The diagram below depicts:
… nine planetary boundaries that have led to a stable Earth for the last 10,000 years. These include greenhouse gas emissions, the ozone layer, forests, freshwater and biodiversity.”
I am struck at the impact of “novel entities” which are “manufactured chemicals and plastics that do not appear naturally in large quantities and have the potential to disrupt Earth’s systems.” They outpace just about every other risk to the health of the planet, including climate change.
Here are a few more bits from that EcoWatch article:
- There has been a 50-fold increase in the production of chemicals since 1950. This is projected to triple again by 2050.
- The researchers concluded that the boundary had been breached because production and release of plastics and other chemicals now surpasses the ability of governments to assess and monitor these pollutants.
- There are around 350,000 different types of manufactured chemicals on the global market, with almost 70,000 introduced in the last decade. Among them are plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical products.
- [Plastics] now weigh more than double the mass of living animals and around 80 percent of all the plastics ever produced persist in the environment.
- Plastics are made up of more than 10,000 other chemicals that can enter the environment in new combinations when they degrade.
Imagine the chemicals children today will be exposed to … from conception. 70,000 new chemicals in just the last 10 years. The pace! So many that governments have now lost the ability to assess them. How did it get so bad?