The fourth principle of behaviour of Eco-humanity is to conserve the Earth’s resources for the benefit of our offspring.
It has come as a shock that humans can’t just continue to dump their waste products without threatening their standard of living. The most serious problem is greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but our rivers and seas are also becoming more polluted and the level of use of our soils is unsustainable.
To quote from The Planet Remade by Oliver Morton:
There is no serious doubt that the atmosphere’s greenhouse effect is a key determinant of the Earth’s temperature. Nor is there any serious doubt that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, or that humans have been adding to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the past few centuries by burning fossil fuels. In 1750, before the industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide level was 280 parts per million. In1950, when the great global boom of the second part of the twentieth century was taking off, it was about 310 parts per million. Today it is 400 parts per million.
It is now incontestable that humans are warming the planet. The unanswered question is, do humans have the capability of doing anything about it? It requires vast expenditure to change to green energy sources. To quote Oliver Morton again:
The world has made huge investments in the facilities that extract fossil fuels from the ground and burn them… Leaving aside the political lobbying power that such investment can command, there would be a limit to how quickly that much kit could be replaced even if there were perfect substitute technologies at hand that simply needed scaling up. If the world had the capacity to deliver one of the largest nuclear power plants ever built once a week, week in and week out, it would take 20 years to replace the current stock of coal-fired plants… That is all before starting on replacing the gas and the oil…
To make this investment with no immediate economic benefit is impossible for any political organisation without committed public support. This is why humans need a new philosophy of life , one that can encourage sustainable behaviour and can save the planet for our children.