What is capitalism?
Capitalism is the political and economic system that is controlled by private ownership – dictating shipping, manufacturing and distribution – to gain profits and divorce control from the state. The main principles of capitalism include capital accumulation, private control of operations, competition, voluntary exchange, wage labour and property rights recognition. The race for larger distribution of goods has led companies to flatten the global environment by extracting natural resources at completely unsustainable rates. Over the past decade it has become clear to leading scientists, journalists and economists, that in order to halt climate change, we must change our relationship to work, capital and ownership.
The USGS (United States Geological Survey) explains that climate change is the long-term effects on the climate – from precipitation levels to wind patterns and temperature. The UN (United Nations) mentions that climate change can also be caused by environmental activity – disassociated with humans – and in fact, there is evidence to suggest nature, too, plays a role in altering the climate. Conversely, global warming is one element of climate change as it only represents the average increase in surface temperatures.
What is light pollution?
According to National Geographic, light pollution is the excessive or poor use of artificial light outdoors. Types of light pollution include but are not limited to, glare which is the excessive brightness, causing visual discomfort; skyglow which brightens the night sky over populated areas; light trespass when artificial light is directed into not intended or irrelevant spaces; and clutter which is the combination of different light sources that is too bright, excessive or confusing. Light pollution is a huge but often unrecognised global issue.
What is illegal wildlife trade?
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the most horrific yet discrete industries in the world. The mulit-billion-dollar industry transports animals around the globe alive or dead, for pet markets, medicine, jewellery etc. The demand for valuable items like elephant tusks or Rhinosorus horns is presumably the driving force behind poaching and other illegal activity. Poaching practices have implications beyond individual animal suffering, and threaten the existence of entire species like the Western Black Rhinoceros. According to study.com, “[the] main reason the West African black rhino is extinct is because of poachers, or illegal hunters”.
Consumers can purchase many plant-based foods and/or alternatives, such as plant-based meat and dairy, beans, legumes, oils, nuts, seeds etc. People who have transitioned from regular to vegetarian or vegan diets often purchase meat and dairy substitutes like vegan-friendly beef, pork, bacon, mince, chicken, sausages, cheese, cream and much more. According to data from the Google search engine, the search for “vegan food near me” in 2021 leapt 5,000% with continuous upward trends. Plant-based meats are entirely composed of plants and minerals. Most commonly soybeans, peas, sunflower and coconut oil, wheat, water, zinc and vitamins.
What is desertification?
Desertification is a form of land degradation where productive and fertile land alters into arid landscapes, incapable of supporting biodiversity. This can occur through natural land ‘evolution’ or human activity increasingly impacting the climate and natural habitats. Farming cattle can often cause deforestation and overgrazing, two prominent contributors to desertification. Other practices/operations like large pesticide and herbicide application, urbanisation, natural disasters, tillage and excessive use of groundwater are all leading causes of desertification globally.
What are invasive species?
Invasive species are any organisms that have been imported into different locations around the globe. These are sometimes referred to as non-indigenous, alien, exotic and/or immigrant species. The consequence of introducing invasive organisms into foreign land has huge environmental, economic and social damage. Today, there are around 17,000 classified invasive species around the world with each ‘alien’ doing far greater harm than good.