Last week, the United Nations (UN) released a shocking report predicting the eminent extinction of nearly 1 million animal and plant species.
Need a refresher? The report highlighted the rapid deterioration of our Earth’s ecosystems, and we, human beings, are largely to blame. Our planet is on the brink of a climate crisis, threatening millions of plant and animal species, with some irreparable consequences.
Let’s try to break this down. Research has found that humans are the cause of an unprecedented rate of change in nature over the past 50 years. These changes are mainly due to the direct drivers that the UN named as “changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasion of alien species”. Through these direct drivers, we’ve caused significant changes in many of Earth’s ecosystems and caused a stark decline in their biodiversity.
Around 1 million of the Earth’s plants and animals are at risk of extinction caused by human actions. That’s around 25% of our planet’s life being whipped out, and many could be gone within decades. Plastic pollution in our oceans and seas has “increased tenfold since 1980”. This pollution has affected 86% of turtles, 44% of seabird, 43% of marine mammals, and many more species. Climate change, one of the direct drivers, is amplifying all of these changes. Increasing temperatures, extreme weather and natural disasters are being expedited through climate change.
The UN concluded that we are not doing enough to protect our home planet. It is only with transformative economic, social, political and technological change that we will be able to attempt at reversing some of this realty.
If we are able to have such a dominant impact on the world, why shouldn’t be try and us she of this power for good? Obviously, we cannot ignore this problem any longer. We cannot brush the consequences of our actions aside and hope that later generations can fix it.
Luckily, there are people out there that have been doing their part and fighting against climate change. Some of these people are PocketChangers.
Out of the four thousand PocketChanges made since the 3.0 release, our most supported charity is the World Resource Institute. WRI is the PocketChange selected charity for both Climate Change Mitigation and Sustainability. Their mission “is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations”.
WRI is already putting in the work needed to change nature’s trajectory. WRI helps businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national, and international levels to address climate change. They create resources for countries to prepare long-term strategies to address our changing climate. Their Global Energy Program makes clean energy more accessible and affordable, so everyone can do their part to protect the climate and its ecosystems! WRI has programs addressing water, food, ocean conservation, gender equity, governance, and more. Their programs are effective in attacking the perils of climate change from every possible angle.
The UN report reminds us that “nature is essential for human existence and good quality of life” and WRI is doing everything it can to protect that.
None of this is to say that we should stop doing small acts every day to reduce our carbon footprint. Keep carrying that reusable straw with you so the next time you grab a coffee on the way to class you don’t have to use a plastic one. Keep reusable bags by your door so you can skip the plastic bag at the grocery store. Call your legislators and demand action for climate change. So, next time you’re reading about climate change on Facebook or The New York Times, hit the PocketChange button and donate to WRI! By giving your change to WRI, your cents are guaranteed to make an impact.
Start making change right now! Download today.
Shoutout to the guest writer for this week, Caitlin Curry! You rock Caitlin!
Edited by Maura