Humans Are Causing Sixth Extinction, and What You Can Do!

This week’s blog brings together several important studies about how human activity is killing species and overheating earth. If we don’t change the way we are living, even humans will not be able to live on planet Earth. Buddhist economics reminds us that we are connected to each other and earth. We must stop doing harm, and heal Mother Earth.

Let’s begin with humans destroying habitat for many species, and causing the sixth extinction.

Era of ‘Biological Annihilation’ Is Underway, Scientists Warn

A new paper describes the threatened mass extinction of thousands of animal species around the globe. The authors say that human activities are in large part…

The NY Times, July 11, 2107

Then let’s read about how we are hurting Emperor Penguins, a role model for both parents caring for the young. Human’s dependence on fossil fuel is overheating the planet. Buddhist economics reminds us to care for Nature as she has cared for us thru the ages!

Emperor penguins may disappear by the end of this century

New model suggests their numbers could climb until 2050—before falling off a cliff (

Here is an important article on how global warming will make earth too hot for humans. This scary story has received lots of attention.

When Will the Planet Be Too Hot for Humans? Much, Much Sooner Than You Imagine.

Plague, famine, heat no human can survive. This is not science fiction but what scientists, when they’re not being cautious, fear could be our future. The author takes us on a tour of death from heat, famine, plagues, poisoned oceans, suffocating smog, wars, and economic collapse, by looking into these “high risk” outcomes from global warming. This is not the world we want to create, and not the way we want to die.

What can you do?

A new study compares now much emissions are reduced from different things that people can do to change their lifestyles. Americans need to remind themselves that we emit an enormous 16.1 tons of carbon per person annually, which is eight times the 2050 goal of 2.1 tons set by the Paris Climate Accords. Buddhist economics reminds us that it is our ethical responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint to protect species and earth.

The four most effective actions to substantially reduce annual average personal emissions are familiar: have fewer children (58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emissions saved per year for rich country), live car-free (2.4 tCO2e saved per year), avoid airplane travel (1.6 tCO2e saved per roundtrip transatlantic flight), and eat a plant-based mostly vegetarian diet (0.8 tCO2e saved per year). These are much more effective than simple daily acts of recycling, driving a more fuel efficient car, or changing lightbulbs. These actions require us to rethink our daily habits of getting around and eating, and even forming our families, we can use the transformation to think deeply about what is important to us, and how to live with more awareness and compassion to create meaningful lives.

A Buddhist prayer for daily living:
“May we heal Mother Earth as we heal ourselves, for the benefit of all.”

(Image Credit: John Wessels/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)