Last week, cleaning up after a catered event at work, noticed that people were throwing away some large, very solid, easily-reusable serving platters. I asked, “Doesn’t the catering company want them back? Shouldn’t we save them?” Response: “Nahhh…” And that was it. I said something about landfills, and the janitor rolled his eyes at me, looking for confirmation from another person in the room that I was, indeed, crazy.
This week, a team of 1,300 scientists has released the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of how the world’s oceans, dry lands, forests and species interact and depend on one another.
Many of the world’s ecosystems are in danger and might not support future generations unless radical measures are implemented to protect and revive them. The five-year study, commissioned by the United Nations and a number of businesses and independent groups, arrived at a mixed prognosis for planet Earth: Its deteriorating environmental health still is treatable, but only with aggressive and expensive corrective measures. In the 219-page report, scientists looked at 24 different “services” the Earth’s ecosystem provided people and found that 15 of them are in trouble. … “Human actions are depleting Earth’s natural capital, putting such strain on the environment that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted,” the authors said.
And still, the merest suggestion of care causes half of America to roll its collective eyeballs.