Or are you blind towards it all?
The earth is warming, the oceans are dying, deserts are expanding, forests are burning, the ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, storms are monstrous, heat waves are longer and hotter… people are dying.
Just turn on the news and there it is, another catastrophic event. But the real tragedy is that we blame ourselves as if we are not capable of surviving without ruining the planet. And because we blame ourselves we are told that everyone has to fix it by changing their individual ways. This is very convenient for the real culprits. The truth is that as individuals we have very little to do with it, it is our economic system that is to blame.
Almost all human activity of any significance is done through work. And that’s because people need money to eat and live. The only way to get money is through a job or work. This is what most people call the economy. If you follow the money, you will find a loan from a bank and that’s because all money in circulation is borrowed money. And the banks fund their loans from the Federal Reserve which simply prints that money. Believe it or not, commercial banks own the Federal Reserve.
Banks are funding work that puts the earth at risk. Fracking for oil would not happen without banks funding those projects. Banks also turn down projects for building solar panels and alternative renewable energy resources. The argument for this is that banks don’t want to pick winners and losers, they just want to fund as many loans as possible, so they can make as much money as possible. So, while banks want to win big, humanity as a whole is losing big. This makes no sense and needs to be stopped.
This is not just a problem in the United States. The global financial system works this way. Every country has a central bank owned by their commercial banks. And they are printing money for destructive purposes all in the name of free markets and greed.
They lend money only when they can get the money back plus interest. Banks have been given the privilege of controlling money flows and therefore the work people do. This means that work only gets done because banks lend out money in the first place. Banks therefore control all the work people do. Banks are responsible for the consequences of the work that is damaging the earth.
Banks could solve the worlds environmental problems if they lent money proactively in the following areas:
- Biodiversity Loss
- Climate Change
- Degraded Air Quality
- Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
- Population Growth
- Natural Resource Depletion
1. Biodiversity Loss — Genetic diversity, Ecosystem diversity, and Species diversity
We share this planet with plants and animals, but our actions have put them at risk of extinction. The spread of disease, direct exploitation, and the destruction and degradation of their habitats have created a hostile environment for them.
Even the marine and wildlife costal ecosystems are at significant risk due to over-exploitation, pollution, and acidification of seas and oceans.
Without a thriving biodiversity, the Earth cannot function properly. Earth requires biodiversity for the following functions:
- Maintaining the balance of the ecosystem
- Recycling and storage of nutrients
- Combating pollution
- Stabilizing climate
- Protecting water resources
- Forming and protecting soil
- Maintaining eco-balance
- Provision of biological resources
- Provision for medicines and pharmaceuticals
- Food for humanity and animals
- Obtaining wood products, ornamental plants, diversity of species, genes, ecosystems, and breeding stock
- Social benefits
- Recreation and tourism
- Cultural values
- Education and research
80% of humanity’s food comes from plants with 40,000 species used for food, clothes, and shelter. Also affecting humanity is water scarcity affecting an estimated 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of 12 months.
Urbanization, population growth, and the ever increasing demand for water for energy, food production, and industry has caused a 40% shortage in water supplies. If humanity continues to go down this path, two-thirds of the world’s population by 2025 will experience water shortages with increased suffering for ecosystems around the world.
Not only will a lack of water create a global crisis, but it will also affect human health. Half of the top ten prescription drugs sold in the United States come from microorganisms, plants, or animals. Prescription medicine from nature can treat 90% of diseases affecting humanity.
Solution: Banks can take the initiative to prevent biodiversity loss by lending money to projects with the objective to save plants and animals and cease and penalize funding to companies playing a part in the loss of biodiversity. If banks will not do this on their own moral accord, then the Federal Reserve needs to stop doing business with those banks. After all the currency that the central banks and Federal Reserve prints is not owned by the banks it is owned by the people and it is about time that currency is only printed when it protects the future for all of us.
2. Climate Change
Climate change or global warming occurs when greenhouses gases and other contaminants are released into the atmosphere, resulting in air pollution. Known as global warming, evidence of it taking place is all around us. The evidence behind climate change includes:
- Increasing temperatures worldwide
- The Earth’s average surface temperature has increased to 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19thcentury due to increased carbon dioxide and human-made emissions released into the atmosphere.
- Rising ocean temperatures
- Oceans have absorbed a lot of heat with an estimated 2,300 feet of ocean indicating warming of 302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
- Shrinking ice sheets
- The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic have decreased in mass. NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show an estimated 281 billion tons of ice lost each year whereas Antarctica has lost an estimated 119 billion tons of ice between 1993 and 2016.
