- In 1944, 29 reindeer were moved to St. Matthew Island. The reindeer thrived on their rich natural resources. The island had no natural predators to keep the reindeer population in check, so the population swelled to 6,000 animals during the next 19 years. Suddenly the natural resources were depleted and the population crashed until only 42 animals remained alive.
- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will lose most of its coral cover by 2050 and, at worst, the world’s largest coral system could collapse by 2100 because of global warming.
- Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries. The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the “Lungs of our Planet” because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.
- This year’s dead zone off Oregon ran for 17 weeks, compared to the previous high of six weeks in 2004, and saw oxygen readings near zero that left the ocean bottom littered with dead crabs, sea stars and sea anemones. This is the fifth straight year the dead zone returned. It covered 70 miles of the central Oregon Coast and there are indications a dead zone also formed off southern Washington.
We live on a small blue planet. It’s an island. A reef. A forest and a beach. And it’s the only … the only one we have.
We are many. Some days, too many. And even though it sometimes seems the world is not enough, we have to remember …
That’s not our choice. It has to be.
Take care of it.