Current global environmental crisis that our world is facing


Tehran (ISNA) - Over the years, the environment has continuously been changing, and not for the better. Human population growth and global warming are two major threats to the ecology and biodiversity of the planet in the decades to come.

Dr. Hamdi taravati told ISNA in an exclusive interview about the current environmental crisis that our world is facing.

Taravati who is founder of Taravat Bahar NGO which is an environmental institute has translated a number of books on environmental issues.

Capitalism leads to the destruction of our natural environment

According to Taravati the history of capitalism has diverse and much debated roots, but fully-fledged capitalism is generally thought to have emerged in north-west Europe in the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries. It is to be said that capitalism is one of the major causes of the global environmental crisis.

Ecologists and environmental scientists often take “overpopulation” and the subsequent exploitation of natural resources as the point of departure in their prognoses of environmental crises. While refusing to look beyond what seems to be the roots of the malaise, they argue that overpopulation compounded with unbridled industrial activity leads to environmental disasters such as global warming, climate change, acid deposition, soil degradation, air and water pollution.

There is no denying that overpopulation, and indeed, the massive industrial outputs of both developed and developing countries, do have irrevocably deleterious impact on the climate. But what is often omitted in their diagnoses is the environmental hazards inherent to the dynamics of capitalism as a universal economic system.

Capitalism - defined as production for profit for a competitive market - is an economic system in which the private profit-maximization motif lies at the core of its virtues and maladies.

The market mechanisms under capitalism do not provide incentives for preserving the environment. Firms are constantly threatened by market competition to cut costs and optimize profit. The environment thus falls prey to the compulsive market behavior of the capitalist mode of production. Without the intervention of non-market entities such as the state, international organizations and social forces, capitalism as an economic system simply will not safeguard our planet.

World population growth exceeding ecological carrying capacity

Taravati went on to say for the last 50 years, world population multiplied more rapidly than ever before, and more rapidly than it is projected to grow in the future. In 1950, the world had 2.5 billion people; and in 2005, the world had 6.5 billion people. By 2050, this number could rise to more than 9 billion.

He added achieving population stability through reproductive health education and family planning is necessary to sustain Earth’s natural systems.

Human population; the world’s most neglected crisis

This activist called human population crisis as the world’s most neglected issue and added The Rio Conference addressed this issue as a subsidiary issue; however Cairo conference was held for this issue in 1994 and many laws were passed to prevent the massive increase of the population but no one is bound to obey those laws and there are completely and unfortunately today this topic is completely forgotten.

“When it comes to environmental crises such as water scarcity or soil erosion, no one cares about it”.

Excessive carbon emissions has disturbed the balance of the world

He mentioned another environmental issue which is Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and added the greenhouse gas emissions have risen so much that if you reduce its level to 80% by the year 2050, you will not be able to prevent its destructive effects.

 Taravati continued carbon emissions growth has disturbed the balance of the world. Although western countries are paying much attention to the environment now but the Western industrial sector does not do the right thing.

“After Tramp's presidency the environmental issues have been completely questioned and no one cares about it” he added.” the fact is if these issues left unaddressed, crisis will spread around the world. You should know that 60 percent of the world's population lives in coastal areas then the life of a large population will be in danger”.

Dr. Teravati referring to melting of Arctic sea ice which causing sea level to rise due to global warming said it’s been about 15000 years that Arctic ice has not been melted. But there was so much heat in 2007 that the Arctic sea ice broke, and since then shipping companies use the Arctic instead of the Panama Canal.

The dangers of ignoring the environment

There are very big changes going on around us and no one pay enough attention to them, so population in Underdeveloped and developing countries will increase as a result and also the earth's temperature will rise "he pointed out.” This process constantly create crisis and make heavy losses, especially in developing countries; also environmental problems have caused a lot of hardship and problems like the rise of ISIS and African migration to Europe”.

This environmental activist continued: so preventing carbon emission in atmosphere and helping to Underdeveloped and developing countries to control the population has benefit for Western countries too.

The effective role of international Organizations in environmental protection

Taravati referring to the success rate of governments and international institutions in preventing environmental degradation or maintaining the current status said “this has two aspects which one of them is a matter of government; in Fact European government became Pseudo-socialist under pressure. Nowadays, people in Sweden, United Kingdom and France have high security and social support and we can see that social class differences in these countries isn’t a controversial issue like the United States.

He added this changing process which caused people's living standards to be maintained has been effective in preventing further environmental degradation.

He called international institutes as an effective factor for environmental degradation and said the first environmental conference was held in Iran, where the Ramsar agreement was ratified. The next conference was held in Sweden and the prime minister of Sweden said the situation has changed and we should pay attention to something known as the environment. And all this was influenced by people like Rachel Carson and Ernst Frederick Schumacher, who changed the world's view about the environment.

Banks and corporations are the main reason for the destruction of the environment

Taravati referred to the positive impact of international institutions on preventing environmental degradation and the role of banks and large companies in protecting the environment and said the basic point is in the hands of banks, corporations and large institutions that governments are usually affected by and it’s difficult to deal with them.

He continued Despite all the measures which are being taken to protect the environment and prevent its destruction, the banks and large corporations do not pay attention to these issues, and maybe they have not yet realized if the risk increases, their lives will also be affected.

Good results will follow global adherence to the Paris climate Agreement

Taravati referred to Paris Climate Change Conference and its impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and underlined this Conference which was held after WSSD 1992 and WSSD 2002 aimed to quota determination of every country in greenhouse gas emissions reducing. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. If they adhere to this plan, it might be expected to be followed with good results.

“If the 3 Giga-tone carbon emissions drop, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere will reach to required standard” The Iranian environmental activist pointed out. “The maximum concentration of carbon dioxide is 350 ppm, therefore, the thing that we can obviously do is to stop releasing more carbon to atmosphere”.

He reminded that the annual growth rate of carbon was five percent earlier and then went up to four percent and now it falls to 0.6 and that’s not low so as much as we delay, this amount increases and we may not reduce it down.

“Recently the concentration of carbon dioxide has reached nearly 400ppm; Experts predict that if atmospheric carbon concentration exceeds 400ppm, the global warming will increase by 2.5 to 3 degrees in the next 25 years, and if this exceeds 500ppm, the Earth's temperature may increase about five degrees ”Taravati said.

He declared that if global temperature rise, lots of earth ice such as the Arctic’s ice and the Greenland Island would be melted and when this mass of ice melts, world’s major cities like New York, Moscow or Shanghai would be under water then.

“Global warming also effect on food” the head of Teravat Bahar environmental institute said. ” when the earth temperature grows by 1% agricultural product efficiency would reduce at least 10 to 15 degrees and rise in fires will destroy food supplies”.

International community should call for global action to stop Trump

Dr. Travati also said European counties are fully aware of this issue and willing to pay for it all the same. Meanwhile the United States has nothing to do with this, and Tramp withdrawal of the Paris Agreement was a major blow to global efforts in confronting with global warming. It is the international community’s duty to oppose this action and stop its implementation.

End Item


You are replying to: .