Welcome to the Future

The Welcome To the Future series is the expression of my concern about how our human existence is affecting all other life on earth. Our anthropocentric perspective reinforced by politics and advertising, encourages harmful behavior in the name of profit for large corporations. If our species expects to be around in a few hundred years, we must bring our existence into harmony with the rest of reality, otherwise the future will not be so welcoming...in fact, it may not exist for us. Each of the collections in Welcome to the Future contains multiple images which are constantly being updated. New categories are being added like “Flora of the Future” and major updates to the “Forests of the Future” as more and more forest is lost to wildfire. My website http://www.grantjohnson.net/gallerycat/Welcome_to_the_Future/14.html features current links to news of these topics.
The world's forests are under assault from logging, climate change, pollution, pestilence, greed and desperation. Trees represent one of the most efficient climate stabilization mechanisms and one of the cheapest to implement. Trees sequester carbon and emit oxygen, when they are living. Killing a tree halts this process and causes it to work in reverse. As forests are burned or logged the trees are removed from service and those green house gasses, added to the already critical load, cause the planet to warm. This change from woodland to grassland is altering the ecology significantly and indeterminately
When viewed from above, it is clear that the space we've allotted to the natural world is shrinking at an alarming rate. Urban sprawl, infrastructure, destructive entertainment and extractive industries dominate ever more of our landscape as our consumptive appetites increase because there are, simply, more of us. Mining, drilling and logging are some of the most destructive operations because antiquated laws have enabled some companies to despoil the environment and leave their waste products unabated. As the local population weighs the jobs created against the toxic legacy of these operations, the appeal is eventually made for clean up which should have been part of the cost of extraction but is often paid by the public. This rewards destructive practices and sends the message that it’s okay to do the wrong thing because the public will bail you out.
When viewed from above, it is clear that the space we've allotted to the natural world is shrinking at an alarming rate. Urban sprawl, infrastructure, destructive entertainment and extractive industries dominate ever more of our landscape as our consumptive appetites increase because there are, simply, more of us. Mining, drilling and logging are some of the most destructive operations because antiquated laws have enabled some companies to despoil the environment and leave their waste products unabated. As the local population weighs the jobs created against the toxic legacy of these operations, the appeal is eventually made for clean up which should have been part of the cost of extraction but is often paid by the public. This rewards destructive practices and sends the message that it’s okay to do the wrong thing because the public will bail you out.
When viewed from above, it is clear that the space we've allotted to the natural world is shrinking at an alarming rate. Urban sprawl, infrastructure, destructive entertainment and extractive industries dominate ever more of our landscape as our consumptive appetites increase because there are, simply, more of us. Mining, drilling and logging are some of the most destructive operations because antiquated laws have enabled some companies to despoil the environment and leave their waste products unabated. As the local population weighs the jobs created against the toxic legacy of these operations, the appeal is eventually made for clean up which should have been part of the cost of extraction but is often paid by the public. This rewards destructive practices and sends the message that it’s okay to do the wrong thing because the public will bail you out.

We are in the midst of the sixth known mass extinction of life on earth. Lions, Tigers and Polar Bears, Chimpanzees, Rhinos, River Dolphins, Right Whales, the Great Apes… all gone by the middle of this century unless we change our priorities. It’s the greatest die off since an asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs and most things living in the Americas 65 million years ago. Forests are succumbing to climate change and invasion by opportunistic parasites, then burning, changing our familiar landscapes from forests to scrubland. Our lifestyle priorities are mandating more energy production and consequently more habitat destruction with every year setting a new record for carbon dioxide emission. This places even greater pressure on flora and fauna to evolve or perish.

“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money,” he said. “Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.” Pope Francis, Bolivia, 7-9-1015

“We have created a Star Wars Civilization with Stone Age Emotions” says renowned biologist E.O.Wilson “we thrash around and are a danger to ourselves and the rest of life.” “Our conquest of earth happened so quickly that the rest of the biosphere has not had time to adjust and our heedless destruction of species shows scant sign of abating.” Interview by Natalie Angier

The “Welcome To The Future” series is my expression of concern about how our human existence is affecting all other life on earth. Our anthropocentric perspective reinforced by politics and advertising, encourages harmful behavior in the name of profit for large corporations. If our species expects to be around in another hundred years, we must bring our existence into equilibrium with the rest of reality, otherwise the future will not be so welcoming…in fact, it may not exist for us. The people of The Carteret Islands, The Maldives, Tuvalu, Samoa, Senegal, Kiribati, New Orleans and now New York, know that feeling. It’s like…welcome to the future!

For more info:
Geoscientists, Who Have Documented the Rapid and Accelerating Climate Crisis for Decades, Are Now Pleading for Immediate Collective Action
This Fjord Shows Even Small Populations Create Giant Microfiber Pollution
Western US Faces Prolonged Drought Even With Stringent Emission Control
‘No One is safe’: How the Heat Wave Has Battered the Wealthy World
What We Know About the Climate Connection to the European Floods
A New Tool shows How Google Results Vary Around the World
In Video, Exxon Lobbyist Describes Efforts to Undercut Climate Action
Texas Blackouts Point to Coast-to-Coast Crisis Waiting to Happen
Crushing Climate Impacts to Hit Sooner Than Feared: Draft UN Report
Blaming Renewables, Texas Power System Collapse
Visiting My Carbon Emissions in Iceland
Plastic Is Falling From The Sky, But Where’s It Coming From?
Japan to Release More than One Million Tonnes of Radioactive Water Into The Sea
Climate Change Is Driving Plant Die-offs in Southern California
Our Response to Climate Change is Missing something Big, Scientists say
What Will Trump’s Most Profound Legacy Be? Most Likely Climate Damage
Attacks on Science in Age of Megafires
Under Trump, Criminal Prosecutions for Pollution Dropped Sharply
Florida Sees Signals of a Climate-Driven Housing Crisis
What Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Mean for Global Warming
Censored: Australian Scientists Say Suppression of Environmental research is Getting Worse
Federal Report Warns of Financial Havoc from Climate Change
Fire Destroys Europe’s Largest Migrant Camp
The Hard Truths of Climate Change
Record Methane Levels Add to Climate Worries
Trump Boosts Deregulation by Undervaluing Cost of Climate Change
Climate Change: Siberian Heatwave ‘Clear Evidence’ of Warming
Rising Seas Threaten an American Institution: The 30-Year Mortgage
Climate Crisis: Alarm at Record-breaking Heatwave in Siberia
A War Against Climate Science, Waged by Washington’s Rank and File
Where’s Airborne Plastic? Everywhere, Scientists Find.
NOAA Chief Violated Ethics Code in Furor Over Trump Tweet
America Was Unprepared For a Major Crisis. Again.
Sonoma Man’s Sound Evidence Documents Nature in Peril
Trump Moves to Weaken Two Key Environmental Protections
Environmentalists Target Exxon Mobile, Then Hackers Target Them
Migration Is Normal, Accept It
The U.S. Is Getting Shorter as Mapmakers race to Keep Up
What a Week’s Disasters Tell Us About Climate and the Pandemic

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