some disasters grow slowly

On the news today, a report of a stingray leaping into a boat and piercing an 81 year old man with its barbed tail. Imagine that — a fish several feet wide just flinging itself out of the water into a boat! Not very natural behavior for this graceful ocean dweller.
Yesterday, a herd of wild elephants went on a rampage and killed a sleeping family of five in Bangladesh.
Today, our government announced that the precious ozone layer above the Antarctic is the largest ever — 10.6 million square miles.
Personally, I believe that we humans are hell bent on destroying our planet. I found an interesting article that lists many of the environmental catastrophes that we are currently instigating by our assumption that we have the right to rape and plunder this planet for immediate gains in personal comfort and wealth. (The article also attributes these catastrophes to breaking “god’s” laws about how to deal with the natural world. I’m igoring that part of it all because of my non-belief system. But for those who believe, it makes sense as well.) I quote below the best of “Our Dying World.”

First, look at the extent of global environmental degradation by simply reviewing the natural catastrophes occurring around the world. Whether they are caused by global warming or not, each of these crises is real and unfolding right now.
Look at Europe. This summer, Britain and much of continental Europe were wracked with devastatingly hot and dry conditions that ruined large swaths of cropland. British gardeners were warned in September that the English country garden will be a memory of the past within 20 years. In Italy, melting glaciers mean that skiers will soon have to climb beyond 2,000 meters to find snow to ski on. Even as far north as Greenland, temperatures have been so warm that barley is beginning to grow in the normally ice-clad nation—an occurrence not seen since the Middle Ages.
Further south, in the Mediterranean Sea, water temperatures have warmed to the point where swarms of jellyfish are plaguing tourists along the coast of Spain. In the famous water city of Venice, rising water levels are spurring urgent meetings on how to prevent the city from being overrun by water. Such meetings are also being held by worried engineers in the Netherlands.
Similar problems are seizing Africa, already the poorest continent on Earth. As the Independent reported in September, “Natural disasters, extreme weather, floods and droughts have always been common in southern Africa, but the severity of the wet and dry periods is intensifying with disastrous results” (September 15). Massive droughts in the Horn of Africa this year have killed much of the region’s wildlife and disrupted the migration patterns of animals and birds.
In Kenya, soaring temperatures and drought conditions are driving herdsmen to war over the few remaining cattle that are surviving the drought. On the other hand, extreme drought in Ethiopia was recently broken by torrential rain and devastating flooding that caused river banks to overflow, drowning more than 800 people.
North America is suffering the same. “In Alaska there has been millions of dollars of damage to buildings and roads caused by melting permafrost. The region has been blighted by the world’s largest outbreak of spruce bark beetles, normally confined to warmer climes. Rising sea levels have forced the relocation of Inuit villages, and polar bears have been drowning because of shrinking sea ice. The caribou population is in steep decline due to earlier spring and the west is suffering one of the worst droughts for 500 years” (ibid.).
More than 60 percent of the United States is suffering drought or abnormally dry conditions. But other areas have had devastating floods that have caused millions of dollars in damage. In Hawaii, the island’s famous coral reefs are being destroyed by large-scale bleaching.
South America is walking the same path. “Last year, the largest river in the world [the Amazon] was reduced to a trickle by an unprecedented drought. This year sand banks have already appeared in the deltas of the Amazon and fears are rising that a drought cycle that was previously measured in multiples of decades may now be an annual event” (ibid.). Unusually dry conditions are disturbing the fragile ecosystem of the Amazon forest, driving animals and plants to extinction and ruining the health of the forest known as the lungs of the Earth.
“In the Peruvian Andes the alpacas that have for centuries provided indigenous farmers with a means of survival have died in cold snaps where temperatures plummeted to -30°C. In the summer, melted glaciers revealed rock faces burnt red by their first contact with direct sunlight” (ibid.).
Then there is Australasia. Large sections of Australia’s traditionally productive agricultural regions are drying up. Farmers are being forced to buy water and truck it to their farms. The drought is rampant from one end of the nation to the other. In some states, it is the worst in decades; in others, such as Western Australia, it is the worst on record.
In New Zealand, floods, snowstorms and harsh weather caused millions of dollars in damage this past winter.
Then there is Asia, where “some of the most visible effects of climate change” are evident. “From the frozen wastes of Afghanistan, where the river bed in Kabul has become a dry rubbish tip, to south India, where thousands of farmers have killed themselves after successive years of drought wrecked their crops …” (ibid.). Potentially the worst damage is occurring in the Himalayas, where glaciers are melting. “Several glacier lakes have already burst in Nepal and Bhutan. The disappearance of the glaciers could dry up major rivers as far away as China, India and Vietnam” (ibid.).
Serious and alarming environmental crises are impacting every corner of the Earth. Weather disasters and their resulting crises are killing hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, and wreaking billions of dollars’ worth of damage.
It is impossible to deny that planet Earth is being ransacked by deadly and potentially catastrophic environmental disasters.

Can you see why some people believe it’s the End Times?
It’s inevitable that some day will come the end of this planet’s time. I’m sure that we are doing our best to make that time come sooner than later. As a species, we humans are going to grow old before we ever grow up.
The quotes below from here.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do.

I have to admit, there are things that I regret not doing. I think I would have regretted not taking care of my mother.
UN reports increasing ‘dead zones’ in oceans

The number of oxygen-starved “dead zones” in the world’s seas and oceans has risen more than a third in the past two years because of fertilizer, sewage, animal waste, and fossil-fuel burning, United Nations specialists said yesterday.

Loss of species that pollinate is cause for global alarm, researchers say.

Birds, bees, bats and other species that pollinate North American plant life are losing population, according to a study released Wednesday by the National Research Council. This “demonstrably downward” trend could damage dozens of commercially important crops, scientists warned, because three-fourths of all flowering plants depend on pollinators for fertilization.

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