- Glacial retreats
- Glacial are retreating in various parts of the world, which include the Himalayas, Alps, Rockies, Alaska, Africa, and Rockies.
- Reduced snow cover
- The amount of snow in the Northern Hemisphere has gone down over the last five decades with the snow melting quickly.
- Rising sea levels
- Sea levels worldwide have risen by about 8 inches in the last century with the rate in the last two decades nearly doubling from the last century.
- Declining Arctic sea ice
- The amount and thickness of Arctic sea ice has decreased quickly over the last several decades.
- Extreme natural disasters
- The number of natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires in the United States has been gradually increasing over the years since 1950. Increased surface temperatures can increase the chance of more droughts as well as the intensity of storms. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere can cause severe storms and warmer ocean surface temperatures and increased heat in the atmosphere can lead to increased wind speeds in tropical storms.
- Ocean acidification
- The acidity of the ocean has risen to an estimated 30% due to humanity emitting increased carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus causing the ocean to absorb it. The amount of carbon dioxide the upper layer of oceans can absorb has been going up by 2 billion tons each year.
Solution: Banks need to cease funding high-carbon industries such as coal power plants and coal mining. Instead, they can finance the low-carbon transition. If banks will not do this on their own moral accord, then the Federal Reserve needs to stop doing business with those banks. After all the currency that the central banks and Federal Reserve prints is not owned by the banks it is owned by the people and it is about time that currency is only printed when it protects the future for all of us.
Deforestation is the permanent removal of standing forests. The forced or accidental removal of trees occurs in any area populated by trees and plant life. The loss of trees and plants is one of the leading causes of climate change, flooding, fewer crops, desertification, and increased greenhouses gases in the atmosphere. Here is the list of the negative effects deforestation has on the environment:
- Loss of habitat
- 70% of the Earth’s plants and animals call the forest their home.Destroying these forests will leave them homeless, thus diminishing their chances of survival.
- Increased greenhouse gases
- South America’s tropical forests are responsible for 20% of the world’s oxygen and are vanishing at a rate of 4 hectares everydecade.
- Water in the atmosphere
- Trees control the water level in the atmosphere by regulating the water cycle. If trees continue to disappear at the rate they are now, less water will be returned to the soil from the atmosphere. Dryer soil will not promote the growth of crops. The irony in this is that small-scale agriculture and cattle ranching are responsible for 80% of deforestation.
- Soil erosion and coastal flooding
- Trees function to retain topsoil and water required to sustain forest life. Their absence will cause the soil to erode and wash away, causing famers to leave and continue the cycle. In return, the barren land becomes more prone to flooding, especially in coastal regions.
Solution: Banks can put in a pre-condition for financing companies that clear forests to produce their products to adopt a more responsible production technique to manufacture their product.
4. Degraded Air Quality
High concentrations of air pollution in the air threaten humanity, animals, plants, and natural resources. Degraded air quality is a result of manufacturing facilities, burning wood and coal, motor machines, mobile sources such as buses, planes, cars, and trucks, smelters, volcanic eruptions, and windstorm dust.
Air pollution causes respiratory and heart problems and contributes to global warming. It also causes acid rain, which releases high amount of nitrogen. The nitrogen released from acid rain interacts with the ocean’s surface and promotes algae growth, which negatively effects marine life and leads to the depletion of ozone layer and forces wildlife to move and change their habitat.
Here are the primary causes of air pollution:
- Burning of fossil fuels
- The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for 79% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, and that’s just in the United States. The combustion of fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and other factory combustibles emit sulfur dioxide into the air. Vehicles such as jeeps, trucks, airplanes, and trains also cause air pollution.
The improper or incomplete combustion of carbon monoxide from vehicles and nitrogen oxides produced from natural and man-made processes also pollute the air.
- Agricultural activities
- Ammonia is one of the most dangerous gases in the atmosphere and is the result of agricultural activities. Ammonia particles in the air lead to around 3 million deaths each year. Agricultural activities involve using insecticides, fertilizers, and pesticides, which are released into the air and water.
- Exhaust from industries and factories
- Manufacturing industries produce large amounts of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, chemicals, and organic compounds.
- Mining operations
- Mining done below the earth using large equipment releases dust and chemicals into the air, causing it to get polluted. Workers and nearby residents develop health conditions as a result.
- Indoor air pollution
- Household cleaning products and painting supplies produce toxic chemicals. When released into the open, it causes air pollution.
