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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Hoff

UN Climate Assessment Report says a million species are at risk of extinction

The 2019 UN Global Assessment Report declared that human society on Earth is under urgent threat.

May 6, 2019

Our generation has let down our children and grandchildren by failing to make the difficult decisions and take the hard actions needed to stop degrading our environment.

It’s a difficult, complex problem, but there are things that our leaders and our society can do right now to give Earth a fighting chance for future generations.

> Phase out the use of coal for energy production. Burning coal for power is a major source of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change as well as a source of health problems for people in the coal mining industry and those living near coal-fired power plants.

> Phase out gas-powered vehicles, to be replaced with electric vehicles. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as enhance national energy independence. A tax on gasoline would help to incentivize the switch, and the proceeds could be used for urgently needed infrastructure.

> Encourage the development of protein sources to replace animal-sourced meat and dairy products. Raising animals for food is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, and the technology now exists for more efficient production of cultured meat as well as plant-based meat substitutes.

> Update national flood maps to reflect recent experience and use zoning laws to reduce construction on vulnerable coasts and river banks.

> Set aside more and wider coastal flood plain reserves to absorb the increased risk of extreme weather and tidal events.Set aside more land for reserves for natural animal and plant life. This doesn’t just save species and natural habitat, it reduces the climate change effects of development.

> Take steps to reduce monoculture agriculture. Encourage agriculture methods that protect insect, animal and plant diversity.

> Reduce the use of plastic containers, a major source of harmful trash that takes centuries to degrade.

> Forget about manned space exploration. Unmanned missions can explore the universe cheaper and more safely. Let’s repair Earth before we go to other planets.

More ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Photos by K. Hoff

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