Professor Mark Lindley called for a serious approach to understand and overcome environmental degradation during a talk on ‘Galloping Environmental Degradation 2015’ at the School of Economics (UoH) on November 13. He explained that the current economic activity has a big impact on the environment and needs to be checked because “people need nature and nature doesn’t need people.”
After showing the earth’s activities in a chronological order, right from the big bang, Prof Lindley, who is UoH Chair Professor warned that the present condition of the environment can only affect humans and not the earth as this planet is a “great winnower of waste and error” and can continue as a “variegated living world.”
He refuted the ongoing pursuit of finding life on other planets, asserting that humans will never be able to move to another planet as they won’t survive for long on it. He painted a grim but complete picture of the current environmental scenario by citing a remark from world-class geologist Robert M. Hazen’s recent book, “Our ocean and atmosphere are changing at a rate rarely matched in the Earth’s long history. Oceans are rising, while they are becoming warm and more acidic. Global patterns of rainfall are changing, while the atmosphere is becoming more turbulent. Polar ice is melting, tundra is thawing, and habitats are shifting.”
He mentioned depletion of nonrenewable mineral resources, renewable natural resources being used up faster than the earth renews them, economically harmful dislocations of natural minerals, pollution, climate change, extinction of biological species, and the rise of virulent viruses and antibiotic resistance as the issues responsible for galloping environmental degradation.
He also displayed a chart showing the possible deterioration of earth’s resources till 2080 and its impact on the human race warning that the downfall is at a much faster pace than predicted earlier.
Prof Lindley wished to see the current and upcoming crop of economists conscious of the world’s future and cautious of the detrimental impact that economic activity can have.
-By Shaima Mansoor, Department of Communication