All nations must wake up and stop destroying our planet

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 December, 2016, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 December, 2016, 8:58pm

The next great extinction is looming but we seem to be asleep at the wheel, too self-absorbed to notice till it’s too late to put the brakes on.

We are grabbing every bit of land for ourselves, and raping the oceans, leaving little for their inhabitants to eat.

How ironic we endanger so many creatures in the belief that their use in medicines and potions can beautify us, make us healthy and prolong our lives, when all we’re really doing is destroying theirs.

Tourists will no longer be attracted to Africa once its amazing wildlife has become extinct, but poaching is a way out of poverty and it continues because our civilisation is greedy and cares only about consuming instead of conserving.

We are so obsessed with our own importance we forget we are part of Earth’s biodiversity.

We all know what is happening so why don’t we care? Hong Kong used to have a sea full of tropical fish, but it was overfished to satiate diners’ appetites, and we decided it was a good place to dump trash when no one was looking. Nowadays we swim in rubbish-filled water with fish rarely seen. Hong Kong’s wildlife is slowly being squeezed out of existence by the need for space.

Our world is overpopulated but we encourage people to have more children. Our eyes are now set on Mars, an inhospitable planet, billions are being spent to realise this dream compared to the mere fraction spent on protecting life on Earth. It could be so different if governments and the big players in business cooperated to save us.

We think nothing of polluting our world, we are making our air unbreathable, our water undrinkable and produce food we’re afraid to eat, the destruction seems unstoppable.

Some of us really do care but seemingly not those with the clout to do something about it, at least not while there’s money to be made.

If we don’t do something now it’s the end game for all of us. More celebrities need to support conservation because young people listen to their idols. Hopefully social media will help galvanise change.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau hit the nail on the head, “If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.”

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin