastage are being blamed and the WWF’s attempt at putting this in perspective is offering the only other possible solution as finding another (Earth-size) inhabitable planet within this time that we can transfer some of our population to. Realistic? I think not.
If we completely discount the amount of years scientists have been trying to do just this (for their own glory and scientific advancement I may add, not to aid the continuation of mankind) and they have not yet succeeded, it seems completely implausible to allow hope to enter our minds for that option. The answer, therefore, is action now. Renewable energy sources, less fossil fuel usage, less de-forestation more recycling and at a much more terrifying rate than we have ever considered before.
Now there will be many of you sat at home thinking of the history of Earth, thinking about what it has so far survived and how indestructible it has become but really it is not Earth’s future that is truly in jeopardy, it is the future of humans, of other mammals, of fish, of insects and the wildlife as we know it. I will not pretend to be a scientific expert but what we all know, what got drilled into us in secondary school biology, is that without the forests to take in carbon dioxide and without the eco-systems in place the future is dim.
Admittedly, humans were never going to be around forever, but the thought of an Ice Age in another 20,000-40,000 years or the Sun becoming a Red Giant and destroying us in 5 billion years never seems so worrying as we know that personally, we would never be around to see it. Dwelling on the mortality of the human race may seem philosophical but really it is as individualistic as any act you could comprehend; death naturally strikes fear into the hearts of many and what would you do with a grand total of 38 years left?
The time has come for an alliance, not a European alliance, not an international alliance but an alliance between humans and nature. The interconnectedness of our fates is clear and it should also be stated that the WWF is no longer called the World Wildlife Fund here in the UK; they renamed themselves the World Wide Fund for Nature, this subtle distinction may seem irrelevant but, when analysed, reflects the new priority that we too should recognise. This study may awaken the politicians across the world but if not we must force this issue onto the political agenda.