The biggest threat to our environment is climate change. Carbon dioxide, methane and other “greenhouse gases” act like a blanket over the Earth, playing havoc with weather and ecosystems all over the world. Fine if you want to grow figs in Scotland; terrible for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, or the hundreds of millions of people that could be drowned under an ex-ice cap. (Have you seen Al Gore’s Oscar winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth?)
The Atlantic Conveyor, which powers the Gulf Stream and hence stops Dublin freezing solid in the winter, could shut down completely if icebergs the size of countries continue to break away from the Antarctic coast. The summer Arctic may be completely ice-free in less than 30 years, transforming it from a global air conditioning system into a giant heater.
We are in the middle of the worst mass extinction event in history. Since 1975 we have lost a third of all the species on our planet. If we don’t do a lot, right now, to prevent climate change, then we could be facing a sudden and catastrophic collapse of the global ecosystem. The world will survive; human civilisation and most animals may not