Solution: Banks should not fund companies involving in projects that cause and add to air pollution. Before lending money to these companies for projects, banks need to perform a strict-lending review and post-lending examination on the project and determine the impact it will have on the environment and take strict action against companies involved in projects negatively impacting the environment.
5. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
Pollution causes the depletion of stratospheric ozone, releasing chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform into the air. Here is a list of effects of ozone depletion:
- Puts humanity at risk of diseases
- A depleted ozone layer overexposes people to harsh UV rays and can cause skin cancer, sunburns, a weakened immune system, cataracts, and rapid aging.
- Damages the environment
- Harsh UV rays can cease the growth of crops, leading to minimal growth, flowering, and photosynthesis. Some crops that are vulnerable to UV rays include wheat, corn, rice, barley, tomatoes, cauliflower, and oats, just to name a few.
- Endangers marine life
- Harsh UV rays endanger marine life such as planktons, which appear higher up in the aquatic food chain. The decrease of planktons can interrupt the marine food chain.
- Endangers animals
- Animals exposed to harsh UV rays can develop skin and eye cancer.
- Impacts materials
- Harsh UV rays degrade certain materials such as plastics, wood, rubber, and fabrics.
Solution: Banks need to phase out ozone depleting chemicals from different industry sectors by replacing halons with substitutes and halo banking. Substitutes include halocarbon alternatives, water mist, inert gases, streaming agents, and particulate aerosols whereas halon banking involves recovery, recycling, and setting up inventories that both countries and companies use to manage current supplies of halon. If banks will not do this on their own moral accord, then the Federal Reserve needs to stop doing business with those banks. After all the currency that the central banks and Federal Reserve prints is not owned by the banks it is owned by the people and it is about time that currency is only printed when it protects the future for all of us.
6. Population Growth
In the last 50 years, the world’s population increased more rapidly than ever before and will continue to grow. Experts project that the world’s population will increase to around10 to 11 billion by 2100. To achieve population stability, countries need to promote reproductive health education and family planning, as without them, the environmental crisis will only worsen.
The continued growth will also increase the consumption of resources around the world. Fast-growing developing countries will contribute to more than half of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Overpopulation leads to more:
- Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides
- Mining for minerals
- Waste and toxic byproducts from manufacturing
- Land deforestation and development
- Oil leakages and spillages
- Fossil fuel extraction and burning
- Soil erosion and degradation
- Sewerage and stock effluence
Solution: Banks can finance projects aimed at reducing population through education about family planning. This is especially necessary for banks to do in third world and developing countries dealing with overpopulation due to lack of knowledge. If banks will not do this on their own moral accord, then the Federal Reserve needs to stop doing business with those banks. After all the currency that the central banks and Federal Reserve prints is not owned by the banks it is owned by the people and it is about time that currency is only printed when it protects the future for all of us.
7. Natural Resource Depletion
Natural resource depletion occurs when humanity consumes natural resources at a greater rate than one can produce them. For instance, oil takes around a hundreds of thousands of years to produce, but humanity consumes around 90 billion barrels of oil each day.
Another example of a natural resource are trees, which take time to grow from seeds planted in the ground, but only take seconds to chop down — a process made quicker by modern technology. Overpopulation, as previously discussed, also increases the consumption of natural resources. Here is a list of natural resources humanity depletes the world of:
- 8 billion people will have no water to drink by 2025.
- Coal supply will last for 188 years, but if overpopulation causes the demand to grow, expect this duration to decrease.
- The world requires oil for transportation. Currently, the world has access to 188.8 million tons of oil. This can sustain humanity’s oil needs for 46.2 years, as of 2010.
- Natural gas
- Current reserves of flammable gas can last the world for 58.6 years, as of 2010.
- Marine life, including several species of fish, could go extinct due to overfishing.
Solution: Banks need to set guidelines for funding operations executed by companies that utilize practices that lead to overconsumption of natural resources and use alternate methods to run their operations that decreases the consumption of natural resources. Banks can also fund companies working towards researching alternatives to natural resources.
Central Banks and the Federal Reserve have been given the keys to the ultimate human power, they can print money. They print the money and lend it to the commercial banks which then in turn lend it to their customers. They have been given this power with very few requirements. They target low interest rates, low unemployment and stable financial markets. However, they directly control the technological direction and environmental risks for all of humanity. Humanity cannot continue to go down this road of letting banks fund loans no matter how dangerous their effects may be. The truth is that banks have the ultimate responsibility, but everybody is too busy blaming the government. It’s time to stop blaming government for all our problems and wake-up to the fact that the banks are pulling all the strings.