The U.S. Russia and other developed countries spend tremendous amounts of money in recent years for the study of the planets in the solar system and beyond. These expenses seem superfluous considering the imminent dangers facing civilization from pollution, intensive exploitation of the limited natural resources and overpopulation.
The most expensive Hubble Space Telescope and the hipper expensive manned spaceships may provide us with new information on the Universe. These and similar sophisticated means, however, will not help us find the answers to the Big question of our time: How Long Will Civilization Survive if Destruction of the Planet's Environment goes on?
According to environmental scientists, life on our small but perhaps unique planet Earth may come to an end in the next 70-80 years. They attribute this danger to the tremendous technological development, which upsets nature's equilibrium and the dramatic growth of human population. The factors that endanger life on earth are mainly:
1. Contamination of the soil and water resources by monstrous amounts of industrial and home garbage, as well as by pesticides and chemical fertilizers used intensively in modern agriculture.
2. Damage to the protective ozone layer by mainly CFC (Chloro-Fluoro-Carbon) gases.
3. Green House Effect, caused by the excess, in the atmosphere, of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases generated by industry, agriculture, automobiles and electric power plants.
4. Acid Rain, caused by the release by industrial plants and vehicles of significant quantities of pollutants into the air.
5. The release of poisonous gases to the atmosphere and the destruction of rare species of plants and animals by burning of forests throughout the world, especially the rain forests.
6. Dramatic growth of human population, which constitute perhaps the most scaring factor of all. Human population, consisting today of almost 7 billion people, compared with only 2 billion in 1930, may grow in about 40 years to the scaring number of 10 billion. The many millions born every year must fight for their survival. They therefore use water resources to the limit, exploit the scarce natural resources and burn forests for fuel and for agricultural cultivation.
What should we do?To save our planet the world must take immediate action to protect the environment, like:
* Reduce air pollution from industry, power plants and vehicles.
* Decrease the use of pesticides by researching safer ways of controlling plant diseases and pests, like biological control.
* Find clean and more efficient energy sources to replace dangerous petroleum and its terrible alternative - coal.
* Discover new solutions for the disposal of wastes of all kind, including chemical residues from industry and garbage.
* Bring to maximal efficiency water consumption, for home, industry and agriculture.
* Stop the burning of the Amazon rain forests and the destruction of rare species.
* Find ways of implementing birth control in overpopulated countries.
How can this be doneTo do so, huge amounts of money are needed for research and development, as well as for the compensation of underdeveloped countries for various actions they may have to take. In addition, countries all over the world will have to issue and enforce strict laws for the protection of the environment.
The question is, how can such acquiescence be achieved among so many different nations and interests? How can laws and restrictions be forced on people whose primary interest is personal survival - and what is the way to convince industries and farmers to invest fortunes in expensive devices for protecting the environment?
The only way to achieve these aims is by reaching a worldwide consensus for a global effective action towards the common goal of saving civilization and the planet. There is a need for combined efforts of all nations through understanding and agreement, as well as a central authority to initiate and control such an operation.
Conditions for such an outcome are ripe today more than ever before, because of the growing influence of the U.S. in the world and the weakening animosity between East and West.
Is it really going to happen?Will governments consent to giving up their power and obeying a central authority? Will politicians relinquish their ambitious struggle for position and influence and adopt responsibility for the future of the world? I believe they will, but only through the demand and pressure of the masses on governments and parliaments. Such action must be taken everywhere, through the establishment of national associations for the protection of the planet.
Some people rightly ask, why should we worry about something that may happen in perhaps another 70-80 years. Are we the planet's or the civilization's keepers? - and who can really be sure that this prophecy of doom will actually happen? No one has precise answers to these questions. But what if the warnings are real and civilization - God's wonderful creation which took 3,5 billion years of evolution to develop - disappears forever? Can we jeopardize the future of our children and grandchildren? We are here now, and it is our prime task and duty to find the answers and solutions for the well-being of the coming generations.