There is a reason we’ve created Wildlify – to position a new term to the world – a new paradigm in hopes of supporting the elevation of all life in creating a world that works. A world worthy of our ambitions.
Imagine how much has changed on this planet since you were born. Just a moment ago in evolutionary time, this planet was paradise for innumerable species. Life crept and grew in nearly every crack, depth and mountaintop, flourishing and evolving with every change in the environment. Now our presence has so radically altered life on earth, our very survival as a species is in jeopardy.
By mid century, if we continue on our current trajectory, we face a world with no fisheries, no coral reefs, no rainforests, declining oxygen concentrations, and nine billion hungry thirsty people fighting over what remains… Studies show 90% of the big fish are gone, 75% of the forests are gone, the oceans are 30% more acidic, and phytoplankton – plants in the ocean responsible for producing at least half of the oxygen in the air we breathe – are rapidly declining. Fresh water and grain stores have never been lower. Conservation has failed to save our life support system.
The environmental movement thus far has fought against our problems. This immediately positions the movement as the underdog, environmentalists as radicals, and pits us against the biggest corporations and economies in the world. Yet, we are the most powerful force on the planet – 7 billion people that care, that want to survive and have morals and feelings to guide us!
From the perspective of fighting against our problems, a 10% or 20% reduction in carbon emissions would be celebrated as a huge success! Unfortunately, this might not even buy us 1% more time on a hugely degraded world. It’s easy to be apathetic and pessimistic in a world where our ambitions still lead to collapse.
I believe we need to rise above the current predicament by imagining a world worth fighting for and by doing so inspire and empower humanity get involved. What if pollution was illegal? What if we focused on ecosystem restoration instead of economic growth? What if the rivers, lakes and oceans were restored to thriving ecosystems full of life? What if we used trash to manufacture goods instead of the natural world? What if we reforested the land, acquired food locally, captured carbon from the atmosphere by farming intelligently and harnessed the power of the sun for energy? What if we brought nature back? Could we rise above the fossil fuel vs. environment battle by charting a pathway towards something incredible? Could we make this world beautiful for all species?
We know what we’ve lost – 90% of the big fish, 75% of the forest, etc. If we put the fish, forests, and life back, we could capture enormous amounts of carbon in that life and regain priceless ecosystem services that provide us with life, food, fresh water and a stable climate. Shifting agriculture towards methods that focus on increasing species diversity and capturing carbon in soil could increase food production and pull enough carbon from the atmosphere to halt climate change and ocean acidification.
Imagining what this world could be if we designed it to be beautiful for us and all species is a far more exciting prospect that might get people, particularly youth – involved and dedicating their lives to this task – one that will call out the best in us and bring down borders of race, gender or ethnicity.
What if this crisis was exactly what humanity needed right now? In a time when humanity needs meaning, we finally have a task worthy of our ability. An opportunity to pull our lives from rampant loneliness where people stagnate on social networks, drugs and consumerism – where their life work has built destructive corporations, goods and industries that lessen this world and our ability to thrive in the future. We’re better than this….
This opportunity is for all of us, no matter what side of the world we live on – because we’re in this together. Everything will change this century because it has to. We can be sidelined by it and watch our world crumble under the faults we’ve ignored, or we can change this world ourselves.
We’re on the brink of something incredible, and with millions of conservation groups and billions of people connected through technology, I am truly excited to see what happens next. I hope Wildlify to be a tool for all of us to think differently and rise above our current predicament into the world we know to be possible.