Every earthling has an inherent right to a healthy environment. As Ethical Earthlings we value a healthy environment not just for humans, but for all other earthlings, too.
Our species has damaged the environment so badly that scientists are arguing about whether it is too late to recover even if we take drastic measures. Before they stop arguing and start agreeing it is too late, it is imperative that we all do everything we can to salvage what is left of this gorgeous planet. So far, we are not even having the conversations we would have to have to recover. For example, have you noticed the heavy focus on recycling? Please read this Sea Shepherd article that puts the focus where it should be.
The number one cause of environmental damage is human overpopulation. During the Covid 19 pandemic we saw that reduced human activity helped the environment. If we promote avoiding child production, empower women with education and equal pay, invest in adoption assistance, and end the glorification of large families on tv we could see a huge improvement in the environment.
The second cause of environmental damage is human exploitation of other animals, especially for “food” and materials. You might be thinking of cow burps and farts causing greenhouse gasses. The media oversimplifies the issue and people laugh about it, but the exploitation of other species, including fishes, is causing more than a significant amount of greenhouse gasses. Our use of other animals, including fishes, is the leading cause of water pollution and water consumption, the leading cause of deforestation, desertification, erosion, and it is the leading cause of greenhouse gasses.
In addition to the victims’ waste and exhalations, the environmental damage is caused by all of the machinery, ships and transportation involved at all stages of their exploitation. A significant portion of transportation is from animal exploitation, but the EPA does not break down transportation greenhouse gasses by cause. We are simply not getting the information or guidance we desperately need.
Climate change is an urgent issue, but we cannot ignore any of the environmental devastation we are causing, and we cannot continue to blame someone else. Each of us needs to take personal responsibility to protect the environment.
There is not a single quick fix for it all. We cannot keep blaming governments and corporations, without also changing our own behaviors. The most significant change you can make for the environment right now is ending your use of other animals, especially as “food” or materials.