Some say the pandemic has made us more conscious about protecting the environment. We might be more aware of the consequences of global warming. Not just because we have more knowledge about it, but because we are facing the reality the environmentalists were warning us about years ago. As NASA’S Global Climate Change site asserts the temperature of the planet has risen about 1.18 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world. The global sea level rose about 20 centimeters in the last century. And when it comes to wetlands, more than 35 percent of the world’s wetlands have been drained for urban development or agriculture, polluted, paved over, or lost to sea-level rise.
Even though these facts are dramatic and we have been hearing them for years, we continue living our comfortable lives. But now, that we are facing the biggest challenge for humans of this century we are beginning to realize that our actions have consequences. Scientists are warning that destroying wildlife habitat could lead to the emergence of more viruses like the one that causes covid-19, and this has made us more aware of the importance of nature. But it was not until we saw ourselves and our comfortable lives threatened. The warnings from the scientists weren’t enough, the simplicity of life wasn’t enough. And now, we find in nature an escape from the suffocating pandemic.
The question is, can nature support the presence of more humans? Are we educated enough to respect nature as it should be? I don’t have much hope in our species. We have been warned many times of the consequences of living our lifestyles and we weren’t willing to change them. However, sometimes we find some sun rays on a cloudy day and we get our hopes up. A good example of a positive intervention of humans in nature is Lake Kerkini located in the region of Serres in Northern Greece. A wetland which was formed in 1932 when a water dam was built and the area was flooded.
Photo by Mirzana Bexheti
Lucila Piedra harris
Is a Spanish volunteer in Praxis organisartion involved in the Wetlands Day Campaign.